I just liked that gif

I know a lot of it comes from culture clash and some are just old tropes, but anime characters sure get excited about some weird things sometimes. After so many years of watching Anime they don’t really register any more but still, I sometimes think it would be so weird if anyone I know reacted like that in real life.

Like I said, I know some are cultural so these might seem like perfectly normal things to get all flustered about, but they do seem a bit odd to an uncultured foreigner like myself…

anime popsicle stick
found it here

5) Popsicle sticks

I’m not sure anyone else has noticed this but Anime popsicles are rigged. By that I mean that 9 out of 10 times they are the type with things printed on the stick which would allow one to win *something*, usually just a free popsicle. And the almost always win, unless the person eating them really wants to win….

To be fair, it’s not like the characters freak out about winning some random popsicle, well some do but not everyone, but if someone gives you that winning stick then it’s the most incredible thing in the world! Anime characters react to what comes down to being handed a buck or something, like someone’s offered them a kidney. It’s crazy! They will be forever devoted to their popsicle prince. Honestly, anime villains should just quit with the evil plans, buy an obscene amount of popsicles and just enslave everyone through the sweet gift of winning popsicle sticks!

by redjuice

4) Cars

This one is definitely due to differing cultures. A couple of years ago I learned just how complicated and expensive getting a driver’s license is in Japan and now even I’m impressed by Japanese nationals that can drive.

This said, I remember in olden days, watching slice of life anime and being puzzled when characters made a big deal about someone having a car. Living in a country where a lot of average high school students have their own cars (Canada is huge, sparsely populated and really cold, walking everywhere is not a realistic option for most people), I did not get what we special about an employed adult having one.

This trope has fallen a bit out of fashion lately but you still occasionally see characters get flustered over someone having a very average car or even simply a license. I do get why now!

by Matsunaka Hiro 

3) Natural hair colour

In a universe full of neon coloured, prismatic or rainbow hair, what do anime characters react to? Natural black hair of “classical” beauties or blonde whether fancy foreigner or scary bleached Yankee. Honestly, the only times I have personally seen hair colour commented on in anime it’s always either black or blonde. Oh I think red once but it was closely tied to character development.

It’s sort of funny for someone like me who has often had some pretty wild hair colours and is used to getting stopped by strangers on the street to comment on it, to see those colours completely ignored in favour of what should really be pretty mundane ones. I kind of like it.

anime flu
found it here

2) Colds

So not only do anime characters get colds at the drop of a hat and then become completely incapacitated by them, but everyone around them acts like it’s a huge deal. If you happen to skip school cause you have the sniffles, friends will rally to your side with supplies and treats. They will swarm you with well wishes and worry deeply about your recovery.

Heck, you don’t even need to get a cold for people to make a huge deal about it. If you were in the rain for a few minutes, anyone who sees you will immediately scold you and third towel at you, that’s if they don’t drag you directly into a hot bath. Forget your scarf on a brisk day, get ready for a comment about it from every single person in your grade.

I have had a low key cold for the past decade or so. If people were to panicky every time I sneezed, it would pretty much make up the entirety of my conversations with other people.

Sebastian’s swimsuit rocks!

1) Sweets

Anime characters can love sweets or dislike them but they are never neutral about it. If sweet stuff is shown in an anime you will most likely have at least one character physically drooling over them or stoically trying to pretend they don’t care. Often both! Or you will have some though guy openly declaring that they are not fans of sugary stuff cause yeah!

Desserts in anime are always going to get a reaction. A big one!

I realize that it’s in fact linked to a lot of classic character tropes but it is a little funny to see.

Have any of you ever notice anime characters having huge reactions to some really mundane stuff? Do you enjoy those tropes or do you find them a little childish?

15 thoughts

  1. I recently had a conversation with one of my Japanese language tutors to the effect that she thought natto (fermented soybeans) were wonderful, whereas I was of the view that they were less edible than cow pats. Aside from reinforcing my (obviously correct) conviction that all my Japanese language tutors are madly in love with me, I had to terminate the conversation because she was getting wildly agitated because I did not share her passion for natto…maybe it was one of those cultural things where openly disagreeing with someone is seen as rude or uncouth?

    The natural hair thing is interesting. The way anime depicts high school students, you’d think they had every style except natural hair – whereas my understanding is that black hair (or, at most, dark brown hair) is mandated (no tips, colours, bleaches, etc) – unless you happen to be unfortunate enough to be a gaijin, in which case you get a free pass…

  2. The popsicle thing reminds me of Kuroko’s Basketball, because Momoi falls in love with Kuroko after he gives her a “winning” popsicle stick. Like he didn’t even give her the popsicle, just the stick.

    I’m not that excited about *all* sweets, but I do kind of freak out over my favorites. I read a manga once where the author said they wrote the MC to like spicy foods because they always saw characters who liked sweets and they wanted to be different.

    The one thing I would put on this list is indirect kisses, though it’s probably also a cultural thing. Personally, I find eating/drinking off of someone else not that big of a deal (and kinda gross, but that’s just me). Also, while it can come off as cute in some situations, it can be kinda creepy in others.

  3. What gets me about the colds thing is that NOBODY ever has any medicine in their homes whenever a cold strikes, they have to rely on other people to get some on their behalf, without prompting AND they know exactly what to bring too!

    Are colds so rare that the Japanese are unprepared for them? It’s the same thing with swimsuits. None of the girls ever have a swimsuit for when they decide to go to the beach or the pool.

    1. Excellent point! If they get sick so much and it’s soooo serious, why don’t they all just have emergency cold medicine at all time! It’s obviously over the counter

  4. The sweets one is funny, as I’ve actually met a few guys here who “don’t like sweets” because it’s considered girly or whatever. I think it’s an old belief that’s dying out. That, and I think that “sweets” means foods like confectionary and whatnot, not necessarily all things that are sweet.

  5. I kind of get it- i take things seriously that a lot of people probably wouldn’t, and I don’t take things that probably ARE important as seriously as I probably should………..

  6. The car/license thing stood out to me as well, since naturally here in the US everyone has to be able to drive at the very least and probably own their own car, outside of maybe a few very large cities with actual mass transit like NYC. Sounds like Canada in that sense mostly minus the extreme cold.

    The only other thing I would add to the list is student government, because they’re really taken seriously in a lot of shows, as if the class or council president has actual power. We had student government in my high school, but nobody cared about it — it was just something else for the overachievers to do.

    1. Oh yeah, Student Councils are ridiculous in anime. They’re overseeing the budget. I’m surprised they’re not firing teachers…

  7. You know, it wasn’t until Kaguya-sama that I realized the “sick episode” was such a prevalent trope in anime. She gets a light sniffle and acts like she’s on her deathbed. To be fair, the show constantly pokes fun of anime tropes, and Kaguya is a total drama queen 😛

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