Since they've been making literary criticisms over at Action Skeptics, Good Math, Bad Math, and probably lots of other places, I might as well do my sharing of whining and moaning about problems with the things I love. The topic today is clichés and such that I'm sick of. I'm fairly anime-oriented in this one, but some of these things are pretty universal:
1. Let's save the world! I really hate it when the stakes start inexplicably going up to that level. Saving a city, kingdom, or space colony is good enough. No need to get absolutely everyone involved.
2. The power of universal positive thinking: It's mostly in kiddie anime, but it occasionally leaks out into other things to my annoyance: Everyone in the world gives their positive thoughts, power, whatever to the heroes who use that to vanquish the villain.
3. Power level 10^42: Dragon Ball Z is obviously THE biggest offender. As I see it, character power curves are supposed to level off. At that point, conflicts are supposed to get more innovation-oriented: The latest villain has some gimmick that makes him hard to combat effectively. The heroes' job is to figure it out and overcome the problem.
4. I'm THE hero! The rest of you are just extras!: I hate it when a series picks one character to do all the big heroics while the others helplessly watch. If you've got a team of heroes, they should work together. The new guy is entitled to shine just a little more, but each person should serve a purpose other than buying time for the alpha character to arrive.
5. I'd like to thank all the little people for doing nothing: Just once, I'd like to see the nameless soldiers of the JSSDF kick the monster's keister without help from the über-mechs piloted by kids with nothing but spunk.
6. Über-mechs piloted by kids with nothing but spunk: Whammy: I tend to dislike the idea of super-mechs when you've got a world full of mechs. If they're super-prototypes secretly built by elite organizations, that's fine. If there's a mech shop around every corner, you'd expect the gap between production models and super-duper prototypes to be much smaller. Double-whammy: Kids shouldn't pilot mechs so easily. If the kid was genetically engineered, born, and raised in the military to fight, I can deal with that. Some middle-schooler climbing into a machine he's never seen before and gaining instant top-gun status not so much. He should have trouble just looking for the ignition key.
7. Pink explosions: Seems to be a recent phenomenon in anime. I know the big orange balls are unrealistic, but I'll take them over the pink explosions. Personally, I'd rather see something like a mech getting swiss-cheesed by shells, or maybe one big hole in the pilot area followed by a limp fall.
8. Sentient, silent mechs: If a mech is sentient, it should have some way to communicate beyond sometimes getting stubborn when someone other than The Chosen Pilot tries to operate it. Organic and magical mechs get more leeway on this front.
9. "Energy": DBZ's another big offender, but not the only one.
10. "They thought of themselves as gods.": Often used to describe the ancient extinct civilization that made The Big Mistake. More likely, it was just a bunch of people complaining about how long it takes to teleport to work plus a handful who tinkered with something new and didn't have enough failsafes.