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Some Anvils Need To Be Dropped: Anime & Manga

  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.
    • "The idol of today pushes the hero of yesterday out of our recollection, and will, in turn, be supplanted by his successor of tomorrow." - Washington Irving
    • The main anvil of the story: believe in your friends, who believe in you. Believe in you, who believes in yourself. Kick reason to the curb, and go do the impossible! There's nothing you can't accomplish if you set your mind to it and have the will and courage to back it up! In a world of pessimistic stories, belief that Good Is Dumb, and Anti Heroes, TTGL's anvils feel really refreshing to see out of a mecha series.
    • Another important one is that you can't run away from your problems. All of the antagonists are simply people that are dead scared of something — the Anti-Spiral for Lordgenome and Rossiu, and the Spiral Nemesis for the Anti-Spiral, and think that locking people away will prevent the problem. Also, Simon's first reaction to danger at the beginning of the story is to dig a hole and hide. All of this never works, and it usually causes a lot of unnecessary(?) pain and suffering. As Kamina first, and Simon later, demonstrates, the best way to deal with your problems is to face them.
  • G Gundam
    • Coming right after the depressing Victory Gundam, it showed that even in a Crapsack World where world peace is maintained only through a deathmatch tournament that one could fight to defend that which is close to you, win the respect of those you fight, and still come out on top in the end.
    • Possibly the purest expression of optimism in the series: "Humans aren't that foolish; there truly is NOT anyone stupid enough to do what they know will cause the destruction of everything."
    • There is another lesson that's pretty clear, even though Master Asia learned it the hard way. Try to justify your motives all you want, but siding with a genocidal monster is rarely ever a good idea.
    • The series also has a nice environmental message illustrated by the Gundam Fight Tournament. Master Asia wanted to utilize the power of the Dark Gundam, despite its evil, because he felt a deep shame and sorrow over the destruction of the Earth's environment. This was caused by the Gundams fighting each other and wanted to restore the Earth to its natural beauty. The only problem with The Plan is that he felt the only way to restore nature was to get rid of humanity so they could tarnish it no more. Domon gives him an epic Kirk Summation where he tells Master Asia that humans were created on the Earth and are thus part of the Earth too, to destroy humanity would be to destroy a part of nature, and that we can live in harmony with the Earth if we try. This message tells us that we can accept responsibility for our damage to the Earth but we don't deserve to be destroyed for our crimes; we can always try better next time if we admit our mistake and try to correct it.
  • Gundam Wing: "War Is Hell, no matter for what reason you fight."
    • Endless Waltz: "Don't hold out for a hero", if you want peace you have to do something about it yourself."
  • Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket: "War is not a game, and good people on both sides of it can be forced to kill each other."
  • Gundam 00note : "Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding."
    • Another one, by Setsuna F Seiei, from the opposite direction, but something that still needs to be said; yes, war is bad, but there are moments where it's necessary if there's no way of getting rid of a corrupt, irredeemable regime.
  • Gundam SEED: The show's messages about racism and conflict escalation just wouldn't hit as hard if they didn't show the effects of Cyclops and Genesis on the human body. And even if one group of people were innately more capable than the rest, racism still wouldn't be okay.
  • Gundam X: There is no fate, but what we make for ourselves.
  • ∀ Gundam: Those who fail to learn from the mistakes of history are doomed to repeat them.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Even an outcast can find a home.
  • Digimon Adventure: If you and other people have ended up in a very dangerous place, miles away from the nearest civilization, you all have to quickly learn how to work together as one and put all grivences aside in order to survive, or all of you are gonna get picked off. It's even more important if half of your group has some psychological issues, and There Are No Therapists around.
  • Digimon Adventure 02: Sometimes, you have to use lethal force for the greater good, and to save innocent lives. The "If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him" mentality is just suicidal naÔvetť at best and suicidal naÔvetť with genocidal consequences at worst, and your enemies will gladly take advantage of it anytime they can if you don't grow up and see the reality.
  • Digimon Tamers: Life is life, regardless of whether it's organic or virtual.
    • And internet censorship is stupid and wrong.
    • Your past can't be changed, but with the power of dreams you can shape your future.
    • Morality is not absolute (read: Devas)
  • Digimon Frontier actually dropped a pretty good one with Duskmon. It is not a given that Evil Will Fail. Assuming that you can win a fight just because you're on the "good" side is suicidal recklessness.
  • With The Light all but screams to the world, "Autistics are not sick! They can become honest, hardworking members of society, and they will! They don't need a cure, they need to be encouraged and loved!" It took an entire society (one classroom of students, several teachers, a few social workers, and a big family) to get Hikaru into middle school, and it certainly wasn't easy, but it had nothing if not a positive impact on those near him.
    • Considering the fact that there's going to be a TSUNAMI of autistic adults in the coming years and those stories about various kids/adults getting arrested or abused for varying reasons, ignorance or not, like this one for example, this is an anvil that SERIOUSLY needs to be dropped more often!
  • Paranoia Agent, a series about accepting reality as it is, features in its final episode an unspeakably creepy town made of cardboard cutouts that one of the characters smashes to nothing in six swings of a baseball bat. The absolute unambiguity of it makes the anti-escapist message feel clear, clean, and right.
  • Great Teacher Onizuka: Do your Best, Be Independent, Be A Man (even if you're a woman...) And it's better to try and fail than to refuse to try because of uncertainty.
  • Pet Shop of Horrors drops Anvils about animals in general. In general, there were a number of heavy-handed Aesops about human/pet relationships and how people need to see their pets as companions to be loved rather than stupid animals to be exploited or abused, as any animal rescue show can attest.
    • A particularly roundabout one was dropped with the chapter "Dreizehn".

      A young woman named Karen goes to Count D's shop for a seeing-eye dog with experience in protection as well, after a fire that killed her parents and traumatized her so much she went blind. The titular Doberman chosen for this purpose not only looks human, but feels human, too — to Karen's shock. After she gets used to it, a slightly awkward conversation ensues in which he agrees to let her "see" him by touching his face; after several panels, she comes across his ears. Prior to this, Dreizehn had not been shown as a dog, and as a human, his hair covered his ears — which had been cut into sharp points.

      Horrified, Karen questions this and brings to light the practice of cropping dogs' ears from a dog's perspective, made even more disturbing when Dreizehn assures her that since it was done when he was young (a puppy!), "It doesn't hurt anymore."

      To drive home the Anvil, there is a short passage in the back reflecting upon the fact that some people refuse to acknowledge Dobermans with natural ears because they don't look like real Dobermans.
    • Pet Shop also has a lot to say about humanity, particularly in the final volume of the first series, at the end of which Leon manages to make his way onto the Count's ship only to be told that "humans have not yet earned the right to be on this ship" before being pushed off the side, only to wake up unharmed.
  • The Macross franchise; The Power of Love and the beauty of human culture shall overcome all, even the unstoppable marauding alien death fleets that were designed only for war, or at the very least distract them long enough to give humanity an opening to use reaction weapons.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist.
    • There are numerous scenes in the anime where characters pause mid-battle or delay combat in order to stand around preaching their own philosophies at each other — notably Ed and his pro-science stance. And, somehow, not only does it work, but the story would fail without it. The manga does this with more subtlety, but the tone and stories of the two are quite different. It helps that the morality is not especially anvilicious, as the characters struggle to figure out what morality is right at all.
    • There are three major themes in the manga: tolerancenote , the Cycle of Hatrednote , and the fact that the military is for the protection of the peoplenote . The basic aesop is "Genocide is bad". All the more powerful because much of the traumatic scenes are based on testimony from Japanese veterans and the persecuted Ainu.
      • In addition, the military exist to serve the people, not the officials running the government, and if your superiors betray that, you must protect the people from them rather than blindly obeying. Olivia hammers that point in very clearly.
    • Also, ordinary people are capable of doing horrible things in the right circumstances, but can also redeem themselves and make up for their mistakes.
    • And "redemption is not death": you can always do the right thing, no matter what wrongs you've committed in the past. Scar lives through the series, even though any other series would have killed off a death seeking serial killer out for revenge. Hohenheim's offer to sacrifice his life for Al is turned down, and he gets to die a (more or less) natural death. Mustang both wants to change the country and wants to be tried for war crimes.
    • Another big anvil was the lesson that Scar and Winry learned, and that's the difference between enduring evil deeds and forgiving evil deeds.
    • "Keep moving forward."
  • Sailor Moon S is essentially one long Aesop on expedience vs. morality: Doing what is easy, and possibly justifiable, versus doing what's right.
    • Sailor Moon R's one long Aesop: Your family bonds are important (obviously this lesson does not apply to people who actually have parents who abuse them or something, it's just a general Aesop). Trust your family even when there's a conflict; Diamond didn't trust Sapphire until it was too late, and lost his brother as a result. Chibi-Usa resented her parents both for not helping her up when she fell as a child and in general not being around sometimes and leaving her lonely; unfortunately she let this fester instead of directly asking her parents what motivated them to act as they did, and Wiseman turned that to his advantage to brainwash Chibi-Usa into Black Lady, with only Pluto's Heroic Sacrifice (in the manga) and Mamoru and Usagi's reassurance (anime) to fix it. Mamoru didn't trust Usagi to be able to protect herself after Mamoru was shown a vision of Usagi's death, and he chose to handle it by breaking up with Usagi without trusting her with the truth about why he was doing it; this not only caused Usagi and Mamoru non-ending grief until she learned the truth, but by the end it almost made Usagi vulnerable to being brainwashed by Wiseman when he tried to trick her into thinking Mamoru loved Black Lady instead... but Usagi's own ease to trust her loved ones overcame the brainwashing and it didn't work.
  • Mushishi delivers a striking overall theme: all life is fundamentally equal. There is no 'evil' in nature, only living things doing what they have to do to survive. The whole message of Grey and Grey Morality and naturalistic beauty is sent with surprising subtlety. Even creatures that seem horrible (invasive fungi, scavengers, parasites, etc.,) are still living things, and should be respected as such. There's no evil in nature, only a collection of organisms doing what they were born to do.
  • The Animatrix: The Second Renaissance pre-emptively drops quite a few anvils in favor of granting sentient machines civil rights. Comparisons are made to other civil rights struggles, like the Amistad, Those Wacky Nazis, the Chinese democracy movement, and even Exodus.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha has one really good anvil that it keeps dropping consistently: it doesn't matter what someone's background is, it doesn't matter how they were born, it doesn't matter where they came from, it doesn't matter what they're fighting for, and hell, it doesn't even matter if they're not technically classifiable as human. Everyone is a person, with just as much potential to be good as anyone else, and no matter what else, they deserve to be treated with compassion and love. And firepower.
  • Grenadier has the message that one should always try to find a peaceful solution to conflicts, whenever possible. The series is largely about Rushuna's inner struggle to find out where the line should be drawn.
  • Grave of the Fireflies:
    • War has awful consequences, even on those not actually fighting it.
    • Honor Before Reason is a bad idea when you're in a city with no infrastructure that almost burned to the ground.
  • Legend of Galactic Heroes:
    • Nationalism and religious extremism are not legitimate ideologies, they are cheap propaganda ploys used by demagogues to gain and retain control over the people. While most of the show retains a Grey and Gray Morality, the smug snakes are either nationalist leaders or fundamentalist leaders who do not believe a word of what they say and feel nothing but scorn toward their followers.
    • The story shows us how a young republic who managed to fight toe to toe with its much older, bigger, dictatorial neighbour ultimately collapses because its citizens elected nationalist politicians. On top of that, the narrator, and sometimes even Poplan, of all people, spend some time to hammer it again and again and again.
    • In the case of Nationalism, it's not so much love of country that is rebuked; indeed, many characters on both sides show patriotism to their respective countries and ideologies. Rather, it's on the more hardline, destructive forms which formed part of the reason why the war began in the first place.
  • One Piece has three for the price of one:
    • "The "Justice" is defined by the winners", iterated by one of the villains, Donquixote Doflamingo.
    • "The dreams of men will never die!", again literally said word-for-word by future Big Bad Blackbeard.
    • One especially for the shippers, "There is NO way that the innocent, naÔve hero will EVER take an incredibly hot Amazonian empress as his lover... but it's sure as hell funny to see her try!"
    • Also, take care of your friends. One of those things that just cannot be repeated enough, especially in the shallowness of the modern world.
    • The Enies Lobby Arc drops the anvil that, no matter what the world sees in you, one day you'll find people willing to be your friends and stand by your side. For Nico Robin, those people were the Straw Hats.
    • The "Fishman Island" arc shows the consequences of letting hatred fester in society, namely that society cannot deal with racism simply by trying to sweep it under the rug (as the Fishman Kingdom attempted, before a group of charismatic racists rallied those ignored parts of society into an army ready to overthrow it), society must confront its past darkness in order to move towards the future.
  • Higurashi no Naku Koro ni
    • In Tsumihoroboshi-hen: Everyone has embarrassing secrets that they want to hide, and that's okay. In fact, there's nothing to accomplish by confessing some of them.
    • Also, trust your friends, talk to them, and don't take all your problems onto yourself, or things will quickly spiral out of control.
    • And, like Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, no matter how hopeless things seem, determination can get you through them.
  • Samurai Champloo uses the character Isaac to address both weaboo idealization of Japan, as well as Japan's own tendency to gloss over the past. Isaac is a Dutch ambassador who loves Japanese culture, and as a Straight Gay, he can practice his sexuality there, which during this time would be punishable by death in Europe. However, Issac needs to disguise himself when out in public in Japan, as this was a period where foreigners were prohibited outside of a small "safe zone" (note the series's related discussion of the persecution of Japanese Christians during this era). Isaac ultimately comments that both Japan and the West have screwed up features, albeit in different ways.
  • Irresponsible Captain Tylor: "Life is too short to live by someone else's rules. Do what you want to the way that you want to."
  • Bigger than and encompassing its more famous Green Aesop, Tokyo Mew Mew has "Even if it isn't your fault and it isn't fair that you're involved in the first place, don't ignore or write off the injustice that you see; take responsibility for fixing it, because no one else will."
  • The Mahou Sensei Negima! series as a whole seems to have the message "Don't dwell on the past; keep moving forward".
    • The Mahorafest arc ultimately boils down to "You can't always be sure that you're doing the right thing, but you need to give it your all anyway or you'll never accomplish anything, good or bad." Alternately, "Sometimes, you just have to stick to your guns even if you aren't sure you're right."
    • "I will... continue to step forward!"
  • Tokyo Babylon: The manga drops more than a few anvils directed at Japan (at the time the manga was written) specifically, relating to how Japanese society handles bullying, the mentally ill, rape victims, older people, and immigrants. They don't really propose solutions all of the time, but the idea is put out there.
  • School Days: Sleeping with someone under the guise of a relationship and then proceeding to ditch them without any warning for another person is not cool at all.
    • Not only is playing with the hearts of girls for sex not cool, it can also be dangerous as well.
    • Also, if a girl falls under the influence of such a guy and throws herself at him, even if she has her reasons for it (like Kotonoha's self-esteem issues and later mental problems), it will NOT end well for anyone.
  • School Rumble. The first person you fall in love with will not be your last. Hell, the person you fall in love with now might lead you to the one you will love for the rest of your life.
  • Ah! My Goddess:
    • Emotional maturity is awesome. Two people who trust each other will have no problem finding happiness.
    • Also, Urd's line: "My sister's not a doll, Keiichi. She has emotions, including that one."
  • Trigun. Killing is wrong. Even when it's necessary, its still wrong. You just have to accept the stain on your soul.
    • It's never too late to learn from your mistakes and redeem yourself.
  • Now and Then, Here and There: War Is Hell for civilians and children. Especially when the children are the ones fighting the war. There is a very good reason why this series is listed right up there with Grave of the Fireflies in terms of tear jerkers and gut-wrenching child cruelty.
  • You can pretty much sum Death Note up with two words: "Power corrupts". Or four: "Absolute power corrupts absolutely".
  • Future War 198X can be summed up with "War and nukes are bad." It also completely broke the Nuclear Weapons Taboo, and its distribution in East and West Germany was all the more fitting back in the tensest times of the eighties.
    • And that it's an extremely scary thing that the generation that has seen the horrors of nuclear weapons being used against people is dying off, because humanity may forget how terrible they really are and use them in the next war.
  • Naruto: Under its Fantastic Aesop about not creating a Laser-Guided Tykebomb, there is a very strong message about the need for parental figures in a child's life.
    • And the Cycle of Hatred, particularly in Sasuke's story.
    • And there's also the fact that you have to always believe in yourself. If the world says you're stupid, don't stop studying; if the world says you're weak, never stop getting stronger; if the world says you're a monster, become a hero. There is a constant dichotomy between Naruto and those he inspires, and those who give in to the hatred, loathing and darkness... And a truly inspiring message that, no matter how far you may have fallen, if you're willing to try you can still find the light again.
    • And the world must never forget Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The memory of the atomic bombings maintains a healthy fear of nuclear war, and we must not let this memory die with the generation that saw it or else the next war likely will be a nuclear war. Notably, this Aesop is delivered by a villain who is about two decades past the Despair Event Horizon who is actively planning to cultivate a series of fantastic nuclear wars in order to secure ~80 year intervals of peace between the wars.
  • Tanaka Yutaka's stories show how communication, honesty and trust in a relationship works, and the lack thereof doesn't.
  • Elfen Lied: To sum it up: "Love your neighbor as yourself".
  • After it's Genre Shift, Kinnikuman continually attempts to burn in the message that "Friendship is a really good thing." Even the villains value friendship in the series.
  • Monster teaches that Forgiveness is always important, even in the face of someone as unspeakably evil as Johan Liebert. It also makes clear that it is never too late to start anew, which is displayed by the number of people attempting to atone for past sins, or people like Nina, who has been through such horrible trauma, yet puts the pieces of her life back together and tries to live a normal life.
  • Shugo Chara!: While it does do the entire "Dreams" aesop much better than most, it has another one that might not count for the "anvil" part of the trope if it were not for the fact that Amu spells it out towards the end ("We are all the main characters of our own stories!"): Don't let somebody else decide everything for you. As said before, it doesn't seem obvious at first, but the afore - mentioned quote, plus some viewing of the characters shows that it definitely is: Ikuto has been following his stepfathers orders for years, although that arguably counteracts it by him blackmailing him with violence towards his mother and sister. Him being reduced towards essentially nothing more than a slave, tired enough by the physical pain inflicted by his X - Egg - corrupted violin that he's prevented from doing anything other than sleep,(presumably) eat, and go Death Rebel/be otherwise brainwashed, however, definitely doesn't. Rima is essentially treated less as a person and more as a valuable item by her parents, who, until later events, basically forbid her from spending any time outside of her house that doesn't involve school, Kairi is forced by his sister into doing actions that he really, really doesn't want to do, Nadeshiko /Nagihiko is, via family tradition, made to conceal his actual gender within order to "learn the feminine grace neccessary for the art of traditional Japanese dancing" (Although this is less severe than the other examples because of the fact that Nagihiko actually does like traditional Japanese dance. It's just the entire "gender hiding" bit that annoys him, partly because he sometimes wonders if it was really neccessary.) and, perhaps largest of all, Gozen himself, A.K.A. Hikaru, eventually was what he is because of his grandfather basically attempted to control his entire life from the moment he was born, even if it was ostensibly for his "happiness".
    • Also, just because you take one hit, don't just give up then and there. Remember: Everything that does not kill you only makes you stronger, and you learn from correcting your mistakes and recovering throughout everything that harms you. Trying again, despite what has happened within past, as long as you see where you screwed up and decline to do it again, is highly probable to increase the chances of getting it right. This is effective because of the fact that, unlike other extraordinarily saccharine series, which tend to represent humanity within general as a huge sugar bowl with the only harm that may come to you outside of magical, otherworldly beings being occassional and, indeed, rather minor. H Shugo Chara, however, admits that, within everyday life, harmful events happen all the time, be they malicious actions (Ikuto protecting two strangers from whats implied to be attempted rape, and then having the shit beaten out of him for it, albeit offscreen, Rima's bacstory having her kidnapped, Utau VS. the ecording and music industry and mostly forgetful general public after leaving Easter, ect.) or careless mistakes (Lots of filler characters, (Kazamu's son, daughter-in-law, and wife dying in a car accident, although, admittedly, that one didn't turn [[Tykebomb out too well... Until it does. ]], but like hell does it give them an excuse to give up, and, honestly, nothing does.
  • Barefoot Gen: Nuclear weapons and war are bad. To get the point across, allow us to traumatize you for life. There is more in the manga about the following occupation and the treatment of the nuclear attack survivors, too. And all of this is based on the author's own life. All of this horrifying shit really happened.
  • Kyo Kara Maoh: No matter how different two groups are or how much bad history they have between them, it IS possible for them to live together peacefully.
  • Uchuu Senkan Yamato/Star Blazers: No matter how necessary a war may be, people are going to suffer. Turnabout isn't fair play; killing is and always will be wrong. There often isn't a clear difference between the good guys and bad guys, in the end. Revenge is a slippery slope that will never, under any circumstances, make you happy.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: Everyone desperately needs to be loved and accepted, from their families, their friends, and the people around them. Otherwise they'll end up as screwed up as these people.
    • If you know yourself you can take care of yourself. The uploader of the video says this specifically: You are the one who writes the story of your life. If you run away from doing so and immerse yourself in something else to avoid thinking about it - to the point that it consumes you (excessive gaming, anime binging, alcohol, sex, becoming a workaholic, etc.), you will have wasted your life instead of doing something meaningful with it. Life is worth living, but only if you choose to live it rather than run from it.
    • Also, communication and interaction with other people is extremely important. Even when it's to avoid pain, sacrificing intimacy is not worth it and will make your life worse.
    • Don't kill yourself. The series makes more sense if you think about the Instrumentality Project as an allegory for suicide.
    • The third Rebuild of Evangelion film has the basic message that in life, everyone screw up, and sometimes, obsessing over your mistakes and trying to undo them only makes things much worse. Much much MUCH worse.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Making other people happy often requires you to sacrifice your own happiness in exchange and doing selfless acts for selfish reasons will usually backfire.
  • Koi Kaze: The Westermarck effect is real. Don't blame participants, blame the ones who separated them and raised them apart.
  • Berserk:
    • There's a huge difference between what God is and what people want or believe Him to be.
    • Destiny exists. Fighting it is a constant battle that you cannot always win. It's your choice.
    • Everything you do has an effect on your surrounding or on yourself. Everything.
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena: Strictly defined gender roles are crap. If you believe you can do something, don't let societal norms stop you. Also, you don't have to be imprisoned by your family; if you can't help them and they hurt you, your priorities and safety come first.
    • Also, for the "fandom feminists" out there? "A woman who hates other women will never be able to love herself". Meaning, if you look down on other females and think "I'm not like the other girls, ewwww", you are doing it wrong. It's double meaningful because of the person who says this very wise quote: Anthy.
    • When you try to project your hopes and ideas onto other people, it just ends with everyone getting hurt. Especially if you start expecting the other person to live up to those hopes.
  • Hell Girl: Two anvils this time. First, no matter how satisfying it is to see your tormentor get a taste of his/her own medicine, getting revenge on him/her will dig your own grave along with him/her. Second, if Japanese society cannot restrain tormentors from torturing people in the first place, it may benefit from some social critique.
  • Devilman: Fear and paranoia towards strangers and your own neighbors will only lead to sorrow.
  • Princess Mononoke is anything but subtle about its aesop that war, greed, and hatred only escalate with no true resolution, and is all the better for it.
  • The Tatami Galaxy: Experiences like college are never going to be like you expect, but that's not necessarily mean it's a bad thing. Also, seize the opportunity in front of you.
  • Koe No Katachi shows the hardships that come from being the pariah of the class, bullied by others which can even be ignored by the authority around you. The fact that most of the bullying in the manga is treated realistically hammers the impact in.
    • Bullying, picking on others, no matter what the reason, is never a good thing to do.
    • Basically: "Treat others the way you wish to be treated."
    • You can't just judge someone permanently based on things they have done in the past.
  • Cardcaptor Sakura: Everybody deserves to love and be loved, and being the same gender as your loved one, having an age difference, etc. doesn't make your love any less special. While some think CLAMP went a little too far with it, it's still a decent moral.
  • +Anima drops many good anvils, a lot of them on the same subject.
    • Discrimination is wrong. Especially if it's against people who are born with or contract things that they didn't want. The manga demonstrates this by showing the after effects of discrimination and the feelings that those who are prejudiced develop when experiencing the hatred that's thrown at them.
    • When things are bad, you can't always expect someone to save you. Instead, make do with what you can do and try to get yourself out by any means necessary.
    • You are not alone in this world. There will always be someone like you out there, and perhaps if you find them, you can help each other through any obstacle that society throws at you.
    • Don't let someone else control you and decide what you should and shouldn't be. You are your own person. Do what you want to do, not what someone else wants you to do, especially if that someone is using you as a means to an end and plans on throwing you away or putting your life at risk and not caring about your well-being.
  • AKB0048's entire story is revolved around its moral about not banning entertainment, especially through means of dictatorship and oppression just to keep people from causing trouble, when in reality, entertainment DOESN'T cause trouble at all.
  • Romeo's Blue Skies absolutely LOVES dropping anvils about The Power of Friendship and how working together can help anyone overcome any obstacle...and really, the show is much better off for it, especially since nowadays young boys are being persecuted for showing friendship-like affection for other boys simply because it's considered gay, which is something that REALLY needs to be rectified.
  • Queen's Blade: How much are you willing to sacrifice to achieve your dreams?
    • Also: While filial piety is good, putting your family first over anything else, even common sense, will harm you, your family and even your friends at the end. as Leina, the heroine, her family and everyone else finds out the really hard way.
  • Welcome to the NHK has many minor messages, like how you shouldn't be overly reliant on others to come along and fix your problems, you shouldn't run from said problems, that pedophilia is wrong, but the big message it's trying to give is this: people with mental problems are NOT freaks. They're people just like everyone else, people suffering from depression, isolation, and various other issues, and that even if you shouldn't rely on others, sometimes a helping hand is what you need.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • No matter how things may change, never forget who you are. Throughout Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, and Dragon Ball GT, Goku stayed true to himself. No matter what foe he was up against, his innocence and pureness never faltered. His love for life, friends and family, strengthened him against whomever he faced. There were times where he could have thrown it all away. It would have been easy to do, but he refused. Goku kept a firm grasp on who he was and refused to let them go. At times in life, it may be easier to change who we are to overcome challenges but if you lose yourself on your road to achieving your goals, have you truly achieved anything at all?
    • You can be more than what society or the system expects from you; Goku's overall progression in strength is a great example of that. Goku was born with a power level of just two, which even by Saiyan standards, was disappointing. As a result of this, people who were a part of Freeza's Planet Trade Organisation, and even Goku's own father, considered him an afterthought on the day he was born. Because of his underwhelming power level he was sent to Earth, which was one of the weaker planets in the Galaxy, in order to destroy its inhabitants and clear the planet for its future sale. However, one day Goku fell down a deep ravine and hit his head, suffering severe head trauma that sent him into a coma and very nearly killed him. After he woke up, he had lost all of his Saiyan aggression, becoming a kind and mild-mannered young boy. The rest is history...
    • Never forget who you're fighting for. Gokuís victories would not have been possible if it weren't for the love of his family and friends. The strong bonds between the Z fighters drove them to give everything that they had in order to save each other and their loved ones. Their friendship is truly inspirational. There is no stronger friendship than willing to do anything and everything in oneís power to protect the other. You can give nothing more than everything you have to protect your friends and family. In return, their strength becomes your own and the impossible becomes a reality.
    • Nothing is more powerful than a group coming together and uniting under one common goal. The power of numbers can be seen anywhere you look in Dragon Ball Z. This lesson however was mainly inspired by the use of the Spirit Bomb against Kid Buu. While Vegeta was forming his plan, he understood the strength a united group of people would provide. The power he and Goku possessed in comparison to a single person on Earth was far greater, but the combination of each and every individual on the planet was astounding. Each and every person is capable of achieving great things, but when everyone comes together as one in order to succeed, that is true greatness.
    • Never be content with what you have and always strive to become better at everything you do. There were a number of times throughout Dragon Ball Z where any single one of the Z fighters could have just said that they gave up because it was too tough or that they didnít feel like it but they didnít. They strived to become stronger, to achieve what their dreams and to protect the ones that they love. If you wish to see perseverance demonstrated in one character in particular, look at Vegeta. He spent the majority of his young life ruled and enslaved. Never did he let that stop him. He continued to train knowing that one day, his opportunity would come and that he would be successful. When Goku ascended to a super Saiyan before him, he did not give up. It motivated him even more to achieve what he believed was his birthright.
    • You can't fight fate. Both Bardock and Freeza stories exemplify this, both of their stories mirrors many Greek tragedies, incorporating the message that one cannot escape from his own fate or destiny no matter what one does to avoid it or prevent it. Despite being given the gift of seeing the future, Bardock failed to prevent the destruction of Planet Vegeta and the near extinction of his race. This was after seeing several visions of Planet Vegeta being destroyed and failing to convince other Saiyans that Freeza was going to destroy all of them. In Freeza's case, he was in fear of the Legend of the Super Saiyan, so Freeza killed the Saiyans to prevent the legend ever happening, inadvertently created the catalyst necessary for a Saiyan to become what he had feared. Needless to say, Freeza ended up being defeated by the last known pure blooded Saiyan in existence, Goku, and even though Freeza miraculously survived planet Namek exploding and and arrived on Earth before Goku, he ended up being brutally killed, along with his soldiers and his father King Cold, by another Saiyan Trunks.
    • Never rely on numbers to determine or judge the content of a person's character. The reliance on scouters, a device which measures the ki on any sentient being and then outputs it as a 'combat rating', was more of hindrance to person using the scouter than an actual advantage. Guys like Raditz, Nappa, Zarbon, The Ginyu Force, Cui, Dodoria, hell, pretty much everybody who worked under Freeza, put way too much stock in the readings that scouters would provide them. Because of this they would often underestimate their opponent abilities, and their arrogance would naturally come back to bite them in the ass. Vegeta was the only one smart enough to realize that scouters are pretty much useless and impractical in battle and he even mocked Jeice and Cui for putting too much reliance in them, before he executed them with great ease. Probably the most poignant example was when Trunks took on Freeza's soldiers on Earth, his power level was just five when one of Freeza's soldiers took a reading from the scouter and because of this, immediately dismissed Trunks as a threat. Read the spoiler in the second example to know how that fight turned out.
      • It should also be noted that Trunks power reading was last reading officially provided in the history of Dragon Ball, and it's justified when you take into consideration that many of the main cast had gotten so strong that scouters pretty much became redundant in measuring a power level because it would just be way too high for the scouter to even comprehend.
    • Pride comes before a fall. Vegeta gets his ass handed to him so many times for his stubborn pride, you start to wonder if he likes it. Few are the characters who have done more stupid things for the sake of their pride. You'd think he would learn to never underestimate his opponents after being beaten by a low class Saiyan warrior (Goku), his five year old son (Gohan), a bald midget (Krillin) and fat samurai (Yajirobe)... but nope! Vegeta's huge ego and immeasurable pride always get the best of him, which lead to him getting his ass kicked by Zarbon, Recoome, Freeza, Android 18, Cell and Majin Buu. In Cell's case he deliberately aided Cell in becoming stronger because his ego wasn't satisfied with how easy the fight was. Let this be a lesson folks, don't be like Vegeta, because it's a case of going one step forward and then ten steps back.
      • Freeza is probably an even more appropriate example. He could of killed Goku at any during their battle but decided to drag out the fight because, like Vegeta, his ego wasn't satisfied with how easy the fight had become and he wanted to make Goku suffer more. His hesitance to finish comes back to bite him as Goku eventually becomes a Super Saiyan and defeats Freeza. And even after that battle and reaching Earth before Goku, he decides not to just destroy the earth when he has the chance because his pride wouldn't be satisfied with that, he instead wanted to make everyone on the planet suffer, cue another Saiyan, Trunks, who makes quick work of Freeza, his father King Cold and Freeza's soldiers.
    • The secret to success it to be ready for when your opportunity comes. Each person has his or her own belief of why Goku is as successful as he is. Most common of course is natural talent, or the love that he has for his family and friends. Both are true, and both are key factors but in many of the battles that Goku is in he outlasts his opponent. Whether this is because of his endurance, motivation, or something else. He always bides his time until he knows he has a chance for victory. When that opportunity does come, it does not go to waste.
    • Without defeat there is no victory. Through Dragon Ball Z, you see nearly every single character get knocked down. Some immediately get back up and face their opponent while others cower. In the end, the struggles that they underwent resulted in them becoming successful. Each time you fall is not for nothing. Only through our failures are we able to become better. Do not look as defeat as something that is permanent; it isnít. It is a minor roadblock on your journey to becoming who you are meant to be.
    • Often in life, out closet friends were once our hated enemy. Throughout all of Dragon Ball, the theme of mercy towards those who have wronged us is everywhere. Goku could have finished both Piccolo and Vegeta off, and yet he didnít. Whether this was because of his Saiyan blood and his desire to always become a better warrior by fighting people at their caliber, or if it was because of his pure heart, we will never know. But think about it, do you have those few friends that you started out on the wrong foot with them but now youíre inseparable? I sure can. It kind of makes you want to forget about first impressions all togetherÖ
  • Kyousogiga drops a very important one that people forget way too often: your family is your world and if you forget that there are these people who care about you, your world will fall apart.
  • Real Account brutally drives home the message that most online friendships and followings, no matter how impressive they may seem in number, are ultimately detached, nominal, and loose compared to the real love and connection actual relationships foster. It especially has an impact in a world of social media, where such phenomena can be commonplace, and where online relationships can be incredibly frivolous with the instant option to friend or "unfriend" someone at one's convenience.
  • The Monster Rancher anime's anti-war message really hits home after you see what war did to the planet in the past, and how it affects the Monster Rancher world in the present day. The backstory has humans who grew proud and destructive, creating Monsters for anything that would suit their wants. Eventually they created Moo in an attempt to end the last war, which ended up nearly destroying the entire planet until they created the Phoenix to stop himóand what it took to defeat Moo involved destroying virtually everything. When Moo returns to finish what he started, great sacrifice is required yet again—this time on a personal level, with the Searchers fusing together to become the Phoenix, and their consciousnesses ceasing to exist.
    • Episode 73 has Mum Mew screaming that she likes herself just as she is when Moo's soul starts to consume her and the others. After an entire season of buying exercise gadgets and hating being called old, when her life is on the line Mum Mew accepts herself and her body image.
  • Manga/Cyborg009: War is, at best, a Necessary Evil. The villains may sound about as subtle as Captain Planet antagonists in their goals to prolong war for money, but the focus on the effects war has on the individual civilian shows just how devastating and pointless it is. The manga also argues that bigotry over one's nationality or ethnicity is pointless, as the heroic characters all judge each other as humans:
    001: It's okay, 009! Do not feel ashamed of having mixed blood. You should be proud! A living symbol of the erosion of borders between nations and races.
    008: That's right, 009! We are all humans and brothers.

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