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Genre Deconstruction / Anime & Manga

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  • Maoyuu Maou Yuusha deconstructs Heroic Fantasy and Medieval European Fantasy. It begins by pointing out that killing the Evil Overlord does not necessarily end the world's problems. In fact, the true way of achieving world peace is not through brute force, but through a combination of military, economic, diplomatic, political and social reforms.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion deconstructs the Super Robot genre. The basic premise of the show, at first, seems absolutely formulaic; an Ordinary High-School Student falls into the cockpit of a Humongous Mecha designed by his father. He is the last hope for humanity in a war against various alien lifeforms called "Angels." However, it is quickly shown that using fourteen-year-old children as child soldiers in extremely traumatic battles against Lovecraftian horrors is, to put it bluntly, not very nice and certainly not the kind of idealistic "insert-positive-emotion-here conquers all obstacles" affair that previous super robot shows portrayed it as. Case in point, Shinji's first battle almost kills him and he only is bailed out at the last second by a Deus ex Machina. It also played with the following mecha tropes:
    • Changed the mecha from an unfeeling machine with unlimited energy that is easily repaired to a biological entity that bleeds, feels pain, needs an extension cord for power, and may even have a personality.note 
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    • Most super robot shows have a teenage mecha pilot and a long-absent father who designed the mecha. So Evangelion shows how traumatizing it would be for a real teen to fight in a giant robot — and what kind of father would abandon his son to design the robot. In short, Gendo Ikari is in the running for worst anime dad ever.
    • Half the cast is made up of what seem at first to be stereotypical anime characters. As the series progresses, however, they are revealed to be severely messed-up people with the same sort of problems that would be expected of real-life tsunderes, hard drinking party girls, and lovable sex maniacs. Shinji's Shrinking Violet nature also gets ripped into, viciously, as he's been forced into a gender role he has no training or capability to handle.
    • Quite a few old super robot shows featured mysterious, alien villains with very lightly defined motivations; cue the relentless attacks of the Angels, alien (or not) assailants on whose motives, constituents or psychology we have a little idea of, simply malevolent MacGuffins to enable the story to play with 'giant robot' tropes. They also happen to get progressively creepier, and more unexplainably eldritch as the show progresses. Most importantly, there is an emphasis on showing the fear and uncertainty that comes with fighting an enemy that is just plain undefinable, thus showing how it just takes a little to turn an idealistic, formulaic Super Robot anime into a depressing Cosmic Horror Story. Various factions within the series vie for the opportunity to take down the Angels in the way they deem most appropriate, with the winner, of course, being the one that causes the most collateral damage.
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    • Tokyo 3 is all but destroyed by the end of the series, and its populace is either dead or evacuated — a sharp contrast to the likes of most examples of the City of Adventure. The constant warfare tears the city apart and eventually NERV no longer has the funds to repair it.
    • In some ways, Eva resembles the early days of the Real Robot Genre. Shinji Ikari has quite a few similarities with Amuro Ray, the most iconic mecha protagonist in anime history. While Amuro's relationship with his father is not nearly as bad as Shinji's, Amuro's father does go insane while building the RX-78 and due to his injuries in the first episode (which Amuro himself caused). Amuro is just as "whiny" as Shinji, but is forced to accept responsibilities in the military hierarchy and grows to maturity through that. Even his reaction to his accidental killing of Lalah resembles Shinji's after killing Kaworu.
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  • Rurouni Kenshin can be seen as a deconstruction of the Jidaigeki genre. Being a samurai isn't just a thing of honor and swordfighting for either your master, your beliefs, or other causes, and it leaves huge mental and social scars on those who survive it. And then, all of a sudden, everything that made being a samurai "cool" disappears because society isn't feudal any more, owning a sword is illegal, and even if you could get your hands on one your enemy might decide to use guns instead...
  • The original Gundam series (parent of the Real Robot Genre) could count as a deconstruction of the Super Robot Genre too. To even begin to be able to pilot the Gundam, Amuro already had a strong background with electronics, and the Gundam's manual. His early fighting is clumsy and ends up blowing a hole in his home space colony that kills unknown numbers of civilians and leads to his father suffering brain damage that drives him to insanity. His early battles shook him greatly, and Char kicked his ass easily in their early fights, despite being in the less advanced Zaku II. Amuro is also a whiny brat of a kid and is forced (through good use of the Bright Slap and a stay in the brig) to accept his responsibilities. Of course, in later Real Robot shows, the flavor of the Super Robot Genre would kick in...
    • And that Super Robot Genre flavor that kicked in the later episodes of the show is itself a bitter deconstruction of the "loser mechs", as Gundam Sousei would point out.
  • Now and Then, Here and There deconstructs the old anime stock plot of Trapped in Another World. It starts the typical basic premise of "Ordinary High-School Student meets Mysterious Waif and gets whisked off to a world locked in a great crisis." It got worse from there. It shows how relevant an Ordinary High-School Student would be in such a situation (not at all), how traumatizing it would be for someone from a peaceful society like late twentieth/early twenty-first century Japan to be suddenly trapped in the middle of a war zone (extremely) and how likely it would be for anyone from that world including the waif that brought him there in the first place to even lift a finger for a naive and clueless outsider, much less form True Companions or a harem around him (not very).
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX deconstructs the Gaming and Sports Anime and Manga genre, taking the absurdity of elevating a (dangerous) children's card game to an international spectator sport and the method of deciding the fate of the universe Up to Eleven and past, not to mention the realistic effects this would have on the psyche of a kid.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V takes the deconstruction from GX to new levels, with many franchise-specific and franchise-non-specific examples.
    • The magic that helped other Yugioh protagonists kick ass either hinders the protagonist or is beyond his understanding, traumatizes him, and indirectly gets him into trouble.
    • Instead of being a consistently effective Warrior Therapist, the main character can only help his opponents reach a Heel–Face Turn when: their core values align with his own (but they have poor methods of implementing them), or they used to be just like him until their Despair Event Horizon (in which case what he's actually doing is helping them return to who they used to be). Thus far only three people have fit either category, and two of them were entered in a competition for up-and-coming duelists, making them much more likely to have some similarities with the protagonist.
    • Instead of an Eldritch Abomination using supernatural powers via a card game to take over the world, we get humans equipped with Magitek building a powerful military force and invading another dimension with Child Soldiers whose mental state and insanity reflects real child soldiers. The few members of La Résistance (from the invaded dimension) the audience have seen thus far are both traumatized and completely willing to kill, one of them frequently going overkill and showing no remorse even when he knows his targets are innocent note .
    • The protagonist's side is also recruiting child soldiers and using war propaganda to convince their dimension to join the war, not to mention the Laser-Guided Amnesia they use when convenient and generally slimy business practices.
    • We have a fourth dimension in the mix, where 99% of the wealth is controlled by 1% of the population and everyone else starves, society basically running on Bread and Circuses with the authority entirely focused on maintaining the status quo. Seems like a typical Dystopia in need of a revolution, but this system is supported by a fucked-up cultural system of beliefs and general human apathy, meaning the usual methods of supporting or inspiring an uprising are either completely ineffectivenote  or a minor inconvenience that at worst caused a few riots which Security can easily crush.
    • One of the characters has the power of being able to see and hear duel spirits, a staple of heroes of the franchise and others like it. That character is Z-ARC, who is partially motivated by hearing the spirits cry over having to fight for other's entertainment.
    • Later Arc-V began to reconstruct the series staples, having Yuya bring smiles to everyone by dueling and causing a multitude of Heel-Face Turns, including the Big Bad.
  • The first arc of The Twelve Kingdoms takes a look at the typical Trapped in Another World Changeling Fantasy, rolls its eyes, and then goes to show what would really happen if you tossed an insecure Ordinary High-School Student into a hostile fantasy country with the expectation of saving and eventually ruling it: a complete nervous breakdown.
    • Actually, it's more than that. The series includes other characters who are or have been in similar situations, like another king (Shoryuu), two kirins or "sacred beasts" (Enki and Taiki), a peasant girl (Suzu) and, in the anime, two of Youko's classmates (Asano and Yuuka). All of them have huge problems with the premise and have to deal in different ways.
    • Premise: being kidnapped to a strange magical world as the chosen one is wonderful! Decon: no it's not. But per the above comment, that deconstruction isn't allowed to stand as a universal statement. Youko represents the normal reaction, especially when the benevolent kidnapper is himself waylaid and Youko herself subjected to abnormal stress. Yuuka is the one who wants to live the Changeling Fantasy and might have adapted well save for not being the chosen one at all. Suzu and Asano don't even get the illusion of being chosen, and deal poorly, though Suzu's pretty lucky. OTOH, Shouryuu and the two kirin really are Chosen Changelings, don't get waylaid on their way back, and do as well as the original trope would have it. (Taiki's later tragedy is independent.)
    • Premise: a bunch of arbitrary rules and gods. Decon: a bunch of the main characters eventually wonder about the rules, doubt the gods, and try to ask the gods for rules clarifications. Storming the Heavens isn't a practical option, so they don't.
    • Premise: fantasy monarchy is wonderful! Decon: except when it isn't. A filtering system gets rid of the worst cases, leaving the best ones as immortal enlightened despots, avoiding the succession problem. A kirin that's been in contact with modern Japan snarks about possible democratic alternatives anyway.
    • Premise: polite strangers help the bewildered, inexperienced main character(s) out at critical moments in their adventure. Decon: if it serves the strangers' interests, especially regarding material gain. When it doesn't, the main character eventually has to actively choose to not let the subsequent behavior of most peasants turn her to The Dark Side.
  • Patlabor may be the ultimate deconstruction of the Mecha-genre: It has no superheroes nor supervillains and the mechas are plain and simply tools; the majority of them are used at construction sites and storages. They're anything but cool and if there's something even uncooler, that would be being a member of the Patlabor unit.
  • Mai Hime functions as a fairly solid deconstruction of the Magical Girl genre, too, with the first half of the series being almost entirely fluffy, silly character-building and harmless Monster of the Week fighting (to further the point: the heroines battle a monster that steals lingerie), until around the halfway point when it decides to Get Serious.
  • Despite being the go-to "silly school comedy," School Rumble messes with the genre and deconstructs a surprising number of its tropes. Not only is the ditzy female protagonist we so often see replaced with a badass male delinquent, many situations are gender-flipped (such as when Eri walks in on Harima naked). Then, of course, there's the deconstructions of Clingy Jealous Girl (Eri nearly ruins her friendships when she thinks her friends are interested in Harima), Tsundere (Eri again, most people can't relate to her because she flips between extremes so much), and Yamato Nadeshiko (Yakumo's inability to confront people turns her into an Extreme Doormat who can't make friends).
  • Gantz, at least for most of the first couple dozen chapters, was a deconstruction of First-Person Shooter-style video games. It showed just how bizarre and frightening it would be for someone actually in it, including being teleported into an unknown area, and being forced to fight dangerous creatures with weapons you've just picked up and have no practice with.
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena deconstructs the Shōjo romance. It depicts a web of relationships that, in a normal romance anime, might be played up as romantic or at least cute, and goes to great depths to show just how unhealthy they actually are, as well as what kind of school would end up fostering such relationships, how views on characters are influenced by gender roles, and many other aspects besides.
    • Utena also deconstructs the traditional Fairy Tale. Things like princes, princesses, and witches are shown to be childish fantasies and clinging to Black-and-White Morality shows an inability to grow up and can cause major problems when reaching adulthood.
  • Narutaru (Shadow Star) deconstructs the pet monster genre in a very disturbing and bloody way. To control their companions, the children have a psychic link with them which can take a heavy toll on both their body and mind, and some become very aware of the power they have and abuse it - even to the point of mass murder. The manga also looks at how the government and military might actually respond to Mons being involved in all manner of strange and violent circumstances, which leads to a lot of cover-ups and extreme measures.
  • Bokurano:
    • Bokurano (written by the same person who made Narutaru) is a Humongous Mecha deconstruction (of different focus than Eva, yet similar to it) that showcases only too well the destructive side-effects caused by giant robot battles, not to mention the immense psychological stress caused by having a bunch of kids (who all have their own personal tragedies on top of it) responsible for the continued existence of planet Earth. And then they throw in the fact that the Super Robot they must use is fueled by the pilot's Life Force, meaning they're all dead even if they win, and we start crossing into Diabolus ex Machina territory.
    • Furthermore, it also deconstructs the "magical tournament/There Can Be Only One" type of manga as well: It's later revealed that the creatures the kids have been fighting are actually human pilots from parallel universes, specifically the battles are contests to determine which of the selected universes would be erased from existence. So the pilots have to choose between either winning the battles and dying or losing the battles and dooming their universes (and thus also dying).
  • Originally, Super Dimension Fortress Macross was meant to be a Deconstructive Parody of shows like Mobile Suit Gundam. While it veered off that course eventually and played a fair number of tropes completely straight (never mind inventing a few along the way), pretty much every major entry into the franchise has featured at least one major, often scathing, deconstruction of the science fiction, adventure and anime genres.
  • Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE- starts out as a light-hearted True Companions Gotta Catch 'Em All adventure story with some darkness around the edges and interesting sexual subtext. One-third of the way through, everything you thought you knew turns inside out and the most light-hearted elements become harbingers of the ugliest secrets. From there on out, the series proceeds to do everything it can to make your mind boggle, including introducing major unexpected Squick into what had once been CLAMP's most popular and innocent pairing.
  • The "Perfect GT-R" arc of Wangan Midnight has a beautiful deconstruction of street racing. Jun Kitami, who at this point has been portrayed as a reckless, heartless daredevil tuner, says point-blank that there are no winners or losers and that Koichi did exactly the right thing in giving up this senseless hobby so he could return to his wife. Given that the whole manga is about street racing, plainly admitting a truth like this took guts. Even better, this happens in the very first arc after the Devil Z and Blackbird are introduced.
  • Fate/stay night: Emiya Shirou's life story is quite literally the embodiment of Martyr Without a Cause, Chronic Hero Syndrome, and other related "hero" tropes deconstructed.
    Archer: There is nothing at the end of saving people.
  • Halo Legends is a deconstruction of the whole Halo series. The themes it presents are all present in the canon of the games, to a lesser extent, and the other supplemental material, to a greater extent, but Legends takes it to a different level.
    • In The Babysitter, it's showed that not all UNSC personnel are fond of the Spartans — some are actually jealous of them for their awesomeness, and they use it as an excuse to treat the Spartans as freaks, which has a bad effect on their cooperation. In the end, even a Super Soldier is a human being who can die just like that.
    • The Duel reveals that not all the Covenant believe in the "Great Journey"; some are to afraid to admit to it, some rebel against it and others just use the religion as a means for their own selfish needs.
    • Origins is a story about the Forerunners and their war against Flood. The message: no matter how powerful your empire is, it will sooner or later fall, especially if you fight against an enemy you don't have a single clue about.
    • Prototype deconstructs The Stoic. In this episode, the other marines believes that the main character's stoic personality is evidence that he's literally emotionless and that he doesn't give a damn about his fellow men, but contrary to their belief, he has as many emotions as they have, the stoicism just a facade to hide the pain that came from seeing his entire company being wiped out and having his last recruit bleed to death in his arms.
  • With the popularity of the Harem Genre, it would only make sense that a few deconstructions have been made:
    • Toradora! deconstructs many of the character archetypes seen in typical harem anime. Most notably, Taiga basically answers the question of what kind of experiences could give a person a childish tsundere personality in real life: HUGE personal issues of the familiar kind, which also don't mesh well with the girl's own self-esteem problems.
    • School Days, like the game it was based on, mashes the genre with Reality Ensues all the way to an honest-to-god terrifying ending.
    • Uwakoi and Aki Sora, both by Masahiro Itosugi, collectively take every cliche associated with the genre and plays them all for realistic drama and/or psychological horror.
  • Digimon Tamers deconstructs a number of things that were barely or not touched upon in the Digimon Adventure canon, such as the involvement of adults, how the government would react to programs emerging into the real world as monsters, how those programs came about in the first place, what a world governed only by the doctrine of "survival of the fittest" would be like (namely, harsh and unforgiving), how frustrating it is to be the Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain, and what would happen to a Tamer if their partner Digimon permanently died. Later, the first arc of Digimon Savers could be seen as a deconstruction of part of the ending of Digimon Adventure 02, specifically the part where everyone in the world got a partner Digimon - it deals with the idea of those of dishonest intent using their Digimon for crimes, something Adventure 02 never even considered.
    • Probably the most striking part of Tamers being a deconstruction is the ending of the first episode. After Guilmon Bio-Emerges into the Real World, Takato is ecstatic to finally have his own real Digimon. And then Guilmon shoots fire out of his mouth, causing a huge explosion. It's at this point that Takato realizes that what's in front of him isn't just a virtual pet; it's a digital MONSTER, now allowed to roam reality. Production notes for the series show that one of the goals of Tamers was to (re)establish the fact that Digimon are ultimately feral beasts who live to battle and Guilmon's introduction nailed it.
  • Great Teacher Onizuka deconstructs the Save Our Students genre, especially the belief that students and teachers are natural enemies.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica is, for the majority of the series, a pretty thorough deconstruction of the Magical Girl genre. The premise starts simple. Young Naïve Everygirl Madoka Kaname and her Wide-Eyed Idealist friend Sayaka Miki are approached by Mentor Mascot Kyubey, and the relative Cool Big Sis and Team Mom Mami Tomoe, where they are given the opportunity to become Magical Girl Warriors and fight to help save the universe. They are granted one wish, that can be anything they want; in exchange, they will have to battle the local Monsters Of The Week, Eldritch Abominations called witches, for the rest of their lives, culminating in a final battle against Big Bad Walpurgisnacht, a powerful witch who will soon destroy the world. They also fight against a Dark Magical Girl, Homura Akemi, who is opposed to this deal, and is constantly trying to prevent the two from making a contract; and another Dark Magical Girl, Kyoko Sakura, who is selfish, bratty, and doesn’t give one lick about saving people or the universe. Sounds reasonable enough. Then the show demonstrates exactly what happens to those young girls who are forced into fighting Eldritch Abominations with no chance at a normal life.
  • Several chapters of Franken Fran deconstruct the Toku genre, what with some of the Sentinels using their fame to become rich with merchandising, blackmailing influential people to get more funds, one becoming addicted to fighting to the point that he can't have an erection otherwise (leading him to set up people to get killed just so he can avenge their death), the families of the faceless minions killed by the Sentinels teaming up to avenge their deaths, and the evil organisation's Evil Plan being to cure all illnesses, stop famine, and create hospitals for everybody.
  • While the series itself isn't entirely a deconstruction, Mahou Sensei Negima! does deconstruct a few individual plot points common to shounen:
    • Negi's Training from Hell, while played straight at first, is shown to be extremely emotionally and physically draining on him, and it takes a toll on his relationship with his students.
    • Negi's father is basically one long Deconstruction of the Invincible Hero / Idiot Hero archetype. He's an extremely powerful fighter, yes, but his tendency to never use his brain results in his plan ultimately failing. Basically, because Nagi just charged in to punch bad guys before figuring out what was actually going on, he wasn't able to actually fix the real problem. Ultimately, Negi, who's not an Idiot Hero and actually takes the time to analyze the situation and work out a workable solution, is the one who really fixes things as opposed to just delaying them a bit.
  • Bokura no Hentai deconstructs the Otokonoko Genre. At first glance it seems to be a standard tale about three Wholesome Crossdresser tweens but it gets Darker and Edgier after the first chapter. It makes fun of tropes associated with the genre and delves into the psychological issues of the main cast. The series goes on to show how Growing Up Sucks and subverts many tropes, such as cruelly averting It's Okay If It's You by having Shuu's reason for crossdressing being that he's in love with a straight boy. Said boy is homophobic and will only sleep with Shuu if he's dressed as a girl. He's abusive towards Shuu and he helps awaken abuse related Repressed Memories in Shuu.
  • Martian Successor Nadesico somewhat lightheartly deconstructs Mecha and especially Yamato. As shown in the first arc alone just because you have an advanced, state-of-the-art ship with the latest in hardware and the best, yet quirky crew, doesn't mean you can One-Man Army an army that's nearly limitless and wise about the flaws of said ship, the young Captain isn't emotionally prepared to handle Sadistic Choice, the Fanboy Ace Pilot gets killed in a mutiny in an non-heroic manner, the other Ace Pilot is an emotional wreck who wants to be a cook AND has made a very unhealthy Love Triangle. Oh, and a colony blew up, so nearly two weeks of nothing to do but handling the funerals of the thousands of people on board, and the crew nearly mutiny because their contracts don't allow them to pork. And to top it all off they failed in their mission and are only alive by SHEER LUCK. It only gets worse from there, Especially when the true nature of the Jovians is revealed.
    • It's also subtle, but Gekiganger 3, when used In-Universe, is a deconstruction of both anime fandom as well as using anime as propaganda for war.
  • The Daughter of Twenty Faces:
    • Heist shows like Lupin III or Cat's Eye often have random employees (guards, maids, servants, ec.) who end up drugged, Bound and Gagged, or just knocked out by the antiheroes or antivillains during their robberies, and Episode 5 examines the notion of these crimes supposedly being "victimless". Here, Chiko befriends a young girl whose father is the head of security at the museum Twenty plans on robbing, and the girl states in no uncertain terms that her family will likely end up on the streets if the heist goes off as planned. Chiko is conflicted about carrying out the plan, and for the first time in the series, actually begins to question the morality of what she's doing.
    • Along those lines, the heroes in these heist shows usually escape and don't really have to worry about reprisal from their victims or rivals. In Episode 6, an enemy from one of the earlier episodes returns and VIOLENTLY MURDERS most of the thieves, with Chiko, Twenty Faces, and Ken left as the only survivors.
  • Inside Mari deconstructs the Gender Bender Transformation Comic. It's about a hikikomori college dropout named Isao who is a Stalker with a Crush to a high school girl named Mari. Due to unknown circumstances one day he wakes up in Mari's body. Unlike most examples he is utterly horrified by the fact and doesn't take it in stride, not helped when he gets his period. Isao has no clue how to act like Mari so he ends up ruining her social life and her image as the aloof School Idol. He believes Mari is an example of Incorruptible Pure Pureness however as the series goes on its implied she's anything but. It also is eventually revealed that no body swapping even occured. Mari has a Split Personality due to childhood trauma and hallucinates that she is Isao, a guy she barely knows but has seen from afar at a store.
  • Zambot 3 is one of the first deconstructions of the Super Robot genre, made in 1977; just 5-6 years after Mazinger Z came out. You know all of those buildings and cities that tend to get the crap beaten out of them in your average Super Robot show? Yeah, the townsfolk aren't too happy about that. The massive collateral is not fixed up the next day, and the poor citizens who've now found themselves without a house or any kind of home have to try and find a new place to live, and to hide out from the war going on between Zambot and the Gaizok. Because, really, in a more realistic setting, giant robots fighting against killer aliens is a war, with all of the baggage that comes with it. Zambot was one of the first series to realize this, and with a generally dark tone, it would have been a trendsetter for its genre... Had it caught on. It didn't, but Yoshiyuki Tomino went on to do Mobile Suit Gundam two years later.
  • The World God Only Knows is a deconstruction of dating sims in a big way. Keima swiftly finds out that real life girls are nothing like the completely one-dimensional heroines in his precious dating games, usually to his downfall. The series does zigzag on this, though, as sometimes his extensive knowledge of dating sims actually does come in handy.
  • Strange Dawn for trapped-in-another-world stories. The people of the other world are cute Super-Deformed creatures but they are still as flawed as us humans. One of the girls transported to this world is so bent on going home that she is willing to take questionable actions (like siding with the bad guys). The other girl wants to help the natives but is too weakhearted to be of any use. Things get so messed up that it takes a Deus ex Machina to resolve everything.
  • Secret Plot and Secret Plot Deep initially/ostensibly comes off as another Teacher/Student Romance H-manga series about Hot Teachers and the various boys they seduce, specifically Masaki, then it sets in how much of a Crapsack World they live in:
    • The teachers can't get any men their age because they're Christmas Cakes well into their 20s/30s.
    • Masaki has such free time and lack of spine because his parents only care about his education and nothing more, which Mayumi points out in a rush to get him back to her place for sex.
    • A student's reason for cross-dressing is being a Replacement Goldfish for his parents after his sister died, giving him nightmares of losing his identity, not helped by Mayumi using a strap-on all the time, but he gets better thanks to his new girlfriend sleeping with him in a completely normal, romantic way.
    • And it's shown that without boys to have sex with, Miki and Mayumi simply lay around getting drunk in a dive bar.
    • The series also takes a look at All Men Are Perverts and Hot for Teacher, seeing as how several of the boys Miki and Mayumi have gone after are visibly disturbed at having women who are both authority figures and older than them by at least a decade come onto them. Miki and Mayumi have shown that they are willing to coerce a boy into sex (namely, Masaki), which is something that sexual predators actually do. Masaki himself is never ecstatic at getting to have sex with Miki and Mayumi, with him being coerced into sex at least once, and his family problems being used by Mayumi towards sex with her.
  • Bondage Game OVA is a deconstruction of extreme fetish hentai, even though it's only two episodes long. The sex slaves shown in it have personalities, and aren't just flat characters like most women in hentai are. Also, the reactions of the girls when experiencing their torture make it clear that you're not supposed to be getting off to it. The anime ends when the man who owns the sex slaves gets arrested, and the girls that survived are freed. If it was meant for fetish fulfilment, then the ending would be much worse.
  • Geiger Counter deconstructs rape hentai by showing the consequences it has on the victim. Most doujin of the same genre simply ends after the act itself, but Geiger Counter actually shows the consequences of the rape: the victim girl is traumatized, even the sound of a door bell terrifies her, and her family is forced to move. That empty look in her eyes makes it very clear that this is NOT supposed to be masturbation material.
  • Utaite no Ballad, made by the same author as the above-mentioned Geiger Counter also deconstructs rape hentai. The Villain Protagonist of the series is an up and coming musical performer who is secretly a pedophile, and he isn't a stereotypical fat, ugly Devil in Plain Sight; he is instead a handsome young man. And more importantly, his actions result in consequences: one of his victims is shown sobbing as she informs the police about what happened, and the series ends with him suffering a massive Humiliation Conga which culminates in his rightly justified arrest.
  • Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash deconstructs the "Narou Isekai" subgenre of Trapped in Another World tales. Grimgar's spin is if people who are NOT gamers get sent to such a planet, and fail to grasp mechanics quickly enough to avoid unnecessary death, they do not become ace combatants or charismatic figureheads. It frames heroes like Kirito, Momonga, and Shiroe having it significantly easier because they know what they're getting into, as opposed to people who never played (or remember playing) these sort of games. Furthermore, Haruhiro's party do not become major players or establish an almighty guild that influences the fantasy world's outcome. They are the unnamed nobodies and underdogs that Kirito and Shiroe style protagonists try to set free or keep from dying.
  • Re:Zero deconstructs the "Isekai" genre (especially the more modern forms of it) by showing how being sent to another world could actually truly suck. The main character, Subaru, thinks that because he was sent to another world, he automatically gained awesome powers. He did, but not what he thinks, when he is killed in the first episode, he realizes that he was merely sent back to a "checkpoint" of sorts, and feels the pain of every death, and it slowly starts to wear away on his mind. Furthermore, he realizes he doesn't have any real special powers besides his respawning, and he doesn't get to really become a super powerful badass, nor does he get to be the hero he wanted to be. It's taken further later on, starting in arc 3, where his lack of social skills as a NEET from our world screws him over big time, as he ruins Emilia's chance at succeeding the throne, almost gets killed by one of the knights of the other princess candidates, and then shows what he really thinks, thinking that just like the main protagonists of light novels, he is entitled to protect her because of what he has gone through, only for her to rebuke him. All in all, Subaru doesn't become a badass hero who gets the girl just because he is the protagonisA quote later in the story hammers in this point.
    Subaru: Before I got into the situation that led me to all of you, do you have any idea what I did? I did nothing. I've never done a single thing. I had all that time, all that freedom... I could have done anything, but I never did a thing! And this is the result! What I am now is the result! All of my powerlessness, all of my incompetence, is the product of my rotten character. That's right. I have no character. Even when I thought I could live here, nothing changed. At heart, I'm just a small, cowardly, filthy piece of trash, who's always worried about how others see me. And nothing... Nothing about me has changed! ...I absolutely hate myself...
  • No Matter How I Look at It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Not Popular! deconstructs Pandering to the Base and the Otaku Surrogate genres. Unlike many female otaku characters (such as Konata Izumi, Kirino Kosaka, etc.) who, despite making no secret of their somewhat strange hobbies, manage to be fairly well-adjusted, attractive, and keep a large group of friends, Tomoko is an unkempt, friendless loser whose inability to see the world as reality instead of an anime or game ends up driving almost everyone away from her. Basically, she exists to show that an obsessive female Otaku wouldn't be nearly as cute or endearing as many other series make them out to be in the real world.
  • As time goes on, it becomes more clear that A Place Further than the Universe is a deconstruction of the Schoolgirl Series and Four-Girl Ensemble. The main characters all fit common archetypes, but have Freudian Excuses for being and acting the way they are, and the negative sides of these archetypes are frequently shown, unlike the typical cute girls series. The "high school" setting ends up being irrelevant, as it's not the thing the characters are focused around. Unlike other Schoolgirl Series, which frequently revolve around something mundane like playing music, cooking, camping, or something like that, this series' gimmick is completely extraordinary (taking a trip halfway across the world). It also takes great pains to show that no, deciding to suddenly want to go to Antarctica isn't as easy to do as your common moe show would make you believe.
  • Magical Girl Spec-Ops Asuka deconstructs Magical Girl genre by way of Reality Ensues. The existence of Magical Girls is common knowledge, since they saved the world from a Netherbeast invasion a few years back. But since then, the underworld has been trafficking in otherworldly artifacts, even paying otherworld traders with kidnapped humans. There are also illegally empowered Magical Girls who serve as underworld enforcers, and governments across the world have formed specialized task forces to deal with them, even recruiting other Magical Girls to their ranks. The protagonists are not immune to this, either. Asuka is a Shell-Shocked Veteran, and Kurumi, the resident Nurse-themed Magical Girl is a deadly Combat Medic who also serves as the team's Torture Technician.
  • Kakegurui: Deconstructs your usual Hot-Blooded shonen where the school is filled with Absurdly High-Stakes Game. These absurd stakes are treated as absurd. The school's system has everyone waging whatever they want, including unearthly sums of money and up to their very lives. Of course this is played for horror when some of the girls are faced with the prospect to become essentially slaves to powerful politicians so they'll keep support to the school after gathering millions in debt for losing on a Jan-ken-po game. The absurd high stakes quickly create a setting where people become greatly in debt and are turned in dehumanized slaves with little to no chance of getting out and probably having to spend the rest of their lives as slaves to the council and being used in their power games.
  • Goblin Slayer deconstructs your usual fantasy setting with little enemies and big enemies. Essentially, no one cares about goblins attacking small villages because there's a demon king threatening the world. The small goblins, whoever, are endangering the livelihood of poor people, taking women as sex slaves and torturing whoever is left, but nobody cares because adventurers are taught to not fear small monsters like them. Even after the Demon King is killed, the show goes on to deconstruct the happy ending by showing that nothing has really changed, even if the Big Bad is not there to bring upon destruction, millions of small evils plague the land and are causing pain, suffering and destruction to people are not cattered for because they can't afford the high-level adventurers.
  • The Rising of the Shield Hero is another isekai deconstruction of the RPG-Mechanics Verse variety. Because the world the story takes place in closely resembles various MMORPGs three of the Four Heroes played extensively, and because those three are basically pampered and handed all the advantages they could ever ask for right out of the gate, their actions end up being extremely myopic and they often end up causing more harm to innocent bystanders than good, simply thinking of the world around them as a game and not thinking of things like that dead enemies don't fade out of existence and that dragon you killed and just left there might turn into a rotting biohazard down the line, or that just because you found a magic item in a locked treasure chest in an abandoned dungeon, it's not necessarily beneficial and the person who locked it away might have had a damn good reason to do so. Meanwhile, the titular Shield Hero, with no MMORPG experience and who was persecuted and conspired against from day one until he ended up with almost nothing, has a much more grounded (if incredibly jaded and cynical) view of the world around him, and he often ends up cleaning up the messes of the other three heroes.
  • Seirei Gensouki: Spirit Chronicles deconstructs the isekai genre:
    • Going to a new world naturally means having to deal with a language barrier. While the heroes are given the ability to have Japanese translated to and from the native language, ordinary people dragged in with them in the summoning process don't get this ability, leaving them helpless in a world where they can't talk to anyone who isn't a hero or reincarnator.
    • Despite his attempts to use his past life's skills, Rio is unable to overcome the prejudice against commoners, leading to him being framed for a crime by his jealous classmates.
    • Killing, even in self-defense, is a taboo on Earth and especially in Japan. The fantasy world is far more dangerous due to the less advanced culture and human rights, meaning killing eventually becomes a necessary evil that weights heavily on Rio.
    • Reincarnating into someone already living in the other world is not always good for one's mental state, as shown when Haruto's ethics clash with the more hardened and cynical Rio.
    • Summoned heroes automatically get a lot of powers that reincarnators don't have, but they're ultimately seen as tools by whichever political faction summons them. If any of their friends get pulled in too, they could get taken as hostages to force the heroes' cooperation. Additionally, the summoning process doesn't select the heroes based on their skill or moral character, meaning it can hand a lot of power to those who would misuse it and/or don't know how to use their power skillfully.
    • The reincarnation process is seemingly random, since one can easily be reincarnated as a slave or slum resident, which is statistically more likely than being reincarnated as a noble.
  • Infinite Dendrogram is a deconstruction of the MMO-themed Light Novels. The protagonist can get his hands on unfair, rule-breaking powers... but so can everyone else. Features of the game that in most stories would exist simply as Hand Waves (such as NPCs acting like humans, time flowing faster inside the game, and state-of-the-art VR gaming rigs cheap enough for a NEET to afford) are acknowledged by the characters as abnormal or even impossible, and evidence that something very strange is going on behind the scenes.


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