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Only Sane Man: Anime and Manga
  • Soul Eater: Maka. She's the only one of the three main characters who's practical, mature and focused. Black Star is incredibly arrogant, self centered, obnoxious and loud, while Kid is an obsessive freak about everything being symmetrical. Among the staff, Yumi counts as a sensible voice amongst her rather more eccentric colleagues, especially Lord Death.
  • Integra Hellsing comes to mind. Despite a relatively Dark and Troubled Past involving her Evil Uncle, she's the only character in the series who's not a Sociopathic Hero, Blood Knight, or Ax-Crazy. She also appears to be the most balanced and stable out of all the characters, which is probably why she's so good at dealing with Alucard.
    • Some would say that Seras Victoria is one of these as well.
  • Mazinger Z: Professor Yumi, Shiro and sometimes Boss alternated in filling the role. The first one was the director of a research lab where Mad Scientists (the funny version) and Hotblooded, hardheaded teenagers ran around. The second one was Kouji Kabuto little brother, and often showed more brains than his rash, loudmouthed, tactless older brother. And Boss... well, even though he was Plucky Comic Relief, often he was the one had to talk Kouji or Sayaka into reason.
    • A serious example happened in episode 7: while Sayaka was going through a Heroic BSOD and losing her will to fight, and Kouji was playing Achilles in His Tent, Boss was trying to remember them over and again there WAS one Mechanical Beast coming, and all of them would die if they didn't fight back! Later Kouji and Sayaka were apologizing at each other and Shiro noted boss was the only was right in that situation.
  • Azumanga Daioh. Yomi is probably the most sane person in her group, followed by Chiyo.
  • One Piece. When the antics get too crazy, Nami or Zoro will yell at the crew about the absurdity of whatever is happening.
    • Robin to a somewhat lighter degree. She usually just smiles and admires their free spirits, but she once outright refused to go with a stupid battle formation because it looked too silly, much to the crew's surprise.
    • Vivi, when she was still a part of the crew, was often one of the voices of reason alongside Nami and Zoro.
    • Usopp is also a bit of this too. While he may easily be carried away due to Luffy's antics, he's been frequently shown to be around as sane as, say, Sanji (when he's not fawning over a girl, anyway).
    • One Piece somewhat subverts this trope, as there are plenty of Only Sane Man situations, but the actual crew member playing the sane man varies wildly - depending on the situation it could be any of them. Even Luffy had one once (Chapter 166 or Episode 104).
    • Less humorously, this is what Coby, Smoker, and Tashigi are when they realize that the marines have pretty much lost it and are going on a petty massacre of pirates when they could be saving lives. At the time, their initial goal of killing Ace was already completed, and Whitebeard was dead as well, plus there was Blackbeard who was going on a straight out rampage and was threatening to destroy Marineford. Instead of helping with that, they (along with a bunch of high-ranking officers such as Akainu) instead start killing pirates who don't want to fight anymore (or have any reason to) all in the name of justice. Coby calls them out on it, which nearly gets him killed.
    • Trafalgar Law automatically became this once he allied with the Straw Hats. While it may seem that Law could manipulate the crew easily, especially given the massive Chessmaster credentials he got during the Punk Hazard arc, the truth of the matter is he was never in control of the alliance to begin with. Any attempts to make them his Unwitting Pawns were pretty much nil, seeing as he did not account for their antics or Luffy's "I do whatever the hell I want" attitude. That's the downside of being the normal (or at least closest to normal) side of the alliance.
  • In How to Read 13, (the Death Note encyclopedia), after the quiz, it shows that Soichiro Yagami is the only one with common sense.
  • Re-l from Ergo Proxy to the point of being The Comically Serious. This is, however, mostly due to her lack of social interaction with regular people, and she eventually comes to realise that everybody has flaws, and sometimes it's best to just accept it and go with the flow.
  • Haré often takes this role in Haré+ Guu. Sometimes his desire for normalcy makes him abnormal.
  • Hen Zemi: Nanako is often the butt of everyone's odd fetishes, although she does have her own, hers are just overshadowed by the others.
  • Ikuto of Nagasarete Airantou is convinced (for a while, at least) that he is the Only Sane Man on the Airantou. He is certainly the only man. After a while, he decides that there's little point in taking issue with all the crazy, and just rolls with it. Still doesn't believe in ghosts (despite meeting one or two) and insists on calling the local kappa a turtle.
  • In Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo, Beauty (and occasionally Gasser) seems to be the only one capable of noticing how strange everyone else is acting, despite a few rare occurrences where she acts strange as well. Softon applies too, being slightly more serious than everyone else, but when your head is shaped like poop/chocolate ice cream, it's hard to be taken seriously.
  • Compared to everyone else in the Ouran High School Host Club, Haruhi's the "normal" one. She learns to adjust, though.
  • When you consider the story of Axis Powers Hetalia, you'll learn to understand that Germany is played out as the only sane man when it comes to the Axis Powers, while England takes up this role for the Allies. However, you really have to stretch the definition of "sane" to an extreme. Especially with England's ability to see magical creatures.
    • Depending on who you ask, England could be replaced in this trope by China.
    • Ukraine and Estonia seem to play this for the Eastern European Soap Opera. And even that is questionable at best.
  • Princess Tutu has a mild version of this trope: Ahiru, as a duck who used to live outside of the story, is the only one at first to notice the odd things that happen in town, like a cat being a ballet instructor and an anteater being one of the students. She quickly gets used to the oddities of the town, however. Autor might also qualify - he's the only character to realize that he's living inside of a fairytale that isn't a character in the story.
  • Chisame from Mahou Sensei Negima!. At the beginning of the series, she is apparently the only one to notice, or care, that the students of Class 3A are... a little on the odd side. Not odd as in 'a little eccentric', odd as in 'that girl is obviously a robot!'. On the bright side, she noticed that Negi seemed to have an unusual respect for her, which proved useful when he goes berserk and she has to snap him out of it.
  • In Excel Saga, Watanabe was at first the only one who complained about working for the Department of City Security, the absurd situations they were put in, how ridiculous their equipment was, while everyone else kept quiet because his co-workers were either idiots or were just okay with getting work. Then things got more dangerous and Watanabe went insane, and for a while Sumiyoshi was the only one upset at how unstable everything had gotten. He calmed down once Matsuya started working to keep everyone out of danger.
  • Shinpachi on Gintama, even though he sometimes get carried away by his friends' weirdness.
  • Tsuna from Katekyo Hitman Reborn! - though as the series goes on, less so, since the insanity is apparently contagious.
  • Azusa in K-On appears to be this at first, and rails on the other members of the band for not being what she expected (in the respect that they rarely practiced, and sat around eating cake and drinking tea), but eventually accepts that their own quirks are what makes them what they are, and later on gets shocked when it gets pointed out to her how she became just as quirky as them through association.
    • Nodoka is the real only sane woman. She's the only one that does not fall to the other girls antics.
    • There was also Mio Akiyama, who keeps the Light Music Club in check. Unfortunately she is overpowered by Cloudcuckoolanders and Genki Girls. This was until Azusa Nakano came in and shared that position.
  • Yukiteru of Mirai Nikki was the Only Sane Man until his parents died and he was convinced he could make things right by becoming God; "sane" being defined as "not a homicidal maniac". He may have a Freudian Excuse, but when you massacre orphans in the name of becoming God, you lose your "sane" title.
    • Very ironically, the end reveals that Yuno was the only "true" sane person all along (yes you read that right), especially when the various reasons for her actions (her inability to save the First World Yukiteru and the fact everyone in the Second World was as good as dead anyway) are brought to light. Indeed, Mirai Nikki is one of the rare cases where it's not the ax wielding Yandere that's nuts, but the world around her with its warped metaphysical laws and facade of "normal" society.
  • Sanpeita from Kemeko DX is apparently the only sane man left on the planet. While his classmates have a problem with their short, Gonk-ish, supernaturally powerful and totally insane teacher insisting she's married to him, their problem is generally jealousy. His childhood friend, who is aware that the teacher is a cyborg suit containing a hot girl, tends to ignore this in favour of protesting to the impropriety of the relationship. His sister is in raptures over her cool "onee-sama". His mother is totally oblivious. Meanwhile Sanpeita cries about how his normal life is being totally destroyed...
  • Shuichi, Kirie's boyfriend in Junji Ito's horror manga Uzumaki, is often the only person who sees the spiral phenomena happening all over town as bizarre, and who realizes the danger the town's in. He sometimes slips into spouting Cassandra Truths in a "You Have to Believe Me!" voice, though by the manga's start, he's largely given up on trying to convince the public and focuses instead on just protecting Kirie.
  • Toki in Code:Breaker, almost exclusively around Cloudcuckoolander Yuuki; apparently Oogami, Crazy-Prepared and Sakura, a Cute Bruiser Determinatrix don't (usually) push the boundaries of Shōnen sanity enough to bother him.
  • Battler in Umineko no Naku Koro ni never actually moved away from the second stage of this syndrome and, from the second arc on, makes the purpose of his existence proving that magic had nothing to do with his and everyone else's murders.
  • Baccano!'s Firo Prochainezo acts like this quite a bit in the Light Novels, as sometimes he just can't help but realize that his friends are really, really weird. The saner ones include a 200-year-old man with Big Brother Instinct the size of the continental US and the Mad Scientist's Love-Oblivious Lab-Grown Servant With A Troubled Conscience. The loony side of the spectrum includes Claire Stanfield, who is...well, Claire Friggin Stanfield
  • Takeshi Kamiyama from Cromartie High School. Though, perhaps, he's best labeled "Only Sane-ish Man."
    • Although Maeda seems to get this kind of treatment somewhat too, seeing how he is the only one of the main cast who seems to care about stuff like that you need nine players to play baseball, AND that gorillas and motorcycles don't count as players, something Kamiyama seems to completely ignore at that point.
  • The cameraman in Millennium Actress is the only person to notice that they are acting out scenes from old movies.
  • Kagami from Lucky Star is probably the most sane person in that entire universe.
  • Lucy is pretty much the only sane person in the guild in Fairy Tail. When she points out what's wrong people act like she's a loony. Later she is joined by Max, Warren, Charle and Pantherlily.
  • Takamine Kiyomaro from Gash Bell often takes this role, especially when Kanchome, Folgore, or Riddle professor are around. One particularly hilarious occasion was in his dream after which he loses Answer Talker.
  • Kaede of Ninin Ga Shinobuden. Also Miyabi, although she contributes to the madness.
  • Kitsurubami is easily the most sane person in FLCL... not that that really says much.
    • It certainly didn't stop her from falling in love with a flying robot with a TV for a head. Yeah...
    • You're probably forgetting Ninamori...
  • Alexis frequently has to take this role on Yu-Gi-Oh! GX.
  • Taizo in The Legend of Koizumi is the only one to realize the patent absurdity of a world where politics are decided by mahjong, they really can rebuild him, and the Nazi high command not only survived WWII, but have been living on a moon base this entire time.
  • Hito Nami from Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei, due to her excessive normalness. Harumi and Abiru are close behind, though still fall prey to their eccentricities (former is a Yaoi Fangirl with an ear fetish and the latter is a Bandage Babe due to a severe tail fetish).
  • Tsukune often has to take this role in Rosario + Vampire.
  • Kanzaki in Tears of a Lamb. Other characters even acknowledge it.
  • In the first arc of Higurashi: When They Cry, Keiichi appears to be the only one to realize how bizarre and sinister the town is getting while all his friends start acting hostile and suspicious, but later arcs make it clear he was the crazy one. However, in other arcs just about everyone seems to be crazy at one point or another, but throughout the story, we never see Sonozaki Mion snap though her sister does and starts pretending to be her. Even the center of the events, Furude Rika, went crazy a few times, even if she never accomplished anything.
  • Bleach has surprising few examples that truly fit this trope, despite all the crazy situations that happen throughout the course of the story.
  • Juu from Denpa Teki na Kanojo is this in a more literal sense: he's one of the few characters who can claim a clean bill of mental health.
  • Hatori from Fruits Basket seems to be the only sane one in his group of friends (the other two are Shigure and Ayame) Whenever they start their antics, he chimes in with a line like "How could anyone sleep with all this noise?" or "Don't the two of you ever stop?"
  • Kou of Arakawa Under the Bridge perceives himself to be this, and has decided it is his job to restore some measure of sanity to the other people living under the bridge. However, his sanity is largely relative to the residents living under the bridge...
  • Rossiu from Gurren Lagann. Unfortunately for him, this is a universe that runs on Rule of Cool, so the Only Sane Man becomes an Obstructive Bureaucrat.
  • Katteni Kaizo gives us Umi and Suzu, subverted with Umi though as it turns out she's just as zant as Kaizo, but better at keeping a lid on it.
  • Magic Knight Rayearth: High Priest Zagato was the only one who questioned the Pillar System—with one person, Emeraude, focusing her entire will to make sure Cephiro was prosperous and peaceful. Everyone else, Emeraude included, accepted it as a fact of life until Part II forced them to question its rightness.
  • Jim Hawking from Outlaw Star is frequently the only one to see the insanity in Gene's incessant Indy Ploy's.
  • He's a cold-blooded Sociopathic Soldier, but when compared to his lunatic partners, Auel, and Stella, Sting Oakley of Gundam Seed Destiny is a pillar of stability and reasonableness. He's the only one to Know When to Fold 'Em, and he typically acts as the brains of the outfit, keeping the other two from going totally over the edge. When they die, he finally snaps.
    • Sting owes something to Gates Capa of Zeta Gundam, the only remotely sane Cyber-Newtype, whose job seems to have been keeping Rosamia stable. Zeta also features Emma Sheen and Henken Bekkener whose Ensemble Darkhorse status is owed almost entirely to their being a pair of reasonable, rational, competent adults in the childish Dysfunction Junction that is the AEUG.
  • Koushi Inuzuka of Sumomomo Momomo is the only one aware that there are laws against the types of shenanigans that regularly break out, and he regularly quotes them for good measure. He also initially objects to the impossibility of some actions, but eventually just settles into being a Deadpan Snarker about it.
  • Hyuga Koushiro is more or less this in Kamisama Dolls, especially among the Seki. Utao and Kirio are just children, Aki's a homicidal maniac and Mahiru is... not all together there. Kyouhei tries to be this but still has lingering, unresolved issues from the same event that broke Mahiru and contributed to Aki's issues.
  • Konan from Naruto is arguably this when it comes to the Akatsuki.
    • She's the sanest individually. If we are going by pairs, arguably the most normal (and by default, sanest) is Itachi (who would have also been an individual Only Sane Man if it weren't for his fucked up plan involving Sasuke) and Kisame (who doesn't count individually because he's extremely bloodthirsty). This is because Konan is loyal to and the partner of a guy with a massive God complex, and the other pairs include a pair of immortals who argue all the time, with one being greedy as hell and the other a sadomasochist with an extremely foul mouth, and two artists who argue over philosophies over art (one who likes to blow stuff up and the other likes to make human puppets). Then there's the last pair, which includes a plant guy with a likely schizophrenia disorder, and the Plucky Comic Relief who's really the mastermind of the entire organization, and took part in an Assimilation Plot that sounds like it was made when the person was both high and drunk just so he could see his dead crush.
  • There is at least one sane man among every Dex Holder group in Pokémon Special:
    • Stoic trainer Green compared to nice guy Red, flirty ex-thief Blue, and shy girl Yellow.
    • Aloof Silver or strict Crystal compared to hotblooded troublemaker Gold.
    • Bratty midget Emerald can't stand prissy Ruby's and wild Sapphire's endless bickering.
    • Impatient straight man Pearl, spoiled heiress Platinum, and cheerful glutton Diamond have all had a chance to be the normal one among the trio during their journey.
    • Snarky Cheren or responsible White compared to ditzy Bianca and loudmouthed dreamer Black.
  • The Budokai announcer and dog king of the world in Dragon Ball are probably the only persons in the world not connected to the main cast to realize that Mr. Satan's claims of beating Cell are nonsensical and that it was much more likely he was defeated by one of those super powerful people who had fought in the previous Budokais and defeated Demon King Piccolo.
  • Dr. Fuyutsuki from Neon Genesis Evangelion.
  • Hilariously, Ein the dog is heavily implied to be the only sane being aboard the Bebop.
    • Jet as well, to some extent.
  • Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai's Kodaka Hasegawa serves as this to the Neighbors Club, a school club ostensibly aiming to help its members make friends — and he shares the clubroom with an abrasive brunette, a ridiculously sexy high-class brat, an effeminate crossdresser, a perverted teenage prodigy, his little sister under a constant self-delusion of being a vampire-loli, and a ten-year-old nun with serious reality-checking issues. The only reason he's even with the Club is because his facial structure and naturally-blond hair makes him pass up for some delinquent.
  • In Daily Lives of High School Boys, there's Tadakuni towards Hidenori and Yoshitake, Tadakuni's Distaff Counterpart Habara towards Yanagin and Ikushima, and, on top of all, Karasawa.
  • Yui in To Love-Ru. As the class morals officer she's the other side of Rito's accidental perversion. However the more she fights it, the more the universe decides to screw with her. Eventually her tolerance for the antics of day to day life with Rito and his friends increases quite a bit, but that doesn't mean she won't hit and yell at Rito when he does something perverted.
  • In tsuritama Natsuki is this when you look at the other main characters: a Shrinking Violet who accidentally pulls a Face of a Thug whenever anxious (which is often), a M.I.B. obsessed with his pet duck, and a Keet Human Alien trying to save the world. Natsuki's quirks, acting kinda aloof and being really into fishing, pale in comparison.
  • In Corseltel no Ryuujitsushi and sequels, Nata the darkness dragon is this to the other baby dragons. In terms of older dragons and mages, he's still just a baby, though.
  • While multiple characters in Rave Master posses common sense, the vast majority quickly turn out to be Not So Above It All and will join the wackiness as soon as someone more serious than them temporarily joins the team. The only person who can make everyone else take on a comic relief role is Sieg Hart, who's somewhat exasperated when he realizes that the two most important people needed to stop Demon Card are also the two flakiest members of the cast.
  • Sakura-sou no Pet na Kanojo: Poor Sorata, having to deal with the crazies in his dorm (including the landlady, no less). The only reason he's even in Sakurasou is because the regular dorms won't let him keep all the cats he collects.
  • Though not intended to give this effect, Prince Odysseus in Code Geass appears to be the only sane man in all of Britannia. Though frequently called "mediocre" and depicted as indecisive and having a flat, unexcitable temperament, these aren't necessarily bad things in governance, he's only indecisive insofar as that he is basically the only character who is open to more than one possibility while dealing with complex, volatile geopolitical situations (nobody in this world ever thinks to abandon or even amend their absurdly convoluted plans when everything falls apart, despite millions of lives and entire economies often being at stake contingencies plans are completely unheard of) and reacts to things in a calm, reasonable manner rather than standing up, screaming and launching into a silly hand movement. He acts like a normal politician in world-power that's seemingly run entirely by supervillains. He's always the voice of reason, he's never paralysed with shock and never raises his voice. He may very well be the only reason the Holy Empire of Britannia hasn't destroyed the world in a barrage of explosive shells, off-model faces and ridiculous poses.
  • In Princess Mononoke, poor Ashitaka just can't get the humans and animals to stop fighting each other before the great forest spirit is killed but reborn.
  • Homura from Sekirei is often stuck as this, among Minato's Battle Harem. One of the other rare male Sekirei, Mutsu, seems to be cursed to be this wherever he goes. When the two meet briefly, the later realizes the former lives at Izumo Inn and as such is dealing with his old comrades. He expresses his sympathy and wishes the other good luck in dealing with "those witches".
  • Variation of ED's henchmen in Ixion Saga DT is relatively normal, while the others sometimes seem to be born in Cloudcuckooland.
  • Ami in Toradora! is the Only Sane Girl. Sure, she lacks tact, but if you actually listen, you realize what she says makes a lot of sense. Plus, considering her company is Minori and Taiga, it's hard not to look sane by comparison.
  • There are seven Level 5 espers in A Certain Magical Index. Accelerator is an Axe Crazy sociopath obsessed with becoming strong enough so that no one will ever even challenge him (and even after his Heel-Face Turn is still violently antisocial), Kakine is basically Accelerator with fewer standards, Mugino is an arrogant elitist with a penchant for Disproportionate Retribution, Shokuhou is a paranoid mind-controller, the sixth is always missing, and Gunha thinks he's the protagonist of a shonen manga, complete with Hot-Blooded speeches. Mikoto Misaka, the third-ranked Level 5, is the Only Sane Man of the group, and is thus the unofficial poster girl for Academy City. Of course, she isn't exactly a paragon of mental health either, being a tsundere Bully Hunter with some really childish tastes, but the administration of the city can hide those things easier than the rest.
  • In Nerima Daikon Brothers Hideki is the only one who reacts to the craziness around him the way a normal person would. Subverted with Ichiro, who appears calm and composed but whose behavior is often downright weird.
  • Free!'s Tachibana Makoto, the mother-hen of the team, takes up this role. On top of that he has the rather exhausting job of Cloudcuckoolander's Minder to his closest friend Haruka but he takes it all in stride though not without throwing in a comment or two from time to time...
  • Tomoe from Kamisama Kiss is probably the most grounded, pragmatic, realistic and level-headed character in the show. At least compared to Nanami, a Type B Tsundere Large Ham with Chronic Hero Syndrome, or Bunny-Ears Lawyer Otohiko.
  • Rock in Black Lagoon is the one character in the show who isn't a hardened criminal, and as such he's constantly questioning the sanity or morality of the actions of his shipmates. Since he's such a lousy criminal, he ends up taking care of mundane affairs and running errands.
  • Tea on Yu-Gi-Oh! seems to have the most common sense among her group of friends. She's not a main duelist and that might be why she's more sane.
    • Averted with Seto Kaiba. He tries to make sense of everything that happens to him. Depending on what version of the anime you watch, he either acknowledges magic's existence or flat-out rejects the idea.
  • Durarara!! has the main protagonist Celty Sturluson, who happens to be a dullahan that doubles as a Biker Babe. To put this in perspective, the sanest person in the entire main cast happens to be a headless, amnesiac psychopomp. That alone should tell you what kind of series this is.
    • Kyohei Kadota is this for the van gang.
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