Having watched anime for a few years now, I've noticed that most anime out there use the same plot lines with slight changes to either the characters or the general setting of the anime. Here are some of the most common plots.
THE CHOSEN ONE
This plot is used not only in anime but also in a lot of movies, books and TV shows. The main character (MC) usually encounters a magical being (almost always a cute girl) who reveals to him that he has secret powers that he must use to save the world. In some cases, this happens when the guy is almost killed and the magical being swoops in to save him. Someone already in his life turns out to be the main villain. The MC then, by chance, meets a bunch of people, each with different powers, and they all decide to risk their lives to fight alongside him. He also befriends an adorable magical animal or creature that follows him around everywhere.
AVERAGE GUY GETS ALL THE GIRLS
Anime creators love to make the MC as bland, unoriginal and average in every way possible so that he is relatable to the otakus that watch anime. Even though the term otaku is used with pride everywhere other than Japan, the Japanese think of them as lifeless people who should utilise their time more wisely. Anime creators use this to their advantage, making sure viewers can live vicariously through the anime. The MC will be weak, skinny, not very gifted in the looks department, lacking in social skills, and have no talent. Despite all of this, he will have a swarm of beautiful girls around him at all times. He will conveniently fall into situations that any guy would love to be in, while he is awkward and doesn't know how to react. He will also have a best friend who frequently gets nose bleeds but no girls, and he keeps reminding the MC of his unbelievable luck while he remains oblivious.
SAD LOVE TRIANGLE
A likes B. B likes C. C likes nobody - he's the dense MC. After facing multiple rejections, B starts to fall for A. C suddenly notices and becomes jealous and confesses his feelings for B. B hesitates for a few days then leaves A for C. C never treats her as well as A treated her but they're still the end game. A never finds another love interest and dies alone. D End.
SUDDEN SURGE OF POWER
During big boss fights, the villains always overpower the good guys. They all lay defeated on the ground, but then the MC starts getting up in slow motion. The scene cuts to all the good memories he has shared with his friends all throughout the journey. He feels this immense power surging through his veins, and he lets out a deafening scream. The louder he screams, the more powerful his attacks become. With one extremely intense move, he wipes out all of the villains and the good guys remain victorious.
I have watched very few anime where there isn't a transfer student who is a crucial character that changes everything. The MC is usually sat at the back, on the right, next to a window and the transfer student gets a seat right next to him. Most of the time, this student becomes the main character's love interest. This student somehow makes the anti-social main character open up and learns of his tragic past and helps him move on.
A lot of high school anime tend to focus on a school club. The club either has no popularity but needs more members, or it is a cover up for students with super powers. Anime somehow make boring things like Karuta, a card game based on Japanese poetry, something very competitive. Cooking can become an extreme sport and have worldwide tournaments where people give their all to win. Deep bonds form between the members; some romantic, some platonic. There is always a main goal for the club and the longer the anime, the more times they fail.
There are two ways this can go if you're the MC. One, your childhood friend is the love of your life and you never even realised it before. You do fall for the more attractive popular girl of the school and almost get her but the childhood friend wins your heart over in the end with love and care that the new girl could never give you. Second, your childhood friend becomes your mortal enemy. They are more powerful than you and wishes to do the opposite of saving the world. You can't, however, handle the betrayal and always hope to make them good again. You have a massive face off in the end where you get emotional and refuse to hurt the person, and this wins them over to the good side.
Almost all anime have a filler episode or story arc but even fillers are sometimes clichéd. The characters always have a day at the beach for no apparent reason and the girls put on cute bikinis while the boys try to seduce them. There's also always a school festival with a maid café and cross dressing. School trips are big too, where the main group always gets lost. There are also traditional Japanese festivals where the girls wear kimonos (traditional Japanese clothing), and it all ends in fireworks.
Mayabee Arannya is a confused soul still searching for a purpose. Give her advice on life at facebook.com/mayabee.arannya