Sanity Strengthening

Over the course of a story an insane character actually becomes less insane and more sane as time passes. The opposite of Sanity Slippage. They may start out sane and become insane before becoming sane again. The point of the trope is that they ultimately end up as more or less sane or saner.


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     Anime and Manga  

  • Harry in Outlaw Star. He starts off as an Ax-Crazy Stalker with a Crush to Melfina but as the series goes on he becomes more loving and gentle towards her and even makes peace with Gene his enemy before his death.
  • Anemone from Eureka Seven starts off as a violently psychotic Tyke Bomb, but grows much stabler in the presence of her handler/guardian Dominic. Late in the series, he manages to restore her sanity completely through the Power of Love.
  • Naruto has Gaara. He starts out Ax-Crazy but is now a nice mentally stable guy and is actively trying his best to help Naruto, his friend who he once considered his enemy and tried to kill.
  • Nina Einstein of Code Geass starts out sane, exhibits Sanity Slippage and and then in the beginning of R2 recovers much of her sanity. Later scenes indicate that her insanity was not so much defeated as it was redirected. Near the end of the series is where she starts to actually recover.
  • Hayato Jin in Getter Robo starts out as an insane student activist-terrorist with brainwashed followers and gets drunk with power the first time he pilots Getter Robo itself. Though his ruthlessness stays with him through the entire Getter saga, he becomes more pragmatic and well-adjusted.

    Comic Books 

  • In Batman: White Knight, The Joker is cured of his insanity and the authorities wastes no time analyzing his mental capacity. It turns out his CAT-Scan and IQ tests indicate he's scored beyond genius level intellect, and this has helped him become a very powerful man who can even challenge the GCPD.



     Live Action TV  

  • Slade Wilson (Deathstroke) in Arrow. He was driven insane by a combination of Psycho Serum and tragedy. Later on the Psycho Serum runs out and he's become a lot of more understanding and remorseful.
  • Parker from Leverage fits this trope well. In the pilot, Nate actually says "Parker? She's insane!" And he means it. As the series progresses, she becomes more normal as a result of the family bonding the team experiences as they run jobs together.
  • River Tam on Firefly. Played for Drama as it just means her lucid periods get more frequent, so she's more often aware of her insanity.
  • Connor on Angel. He starts out a warped Laser-Guided Tykebomb raised in a hell dimension by a vengeful Knight Templar and gets worse. Angel then uses a Deal with the Devil to rewrite reality to give Connor a happy life and fake memories. Even after Connor regains his true memories, the knowledge of what Angel did for him keeps him stable.
  • Person of Interest: Root starts off as an incredibly chipper, sociopathic hacker and hired killer with absolutely no regard for human life. Her experiences with The Machine, Finch, and the rest of the team have started to bring her down to a much more stable mindset. She's still rather enthusiastic about violence, but she has clearly learned to care about what happens to people, and she's getting better and better as the show goes on. Or, she was, until Shaw went missing.

     Tabletop Games  

  • In The Dark Eye, this can be invoked by removing the character flaws you started out with by using the adventure points awarded at the end of an adventure. Within the game, there is the skill "soul healing", which is equivalent to psychotherapy, and can do this.
  • You can try doing this in Call of Cthulhu (requires Psychology skill), but ultimately it's just delaying the inevitable.
  • In Eclipse Phase this can be attempted with mundane therapy or "psychosurgery" that reprograms the software of the brain with nanites. Or failing that revert to an earlier backup.

     Video Games  

     Web Original  
  • In Worm the government retains the services of a psychiatrist Called Ms. Yamada, who despite being a normal dealing with metahumans of all shapes, powers and stages of sanity manages to help a great deal of them. Her greatest effort is in the epilogues of the story, where she talks a villain contemplating killing everyone into becoming a hero.

     Western Animation  

  • Wanda Maximoff from X-Men: Evolution, who was sent to an asylum by her father Magneto shortly after her mutant powers emerged. Magneto eventually has Mastermind mess with her head, replacing all her bad memories with good ones so she believes he'd been a loving father. Ironically, she became less psycho and more kind and gentle towards others.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012): Upon his initial mutation, Slash had been driven crazy and wanted to kill the Turtles, believing them to be holding Raph back from being a true warrior. When he returns in "Battle for New York", he's much more stable, explaining that the mutagen had messed with his head.