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Ironic Echo: Anime & Manga

  • In One Piece, minor villain Bellamy condescendingly asks Luffy (who he believes to have a 30 million belli bounty, as compared to Bellamy's 50 million) "Do you even know how to throw a punch?" Luffy, who doesn't care much what an idiot like that says, doesn't reply until Bellamy really pisses him off by further insulting the friends he'd already beaten up. In a Crowning Moment Of Awesome (of the entire series), as Bellamy rockets around on his springs while dramatically taunting him, Luffy calmly lifts up one fist and echoes "Do I know how to throw a punch?" He then takes the guy out with one punch.
    • When Marshal D. "Blackbeard" Teach reveals the Power Nullifier aspect of his Devil Fruit powers, he states that all of the overconfident fruit users of the world will be powerless against him. He later tries this against Whitebeard, and promptly gets a chunk gouged out his shoulder for his trouble. Whitebeard then notes that Blackbeard is too reliant on his Devil Fruit Power.
    • Bellamy has yet another one. When he meets Luffy and finds out that Luffy is a dreamer, he taunts him and says "because you are busy chasing a dream, you don't notice the treasures lying right at your feet". Much later, when Bellamy talks to a guy named Tank Lepanto who has essentially betrayed his country by pretending to fight for it and then revealing himself to be allied with an evil tactician from another country. Bellamy asks why he's doing this and he replies that he was paid well. Tank follows up with: "I'd rather my pick up money right at my feet than I'd chase a dream". Bellamy comments that these words make his ears hurt, implying that he has now taken the same stance to dreams as Luffy.
  • In Tower of God, Baam calls out Yu Hansung for trying to belittle Rachel's importance by comparing her to the Top of the Tower, indicating that is far more of a big deal than those petty little loyalties. To Baam, with out Rachel the Tower's top, a place of great wealth and knowledge, is nothing but a pile of garbage and people like Yu Hansung fail to see what's really precious. Then, according to Yu Hansung's plans, Rachel betrays Baam and tries to kill him. While Yu Hansung gloats over him, he utters these immortal lines: That maybe to her the garbage up there was more important than he was.
  • In Code Geass, one of the last things Lelouch says to Suzaku before the final battle is "After all, we're friends, aren't we?" Suzaku pulls the Ironic Echo just after shooting Lelouch in the shoulder.
    • In the very first episode, right before killing a squadron of soldiers who have been slaughtering innocent people, Lelouch states his philosophy that "The only ones who should kill are those who are prepared to be killed"; the echo comes in the very last episode, where he repeats the same line to justify his own death by Heroic Sacrifice after spending the entire series using increasingly underhanded tactics to fight the Britannian Empire and establish peace.
    • And one more: After recovering his memories at the start of the second season, Lelouch declares "I am Zero, the man who destroys worlds and creates worlds!" It's also his last words, and emphasizes what precisely he expects will result from his death.
    • And yet another: Blood Knight Luciano Bradley has a little spiel he goes through where he asks his opponents what's "really important" and concludes it with "That's right. Your life!" before killing them. Kallen throws it back in his face just before she kills him as part of the Crowning Moment Of Awesome that is the Guren SEITEN's debut battle.
    • And still another: In episode 21, right after Lelouch kills his parents, Suzaku remembers his desire to avenge Eupemia's death, to which Lelouch replies "What of it?" Ironically, Charles tells Lelouch the same thing after Marianne is assassinated.
  • The finale of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS has two, both used for heartwarming moments.
    • Shortly before splitting up to sabotage the Saint Cradle's engine, Vita tells Nanoha not to worry about her since she and Graf Eisen specializes in smashing stuff and "There's nothing in this world we can't destroy". During the penultimate episode of the season, while Hayate cradles a heavily wounded Vita who thought she failed to break the engine, Hayate tells her that against such valiance that she and Graf Eisen had shown, "There is nothing in the world that they can't destroy", just as a portion of Graf Eisen that had lodged itself into the engine causes an explosive chain reaction.
    • During an early episode, the six-year old Vivio trips while running to Nanoha-mama, and instead of helping her up, Nanoha encourages her to try her best "to stand on your own", until a worried Fate-mama protests and helps Vivio up. Come the penultimate episode, a worried Nanoha runs to the crater where Vivio was after Nanoha blasted her with five Starlight Breakers to free her from the control of the relic, and as she reaches the edge of the crater, a very bruised Vivio tells her not to come, "I can stand on my own", after all, she promised Nanoha-mama that she'd be strong.
  • In Darker Than Black, November 11's "I'm joking" Catch Phrase gets this treatment twice. Interestingly, it gets both variants, and both times it comes from Kirihara: the first variant at the end of the Havoc arc, and the second when Kirihara speaks to her superior officer following November's death.
    • Also happens with November 11's smoking rant.
  • In Chrono Crusade, when Aion is badly wounded in a fight, he's told by his opponent "If you had to pretend to be a big shot, you should never have come to the front lines." When Aion reveals that he purposefully lost and acted as a decoy, he gleefully repeats the line to his fallen opponent right before giving him the final blow.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, "A king is there for his people. Without people there's no king!" then, "Yes, without people, there's no king. But if the king is lost, then people will lose guidance."
    • Father declares that the Truth gives "despair to the conceited" after Roy has his eyesight taken. Later, Truth bounces the same line back at Father before dragging him into the Gate.
    • "You'll always be my role model." From Pride.
    • In the second episode of the 2003 anime, Edward tells a very distraught Rose, "Move forward. You've got a good strong pair of legs, Rose. Just get up and use them." He seems mad, seeing as how he only has one real leg. Much, much later, Rose says to him, "You'll be able to come back on your own later, right? After all, you have perfect legs to walk with now." If, after forty-nine episodes, you remembered what Ed had said in the first place, then kudos to you.
      • Not so hard to remember, since Rose references it EVERY time she comes onto the screen. (Except for when she's mute.)
    • Very odd series to series example. In the 2003 anime, Mustang and King Bradley fight at the climax and Mustang declares 'There is no God,' right before defeating Bradley. In the manga and Brotherhood, Bradley and Scar have a climatic duel, and this time it's Bradley who says 'There is no God.' Ironically, Scar then kills Bradley, with what could even be seen as divine help.
    • Similarly, after Nina's death early in the 2003 anime, Edward gives a speech that culminates in the line, "We're tiny, insignificant humans, who couldn't even save a little girl." There, he's expressing his anger at his own powerlessness in the wake of his greatest failure. In the climax of the 2009 anime, he spouts the exact same line to the Universe/Truth/God after he's given up his alchemy and become willingly powerless in exchange for Al, and cites his humanity as the reason he's able to make his Heroic Sacrifice.
    Truth: You'd be content to lower yourself to a mere human?
    Edward: That's all I've ever been; a tiny, insignificant human, who couldn't even save a little girl.
  • The song "Do You Remember Love?" from Super Dimension Fortress Macross. Used by the humans against the Zentradi in the defense of Earth during the first series, only to later be used against them by Ranka and the Vajra in Macross Frontier. Grace O'Connor even comments on the appropriateness of the song.
  • In the second volume of Hellsing, the Hellsing organisation's headquarters comes under attack by an army of ghouls and one of the vampires leading them calls the Convention of Twelve, telling them "I highly recommend pissing yourselves, followed by a round of praying to your impotent God." Later, Walter confronts the vampire (flanked by dozens of ghouls) and echoes the same words right back at him after demonstrating that he can, and will cut every one of them down. The vampire's reaction is priceless.
    • There's also in volume 7, where Zorin kills Pip Bernodette, and then calls him an insect. This sent Seras into a mad frenzy, resulting in Zorin's over-the-top demise. Later, Schrodinger reports to The Major, " Zorin died, Major. Like a bug."
  • Early in the Grand Finale episode of Death Note, "New World":
    Light: Well, Near, looks like I win.
    Ryuk: Well, Light, it looks like you've lost.
    • Can't forget... "Matsuda, you IDIOT!"
  • A heartwarming example from Bunny Drop. An early chapter involved six-year-old Rin wetting the bed. She futilely tries to tell her caretaker Daikichi "It's only sweat." Later, when Daikichi brings up the subject to Rin of legally adopting her, she refuses, wanting to keep the same name as her biological dad, and telling him "Daikichi, I like you just being my Daikichi." Daikichi is moved to tears by Rin's statement, and when she asks if he's crying he tells her "This is sweat!"
  • Naruto tends to do this a lot.
    • Tsunade said that becoming Hokage was "A fool's game." Later, Orochimaru says the same thing when Tsunade protects Naruto.
    • After their first battle, Sasuke coolly asked the frightened Naruto "You all right, scaredy cat?" And later, in the Forest of Death, when Sasuke was the one freaking out and about to be attacked by a giant snake (during a battle with Orochimaru, at the time by far the most powerful character yet introduced), Naruto stops the snake just in time and calmly asked Sasuke the same question.
    • When Sasuke departs the village and receives his first power-up, he's told that in order to gain the power he must die. Four years later when learning how to be a sage, Naruto is told he must die.
    • In a very long-term echo, Naruto repeats and has flashbacks to Iruka defending and praising him in the first chapter when Kurama, the Kyuubi finally pulls a Heel-Face Turn.
    • "THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE A SACRED TEMPLE, MOTHERFUCKER!"
      • The above happens when Naruto and Bee pull a prank on Yamato. Bee tells Yamato that using a clone is useless because "THIS IS A SACRED TEMPLE MOTHAFUCKA! The previous generations watch over this place, your bitch-ass tricks an't gonna fool no one!" when he suggests doing so to Naruto. (Yamato suggests this because he believes the headless statues are previous Jinchuuriki). Naruto puts his head in the hole and starts screaming. When Yamato pulls him out, his head is below his collar and Yamato is clearly horrified. Bee, however, knows that its just a joke and he and Naruto pull a laugh, while Bee admits he did the same thing and the statues are just broken. Cue Yamato getting pissed off and yelling "THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE A SACRED TEMPLE, 'MOTHERFUCKER'!", mostly at Bee, but Naruto too.
    • During their fight in the Chuunin Exams, Neji asked why Naruto tried so hard to change his fate. Naruto responds, "Because I was called a failure." Fastforward over 400 chapters and Naruto asks Neji why he sacrificed himself to save Naruto and Hinata. Neji responds, "Because I was called a genius."
    • At the start of the Shippuden, Naruto jumps to the top of a nearby building to look at the village and proclaims it hasn't change at all. Much later, Sasuke takes a similar location, only to muse the village has changed a lot.
  • In Neon Genesis Evangelion, when Misato invites Shinji into her apartment, the place where he is assigned to live, he sheepishly says "I'm home", to which Misato responds "Welcome home". This appears a second time during Shinji's 10-Minute Retirement as a Meaningful Echo. However, it becomes twisted the third time it is used during the final sequence of End of Evangelion when Rei fuses with Lilith. She whispers "I'm home", to which Lilith responds "Welcome home", shown as text flashing across the screen, followed by the initiation of the Third Impact.
  • The climax of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni: Matsuribayashi-hen was this. Miyo Takano has one bullet left, aims at Hanyuu, shoots, and misses. It's an Ironic Echo of when she was younger, when she ran away from the orphanage during a thunderstorm, she stands under a tree and taunts God into striking her with a lightning bolt or to instead improve her life. A bolt does strike... the tree behind her.
    • It's even more ironic when you recall that Miyo's motive for this whole tragic chain of events was to become a god.
  • In the first episode of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Simon tries to take Kamina down to see the "huge face" he found while digging (the Lagann unit). At the climax of the first arc, their conversation is echoed between Simon and Rossiu when the capital city of Teppelin suddenly begins transforming in front of them:
    Rossiu: What is it?!
    Simon: A huge face!?
  • In Gaiking: Legend of Daiku-Maryu, we have Daiya telling his big bad opponent of the moment (Nouza) that "You don't win because you're strong. The ones that don't give up win in the end!". Near the series conclusion Nouza proceeds to echo this in his one-on-one fight with Proist brilliantly.
  • In YuYu Hakusho the resident Badass, demonic, red-haired pretty boy Kurama gets into a fight with a demonic bomber named Karasu. Early on in the fight Karasu seems to have the upper hand and as a result mimics putting a pistol to his head and saying bang, indicating to Kurama that he should just simply shoot himself rather then continue fighting Karasu. About ten seconds later Kurama transforms into his much more powerful true form and suddenly it's Karasu whose on the ropes. Guess what gesture Kurama decides to make at this time.
    • In the English dub, Elder Toguro turns his hand into a giant knife and mockingly claims his mother always wanted him to be a surgeon, when Kuwabara turns his Spirit Sword into a giant disc blade to strike every part of his body at once, Kuwabara claims his mother always wanted him to be an exterminator, as he swats him like a fly.
  • Ruri in Martian Successor Nadesico has the catchphrase of commenting that she's Surrounded by Idiots. When things start getting darker in the series and the Government Conspiracy is revealed, she uses the variation "We're all idiots", and similarly, in a sad revelation about her past, comments, "I'm an idiot." There's also a humorous ironic echo in an episode where the crew watches a marathon of Gekeigan 3. Another character, who doesn't like the show refers to the group as idiots, and Ruri, who is next to her, gives kind of a surprised look.
  • Captain Tsubasa: World Youth: On the Sao Paulo vs Flamengo match, Tsubasa deliberately falls on one of Santana's tackle to get a good kick-off and show him that referees are humans, and that he should stop considering himself a "soccer cyborg", finishing his tirade with "this is one of the funs things in soccer". A few minutes later, in a counter-attack near Sao Paulo's goals, Santana shoots the ball on Tsubasa's foot so that it counts as a Sao Paulo pass, thus not putting his Flamengo partner offside and putting him in an advantageous position to score the goal: as the goal is scored, Santana says to Tsubasa "this is one of the funs things in soccer" with an evil look and a Slasher Smile.
  • At the end of the Yellow Arc of Pokémon Special, Red notes that his Pika has grown close to Yellow and goodnaturedly jokes that they should all live together, not realizing that Yellow is a girl. At the end of the GSC arc, when he does find out and Misty calls him, the three of them uncomfortably realize they're in a Love Triangle. Blue then teasingly suggests the same thing, making them all sputter in embarrassment.
  • In one chapter of Medaka Box, during a fight between Myouga and Nabeshima, Myouga attacks from behind and says, "I love attacking people from behind like this. This is an attack that those who do martial arts, especially judo, never taste." As the fight goes on, Nabeshima pulls the same attack and uses the same phrase, "I love attacking people from behind like this," but changes the second half to "But this is proper judo, so anyone can taste it." (Also a case of Strange Minds Think Alike, since Myouga was speaking in a language that Nabeshima didn't understand.)
  • Bleach
    • In the Soul Society arc, Komamura protects his friend Tousen by taking a hit from Kenpachi. In chapter 367, he protects Shinji, a stranger, by taking a hit from his ex-friend Tousen. Komamura even lampshades this, remarking it's the opposite of what happened before.
    • When Omaeda is fighting Nirgge, he is surprised when the latter's Resurreccion form is capable of jumping up the height of a building, and is told not to judge a book by its cover. Nirgge begins attacking him, mocking him for being too fat to dodge, and prepares a finishing blow... only for Omaeda to Flash Step on his head and slam him with his Epic Flail, repeating his line to not judge a book by its cover.
    • Prior to his power-up, Ichigo was keeping a distance from Aizen, who mocked him for his hesitance. After his power-up, Ichigo asked Aizen why he was keeping his distance.
    • Aizen will be forever known for subverting Theme Music Power-Up by stopping Ichigo's sword, as well as cutting off Ichigo's theme song "Number One". Now Ichigo returns the favouring by stopping Aizen's theme song as well as being the one to do the asskicking.
  • The opening battle of Rebuild of Evangelion 2.0 had one. Right after Unit 05 is blown to bits, Kaji comments that he's "not sure about involving a kid in the affairs of adults". Twenty seconds later, Mari monologues that she's "not so sure about involving an adult to achieve [her] own goals". This is the first sign that Mari's not your average Cloud Cuckoo Lander.
  • Can't forget a gem from RahXephon, regarding the Lost Technology that lets Ayato Kamina teleport into the cockpit of the RahXephon:
    Megumi: So how does that thing work, anyway?
    Kim: No idea. Maybe Dr. Kisaragi knows?
    Megumi: Yeah. That guy seems to know everything.
    Cut to Kamina emerging from the artifact in a different room while Dr. Kisaragi watches.
    Dr. Kisaragi: Really, I wonder how that thing works.
  • In Dragon Ball Z, during the Frieza Saga, Frieza remarks that it's a good day to die, in reference to his opponents when deciding which one he will kill. Later on, when the Namekians have evacuated to Earth via the Namekian Dragon Balls due to Namek's destruction, Guru says the exact same thing when accepting that he is dying of old age.
    • Much later in the manga when Gotenks uses his "Super Ghost Kamikaze Attack" against Buu, Piccolo comments on how the technique is really powerful but also really stupid. Later when Vegito curbstomps Buu, Buu wants to save himself by copying Gotenks' technique, leading Vegito to compliment him on how cool the technique was despite being utterly useless against Vegito's god-like powers.
  • In the Mega Man Maverick Hunter X OVA The Day of Sigma, Sigma tells X that there are times that X should never hesitate to pull the trigger as words of encouragement and also a lecture after an incident where Sigma had to get involved in decommissioning the Maverick due to X hesitating after it used a captured soldier as a reploid-shield. Sigma later says that exact thing when he is strangling X after becoming Maverick, and unveiling that he's going to nuke Abel City to the ground as the start of his reploid rebellion.
  • Rurouni Kenshin:
    • At the beginning of the series, Kenshin says: "A sword is a weapon. Kenjutsu the art of murder...But, I like Miss Kaoru’s idealism better than its true nature." It's revealed that the first sentence is his mentor's philosophy, and he quotes it back to Kenshin to remind him that real life is a Crapsack World.
    • A one-person Ironic Echo happens when, after Saitou reappears in Kenshin's life, he mutters to himself that he will never change, and that Kenshin will revert to his old ways sooner or later. When Kenshin adamantly refuses to do so, Saitou amends his statement as a sign that he's accepted this.
    • There's also an action ironic echo: the first time Kenshin and Aoshi face off, Kenshin defeats him by executing a Barehanded Blade Block. In the lead-up to the final showdown, Aoshi is disarmed by an opponent mirroring his sword style, but he pulls off a one-handed Barehanded Blade Block with a spiffy One-Liner obliquely referring to the previous event.
  • Transformers Cybertron has a funny one.
    Evac: What are you doing here? What do you want?
    Sideways: Sorry, but if I told you then I'd have to tell everybody, and it wouldn't be much of a secret.
    Evac: Smart-alec. Crosswise, you got anything?
    Crosswise: Well, I heard someone say something about a Cyber Planet Key...
    Evac: Oh, so that's it. Sorry, but you're way off base. What you're looking for isn't here.
    Sideways: Then where is it? Tell me!
  • The phrase "with my own hands" ("kono te de") does this in Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Homura says it when declaring that she will kill all the witches and Walpurgis herself, and when she is about to kill Sayaka to prevent her from becoming a witch. But she does not successfully do either of these things. Madoka uses the phrase at the end, while announcing her intent to erase literally all the witches to have ever existed, including Walpurgis. Which she does. She also "kills" Sayaka and takes her to Warrior Heaven so she won't become a witch. The English dub has no such echo.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! has an example during the semi-finals of the Duelist Kingdom arc (in the dub), when Joey duels Bandit Keith. This comes after Bandit Keith leads Joey straight into a trap:
    Bandit Keith: (laughs) You should have seen the look on your loser face, you dweeb! When your swordsman's own attack toasted him? It was priceless!
    • Then, after Keith falls for one of Joey's traps:
    Joey: Not bad, huh? I only wish you could have seen the look on your face when that Metalzoa of yours got shish kebabed! It was priceless.
  • In the season 1 finale of Princess Tutu, Kraehe says that Tutu's role was "just a little added flourish" to the original story. In the Grand Finale, Drosselmeier says that her fate is "just a little added flourish" to the Downer Ending.
  • The Cloverway English dub of Sailor Moon S did this with Mimete's death. Mimete steals an assignment from Telulu by imitating Dr Tomoe's voice and telling Telulu she won't be needed. However she's caught out when she says "ta-ta" as Telulu recognizes it as something the doctor would never say. In the original Japanese, she said "goodbye, idiot" before killing Mimete. But in the dub, she says "Ta-ta, Mimete" as a way of rubbing Mimete's slip-up in her face.
  • In an early episode of Chi's Sweet Home, Mrs. Yamada keeps trying to housebreak Chi, but the confused kitten keeps peeing everywhere but where she should be, including on newly-clean laundry. When Mr. Yamada comes home and finds out, he jokingly says, "The laundry was left out over there, so it couldn't be helped.", much to his wife's annoyance. A few moments later, they discover that Chi peed on his favorite bag that was on the floor, and she tells him, "It was left out over there, so it couldn't be helped, right?"
  • In the Jojos Bizarre Adventure anime, Rubber Soul ends the explanation of Yellow Temperance's invulnerability to attack with "Do you understand?". As Jotaro is about to defeat Rubber Soul, he tells him No matter how invincible that Stand may be, if I defeat the user, the Stand will die too. Do you understand?"
  • In Date A Live, Kurumi Tokisaki encounters some assholes sadistically tormenting a cat by shooting at it with airsoft guns and angrily guns them down. When the last one begs for his life, she mocks him for hurting others and not expecting to be hurt himself and then kills him. Later, when Kurumi suffers a Curb-Stomp Battle at the hands of Kotori Itsuka and is horrified, Kotori mocks her for killing others and not expecting to be killed herself (though Kotori doesn't succeed in killing her). This example may be a coincidence, since Kotori did not witness the earlier incident.

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