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Took A Level In Kindness: Anime & Manga
  • Meruem of Hunter × Hunter. He starts as a genocidal monster, who murdered his own mother right out of the womb by tearing his way out of her. He viewed humanity as something to crush, destroy and consume for his own amusement. As he plays Gungi with Komugi, he undergoes giant changes in his world view, admittingly still being a Social Darwinist near the end, but believed certain humans are worth saving and truly wanted to make a perfect world where those special people could live happily. He dies peacefully with the woman he loves, realizing in the end he was born entirely to be with Komugi in his final moments, nothing else.
  • Sakura Haruno from Naruto. She goes from a Jerk Ass Tsundere who beats up Naruto and swoons over Sasuke, to a more vulnerable but rather more kind-hearted Combat Medic.
    • Kakashi goes from an arrogant, selfish brat who is angry with the world to the much kinder and humble person he is today because of what Obito taught him.
    • After his defeat by Naruto, Neji goes from an Jerkass Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy who harshly beat his cousin Hinata to a generally nice guy who shows concern when she is injured and supports her crush on Naruto.
    • There's also Neji's uncle, Hiashi Hyuuga. Starts off treating Hinata as the Un Favorite (due to her being weaker and more passive than her sister), but by part 2 they seem to be on better terms.
    • Kankuro also qualifies, starting off as an arrogant, Hot-Blooded Jerk Ass and becoming noticeably kinder in Shippuuden, partly due to his improving relationship with Gaara.
    • Many people overlook it, but Sasuke did this for a short period. Team Seven managed to bring him out of his shell to the point that he was willing to die to defend them. Then Itachi scrambled his brains and he ended up power-levelling in Jerkass.
      • In the second half of the Shinobi World War, he gets this after having decided to go from avenger of the Uchiha Clan to protector of the Hidden Leaf Village.
    • Gaara himself is also one, thanks to his defeat to Naruto.
    • While he already was Naruto's ally, Kurama takes a big level after Neji's death by going out of his way to remind a distressed Naruto of the sacrifices others made for him, even those that were caused by Kurama himself. It wasn't too long ago that a similar incident was used to the Kyuubi's advantage to persuade Naruto to release the seal...
  • Piccolo from Dragon Ball Z went from a raving, sadistic psychopath and a literal Demon prince, to one of the most levelheaded characters, all thanks to the kindness of a single child!
    • Granted, this is probably because he only turned after he fulfilled his revenge against Goku.
    • Another example from Dragonball Z is Vegeta, the last remaining pure-blood Saiyan who retains their nature and pride. Once he finally turns against the one responsible for their genocide, he relocates to earth (with little choice) and grows soft in the presence of the other Z Fighters...and, after a decade or so, his wife and son. But even though his Heel-Face Turn is made official near the end of the series (because it took that long), he doesn't make it past Jerk with a Heart of Gold. He comes about as close as is possible, but he never sheds his Saiyan nature.
  • Ken from Digimon Adventure 02 after his Heel-Face Turn. Particularly appropriate in that Kindness was always intended to be his Crest from the beginning.
    • But only in the dub. That is, Chiaki J. Konaka apparently went out of his way to avoid depicting Rika/Ruki as 'cold' because 'coldness' is often attached to female characters to convey strength. She's mature and stoic, but she's not cold.
    • Also Rika from Digimon Tamers gradually becomes less cold-hearted and friendlier towards Takato, Henry, and the other Tamers.
    • Her partner, Renamon, qualifies as well. Originally ruthless, she goes to a general Mama Bear, mostly from her relationship with Rika improving.
    • Yamaki is also one from the said series. From a Well-Intentioned Extremist who wants to wipe out Digimon to supporter of the Tamers in battling evil Digimon.
  • Syaoran Li of Cardcaptor Sakura evolves from an Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy with Tsundere qualities to meek and soft natured Dogged Nice Guy for Sakura. Meiling of the anime adaption goes through a similar evolution. Both cases are largely due to Sakura's own increasingly empathic and innocent aspects (though granted, she was already rather sweet natured by the start of the series' run).
  • In Haibane Renmei, this is an important part of Reki's character development. Realizing that she has done this is what allows her to escape the Epiphanic Prison.
  • Kyouko from Puella Magi Madoka Magica starts as an Ax-Crazy Jerk Ass. But after learning the Awful Truth about what ultimately happens to magical girls, she starts showing her Hidden Heart of Gold, more specifically towards Sayaka Miki.
  • Guts of Berserk, upon finding Casca again and gaining new True Companions, has begun abandoning his cold, ruthless and vengeful Black Swordsman persona in favor of something resembling his original nature for the first time since the Eclipse. Mind you, he still has a rather nasty Enemy Within to deal with due to the vendetta that he was on for two years.
  • Gary Oak/Shigeru in Pokémon becomes much nicer to Ash around the Johto arc after his Break the Haughty phase in the Kanto arc. By the end of the Johto arc, he and Ash finally become friends again after so many years to being rivals (which sticks when they meet again in Sinnoh).
    • Georgia, Iris's rival from the Unova arc, has been slowly improving, and has been consistently taking levels from Jerkass to Jerk with a Heart of Gold as the arc goes. (Her rivalry with Iris has also eased a little bit, with their bickering starting to sound a little more good-natured than either of them would probably admit.) When she shows back up for the Pokemon World Tournament Junior Cup she's improved even more, only being bitter about her loss to Iris because Iris's Dragonite beat her when it wasn't listening to commands, so technically Georgia and Iris weren't even the ones fighting.
    • Bianca practically drives herself (and everyone else) crazy trying to get at Luke's Zorua during the Club Battle arc. Fortunately for all parties involved, she finally ends up getting to spend some time alone with Zorua and undergoes some Character Development a few episodes later that generally turns her into a more selfless, charitable person.
  • This is the driving force behind the plot of Onani Master Kurosawa: A cynical jerk who sequesters himself from the rest of the world softens over time, beginning with his falling in love for the first time and ultimately culminating in him becoming The Atoner after he realizes that he's badly hurt one of his few friends.
  • Nami from One Piece. Gradually as the series has gone on, but especially after the timeskip. From forgiving Hachi, to immediately hugging Usopp and Chopper when they reunite, to even immediately forgiving Jinbei for letting Arlong loose on East Blue, she's come a pretty long way from the Jerkass Façade she started out with.
    • Not to mention, she almost never hits her crewmates anymore, starting after the timeskip. Though this maybe because of her crewmates beating her to the punch.
    • Also, as seen in his flashback, Jinbe was previously quite brutal when fighting against humans and couldn't care less about humans in general. His interactions with his captain Fisher Tiger and the human girl Koala and being inspired by Queen Otohime helped to change his outlook and become a more kinder person. This was very notable in that he is so far the only Shichibukai whose past changed him for the better.
  • InuYasha: Inuyasha, Sesshoumaru, Kouga, and Kagura all experience this at varying speeds and to varying degrees.
  • After Laxus Dreyar's failed attempt to take over the title guild in Fairy Tail, he Walks The Earth and Tames His Anger. He returns without his trademark Social Darwinist attitude, but he hasn't completely lost his edge.
    • This is also a huge part of Mirajane's backstory. She was an Enfant Terrible in her younger days, but the shock of losing her little sister caused a massive shift in her personality, and she evolved into the guild's beloved Team Mom.
  • Ayaka from Stellvia of the Universe qualifies as she goes from a Go-Getter Girl who's prone to giving people who are better than her accidents to a kind girl who not only has a Romantic Two-Girl Friendship with Yayoi, but also acts as an adviser of some sort to Kouta when it comes to being with Shima.
  • Tomoe from Kamisama Kiss starts out as a 100% pure Jerk Ass but it doesn't take long before we start to see hints of a hidden heart of gold.
  • Garai in MW goes from teenage delinquent to atoner priest after having witnessed many people killed at Mafune Island.
  • Yui in Fushigi Yuugi goes from Psycho Lesbian to Rival Turned Evil in the series, but at the end redeems herself and spends the OVAs as The Atoner.
  • Onpu Segawa in Ojamajo Doremi was initially a spoiled, cold, enigmatic, and selfish Jerkass. By Sharp, she's now portrayed as kind-hearted, sweet and caring Nice Girl.
  • The Stealth Sequel to Mahou Sensei Negima!, UQ Holder, shows that Evangeline has mellowed out a lot since her introduction. She's introduced in the new series as a teacher who acted as a Parental Substitute to the protagonist after his parents died in a car crash.

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