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Here are my notes from the Revenge of the Tropes panel yesterday at Continuum X: Carneval of Lost Souls. I enjoyed doing this panel again, and hope that everyone else involved did as well.


John Samuel

Brendan Podger (@tintinaus)

Candice Schilder (@spaetleselexia)


As with the previous incarnations of this panel, we each introduced tropes for discussion as follows:

a)      Brief description then segue to
b)      Earliest usage that the panellists can remember
c)       Best usage that each panellist can remember
d)      Is this trope generally a good or a bad thing to see included
e)      Is this trope a trigger to flee screaming

Trope Meaningful Names
Suggested By John
Description Character names that carry meanings or significance, and should alert the watcher to what the character is likely to be or do. Often missed by western viewers who can’t read the kanji.
John Brendan Candice
Earliest Magic Knight Rayearth Fruits Baskets Sailor Moon – all of the characters
Best Nagi no Asukara (“Centre” and “Beautiful Ocean”) Sailor Moon Sailor Moon
Good or Bad? Useful signal Can be useful Can be useful
Flee? No No No


Trope Harems
Suggested By Candice
Description One guy (or girl), many girls (or guys). At least 3
John Brendan Candice
Earliest Ranma? Urusei Yatsura? Fruits Basket Fushigi Yuigi
Best Ouran High Host Club Steins Gate Brothers Conflict
Good or Bad? Bad Neutral Good – reverseBad – normal
Flee? Not quite Not yet Not quite


Trope He Has To Be The Hero
Suggested By Brendan
Description The hero’s journey type of story, but sometimes the character shouldn’t BE the hero, or maybe a no more than a sidekick. Can ruin a series done badly.
John Brendan Candice
Earliest Robotech Zoids: Chaotic Century Card Captor Sakura
Best SDF: Macross Zoids: Genesis Card Captor Sakura
Worst Gunbuster Garden of Sinners (ruins the show at one point) Sailor Moon / Miaka (need to pull it together)
Good or Bad?  I tend to favour this Bad, esp when done badly.
Flee? It depends


Trope Beach Episodes
Suggested By All
Description Fanservice for all! Filler ahoy!
John Brendan Candice
Earliest Dirty Pair?
Best Arpeggio of Blue Steel Yamato 2199 (made sense in context)Full Metal Panic Ouran High Host ClubHanakimi
Worst A Certain Scientific Railgun Naruto had a bad one
Good or Bad? Generally bad Generally Bad Generally Bad
Flee? Yes Wouldn’t tend to watch these shows anyway

After this the panel moved on to some fairly general discussion of tropes, particularly around mecha, the One True Pilot, excessive fanservice, and bunch of other things.

I had a lot of fun doing this panel. I hope the audience and my co-panellists did as well. I thank everyone for putting up with my moderation.

Plug For Monday (but not for me)

Unfortunately I’ll be at the airport by then but Candice is putting on a superb Visual Tropes in Anime presentation on Monday at 4PM. I strongly recommend seeing this presentation, especially if you’re at all interested in the visual language of anime. I saw it at SwanCon and I’m regretting not being able to see it again.