Anime / Manga Survival Guide – How Can You Tell If You Are In A Manga?

anime manga survival guide


This anime survival guide will lead you through the maze of anime and manga tropes so you can determine if you are, in fact, in a manga right now.

So, you find a rabbit hole. Well, that’s not so suprising. They’re everywhere. You scrabble down it. You fall for aeons, blink, and open your eyes to find yourself somewhere… else.

The question rising to your lips is, naturally, “Oh, dear me – could I have fallen into a manga? Or indeed an anime?”

We can’t blame you. It’s the obvious question to ask. Our handy anime survival guide will help you decipher whether you have indeed been transported to some wild anime or manga show. What’s more, we’ll show you how to survive the experience… and return to the world you know and (perhaps) love.

Signs you’re in an anime / manga

  • You are very petite or skinny
  • You have large eyes, small nose, and big head
  • You have a very high or very deep voice
  • Most of your emotions are displayed in some contorted chibi version of yourself
  • You’re in Japan (if you can’t tell if you’re in Japan, you need help…)
  • If you meet a very handsome demon, beware. He is more evil than demons which are less easy on the eye.
  • The guy gets a really messy nosebleed if he likes you.

Manga Weapons

  • The most easily concealed weapon is the mallet. It can only be operated effectively by angry women. If you are a woman, make sure you’re equipped. If you’re a man, watch your back, and your hands.
  • A Katana can cut through absolutely anything in the hands of a ninja or samurai, including people, rock, and metal power armour. The only things invulnerable to the “cool slash” are heroes and other Katana.
  • It’s easier to build any super weapon into the frame of the human body; treads, turrets, or large size are in no way a hindrance.
  • The most powerful super weapons are shaped like attractive young women.

anime survival guide

Manga Fighting

  • Good is higher on the electromagnetic spectrum than evil. Therefore, the good guy always glows blue, and he’ll win in the end because he contains more energy. If the bad guy is glowing blue, you’re in it deep.
  • 95% of all women have the strength to lift cars, boulders, and 10 tonne mallets, but only if they’re very angry and about to drop the weight on the head of a lecherous man. Men, watch out!
  • Conversely, the human body can rapidly recover from falls from great height, massive concussions, and punches that would destroy a brick wall, but only if the damage was inflicted by a woman in a state of rage. Two small white bandages in the shape of an “X” is sufficient treatment for the majority of severe injuries. Make sure your first-aid kit includes some.
  • Severely injured women never have any visible injuries beyond a scuff on the forehead; severely injured men can be missing arms, legs, or heads.
  • Never, ever mess with the two-and-a-half-foot-tall old guy. Especially if he wears sunglasses, and somehow ends up with all of the hot chicks.
  • The dumber he seems, the luckier he is in battle.
  • If somebody tells you a goofy-looking guy is the most dangerous swordsman/gunslinger/mage/warrior who ever lived, don’t even think about it – they’re probably right.
  • If somebody tells you the same about a cute girl, they’re definitely right.

anime cute

Manga Heroes

  • Inexperienced people under the age of 21 are always the best choice to place in charge of space fleets, armies, or saving the world from demons.
  • It is impossible for anyone over the age of 20 to do anything important, other than train the hero or die dramatically. Usually both.
  • High school students who do well in classes rarely get the girl, or save the universe. Which probably explains why Light Yagami did not save the world from criminals, and died in the end.
  • If somebody tells you that you’re the only one capable of saving the world, don’t bother arguing or trying to weasel out of it; they’re right and you’ll just end up doing it anyway.
  • If you’re a warrior who only wants to retire and raise a family, bid that dream goodbye – it just won’t happen.

Manga Bad Guys

  • Hideous demons with tentacles are always evil. Stoic, handsome demons are usually worse.
  • Guys with squinty eyes are always evil, as are quiet guys with glasses (unless they’re enigmatic love interest).
  • If she’s got lips, she’s bad.
  • Beware adolescent geniuses: They are more likely to grow up to be evil masterminds than computer programmers or scientists (unless they’re scientists bent on social destruction. See below).
  • Never, ever have a dramatic change of heart; you will surely die.

Everyone Else in Mangaworld

  • A socially well-adjusted scientist is an oxymoron, and will probably never exist in real or anime life. Unless the scientist has some type of mysterious secret.
  • There are no 30 year old women. People jump directly from college to middle age without warning.
  • Unless they’re demons or on a permanent business trip, one or both of your parents is dead.
  • If you are a teenager, both of your parents are on an extended business trip or dead.

Paranormal Beings in Mangaworld

  • All demons find humankind and their civilization disgusting, but are VERY attracted to human women.
  • If you come from another plane of existence, you’re almost certainly very, very evil, and more than likely perceived to be very ugly.
  • Most inhabitants of other planes are ugly and male. Most inhabitants of other planets are attractive and female.
  • 95% of all alien species look almost exactly like humans, but are more attractive on average.
  • Women from other worlds are always attracted to meek, average high school students. If there are multiple extraterrestrial women in the same place, they will always like the same student.
  • The surest way to encounter a woman from outer space or another dimension is to be alone, male, and late going to or returning from school. This is also the surest way to be attacked by something nasty, so be careful.
  • If you have amnesia or can’t clearly remember your childhood, you are either an alien, some sort of extra terrestrial being, or a god.
  • If you’re absolutely sure that you’re just a normal girl/boy, you’re not.

Manga Romance

  • If you’re a male main character, your luck with women is inversely proportional to the luck you want to have with women. Don’t want, and you will get.
  • Girls blush, guys get a nosebleed. And a very MESSY one.
  • If you’re a female main character, the amount of attraction you feel for a man is directly proportional to the number of other women who feel the same way. Desire loves company.
  • If you’re a man, you will always be attracted to tall, thin, busty women, but your true love is usually shorter and socially perceived to be cuter.
  • If you’re a man and there is no human romantic competition for the woman of your dreams, she’s obsessed with some sort of machinery.
  • If he seems too cool to have a girlfriend, he probably is – don’t waste your time.
  • The deeper a young man’s voice is, the more attractive and self-assured he is.
  • The more attractive a man is to women, the more he’ll feature the visual traits that anime and manga assign to women.
  • Fangirls dig the pale, skinny guy.

Inexplicable Things

  • Everything important centres on Tokyo, including particularly extraterrestrial or demonic invasions.
  • Shinjuku is the absolute centre of the universe.

As you no doubt already know, anime and manga are stuffed with some of the most rigid tropes and gender stereotypes known to humanity. Sizeism. Ableism. Conformist beauty and gendered behaviour standards. And yet… there is so much to love about them, from their fantastical artwork to their positive messages about showing emotion and building bonds.

Information is power, so at least – armed with your comprehensive knowledge of the tropes – you can determine if you are, in fact, in an anime or manga right now.