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Newsgroups: rec.arts.anime From: (Curtis Hoffmann) Subject: Cheats, Cliches, Cartoons, Anime… Message-ID: Reply-To: Organization: Digital Equipment Corporation Japan, R&D center Date: Mon, 23 Nov 1992 06:04:38 GMT Lines: 626

                Cheats, Cliches, Cartoons, Anime...
 Version 1.4.  Copyrighted November 21, 1992, by Curtis H. Hoffmann.
 Permission is granted to cross-post this file in whole to other

computer networks (in fact, I'd be very happy if someone would crosspost this to Fido.) This file may be reprinted in a fanzine or newsletter as long as I'm notified, in exchange for a copy of the issue this article appears in. This article can not be altered, or reprinted in a for-profit magazine, without permission.

 Added in this version: Missing Bars
                        The Head Job
                        The Called Shot
                        The Big Gun [JJ]
                        The Five Man Band [JJ]
 There are many ways to cut corners in the process of creating

animation. I'm going to try to describe some of them, as I also attempt to catalog the cliches used in both western and Japanese cartoons. If you have any comments on this file, feel free to make them. If you have anything to add to the list, please do so.

 Most of the names used here are my own creation, and are not in

common usage anywhere else.

Simple definitions:

 Anime   -- Japanese produced and directed paint-on-cel animation.  Has
            no inherent implications as to quality of the product.
 Cartoon -- Encompasses paint-on-cel-based animation from around the
            world, but normally is applied only to North American
            productions with little story-telling potential that are
            aimed at children.

Added changes came from:

 Enrique Conty        [EC]
 Derek Upham          [DU]
 John Martin Karakash [JMK]
 jeffj@yang (ChaOs)   [JJ]
  1. ———————–

Animation Cheats and Cliches

  1. ———————–
 Shooting on 3's:
 In film, there are 24 frames per second.  For video tape, there are

30 frames.

 Really fluid animation is gained by drawing one frame of a

character's movement per frame of film. However, this is only necessary when a character is moving from left to right (or right to left,) and the camera is panning along the background artwork. This prevents a strobing-effect that occurs when the background moves too far on the screen from one frame to the next.

 Normally, the animator can make do with one drawing per 2 frames of

film. This is called "shooting on 2's." Most theatrical films, and some TV cartoons are shot on 2's, and everything looks fine.

 However, you can save money by skipping some work, and shoot 3

frames per drawing. Many TV cartoons are shot on 3's or 4's, which gives a very jerky feeling to the action. Something like _Hammerman_ is shot at least on 4's, if not on 8's.

 The standard western cheat is to simplify the character design, so

there are fewer lines to draw per frame. This is obvious both in the body features, and the clothing elements. You can also see this in Anpan-man, Mary Bell, and Chibi Maruko-chan.

 The Blend:
 When you have a very detailed image, like the close-up of a person's

face, it takes a lot of time and effort to animate it smoothly. Instead, you can paint maybe 4 or 8 "extreme poses" and film them as static images. The next step is to use post-production editing to fade from one still to the next. Alternatively, a few in-between cels can be painted that have ghosts of the extremes, which gives the same effect, but with much less work than if every single frame had been created from scratch. This may cut the total number from 60 drawings, to 15, or 8.

 The final results may be used to heighten the emotional effect of a

scene, or to simply stretch out the action of a complex drawing. Usually, you'll see this when a crying girl turns away from the hero, or when a top sports player dives for the ball during a crucial play.

 The Triple Repeat Attack (TRP):
 When someone gets hit hard, the camera pans by a single still of the

attack three times, occasionally with little variations in each pan, like zooming in a bit further for each pass. It is very easy to over-use this device for even the most trivial of situations. It is very much a cliche, but it's also a cheat since you may only have one drawing for 10 seconds of film.

 Chan-Style, or Super-Deformed Style:
 Admittedly, this is a purely Japanese technique that is mostly just a

cliche, and not necessarily a cheat. But, the results are the same – less work per frame.

 Both techniques consist of drawing a normal character as if he were a

5 year-old, with a larger head, smaller body, and chubby limbs. Most of the details will be lost at the same time. These are done mainly for slapstick comedy effect.

 The Assembly Sequence:
 You'll see the Assembly Sequence normally in a kiddie power-suit, or

mecha show. It consists of the character (like Sailor Moon, or Metal Jack,) calling out something ("Make Up!" or "Jack On!") which will be followed by stock footage of the character standing around while the suit or outfit wraps itself around him. By itself, this is no big deal. Except, that it's the exact same sequence from one episode to the next. In this way, the animators save themselves about 1 to 3 minutes of animation per character per episode.

 It's both a cheat, and a cliche.

 Also an amusing example of your 'suit up' cheat was noticed by me

and my roommate on the Ghostbusters (NOT the Real Ghostbusters BTW). We calculated that over half the show was suit up/reused cels/commercials.

Which brings me to the cheat most beloved by advertisers, the long-

block-of-commercials-then-a-short-reminder-of-what-show-you're-watching-and- then-more-commercials cheat! [JMK]

 Separated eyes and mouths:
 The opposite side of the coin from Simplicity is Shading and Detail.

Here, the animators (usually Japanese,) have added so much detail and color to the character's face that it's too much work to redraw it in each frame as the character talks.

 So, instead of redrawing the face a lot (which allows you to get a

jaw that moves as the character speaks,) you draw the face on one cel, and the mouth and eyes on another. (Admittedly, western animators use this technique for the same reasons, but the faces in their drawings have much less detail to begin with.)

 Gaping Mouth Wounds:
 In TV, it's not necessary to get the lip-sync down really tightly

when a character talks, which means that sometimes the mouth moves even when the character has stopped talking. This saves work, because you don't have someone tied up with the very time-consuming task of breaking the dialog down into single frames, and vowel sounds.

 The extreme case, though, is when you don't worry about the specific

dialog matching up with the shape of the mouth. Now, you only have 4 or 5 standard mouth positions (open, closed, partially opened, and yelling,) instead of the normal 7 or 10, and you just jump them around under the camera roughly in time with the dialog. This is common both in anime, and western cartoons.

 The Hold:
 When a character is thinking, or becomes stunned, he'll freeze on the

screen. The only action comes from a camera pan in, or out. The Hold also occurs when one character stops talking and the other begins. Anyone not talking simply freezes on the screen. This saves the studio a lot of time and money, because the alternative is to draw separate frames with the character's clothes rippling in a breeze, or the character's face reacting to whatever is being said.

 Statue Crowds:
 Crowd scenes require a lot of work, and time that the studio can't

afford to spend. Therefore, crowds will be treated as background artwork. The only element of movement comes from the camera panning across, and the only signs of life will be the voice actors cheering as voice-overs. Occasionally, mouths will be painted on separate cels for one or three audience members to do a little yelling on their own.

 The Cycle:
 This is a classic animation technique all studios use extensively.

The basic idea is to put the character into a repeating action cycle, and just draw the first few cels necessary for it. The normal example is a simple walk, which only takes 7 to 12 cels for a sequence that may last 30 seconds. Disney is famed for its use of more complex cycles in its early short cartoons.

 4-colors VS 256:
 Simply by looking at most western TV animation, you can tell that the

animators are saving themselves a lot of effort by eliminating shading, and reducing the number of colors in the clothing designs. Fewer colors means less work, fewer costs, and a more boring image. The Japanese will use more colors and the GMW technique at the same time.

 Last Week's Re-Cap:
 When you have an episodic adventure series like Dragon Ball, or Dodge

Danpei, you'll get a re-cap of the action from the previous episodes before the show starts up with the new stuff. This means that the animators are saving themselves about 3 to 5 minutes of work by reusing old animation with a voice-over narration.

 The Repeat Thingie:
 Occasionally, you may notice a character doing one action in one

scene, and later doing the exact same action in an entirely different scene. This is a case of reusing existing cels with either a different background, or a different prop (changing a hammer for an ax.) Some of the really bad American moralistic cartoons from the '60s used this technique A LOT.

 Recycled Animation:
 Disney does this occasionally.  When the cels are filmed for any

given show or movie, the cels themselves will be either tossed or washed and reused. But, the pencil drawings will usually be stored for future works. This way, all that's needed is to xerox the existing artwork, and change the color scheme for the new scene.

 FILMATION seems to use this technique a lot.  Compare He-Man, She-Ra,

Tarzan and Star Trek some time. The poses and layouts are almost exactly the same (the "Close-up-with-half-face-visible", especially). [DU]

 Rotoscoping is done by projecting live footage under a sheet of paper to

allow the animator to trace the picture, frame by frame, before modifying it. The advantage is that the animator doesn't have to figure out how a character moves through trial and error. The down side is that the result usually looks pretty cheesy (just look at any Ralph Bakshi movie.) While the Fleischer Brothers used rotoscoping (and created the process,) very artfully, it's still obvious when it's employed. Disney tried using rotoscoping in a number of his films, but the results weren't to his liking, and the animators just redrew those scenes, anyway.

 Note: Venus Wars did not have rotoscoping in the motorcycle scenes: that

was an example of optical printing (adding animation over live footage.)

 Originally, when a pencil drawing was cleaned up, the ink and paint

department would trace the pencil lines onto the cels via multicolored inks (which allowed for more subtle shadings, and details,) before the paints were added. Now, it's easier to xerox the final pencils onto a cel. The drawback is that the xerox lines look rougher, may have breaks in them, and will be all in black (removing the element of subtlety.)

 A nice counterpoint to this was the work in the GIANT ROBO OVAs.  From

what my sources tell me, the final pencils are xeroxed, but then a second cel is overlayed on the first, and this second cel is hand-painted. The resulting cel-work is simply amazing. [EC]

 Speed lines:
 This is a cliche used to get a heightened emotional response, while

also filming a static pose. When a character starts an attack, the background is replaced with streaks of color, or simple racing lines. This doesn't actually save the animators any work, and adds a little more work for the camera operator because the backgrounds need to be changed more often. But, since the background was static to begin with, and the main character has also become static, the speed lines help liven things up a bit.

 Collars and Talking Heads:
 Hanna-Barbera is notorious for this trick.  Rather than redrawing the

entire character for each frame that the mouth moves, you give the character a collar, and then place the head on a different cel underneath the body cel. The body is usually then kept stationary, and the head cels are changed in sequence. Although, if the character does walk and talk at the same time, it's still less work to animate than otherwise.

 Shimmering eyes:
 This is both a cliche and a cheat.  Take a Hold, and just redraw some

white highlights inside the pupils. Why draw an emotional face, if you don't have to?

 The 'No Face':
 One cheat that I didn't see mentioned is the 'no face' cheat.  Put a

helmet on a guy/gal/thing and you've saved yerself tons of time. Put him/her/it in a whole suit and voila! minimal use of shading/movement is required. [JMK]

 (Curtis comments: Not exactly true.  Bubble Gum Crisis used this

pretty heavily, but it still had a lot of shading on each suit. The primary savings come from not having to show the character blink or talk, and there are less details to draw the first time around.)

 Re-used sounds:
 A number of people have commented on the fact that the sound tech will

steal sound effects from movies like Aliens, and Star Wars, for certain situations, rather than create an entirely new sound himself. I haven't noticed this myself, but there's a growing consensus that this happens a lot. The reasons should be obvious.

 Photo Backgrounds:
 This is a common manga technigue.  The result is a highly realistic

background image that looks like it was xeroxed before being photocopied. It provides the illusion of added depth to the manga, while saving the artist a lot of work.

  1. ———————-

Anime Cliches

  1. ———————-
 The Multiple-Character-Single-Gasp Reaction:
 I find this to be one of the more annoying time-consuming Japanese

cliches. It's very simple – something startling will happen, or a character will get smashed up. Then, the camera will pull in for a close up of each of the other characters – one at a time – as they gasp or speak the guy's name. This has been happening too often in Dragon Ball Z. The result is to force a heightened sense of suspense, and to stretch out a fight scene while doing a small amount of work.

 Example -- Piccilo will get punched into the ground.  The camera then

cuts to a close-up of #18, who will gasp. Now, cut to #17, who will gasp. Then, cut to #16 for a gasp. Next, cut to Kiririn to gasp. And continue down the line until you run out of characters. Repeat this operation 2 or 4 times per battle per episode.

 The Raging Flames/Crashing Surf:
 An alternative to Speed Lines -- when a character gets overly

emotional, or "highly charged," the background will be replaced by roaring flames or surf. This is just an intensity-building device, used extensively by Rumiko Takahashi.

 The Slash Split Screen:
 Another cliche, related to the Multi-Character-Single-Gasp Reaction,

the difference being that the MCSGR is sequential, and the S^3 is more-or-less simultaneous. When the main character is hit, the first reaction will appear in the top portion of the screen, the second reaction appears on the bottom, and the remaining reactions will be in the middle of the screen. _Dodge Danpei_ uses this technique. Bubble Gum Crisis does the same thing, but usually when the Knight Sabers are preparing to go into battle and all of them say "roger," or "Knight Sabers – Go!"

 Tokyo Feet:
 This is a term coined by Larry Greenfield to describe the cloud of feet

and sweat (sometimes tears) that surrounsd a character when he goes into panic-mode. There is no longer a relation between the character's feet and the ground, as the character just slides back and forth on the screen. Again, the result is also less work per frame.

 The Temple Vein:
 Especially in manga.  When a character gets stressed-out, or angry,

a cross-like outline of a 4-way vein intersection will pop up on their forehead. Sometimes, this gets carried to extremes, as in the manga where an identical vein pops up three different places on the back of a guy's hand. (Real veins don't act like that.)

 In the wonderful world of the Japanese language, several words exist

that are nothing more than sound effects (like "niko," for the sound of a smile.) When you're watching anime played for laughs, a wide-eyed character blinking in surprise will make a "poit", or "pika" sound (occurs a lot in Urusei Yatsura, and Kimengumi High School.) And, in Project A-ko, when C-ko smiles in front of the class, she says "Niko."

 Trick Dreams:
 A common story device used to hook the viewer's attention.  Employed

heavily in Kimagure Orange Road. Basically, something really bad or really good will happen to the star right at the beginning of the episode, only to turn out to be a dream.

 Rain Shimmers:
 Not necessarily a cliche or cheat, but a commonly used special effect

in anime. There's a lot of rain in the spring and fall in Japan, so rain has become an accepted plot device (plus, when bad events happen to the principle characters, rain will start falling to symbolize their plight.) To show that the rain is hitting trees, people, or animals, a light halo will shimmer around the tops, heads, and shoulders. A separate set or 4 or 5 cels will be used for this, if the characters are just standing and talking.

 The Background Cameo:
 One of the most prized anime devices for fans.
 Because it takes a long time for an animator to finish a sequence or

background, said animator will add silly things to make their job more fun. Such as the Star Trek USS Enterprise blueprints in _The Nolandia Affair_, and the appearance of The Dirty Pair's Kei in a background shot in the _Fist of the Northstar_ movie. A little of this shows up in _The Simpsons,_ but is more common in anime movies and OAV's than TV shows.

 Jumping Talkers:
 When a Japanese studio has a medium-range shot of a talking

character, they'll redraw the entire figure even though only the mouth is moving. This is not an easy operation, because the body has to be copied and painted without variations, and the cycle cels have to be registered exactly. So, when a character bounces up and down as they speak, you know that the registration slipped. Nadia is a featured Jumper in Nadia: Secret of Blue Water.

 This phenomenom is not really a cliche or a cheat, but it is peculiar

to anime.

 Tear Floods:
 Yet another Japanese cliche used instead of animating an actual

emotion. Several series (like Kimengumi High School) have parodied this cliche, with characters holding buckets to catch someone else's flood.

 The Tear Pendulums:
 One of the stranger cliches, also a twist on the Tear Flood.  When

you get hit in the head, tears well up in your eyes. You may even get a a little tear running down your cheeks a bit. Well, this teardrop looks almost like a ball on the end of a string. Take this image 10 steps further, and you get a white pingpong ball swinging from a white stick under each eye. This device occurs a LOT in manga, and some silly anime (most notably, Ranma 1/2.) (It took me a long time to figure out what these things were.)

 Snot-Nosed Kids:
 In Japan, it's not polite to blow your nose in public -- instead,

you're just supposed to keep sniffing until you have the chance to "do your business in private." Because of this, colds (the cold-sufferer will voluntarily wear a face mask to keep from infecting other people in public,) sneezing on people, and runny noses are commonly used as gags in manga, and in anime to a lesser extent. The standard joke is to show an uncultured kid, or a frightned man, as someone with snot running down his lip (and frequently into his mouth.)

 The Nose Bubble:
 A related gag to the S-NK, is the simple rendering of someone soundly

asleep, blowing snot bubbles through their nose. This is the visual clue that tells you that this people is sleeping, and is commonly accompanied by lip-, or chin-, drool.

 The Sweat Drop:
 You'll also see this in manga when a character gets nervous,

apprehensive, or scared. A large teardrop will appear somewhere on the character (many times, on the back of the head.) Occasionally, the sweat drop will be placed on a separate cel, and slid down the character's face (the face is in a Hold.) It's easier than animating the face for those emotions.

 The Stunned Fall-Over:
 One more Japanese cliche.  When someone says something stupid or

unexpected, everyone else will fall flat on their face or back. In many cases, one character will fall over, and then reappear with The Bandage on their forehead.

 The Writhing Face:
 To show intense emotion (usually frustration or anger,) the animator

will draw the face in two extreme poses (with maybe one in-between pose for filler) with the teeth grinding and eyes opening or closing. These few cels are alternated under the camera to give the impression of the desired emotion, but the actual effect is to make the character's eyes and mouth writhe around on his face. Happens extensively in Dragon Ball Z.

 Super Deformed Ugly:
 This seems to be the counter-point to the "super-deformed' style,

where the character is made to look more cute. In SDU, the eyes get deformed, the mouth contorts in a "jaw on the ground, while slurping a lemon" grin, and shade lines will appear around the eyes, and bridge of the nose (either the character is blushing, suffering from burning eyes, or has smelled something REAL BAD,) and there will be an over-all simplifying of features. Although a lesser form of this is used heavily in Yawara, the true SDU appears in college "bad boys and girls" manga.

 One of the best cliches, you'll get this when one character is acting

uppity, and the other "dis's" him. One finger pulls down the lower lid of one eye, the tongue is stuck out, and the character says "behhhhh". Very common in anime and manga.

 Fake Fighting:
 Again, when a character gets uppity, another one will smash him in

the head with a fist, a bat, book, or shoe. This normally looks pretty painful, but has no lasting effects. Characters may even get into full-blown brawls, and be covered in lumps from head to toe, but will completely recover in the next panel or frame.

 The Bandage:
 When someone gets bopped in a Fake Fight, they will immediately

receive a bandage in the next frame. Which will disappear as soon as the joke is over.

 The Head Job:
 Another bizarre visual device.  When an animal/beastperson gets very

excited/angry, it will attack you. Normally, on the arms, hands, feet, or legs, if this is a western story. In anime and manga, this beast will attach itself to the top back part of your head, and will hang there for the length of the scene. Examples of this can be found in _Dragon Half_, _Ushio and Tori_, and _Dragon Ball_. Sometimes, the person's entire head will be engulfed. Normally, like Fake Fighting, the beast will not leave a permanent mark on you (In Dragon Ball, a ghoul does this to Kuririn during battle, leaving a circle of blood fountains on Kuririn's scalp, and requiring the use of bandages during several episodes before Kuririn can recover.)

 The Called Shot:
 Of all of the anime cliches, the Called Shot has to be the most

disliked, and embarrassing, to the new fans. Basically, the character will strike a pose, or wield a certain weapon, and call out the name of whatever attack he or she will now use. "Dragon Punch!" "Flaming Iris Sword!" or "Buster Shield!"

 One of the main reasons this action is employed so heavily in anime

and manga is simply that the audience has no other way of knowing what the hell the character is doing, otherwise. Further, there is something of a history behind this action – including Kamen Rider and Ultra Man – and that is the fact that so many martial arts techniques have such names. "Round House Kick," "Side Snap," "Inside Leg Throw," and "Tiger Claw." And, an observer unfamiliar with a particular martial arts school, would be completely clueless when one technique is used, or another.

 To western audiences, this is merely a silly thing -- "Why don't these

guys just trash each other and get it over with? Who cares what the technique is called? I just wanna watch these bozos kick each other's butts."

 A variant of this is used in Hokuto no Ken, where the attack is made,

and then the name of the technique is emblazoned on the screen over a still painting of the hero.

 The Big Gun:
 Doesn't have to be a gun, but it's a big "mega-nuke" attack that

usually takes out anyone it's aimed at. Often has incredible special effects. A downside of this is that they tend to be overused. (Like in Voltron - every episode, without fail…) Examples: "Form Blazing Sword!" from Voltron, the Wave Motion Cannon from Star Blazers, the SDF-1 Main Gun from Macross, Captain Planet himself from Captain Planet and the Planeteers, and what we like to call the "Mandala attack" from Shurato. [JJ]

 Missing Bars:
 This is a rather interesting artistic technique where a character is

behind a fence, or in a prison, and the bars or chain links that would normally hide the face simply are not drawn in. Shows up in various manga.

  1. ———————-

Animation Flaws

  1. ———————-

NOTE: There are many ways a studio can err in its work – skipping a frame or two of motion, flipping the frames so that a couple are out of sequence, using the wrong colors on one or two cels, screwing up cel registration, and so on. The following error(s) revolve around the specific skills (or lack thereof) used in animating a scene or character, that can be seen consistently in the productions of one or more studios.

 The Flat Mouth:
 Kissing, eating, blowing whistles, and anything else that requires

using the mouth. When you watch anime, you'll notice that the characters' mouths just lie flat on the cel, without deforming properly to adaption to the actions they are taking. It's most obvious when a character is eating – the food comes up to the mouth, the lips surround a bit of the food, the food just disappears, and the character makes chewing motions. It's the surest sign that you're watching a cartoon, and is a consistent flaw even in the most well-made productions. Western cartoons have a similar flaw, but generally avoid the problem entirely.

  1. ———————-

Scriptwriting Cliches

  1. ———————-

NOTE: These are cliches that appear in other forms of entertainment and storytelling, and aren't peculiar only to animation.

 Knuckle Cracking:
 As everyone knows, when a huge, strong guy is about to beat the crap

out of a victim, he will crack his knuckles as a part of flexing his hands. This has been turned into an anime cliche, and extended to the point where REALLY vicious guys crack the muscles and joints in their neck. Real people can not do this. Do not try this at home on your little sister.

 The Flashback:
 Standard cliche in anime, used to fill in story details that the

audience doesn't already know, but which will immediately justify the character's next actions. A very common plot device used in episodic serials.

 Ripping the Disguise:
 A previously unknown character is doing all sorts of amazing feats.

At an appropriately dramatic scene, the character grabs at his/her shoulder and PULLS. Cloth flies in front of the camera, and when it settles down we see one of the regular characters in his/her usual garb. The previous outfit/physical features were a disguise. [EC]

 This is used with variations in all western forms of entertainment.
 Cute Bastards:
 One of the worst developments to come out of the western world.  To

make a show appeal to small children, an otherwise unnecessary character will be added to the line-up. This character will be cute, appealing, and utterly loathsome to adults. Scrappy-Doo is an excellent example of this. If carried to extremes, the entire cast will be thus metamorphised, as in The Muppet Babies, and the new version of Tom and Jerry.

 Can you say "Slimer and the Ghostbusters"?
 What's interesting is that Scooby-Doo may be an example of this as

well. I'd read a long time back (can't remember the source, now) that the Scooby-Doo concept had originated in Great Britan. It was then a series with the Mods (Fred and Daphne) versus the Beatniks (Shaggy and Velma) racing to solve various mysterys; Scooby was a minor character. When they took the concept to the U.S., they cutified it. [DU]

 Narrative Voice-Overs:
 Both a plot device, and a cheat.  The plot element of a NVO is

obvious – to fill in details for the audience, rather than to make those details a part of the story leading up to that point. The cheat comes in because the action on the screen will turn into a Hold with a camera pan or pull out. In animation, the work is shifted from the animators to the cameraman and the narrator.

 Too Many Commercials:
 Refer to the note by JMK at the end of the Assembly Sequence entry.
 The Five Man Band:
 (This is an anime cliche that a friend of mine calls "5 character theory".

As far as I know, the first instance of this is in Science Ninja Team Gatchaman, aka Battle of the Planets. Since then, it's appeared in shows like Voltron, Mospeada aka Robotech III, several live action shows, and even movies, like Star Wars. The five character types are:) [JJ]

 The Hero:
    Upstanding, idealistic, handsome.  Usually the protagonist of the
    show, although people tend to think that The Other Guy is far cooler.
    Examples include Luke Skywalker, Fred from Scooby-Doo, and Scott
    Bernard in Robotech III.
 The Big Guy:
    Big, and strong.  Sometimes dumb, but usually turns out to be very
    friendly.  Examples: Chewbacca, Lunk from Robotech III, Ryooma from
 The Other Guy:
    Usually cool and disreputable.  If someone has facial hair, it's
    probably him.  Quite often the most effective person on the team.
    Lancer from Robotech III and Han Solo are classic Other Guys.
 The Chick:
    The token female on the team.  Sometimes she knows what she's doing,
    but not always.  Princess Leia, the princess from Voltron, Daphne from
    Scooby-Doo.  Sometimes, The Chick is an androgynous or homosexual male,
    like Reiga from Shurato.
 The Pet:
    Usually annoying to anyone who has entered puberty (and thus discovered
    The Chick)  Frequently incompetent.  The 'droids from Star Wars,
    Cheop (sp?) from Battle of the Planets, Pidge from Voltron, the
    Copper Kid from Silverhawks, and Scooby-Doo from his own show.
 The Mentor:
    This is an optional archetype.  Often appears to guide the characters,
    provide advice, or train them.  The classic example is Obi-Wan Kenobi.
    Also, Dungeonmaster from Dungeons & Dragons, Stargazer from
    Silverhawks, the King from Voltron, Vishnu from Shurato, Saori from
    St. Seiya. [JJ]
  1. ————————————
 If there are any other cheats or cliches, I haven't noticed them yet.

I'll add them to the list if someone else mentions them to me.

  1. - Curtis H. Hoffmann

Nov. 21, 1992

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