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Take That / Anime

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"Are you watching Shintaro? Talk is cheap... but all the talk in the world won't save your floundering economy... let alone your Earth!"
Sergeant Keroro taking a swipe at then-Governor of Tokyo, Shintaro Ishihara

Anime and manga writers can be as blunt or as subtle as anyone at dishing out criticism.

Series with their own pages:

Other examples:

  • In Chapter 26 of The 100 Girlfriends Who Really, Really, Really, Really, Really Love You, Rentarou calls bubble tea "pandering to selfie culture".
  • In Azumanga Daioh, Chiyo's father has the Berserk Button of people not believing that he is a cat. However, he is especially angered when Osaka thinks that he looks like the former Prime Minister, Mori. As indicated in the link, Mori was really unpopular, to a near 0% Approval Rating extent. No wonder Chiyo's dad was pissed.
    • In the dub, Osaka suggests that he resembles "that American man, Bill Clinton".
  • Bakuman。, being a series about writing a manga that occasionally references real manga, has a few.
    • When the main characters are desperately trying to avoid their first series getting canceled, they try to use fan suggestions in their manga. Miura, who is otherwise not one of the better editors, immediately notices what's going on, and tells them that while the fan letters are meant to encourage them, they are not necessarily representative of what the majority of fans want.
    • An interesting example to fans of Death Note: When Mashiro and Takagi start attending college, they mention how good it is for them to have Miyoshi hang out with them due to how they'd appear to be a couple if they didn't have a girl with them (Mashiro has a girlfriend, and is technically engaged to her, but this is a secret to which only a handful of their friends are privy). In other words, Ohba and Obata are quite aware of the gay subtext made between Light and L when they start attending To-Oh Uni together, and their apparent closeness (in spite of L trying to prove that Light is Kira, and Light trying to find a way to get L's real name and kill him without incriminating himself). Yes indeed, the fans were rumbled.
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    • Toward the end of the series, after Mashiro and Azuki's relationship has come to light, imperiling her chances of getting the role in his anime, Fukuda shares his thoughts on the radio.
      Fukuda: The voice actress you like has a boyfriend... Sure, I understand that some of you would be depressed to hear that. That's the fan spirit. (yelling) But even so... using that as an excuse to post all kinds of stupid crap on the Internet is something I can never forgive! Voice actresses and manga artists are humans, too. There's nothing wrong with them having a relationship!
  • In the English dub of Bleach, during the Bount arc, there's a scene where Orihime offers Rukia a pudding-filled rice ball. Rukia's response is as follows:
    Rukia: It's kinda like a cream filled doughnut, only it's not cream-filled, and it's not a doughnut.
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  • The Code Geass fandom has a rather vocal segment which feels that the School Festival Filler episodes are pointless wastes of time that distract from the main plot. Bandai's response came in the dub, when during one of those selfsame School Festival episodes, Milly comments that "Sometimes life just has these little filler moments - and that's okay!".
  • The second episode of Cromartie High School has the main character sitting in school, delivering a rant in voice-over about how whenever a manga is made into an anime fans of the manga "bitch about everything from character designs to the voice actors." It slowly devolves into a self-depreciating Take That! at anime's budget-cutting habits, however—the character then realizes "Wait a minute—some anime this is! Nothing's moving!" followed by a reused animation from the first episode of a pencil dropping and the character saying "Oh, oh, wait, now it's moving!"
    • Taken a step further when that last line is abruptly interrupted by The End of the introduction.
  • One episode of Dancougar Nova features a blatant Eagleland Type 2 general who does everything but foam at the mouth as his Humongous Mecha crushes Dancougar, declaring that because his country is strong, they get to decide what's right. It also has a reporter outright say "The Iraq War was fought over oil."
  • Death Note is one toward two of author Tsugumi Ohba's Pet Peeve Tropes, Death Is Cheap and dragged out storylines, both of which are common to Shōnen series. In the English dub, meanwhile, the US president, who capitulates to Kiranote  talks in a voice suspiciously similar to that of George W. Bush.
  • Doraemon: Nobita's Dinosaur 2006 has a subtle jab against Jurassic Park III by having a Tyrannosaurus rex thrash a Spinosaurus in a climatic battle.
  • In the English dub of Dragon Ball Z Kai, Goku references the CW turning Mr. Popo blue by pondering what the dragon on Namek will look like, adding "Maybe he's blue."
  • Dr. Slump has the Mad Scientist Dr. Mashirito (one of the few actually evil characters in the series) who is named after Akira Toriyama's editor, Mr. Torishima, only as a Sdrawkcab Name. Tellingly, when Torishima makes a cameo in the manga, he's drawn exactly like Mashirito. Also, fellow mangaka Masakazu Katsura makes a cameo too, and is depicted as a country bumpkin easily amused by everything.
  • Full Metal Panic! has Shinji's dad mentioned he's surprised a model AS replicated the arm-joint weakness present in the real machine, but then notes that it's probably because it's made by Banpresto.
  • The dub of Ghost Stories has a few examples. Subtlety is for the weak: "Our president is an idiot and a liar. God bless America, land of free speech!"
  • Go Nagai is responsible for one of the biggest take thats in the history of manga if not one of the biggest take thats in general. After PTA forced Shonen Jump to end his debutant series Shameless School, Go Nagai finished the series by having the titular school attacked by the PTA; all of the main characters died fighting the evil forces of censorship.
    • Not the only time Nagai fired back at criticism: upon being told to dial the contents of his works down because it was supposedly a negative influence on children, Go created The Abashiri Family, which had more violent and overtly sexual content than anything he had done before.
  • Hunter × Hunter has some fairly blatant ones against the government of North Korea. The repressive Republic of East Gorteau is run by a guy whose name is an anagram of Kim Jong-Il, and he gets eaten by a giant ant shortly after being introduced (and after the giant ant makes a little speech about how pathetic the dictator is).
  • The iDOLM@STER anime has a subtle dig at fellow galgame-turned-anime Yoake Mae Yori Ruriiro Na: episodes 3 and 4 feature an unusual number of high-quality cabbage-cutting closeups.
    • Monster Musume features a more direct attack to that infamous animation mistake: at the end of the last episode Kimihito tears in two a perfectly spherical head of cabbage during his cooking frenzy.
  • The Jo Jos Bizarre Adventure Diamond Is Unbreakable manga has a scene where Joseph asks Rohan if he ever considered getting his manga published in America, but Rohan dismisses the idea, saying that Americans have poor taste in comics. This exchange is conspicuously absent from the anime adaptation.
  • Kaguya-sama: Love Is War is a series that prides itself on not relying as heavily on tropes that tend to be overused in romcom manga and anime, with the most common point being that there hasn't been a single Panty Shot in the entire series. In more self aware segments of the series, the trope-savvy Ishigami (and sometimes Iino) will remark about these tropes and how nonsensical they are in a real life perspective (such as how bathhouse and hot spring scenes in large amounts of Japanese media tend to have someone try to peek at the opposite sex, but in reality, it would be counted as a crime and any student trying this would immediately get expelled).
    • This is all cranked Up to Eleven in the parody chapter called KaguKoku! Miyuki and His Girls. The entire chapter is Miyuki Shirogane being the Only Sane Man in the world of a painfully tropey romcom. The following tropes were used and ridiculed:
      • According to the narrator, Miyuki is a Ridiculously Average Guy with no notable qualities or discernable traits. As Miyuki is definitely a well-established character with a fleshed out personality and goals who also happens to be both very intelligent and hardworking, and is the school's top student as well as the Student Council President (in short, he's way above average), he feels totally insulted by the narration.
      • His little sister Kei is apparently not related by blood and sees Miyuki as a man. Neither of those reveals are true in canon, and Miyuki sees this as a serious red flag.
      • His parents are always away on a business trip (In canon, Miyuki's dad is a commonly recurring character). Miyuki is extremely concerned as to why he and his sister were left alone and wonders how Child Protective Services haven't stepped in yet.
      • Chika Fujiwara is Miyuki's childhood friend, and apparently made a Childhood Marriage Promise when they were around four, leading Miyuki to question how she defied infantile amnesia.
      • Miyuki does have very harsh eyes in canon, but no one tends to treat him differently because of it. In this world however, guys run away because they all believe he's a delinquent, very similarly to another romcom protagonist with a death glare and co-starring with a tsundere. When the narrator explains the situation, Miyuki remarks that would never actually happen.
      • Kaguya Shinomiya, Miyuki's actual love interest, has her Ice Queen and Rich Bitch traits crazily exaggerated, as she has two men carrying her in a throne on their backs while she talks down on everyone. When Miyuki remarks that her transportation is ridiculous and that she would do better just walking, she immediately gets flustered and is impressed that anyone would talk back to her (which Miyuki comments is something people do regularly).
      • Miyuki tries to run from Kaguya's cronies only to have a Suggestive Collision with Ai Hayasaka, Kaguya's maid (Ironically, Hayasaka being Kaguya's maid is canon, but she doesn't wear her maid uniform outside of the Shinomiya Estates). Surprisingly, she actually compliments his boldness and recommends they continue somewhere else. The narrator calls her "a bit" of a pervert, but Miyuki claims that to be crazily understated.
      • Miko Iino (a platonic friend in canon) likes Miyuki because... she just does.
      • Losing his mind from this nonsense, Miyuki tries to find the one guy friend he can rely on, Yu Ishigami, but the girls don't know who he's talking about. Kaguya claims that such a character doesn't exist, then Ishigami wakes up, baffled by how many tropes from old and new romcoms showed up.
  • Kill la Kill has a massive one to all Recap Episodes by introducing episode 16 as the "Recap Episode"... and zipping through the entire previous 15 episodes worth of plot in one minute and a few seconds. This is essentially giving a big, fat middle finger to all other Anime that have/will put the plot on hold for an entire episode to go over the plot details of the previous 13 or so episodes.
  • Lady Red, an one-shot comic by Akira Toriyama, can be seen as a Take That to Western comic books, represented as an Interplay of Sex and Violence. It is written from left to right, unlike every other manga, uses frequently Western alphabet and is much more cynical and pessimistic than Toriyama's usual fare: the main character is a clueless, ineffective heroine who gets raped twice and is forced to become a hooker to survive.
  • Magical Project S, made in the mid-90s, depicted a President of the United States that looked like a Valentino caricature.
  • In Maria†Holic, Mariya chastises Kanako for mistaking a cross necklace for a rosary, describes what an actual rosary is supposed to look like and be used for, and points out that they're not meant to be worn as jewelery — i.e. a series of swipes at Maria Watches Over Us. The manga also takes potshots at series like Ghost in the Shell and Sengoku Basara.
  • The overarching theme of Martian Successor Nadesico is that it's alright to enjoy anime, but don't take it seriously and let it run your life. Unfortunately, this often gets misconstrued as an attack against anime, period.
  • Mayoi Neko Overrun! takes a subtle jab in the first chapter at magical girl shows (Pretty Cure being used as an example) about making anime shows for little girls that even older men can enjoy. A case of a Take That! on Misaimed Fandom.
  • The English dub of Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid threw in a dig at Lucy when Tohru talks about the 90% of Your Brain myth, referring to it as a "should-be-forgettable movie".
  • Many fans interpreted Mobile Suit Victory Gundam as a Take That by creator Yoshiyuki Tomino to Bandai/Sunrise and the Gundam series as a whole. In reality, Victory Gundam being a Franchise Killer is a false rumor; Tomino's real motivation was his frustration at the Executive Meddling his projects were always subjected to (as was the case with V Gundam itself at the start, naturally).
    • Another case in Gundam came up in Gundam Build Fighters, which was the first Gundam material to reference the extremely unpopular movie G-Saviour in nearly 14 years. Said reference consisted of the G-Saviour showing up in a battle and gets destroyed in a single blow less than ten seconds in.
  • Naruto has one that's fairly subtle and obscure: Deidara notes that his art is not "pop art" but "superflat". You'll only notice that Take That! if you know what superflat is and remember that Deidara is evil and his "works of art" are in fact explosives.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion is often interpreted as being a deconstruction of traditional shounen mecha anime, and as trying to criticize the obsessive, escapist ways of the average otaku anime fan, embodied in the main character, Shinji, who behaves a lot more like a typical teenage boy would instead of an idealized male hero.
  • The first episode of Nurse Witch Komugi R (a reboot of the original Nurse Witch Komugi OAV from the 2000s) features a Monster of the Week in the form of a camera creature that turns people into other characters. It targets Komugi and says "I'll turn you into something embarassing", however it misses her and hits a cardboard cutout of the villains from Yatterman instead. It gets turned into an advertisement for Yatterman Night, the series made for the Time Bokan series' 40th anniversary. Especially strange since all three shows are made by Tatsunoko.
  • The Funimation dub of One Piece will sometimes go above and beyond even the original Japanese with their language and adult references (such as alcohol), some of the more pointed, out of the blue ones are very likely to be Take Thats towards 4Kids and their dub of One Piece.
    • During the Enies Lobby flashback of a young Rob Lucci, he tells the pirate that he's under arrest, in the Funimation dub the pirate responds with "You'll arrest me by yourself? With what, a water gun?"
    • One of the more infamous edits in the 4Kids dub was changing Sanji's cigarettes to lollipops. In chapter 831, Luffy and Co. are lured into a dangerous forest of illusions by what appeared to be Sanji with a lollipop instead of a cigarette.
      • Also mocked in a Gintama side story. Gintoki is a teacher who has a smoking stick in his mouth. He claims it is a lollipop, and then shows off that it's really a lollipop. The end is smoking because he is spinning it in his mouth so fast.
    • During Skypiea Usopp says "We've got zero and I mean Zoro, no I mean Zolo chances, no no zero, I wonder how Zoro's doing?"
  • Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt has Alpha Bitch Queen Barby, a less than subtle knock at Barbie. When Panty and Stocking arrive on the scene, Panty even says to "ditch the idiot with the outdated doll's name." Funimation ramped up the Take That! factor for their dub, including even more stabs at Barbie.
  • The main female character of Paranoia Agent looks and acts like an adult version of Osaka from Azumanga Daioh, and this was part of the creator's attack on Japan's love of cuteness.
  • Pluto makes only the barest attempts to hide its criticisms of the Iraq War. The United States of Thracia suspects another country of making Robots of Mass Destruction, but before other countries can complete their investigation into whether it's true, Thracia sends troops in and starts a horrific, wasteful war that devastates the country and leaves just about everyone who fought in it with PTSD, human and robot alike. And the president of Thracia is a guy taking orders from a teddy bear.
  • The intro to Puni Puni Poemi features the main heroine brutally killing magical girls from various other shows, including one scene where she snaps the neck of Sailor Moon.
  • Twice in the Read or Die OVA the President of the United States, who is visibly based on George W. Bush, is shown visibly losing bladder control in response to frightening events going on around him. Just to add an extra bit of English to the insult, though, the dub gives him a Texan accent not unlike that of Bush. R.O.D. The TV repeated the pants wetting gag and as further insult, revealed his name to be "President Al Gore" without changing who he actually resembles. America is also frequently shown to be power-hungry yet completely ineffectual and bothersome on the world stage. Britain is revealed to be an effectual power-hungry nation that is willing to obliterate entire countries and practice mind control on the world's citizens in order to retain its prominence. China is shown to be brutal but requires stealing others technology to succeed. Japan is of course innocent and chaste.
  • In the Viz Media re-dub of Sailor Moon, in the 7th episode, while Umino is crossdressing, he at one point does an imitation of the Brooklyn accent given to Naru (or as she was called in 90s dub, "Molly") in the original DiC dub of Sailor Moon.
  • In Saki, one "Saki Biyori" side story has a Take That! against horror movies that take a long time to get to the scary parts. Hiroko of Senriyama, having two such movies due the next day and not enough time to watch both, gives one about a zombie to Toki and Ryuuka, and another about a shark to Izumi and Cera. It takes over an hour and a half (out of two hours for the shark movie) for the monsters to show up, and until then, Toki falls asleep in Ryuuka's lap, while Izumi and Cera make small talk about Izumi's math class to pass time.
  • Exclusive to the dub of Samurai Pizza Cats, we have the lines
    Narrator: An entire city block was flattened in the blink of an eye, including a retirement home for aging ninja turtles!
    • A similar Take That appears in the theme song itself.
  • Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei features numerous Take Thats against Lucky Star. Also:
    Kiri Komori: "Hey, guess what..."
    Majiru Itoshiki: "No, stop, you're going to talk about something stupid. Like how you like to eat a chocolate cornet!"
    • Also, one section in the Goku OVA makes some jabs at Chinese knockoffs, including a scene where a Chinese Honey Trap specialist tries to bribe a group otaku upon whom government secrets were confided, with inferior knockoffs of CLANNAD, Haruhi Suzumiya and Lucky Star, with little success.
      • In the same episode, they're showcasing some genius breakthoughs, including a CD with "re-recordings of Enya songs that don't make us want to kill ourselves."
    • Episode 5 of the first season shows Kafuka Fuura in an "Unlucky Channel" set, which also acts as an Actor Allusion (Kafuka's voice actress voiced Akira Kogami in said show's Drama CD and DS game adaptations).
    • Of course, since this is a satire series, it's loaded with Take Thats, from Michael Jackson to corporate sponsorship naming rights. They're also not as insulting as normal Take Thats are. And as if to leverage their external criticisms, the show is also fond of Self-Deprecation, both towards the show itself, Koji Kumeta (the author) and Studio Shaft.
  • Earlier chapters of the Sgt. Frog manga feature swipes at numerous Japanese politicians.
    • They also take swipes at the last US president and former Vice President Al Gore.
    • In episode 19 of the English dub, Angol Mois, after watching the ratings on the Keronians' radio show drop at a supersonic rate, exclaims "We're losing more listeners than Amy Winehouse!"
  • One of the extras included in the video versions of Spice and Wolf is a small video named Stretching With Me, featuring Holo doing pointless funny stretching exercises. This could a jab directed against a OVA named Training with Hinako who features a very busty girl named Hinako who tries to teach aerobics to the audience, except the real intention is different.
  • Student Council's Discretion: "Let's add an orb around the star!!" "...evolution." "It's so bad it's awful!! Don't even mention it!!"
    • Basically the entire series is based on Shout outs, Spoofs and Take Thats.
  • Team Medical Dragon is one massive Take That to the Japanese Medical System, there is generally more focus on the politics of the profession than the actual medicine. That makes the original writer's death from Liver Cancer complications all the more poignant.
  • Trapped in a Dating Sim: The World of Otome Games is Tough for Mobs has two examples:
    • The second volume takes a shot at the Hero's Slave Harem trope. The protagonist Leon, muses what it’d be like to remake the world, which has him trapped in an oppressive Lady Land where women buy male Beastman slaves to serve them as thugs or in bed, suggesting he’d make it so he could have female slaves. Leon then suddenly realizes that’d make him just as bad as the women who’ve been abusing him.
    • The eighth volume takes a shot at Idol Singer fans. Leon notices that School Idol Clarice’s followers, who have Undying Loyalty to her, actually idolize Clarice, and not only are they not upset by her having lost her virginity from having Sex for Solace, but they take an I Want My Beloved to Be Happy stance as well. Leon notes this contrasts to how Idol fans see idols in his past-life in Japan, where idols lose all of their value if they don’t keep Contractual Purity.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's has a couple of stabs at 4Kids editing of the previous shows:
    • Playing the card game while riding on a high speed motorcycle is Don't Try This at Home bait.
    • The plot is literally impossible to get through without watching every single episode.
    • Any and all violent parts are completely vital to the plotline.
    • The main antagonists of the second season have to die to become villains.
    • One of the main Plot Coupons is on a severed arm.
  • In the same vein Kagurazaka, a one-shot Ditto Dueler from Yu-Gi-Oh! GX is meant to be a jab to the TCG players that try to win duels by "net-decking", copying a Championship-winning deck in the hopes of achieving a cheap, effortless victory.
    • As another "take that", when copying one such high-powered deck against Sho, who is supposed to be one of the weaker characters, Sho beats him handily and admits he was inspired by how Judai beat the deck's original user. Which is pretty much how the TCG goes, once someone figures out how to break an overpowered deck, everyone follows suit and the overpowered deck becomes an underplayed deck.
  • YuYu Hakusho was no doubt mocking Chinese people during the Genkai tournament when it introduced a wondering Chinese man named Chinponote  who then lost rather easily during Round 1. Granted, not only was Chinpo's opponent Rando, but he also made it past the previous two trials, which is more than the vast majority of the entrants in Genkai's tournament can say.
  • Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead is one long jab at the awfulness of corporate work culture: the long, slavish hours, horrible pay, and lack of fulfillment for the majority of office workers like Akira. He and his friends all begin to enjoy life more in the middle of the Zombie Apocalypse compared to their previous lives as office drones. Kencho even says that Akira looked deader than the actual zombies back when he was still at his awful job at a black company.