I don’t mean that literally. Although it would be hilarious to have a character immediately wolf down everything is sight whenever they find someone attractive! What I mean is, has it replaced the latter as the anime trope standard?
It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a good nose bleed gag. I remember the exaggeration of it in Charlotte but the newer shows don’t really tend to use that particular trope much anymore. Is it passé? Also, it’s been so long since I’ve seen the toast in the mouth thing, it’s basically just a parody of itself now.
But instead, it seems like huge amounts of eating are a trend now, especially in the cute girl shows I’ve been watching.
Don’t get me wrong, ridiculous overeating has always been a part of anime. Shonen heroes are traditionally voracious and distended tummy jokes are a staple but it seems to have really broken out of the Shonen mold lately, especially with dainty young lady characters being portrayed as ravenous beasts. It’s been by far the most obvious to me in Yuru camp last season where most of the episodes featured enough food to make you queasy and in Pretty Derby this season where the unhealthy binging is used as a running gag but I’ve noticed it for at least specific characters in most shows. It’s a frequent drinking game cue.
I’m wondering why the switch in tropes? Were the nosebleeds considered old fashioned?
We still frequently get classic such as having characters who are attracted to each other accidentally fall over one another. Although not all short girls are tsunderes anymore, tsunderes are still frequently the smallest/ cutest character. I get that it’s playing on the gap moe there but it’s getting a touch predictable.
So why do some tropes survive the march of time while others fall by the wayside?
Is it like memes? Once too many people catch on to it, it’s no longer a thing? Were tropes like the nosebleed and the toast just overused to the point of saturation? Or is there another explanation for the movement of trends?
One thing I have noticed is that anime is getting more…innocent(?) Sexuality has gone from obvious to implied. Most fanservice is now the sweet accidental flash rather than the intended showing off of assets. A lot of fans now seem to dislike overtly sexual characters that were more popular in the past.
In that way, maybe the nosebleed trope was a little too obvious for modern fans as well. It’s already inexorably associated with sexual desire so unless you use it as parody, it’s always going to be just a little naughty. This doesn’t have it’s place in a cast full of pure and noble characters. It’s also a little silly for grittier, more mature shows.
It also may be that huge amounts of blood simply rubbed badly against international censorship standards and as anime became increasingly international, that concern gained importance. Obviously, I’m not talking North American standards. We LOVE our gore.
In case it’s not amply apparent, I haven’t done a lick of research on the subject. It’s just a thought that occurred to me and I found the thought experiment amusing. If I’m spouting wild theories on something that’s already been thoroughly documented, I apologize. If you’re having a little fun thinking about this supremely unconsequential subject with me. I’m happy!
As far as I can tell, the toast trope fell victim to parody. I’m not sure how prominent it ever was in fact or whether it was simply used in a few very popular anime and therefore became part of the general consciousness but I’ve personally seen it used as a gag much more often than otherwise. For a while, comedies or even more dramatic series, would often include an exaggerated version of this trope for laughs. Eventually, the joke itself became old and we saw it less and less. It might make a comeback eventually but I figure its heyday has passed.
Speaking of disappeared tropes. People no longer walk around with their hands behind their heads. Kilua from Hunter x Hunter did this all the time. Maybe animators finally realized it was not an actual “thing” and no real person has ever walked liked that, ever. Or maybe we now know how to draw hands…in any case, it’s another cliche that I haven’t seen in a while.
So now we have small, mostly female characters ridiculously overeating for no reason, isekais and inside joke winks to voice actors’ other roles. I may have made the last one up because I want to magical think it into existence.
I get that these are also classic and recognizable to long time fans without being quite so overplayed. They are also all innocent enough to avoid any trouble and easy to animate. But to me they lack a certain outlandish quality.
Both of these are also very well known staples in western fiction. Healthy appetites having all sorts of implications have been used for petite characters forever. So how about we, as in the anime fa community, come up with the next great anime cliché? Any ideas? How about making brainy characters always really like strawberries? Why? I…don’t…know…