Why Time Travel = Escapism

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Time Travel and Time Resets are things that I avoid like the plague, if a story makes use of these two things, then it is very likely that I will never watch it or even come near it, but much to my annoyance, I have been put into a position where I’m forced to write about time travel and why it makes any fiction it is included in, worse.

Why am I forced to write about something I don’t like?

Its very simple and if you happen to be an avid consumer of anime who follows the current trends across the medium, then you will already know my answer. The fact that in the last few seasons we have had the pleasure of having several anime released that make use of either time-travel, time-reset or both. And because of the fact that these shows were financially successful, it would be wise of me to write about it now, because in the future there will be even more titles coming out, which feature this cancer.

Yes, Re:Zero and Erased has unleashed time-travel and time-reset like Sword Art Online popularized the trapped in the video game scenario.

My hatred might seem unreasonable to you, as many people have no problem whatsoever with stories involving time-travel, in fact your average person is far more likely to find them cool and entertaining than the opposite. So why do I possess such intense dislike towards it?

To explain that, I must first show you the difference between passive time-travel and active time-travel. Time-Travel in fiction can be primarily divided into two categories, the one where time-travel only occurs once or twice within the story is called passive time-travel, while the other one where time-travel is a regular occurrence that happens almost every episode or multiple times an episode, is called active time-travel.

Passive Time-Travel usually happens at the beginning and the end of a series where time-travel is by no means the main focus, but simply a means of getting from point A to point B. The Typical scenario is that the protagonist gets sucked through time in the beginning of the fiction and arrives in either the past or the future and gets sent back at the end of the series through the same means. This is the lesser evil of the two time-travels because passive time-travel is rarely ruinous to the writing since it only occurs at the beginning and the ending and the characters have little to no control over it. As a result, passive time-travel is something that can be easily ignored and forgotten. Although if it the writer decides to use it in the middle ( like for example suddenly reset something), then its effects can be just as devastating as active time-travel.

Examples of Passive Time- Travel in anime: Oda Nobuna na Yabou, Nobunaga Concerto, Sengoku Otome etc.

Active Time Travel on the other hand is what I actually have problems with and also what kind of time-travel these recent anime like Re:Zero have employed in their story. Like the name implies, active time-travel is time-travel that happens frequently and unlike the Passive Time-Travel, the characters themselves are not just ‘victim’s of random time-travel phenomena but users of it, as they can either influence it or activate it someway or another, allowing themselves to affect the world they live in far more ways and grandeur than characters who merely happened to passively time-travel due to some accident. The characters themselves are active users of time-travel and time-reset and it is one of the reason why it causes so much problems as I will explain below.

Examples include: Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica, Re:Zero, Erased and Steins Gate.

I, as well as anyone with an ounce of critical thinking absolutely loathes this for the single reason that it ruins the story, the character development, the character relationships as well as the pacing in any work it is used in. A work that was defiled by active time-travel is pretty much unsalvageable as far as I’m concerned, as it becomes complete and utter trash from the writing standpoint.

You might accuse me of exaggerating, but I’m not. Once time-travel is used all the character development, the relationships that the characters have formed over the episodes as well as the progression made within the story can be erased and reset as if they never happened. How is this good writing? It’s not consistent, it wrecks up the pacing and creates an abomination. Not to mention that it essentially makes everything meaningless and superficial due to the fact that there is no permanency anymore. Nothing matters and nothing has a lasting impact because it can just be done away with time-travel and time-reset.

Did the story perhaps take a bad turn, something that would have put the protagonist to a disadvantage? No problem! Just rewind time and make it so that this pesky incident never happens by simply having the protagonist avoid it next time!

Did the protagonist do something bad, a crime or some heinous act perhaps? No problem! Just use the powers of time and make him avoid all the consequences! There is no need to bear your sins, just runaway from them like a pussy!

Is the protagonist forced to face an enemy that cannot be possibly defeated without prior knowledge and preparation? No problem! Just have him die the first couple of times for drama, then allow him to gain victory after you got bored of torturing him! It doesn’t matter how strong a foe is, if he only has a single life, while the protagonist he is against has an infinite number of them due to his retarded time-travel powers! Nobody can win against an unlimited number of retries.

Did someone die? No problem! Just go back in time and prevent their death! With time-travel death doesn’t have any meaning nor does it matter, anything can be undone!

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The point I’m trying to make is that it is vital for almost every fictional story that certain actions have permanent consequences, because that is exactly what leads to plot-twists, character developments and tragedies. Time Travel removes the consequences and therefore everything that would have been organic in the story. In the first place, bearing your problems and living with them is the mature thing to do, but instead these shows much like their juvenile characters escape from responsibility in the most immature fashion possible, by undoing the present and seeking refuge in the past.

We might as well call time-travel what it actually is, a form of escapism. It is really just a reflection of the people who watch anime, as the audience is filled with people who can’t and don’t want to handle responsibility and those who seek an escape from their boring everyday life, I’m of course talking about NEETs and hikikomoris who still live with their parents as well as your typical disillusioned japanese salary-men. This current rise in the fad of time-travel and time-resets is merely a reflection of their hearts, any medium driven by money will always mirror whats its audience is like. And modern anime certainly doesn’t give us a positive picture about the average anime fan.

With this I have concluded my main point regarding Time-Travel and Time-Resets, but there are still 2 things that I would like to talk about below, these are of course also about time-travel, so stick around and keep reading if you are interested.

  1. Learning from experiences and mistakes Character Development.

The first additional thing that I would like to talk about is the fact that the use of time travel can create the illusion of character development and that many people are stupid enough to fall for it and call it as such. How does it create such an illusion? Simple, by making the protagonist learn from his time-travel experiences and not repeat the same mistake twice.

Now learning is obviously not character development nor is avoiding making the same mistakes twice, if it were then you could easily say about any domesticated and trained animal that they have very good character development. The people who confuse these things with character development either have no idea what constitutes as character development or are purposely lying in order to press some point, either way I shall dispel those falsehoods now.

Character development is the change in the personality as well as the views and ideas held by a dynamic character, it can manifest itself in a number of ways, such as an evil character redeeming himself and becoming good, a coward gaining bravery and boldness or a lone wolf opening up and becoming more social throughout the course of the story. In fact having character development means that these people are no longer the same characters that they were at the beginning of the story, since they no longer hold the same views, ideals and traits that they did at first. Character development is of course a long and continuous process, not something that happens overnight or instantly. It is directly caused by the accumulated experiences and misfortunes that a character went through and his reactions to those experiences. Learning can also lead to character development, but we must not confuse cause with effect.

This point had to be addressed, because many idiots were claiming that Natsuki Subaru, protagonist and time-traveler of Re:Zero was actually going through character development, which is obviously a bullshit claim as Subaru never changed his views or ideals throughout the course of the anime, he only avoided making the same mistakes in order to avoid his previous bad ends. He is essentially the same childish and naive brat (albeit with more experience) at episode 25 that he was at episode 1, who wishes to help Emilia, but at the same time doesn’t want to let anyone die or sacrifice anything for that goal, and he of course gets away with it, because he has an unlimited number of retries.

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2. That time-travel involving parallel worlds likewise makes everything meaningless

My second minor topic relates to the time travel stories, where rather than just jumping between past and future, the character jumps between parallel worlds or world lines, so Steins;Gate. They suffer from numerous problems as one would expect, but the one I’m concerned with is the fact that it is also just escapism like any other form of time-travel mentioned earlier, but even more meaningless.

Just think about it and my reasoning will make sense. If the character is moving between parallel worlds by time traveling then he is just escaping from the consequences of his past world where something bad or unfortunate would happen to him, but since we have now divided the universe into multiple segments called parallel worlds, even if a character escapes from parallel world A to parallel world B, it will still mean that the characters remaining in parallel world A will die or be stricken with the misfortune, as that world itself wasn’t changed, the same events will occur there, our protagonist just won’t be there to witness it due to the fact that he moved himself to parallel world B.

And in the case of Steins;Gate it is only the memories of Okabe Rintaro that actually travel between the worlds as explained within the anime, so his real self will still remain in the Parallel World A and still die or experience the inevitable misfortune no matter what his other self in World B infused with the memories of himself from World A does. And this is why Steins;Gate is shit and why its hard to care about anything that happens in it once you realize this fact. The only thing he managed to save was his own consciousness, he and others involved with him will still die in all the countless parallel worlds, so what was the fucking point? This is just escaping from the problem instead of solving it.

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When Mystery and Psychology fail: Heads

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Heads is a mystery and psychological manga heavily centered around the theme of insanity, multiple personalities and what makes us, “us”.

It was written by Higashino Keigo, who didn’t write a whole lot of manga, and most of what he wrote can be summed up as one-shots centered at the shoujo demographic. Heads is different in the sense that it targets a different demographic and is his longest manga with 4 volumes and 36 chapters.

Outside of his relatively small work in the manga department, Keigo Higashino according to this site:

“Is one of the most popular and biggest selling fiction authors in Japan—as well known as James Patterson, Dean Koontz or Tom Clancy are in the USA.

He won the Edogawa Rampo Prize, which is awarded annually to the finest mystery work, in 1985 for the novel Hōkago (After School) at age 27.

In 1999, he won the Mystery Writers of Japan Inc award for the novel Himitsu (The Secret), which was translated into English by Kerim Yasar and published by Vertical under the title of Naoko in 2004. In 2006, he won the 134th Naoki Prize for Yōgisha X no Kenshin.

The Devotion of Suspect X was the second highest selling book in all of Japan— fiction or nonfiction—the year it was published, with over 800,000 copies sold. It won the prestigious Naoki Prize for Best Novel— the Japanese equivalent of the National Book Award and the Man Booker Prize. Made into a motion picture in Japan, The Devotion of Suspect X spent 4 weeks at the top of the box office and was the third highest‐grossing film of the year.”

So as you can clearly see, Keigo is highly praised for his mystery writing skills in Japan, which came as a bit of a shock to me after I read the manga called Heads, which story he wrote. Because of the fact that the “mystery” aspect of Heads can only be described as highly predictable, obvious, generic and even bad.

The basic story is about a shy, weak and cowardly character called Jun Naruse, whose other primary traits include the fact that he likes to paint and is unable to disobey his superiors, he is generally a conformist person who doesn’t try to stick out like a sore thumb in the community he is in. Also despite being an overall Beta-male, Jun still has a girlfriend as well a job.

Everything seems to be going well for him, but then one day he was at the wrong place at the wrong time. A shooter arrives to rob the building he was in, and when the wannabe robber brandishes his gun at a little girl, Jun proceeds to jump in the way (contrary to his previously established cowardly personality, this is a drastically heroic act from him), the bullet hits him in the head and everything fades to black.

He awakens 4 weeks later from a comatose state only to learn that he is in a hospital and that they somehow managed to save him despite his injuries to the brain. At first the doctors tell him that his brain could be repaired because “science was on his side” and that he was very lucky. But it doesn’t even take a chapter for Jun to accidentally stumble across the freezer (talk about coincidence), which contained 2 damaged brains in a jar, one of them was labeled Host J.N. (Jun Naruse), while the other one was labeled the “Donor.”

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Naturally even our dumb protagonist manages to connect the dots and the next day he asks the doctor what really happened. The doctor proceeds to inform him that he is the first person to successfully receive a brain transplant. By brain transplant here I don’t mean full brain transplant, as only Jun’s left side of the brain was injured, they took the left side from the donor and did a “partial brain transplant.”

As you would expect, Jun immediately has worries about this alarming development, but the Doctor reassures him that everything is alright and that the operation went smoothly, so he has nothing to worry about (ha-ha). It becomes evident in the very next chapter that the partial brain matter from the Donor is influencing him anyway by “manifesting” the personality of the Donor.

Most of the “mystery” aspect of the manga is centered around this Donor as Jun tries to find the parents of the donor, learn about his personality and see how the changes in his persona are correlated to the persona of the donor, several important chapters are wasted on this.

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And I really mean wasted, because the identity of the donor was obvious to anyone who paid some attention in the first 3-4 chapters, where they mention that the shooter who shot Jun also died. It was honestly such an expected cliché move to fuse the shooter’s and victim’s brains together that anyone could see it coming the moment it was mentioned. Yet instead of averting this cliché, Mr. Keigo decided to play right into it.

This is arguably one of the worst mistakes made in this manga, because as I said Jun is sent on this wild goose chase where he chases after the donor and tries to rationalize his changes with what he finds. Only for him to eventually find out that the donor’s identity that the Doctor gave him was a fake who was actually a nice and friendly person, but they bribed his father to tell a complicated lie about how he was basically an unwanted devil child with a temper that no one liked.

Anyway, Jun only finds out about the “connection” with his brain and the shooter in the last 3/4 of the manga, which is in all honesty a waste of the reader’s time due to how obvious everything was.

The second worst mistake of the author was the fact that he didn’t restrict the narrative of the story to the protagonist’s perspective. What do I mean? Well many mystery maintain their mysterious atmosphere by only showing everything through the eye of the protagonist or what the protagonist sees, because of this, the reader knows only as much as the protagonist. This works quite well for any mystery series since the reader can figure out and notice things that the protagonist didn’t realize himself.

Meanwhile Heads is ruined by the fact that it makes use of two perspectives, the fact that it shows scenes without the protagonist being there, and most of these scenes are what lead to the ruin of the mystery. For example it becomes clear as early as chapter 4 that The Doctor and his two assistants are experimenting with Jun and toying with his life for their own benefit, we are shown this in scenes where they are talking to each other without the protagonist being present.

Again the whole “mystery” aspect is thrown out of the window as there is no anticipation, excitement or anything for the reader to uncover, we always know everything that the protagonist doesn’t, and this is a huge sin from a mystery writing standpoint. Jun Naruse only learns of The Doctor’s manipulation in the latter half of the manga. Once more the manga wastes a huge amount of time for things that the reader knows from the very beginning to be revealed to the protagonist via the story.

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Now that we thrashed the mystery lets turn our attention to the psychological aspect of the manga. If you expect some ground breaking or unique portrayal of character psyche change, then you will be in for a disappointment as Heads is very generic in this department.

All that really happens is that our protagonist Jun will start to suffer from paranoia and dual personality, the personality of his old self and the personality of the killer. And as you would expect it, the killer’s personality is the complete opposite of Jun’s, so our character that was previous gentle, shy and somebody who wouldn’t talk back no matter what, now became a character who would slit someone’s throat for the slightest insult.

He is the cliché 1 dimensionally evil second personality. I’m not even kidding, whenever the killer got “dominant” he always tried to kill someone to the point that he was willing to chase someone for several streets just so that he could light them on fire. There is nothing that would make the killer’s persona sympathetic since all we are shown is that he is arrogant, impatient and highly dangerous, a terrible combination of traits.

Well the manga tries to make him more sympathetic, but the word is really on the try here. They give him a bit of a back-story about how he was a victim of his father who abandoned him and his mother and all he did was just a revenge to get back on his father (by robbing his office). But none of that really makes him a better person.

Its hard to not see him as a psychotic killer as he:

  1. Attempted to shoot a little girl with a gun
  2. Attempted to light someone on fire for simply annoying him with loud talking
  3. Attempted to stab someone for being ungrateful to their parents
  4. Strangled the woman that comforted him because she lied to him.

The revenge on his father would have been relatively justified, but none of the things I mentioned had anything to do with that. So how is he not your average unrelatable killer who is devoid of empathy?

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The synopsis of the manga tried to make it seem as if the change in the protagonist’s character would be ambiguous, as if he was just potentially just imagining and deluding himself into being the shooter. So I logically expected something among those lines, but what I got was far worse.

There is no ambiguity here that the protagonist is going crazy, the manga makes it seem like its 100% certain that the brain is influencing him, this is all the more evident due to the fact that manga’s artist alters the eye design and switches to this “dramatic shading” whenever the two personas switch.

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The mere fact that the otherwise peaceful, quiet, cowardly protagonist turns into a complete maniac who is willing to kill someone for simply annoying him without any hesitation, makes the whole thing come off as cheap shock-factor.

What’s worse is that even though we have this obviously crazy protagonist present, the side characters do not react accordingly, meaning they do things that wouldn’t make sense in reality, which is a minus as the manga clearly tried to go for the “realistic appeal”.

What do I mean? For example: Jun Naruse frequently visits the hospital for checkups and regularly informs the doctors of his experiences and his mood and personality changes. Even when the changes become really drastic, the doctors still don’t do anything about it. They don’t give him any treatment, nor do they lock him up for his own safety, they just let him wander back into the city, where he might just murder someone at the given opportunity.

Or lets just look at the women. Jun Naruse has two love interests, one of them is the Doctor who the killer’s persona has fallen for, and the other is his old girlfriend before the accident. The doctor obviously knows about his unstable condition as she was one of the three doctors who were on his case, yet despite knowing about his condition, the female doctor still decides to feign a relationship with Jun and have sex with him on a regular basis in order to gain access to his diaries.

Needless to say, Jun eventually finds out and proceeds to strangle the female doctor, who honestly deserved it due to her stupidity. His other girlfriend, Megu, isn’t any better. She witnessed Jun’s deteriorating condition first hand (as they were living together), this escalated to the point where she left his home in fear of his behavior, up until this her actions were logical.

But then a few chapters later she decides to go back to him anyway. What happens you might ask? Well Jun’s condition has gotten to the point that he feels no remorse or shame whatsoever about telling her how he killed the Female Doctor and cut her up to tiny pieces (while presenting her with the bloody saw). Despite being told such a gruesome story and seeing the evidence, she barely shows any sign of shock and still decides to be with Jun Naruse.

In response Jun immediately proceeds to physically abuse her.

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She manages to avoid being beaten to death by uttering the following cliché lines:

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Its hard for me to emphasize just how utterly stupid and illogical this whole situation is. I get it that its supposed to be a “muh love” type of message, but its still retarded when you think about it from a logical perspective. First off, these characters weren’t together for years, they have only been together for a few months. Their relationship and love wasn’t particularly deep to begin with. If anything it was just a casual relationship between two young adults and it has always been presented like that.

Both of them were still young and it was their first relationship. Due to the fact that the relationship wasn’t that long to begin with, Megu should have been able to get over Jun and break up with him when she noticed that he was no longer “him”. Yet as you could see, she decides to risk dying for being able to stay together with the man that is no longer Jun Naruse, but the shooter. The said shooter who had no problems whatsoever in almost stomping her head in. You can’t tell me that this is how a twenty whatsoever year old girl would act like in the same situation.

Hilariously even after this the killer almost chokes her to death like he did with the doctor, as she is only saved by a sudden deus ex machina of the original Jun Naruse personality returning for a moment and saving her by preventing the killer from killing her.Which is utter bullshit, as the whole thing that was going on since the beginning of the manga was how the killer’s brain matter was eroding and slowly taking over Jun’s personality, not the other way around. This is not the first time the killer tried to kill someone, yet coincidentally for the plot, this is the only time Jun decided to take over. Why didn’t he save the Female Doctor? Because it was convenient for the plot, as it was the Female Doctor’s death that set the events into motion that would end this shitty manga.

In the latter half of the manga it is suddenly stated that Jun’s brain operation was actually an experiment approved by the Illuminati. Okay it doesn’t say Illuminati, but it says a group of old and very rich people, so its still the same thing. Basically the old, rich people wanted to prolong their existence on Earth by brain transferring their consciousness and Jun was just the unfortunate victim of this experiment.

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This wouldn’t even be such a bad plot twist, if everything else in the story were made to fit this narrative, but it doesn’t fit. As I said above, Jun was let to freely wander around and cause all kinds of havoc at his workplace, home and pretty much everywhere he goes. While it would have made much more sense for the Illuminati organization to just confine Jun to a hospital and don’t let him wander around freely.

They could have come up with a 1000 excuses to achieve this, yet they didn’t do this. Even though it would have allowed them to publicly notice any changes within his persona and experiment on him further accordingly to the abnormalities observed. Please note that the Female Doctor only died because Jun stopped coming to the hospital and the Illuminati ordered her to gather data from Jun personally. Her death obviously wouldn’t have happened if Jun was simply confined to the hospital.

Later the Illuminati tries to kill him after they learn of the Female Doctor’s death. But again why? Why would they want him dead? That is completely illogical from the men who apparently rule the world from the shadows. It was made quite clear by the old doctor in the initial chapters how much of a miracle the whole operation was and how lucky Jun was for coming out alive. Yet despite this, the Illuminati still tries to kill and eliminate their only successful and extremely rare sample, for simply killing an expendable doctor.

When they could have easily just kidnapped him and locked him up somewhere where escape was impossible. Jun was just one man, he couldn’t have possibly opposed a bunch of wealthy and powerful old men. Despite this the Illuminati still tries to kill him, but not even in a simple manner, but in the most contrived manner possible. First they kidnap him and knock him out, then they transport him to an abandoned warehouse, where they proceed to pour gasoline on him. After this they wake him up (????) just so the doctor can proceed to gloat about how he will kill him and what not in the most cliché manner possible.

And as you guessed, this cliché move is exactly what allows our protagonist to escape and survive this ordeal. After this the protagonist decides to finally end his life. (Because apparently burning to death wasn’t his preferred method of suicide.) He moves to the building where everything started, meaning the place that the killer originally tried to rob and where Jun was shot in the head.

He proceeds to rob the place, goes to the rooftop, scatters the money he stole, which the passing pedestrians immediately proceed to pick up. Then when the police arrive he proceeds to end his life in the most anti climactic suicide possible, by shooting himself in the head.

Rating: 5 Jekyll out of 10 Hyde

Gate….Or how Anime ruin their own premise just so they can have a harem and pander to otakus.

Gate was one of those anime of recent season that many people followed whether they liked it or not, simply because they wanted to see how it would turn out. And the reason for that is that Gate has a premise that makes it very easy for the viewer to get hooked onto. I mean really, which one of us didn’t imagine a fantasy vs modern weapons scenario, at least once? It’s just something that by its nature would be interesting to see being played out, because the scenario itself has a lot of potential. The scenario of Gate is essentially that of Native Americans vs Conquering Europeans, expect instead of Native Americans we have a fantasy empire and the Europeans are replaced by the Japanese Self “Defense” Forces or JSDF. Either way, the cultural exchange alone would have made this series worth watching.

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But sadly Gate trashed its completely worthwhile premise just so it could pander to its viewers and have harem fanservice.

Let’s start off with the core of the problem, the main character.

Youji Itami is our main character, he is a 33 year old guy who likes anime and doujinshi and everything otaku related, except on top of that he is also a military officer, former member of the Delta Force and also a Ranger. Just from this short description alone it should be obvious that he is nothing more than a wish-fulfillment character for the otaku audience to self insert into. Not only it is highly unrealistic for a member of the armed forces to be such an oddball, but it is also bad from a writing standpoint as Itami is defined solely by the fact that he is an Otaku Soldier, that is his entire “character”. He is just like Kirito from Sword Art Online a typical self insert character who just flows with events of the story and responds to whatever he sees according to his arbitrary morality. In fact I would say that Itami is actually worse than Kirito, because at least Kirito had the goal of escaping his death game, while Itami has no goals at all, he is just riding with the wave that is the JSDF, but he doesn’t even like that ride as it distracts him from his hobby and free time activities, as a soldier’s life is obviously 24/7.  So why doesn’t he just quit? It’s not like there are no other jobs that he could take with his successful resume (jobs that would actually restrict his time far less than the current one). But yeah he remains because he is the self insert character of the story.

And this is where we arrive at the biggest blow to this anime, Gate sucks because it is centered and focuses on the shitty and uninteresting character that is Itami. In actuality the best parts of the show have to do with the moments where Itami is nowhere to be seen or is in the sidelines (Battle of Arnus, Ride of Valkyries, the Trial), because whenever Itami is on screen, the show is nothing more than a harem, a wishfullfilment story about an otaku with successful military career that everyone likes( despite the fact that he openly disobeys the orders of his superior, [And somehow never gets demoted or condemned]). Pretty much the entire “story” is about this character wandering around the fantasy world with his squad, saving everyone and building up his harem. And yes he indeed builds a fucking harem, he gets a Magician, an Elf and a powerful Demigod, all of them who want his dick someway or another. The fact that they are all so different (instead of just humans) is typical of harems, because it is basically doing a checklist of unique and exotic character archetypes, because who the fuck wants normal human girls? This point is further emphasized that Itami has a boring ex-wife at his home, who is portrayed in a much worse light than his new and exotic waifus. Gate is little different from typical harems like Rosario to Vampire in this regard.

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Pretty much all of the problems of Gate can be traced back to the fact that our main character is Youji Itami, and that the story is told mostly from his perspective, and pretty much everything we see from his perspective is fucking boring, wish-fullfilment nonsense and fanserivce. Just think about it, if Itami wasn’t our main character then we wouldn’t have all these harem elements, we wouldn’t have to listen to boring black and white morality speeches where Itami and his group are always right, and we wouldn’t have our time wasted by watching the irrelevant and insignificant “plots” that Itami and his group deal with, because yes they are insignificant in the grand scale of things that are going behind the scene. In the first place Itami is a nobody, he is just a low ranking officer, not some interesting General or perhaps a Politican, no he is just a goddamn Otaku Ranger, why the fuck is he in the focus? Seriously? We have this huge war scenario and instead of focusing on some important character or having no character focus at all, it focuses on someone completely irrelevant and boring! Imagine if Legend of the Galactic Heroes had nobody else but Oliver Poplan as the center of focus, who would care about it? Who who would watch it? That’s right nobody. It would have been forgotten to the generations of the future, just like Gate will be.

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Okay I been actually bashing Gate quite hard, so I shall take this moment to be fair. It’s not like you cannot do interesting themes or stories from the perspective of a single soldier, they have been done before in anime after all, namely with Area 88 and Gundam MS Team, both of which are considered to be good anime. So why is it that Gate is a failure? Because those two shows I mentioned, actually did something with their themes and premises, something that actually benefited from having the perspective of a common soldier. Area 88 was about war’s effects on the minds of a pilot, while Gundam MS Team was about the horrors and cruelty of war and wishing to escape that situation, both of which are quite solid themes that can be explored meaningfully. Now look at how Gate has absolutely nothing like this, it would never have anything like this because Gate is a self insert story, and nothing bad can ever happen to the self insert character in a self insert story.Self Insert Stories are entirely about fulfilling the wishes and dreams of its audience, not their nightmares, so it is unthinkable that anything bad would happen to Itami and his co, instead the opposite happens in the form of consecutive successes.

Now that we discussed the primary evil, lets move onto the lesser ones.

1. That the JSDF have already won.

In case you didn’t notice, it happened in the first episodes, in episode one the Emperor’s personal forces were annihilated, then in the following battle of Arnus hill the forces of the empire were collectively destroyed and scattered. It wasn’t just some random scouting party or a small division, no in that battle of Arnus hill the entire might of an Empire was present, which is why people with ranks of a King were there, commanding the troops. The Empire put up all of its collective might and they were absolutely and brutally annihilated.

You might be thinking “Surely that can’t be it, right?”

But that was pretty much it, in the Medieval Era if your main force was annihilated you effectively lost the war, there is no more men to rally and put into armour, because that’s all you had, you levied the armies of your vassals and told them to go to war, the vassals then raised the levies of their own vassals and told them to go to war and the vassals of the vassals did so as well, this is how you built an army in the Feudal army, and that army was now pretty much gone, meaning that the Empire already lost. You can either surrender, hire mercenaries or futilely struggle. But the Emperor isn’t doing any of that in Gate, he sits calmly on his throne as if he wasn’t in a major crisis, which is nonsensical. Either the Emperor is crazy or the creator doesn’t know how to write a ruler. And it’s not just the fucking Emperor, nobody seems to be panicking about the fact that entire army was pretty much wiped out in a single battle, while the remainder of the armies had gone rogue. Many of them are still pretending that they can somehow deal with the JSDF like the idiots they are.

Even if the JSDF doesn’t attack them, they are still in a major crisis. A. Because of the fact that the remainder of the armies have turned to a life of banditry and are now plundering their own cities (As even the anime has shown this obvious result) B. Pretty much all the major political figures other than the Emperor and his family are dead, the Kings that ruled the Kingdoms that made up the Emprie died in the Battle of Arnus. Instead of panicking once more The Emperor goes into “all according to plan mode” as if that was his goal all along. To that ,I say that bullshit, because you still just lost the majority of your army. Surely there would have been a more efficient way of doing this, no? Is assassination out of style?. And secondly, what do you think is going to happen after a ruler dies? That’s right, chaos and succession wars that can pretty much affect your own Empire, and now these crisis’s are bound to turn up in pretty much all of your vassal states due to your lack of Rulers and lack of order that comes from the lack of rulers. Good job Emperor.

The Empire is obviously on the verge of a collapse and they can’t do anything about it with the JSDF around the neck, yet the show still tries to pretend that there is still some kind of “validity” for the conflict. There is not much point to watching the events of the show when they are either pointless or when we know how they will end or turn out, and those are the only kind of events Gate does. If this was a more meaningful anime they would skip 90% of the events of GATE and switch to future where the fantasy realm is dominated by the JSDF , because anyone with a brain can see that is going to happen. Instead the show just wastes our time with pointless events and what is essentially filler (Dragons, Return to Human World arc etc)

2. That the Empire is laughably evil and one dimensional.

Any ruler with some brains would have surrendered under the aforementioned conditions in order to minimize his losses and keep the remainder of his power, but the Emperor in Gate doesn’t do it because he is depicted as the typical one dimensional evil villain as if he just popped straight out of Akame Ga Kill. He constantly fucks everyone over, refuses to heed reason or logic, pretends that he can still recover from this and is generally arrogant, one must really wonder how this Empire survived for so long with such a ruler.

And it’s not just the Emperor who is needlessly evil, pretty much everyone other than those who are willing to submit to the JSDF in some or another are portrayed as evil. Just look at the former soldiers who started raiding the villages, literally all of them were portrayed as psychopathic evil bastards for no reason other than that they were soldiers. They were presented as these battle hungry blood knights who were disappointed with the results of the Arnus battle so they went to raid innocent villages and cities in order to find their “true warfare”. Riiiiiiight~ You  couldn’t get any more stereotypical than this. It’s not like you couldn’t have had a logical reason for the behavior of the former soldiers, for example they could have just raided the villages in order to sustain their own existence with food and money, the life of a soldier was all they knew after all. But noooo, we cant have that because that would paint the JSDF in bad light for ruining their livelihood!

Currently at the writing of this article I am not up to date with Gate, meaning I have not watched the Second Season, but from what I heard they introduced the son of the Emperor who is a rapist, sadist, slave owner. I’m just glad to see that they keep sticking to this one dimensional evil empire cliché that that they have established for themselves. What’s next, an Empress who is also a dominatrix and tortures little boys?

Pretty much all of them just exist to play the part of the “Villain you love to hate” trope and feel good when the main characters beat them.

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But of course this is nothing more than cheap appeal to the emotions in order to create drama and excitement, and barely works on those who refuse to self insert as Itami. Needless to say, you can’t make a conflict interesting by painting one side to be obviously evil, its as boring as Lord of the Rings or Star Wars. For any conflict to be interesting and deep, both sides need to be Grey, as that is how human conflicts are in reality.

3. That the JSDF is painted as morally superior and right.

Naturally if one side is demonized by the course of things that also implies that the other side is morally superior. And yes the show does its best to the depict the Japanese Army as the “good guys”, to the point that even in the opening sequence that plays each episode all you are shown is how the JSDF are helping the poor fantasy people.

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The primary method they reinforce this image is by not showing us anything actually important that the JSDF does, this comes from the fact that I said before, meaning we see 90% of the story from Itami’s and co’s perspective, who are usually acting the role of the stereotypical good guys due to self insert reasons. There is undoubtedly some serious shit going on in the background, but nope, can’t let the viewer see that. The show also paints pretty much every other country other than Japan in a negative light due to their constant manipulations that we are shown (Despite the fact that the show barely even shows the Japanese leaders) and tries to tell us that other countries trying to take a piece of the specially designated area beyond the Gate is bad when Japan doesn’t have much legitimacy in meddling there either. At one point I was wondering if I was watching some kind of propaganda instead of a regular anime because it got so ridiculous with its Pro-Japanese bias.

And the show does nothing but help me reinforce that they were going for this bias since anyone who opposes the JSDF and by extension Japan is painted one-dimensionally evil as I have mentioned above, while those who think that they can’t fight the JSDF, meaning those who are willing to submit and cooperate them are the only fantasy characters portrayed in a positive light. In fact I think the show clearly tells us what the fantasy people are supposed to do before the mighty Japanese with the case of the Dark Elf and Itami.

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They exist for no other purpose than to be added to their harem and be exploited. Because lets face it, Exploitation is occurring everywhere behind screen, sure we see all these diplomats walking around trying to sugarcoat it, but in the end the same fate will befall on the Emprie that happened to China and most of the Far East.

Either way it is really hard to care for the characters when the show tries so hard to make them into the good guys and everyone else a hateable douchebag. What happened to ambiguous morality? Is that too complex for the modern anime fan?

4. Other Characters

I already touched upon Itami so I shall won’t bother with him in this section nor with anyone else who are so insignificant that they aren’t even worth a mention (meaning most soldiers).

A. The Emperor

He is evil, stupid and starts of the entire events of the anime. Those are the only things you can say about him.

B. Tuka Luna

Literally the generic blonde elf that is found in every fantasy. Has some ptsd/mental trauma due to her dad dying, but since this show is obviously a shitty harem, it is never explored or delved into.

C. Rori Mercury

Your stereotypical Kamidere and blood knight combined into one.

D. Lelei the Mage

She is the token Dandere/Ayanami Rei clone, or should I say Tabitha clone instead, since she is like a carbon copy of Tabitha, another Ayanami Rei clone who is also a mage. You could pretty much replace Lelei with Tabitha and you wouldn’t notice a single difference.

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E. Aoi Risa

Itami’s shitty and unappealing Ex-Wife, whose sole purpose is to highlight how much better the fantasy girls are compared to modern women. Also she has this disgusting Yaoi fetish that they like to shoehorn into anime so much, so I naturally hate her.

F. Duran

A king and the commander of the Empire’s forces during the battle of Arnus. Typical hotblooded general who refuses to retreat, his idiocy cost pretty much the entire army of the Empire. Compared to the other Empire characters at least he is not portrayed as evil, but he is still massively idiotic, which I do not like. It’s not as if everyone in the medieval ages were idiots, especially not nobles and those of high upbringing who have been taught in the art of warfare from their childhood. Sure they are not accustomed to modern warfare but at least they should have the sensibility to run away when the situation becomes hopeless. I can’t forgive the shitty creator for automatically assuming that medieval=idiot.

G. Shino Kuribyashi

Typical annoying girl character that was only included because feminism. Also an actual female soldier is highly unusual even in modern times, if the author were to look at any statistics where they accept female recruits, then he would know that they fail 99% of the time. The fact that in this show she effortlessly switches to melee( via her bayonet) and defeats males 2-3 times her size is nothing more but feminist wish-fulfillment that will never become reality. Especially when you notice that fact that she is very short and slender looking, you cannot see muscles on her arms (which would naturally form in an army life).

H. Pina Co Lada

From the name alone you should be able to tell how seriously this story and the author takes this character. She is the annoying female soldier/princess/knight character on the side of the Fantasy. (Whats with all these female soldiers?) At least this one makes more sense due to her being royalty and thus more free power, but I don’t see why the evil Emperor would let her play around as she pleases instead of just marrying her off. Either way, she has been a submissive character towards the JSDF from the moment she appeared, realizing that they cannot win against them quite early, after that she decided to prevent a possible war by all means available, even if she has to marry Itami (Because yes Wish-Fulfillment, gotta add the princess to that checklist). Even if what she is doing sensible I cannot tolerate nor like her for she is simply pathetic as a person. She is also into Yaoi after she went into our world and met Itami’s ex-wife, so yes more hate points from me. I will never understand why they force this girls love yaoi cliché, it is neither funny nor appealing, it is disgusting and will never be normal no matter how much you push it.

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I. Yao Ha Ducy

Token Dark Elf.

That was all the character that were worth mentioning in Gate. I think it speaks for itself.

5. Magic exists in the fantasy world, yet nobody bothers researching it.

Seriously, even Lelei the wizard does more research on our tech than we on their magic despite the fact that we are supposed to be the scientific and technologically advanced civilization.

They really have no excuse for this as the Gate is connected to motherfucking Tokyo, which is one of the largest, busiest and most important cities in the world, you are telling me that they can’t just send a few scientist (from the universities) over for analyzation? Or send back samples of the fantasy creatures? Even if they did do it in the background, they never showed or mentioned it in the anime while bunch of harem and fanservice moments were shown instead, so naturally I won’t accept this. And speaking of gates….

6. The Gate

Why does it exist? We don’t know.

Will it ever be explained? Of course not

Why is it connected to Tokyo, Japan of all places? Plot Convenience

Why only Japan? Why only one gate? Plot Convenience

How did it materialize from thin air? Seriously it just appeared out of nowhere in Tokyo, that’s now how Gates are supposed to work, if one part exist on the other side then the exit should naturally be solid on Japan, otherwise it would lead to a vast nothingness. Whatever. Magic. Not gonna question it.

7. Maturity

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In the above review, a pretty usual MAL reviewer says that it is courageous for an anime to have a 33 year old as a main character. Well if that counts as “courageous” these days then it proves how shitty the state of the modern anime industry is. Also I viewed this as a good opportunity to get to my 7th point, that none of the characters are mature in Gate. Like really, you cannot find a single character who acts mature. Itami may be 33 years old, but mentally he is like an infantile teenager who only cares about his hobby, he is no better than any of his squad mates, his yaoi loving ex-wife and the helicopter pilots who think its cool to play Wagner while murdering people, because yeah lets glorify murder in this anime while we are at it (I know it was a reference, but still). The Emperor and his son are little different, they are just cruel kids instead of the good kids. Pina Co Lada, the princess is likewise blinded by idealism and naivety, though in her case excused as she is an actual teenager. Tuka is over 100 years old, yet she failed to attain any spark of wisdom in that 100 years. The only character who ever expressed some levels of maturity in one way or another was Rori Mercury, but that is expected of a Kamidere.

Not only are the characters not mature, the show does not present itself in a mature manner either, it is written and narrated from the viewpoint of someone who just discovered Fanfiction.net

I cannot even say that the show takes itself seriously, there are only attempts at it, but they are miserably bad attempts. And if the show cannot take itself seriously and respect its premise, then why should I?

8. That Battles are no more than mere fanservice

Because lets say the truth, I already mentioned that the JDSF basically won a long time ago, yet even after the said decisive battle of Arnus, the show spends a lot of time playing out battles before our eyes. This is obviously done to entertain us, but in the end it is little more than fanservice. It already established that the JSDF is superior in every possible way due to modern technology and tactics, they defeated the might of the civilized world in the form of the Empire’s army and the might of the fantasy in the form of a dragon. Dragons, which are usually the pinnacle of fantasy settings as far as powers go. So it makes little difference if they fight another dragon or two, we already know the results, the same with the Empire’s army if they will magically pull a new army out of their ass then they will get defeated the same way as last time. Battles end up being nothing more than a tool to make our main characters and by extension the JSDF look awesome and powerful, thus appealing to the self inserts who imagine themselves as Itami.

They tried to spice this up in the second half by having Rori Mercury, the Demigod fight a bunch of assassins, but in the end that only made the situation worse. Because it was also a pointless fight, which would have been finished and dealt with even if she did not interfere with it. So even that fight was nothing more than fanservice, if our character actually came relatively close to being killed or endangered, then it would have been a much better and more intense fight, but due to that lack of danger the tension was missing.

9. Maids and Cosplay

Just no, another reason why I cannot take it seriously

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Even before the JSDF got there, it seems that there is already a maid and cosplay tradition in this fantasy Empire. This comes in the form of Rori Mercury’s attire, which is obviously nothing more than fanservice once more (fuck your “priest outfit” excuse.) And in the form of various maids that seem to serve the noble houses, who actually have proper late era maid costumes. Need I remind you that from everything presented in the show so far implies that this is a medieval world? So why the hell are there relatively modern maid outfits in a medieval world? I know its a fantasy world, but its just immersion breaking. There must be some kind of logic to things, it would be just as out of place if someone in a black trench coat suddenly appeared in Attack on Titan or if full plate armoured knight showed up in Naruto.

10. That Gate is not the only anime that does this

No, in truth pretty much all Light Novel adaptations are entirely about this. They hook you with interesting premises then go down the way of fanserivce, it doesn’t matter if we are talking about Toaru Majutsu, Sword Art Online, Accel World or Zero no Tsukaima, for they all go down this path.

Light Novel adaptations are one of the prime reasons why Modern anime suck. And no you can’t call them a minor influence for 1/5 of every season is made up of light novel adaptations, so they make up a huge chunk of the market and are always sadly popular with the masses. Just like how many at this very moment praise Gate as a modern masterpiece of anime in the community for its “realistic” depiction of old vs new.

On the matter of Cliches as a whole

Hello there whoever might be reading this blog of mine.

As you may or may not have noticed, I am a person who likes to rave and talk about Clichés, in fact it may seem like that is all I talk about now, seeing that I haven’t uploaded any of my other writings yet. So you might have asked the question: “Why the fuck does this guy care so fucking much about clichés in his chinese cartoons?” And my answer to that question would be that I hate, no I loathe clichés. I am a person who values originality and new ideas, clichés are the exact opposite of that, they are reused, stale and often shallow. And to my unfortunate fate, clichés are sadly everywhere, from films, to books, to dramas, to video games, to pornography, to anime, to visual novels and to manga. One cannot simply watch a medium without encountering clichés. And the longer one watches shows within a certain medium or genre, the more likely it is that he will become fed up with those clichés. I will use this post to elaborate, explain and talk about clichés in general.

First before I say anything further, I must establish just what exactly is a cliché to begin with. So thus I make the following definition:

“Cliché is a term used for anything including characters,settings,tropes, plot twists, plot devices, stories and premises that may have been original at some point ,but became overused with the passage of time mostly due to the effects of popularity and the success of the original.”

When we are a talking about clichés, there are a few terms that we need to use.

First is the Originator. The Originator as its name implies is the source of the cliché, its origin that carried within itself the idea, the meme or the concept that later was morphed into a cliché. Originator by default are ideas and concepts, that enjoyed or still enjoy popularity and success. For without popularity or success, it is extremely unlikely for something to become a cliché. However popular and successful doesn’t necessarily imply good. It is a logical fallacy often used by plebeians to think so. The point I’m getting here is that many clichés were bad from the origin but spread due to their success, like a bad plague or a virus. This is relevant because clichés in general ruin the originator, even if the originator was originally good and well thought-out. The reason for this is the ancient law, called “Repetition breeds contempt.” Meaning: The more you see the same thing, the more likely you will grow to dislike it. Have you ever grown tired of anime having beta, virgin, cowards for male leads? Have you ever grown tired of the overuse of school setting in anime? Have you ever gotten tired of tsundere characters?  Then you know very well what I’m talking about. By the time you might see the original idea, which by itself may have been good, you will likely to have grown to dislike it, due to the tremendous amount of newer anime that copied it. And believe me, statistically speaking, you are more likely to watch a newer anime than an older, so it will go down the way I say it.

Copy and Paste: The act of the idea or concept being copied from the Originator to another new work. If this act is repeated for a sufficient time, a new cliché is born.

Inspirations and Copies: Here is another important thing, as a widely successful Originator will cause both of these to appear. The latter is more common, while the former is quite rare. Inspiration is when you see something, be it a story or a character or some other concept found within the show, and you get an idea from it. For example what if Starship Troopers had mechas? What if the Count of Monte Cristo was set in space? Or what if Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet was recast with ninjas? You get inspired by the originator, draw some elements and add your own to it, creating something new. In an ideal world this is how media and shows should evolve as they would try to something more from the already existing and done materials. But sadly this isn’t what happens. Because most of the time copies are made instead of inspirations. Copy is something that is very similar or exactly similar to the Originator, and sadly often much worse than the original.


Carbon Copy:
A case copying, where there is virtually no difference between the copied elements and the pasted ones. See picture related for self explanation.

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Fragment: A type of copy where not 100% of the originator is copied, but only the major parts and traits of the originator. They even add new elements to the fragment but this doesn’t help much, as the problem with fragments is that they are often made worse by the new additions, it is a sort of de-evolution, instead of progressing the already existing material, they worsen it. The main difference between a Fragment and an Inspiration though is that the additions in the Fragment are not big or relevant enough to not make it just another copy. This is relevant because even in the case of inspiration there is such a thing as bad inspiration, but Fragments cannot even be counted as such. For the sake of being scientific, I shall list 2 examples of a Fragment.

One, which I have talked about 2 years ago, Kingdom of Zombie.

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And the second example would be the case of Ayanami Rei from Neon Genesis Evangelion and Tabitha from Zero no Tsukaima. Tabitha is a known Ayanami Rei clone, another famous and quite overused cliché. Both are seemingly emotionless, and both only talk when necessary. In addition, the two are equally blue haired, flat chested and short. They are always calculative and pretty much never lose their calm. So whats the difference you might ask? Well the difference is where Tabitha’s obvious inferiority lies. Their nature, Ayanami Rei is a tube grown clone, crossed between a human and the alien lifeform known as Lilith, specifically created for piloting Eva unit 00 and for the instrumentality project. Her whole existence, strange nature and behavior immediately makes sense with this back story and deepens her as a character once discovered. Now lets look at Tabitha. Tabitha has the same damn characteristics an behavior as Ayanami Rei, surely she must have some strange and bizarre background that caused her to be like this. Nope~ Tabitha is just a princess who was trained as a mage and sent onto many dangerous missions, that’s her origin. Enough said I think.

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Next on the line is something that will surely catch your attention: Cliché Evolution. Because oh yes, Clichés indeed evolve, quite a lot actually. It is not a strange to find entire Cliché families with dozens of Subclichés under their belts. If a Cliché is successful enough to be used for a lengthy period of time, then it is only a matter of time that it will start dividing and produce sublclichés. Subclichés are like Fragments, except they copy a cliché instead of copying an Originator. They have additional frequent and common details than the parent cliché, but just like fragments, they cant be separated from it due to still being 90% similar to the parent. I think that I have illustrated this quite well in my Modern Tsundere and Chibi Tsundere anime clichés post. There isn’t any real limit to how many subclichés can form out of a cliché, as long as its popular, more can emerge and more will emerge. Even subclichés can spawn their own subclichés. It is a really one giant mess of a cliché family.

But division into subclichés isn’t the only way a cliché can evolve. Because Synthesis and Anti-Thesis also exist. Take this for example: Tsundere, the Modern Tsundere is loud, impulsive, obnoxious, active and violent. Let’s consider the Tsundere the Thesis. Now look at the Dandere, her traits are silent, emotionless, careful and inactive. Dandere can be the Anti-Thesis to the thesis of the Tsundere. Combine the two and it becomes Synthesis: Kuudere, which shares bits and bits of the traits of the Tsundere and the Dandere.

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Although keep in mind that this was only an example, Dandere didn’t form out Tsundere, although Kuudere is really a synthesis of the two. But in theory, you can get something new, by combining or creating its polar opposite. To give you a proper anti-thesis example. Take the Yamato Nadeshiko, the ideal, traditional Japanese women in culture. The Yamato Nadeshiko is shy and beautiful like a flower, a very feminine woman, a caring wife and a loving mother once married, typically submissive and obedient to the husband, this is the thesis of Yamato Nadeshiko, the ideal japanese woman. Now for the anti thesis: Tomboys and Genki Girls, both are loud, hyperactive, boyish, wear their hair short and typically lack the traits of the Yamato Nadeshiko, it was obvious that they were born out from a desire for the opposite.

Synthesis and Anti Thesis are the only ways Clichés can actually evolve into something good, but sadly it rarely happens. Sometimes it takes decades or years for a new idea to show up this way.

Now that we have successfully clarified all the relevant terms on this subject, its time to move onto more important matters.

Why do clichés exist? Short answer: Profit. Long answer: In an ideal world things like anime would be done for their own sake, art for the sake of art. But in our corrupted real world, everything is profit-oriented as art is produced by greedy, mega corporations and scammers, who have little interest in actually creating something. Neon Genesis Evangelion is and was one of the most successful anime ever made, meaning it was also one of the most profitable one. Seeking to emulate the success of the Eva series, other studios and creators have tried to the same thing as Evangelion, they took characters, concepts, ideas and what not from it and put into their own shows. Thus a whole breed of Evangelion, Asuka, Ayanami, Shinji Ikari clones were created.

All clichés start in similar ways. And from a business point they are right by doing this, because if you use clichés rather than create something original, you are less likely to flop according to statistics. This is because these clichés already have fans, even now you can find hundred-thousands of people who are fan of Tsundere, Dandere etc. despite being overly used and cliché. By using the clichés, the studios are appealing to the fans of this cliché, which increases the likely-hood of profit. Likewise, less time and resources are spent on copying a cliché than creating something new, therefore it is also cost-efficient.

Are clichés inherently bad? By nature they are, as I have already mentioned, clichés are born out greed, plagiarisation and absolute lack of creativity. They are fated to eventually become repetitive, boring and even annoying to the ones that watch them. The more important question is. Is something bad if it has clichés? The answer to that is no. A few cliché here and there won’t make your anime bad, it is the overuse of clichés that makes it bad, anime that are so full of them that pretty much every element of the work is just another cliché, see Angel Beats for example. A skilled writer or director can actually use Clichés to their advantage, by parodying them or deconstructing them. But of course cliché by themselves are still nothing but negatives.

Conclusion: As most mediums, anime has developed its own unique clichés. However not many people know about them( aside the most famous ones of course) and even less took their time to categorize these clichés. I am one of those few. Clichés are objectively bad from a critical viewpoint, but such a viewpoint sadly matters little to the average person, it is a fact that clichés are popular and will always be like that, because the majority enjoys them. Because of this, it is the small minorities duty, to be the voice of reason. To point out the flaws, the crimes against art, the overuse of clichés within an anime, to the unknowing mass and create more well informed, critically-thinking people.

“Using clichés is like wearing someone else’s old and dirty clothes. They might have looked good at one time, but they don’t look good anymore. They don’t fit right and they don’t smell too good and they do nothing to improve your looks and bearing.”