5 Controversial Narrative Beats You Can Expect to See in a Cute Girls Doing Cute Things Series

There are tons of shows which could be considered to revolve around Cute Girls Doing Cute Things. While they’re all different in subtle ways, they are also similar in other aspects and can feature the same sort of developments.

So, since this is supposed to be a top 5 list, here are 5 events you can reasonably expect to happen in most CGDCT shows. And to some degree I hate all of ’em. Your mileage, of course, may vary.

The Protagonist is Pathetic (Initially)

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Or at least the protagonist starts being unskilled at whatever activity or past time or occupation she’s trying to throw herself in. This allows the audience to be filled in on certain subjects and aspects alongside this rookie who has to have things explained or demonstrated to her. This position isn’t always reserved for the protagonist, however. For instance, Princess Principal has the newbie Beatrice assume the role of the audience surrogate instead of the competent Ange.

Having a bumbling character also allows the audience to feel empathy while watching this useless girl who’s trying her best and who may or may not be steadily improving (her rate of growth really depends on the series). That could be considered cute by some.

However, sometimes a series goes too far and the character ends up becoming a bit too grating and pathetic. I know a friend who was frustrated that Aoba (the protagonist in New Game!) locked herself out twice in the first episode and wasn’t aware of what a NPC is despite being a professional 3D artist. Again, it provides the series an opportunity to explain certain terms to the audience just in case they weren’t in the know, but Aoba should really know about such elementary terms already.

A Girl Needs to go on a Diet

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One girl who has been eating too much too often usually end up exercising and dieting only to lose all of their excess weight and go back to “normal” within the episode.

The topic is never thoroughly explored, which means bulimia and other eating disorders remain unmentioned. However, it’s probably a bit much to expect from a CGDCT series, to be honest.

It should be noted that Special Week from Uma Musume – Pretty Derby is consistently shown to struggle with stress eating and a huge appetite and her weight woes are never just treated as a easily solved problem, so she basically ignores the trend!

Group Play is Considered Best Play

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Being with friends are often being portrayed as the height of human existence in these types of shows, which isn’t always true. Sometimes having some alone time is fine, too.

Yuru Camp was very careful to show that Rin’s preference of being a solo camper was perfectly fine and fun, too, which was a nice way to avoid this potentially off-putting generalization.

A Tomboy Feels Pressured to Become More Feminine

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Which is a shame since tomboys are great. There’s really nothing wrong with female characters enjoying or doing things that are typically associated with boys. It’s basically a heteronormative thing that should stop.

The Beach Episode/Scene is Nearly Guaranteed

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The infamous episode/scene archetype which features plenty of middle school / high school girls parading around in swimsuits. Some dig it and some don’t.

To be fair, sometimes things do happen and the beach episode isn’t entirely pointless. But the fact remains that a lot of anime viewers seem to think that beach episodes bring nothing to the table.


That’s all, folks.

Thanks for reading.

8 thoughts on “5 Controversial Narrative Beats You Can Expect to See in a Cute Girls Doing Cute Things Series

  1. Good choices. As a thorough introvert, it definitely always bugs me when shows make it out like there’s something wrong with a person who’s comfortable being alone. Pathetic protagonists, OTOH, depend on the execution. That’s something that can work well or work badly depending on the writing quality.

    I’ve seen S2E7 of Love Live take a lot of flak for leaning on the “diet” plotline. I mostly agree with the criticisms (especially the point some have made that it’s hard to sell us on Honoka and Pana getting fat when they still look exactly the same as they do in every other episode), but even so I still always get a good laugh out of the scene with them jogging past the rice shop.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mmmm. Sometimes anime is too hard on introverts!
      Fair enough on pathetic protagonists. Some are great.

      I love that moment toooo even though it sort of embodies what I was talking about. Sometimes one has to take off the critical lens and just enjoy, I guess!

      Like

  2. “The Protagonist is Pathetic (Initially)”
    “A Tomboy Feels Pressured to Become More Feminine”

    I hate both of these. In the case of your screenshot it’s a huge plot hole I’ve been meaning to talk about. If Kaos-chan is so pathetic, why is she even there in the first place? Or, alternatively, since she is (supposedly) very good at 4-koma… why are they pushing her into manga?

    Like

    1. She has POTENTIAL like most protagonists. I don’t see it.

      Hmm I don’t think they’re pushing her into manga at all since all of the manuscripts and rough ideas she brings to her editor are all 4koma.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’M SO HAPPY YOU MENTIONED THE BEACH EPISODE!! 😂😂😂 these are all VERY true tropes. But, the beach episode is the best becauee they’ll squeeze it in no matter what! World’s gonna end? Not until we go to my uncle on the beach! 👍👍😂💖🍻

    Liked by 2 people

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