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Aesop Amnesia / Anime & Manga

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  • In what's probably a record for "fastest personality reset", after seeing a job well done, the members of the Student Council in Seitokai no Ichizon promise to stop being lazy and actually do the jobs they were elected for. One scene later, everything is back to the status quo.
  • In Slayers Revolution, Rezo the Red Priest is resurrected and basically the same crap with the Dark Lord Shabranigdo unfolds due to his obsession with gaining sight, which he was supposed to have gotten over in his Death Equals Redemption of the first series.
  • Detective Conan
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    • During the episodes in which Ran suspects Conan is secretly Shinichi, she treats him with more respect, runs interference for him to investigate, and just generally pays more attention to what he has to say. But let him convince her the resemblance was all in her imagination, and she is back to scolding him for "interfering" in Kogoro's investigations again.
    • At one point Kogoro is told by the doctor to stop drinking so much—and for a few episodes he actually does. But not long afterward, he is back to boozing as heavily as usual.
  • Doraemon: It takes a long time for any lessons to stick to Noby (and of course, he often jumps to the wrong conclusion as well).
    • Lampshaded in "Soap Bubbles". Mr. S points out how Noby keeps learning the importance of studying, but he never actually improves. He says this lesson goes through one ear and out the other, and that this has happened over a thousand times.
  • Happens in the third arc of Bakemonogatari. An Aesop of the second arc was that Senjogouhara needs to be honest with Araragi about what's actually going on, or they're unlikely to make any significant progress in their relationship. But then in the third arc, Araragi lies to Senjogouhara about how he was beaten and mangled by Kanbaru. He then proceeds to keep her uninformed as he takes Kanbaru to Oshino to cure her affliction, even though Senjougahara is the whole reason why Kanbaru attacked him in the first place. Senjougahara calls him out on this in the climax after Oshino explains to her what's going on.
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  • Kujo of the Gosick anime seems to experience this regularly. He regularly questions whether Victorique really cares for him, agonizes over it, and then comes to the conclusion she does care... only to forget the next mini-arc.
  • Naruto:
    • Inverted and Played Straight with Naruto himself. A key lesson he learned from Haku was that it was fighting for somebody you care about that makes you truly strong. This belief, and his decision to follow his own path, defined his character. He promptly forgot the very things that defined him when confronted with Gaara, whom he thought was strong because he had to endure his loneliness; it was only after remembering the forgotten aesop that he regained his will to fight. However, a particularly blatant example is Played Straight in one of the anime's filler arcs. Naruto spent most of the previous arc realizing that revenge is bad and destroys people, thereby solidifying his determination to rescue Sasuke from himself. However, at least half of the filler episodes have Naruto happily forgetting that revenge turned his best friend into an Omnicidal Maniac and actually helping other people get revenge. At one point, he even takes the initiative to avenge an island, despite the fact that there was no one left to benefit from destroying the oppressors. Somehow, it seems that the entire anime staff has missed the numerous falling anvils.
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    • Sasuke cannot learn a lesson about revenge to save his life. Over and over, people have tried to (sometimes literally) beat it into him that he's just lashing out because he can't figure out any other way to cope, to no effect. Similarly, Sasuke constantly has it drilled into his head that teamwork and allies are important to him yet he constantly throws them to the side when he needs to, such as the Kage Summit after growing to like Team Hawk. In the final arc, Naruto actually calls him for completely ignoring the lesson they just learned, to which Sasuke merely responds that it's the past and no longer matters. In the end he comes around, lets go of his revenge and admits his appreciation of the feelings of those who kept caring about him.
    • In Part II and especially in the anime Filler, for the sake of humor, Sakura would often forget that she promised to start treating Naruto better.
  • Happens more than once in Digimon Xros Wars. Especially to Kiriha who will be a changed man actually more than once in the series. Most obvious when Deckerdramon dies and everyone is talking some sense into him. Two episodes later he is acting the same as before. But even to the main character Taiki who has to accept the fact later on that he might not be able to save everyone and he might has to kill some friends, who are revived after all. But he gets back into the old patterns very soon.
  • In Science Ninja Team Gatchaman, EVERY member of the team has gotten in trouble at some point by running off alone to investigate something or someone suspicious, usually compounded by not even trying to tell anyone what's up. No matter what happens -and it's usually bad- they never learn. This leads to major tragedy on at least two occasions, The Secret Red Impulse and the last five episodes of the original series.
  • Just as fast as the Seitokai no Ichizon example, there's one from the Tenchi Muyo! manga. One story has Tsunami, disguised as an old man in a dream, take away Ryoko's tolerance for alcohol as punishment for her glutinous ways breaking the Masaki home bank. And she does this the day before a special drinking-style event. Despite the now incredibly-low tolerance for the drink, Ryoko pushes through and wins the day. Tsunami restores Ryoko's tolerance and gifts her with a lot more sake to drink and Ryoko promises to go easy. The last panel reveals that Ryoko blazed through all of those drinks in a month.
  • Pokémon has Ash, who almost always forgets to not blindly rush into things and to think his battles through. He also constantly forgets his mistakes, like trying to use Normal or Fighting moves on Ghost Pokémon.
    • From the start all the way through to the end of Diamond and Pearl, he seems to largely remember the lessons he learned, with occasional exceptions. Then at the start of Best Wishes, he suddenly forgets everything, including that every Nurse Joy looks the same.
    • Ash also has two regular Aesops he alternates between. One is that he needs to have confidence in himself and his Pokémon (this always seems to come as a revelation). The other - over-confidence!
    • In the English version of Pokémon: The First Movie, the lesson the gang learns is "Fighting Is Wrong". For a series based on having Trainers making their Pokémon fight each other until they go unconscious, this could have been a bold move, to say the least. However, most likely in the interest of sixteen more seasons and fifteen additional films (to date), the writers decided to have Mewtwo erase everyone's memories of the events on the island and have everyone leave with an overall feeling of happiness and accomplishment. The characters, especially Team Rocket, couldn't recall the important life lessons that they learned. This could be justified as Mewtwo believed it was more important to keep his crew safe from harm. The gang is then seen in the wrap-up montage using their Pokemon to fight each other... It wasn't that much better in the Japanese version where the motto is "All Life Is Equal," but at least it didn't come off as entirely hypocritical like it is in the dub.
  • The second half of the Magic Knight Rayearth anime has this, in part because of some Schrödinger's Cast issues. Guru Clef is sincerely remorseful over his part of the girls' trauma thanks to his Metaphorical Truth at the beginning and says he should have told them the whole story. But at the same time, he asks Sierra to pose as her deceased twin, Presea, to save the girls from further heartbreak—even though they didn't have any expectation that Presea would be alive, her having died early in the first season, and he could have just told them before they met who Sierra really was. This causes no small amount of angst for Sierra throughout the season.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Seto Kaiba seems to be allergic to teamwork despite being able to take down The Big Five's Five-Headed Dragon because of Yugi's help. This is especially bad in the tag duel pitting him and Yugi against Marik's lackeys Lumis and Umbra because even with his kid brother Mokuba held hostage at that point, Kaiba is still adamant of trying to win the duel himself.
    • Kaiba suffers a lot from this trope due to most of the Filler Arcs being focused on him, the Big Five arc mentioned above being one of them (keep in mind that the wasn't nearly as present in the original manga). Another example is the Virtual World arc (which took place in the middle of Battle City), where Kaiba went through a lot of Character Development and got to prove his superiority to his stepfather and defeat him for good... only for the Battle City semifinals to come along, where Kaiba is driven by an unhealthy hatred for Gozaburo and Rage Quits after he loses to Yugi (again), resolving to blow up the island and end the tournament prematurely.
    • Yami Yugi goes through this, as well, in the (also filler) DOMA arc. A big deal is made during his duel with Raphael of Yami Yugi being afraid of defeat, which makes him go to such extents as being provoked into playing the Seal of Orichalcos, getting defeated anyway, and losing Yugi's soul as a result. This despite the fact that he learned a lesson about not being afraid of losing (and use defeat as a means to become stronger instead) back in Duelist Kingdom, and he demonstrated that the lesson stuck in Battle City. Similarly, Mai becomes very desperate to win at all costs to prove herself in DOMA. She was the one who taught him the lesson in the first place. On the other hand, the outcome of the second loss leaves him so remorseful that the lesson sticks once and for all, to the point that his final duel with Yugi proves that he can gracefully accept losing.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V attempts to provide the moral in the Synchro arc of "you have to make your own way, you can't try to get by through copying what other people do," since Yuya's entire strategy and entertaining style up to that point had been copying that of his father. And true to form, Yuya does create his own strategy and style in the final battle of the arc, complete with a new ace, Nirvana High Paladin. He then never uses this strategy and style again, and goes right back to copying his dad in the very next arc, never using Nirvana High Paladin again.
  • Lampshaded in Sabagebu!. One episode involves Momoka gaining weight after eating too many sweets, and a later segment in the same episode has her stating that she feels fine eating whatever she wants without fear of consequence. This leads to the following line from the narrator:
    Narrator: Momoka Sonokawa's ability to learn is so horrifyingly bad, she already forgot what happened a few minutes ago in part B.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima! suffered from two bad cases of this:
    • First Negi. He's just a ten year old who wants to solve any trouble he faces all by himself and has a serious guilt complex. Throughout the series, his students and later friends try to get him to accept the idea of teamwork and stop trying to do it all by himself. The lesson never sticks for Negi. There's a hilarious scene where Negi has a fever. Kotaro explains it was brought on by his stress and worry about his friends, and sure enough, it goes away when he calms down. A few minutes later, Negi starts muttering it's all his fault that his friends have been scattered in the magic world, prompting Kotaro to slap him and say they've just gone over this.
    • Then there is Setsuna Sakurazaki, who just doesn't seem to get in her head that it's okay to be a strong bodyguard in order protect her "Ojou-sama" and be happily by her side as her friend (or more) at the same time. She learns it at the end of the Kyoto arc, during the Mahorafest tournament, gets an Evil Counterpart that makes her angst about it again and post Magic World she still doesn't get it.
  • The original Kinnikuman manga ended in 1988 with the titular character growing out of being a funny coward hero wrestler to a bright and all rounded brave hero wrestler; then the manga series revival in 2010 basically rebooted his character, all the valor, heroism, and courage he got at the end of the original 36 volumes run is set back a bit so the jokes on Suguru’s cowardice can keep running, all to make the moments where Suguru does get serious more climatic.
  • A Certain Magical Index: Touma Kamijou gets into a lot of Accidental Pervert moments. A lot of these could be easily avoided if he would just remember to knock before entering a room. In fact, he asked himself why he didn't do this when he walked in Orsola Aquinas about to take a shower, but he still keeps forgetting. He could also avoid a lot of his bad luck incidents if he would just watch where he's going and what he says. On a more serious note, while he's always telling the people he saves You Are Not Alone and that they can always call on him for help, he almost never calls for help himself and tries to solve problems by himself. When people bring it up, he'll say he doesn't want to bother anyone.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Frieza is an Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy who was born insanely powerful and always just coasted on his natural talent. This lead him to a rude awakening and a severe humbling in the Namek Saga of Dragon Ball Z when Goku (a Humble Hero who takes training very seriously) achieved the legendary power of Super Saiyan and utterly destroyed Frieza, leaving him to stew in his own failure. However, he's then recovered by his father, turned into a Cyborg, and immediately rushes off to Earth to get revenge on Goku...which gets him humiliated and defeated by a second Super Saiyan (Future Trunks), who actually kills him this time. In Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’ he's brought Back from the Dead, seemingly having learned his lesson and resolving to train for the first time in his life, which lets him achieve near-Physical God levels of power in just four months. And it's ultimately played straight, with Frieza still not learning his lesson. Golden Frieza is powerful, but it practically bleeds stamina and tires him out quickly. Compounding things, he gets a "The Reason You Suck" Speech from Goku, who figured out the flaw the moment he saw the new form. Needless to say this doesn't sit well with Frieza, who blows up the Earth in a giant ragequit. On another note, Frieza never learns not to provoke a Saiyan who can transform who will kick his ass despite what happened during Namek. First, he tries to kill Krillin just to make Goku angry for no reason and later, he kills Paragus just to make Broly angry in Dragon Ball Super: Broly. Needless to say, the latter ended up biting him in the dust as he ends up getting the worst beating from an enraged Broly for at least 1 hour without any chance to fight back.
    • Vegeta has this to the extreme. As the Prince of the Saiyans, he's convinced that he's the strongest being in the universe and tends to bite off more than he can chew when it comes to enemies, as well as refusing to work with anyone he considers inferior (which is basically everyone). To make matters worse, he's actually not as strong as Goku, which enrages Vegeta for decades in-universe and results in his being a liability for the good guys quite often. It isn't until the very end of Z that the fuller Aesop finally sticks and he accepts that Goku is the better man. Come Super he still wants to surpass Goku but is far less bitter and toxic about it, and his massive sense of Saiyan pride becomes an asset rather than a liability since he goes from blind stupidity to a top-class Determinator.
    • Gohan is lectured during the Majin Buu Saga about how because he stopped training after the Cell Saga; he's gotten weaker and his skills have decayed, hurting his ability to protect his friends and family. Despite this, he still doesn't train, leaving him a shadow of his former self in Resurrection F and especially Dragon Ball Super. He seems to have learned this lesson in Super when Frieza kills Piccolo and blows up the Earth, asking Piccolo to retrain him once Goku deals with Frieza.
    • Subverted in a filler episode of Super for Bulma. She is aware that time traveling is a crime, but she creates a new time machine to try it out. Of course, both Whis and Beerus gets onto her for it, and the latter destroys it by snapping his fingers.
  • Sonic X: There have been several occasions where Knuckles has been duped by Eggman faking a Heel–Face Turn, but no matter how many times he falls for it, he'll readily fall for the same trick again. Amy even lampshades this in the Season 2 episode "An Enemy in Need," reminding Knuckles of all the other times Eggman tricked him into thinking he wanted to reform and asking him just how many times he has to fall for it before he accepts that Eggman is nothing but a liar who will never change his ways.
  • Played for Laughs in the blooper reel of Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, when the Elric brothers are talking to each other on the roof after they get their original bodies back.
    Al: I've been thinking about something lately.
  • Erina Nakiri of Shokugeki no Soma hits a pretty bad case of this, come the second year of the story. During the Central Arc, one of the primary plot points was Erina finally overcoming the trauma of Azami's influence on her, and realizing that she doesn't have to define herself as "the owner of God's Tongue", as Soma and his friends teach her about how fun cooking can be when you just try over and over to find a better taste in spite of previous failures. However, in the BLUE Tournament Arc, it's revealed she wants to win the tournament in order to save her mother, Mana, by cooking something that can satisfy her God's Tongue. When Asahi points out that someone who lost their ability to enjoy food because of the God's Tongue can’t be saved by another God's Tongue, she despairs, seemingly forgetting that her friends in the Polaris Dormitory already showed her it’s possible to make delicious food without listening to the instructions of her refined palate.

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