How had Jess put it? This world was sublime. A world that was awesome in the truer sense of the word, greater in so many respects. In a metaphorical sense, the peaks were higher, the valleys lower, works of art more artful, extremes more… extreme. It wasn’t a good thing. Make the mountains twice as tall and the chasms twice as deep, and things start crumbling.
Black Lagoon takes place in the fictional Thai city of Roanapur, a city riddled with corruption, crime and violence, where gunfights happen in a frequent business, and almost every named character can kick all sorts of ass, whether it be with a guns, knives, or your clever wits. This is especially true if you're a woman. Let's just put it this way, in Roanapur, if you have a name, then you are a SURVIVOR.
High School Of The Dead has a universe that kills off the weak or zombifies them, leaving the world populated by badasses. In fact, being one has pretty much become a bare minimum requirement for survival.
Durarara!!. Half of the cast is outright Crazy Awesome, while the other half is badass in one way or another. No exceptions. And since Durarara!! takes place in the same universe as Baccano!, this makes sense.
In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, the world of Midchilda is a non Crapsack World example. Generally, the rule is that if it comes from Midchilda and has a name, it will be able to annihilate you. It doesn't matter whether you are talking about five year old girls, ferrets or six inch cute mascots. Or books.
Pokémon Special, a world where humans are more likely to be fighting along side of their Pokémon instead of just hanging back.
Specifically, the deconstruction is: What happens to the non-badass people? Well, they die left and right, and the police are pretty much useless against the evil Badasses.
Dorohedoro. You can't be non-badass and survive in a world where Devils go for a walk when they're bored, much less in a city where the yearly Zombie Apocalypse is a fundraising event. It's good that Death Is Cheap, otherwise Anyone Can Die would have slaughtered most of the main cast by volume 8.
Mahou Sensei Negima!, or at least the residents of the Magical World. The most Badass of them all? Evangeline. And that's saying something.
Noir depicts a village in France where everybody, with no exception (children, old women and nuns included), is an assassin trained to mass-murdering or die in attempt. As just are the main characters, Mireille and Kirika and most part of the other characters as well.
Bleach. Any named character who resides in Soul Society or Hueco Mundo is able to kick your ass. Yes, even the wimpy White Mage, and yes, even the guy who transforms into a pink pumpkin. To say nothing of the human characters, who with the introduction of the Vandenreich number among the strongest characters in the series hands down.
It doesn't matter what someone's archetype is in Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon, because they'll be able to abuse the setting's Sufficiently Advanced Science to be badass. Kimi, a dancer, is literally untouchable in combat. Shirojiro, a merchant, can fight giant robots with his bare hands. Toori, a fool, is a bottomless energy well. Neshinbara, an author, can make anything happen just by writing it. And they're the support types. Armed characters will do anything from be a shield, to cut anything they want, to summon legions of the undead instantly, to ground flying ships in single blows, and anything in between.
Sin City. Even the Comedy Relief bad guys, Shlubb and Klump, can withstand an explosion from close-range.
But come on, the Yellow Guy is anything but badass.
Scott Pilgrim. At first it seems like only a few people can really fight, but it becomes pretty clear that almost every minor character or random background extra could probably throw down with some bizarre fighting style or weapon if sufficiently provoked.
Jim Valentino's normalman features the planet Levram, where everyone has super powers. Everyone, that is, except the eponymous character normalman. And as the series progresses he gets increasingly badass without ever gaining super powers.
And even side-characters and civilian allies can step up to the plate without being bitten by a radioactive anything. J. Jonah Jameson may be a jerk but he won't back down from Doc Ock when his people are in danger. Mary Jane does not make a cooperative damsel in distress (outside the movieverse.) The X-Men's scientist friend Moira McTaggert once pulled out a machine gun to battle a monstrosity calling itself Kierrok the Damned. Lois Lane knows kung fu. The list goes on.
Special shout-out to those chosen to be Green Lanterns. They have to be Badassjust to qualify to get the ring in the first place!
Special notice to the old guy in Stuttgart who stood up to Loki.
Many of the darker portrayals of the Star Wars galaxy venture into this territory, chock full of CrazySurvivalists, hardened criminals, badass bounty hunters, Space Pirates, clever smugglers, vicious aliens of all types who can tear apart, impersonate, infect, outsmart, or otherwise outmatch an average human, or, if you're particularly unlucky, even a Jedi or Sith. There's a reason nearly every civilian vessel is packing so much firepower.
The Malazan Book of the Fallen series has badass characters in droves, ranging from Physical Gods to Badass Normals. Among the hundreds of named characters it would be easier to list who isn't a badass. Those would include... well... the Mhybe and Challice D'Arle. That's about it.
The Crest of Zabutur brings us the world of Mencu, populated with creatures called Serenghe. Given that all of them possess some form of elemental manipulation abilities, you'll be hard-pressed to find even a civilian who cannot hold her ground in combat.
Belisarius Series: Almost every character is a badass. Aside from the title character, his wife is a retired hooker who is somehow able to kill half a dozen assassins with a meat cleaver and a cauldron of stew, his wife's best friend is a spymaster of spymasters, the seeming Distressed Damsel can kill men with her bare hands, and convince her former captors to pledge loyalty to her; her husband is one of the two greatest warriors in India. And on and on.
Discworld. If you intend to mess with someone here, make sure they're not harmless old men, witches, wizards, dwarves, trolls, Mrs. Cake, demons, gods, gnomes, D'regs, hairdressers, Mrs. Cake, werewolves, vampires, pictsies, heroes, Mrs. Cake, assassins, monks, Sir Samuel Vimes, Death, Susan Sto Helit, Lord Vetinari, the Luggage, or last, but not least, the Librarian (and Mrs. Cake). It's a wonder that anyone else is left in the place.
Ankh-Morpork has The Shades, which is such a dangerous neighborhood that in Night Watch, the revolutionaries don't even bother building barricades on the Shades side, because not even the freaking army will go in there.
Vimes: "You know what they call a horse in the Shades, Fred?"
Fred: "Yeah, Sarge. Lunch."
An entire town called Bad Ass appears in Wyrd Sisters. Unsurprisingly it is the home town and base of Granny Weatherwax. Visitors to Lancre have been warned. Apparently a donkey once stopped midstream and refused to go either forwards or backwards. But that's their story.
Possibly a Shout-Out to Shea and Wilson's Illuminatus! trilogy, in which the Texan town of Bad Ass is a throwback to earlier ornery Confederate ways and has a robust attitude to all those northern carpetbagging liberal sissy notions such as desegregation. Bad Ass is an embarrassment to the rest of the USA, which uncomfortably realises that Bad Ass is how the rest of the world sees the whole of America.
World Of Badass is a literal description of what happens to the setting of Men. There are only eleven people left on the planet, all men, and they are all incredibly damned awesome.
In order to be a Time Scout, you have to be a badass. Hell, just to associate with a time scout will probably require you to be a badass. The only people who aren't badasses are tourists. They're just kind of annoying.
World Of Badass is an excellent description of Barsoom where the Mad Scientists carry sword; the Damsels In Distress are likely to slip a dagger between your ribs and little old men can give the best swordsman on two planets a fight to remember.
Spartacus: Blood and Sand: Basically any character that isn't a Badass is just there for decoration. Virtually every character of note kills somebody. The result is an Anyone Can Die situation, since the entire show pretty much amounts to a bunch of Badasses all trying to kill each other.
Alias. Even relatively dorky characters like Mitchell got to save the day or make sassy remarks while being horrifically tortured from time to time.
Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. Almost every character in this show, be they princess, middle-aged mother, or barmaid, seems to be a rather good fighter. (Salmoneus may be an exception.) This rule seems to also apply (perhaps to a lesser degree) to the spinoff Xena: Warrior Princess.
24. Put it this way: Kim Bauer has fought off psychotic kidnappers, smashed her abusive employer in the face with a crowbar, broken out of police custody by setting fire to the transport van while she's in it, fought off seasoned, bloodthirsty war criminals with a hot coffee pot, and more. In any other series? She'd be a bona fide Action Girl. In this one? She's a Damsel Scrappy. That's right - these are the accomplishments of the LEAST badass person in the main cast. And then there's Behrooz Araz, a doe-eyed teenager, who enacts some seriously badass Shovel Fu on Day 4.
Babylon 5: This is a show that has diplomats that can endure torture, break chains, personally command battle fleets, or even out- Chessmaster multi-million year old space demons. It also has an outpost commander who goes back in time and becomes a Messianic Archetype. Not to mention Battle Butler s that can pick up a man with one hand or fiendishly arrange for the prisoners to be lost in paperwork and found somewhere where they won't be exterminated.
The Pegasus Galaxy is not a safe place to live. After millennia of the Wraith treating the entire galaxy like a Mcdonald's drive-through, even noncombatants have to be badass to survive. Any given day in Atlantis could turn up something new and horrible to kill you, but every single person on Atlantis knows the risks and keeps fighting the good fight, regardless.
The Walking Dead. Justified, in that it's set post zombie apocalypse, and therefore everyone who's not badass is dead. Special mention must go to Michonne, Daryl Dixon, and Tyreese. Daryl beats a zombie to death despite having an arrow through his side, pulls the arrow out to shoot another zombie with, climbs out of a ravine and walks all the way back to home base despite his injuries, then gets mistaken for a zombie due to his blood-soaked state and shot in the head and still has enough left to throw off a one-liner before finally passing out. It's In the Blood, apparently, since his older brother killed multiple zombies and escaped Atlanta immediately after cutting off his own hand. Then there's Tyreese who can melee a swarm of zombies by himself with just a house hold hammer!!!...and survives!!, Then there's the bad ass action chick Michonne who wields a damn katana, and uses it very well.
In the TokusatsuGARO, the Makai, a hidden civilization of demon hunters, is clearly this. Be it Priest or Knight or any other entity that hails from or connected to it, you're pretty much going to be powerful and badass.
The Warhammer 40,000 universe, of course. This happens largely through a twisted form of natural selection; the insufficiently Badass simply die in droves at the hands of the rest.
That being said, a few worlds earn a specific mention, such as Cadia, which stands directly on the one way out of the setting's version of hell (that's saying quite a lot, actually), forcing the population into becoming the best soldiers of the Imperial Guard.
Warhammer Fantasy, although in this case it's one-third natural selection, one-third the will of the gods, and one-third taking on Bloodletters without semiautomatic rocket grenade launchers or tanks the size of small cities.
Exalted. If your character can't be described as an utter Badass, you are doing it wrong. You know that you are living in a World Of Badass when the fairies are soul-eating Eldritch Abominations, and are some of the weakest beings in the setting.
Feng Shui, naturally, since it's based on action movies, especially Hong Kong ones.
Strike Legion, where even the lowliest mooks with 1 in their stats are as good as the real life best in their fields, and things only go up from there.
The Fallout series, bare minimum, requires EVERYONE be an Action Survivor, and if you want to enjoy a healthy lifespan in a post apocalyptic world where quite often Everything Is Trying to Kill You, being some sort of badass is about the only way to enjoy most of your natural lifespan.
Metal Gear, where everyone is a hard-boiled double agent who may or may not have supernatural abilities. A world where a women gives birth via a messy C-section and then immediately leads the charge at Normandy on D-day.
Devil Survivor 2 recently took this Up to Eleven. In other SMT games, if you didn't have demons, demon power, or could otherwise fight them in some way, you were screwed. In this game, though, not only is demon summoning ability available to pretty much everyone worldwide as long as you have a cellphone (which IRL and ingame are easy to get and very widespread) and a free downloadable app, even that isn't necessary in one level where unarmed, non demon summoning civilians are fighting demons and demon summoners and doing pretty well.
Not to mention the fact that the first game had an in-game justification/Hand Wave on why normal unarmed humans could hope to stand up to demons in a fight and not be killed in a single hit from them: no such thing exists in the second game, implying that everyone's just that strong normally.
Its H-Game parody, Sengoku Rance, basically is the same formula, just with a different gameplay engine and tons of estrogen due to massive amounts of Gender Flip (though none of the women are less badass as a result).
Mabinogi: Even aside from the PCs, you see a lot of memory sequences (and actual fight scenes) of NPC army characters being extremely badass.
Dragon Age II, more so than the first game. Fewer cowering screaming people, bigger dragons, and nobody flinches from battling the guy that according to the tales killed a High Dragon with a rusty spoon.
Touhou is set in Gensoukyou, a realm that has become the nexus of the planet's magic and badass. When a character that can freeze their opponent solid in an instant and another that can shatter boulders with their fists are mocked by fans and other characters for being too weak, then this trope is inevitable.
Guild Wars is a game where major characters who can't fight are extremely rare.
Gears are so hardcore that they wield assault rifles with chainsaw bayonets, can reload the hard way, so the shots have higher damage, and can shrug off anything except direct hits with explosives or headshots from anti-tank rifles. Revolvers sever limbs, machine guns mulch targets, and Torque Bows (don't let the name fool you, it's more like a hybrid of a bow, a Gauss gun, and an RPG) double as lethal melee weapons. The best part? By the third game, female Gears do all of these things as well.
On the enemies' side, you have one of toughest video-game mooks ever, with basic soldiers dying after a whole magazine of SMG ammo or withstanding a point-blank shotgun blast.
In World of Warcraft, even the lowliest, non military NPC you come across will generally have as many hit points as the big, tough monsters you fight, and be able to dish out nearly as much damage as said monsters just with his bare fists.
Pretty much any named character who's done something relevant is likely to be a badass - such as Illidan, Malfurion, Tyrande, Jaina, Thrall, Arthas, Uther, Varian, Fandral, Archimonde, Kil'jaeden, Medivh, Maeiv...
Asura's Wrath is MADE of this trope. From a rampaging demigod whose strenght seemingly has no limit and who gets stronger the angrier he gets, a deity that becomes bigger than the Earth itself, to another one who has a sword that can extend all the way from Earth to the fucking moon, and pierce right THROUGH IT! And that's just the three characters revealed in the demo.
Any MMORPG city's population will consist of various badasses who's day job is usually killing things. People who aren't badasses tend to be 5 or 4 to a city.
Xenoblade - The main character is a Badass Bookworm who shrugs a plot-induced coma off in only 30 minutes of gameplay, while it took Cloud half a disc, his mentor singlehandedly ends a war against giant killer death robots and shouts haikus in battle, the puffball "mascot"-looking character can tank tons of damage, equip heavy armor, and hits 9999 HP before any other character; said puffball's race charges into battle against aforementioned evil killer death robots alongside humans and not-elves, the medic is the only character with a semi-reliable instant kill move, the effeminate-looking not-elf prince is described as "looks like a sissy, but he's got guts", a minor comic relief character survives having a troop transport dropped on him and is nigh-fearless even when faced with one of the tougher baddies in the game, and did we mention they're all fighting giant evil killer death robots that eat people? And the main character kills, then becomes a god.
Anarchy Reigns. Even the seemingly harmless bartender robot can (and will) kick your ass.
Final Fantasy is probably a universe of Badass. (Multiverse, really, but technicalities.)
Project × Zone took this trope a bit further; it's not just one world anymore. There exist six worlds of badasses and all of them include a lot of badass people both heroes and villains (Earth, Phantom World, Hell, Alternate Earth, Endless Frontier, and the different star systems in the future).
Rebuild: it's not uncommon to have survivors with maximal level in soldier. Hell, if you're playing in a huge city, everyone will have maximal level in soldier at the end. Even the scientists.
The Nasuverse itself. If they have a name, they have badass points:
In Fate/stay night every main character has severe badass credentials by the end except Shinji, really. Yes, even Ilya and Sakura. Fate/hollow ataraxia barely changes the cast, but even those few it adds are amazing, such as Bazett Fraga McRemitz, a human who can go toe to toe with Servants — in fact, she has her own Noble Phantasm, which only Servants are supposed to have.
Angel Notes, a virtually unknown piece of work within the Nasuverse, involves swords so long they can carve out chasms in the earth, and humans slaughtering an Eldritch Abomination. World of raging badass indeed - then again, it did give us Archer.
In Maji de Watashi ni Koi Shinasai!, there are very few characters who can't fight, and many who takes it to a ridiculous degree. The anime even opens with a war game which includes the entire school. The same event is also in one of the routes.
In the world of Axe Cop, if you have a name, chances are good that you are either a good guy with superpowers or a bad guy about to be destroyed.
The Adventures of Dr. McNinja is pretty much this combined with Rule of Cool. Ninja doctor with a velociraptor-riding, revolver-toting bandito sidekick. Whole family of ninjas. Pirates that fly around in their airships. A zombie-killing chrononaut/astronaut for a mayor. The list of badasses goes on.
One story involves an army of primitively-armed humans attacking, successfully at first, a fortress full of gun-toting dinosaurs. Some of the humans turned into giant lumberjacks and wrestled the dinosaurs to death. In case it's not obvious, insane badassery is pretty much the entire point of this comic.
king radical is from the alternatie dimension called the radical lands, where everything (including the living helicopter-tree hybrid, and the sun) wear sunglasses for starters, also badass nicknames are the norm. And title character drmcninja would be considered an average citicen in that alternate universe.
Giant ghost powered robot made from the city using the city's zombie defence system. That is all.
Homestuck: If you've managed to get into the Medium and you're not badass already, you will be soon enough.
St. Louis is a city of badass in Lackadaisy. All the characters have their moments.
Here's a list: Rocky Rickaby, who dances in and out of danger and gets in all sorts of trouble; Aunt Nina, a badass grandma; Freckle McMurray, who goes from quiet ex-cop to "murders three recurring villains with a tommy gun while laughing like a maniac" almost immediately after finding the Lackadaisy; Mitzi May, who is simply an Action Girl; Dorian "Zib" Zibowski, who is a total badass without ever picking up a weapon; Mordecai Heller is, well, Mordecai Heller and the list goes on.
Schlock Mercenary has a truly fascinating example. The galaxy is just filled with Mooks for Tagon's Toughs to savage, and Worthy Opponents to return the favor. But the Toughs themselves have a contagious case of Badass. They pick up a (ir)reverend (because he was the sole applicant) and a doctor (based on her cup size). The reverend is soon skewering enemy eyeballs with a fencing foil. The doctor ends up leading troops into curbstomps and delivering speeches "Like Patton with boobs". They grab a bunch of loser thugs off from a Wretched Hive on a Scavenger World. The one with no arms can float like a butterfly(with gravitic assists) and sting like a bee (as in wrestle entire gangs with her tongue). They grab a Wrench Wench off a UNS battleplate that wants to get rid of her. She slaughters mobs singlehandledly (with Powered Armor and Post-Victory Collapse). Join The Toughs. Be Badass.
Lyle Phipps manages to invoke this trope in Great. Everyone he interacts with is inspired to become awesome in what they do because of him.
The Snafu comics by Bleedman; Powerpuff Girls Doujinshi, and Grimtales from Down Below. Like mainstream print comics, the two feature superheroes, robots, aliens, beings of supernatural origin, etc.; rightfully fitting this trope from the get-go, but the real icing on this cake of badassery is that the characters have all on their own saved the world and/or universe at one point or another, and are now all together in one continuity.
Noblesse: Anyone (attractive) in the series will inevitably be Badass: thanks to the Noblesse, his butler, his butler's employees, plus their friends as well as their enemies who consists of Elite Mooks and worse, many buildings have been demolished in their fights.
Shock, on Stickpage.com, is a stick animation based in a world so badass, that this is what happens when you want to apply for a position AS THE FUCKING JANITOR.
The Legend of Korra subverts this trope in terms of its franchise, but provides some justified exceptions. The main plot involves a brewing city-wide war between benders and non-benders, but, unlike its predecessor series, there are far fewer badasses in the world due to a seventy year stretch of peacetime and prosperity. The vast majority of the city's populace aren't fighters. They sit on the sidelines throughout the series. The police, who practice a rare art known as metalbending, are woefully outmatched against the military-strength Equalists. Even the Order of the White Lotus, who were the pinnacle of badassness in the original series, have become little more than mooks due to the long peace. The heroes and villains are the only real exceptions. The non-bender Equalist revolutionaries have dedicated training camps for their rank-and-file, and extensive financial and technical support to arm themselves. Meanwhile, the heroes only have extensive martial arts training due to their unusual backgrounds: two members are former gangsters turned pro-athletes who lived on the street, another was given extensive self-defense training after her mother's murder, and the show's heroine is a Kung-Fu Jesus whose powers depend on martial and spiritual perfection.
Cybertron, homeworld of the Transformers. Even the planet itself is badass, what with being a badass god, Primus in disguise. Even the least badass of Transformers is usually still a twelve foot tall car/robot hybrid with built in missiles and stuff.
The least badass Transformers are probably either the Mini-cons (until they unleash their full Unicron-given powers and become a giant glowing green Unicron and battle the Chaos-bringer hand-to-hand or G1 Wheelie (except in the versions where he lived on a Death World all his life and has a necklace made of Sharkticon teeth. And still does the annoying rhyming thing which was made cool).
In The Fairly OddParents, Timmy wished that his life would be like an action movie. And like an action movie, things went from bad to worse.
The Boondocks. Though Huey's portrayed as a martial arts expert, he's constantly matched or bested by senior citizens, psychotic women, and even Uncle Ruckus.
Ruckus: "What? You think you the only one to learn the ancient and deadly art of the Nunchaku?"
The entire cast of Gargoyles. The leastBad Ass character would probably be the mutated flying Cat Girl who can shoot electricity out of her hands.