Some of the central structural elements in anime are:
- Plot Continuity
- How does the plot or several plots unfold. Are they a strictly linear retelling of one big continuing story, a serial, possibly with several side stories, or is the content chopped into a set of unconnected episodes, only sharing the same setting and characters?
- Stereotype Characters
- Then there is the question of the character set presentation. Is it completely original, or is it your usual stereotypical character cast. Both choices have their merit, for example it would not really make much sense to reinvent the wheel for a harem anime. Fans of that genre come to expect their favourite stereotype protagonists.
- Plot Twists
- Finally there is the question of how complex the plot / the story unfolds. Are there side-plots that merge into the main plot leading to unexpected plot twists, or is the anime quite predictable? The latter would not be appropriate for detective stories. In harem anime on the other hand a foreseeable outcome is actually something the fans will come to expect.
|Note||Dynamic is just a placeholder for the 3 categories below; you can't add it to anime.|
Note This category should not be used for movies, since these have "Plot Continuity" by default.
Consistency of the characteristics of persons, plot, objects, places and events seen by the viewer. A single linear focused plot is highly continuous. A truly random plot is highly discontinuous.
Plot Continuity indicates the presentation pattern of the anime (episodic vs. serial), as in:
- Are all the episodes part of the big story?
Category Weight *** Complete plot continuity, a serial, vote: ***.
- Example: El Hazard: The Magnificent World
- Or do some episodes contain a separate story and some (in most cases the final episodes) continue the same plot?
Category Weight + to **+ The more serial elements the anime has, the more stars (*) you should use, vote: + to **+.
- Example: Trigun
- Or do all the episodes contain a separate story?
Category Weight The anime is strictly episodic. Do not set the category at all!
- Example: Lucky Star
Stereotypes indicates that there are many characters with known and stereotypical personalities in the anime, e.g. there is the klutz, the quiet girl, the intellectual girl with glasses, the rich arrogant girl, etc. Generally this is seen in bishoujo (harem) anime to satisfy fetishes, but not always so. The category has no connection to plot elements, only to characters.
Twisted indicates more than one abrupt change in plot or story. This derivation from strict linear storytelling usually makes these anime hard to follow, and at times even very confusing when several parallel plots intertwine.