Problem With Using Character Templates

Osaka GhoulPosted by

Rehashing, Reboots and recirculating old material seems to be a thing right now, if you look at bunch of Hollywood movie Reboots whatever its Planet Of The Apes, King Kong, The Mummy, Death Note, Godzilla and others. These movies been for the most part garbage, not sticking to the source material and adding shit ton of explosions and having utterly predictable writing.

While Japan doesn’t really suffer from same symptoms as Hollywood their problem is similar – instead of rebooting stuff over and over again they will just find a specific template which they will copy paste to a new manga or anime.

Popular Tropes 

  • Anime/Manga that takes place in school or has people who are going to school (Usually always fitting the same age as well)
  • Anime/Manga taking place in some type of alternate Sengoku Era
  • Generic Battle shonen focusing on monsters or yokai (#PowerOfFriendship)
  • Having some type of a Harem Angle in Romance / Comedy series

I could list more of these tropes, but in the end of the day you always gonna have certain genres and certain stories (Coming of age, Grand Adventure, Romance) that will appeal to many and will survive test of time – and for most part that is fine, its inevitable to have overlap on themes.

However, i’m not a big fan of having character templates exploited over and over – again there is always a certain type of a meta design that most people use in certain period of time, one of the things that you can see this in, is Ghibli movies and it would be more acceptable if the time frame was 4-8 years, but its more than 30 years and they kinda falling in same design tropes as they did when they started back in 1984.

The Level of detail has increased throughout the years in many manga and anime, but one of the things that became more complex was the eyes and AnimeEveryday did touch that a bit on his video.

The Real crux of the issue lies on repetition by the same artists – one of the more Notorious cases of this is Akira Toriyama, who has used same character template last 20 years to create Gohan/Goku looking characters (see source in the video) its fine if you do it twice, but when you are hitting over 10 or 20 its clear laziness or lack of an ability to create new unique designs. I Don’t care how popular Toriyama is, it doesn’t excuse him for his clear faults of duplicating same design over and over again.

Its also a problem if other artist takes templates from someone else and uses them. While there are some relation between characters on Hunter X Hunter and Attack on Titan, not sure was this intentional one, saw the picture on google and thought it would be good to put it here. However Togashi also likes to take ideas and circulate them good comparison would be  main characters of Yu Yu hakusho and Hunter x Hunter. Some people also accused that Meruem (character in HxH) was merger between Frieza & Cell.

If you want more examples you can look the video above, but bottom line is that people have to stop drawing meta designs and focus on more original designs. I Also would like that artists like Toriyama, Togashi and Arakawa to step up their game when it comes to character designs and stop spamming same template over and over again – if you can’t design new stuff, get other people to do it for you.


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Osaka Ghoul

Osaka Ghoul

Co-Owner at AniRoute
Those who forgive themselves, and are able to accept their true nature... They are the strong ones! - Uchiha Itachi