I know there are a ton of stereotypes that come along with anime, and that's especially true when it comes to the basic storyline/plot of most titles. If you're going to bring up the stereotype of anime that is most commonly heard, it has to be the belief that all anime involves a bunch of young kids going to school. The rest of the anime's story is built from there.
Now, that stereotype had to come from somewhere, and it's definitely true that a lot of anime starts off this way. The thing is, that's only the baseline for a wide range of stories. That school home base can serve as the jumping point for a love story, an entrance to an alternate universe, crime drama and so much more. Take a moment to think of the animes that you've seen that involve a school plot that spins off into something else.
Even more importantly, there's plenty of other anime that has nothing to do with schoolgrounds and students. Just like any other form of animation or movie, there are all sorts of genres. It might be a bit harder to find those genres, as the school-types always seem to get a big push. It's easy for Americans to relate to kids being in school, since it's all something we go through. If you're willing to look though, you can find all sorts of amazing genres and storylines.
What's your favorite type of anime genre? Do you like the tried-and-true stuff, or do you venture out for the more wide-ranging topics?