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Are some anime cliches based on real life?


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David.Seth



Joined: 20 Jan 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 1:58 am Reply with quote
There are a couple of anime cliche's that I see so often that I wonder if they are actually based on real life (or, at least, the Japanese way of real life). To be specific, I am thinking of two that I see a lot: Walking in on someone who is using the bath (and of course always someone of the opposite sex who the main character is attracted to), and the other being high school/jr. high students getting rushed to a nurses office for the smallest of injuries.

Are these examples even remotely based on real life? Are all the Japanese hypochondriacs who do not lock bathroom doors (or ever knock on the bathroom door.... depending on which situation you are in).

Any thoughts? I mean, I've never walked in on someone taking a shower or using the bathroom. And the only time I went to the school "nurse" (ie the schools office staff) was when I broke my friggin arm falling off some monkey bars. But any other time i never went. Scrape? Bruise? Fever? Eh, I just dealt with it, and I know that most students in my schools were the same way.
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ikillchicken



Joined: 12 Feb 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 6:01 am Reply with quote
I think there are a lot of jokes in anime that have some sort of basis in Japanese culture. Not those though. They're just humorous situations. In fact "walking in on someone in the bath" is pretty universal. How often do you see somebody walk in on somebody getting out of the shower in a US sitcom? It's not realistic in either culture. It doesn't happen all that often in real life because people have the sense to lock the door. If it somehow happens though it's a funny situation though and so that's why we see it in comedies.
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Blood-
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 7:04 am Reply with quote
What's wrong with you guys? I walk in on chicks taking showers/baths ALL the time! Mind you, I'm a major perv, so maybe I'm not a good example... Laughing

Actually, that is one of the things I like about anime. I don't know much about Japanese culture so a lot of references go right over my head. Sure, that can be confusing, but it can also prompt you to do research to figure stuff out. I like the "exoticness" that comes with seeing things that you don't initially understand.
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LordRedhand



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 7:12 am Reply with quote
Well I sometimes think with this thought in mind with events that happnen to me or my family "You could put this in a comedy skit and no one would believe it's real."

So in one aspect comedy is based on truth (a little) but taken to the "funnier" extreme. So while yes it is possible that one or both of your anime cliches are based on reality, they are also extreme representations.
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dtm42



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 7:45 am Reply with quote
For the most part, Anime cliches are not based on real life situations. Indeed, there are some cliches that are biologically unrealistic, if not impossible. I'm talking about such cliches as noses bleeding due to arousal (based on an old wives' tale), and the rather incredulous "fact" that falling in a (non frozen over) lake or being caught in a rainstorm will give you a cold. I hardly believe that the blood vessels and immune system of the typical Japanese person are so frail that they burst or are rendered useless at the drop of a hat (or a raindrop, or a bikini if you know what I mean ha ha). So why are they so prevalent, especially in certain genres? Some viewers put up with them as they like their Anime having jokes and conventions that they understand, and it doesn't really bother most of the rest. The writers who use these unrealistic cliches no doubt do so as they are easy to include; it saves them from coming up with their own original material.



Edit: added a word I somehow missed left out.


Last edited by dtm42 on Fri Mar 13, 2009 7:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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LordRedhand



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 7:51 am Reply with quote
Umm it is possible to get a cold if you get wet enough through falling through a lake or getting caught in a rainstorm.

Here is the a famous example here

http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/williamhenryharrison/
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David.Seth



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:39 am Reply with quote
ikillchicken wrote:
I think there are a lot of jokes in anime that have some sort of basis in Japanese culture. Not those though. They're just humorous situations. In fact "walking in on someone in the bath" is pretty universal. How often do you see somebody walk in on somebody getting out of the shower in a US sitcom? It's not realistic in either culture. It doesn't happen all that often in real life because people have the sense to lock the door. If it somehow happens though it's a funny situation though and so that's why we see it in comedies.


Well, to be honest, I've never seen a "walk in" on a sitcom. I've seen it on movies, but even then only a hand full come to mind. But its used ALL the time in anime. I don't even watch that much and I still come across it often. But I agree with you about it just being a humorous, universal situation.

But what about the "oh no I sneezed I need to go to the nurses office" mentality. I've heard before that the Japanese are obsessed with germs and stuff like that. Is that true? And if so, is that where that anime cliche comes from?


Last edited by David.Seth on Thu Mar 19, 2009 4:11 am; edited 1 time in total
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Blood-
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:14 am Reply with quote
Quote:
But what about the "oh know I sneezed I need to go to the nurses office" mentality.


Well, it's a well-known fact that ALL Japanese school nurses are hot, so I think that adequately explains that "mentality."
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classicalzawa
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:45 am Reply with quote
We can't forget the school culture fest in which the main character's classroom almost always ends up doing the silly things. Like Haruhi's bunny outfit cafe thing, or Persona 4's (failed) group dating thing. This is usually followed up by the minor characters of the classroom complaining that they're not doing something better/more normal, like a coffee house or selling snacks or something. Does anyone know how true to Japanese culture this is? Not the culture fest (pretty sure that's common, given how many anime I've seen it in), but the whole "one class does the 'crazy' theme" thing.

Well, maybe now I don't ever go to the student health services building because I'm in college, but maybe the kids in anime are going to the nurse for similar reasons that I might go in high school: I want any excuse to go home because I'm sick of school. Seriously, I'd go to the nurse sometimes when I was feeling slightly worse than usual and was done 3rd class (out of 7, and the only one that really mattered) and go home so I could get some more sleep and chill out. Not to say that I didn't go when I was actually sick, I did go to the health building on campus a few months ago when I got that nasty stomach flu, but I also think it's entirely possible to want to go to the nurse (and in anime you're always sent home it would seem) just to go home and develop character some more. What I don't understand is why, when someone passes out from some horrible illness or might have broken a limb, do they still go to the nurse's room and not the actual hospital, these seem like much bigger things. Then go "oh my, you were out for days! We though you might be in a coma or something!", which is a time when I'd rather wake up in the hospital where people with doctrines work and where they have a full staff that does not consist of that one nurse and your best friends, your friends who are most certainly not trained professionals. Thanks guys. Are there no hospitals in Japan (which I know is not true)? Or are those reserved for non-anime characters out of high school?
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DuelLadyS



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:54 am Reply with quote
I think such cliches are often based less on real life happenings, and more on real life concerns/worries taken to extremes. No one wants to be caught in a vulnerable state, especially with sexual undertones and a person you have feelings for. So, what's the most vulnerable sexually-charged state they can show on daytime TV? Walking in on them naked! When's the best time to do that? Bathtime! Wouldn't it be funny to put our lead character in such a ridiculously compromising position? And a cliche is born...

The nurse thing, along with other cliches, is born of the same idea- we're vulnerable when we're sick. We're vulnerable when someone misunderstands why our maybe-sister is crying in our lap, or why we're in the bathtub with our teacher. (Personally, the walk-in bit from School Rumble ep 12 is fantastic for its total reversal of the walk-in minunderstanding. Laughing )

It's not about copying things that happen in real-life... it's about overexploiting things we don't want happening to comic effect.
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animeboy12



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 12:28 pm Reply with quote
My girlfriend got a full frontal when she walk on me changing and vice-versa for me on her Very Happy . Though I've never really understood the shower cliche unless the person was deaf there's almost no excuse and the way most character react to the situation is borderline juvenile

But most anime cliches "I wonder what happen" rather than "that one thing"
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dtm42



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 6:09 pm Reply with quote
David.Seth wrote:
Well, to be honest, I've never seen a "walk in" on a sitcom.


I know Seinfeld had at least one (some woman walks in on George when he is changing). And Everybody Loves Raymond also had at least one (Ray walks in on Debra during a flashback to when they were at college). So yeah.

LordRedhand wrote:
Umm it is possible to get a cold if you get wet enough through falling through a lake or getting caught in a rainstorm.


Come now. Wikipedia has a different take on it:

Wikipedia wrote:
On March 26, Harrison became ill with a cold. According to the prevailing medical misconception of that time, microorganisms being then unknown, it was believed that his illness was directly caused by the bad weather. However, it was more than three weeks after the inauguration before Harrison showed the first signs of ill health and modern studies have shown that exposure to adverse weather conditions does not cause respiratory illnesses. It is likely he was a victim of the common cold virus, exacerbated by the drastic pressures of his changed circumstances.
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LordRedhand



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 6:36 pm Reply with quote
Just saying not based on nothing, and it's not unheard of for extremes to be healthy for you, that includes getting wet. Also Wikipedia is not a reliable source.

Quote:
According to the Diathesis-Stress model, an organism under stress (ie. cold weather) will eventually have a drop in immuno response. Which means that while illness is caused by baterias and viruses, your susceptability increases when you are cold. For this to be true though, you would have to be cold for an extended period of time in which the primary goal your body had was for you to warm back up...this would mean standing outside shivering for a couple of hours.


http://books.google.com/books?id=JSXzO-iZElwC&pg=PA338&lpg=PA338&dq=Diathesis-Stress+model+cold&source=bl&ots=jncc23WOzO&sig=9i7LQ0f4oUIe9PCW1Ddcu0VJ6KM&hl=en&ei=-u-6SbueDYvuMuHrnbII&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=4&ct=result

That's what I'm getting at.
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David.Seth



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 7:30 pm Reply with quote
dtm42 wrote:

I know Seinfeld had at least one (some woman walks in on George when he is changing). And Everybody Loves Raymond also had at least one (Ray walks in on Debra during a flashback to when they were at college). So yeah.


I totally forgot about those episodes! The Seinfeld one was particularly memorable due to the classic lines:
"I was in the pool! I was in the pool!"
Or
"It shrinks?" "Like a frightened turtle!"

Classic.

DuelLadyS wrote:
I think such cliches are often based less on real life happenings, and more on real life concerns/worries taken to extremes. No one wants to be caught in a vulnerable state, especially with sexual undertones and a person you have feelings for. So, what's the most vulnerable sexually-charged state they can show on daytime TV? Walking in on them naked! When's the best time to do that? Bathtime! Wouldn't it be funny to put our lead character in such a ridiculously compromising position?
................................................................
It's not about copying things that happen in real-life... it's about overexploiting things we don't want happening to comic effect.


While it does seem like this is the most likely cause, I'm just still curious if this is maybe rooted in reality. Like, do they never lock the bathroom door? Do the doors not even have locks? Maybe my family is just paranoid, but whenever some one is in the bathroom or shower, they lock the door. So that ends any potential walk-ins.

Eh, I'm over analyzing. dtm42's insight is more or less spot on. But I'm not to sure about the nurse thing still. Just seems like they're a bunch of hypochondriacs (if the anime representation is accurate).
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Sloober



Joined: 30 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 8:38 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Just saying not based on nothing, and it's not unheard of for extremes to be healthy for you, that includes getting wet. Also Wikipedia is not a reliable source.


It's not like you go for a dip in a lake and get sick though, which is almost the implication in most anime circumstances.

Quote:
While it does seem like this is the most likely cause, I'm just still curious if this is maybe rooted in reality. Like, do they never lock the bathroom door? Do the doors not even have locks? Maybe my family is just paranoid, but whenever some one is in the bathroom or shower, they lock the door. So that ends any potential walk-ins.


No locks on my bathroom. The shower thing though, showers are pretty noisy, you have to be seriously zoned out not to hear one.
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