"Hey, relax. We're the good guys. Justice will prevail and all that stuff... right, Samus?"
The underlying principle of all series on the idealistic end of the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism
: the good guys will always win in the end
. Most of the drama in the show comes from the sacrifices they will have to make to this end, and sometimes from their lack of faith in this principle, though usually The Hero
, The Love Freak
, The Mentor
or Messianic Archetype
will be there to serve as an endless supply of optimism for the ultimate victory of their cause.
May come as a package deal with Right Makes Might
, but not necessarily. If the show is idealistic enough or targeted to a very young audience, Justice Will Prevail without a single drop of blood being shed — indeed, justice usually prevails with the aid of karma
, and the heroes won't actually have to beat anyone into submission. If its cynical enough, the word 'justice' becomes propaganda that both sides of a conflict use to justify violent/controversial/misc shade of grey actions.
Compare For Great Justice
, when this is explicitly stated in the opening, narration, or cutscenes. Contrast Concepts Are Cheap
, for when this is just thrown in dialog, without actually meaning much. See also As Long as There Is One Man
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Anime and Manga
- One Piece: This is the stated goal of the Marines (good and evil) and most of the people who oppose them, with the main conflict being "Absolute" (Disproportionate Retribution) or Moral (Exactly What It Says on the Tin). The Marines even have "Justice" printed on their uniforms.
- A memorable quote from Donquixote Doflamingo (Which also incorporates Written by the Winners): "Pirates are evil? The Marines are righteous? These terms have always changed throughout the course of history! Kids who have never seen peace and kids who have never seen war have different values! Those who stand at the top determine what's wrong and what's right! This very place is neutral ground! Justice will prevail, you say? But of course it will! WHOEVER WINS THIS WAR... BECOMES JUSTICE!"
- In the Marineford arc, the war between Whitebeard (the commander of the world's most powerful pirate fleet) and the Marines brings the theme of "which kind of justice?" to the forefront.
- This is a pretty blasphemous statement to make in a shonen manga, where clearly defined clashes between good and evil are usually major themes. So when a character basically says that good and evil are just labels the winning side in a conflict uses to justify its actions, it's a moment to take note of as this is rarely seen in a shounen genre.
- Said right after "I am Justice" by characters in Death Note. The audience can be sure that Justice will prevail. The question is only: whose brand of justice?
: If we catch Kira, he is evil. If he succeeds, he is justice.
- Amelia in Slayers often makes speeches along these lines, but isn't taken very seriously. One particularly warped bit of reasoning on her part comes when trying to figure out whether Lina or another individual is the guilty party:
Amelia: "Justice always prevails! Therefore, whichever of you survives must be the good guy! FIREBALL!"
- Oh, and technically, both sides survive that blast. Whether this has implications as to her philosophy... well....
- As time goes on, she seems to realise how silly she looks and does this less often, though she can still pump out the Hot Blood for, say, her father or the "Senile Sentai Squad".
- Played straight and subverted in Martian Successor Nadesico. It's one of the Catch Phrases of the Show Within a Show Gekiganger 3...and a slogan of the Jovian Armed Forces.
- "Take this! Bossborot the Great's Iron Fist of Justice!"
- The Student Council President from Onidere is practically invulnerable as long as he believes he is fighting for justice. He even has a statue of some... thing... that he refers to as the 'statue of justice' and is commonly seen praying to it and making sure it stays clean.
- The Law of Ueki. If you had a shot for the number of times that word is mentioned, you'd be dead drunk after a few episodes.
- Lampshaded in Fullmetal Alchemist, where Maria Ross, during a broadcast, claimed that Roy Mustang and his party were specifically fighting for justice. Some comments from the less gullible flock:
"'Justice' was an excellent word choice. The people will eat that up."
"Justice is about as vague word as there is."
"Please, it was great. It has a great ring to it. 'Justice'. It's beautiful."
"Yup. Whoever uses the word first has the advantage."
- In Machine Robo: Revenge of the Chronos, this is the whole basis of Rom Stoll's speeches, emphasizing to the villains that justice always prevails, and that they don't deserve to know his name for being so evil.
- No mention for Chang Wufei?
- America from Axis Powers Hetalia is obsessed with being The Hero, and as a result often says things like this.
- Bleach: This is Kaname Tosen's schtick. He claims to follow the path to justice despite betraying Soul Society to a would be Omnicidal Maniac. It turns out he did so to avenge his long dead friend who was killed by a Shinigami who went unpunished. Tosen notes that forgiving the Shinigami would be beautiful and virtuous, but it wouldn't be Just.
- Fairy Tail: Fukuro loudly talks like he's a superhero, claiming that he's a Knight of Justice who will destroy the forces of evil, and referring to his opponents as evildoers. He does this even though he's an assassin who eats people alive.
- Name a superhero. If they've been around for more than a year, they've probably said it or some variation. Some are more driven by the idea than others, though.
- Inverted in a Justice League of America storyline about a villain named Prometheus, who is obsessed with the eradication of justice. His plan to destroy the League involves disguising himself as a superhero named Retro, whose catch phrase is "here comes justice!" After disabling half the League and revealing his true identity, Prometheus repeats the phrase one more time, this time with malicious sarcasm.
- In the Miss Marple book A Pocket Full of Rye, Helen McKenezie insists that the man responsible for her husband's death will be punished and that, "No question is ever settled until it is settled right." She claims to be quoting Kipling but doesn't give a source (it's Ella Wheeler Wilcox, Poems of Pleasure).
- The stable The Shield claims that they are on a mission to bring WWE's evildoers to justice, but everybody knows this is a lie because all they do is ambush the faces and give them No Holds Barred Beatdowns, while helping heels win. Or more specifically, they see the fans dictating the direction of the company as an injustice, everyone else sees that as "logical business". This changed however when Triple H's Authority targeted the semiretired Jerry Lawler, which they saw as an even greater injustice, turning them into the baby faces they once despised.
- Declared by Leva Bates, who felt opposing whatever Portia Perez's designs for the SHINE promotion might be was her civic duty as a superhero. It was more "stand for right" than "justice" but same idea.
- Much more subtly implied by Daffney after Mercedes Martinez vowed to eliminate all the members of Daffney's All Star Squad, one by one.
- In William Shakespeare's plays, innocent people are likely to die, but villains are practically certain to get punished. "Truth will come to light; murder cannot be hid long; a man's son may, but in the end truth will out." (The Merchant of Venice, act 2 scene 2)
- A famous lawyer's joke: An attorney succeeds in getting a court judgment in his favor. He wires his client: "JUSTICE HAS PREVAILED". The client wires back: "APPEAL IMMEDIATELY".