Reality Is Unrealistic: Anime and Manga

  • A lot of reviewers of Kanon complained that the scene in which a character gets hit by a runaway car looks unrealistic, since the victim cannot be seen anymore. In reality that is likely to happen when the car actually covers the victim or when the victim gets catapulted out of sight, as can be seen on footage of real accidents. And, after that episode was aired, people found footage of an accident on YouTube which was identical to that scene. It's quite possible that it was the one used by the animation team as a reference.
  • In Transformers Cybertron, Jetfire was voiced by a different actor than in the previous two seasons, Armada and Energon. The Powers That Be wanted the new version to sound Australian. The kicker? (No, not that annoying kid from Energon.) The old actor, Scott McNeil, is Australian. The new one, Brian Drummond, is Canadian. As the Transformers Wiki puts it, clearly, McNeil was insufficiently Australian.
  • One criticism often leveled against Neon Genesis Evangelion is that its characters are unrealistic. The depiction of their dysfunction is supposedly too extreme to be believable. In fact, the main trio's personalities match up very well to genuine mental problems, to the point where it seems probable that they were consciously modeled after them. Shinji seems to have avoidant personality disorder, Asuka narcissistic personality disorder and Rei schizoid personality disorder. Granted, it's unlikely that three such people would just so happen to be acquaintances, which hurts the Willing Suspension of Disbelief. Well, there's a reason for that... The in-universe explanation for why all the Eva pilots happen to have deep-seated emotional problems is All There in the Manual.
    • The Eldritch Abomination portrayal of Angels in the series is actually more accurate to what the Bible described them as (mind-bendingly bizarre and strange) than the humans with white wings we see in most religious art.
  • A number of commentators, including this reviewer, have noted a lapse of realism in Tokyo Magnitude 8 — a conspicuous absence of rioting and panic in the wake of the disaster. Ironically, the 2011 Sendai earthquake revealed that this was in fact a perfect representation of Japanese cultural sensibilities. The reaction of the Japanese people was indeed extraordinarily level-headed.

    It should be noted that many western media reported the more or less total lack of looting in Kobe, following the Great Hanshin earthquake of 1995, with considerable undertones of awe. Add to this that the Japanese are widely considered as a society striving for consensus and collective good and this turns into a major case of the reviewer not doing his research. Not to mention, lying on the Pacific "Ring of Fire", they're kinda used to these things. It was a different case with the Kanto Earthquake in the early 1900s where riots did go out of control.
  • Yasuna from Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl has a physical condition where she can't see men's faces. It comes off as a blur in the anime, and an outline in the manga. A lot of fans and critics believe it to be an outlandish made-up disease or a psychological problem. Her condition is actually very similar to a real disorder called Prosopagnosia, albeit hers is probably a mild form... In the manga at least. One sufferer of the disorder has stated that the portrayal is rather realistic.
    • The anime version makes clear that it is a psychological problem, though, considering what happens by the end. The climax of the anime and manga are very different.
  • Used in a very 'meta' manner in Asobi ni Iku yo!. Eris - a bona-fide Cat Girl alien - gets targeted by a Secret Society of hardcore sci-fi fans who simply refuse to accept that humanity's First Contact is with a Human Alien - they want something PROPERLY alien! Even better, Kio brings Eris along to help his movie-club shoot a sci-fi movie, but not only is Eris not alien enough, her Assistaroids look fake, and - here's the kicker - her spaceship, which she can remote-control, uses a form of superstring braking to maintain flight at very slow speeds, which resembles... strings, going upwards from the corners of the ship. So her ship ends up looking ridiculously fake in all their shots as well. Ultimately, they decide to scrap the sci-fi plot and shoot a Romantic Comedy instead.
  • When people want to paint the Leo from Gundam Wing as a shoddy piece of junk, they tend to cite scenes in which merely being near the blast from Wing's rifle is enough to destroy one. This is, however, a rare aversion of Convection Schmonvection in the Gundam metaseries, as a gigantic wave of super-charged plasma would generate some pretty intense heat.
    • The same effect is shown in Gundam Unicorn, in which a mobile suit is blown up when a discharge from the Beam Magnum passes near it. The other pilots take this as an indication of the beam's extreme power.
    • Not involving any sci-fi elements, in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny, Shinn keeps around his dead sister's cell phone and listens to her voicemail message when hes down. Now, people do keep answering machines and old family movies with people that have died. With the Fan Dumb however, they view Shinn as a sick fuck because of this.
  • Some viewers of Sora No Woto complained about how ludicrous the old house perched on a cliff shown in the first episode was. The whole series location is an accurate recreation of the Spanish town of Cuenca, and the house is a popular tourist spot.
  • Pokémon's May, Dawn, and to a certain extent Misty (even though the last one is actually flat-chested, something explicitly stated on the show) are often accused of being unrealistically "well-developed" for a 10-year-old. In reality, puberty for young girls has gotten much lower in recent generations because girls are fatter than they used to be (a girl needs a certain amount of body fat before she can begin puberty). Thus the average age for puberty to start in girls is actually at nine and ten years old. Not surprisingly, this shocks people in real life as well.
    • Lest we not forget, the world's youngest recorded mother was five years old well before such chemical exposures were likely to have happened; individual differences in this regard are, and have always been, huge. And in any case, minor breast growth can happen even before the puberty kicks in with full force.
    • It's also not uncommon for precocious puberty to be a temporary thing, environmentally or otherwise, such as in an Italian school in the 1970s where boys and girls started growing breasts — believed to be from exposure to contaminated beef or poultry. The effects disappeared within 8 months.
    • Plus, babies have been known to grow breast buds and secrete "witch's milk", i.e. infant lactation, due to exposure of estrogen and other hormones from their mother's womb or breast milk.
    • On a completely different tangent is Brock's ethnicity. Most Americans think that he is Latino or Black or so on. Turns out that it's really not that uncommon for Asian people to get that dark. Ash himself is also fairly tanned.
      • This, despite that a minor celebrity in the U.S. is Julie Chen, a former newsanchor, host of Big Brother and a talk-show host in the off-season.
  • Bleach.
    • Fans legitimately complain about the ridiculousness of characters surviving unsurvivable injuries. The oft-ignored in-universe reason is that a character's vitality levels affects their survivability, and the reader doesn't see the Life Meter. However, the main example used is Hiyori being cut in half. Instead of instantly dying, she survives long enough to receive medical attention which saves her life. Ignoring magic unrealistically reattaching her body together, real life humans genuinely can survive being cut in half as long as medical intervention occurs quickly enough.
    • Some American fans complain that it's unrealistic, even accounting for Japanese cultural privacy, for fifteen year olds to live alone without any legal guardians or state intervention. However, in Western countries, including America, teenagers who are legally minors can indeed be found living alone without any guardians or state intervention. Psychology research has identified many reasons, including: parental abandonment/neglectnote , death of any/all guardiansnote , parental abusenote , walking out on the parentsnote , or arrangements with family that allows for the child to be independent of all direct intervention except for financial supportnote . In short, all the manga examples do occur in real life, even in the US.
  • Wandering Son fans bemoan that Takatsuki no longer considers themselves transsexual by the end. People cry that it's unrealistic and OOC but studies have shown that most children who can be considered transgender grow up to be cisgender identified when they're older. Also it's left ambiguous in the end whether they're really cis or it's a phase due to confusion, having no support, and lack of confidence.
  • One of the most common arguments to pop up in a Subbing vs. Dubbing debate is that certain characters sound too old or too young for their age group in English dubs. This is despite the fact that a person who sounds different from their actual age is definitely not unheard of in reality and extremely common, especially if they are right around the age when they hit puberty. There are even cases where a voice actor is accused of sounding "too young" for their character even though they are actually much older and that is their actual speaking voice. For example, it was a common complaint that Kotetsu from Tiger & Bunny sounded "too young" in the English dub, even though Kotetsu is most likely in his 30s and his English voice actor, Wally Wingert, is in his early 50s and is using his natural voice.
  • People who dislike the popularity of Otokonoko Genre and male Wholesome Crossdressers in Japanese media often groan at how easy it is for a boy to pass. If you look at the characters, a majority are late elementary through middle school age and either aren't pubescent or are in the beginning stages. Prior to puberty, children are fairly androgynous looking naturally and it's their style that makes them look feminine or masculine.
    • It does help East Asiansnote  can impersonate a woman or a much younger person much easier than a westerner. Many Asian actors, like Jet Li, used this feature when playing a young man in Danny the Dog.