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Status Quo Is God / Anime & Manga

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  • This describes every Rumiko Takahashi regular series. Swap "curses" for "mental hangups and unkillable bad guys" where applicable.
    • Maison Ikkoku is the sole exception (So far...), and change took 96 episodes to arrive and stick.
    • Though not entirely bound to the trope, Ranma ½'s only means of advancing its story appear to have been introducing new characters, or having an existing character learn a new combat technique. Two of the story's main features, the relationships of the characters and the curses that some of them carried, remained set in stone despite the characters' many attempts to alter them one way or another. In fact, when the story got to the point where it had nowhere to go but to change, the series ended.
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    • Urusei Yatsura went through thirty-eight volumes of Ataru chasing after other women and refusing admitting out loud that he loved Lum. Finally, when the story left him no option other than acknowledging his feelings, Reset Button was pressed. The only meaningful change in the status-quo was Shinobu breaking up with Ataru, and that change happened in the beginning and it was forced on Takahashi by her editors. This was lampshaded in a story arc where several characters have the chance to make a future tailored to her needs. Shinobu is unsure of what asking, and thus she decides nothing changes. Shortly after she got to see that future and she realized it was a dumb idea.
    • This is painfully common in InuYasha:
      • Naraku is such an unkillable bastard that he manages to maintain his status as the Big Bad for several hundred chapters, and usually is The Man Behind the Man for every other villain who isn't a Monster of the Week.
      • The third movie is also guilty; the enchanted "sit!" beads are broken partway into the movie, but since the film isn't part of series canon, the beads have to be replaced, this is handled in a post-credits scene in which Kagome puts them back on for... no real reason.
  • Assassination Classroom:
    • Enforced by Asano Sr., who developed Kunugigaoka's academic system to give the rest of the school a motive to excel academically. When Koro-sensei tries to defy his system by challenging and motivating Class 3-E, the "terminal section" of the school's worst ninth-graders, to score within the Top 50 on their first midterm exams, Asano Sr. prevents them from excelling by adding several last minute questions to the exam and alerting the entire student body of the change except for Class 3-E.
    • The Chairman takes this up to the next level in Chapter 118 when, after having had enough of Class E garnering respect from the other students in the school, he declares that he's going to pull out all the stops for the finals to ensure that they are crushed once and for all.
    • A straighter example of this trope: One student manages to get a high enough grade to get out of Class 3-E. He returns to the class by the end of his arc after deciding that being in Class A wasn't worth betraying his friends.
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  • Unintentionally created by the season 2 finale of The Big O. As the two mechs duke it out a third, goddess, shows up and at first starts deleting everything until Roger convinces her to give the world a chance. It is implied that this has happened before and because there is no season three it could happen again.
  • The crew of Cowboy Bebop as far as their financial fortunes went, at any rate. Although some people would say that if gambling was involved then their Perpetual Poverty was probably inevitable.
  • Lampshaded in an episode of Daily Lives of High School Boys. The kids are discussing what they plan to do after graduating, and Hidenori breaks the fourth wall in order to explain that it's irrelevant since they'll always be in their sophomore year of high school.
    • And by the end of the series, he's correct. Despite several episodes showing the kids taking summer breaks and things such as that, they're still inexplicably in their sophomore year at the end of the finale.
  • In Detective Conan, Ran will start to suspect Conan is actually Shinichi, only for him to throw off her suspicions. Also, Shinichi is no closer to finding out more about the shady organization that turned him into a child and turning back to normal again than he was almost two decades ago in real time when the manga first came out.
  • Dragon Ball Super reestablishes Vegeta's rivalry with Goku, which many thought would have ended after the Buu Saga in Dragon Ball Z. However, here, Vegeta's rivalry takes an entirely different path - he knows and accepts that Goku's the strongest, but he's itching to prove he can be just as strong, too.
  • In Excel Saga, the group ACROSS will never completely take over Fukuoka City, but they can at least make progress. In the anime though, every mission ACROSS attempts will end in failure and they will be no closer to controlling F City then when they started at the beginning of the episode.
  • The Get Backers do not make a profit. Ever. On the off chance their task is performed to one hundred percent perfection and their client is on the up-and-up, they'll spend it almost instantly. Or will be billed for the collateral damage they racked up on their mission, or have their fees taken by the outside contractors they hired to assist them, or Paul will just take their payment as part of the payment for their monstrously huge tab...
  • In Gintama, no matter how many jobs the protagonists take on, they will never make any profit. And the rent never gets paid. Ever.
    • Subverted with Gintoki's sword. It is revealed in one episode that in case one gets broken, he just orders another from a galactic shopping channel and has it customized so it looks exactly the same as the previous one.
    • Gintoki manages to pay the rent few times by helping Otose with her problems (i.e. preventing Katherine from running off with Otose's money at the beginning, saving Otose's life). And in one chapter, Gintoki pays the rent in cash (even though he is forced to do so by Tama).
    • And now sadly inverted after the Shogun Assassination Arc. The Shogun Shigeshige is assassinated and the Shinsengumi are dissolved to name only few of the tons of things that changed after this arc. Oh! and Gintoki left the house due the Government persecution towards him!
  • This is in fact a very important plot point in I'm Gonna Be an Angel! where the heroine who throughout the whole series was aspiring to become an angel for her loved one, upon gaining her much-awaited wings decides she doesn't really want to be an angel anymore. This applies to the majority of characters. The message is that you don't have to change when your loved ones love you the way you are and that change may sometimes lead to losing all that you held precious to your heart.
  • Commonly averted with K-On!, which sets up the sorts of "lesson of the week" situations that you'd normally fully expect a cast in a work like this to forget about by the next episode (i.e. don't be so clingy, be more thoughtful towards your friends, study hard, etc.) but actually has them work as permanent character development.
  • Love Hina manages to reset practically every character or relationship development, even finally getting into Tokyo University or Naru shouting she loves Keitaro at the top of her lungs when he is only a few feet away seems to have no effect whatsoever.
    • Naru and Keitaro's relationship is developed gradually and gracefully in the first half of the series, going from hostility to them generally liking each other even though they refuse to admit it. The status quo effect first comes when their relationship has gotten to the point where it is all or nothing. Every time they seem to finally become a couple, the circumstances are reset. Every time they seem to think that they will never be a couple, the circumstances are reset, too.
  • Lupin III: Very little changes and most events from the movies never carry over to the next, because the franchise operates with Negative Continuity.
  • Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun runs on this trope. While there is a slow passage of time occurring and character interactions have diversified, the characters themselves and the relationships they had that were established early-on have changed only marginally, if at all, since the time the manga started. It can be inferred that this is due to the fact that any significant romantic or dramatic developments will probably disrupt the lighthearted comedic nature of the series - the author has revealed several scrapped plot-lines that were all rejected for creating some form of complications between characters.
  • Anime filler naturally can't affect the overall plot too much. Five interesting examples from Naruto:
    • Sasuke is in the hospital at the end of the "Search for Tsunade" arc but is revived in time for the Land of Tea filler arc. Since the next arc begins with Sasuke in the hospital, he gets injured again in the filler.
    • In the Fuma Clan filler arc, Naruto and Sakura fight Kabuto... but since he's too major a villain to kill off, it turns out to be someone else in disguise.
    • The same filler arc features Orochimaru. Also as a disguised filler villain. Speaking with villain-disguised-as-Kabuto. Amongst themselves. In character as Orochimaru and Kabuto! Though presumably the idea was that Orochimaru left these disguised villains behind in his base as decoys, the way it was presented manages to combine all the worst aspects of Never Trust a Trailer within the context of the episode itself.
    • This also applies to any filler arc that has at least some potential to get Naruto close to finding Orochimaru and/or Sasuke (Mizuki, Bikochuu, Land of Sea, Three Tails). In the Treasure Hunt arc, Tsunade threatens to send Naruto, Hinata and Kiba back to the academy if they fail — they obviously don't.
    • The Three-Tails filler arc focuses on the struggle between Konoha and Orochimaru over the Three Tailed Beast. If you read the manga, you know that Akatsuki manages to capture it, making the outcome no longer a surprise.
  • The "perpetually broke" version of this trope was played with in One Piece. Despite being pirates, the Straw Hats don't usually have much money around.
    • In one anime filler arc, they finally have gotten their hands on a pile of gold, but they end up in tightly secured Marine base. Just when they make it back to their ship and are on their way to freedom, they realize that all their gold was confiscated by the Marines. Just when you think they'll sigh and suck it up, they turn around and break into the base to get it back. However, the status quo at the time was that they had already had a bunch of treasure they just haven't sold yet, so it's kind of a wash. A couple of islands later, they have it converted to cash and, soon enough, two of their three hundred million Berries is stolen and spent before they can get it back. But at the end of it all, the money went into materials used to build them a kick ass new ship.
    • In Movie 4, in which they enter a contest with the same amount of berries as the worth of the aforementioned pile of treasure, they win the contest, but are forced to leave before they collect their winnings.
    • In Movie 7, the crew agrees to return an old woman to an island in exchange for information regarding the island's secret treasure. Despite the local maniacal mechanical genius in charge constantly trying to take them out, they manage to reveal the fact that the entire island is a giant turtle which lays eggs with solid gold shells. The Straw Hats set sail at the end of the movie with a large piece of a shell in tow as thanks for saving everyone... only for it to sink moments later.
    • Of course, it's highly unlikely that they - or anyone - is going to find the legendary treasure One Piece, assuming that it is a treasure (and WordOfGod confirmed it IS a physical reward, not something like "the growth on your heart" or the bonds). As a MacGuffin that drives the entire plot of the series, Gold Roger's treasure will likely not be seen until the finale.
  • Pokémon
    • Face it: Ash's Pikachu is never going to be a Raichu. This is explained in a few episodes, most notably when the Vermilion Gym match has it face its evolved form. In-universe, it's a matter of pride. From a strategic standpoint, it's because Pikachu can still learn more moves from getting stronger while Raichu, being a stone-evolved Pokémon, can't learn much (such as learning Volt Tackle in the Battle Frontier arc, then trading it for Electro Ball early on in Unova). And in real life, it's because they'd have to redesign the series' iconic mascot. Taken to a particular extreme in the Mistralton Tower episode, in which Ash performs a Diving Save to prevent a Thunder Stone from accidentally hitting Pikachu.
    • Ash will always hit the Reset Button whenever he finds out about a new region, ditching the Big Three of the last in favor of the next. Also Pikachu will continue defeating Legendaries and Mythical, then losing to Level 5 starters.
    • Speaking of Team Rocket, EVERY. SINGLE. TEAM ROCKET. SPLITTING UP. EPISODE. One has to wonder how many times the writers will recycle a plot about Team Rocket splitting up only to get back together by the end of the episode. They did have a split up that lasted for several episodes in Black and White, with Meowth even being with Ash's group for a while. Though Meowth was acting as The Mole.
    • Even if Ash and Pikachu part with their travelling companions at the end of each arc, they will NEVER truly get rid of Jessie, James, and Meowth. The three Team Rocket agents are so determined to take Pikachu from Ash in order to give him to Giovanni, that they will forever follow Ash everywhere he goes. At the same time, the three can never succeed in stealing any Pokemon with the gadgets they use, if they do manage to grab Pokemon with any net, claw, whatever, the Pokemon will eventually break free, especially since they usually tend to get distracted by a victory feast long enough for Pokemon to escape unnoticed.
    • Ash will never win a League arc based on the main series's regions. According to Word of God, the anime will never truly end until Ash becomes a Pokémon Master. To the anime itself, this apparently means winning the regional Pokémon League tournament, and because of this Ash is going to lose at some point in the tourney, no matter how much of an edge he has. Painfully enforced in the Sinnoh League, where Ash was bested by Tobias and his Darkrai and Latios. The fact that Ash put a better dent in his team than the person Tobias faced next implied that Ash would have won the whole tournament if it weren't for the poorly-established man. Also among the most ridiculous is Cameron in Unova, a ditzy trainer who's made many an Epic Fail and yet still manages to pull a win against Ash by way of his Riolu evolving into Lucario partway through the fight. It happens again in the Kalos League (despite the creators naming the episode "Kalos League Victory! Ash's Ultimate Battle!")note , but this time Ash lost by way of the anime ignoring the basic function of Pokémon battles. Finally subverted when he won the Alola League.
    • Ash will never have a love interest, and will always be oblivious to the feelings of any female that is interested in him. It seemed like this would finally be subverted in Kalos, but Serena waited until right before Ash left the region to actually confess to him. And even then, he still didn't quite seem to get it.
    • Walking Pokémon never evolve. Piplup refuses out of pride, Snowy because Growing Up Sucks, and Rowlet because using an Everstone is the only way to use Seed Bomb.
    • Ash will never catch an Eevee, either; the one that was hyped to join Ash ended up caught by Lana instead.
    • This trope is actually a reason why many fans and haters of the anime says that it has hit the point of Seasonal Rot.
  • Sgt. Frog is particularly devoted to this trope. Let's face it, Keroro will continue building Gunpla and ticking Natsumi off, Tamama will continue eating candy and obsessing over Keroro, Giroro will continue to be infatuated with Natsumi and shine his guns, Kururu will continue being a jerk and eating curry, Dororo will continue to sit in a corner and cry, and Momoka will never get together with Fuyuki outside the realms of fanfiction. NOTHING SHALL CHANGE.
    • Lampshaded in one episode where Momoka visualises herself still watching Fuyuki quietly from a corner. In the future. Where both are well into their eighties. Apparently the Japanese are known to age well, but still...
  • In the Tenchi Muyo! manga series, despite it running for 22 volumes, Tenchi STILL never chooses a girl. Oh, and if the house blows up, it'll be good as new next story. One story lampshaded this a bit.
    • Admittedly, though, the manga does subvert a lot of how the OVA worked - the gang goes out to more places, the characters are a lot more outgoing, Mihoshi has a driver's license, Sasami goes to school, among others.
  • To Heart 2: After thirteen episodes and five OVAs, the Unlucky Everydude still hasn't chosen a girl out of his Harem.
  • WORKING!! is the epitome of Status Quo, with characters seemingly going out of their way to establish a status quo even when its detrimental to their goals or has nothing to do with them whatsoever. There is never even an explanation for this and it is done without a hint of irony.

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