Top 10 Most Common Shonen Manga Scenarios

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A dance-off battle between Goku and Frieza? 

Yeah, hopefully it won't go like the common shonen manga scenarios again.

As you know, shonen manga have a set of storytelling conventions that get used repeatedly, and here are the top 10 most common ones.

10. At the start of the adventure, the characters get lost, but somehow still manage to eventually arrive safely at their destination.

Can’t have hijinks without a couple of detours, can you?

9. A secondary character is actually one of the most popular

Hey, did you know Levi isn’t the main character in Attack on Titan? That’s some twerp named Eren. Seriously, look it up!

See Also : Top 10 Shocking Moments in Attack on Titan

8. A character dies in battle, but comes back to life later

Manga creators aren’t above trying to have their cake and eat it, and sometimes the only thing more dramatic than killing off a key character is bringing him back to life later on.

7. A guy who’s a delinquent is really cool and actually has an immensely strong sense of justice

Making a character a borderline street gang member gives him a reason to be good at fighting, plus a reason to do it a lot.

On the other hand, no one wants to read the weekly chronicles of a guy who bullies his classmates and steals snacks from the convenience store, hence the need to give him something akin to a warrior code.

See Also : Top 10 Hot-Blooded Anime Characters Who Get Us Pumped Up

6. He doesn’t seem like he’d be popular at all with girls, but the ladies are all over him

Manga is, at its heart, consumer media, and as such it’s important to know your audience.

If the lead is a handsome, suave guy who knows just what women want, readers might be jealous of him.

If he’s awkward and dateless, you run the risk of cutting too close to the bone with part of your fanbase.

The solution? Make the main character an everyman the readership can root for and enjoy seeing succeed in his romantic endeavors.

5. Even though he loses once, he tries again and wins

On one hand, Japanese comics are a lot more willing than their western counterparts to throw the audience a curve with an unhappy ending where the bad guys win.

Most of the time, though, you can expect the hero’s failure to be a temporary setback.

4. The hero’s opponents become his friends after he defeats them

You’d be amazed how often a fist to the face is a prelude to friendship in the world of Dragon Ball.

3. The main character draws in an ever-increasing number of companions with his charismatic attitude

The more the merrier, as demonstrated by One Piece’s Luffy and his Going Merry pirate shipmates.

2. The female leads have outstanding bodies

Sometimes a little too outstanding, but when your target market is “young males,” well-proportioned women are always going to be a crowd-pleaser.

See Also : Top 10 Sexiest Females of Japanese Anime

1. The main character is laid-back and easygoing, but also holds a tremendous power

With most avid shonen manga readers being students or young adults, they’re still trying to establish their identity and place in society, at an age when they don’t always have the experience or capabilities to do such things smoothly.

So do readers look at Naruto and feel,

“Hey, maybe it’s OK to get a little too excited over a really good bowl of ramen, because what really matters is being there for your friends when your backs are to the wall!”

Clumsy wish-fulfillment throwaway entertainment? Eh, you could take that view.

But a less bleak interpretation is that with manga being read by young people with so much of their lives still ahead of them, a fictional story that gives them a little hope might not be such a bad thing.

See Also : Top 10 Anime Cliches That Are Completely Annoying

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