Genre Savvy: Anime and Manga

  • A Certain Magical Index:
    • Various characters point out certain things, including making references to dating sims when talking about Touma's harem, among other ways.
  • Ah! My Goddess:
    • In the arc where Urd is split into her Goddess and Demon selves, Skuld shows a bit of Savvy when Demon Urd mixes the two of them up and tries to play Spot the Imposter. It doesn't work, because Skuld wrote an identifier on Goddess Urd's backside before they even found the other: this was totally not just for Fanservice.
  • Axis Powers Hetalia:
  • Bizenghast:
    • Edaniel comes to after being knocked out, and looks for the others, who have managed to get lost. Edaniel claims that he "knew this would happen."
  • Black Lagoon:
    • Rotton the Wizard actually has the sense to wear some body armor (and a groin protector) when pursuing Roberta. Despite being a Joke Character, he ends up being the only merc to walk away on his own power from the Greenback Jane arc siege.
  • Bleach:
    • Tite Kubo has a reputation for characters ambushing opponents in an attempt to strike the back of the neck. He addresses this habit directly when Ichigo tries it on Aizen. All he hits is an automatically-activated shield prompting Aizen to explain that he never enters battle without protecting such an obvious weak spot.
    • When Urahara appears to explode Aizen to death, Ichigo's attempt to congratulate him is halted by Urahara himself. Urahara explains that while it might be cute to think Aizen has died and therefore relax, he's not an ordinary monster and will very shortly return. He's right.
    • Ginjou knows what the expected stereotypes are for shounen villains and therefore deliberately invokes them to make Ichigo feels as though his life is on the line to obtain the power-up he desperately needs.
    • Ichigo is well aware the villains regard him as a good candidate for the Breaking Speech. He's sick to the back teeth of it and isn't beyond telling them so. The anime tends to combine this with No Fourth Wall for certain filler episodes by putting Ichigo into the role of Only Sane Man for comedy purposes. He can tell what's going to happen based on the genre and sometimes even questions who on earth has been writing the episode.
  • Blue Dragon:
    • Zola. In the second episode, after she effortlessly destroys several dozen enemy robots, the remaining ones begin combining into a single much larger robot. Zola notes that it would be stupid of her to wait for them to finish, and successfully attacks before the Transformation Sequence is finished.
  • Code Geass:
    • By the series' end, Kallen's become familiar enough with Lelouch's Large Ham tactics to know that, if he says a cool-sounding philosophical line while making a dramatic gesture with his hands, it means he's about to do something incredibly improbable to screw over his enemies.
  • Daily Lives of High School Boys:
    • Hidenori is quite savvy in gaming tropes, and in some cases, tropes in anime storytelling (such as Comic-Book Time or Late for School).
    • Yanagin at least aware of gender perceptions as portrayed during the previous decade's fiction.
    • Yanagin's sempai, at the very least, knowing most girls in last decade's fiction are ditzy to an extreme.
  • Deadline Summonner
    • Mamoru Onodera, the main character, was a video game obsessed Otaku before getting sucked into an RPG. He is very much aware of how the world works and how to avoid getting seriously injured and/or killed. Not that the universe allows him to, though.
  • Death Note
    "No, I can't develop feelings for her. That's how most idiots screw up."
    • He is also well aware of I Never Said It Was Poison tactics, and is extremely careful with how he acts and what he says, managing to avoid every trap question L throws his way.
      • The only thing that stops him from being victorious is that he's not savvy enough to suppress his arrogance.
  • Dragon Ball Z:
    • Kid Buu might count as well while almost every major villain in Dragon Ball Z threatens to blow up the Planet they're on to kill the heroes, Buu is the only one who actually does it before fighting the heroes and without announcing first. The "might" comes from the fact that Kid Buu seems to be lacking in intellect; he just goes off of his chaotic instincts of destroying everything he sees.
    • Because he was made up of the cells of Vegeta and other pure blooded Saiyans such as Goku, Raditz and Nappa, Cell knew that Vegeta's greatest weakness is his pride and that a Saiyan would be willing to go to great lengths for good battle because they love a challenge and love to fight. Semi-Perfect Cell then uses that weakness to manipulate Vegeta by telling him that if he had the chance to reach his perfect form he would become a worthy adversary, and he claims that Vegeta would be no match for him. Vegeta falls for it and helps Cell achieve his perfect form.
    • In a filler scene in the Cell arc, Goku is on the hunt for the dragonballs again, and finds one of them held by his old foe Mercenary Tao. Tao knows full well he doesn't have a prayer of defeating Goku in a fight... but he does know that Goku isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer. So he makes a deal: if Goku can figure out a few wire puzzles before dawn of the next day, he gets the dragonball. Goku, good sport that he is, accepts, while Tao uses the opportunity to get as far away as possible just in case he lost his bet. Unfortunately for Tao, Goku is able to undo the wire puzzles in time, and thanks to his new instant transmission ability, takes the dragonball anyway.
    • And of course, Goku himself shows a moment of this when he asks Gohan to fight Cell in his place, solely to let his own son get backed into a corner and invoke Unstoppable Rage since Gohan's rampages are among the scariest in the whole story. Piccolo is quick to point out how dangerous and cruel this is, and Goku goes My God, What Have I Done? upon realising the implications.
  • Eyeshield 21:
    • Shin leaves the Deimon-Kyoshin game early when Deimon was behind because he knew Eyeshield 21 would use some crazy technique to win it all like he has done so many times before.
    • Kid likes to quote, "Something bad will happen after something so good" and vice versa. It always happens.
  • Fairy Tail
  • Fullmetal Alchemist
    • Edward Elric shows great perception throughout the manga, like realizing that he can imitate the attack of the enemy or realizing that pressing the enemy's Berserk Button actually helps in a battle, or that a shadow monster doesn't exist without light, etc.
    • Got a villain who can transmute his skin into an invulnerable material? No problem! Transmute that armor-skin into something else, and THEN stab him!
    • In the same manga (and Brotherhood anime), Roy Mustang, who knows How to Survive a War Movie, loses his cool in a flashback to the Ishvalan War when his buddy Maes gets all excited about a letter from his girlfriend Gracia. Maes survives the war, though he does not learn from his mistakes.
  • GaoGaiGar:
    • Both heroes and villains show various moments of Genre Savviness that it seems like they were trying to outdo each other! Guy punches a Zondar in the face a moment after it regenerates its face instead of staring at it in shock, numerous Zondar tend to try to attack Guy during his Transformation Sequence, 3G's had backup protocols for lack of the Final Fusion program, etc.
  • Genshiken:
    • Most of the characters are major, major otaku and therefore genre savvy, but share Konata's affliction of being unable to tell exactly what kind of anime they're in. Most of the guys seem to visualise life as a dating sim, and beat themselves up about it when they realise it.
  • GoLion
    • The first Beast Fighter fought (what Americans would know as Voltron) was extremely Genre Savvy, being the only monster in the series that was smart enough to attack the separate lion robots before they could combine.
  • Gundam Build Fighters
    • One of the protagonists' Mid Season Upgrades is a beam absorption shield that does pretty much exactly what it sounds like. It gets used in one battle in the World Tournament to great effect... and then never really gets a chance to shine again because all of their opponents either stop using beam weapons against them or make it a priority to destroy the shield first. As one would expect of world-class competitors.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya:
    • The title character sees everything in terms of TV and anime tropes, even where they might not otherwise have been. She borders between being a wrong and being an accurate Genre Savvy. Since she is an all-powerful Reality Warper with unstoppable willpower, she actually makes herself become accurate.
    • Koizumi himself is a Genre Savvy character too, using it to his advantage to convince Haruhi of certain things. Sometimes it does work, sometimes it backfires at him.
    • Kyon also is a pretty Genre Savvy guy, usually expressing it with snarky remarks.
  • Hayate the Combat Butler:
  • High School D×D:
    • Nearly everyone is at least at some level of this. It's to the point where Azazel and the Maous outline the motivations of the Hero Faction in video game terms.
    • Sairaorg is well aware of Issei's Determinator and Chivalrous Pervert behaviors and uses this to snap the Occult Research Club out of a Heroic BSOD after Issei dies. By pointing out that Issei wouldn't stay dead because he hasn't had sex with Rias yet.
    • Azazel manages to motivate Issei into fighting harder by pointing out that Vali's Half Dimension attack can halve the size of Rias's breasts.
  • Ikki Tousen:
  • Inazuma Eleven:
    • The anime tends to portray Megane this way sometimes, although he usually fails at trying to use it to his advantage. On one occasion, he starts with an annoyed rant in the middle of a soccer match, and gets even more annoyed when an opponent tries to steal the ball from him in mid-speech, because Talking Is Supposed To Be A Free Action.
    Megane: How dare you attack in the middle of a stirring lecture or a fusion! As a robot otaku, you fail!
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure
    • Dio Brando from Part 3 gets into Dangerously Genre Savvy territory, as he usually does not take chances when it comes to his known weaknesses (he's a vampire, after all). For example, instead of throwing one knife (which he knows the hero can block), Dio stops time and throws about 10 to 20 knives in succession so that he can't possibly block them all. After that, the scene plays out like this: Jotaro is lying on the ground, apparently dead. Dio first listens for breathing. Then he moves closer and listens for a heartbeat. Jotaro first holds his breath, and then uses his Stand to keep his own heart from beating. So then Dio decides to grab a stop sign from the street corner and decapitate Jotaro, just to be sure. And later, just to be really, really sure, he drops a steamroller on him. Is it any wonder that this guy is one of the most beloved anime villains of all time?
    • On the heroic side, Jotaro shows signs of this during the battle against Akira Otoishi. He forces his opponent to switch to plan B by correctly guessing his entire strategy before they even started fighting, including any bluffs and gambits that Akira might employ given the current situation.
    • Every time something strange happens around them, Jotaro and co immediately jump to the conclusion that it must be an enemy Stand. They're always right.
    • Another Big Bad, Yoshikage Kira, is Dangerously Genre Savvy to the point where he's downright paranoid!
    • You'd expect that fictional Nazis, after having found a millenia-old super-vampire, would immediately attempt to bend it to their will, only to suffer horrible Karmic Deaths. Instead, they realize that said vampire is far beyond their control, and lock it up while they research and experiment to find a way to kill it...only to suffer horrible deaths anyway.
    • At the beginning of Battle Tendency, Speedwagon finds one of the Pillar Men, surrounded by stone masks, trapped and comatose, but still alive. He calls his most powerful friend, Straights, to the site because he has no interest in studying it or its origins but only wants Straights to kill it before it wakes up. A sound plan, if not for Straights betraying him.
  • Junjou Romantica
    • Misaki Takahashi, to his eternal despair. He knows very well what Usami would want as a present.
    Usami: "You."
    Misaki: (internally) "I knew it was me!"
  • Kannagi:
    • Akiba Meguru, being a "self-conscious akiba-freak", is Genre Savvy to the extreme, even recognizing that Mikuriya Jin for what he is:
    'If this is a comic, you are the main character!'
  • Kill la Kill:
    • Ryuko realizes before her fight with Hoka that he's the Awesomeness by Analysis kind of combatant who would analyze her moves to figure out how to dodge them, and thus adopts a more reckless and unpredictable style to try and throw him off.
  • Lucky Star:
  • Lupin III: Travels of Marco Polo – Another Page:
    • Zenigata utilizes serial fiction genre savviness. When Lupin is captured, he attempts to rip off the mask to reveal it isn't Lupin, because Lupin isn't that easy to catch. Subverted when it turns out to actually be Lupin. And then played straight again when Lupin breaks himself and Bao Long out of prison.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha
    • Hayate Yagami not only Jumped at the Call after witnessing the Wolkenritter and hearing their story, but she designed their costume-like Barrier Jackets. Having people recognizable as family probably helped too (she's an orphan).
  • Mahou Sensei Negima!
    • The "library girls", quite understandably, read a lot of books... which means they're quite willing to accept the idea that their teacher is secretly a wizard. In particular, Paru (Saotome Haruna, herself supposed to be an amateur manga artist!) is all too willing to participate in cliche storylines.
    Paru: But mostly I want to help because IT SOUNDS LIKE A BLAST!
  • Maison Ikkoku:
    • Normally, Kyoko tends to think the worst of Godai when it comes to other women. The exception being schoolgirl Ibuki Yagami, who has an (unreturned) crush on Godai-sensei. Nothing that she tries fazes Kyoko the least (Godai isn't so lucky). Kyoko's late husband was one of her teachers and she knows that story inside and out.
  • Mazinger Z:
    • The Professor Gennosuke Yumi was pretty Genre Savvy. For example, he made sure they got spare parts for Mazinger-Z ready to be used in case of an emergency (during one battle Mazinger had lost his fists and they launched spare Rocket Punches at its location to help Kouji). In another episode three workers of the Institute disappeared but he did not really believe they were dead because their bodies were not found. And he memorized the plans for the Jet Scrander in case of they were stolen (and indeed, they were).
  • Naruto:
    • Pain is most certainly this. Unlike every other villain in the entire manga, he doesn't take the time to explain or brag about all of his abilities, drastically improving his effectiveness. Several people die just trying to figure out what he can do. It isn't until his abilities are discovered through old fashioned trial and error that anyone is even slightly effective against him.
  • Oh! Edo Rocket
    • Because the show has No Fourth Wall, some of the characters are genre savvy. For example, in the English version, there is a point where Tetsuju falls off a hovering space ship and crashes to the floor of a rocky canyon. Sora then assures Seikichi, "Don't worry, he'll be fine. He's the comic relief!"
      • Shinza says the same thing about himself after he narrowly escapes being arrested and is nearly sliced in half inside his hiding place. "Good thing I'm the comic relief!"
  • One Piece:
    • Zoro and Nami were this in the Whiskey Peak arc. They were suspicious of the townspeople of Whiskey Peak and why they were so friendly and accommodating to any arriving pirate crew, so they faked being drunk (helped by their inhumanly high alcohol tolerance) to see what the townspeople were up to. And they were right; the townspeople were Bounty Hunters waiting to trap unsuspecting pirates. In contrast, Luffy, Usopp and Sanji didn't suspect a thing.
    • Lawful Good antagonist Smoker is this, shown at the very latest during his first post-Time Skip appearance. When a group of pirates that came up from Fishman Island mention that they were held prisoner by a group of evil pirates, but were saved thanks to another group of pirates, Smoker knows before they even tell him that it was the Straw Hats. That could be attributed to the fact that he knew they were back and knew of their current position, but the next action of his is this trope to a T: there are three possible islands that the Straw Hats could go to upon leaving Fishman Island. Smoker goes to wait for them at the most dangerous one, because he knows that that's where Luffy will go.
  • Ouran High School Host Club
    • Houshakuji Renge is an Otaku example. All of the other main characters (except Haruhi), as well, to the extent of deliberately playing up their specialized bishonen stereotypes to please their customers.
  • Pokémon
    • Pokémon Hunter J could be this. She's the only villain that hasn't been arrested or beaten voluntarily. In the two-parter Riolu episode, she is removed from the plot after delivering her quarry, then, when Ash and Company show up, she tells her henchman that they have their money, and they depart, leaving the client to be arrested.
      • She's also one of the few villains of the show to use the expedient of attacking the Kid with the Leash, rather than the mons themselves. This forces them to scramble for defense and throws them off their game. She is furthermore completely unaverse to directly trying to kill Ash.
    • In one episode, an Officer Jenny manages to instantly defeat the poacher that, earlier, has beat Team Rocket to a having her Growlithe steal the poacher's Pokéball containing his Tyranitar, completely bypassing the need for a Pokémon battle. A very rare occurrence in the anime.
    • In addition to frequent Medium Awareness, Team Rocket are particularly genre savvy, especially regarding their own role. They know they are the bad guys, they know they are there to harass the good guys, and they know they suck at it. Why do they go on? Because it's what they do.
  • Pokémon Special:
    • A particular Galactic mook notes the fact that anyone who comes across a Pokedex will play a key role in a major, region-wide battle involving legendary Pokemon. In other words, he knows who the main characters are in the story.
      • Subverted, though. Said Galactic Mook is under control from Sird, who has fought and seen fights with the Pokedex holders and knows that they are often involved a lot. That said, this makes Sird very Genre Savvy herself.
  • Reiko the Zombie Shop:
    • The titular character Reiko Himezono is genre savvy in that she's very competent at her job and is intimately familiar with the things that could go wrong, such as a resurrected zombie going berserk if the person responsible for their death is nearby, knowing that said zombie would not attack a complete stranger for no reason, and carrying around a tape recorder with pre-recorded chants with her if something goes wrong. The latter proves handy when she crosses paths with psychotic child murderer Saki Yurikawa and has her throat slit. Reiko anticipated something like that would happen and switched on a recording of her standard resurrection chant beforehand, zombifying herself in order to personally deal with Yurikawa. She gets better in the next volume, though.
  • School Rumble
    • Akira is the only one who actually understands the Love Dodecahedron, even using that knowledge to manipulate people. As demonstrated in the Beach Episode, where a naked Harima winds up grappling a bikini-clad Eri, not only is Akira fully aware that it's Not What It Looks Like instead of jumping to the obvious conclusion, she is also capable of explaining in great detail exactly what happened.
  • Spirited Away:
    • It could be chalked up as childish fear, but Chihiro immediately knows that something is wrong with the abandoned amusement park she and her parents had stumbled upon, as well as eating food that doesn't belong to them.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann:
    • Rossiu was very savvy as the rest of the cast fell for the hot springs trap.
    • Simon becomes rather Genre Savvy in the last two arcs, recognizing that they've always snatched victory at the last second from the jaws of defeat merely by being sheer bloody-minded Determinators, in stark contrast to Rossiu who thinks things like "plans" and "logic" have any effect in a universe governed by the Rule of Cool. Kamina has the same mindset before Simon, but this is less to do with being Genre Savvy than it does Kamina being the kind to charge in without a plan. Fanboys try to ignore all the times this didn't really work.
  • The Lucifer and Biscuit Hammer:
    • Amamiya Yuuhi displayed a large amount of dating sim genre savviness on multiple occasions. One occasion during which he specifically chose to walk in on Asahina changing, knowing this type of situation usually engenders "special events".
    • At another time, instead of opening the door onto a changing girl, he felt accomplished instead, by having a girl walk in on him naked as a "special event"
    • Sami also remarks, at a certain point when Yuuhi suddenly grabs her face in during a dream that, had this been a romantic comedy, he'd have grabbed her boobs instead of her head.
    • During the final fight of the manga, Mikazuki realizes that final dramatic fights must be ended with a one-on-one Cross Counter or a Single-Stroke Battle or similarly dramatic mutual 'final technique', and charges up for a final super punch with a ludicrously long and awesome name. When Yuuhi moves in to oblige him, Mikazuki kicks him in the face instead and wins the match.
  • The World God Only Knows:
    • Keima is an internet-famous genius when it comes to Dating Sims, so when Hell has a problem with evil spirits hiding inside schoolgirls—where making them fall in love is the only way to exorcise them — they call him. And despite Keima's dislike of real girls, it works.
    • You can tell from early on when he's able to point out the local rich girl is a tsundere because she has cat eyes, light hair, a visible forehead and twintails. He's a little disappointed that she's not short to make it perfect, but then Elsee points out she's also wearing high heels.
    • "A stranger appearing in a time of crisis is 100% SUSPICIOUS!!"
  • Tsurupika Hagemaru-kun
    Hagemaru: Hey, Kaka, don't sneeze like this while you're naked or the censor guys will cut the scene!
    Hagemaru: I can do anything, I'm the hero of this series!
  • Violinist of Hameln:
    • The demon generals immediate orders after conquering a country are:
    Hell King Bass: Kill all the women and children in case one of the women gives birth to a child and he grows up to be a hero or something.
    Dragon King Drum: Ain't that always a bitch?
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Capsule Monsters:
    • Téa is well aware that the group often runs into trouble, and hopes things will be normal on their vacation. They aren't.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX
    Adrian: I activate my trap cards!
    Chazz: What, but how!?
    Adrian: Simple, I call out their names dramatically and they rise up!