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  • People in After War Gundam X tend to make a lot of cryptic references to the Moon: "The Moon will always be there" or "you will die without seeing the Moon", etcetera. It's known early on that something on the Moon is powering the titular Gundam's Wave Motion Gun, but what it is, why it's there, and its connection to the previous war are not revealed until very near the end. The Satellite Cannon's power source is also the installation where the "first Newtype" lives as an incorporeal being.
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    • "Misaki's not dead" is repeated in a few different contexts. It's the words that caused the class of 1972 to treat their deceased classmate Misaki as though he were still alive, is said by Mei Misaki when telling Sakakibara the story, and Sakakibara says it when Izumi tries to kill Mei.
    • "Send the dead back to death," the battle cry of those hoping to end the calamity by killing the "extra" in the class, whom they erroneously believe to be Mei Misaki.
  • Assassination Classroom:
    • "We are assassins and our target is our sensei" shows up a lot, though the meaning changes a little as the students of the titular classroom and Koro-sensei, their teacher, grow closer. It's used to heartbreaking effect when it comes time for Class E to finally kill Koro-sensei.
    • "The tentacles asked, 'What would you like to be?'" This comes up with every person who was infused with tentacles and the answer speaks volumes about the person answering.
  • Attack on Titan:
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    • "If you don't fight, you can't win!"
    • Armin's words ring out multiple times during Episodes 24 and 25:
      To rise above monsters, we must abandon humanity. What we fight, we become.
    • Variations of Mikasa's words often get used throughout the series by various different characters:
      The world is a very cruel place...but that's what makes it beautiful.
    • Key words relevant to each arc:
      • The Battle of Trost: "Human."
      • The Female Titan: "Trust" and "Regret."
      • Clash of the Titans: "Identity."
      • Uprising: "Power" and "Will."
  • The Big O
    • "Cast in the name of God, ye not guilty," a phrase that used to be inscribed on executioners' axes during the Inquisition (at least in the mythology, not in Real Life, the series creator made the phrase up himself), absolving them of the sin of murder since they were doing God's work.
    • There are two variations of the second part. The first is "ye not" when Rosewater tries to pilot Big Fau and it just shuts down. The second is "ye guilty" when Alan Gabriel is piloting Big Duo and it kills him.
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    • Also, there are the "tomatoes", introduced as a metaphornote  at the end of the first season and revisited through the second season as part of an Ontological Mystery.
  • Chaos;Head: "Sono me, dare no me?" ("Those eyes, whose are they?")
  • Chobits: "A person just for me..."
  • Chrono Crusade: Mary Magdalene. Used to the point that the name is actually worked into the title logo.
  • Lots of CLAMP works, especially Xxx HO Li C, Cardcaptor Sakura, and Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE-, involve the idea of "hitsuzen" — an event, meeting, or other twist of fate that was determined by previous actions or decisions, and is thus unavoidable. Usually, a phrase along the lines of "There are no such things as accidents. There is only hitsuzen." is used, with "hitsuzen" sometimes translated as fate or destiny. The idea is that people determine their fates with their decisions and actions.
    • To make sure it was absolutely clear, the English dub uses the term inevitability.
    • Cardcaptor Sakura also makes frequent reference to the phrase "daijoubu", meaning "alright", referring to the importance in Sakura's belief that everything will turn out okay in the end.
  • "Deliver the Oxygen" for AE 3803 and AA 2153 of Cells at Work! and Cells at Work! Code Black respectively. Aside from the fact that, as anthropomorphic red blood cells, that IS one of their only functions and reasons for existence, they dedicate their all to their jobs, and will do absolutely everything in their power to see their deliveries done.
  • Kotomi Ichinose's route in CLANNAD has "Day before yesterday, I saw a rabbit; yesterday, a deer, and today, you." Quoted word-for-word from a short story called The Dandelion Girl.
    • Also, Nagisa's "If you like, shall I take you to the place in town where dreams come true?" Appears in the first episode, later as the first line of her play, and in the Grand Finale of ~After Story~.
  • Code Geass has "The only who should kill are those who are prepared to be killed". Said first by Lelouch when using his Geass for the first time to kill a corrupt military officer, he repeats it several times over both series of the show. It all ties together at the end when after spilling oceans of blood on both sides of the war, Lelouch's grand plan culminates in him sacrificing his life to bring peace to the entire world.
    • Three times Nunnally tells Lelouch "I would be happy anywhere as long as I am with you, brother". In her first appearance, second as part of a What the Hell, Hero? during their confrontation at the Damocles, and finally as Lelouch lay dying in her arms. She also references it multiple times when talking to other people both in the anime canon and in extra materials like Picture Dramas and Audio Dramas. This serves to subtly paint the fact Nunnally isn't as selfless as Lelouch thinks she is; she doesn't truly want a gentle world but a world where she and Lelouch stay together.
  • Cowboy Bebop has references to dreams. "He lived his life as though it were a dream" and "It's all a dream" are the most common variations. When somebody mentions dreams, either something big to happen, or it already did.
    • Making a finger gun and saying "Bang." Only happens twice, but the difference between those two occasions sums up pretty much the entire arc of the storyline.
    • References to "the blues". The first and last episodes both have "Blues" in their title.
    • Green bell peppers.
  • Detective Conan has "only one truth prevails" in the translated anime.
  • There is much significance to the word "Awakening" in Ergo Proxy.
    • Occasionally the phrase "Can you feel the pulse of the awakening?" was used, too.
    • "Raison d'Etre" is a big thing in the series.
  • Fafner in the Azure: Dead Aggressor — "Are you there?"
  • Fairy Tail: The series has not an Arc Word, but an Arc Letter: "E". It's one of the letters Igneel is shown teaching main character Natsu Dragneel in a flashback early in the manga; Natsu later takes one of eight paths marked "E" during the exam on Sirius Island, thinking he'd get to fight Erza because her name begins with an E; Lucy also reasons that Mavis's grave is on the same path after deducing that "demise" is the only six-letter word related to "grave" that has two E's in it. This takes a dramatic turn when the initials for Zeref's most powerful demon, E.N.D., are revealed to stand for Etherious Natsu Dragneel ("Etherious" being the standard name for any demon born from the Books of Zeref).
  • "Fooly cooly" from FLCL. Despite being the basis for the show's title and appearing at least once in each episode, "fooly cooly" is never explained. In the final episode, Naota's father tries to goad him into revealing the answer to this: "C'mon, you have to know. The main character always knows stuff like this!"
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • "Mankind cannot gain anything without first giving something in return. This is Alchemy's First Law of Equivalent Exchange."
    • "One is All, All is One"
    • The referral to the alchemists who practised human transmutation as 'sacrifices' is very thinly explained until the relevant plot point.
    • Lust's character arc in the 2003 anime has the arc words "Where did I come from? Where will I go?"
    • "The truth that lies within the truth" (Dr. Marcoh's cryptic message to Ed).
  • GaoGaiGar has its villains occasionally mention two mysterious concepts: "the legacy of Cain" and "the curse left by Abel." Eventually we learn that these refer to two children, Mamorou and Kaidou, who are refugees from planets ruled by leaders named Cain and Abel.
    • GaoGaiGar FINAL has the oft mentioned, never quoted Oath Sworn Through Courage, which serves as a source of strength for the cast as they encounter the enemy.
  • "Voodoo Child" are Himiko's personal Arc Words in the Get Backers manga.
  • Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex has one of these for each season so far, both integrated into an iconic Arc Symbol. For the first season, the Laughing Man logo contains the phrase "I thought what I'd do was, I'd pretend I was one of those deaf-mutes" (a quote from J. D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye), which eventually leads Togusa and the Major to the truth behind the convoluted Laughing Man case. Similarly, 2nd Gig features a symbol containing kanji that are read idiosyncratically as "Individual Eleven", a phrase that has ties to almost every part of the season's Story Arc.
    • In the form of the many Title Drops within the series, since Stand-Alone Complex is the mastermind behind both seasons. To be precise, there is no Man Behind the Man, but rather people believing there is and becoming followers of no-one.
  • Giant Robo:
    • "The Beautiful Night" and "Can happiness be achieved without sacrifice?" from the OVAs.
    • Another arguable example would be "Big Fire." For most of the series, we're led to believe that Big Fire is nothing more the name of the global criminal superorganization which opposes the Experts. Only in the next-to-last episode do we learn that Big Fire is a person, and all those worshipful chants the BF members were fond of shouting ("Hail Big Fire! Alliance or death!" and so forth) were in reference to him, not the eponymous organization over which he reigns.
  • The Girl Who Leapt Through Time: "Time waits for no one."
  • Gunbuster and Diebuster:
  • Haruhi Suzumiya:
    • "Three years ago" in the anime (and first novels). Lampshaded by Kyon, "I'm getting a little tired of the 'three years ago'."
    • In the 9th novel, "three years ago" becomes "four years ago" since at that point roughly a year has passed since the start of the series.
    • The name "John Smith".
  • Hell Girl: "When one is damned, two graves are dug."
  • In Hellsing the phrase: "The bird of the Hermes is my name, eating my wings to make me tame." appears together with the series' title as well as on Alucard's coffin. It's taken from the Ripley Scrowle, an alchemical text that supposedly details the creation of the Philosopher's Stone. It's likely an allusion to Alucard's nature as an immortal vampire and plays into the series' examination of immortality. Also, it looks pretty cool.
    • From the TV series only: "In the name of God, impure souls of the living dead shall be banished into eternal damnation. Amen."
  • In Inuyasha, "Pure has now become Impure, Impure has now become Pure," for the Band of Seven/Mt. Hakurei arc.
  • Kill la Kill: Throughout Satsuki's arc, she fondly remembers the words her father told her when he showed her Junketsu: "This will be your wedding dress." It's later revealed that his words were actually a warning: "...But when you put it on, you will become a slave to clothing."
  • Kiznaiver:
    • "One for all, all for one", which Sonozaki rephrases to "One for all, all for victory".
    • Sonozaki's words ressonate through the series whenever Katsuhira thinks about bonds. "Everyone wants to carve their scars into someone else. Everyone wants to connect with someone else."
  • Little Witch Academia: "A believing heart is your magic." Shiny Chariot's creed, which fuels Akko's ceaseless drive and determination to fulfill her dreams of becoming a witch. It also serves the crucial narrative purpose of setting up Diana to re-inspire her after she hits a bad spell of Heroic BSoD, and additionally, the fact that the phrase originated from Chariot's Evil Former Friend and the current Big Bad establishes the importance and sincerity of their past bond, suggesting that Croix is not completely beyond redemption.
  • In Madlax, there's one phrase that's used over and over again: Elda Taluta. There are two others that accompany this (Sarks Sark and Arks Ark) but rarely get used. The Big Bad uses these words to drive the "true nature" of humans out, which normally results in brutal murders or mind rape.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's: "It was only a small wish." This turns out to refer to the Wolkenritter's desire to live out a peaceful ordinary life with their master Hayate. Unfortunately for them, their very nature prevents them from obtaining their wish and their efforts to maintain the illusion of ordinary life destroys it more and more. Their wish turns out to be not so small, after all. It takes an intervention by the multiverse's most powerful mages, a space battleship, and a miracle to make it reality—if only partly.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima!:
    • Variations on "Always keep moving forward" tend to crop up in plot-important moments.
    • The manga is an interesting case, in that the actual Arc Words ("a little bit of courage") rarely show up. Rather, after the one time someone compared the need to rush bravely in (rather than hanging back and giving your opponent time to prepare) to the Arc Words, the concept of bravery and aggression, as well as trusting your training, comes up more and more. This makes it more of an Arc Concept than anything.
    • A straighter example would be "I Am Your Opponent", which recurs often, even in mundane fights.
  • Mai-HiME has "princess" in the prequel story, "Natsuki's Prelude". Natsuki, whose name is "Summer Princess" written in hiragana, frequently hears herself being referred to as such, but it takes her a while to realize the significance of it- she's a HiME, a girl with the ability to summon an Element and a Child, the acronym of which is derived from the Japanese word for princess.
  • Mai-Otome has Arc Words in the form of a song ("Hoshi ga Kanaderu Monogatari"). Each of the three main characters — Arika, Nina and Mashiro — knows and sings one stanza each, and its real significance is only revealed in the final arc.
  • "The Destination of Fate", "Survival Strategy", and "Never amount to anything" in Mawaru-Penguindrum.
    • "Survival Strategy": Revealed to be some sort of terrorism plot by the Kiga group/Penguinforce.
    • "Never amount to anything": Initially, it was only used by the Princess of the Crystal in mocking those that she summons, but it's later revealed that this particular phrase has ties to the self-worth of several characters.
  • Mazinger Z: "When you pilot Mazinger Z, you can become a god or a devil with its power."
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam 00, the Innovators often mention or allude to what they call "the dialogues to come", which according to Revive is a concept beyond human comprehension. However, after Setsuna becomes an Innovator, it's hinted that these "dialogues" may be referring to what he believes is Aeolia Schenberg's plan for human evolution.
    • It's suggested that it means humanity's first contact with aliens, and that humanity would have to suppress its warlike nature and internal conflicts to prevent an interstellar war.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, there was Mu La Flaga's famous line to Kira; "You have the power to make a difference, Dont you? Why not put it to use?" Throughout Kira's journey there have been several key moments in which Kira could of simply walked away from piloting Gundams and fighting. If he had done so, then his friends would of been killed, the human race would be on the brink of extinction due to a mad man's plans of double genocide, and in the sequel the world would be under a rule of predetermined control.
  • Monster:
    • "The monster inside me has grown so big!"
    • Also, "People can become whatever they want to be" and "Welcome home" are both phrases that plague Nina's memory. Their significance is eventually explained.
  • In Murasakiiro no Qualia, Hatou's considerations on storytelling are repeated in slightly different ways several times. Her struggle with how to tell the story suddenly becomes more understandable, considering we're talking about a multiverse epic only she has the whole, huge perspective of.
  • My Monster Secret: The Japanese title of the series ("The truth is, I am..."). It's not only about the characters revealing that they are not human, but also about them coming to terms with their feelings.
  • Naruto
    • "The Will of Fire"
    • "The King" in the Hidan and Kakuzu arc.
    • "Pain" in the Hunt for Uchiha and Pain Invasion arcs.
    • "I'm an Avenger" -Sasuke
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion has a few:
  • Nijigahara Holograph: "The butterflies that had been pulled apart by fate shall become one." Either said or written by multiple characters, it might refer to the classmates who mistreated Arié, or the butterfly pendant formerly worn by Amahiko and Arié's mother, whose halves are eventually worn by the two siblings when they seem to encounter each other after Arié wakes from her coma.
  • Noir: The Fauxlosophic Narration Badass Creed at the start of each episode ("..Two maidens who govern death..") is promoted to Arc Words later on in the series itself. Also, "If love can kill people, surely hatred can save them."
    • Thus spake the Hermit, the blood of the soldats shall run through the wilderness and mingle with the great sea...
  • One Piece
    • The "Will of D."
    • Also a rare case of a series where the title itself qualifies as arc words. The words "One Piece" are hardly ever spoken in the show's dialog. When it is mentioned, it's always a major event.
  • Pandora Hearts has, "A darkness that swallows everything," which is used to describe several plot related things.
  • Perfect Blue:
    • "Go to Mima's room."
    • "Excuse me. Who are you?" What starts out as a perfectly innocent phrase, and Mima's first line in her first acting job, becomes extremely relevant as the horror begins.
    • "The real Mima" and variants thereof. Who is the real Mima? Everyone has an opinion, and soon, even she's not sure...
  • Pluto: The main character has the recurring flashback of a man saying "500 Zeus a body." Seeing as the main character is a robot, other robots can experience his flashback as well.
  • Princess Tutu: "May those who accept their fate find happiness. May those who defy their fate find glory."
  • The Promised Neverland: "Promise," including its derivatives as a verb and as a noun. In addition to it being in the title itself and how the main characters are spurred on by the promise of freedom, characters frequently give promises to other characters, leading to this word being used a lot. Not every promise is actually kept, however.
  • Walpurgisnacht or Walpurgis Night in Puella Magi Madoka Magica. As revealed in Episode 10, Walpurgisnacht is a powerful witch that Madoka is supposedly fated to defeat as a Magical Girl, leading to her conversion into a witch.
  • Saga Of Tanya The Evil has the phrase "Deus lo vult"/"God wills it".
  • Seigi no Mikata: "My sister is a demon."
  • Serial Experiments Lain — "Everything is Connected" and "Close the world. Open the next."
    • Or in some cases "Close the world. .txen eht nepO"
    • Also, in one or two of the episodes: "Fulfill the prophecy."
  • The Seven Deadly Sins
    • "This is a tale of humans and beings from other worlds. It is a tale of ancient times."
    • "That is my/your sin" comes up often in reference to the series' theme of past sins, tragedies and repentance.
    • Gilthunder's catchphrase, "I am stronger than than all of the Seven Deadly Sins", turns out to be a Survival Mantra taught to him by Meliodas in his childhood. It ties closely to his character arc.
  • Slam Dunk: "The one who controls the rebound controls the game." Since The Hero is a newbie in the game of basketball with defensive potential, The Captain instills this mantra on the former's head thus allowing him to unlock and use said potential.
  • Soul Eater has "A sound soul dwells within a sound mind and a sound body".
  • Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie: "What do you see beyond your fist?" It's a question Ryu and Ken were asked by their late master, Gouken. During the final battle with Bison, Ken has a moment of clarity and realises the answer: "My fate."
  • Tamako Market: Everybody loves somebody.
  • Tokyo Ghoul: Amon and Kaneki both note that, "The World is Wrong." The final chapter of the original series repeats this over and over again.
    • The words are brought back in the sequel, :re. By the end, it has changed as Kaneki has his Heel Realization that "the world isn't wrong. It just is.
  • Umi Monogatari has Marin's "I love you!" It crops up very frequently as Marin and her relationships change.
  • Vinland Saga: Once per story, expect someone to utter the words "somewhere not here."
  • Welcome to the N.H.K. has NHK show up often, especially when the protagonist is about to have a nervous breakdown.
  • The Wind Rises has, well, "The wind rises", which also doubles as a Title Drop.
  • Witch Hunter Robin: "Three hundred and twenty years have passed since the coven sank in the dark." This is followed by an abstract plot description for the next episode.
  • X1999 — Before Fuuma awakens as Kamui's twin star, "Kamui, I am your..."
  • Your Lie in April: "Do you think you'll be able to forget?". It have about three contexts as the show goes on: the piano in Kousei's life, Kaori's and Kousei's duet performance with cheering audience, and her short existence in Kousei's life.
  • The Japanese version of Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters (dubbed as Yu-Gi-Oh!) has the term "shin no duelist" which means "true duelist". You could make a drinking game out of it once it starts showing up.
    • There's also the riddle "What can you show, but cannot see?" (or in some translations, "what can be seen yet not seen?") which is also a little more important in the manga.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V has characters deliberately use Arc Words to show that they hold a certain ideal or belief to be true. It should be noted that not everyone interprets these phrases the same way, which is arguably the entire point.
  • Yu Yu Hakusho: Sensui's vow that "The seven of us will dig mankind's grave" is actually about his seven personalities rather than his Quirky Miniboss Squad, which, including him, numbers seven people.
  • The "kind king" of Zatch Bell! that everyone who encounters Gash hopes to become.
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