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Contrived Coincidences in anime and manga.


  • The main character of Alice Academy just happens to befriend a kid with a superpower, who just happens to have avoided being sent to the special school for those people long enough to befriend the main character, and just happens to have one of her letters reach the main character despite the faculty of the school doing everything they can to prevent the students having any contact at all with the outside world, which just happens to prompt the main character to travel to the school, where she just so happens to be allowed in because she has a power of her own, one which just happens to be so situational that neither she nor anybody else knew that she had it until the plot demanded it.
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  • Butterflies, Flowers: When Choko goes job-hunting at the beginning of the book, the only company hiring is the one where her family's ex-servant has become director of the department she is applying to...
  • Cat's Eye:
    • In episode 18, Hitomi and Ai tie up and gag a pair of female wrestlers known as the Tiger Ladies, and steal their costumes in order to escape the cops. Not only do the Tiger Ladies wear masks, but they conveniently have hairstyles and body measurements similar to those of the thieves as well.
    • In the series finale, Hitomi and Rui try to steal a priceless diamond from a famous actress named Noriko Kurokawa, but fail. While this is happening, Ai is writing the script for her drama club's upcoming play, which is about a female thief. Due to some unlikely circumstances, it turns out that Noriko is an alumna of Ai's school, and that former students are allowed to act in school productions regardless of their age. The sisters are able to convince Noriko to portray the victim of the play, and use the opportunity to knock her unconscious and replace her diamond with a convincing fake.
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  • After the War in the North Campaign and the 7 year Time Skip in Claymore, the seven survivors out of 24 set out south to finally get their revenge and then run headlong into Riful of the West, one of the Big Bads, almost immediately.
  • Code Geass:
    • While a lot of things can be explained by Lelouch using his Geass off screen, the second episode of the second season is just a little convenient. Lelouch, having lost his memory, decides to go gambling in a skyscraper that just happens to be at the start of a street that goes straight to the Chinese consulate, the skyscraper also exactly tall enough to be stretched out along the street, has a spacy ventilation shaft inside it which would protect people in the unlikely event that it would topple over... Starting to guess what's going to happen?
    • Season 1 episode 22 is just as bad. See my mind control eye? I can make you do anything, all of which being horribly bad for everyone involved, and none of them funny, even though I'm trying to make a joke. It would be horrible if my power forced you to do one of them, now - er... Whoops? That was because Diabolus ex Machina was the real Big Bad of the show. While it presumably never occurred to Lelouch that his Mind Control Geass would trigger without him consciously activating it, by all rights it should have figured out that this is what always happens to a Geass user eventually, since he'd already fought Mao earlier in the season, whose Telepathy Geass had become impossible to turn off years before they met.
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  • The first episode of Darker Than Black with suspiciously convenient coincidences that allow Chiaki to escape her many pursuers - electric locks malfunction when she needs them to the most, pursuers will frequently be thrown off by things such as stray cats, and Nice Guy next-door neighbor/obvious Love Interest, Li Shengshun, is always miraculously nearby when she needs his help the most. The second episode then reveals that absolutely none of these are coincidences, not even the cat, and that Li (secretly the electricity-manipulating "Black Reaper", Hei) is after her secrets just like everyone else.
  • Death Note:
    • It was just a coincidence that both Mikami and Light knew Kiyomi Takada (although it's not too absurd considering it's not abnormal for two people to know somebody mutual over the span of five years, especially considering Light's popularity). It was just a coincidence that Misa Amane and Light happened to live within a train ride of each other — at one point in the anime, they're shown having coffee in the same little shop, completely unaware that the other one is actually a Kira. When you get down to it, it was a coincidence that Light just happened to have the TV on, considering how much studying he's shown to do with it off, when L first broadcasts his Lind L Tailor message. The list doesn't end; Death Note has a ton of these.
    • The encounter with Misora and Light not being taken out early is based on one, too. It just so happens that the entire police force working the Kira case was at a meeting, while Misora was trying to contact one of them and Light happened to arrive just as she talked about having information for them. After all, Sayu was supposed to bring their father the spare clothes. Light even lampshades how convenient this little meeting was and begins to hear Misora out on her information. And it just so happens that Aizawa was opening his umbrella just as Light and Misora were passing him by and he didn't see them. Although, to be fair to Light, Naomi's interference in the first place was unlucky and so was Aizawa arriving at that exact time.
    • It even starts with one: Light flat-out asks Ryuk why he was chosen to have the Death Note, and Ryuk explains he'd just dropped it from a great height. Anyone might have picked it up. Hell, the instructions are in English just because that's the most common human language.
  • Psychometer Eiji's spinoff manga Debusen featuring comic relief character Mitsuru Fukushima relies on this in basically almost every presented plot points. One of those examples is the premise of the manga itself; Mitsuru, who decides to commit suicide in Sea of Trees after piling up so much debts finds a corpse of a woman greatly resembling him and is somehow trapped in a life of high school teacher replacing the deceased woman to reform a class filled with failure students. First of all, he chooses to go to Sea of Treesnote  instead of jumping off a cliff or using other suicide methods. Second, because Mitsuru wants to get a chocolate in a pocket of a corpse hanged on a brach which can't hold Mitsuru's height, he magically stumbles into the woman's corpse in a 35-square-kilometre forest, not to mention the corpse's obscured location people won't easily notice. Third, said corpse has similar body structure and appearance to Mitsuru except for general male-female characteristics. Fourth, the woman's name is conveniently Mitsuko Fukushima, the name Mitsuru uses whenever he cosplays as a woman. Despite the amount of miracle it needs to work, the plot can still happen.
  • In the first story arc of Dragon Ball while Bulma and Goku are searching for the Dragon Balls they find a turtle who is lost. Goku helps the turtle and as award the turtle gets his master, known as the Turtle Hermit, who gives him the Kinto'un, a flying cloud. After several more adventures, they face the Gyuumaou (Ox-King) who is known for his power and cruelty. The Gyuumaou recognizes the cloud since the Turtle Hermit is his old master. Even more, Goku's grandfather was also a student of the same master and him and the Gyuumaou trained together. And all of them had Dragon Balls.
  • Elfen Lied, both fortunately and unfortunately, happens to be chock full of this. This is the reason why all of the characters meet in the first place, as the chances for these select few individuals encountering one another (especially Lucy and Kouta) is next to impossible. That none of them remember each other is a whole 'nother web of improbability.
  • In From Eroica with Love, the titular art thief almost always ends up going after something with a microfilm sought by his unrequited love interest.
  • Fushigiboshi no★Futagohime: This seems to be how the Prominence works in the early part of the first season. Whenever Fine and Rein use it to solve problems, the events just seem completely improbable to make any sort of sense.
  • Haiyore! Nyarko-san W:
    • The protagonists go to the Great Celano Library so Nyarko can return an overdue book, and come into conflict with a pair of aliens who are ransacking the place looking for something. When the team arrives at the villains' lair, Nyarko realizes she forgot to return her book, which leads to her and Mahiro discussing the possibility that that book is what the bad guys were looking for; Mahiro initially thinks it's stupid, but then decides it's probably right because so far, all their adventures have had "stupid resolutions" (as he puts it). It turns out he's wrong; what the bad guys really wanted was a book Mahiro unknowingly put in his pocket when everything started going nuts at the library.
    • In the first season, a time-traveling alien "borrows" the body of a classmate in order to track down a rebel from her time period. Nyarko remarks that the Class Representative called in sick that day and suggests that the criminal might be possessing him. Mahiro says that would be way too convenient, Nyarko agrees that it would be pretty silly, and they share a laugh...and then the class rep jumps out of a second-story window and dashes away, obviously possessed.
  • In Haou Airen, the Triad hitman Hakuron is sent to Tokyo twice to deal with the Yakuza. Both times, he saw the female lead Kurumi. The first one, he took a glimpse of her grieving self during her father's funeral; the second, she was the person who saved his life when he was badly injured after he finished the mission.
  • In the sixth volume of High School DXD, Asia gets herself forcefully transferred to a different dimension by Shalba Beelzebub and planned to kill her there. It just so happens that Vali and his group were at the Dimension Gap looking for Gogmagog and he sees her prompting him to rescue her on a whim.
  • InuYasha: In episode 47, Naraku sics a giant Soul Collector on Kikyo to kill her, sending her running until she runs into Inuyasha, who promptly kills it. Inuyasha thinks that Kikyo deliberately led the demon to him knowing he would save her, but as she quickly points out, she was just running for her life, and Inuyasha just happened to be there.
  • Little Witch Academia: In Episode 16, the Greenman Disease is a parody of this, working off ridiculously specific triggers. The conditions and effects of the illness make it work more like a curse than an actual pathology in practice; it only happens in a specific region of Finland when, among other things, a certain amount of CO2 exhaled by humans coincides with a specific breeding rate of a specific family of fish, the release of pollen into the air, a freaking planetary alignment event and the consumption of a specific traditional homemade pie when baked at a specific temperature. The conditions are so stringent that the book detailing the disease itself points out that it's something one could only expect to occur AT MOST once every thousand years. Guess where our heroines decide to go to, at which time of the year (and the millennium), and which traditional treat is served to them by a well-meaning old woman.
  • Lyrical Nanoha There are a lot of these thought out the series also mix with One Degree of Separation.
    • Season 1:
      • After Arf rebelled and fled to Earth, She ended up being found by Alisa, one of Nanoha's friends.
    • Season 2 (A's):
      • Hayate, the master of the antagonist and is unaware of what's going on, happens to meet Suzuka, another friend of Nanoha.
    • Season 3 (StrikerS):
      • Subaru and Ginga were found and rescued by Quint. Quint ended up adopting them because their eyes are similar to her. Turns out their DNA matches with Quint. Yeah, of all the people in the universe who could've rescued them, it turns out to be the woman they were cloned from.
      • Quint was also partnered with Zest and Megane. Zest ended up dying and resurrected to take care of Megane's daughter. During their walk around the Mid-Childa, they found Agito, a unison device, whom very effect to Signum.
      • The first and only time Riot Force 6 have a vacation. Erio and Caro stumbled upon Vivio.
    • ViVid:
      • Five participants of the Inter-Middle Championship are descendents of rulers from the Ancient Belkan Era, four of the rulers were close friends. And a sixth ruler in a Convenient Coma is not that far away from these descendents. Hayate lampshades this.
    • Force:
      • Thoma happens to be found by Subaru on that fated day when he's the sole survivor of a massacre. Years later he goes on a Journey to Find Oneself, and runs across Lily and Isis.
    • INNOCENT:
      • Since this is an Alternate Universe, the Materials are no longer doppelgängers of Nanoha, Fate and Hayate, just a group of strangers who happen to resemble them. And despite the drawing of in-game equipment for the series' virtual reality video game being randomized, they just happen to have Palette Swap versions of the main trio's gear so that the resemblance will be even more apparent.
  • In Macross Frontier, the three characters in the primary Love Triangle have the amazing ability to randomly run into each other wherever they go, in a city that's home to millions of people. Even when a character decides to randomly visit places they've never been before, the other two happen to show up there as well.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima! is filled with numerous contrived coincidences. Among some samples:
    • The first student to find out about Negi's secret, Asuna, is not only a magic world princess who had her memories of her past wiped out, but it appears that she is also a creation of Negi's ancestor.
    • Nodoka, after receiving her Pactio card, just happens to be walking by when she overhears Chamo and Asuna discuss how the card can be used to summon magical items. This starts a series of events (and other coincidences) that results in Nodoka not only discovering her Pactio ability of Mind Reading, but also discovering that Negi is actually a mage. Interestingly enough, this isn't the only time Nodoka was walking by when Negi, Asuna, and Chamo are discussing important stuff, as this also happens first when Negi tells Asuna about his past, and later when Negi invites Asuna to go with him to the Magic World during summer break.
    • Taken even further when you consider the sheer improbability of Negi's class being assembled. Asuna, magical world princess Konoka, daughter of his father's fighting companion Evangeline, sealed there by his father Mana, half-demonfolk mercenary, Ku Fei; apparently the most talented martial artist on campus, Chao, his descendent Kaede; exceedingly talented ninja, and Zazie demonfolk princess. It's possible the headmaster just meddled, but then it's still a case of Improbable Age that everyone is in the same grade.
    • It's not that contrived for all of this to happen. Considering that the school itself is quite populated by mages, several of whom are related to Negi's father's group, it isn't THAT big of a stretch so much interesting people would gather there. After all, Asuna being placed into the care of a ton of mages makes sense since she's a princess in hiding, albeit unknowingly so to herself at least, and there probably would be several of those tied to the magical world staying in a place filled with mages, such as Mana and Zazie. And Chao needed to be in Mahora itself since she needed to use the World Tree for her spell, so she would be waiting around in the school for the right time. The biggest contrivance is really just that all these people were stuffed into a single classroom.
  • In Maison Ikkoku, Kyoko just happens to walk by when Kozue tricks Godai into a goodbye kiss—which turns out to be a turning point in the series.
  • Medaka Box has an unusual spin on this: About halfway through the series, Zenkichi has a falling out with Medaka, which leads to him deciding to challenge her for the job of Student Council President (and implicitly, the role of the story's main character; the series is extremely Meta). His ally Aijimu offers to give Zenkichi a superpower since even a Badass Normal like him couldn't realistically challenge Medaka, who is The Ace in almost every way. Zenkichi chooses the power to completely and utterly negate Contrived Coincidences: no Big Damn Heroes, no Million-to-One Chances, no form of narrative Hand Wave at all — even if it would be to his benefit. He explains that he wants to take superpowers off the table completely and make it a contest of skill; while Aijimu goes through with it, she remarks that it's the kind of power that would make any writer recoil in horror.
  • In Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid, Tohru just so happens to be rescued by (and fall in love with) Kobayashi, whose manager is a close friend of Tohru's father. Then Tohru's rival Elma gets a job at that very same company when she's stranded on Earth, and is assigned to the same department as Kobayashi (after having chosen a job at random).
  • Mobile Suit Gundam:
    • The kid who finds a prototype mobile suit turns out to be a powerful psychic. In six completely different wars.
    • And in all but one of those cases, one or both of the kid's parents were involved in the creation of said prototype mobile suit.
    • In After War Gundam X, the trigger Garrod steals from a salvager's ship just so happens to work in the Gundam he randomly finds in a garage in the middle of nowhere. He at least has the comical sense to lampshade the seemingly divine intervention: "Tifa, I believe in God!"
    • In ∀ Gundam, the titular machine comes to life and the main character Loran just happens to be right next to the thing. He is the only character that can both: A) understand the technology, and B) not use it to completely turn the tide of the war in favor of either side.
  • In Monster, Johan Liebert is able to find another family named Liebert, who lost a son named Johan, who would be the same age that he is, allowing him to slip right into the community. This is after meeting a family named Liebert as a child who named him Johan. Fortunately, it's a fairly common name in Real Life.
  • From Naruto we have two 'coincidences' which set Itachi free from Edo Tensei. The first is even encountering Naruto in the first place, a 1/80,000 chance. The second is Kotoamatsukami, the jutsu that was used to rewire his Edo Tensei to give him back his will: 1/36,500 due to its ten year charge time - with Itachi not even knowing if the charge time was completed. Yet... both were fulfilled. Later comes Itachi's 'defeat' of Kabuto. The first coincidence is running into Sasuke in the first place, giving Itachi the backup he needed to win. The second is possessing the Izanami, since it was never alluded to at ALL that Itachi was taught any Uchiha Kinjutsu, let alone one designed to negate an attack that (as far as they would have known) nobody could use any more. Finally, finding Kabuto was tremendous luck, since he could have easily moved from where he was pointed out by Nagato.
  • One Piece:
    • The Straw Hats seem to be particularly lucky to show up at Fishman Island at the exact same day that Hody stages his coup d'état after years of planning, allowing them to prevent the whole island from falling to his elite soldiers and 100,000 strong slave army.
    • This happens to the Straw Hats a lot. Luffy arrives at Shell Town to save Zoro and the villagers from Captain Morgan, they end up in Orange Town to save Nami from Buggy's thugs, arrives at Usopp's village the day Captain Kuro's plans come to fruition, stops at the Baratie when Don Krieg floats by...it seems like most of the time they get into trouble just from being at the wrong place at the wrong time. It doesn't help that Luffy's an active thrill-seeker who enjoys throwing himself into danger. This is shown when a new Log Pose shows them the difference between the safest and most dangerous route with the rest of the crew being absolutely terrified if he found that out, which of course he does and chooses the dangerous one.
  • In Popcorn Avatar, all of the Devas and Asuras introduced so far have all been Japanese, and conveniently found in or close to the city Kurando and Lisa live in. This fact is even lampshaded in a later chapter.
  • Three of the five members of Princess Principal's spy team each acted on a decision the literal day rebellion broke out in the kingdom, affecting their lives forever. Ange and Princess Charlotte pulled a Prince and Pauper switch then got separated in the chaos of the revolution, rendering them unable to switch back and unable to reunite until ten years later. Dorothy ran away from her abusive father and couldn't go back after The Great Wall went up.
  • Ranma ½: Carelessly thrown/dumped water (often with a Lampshade Hanging of "of course nobody will be there"). Koi pond. Thunder Equals Downpour. Convenient trajectories from propulsive attacks. Oh yeah, did we mention his curse is triggered by cold water?
  • Recovery of an MMO Junkie runs on these pretty heavily.
    • In Episode 1, Moriko Morioka gets into the MMORPG Fruits de Mer, and the first person she meets is an adorable White Mage named Lily. In Episode 2, she and Lily stay up playing all night, which results in Moriko falling asleep at her computer and catching a cold; when she goes to the pharmacy to get some medicine, she runs into a young man late for work — who, of course, is Lily's player Yuta Sakurai. When Moriko starts telling her guildmates about Sakurai (flipping the genders to hide her real identity) and asking for advice, Sakurai realizes that it's her because of how incredibly unlikely it would be that these exact same events would be happening to two completely different sets of people.
      • Adding another layer to it, it turns out that Moriko and Sakurai were best friends and confidants in the now-shuttered MMORPG NanterSG (to the point where, when she reflects on the relationship, Moriko realizes that she probably loved "Harth"). Sakurai gets suspicious when she makes an alt character that looks like an aged-up version of her Nanter character Yuki; he does admit to himself that this is far more likely to be a coincidence, but calls her up and asks anyway. After she confirms that it was her, they both discuss how crazy it is that they found each other completely at random.
    • Just to cap it all off, the college student who works part-time at the convenience store both Moriko and Sakurai frequent is the player behind their guild master, Kanbe. He and Moriko actually find out each others' identities when they strike up a friendly conversation about FdM (he had seen her purchasing prepaid cards for the game) and he suggests meeting up for a quest, sharing his server and character name.
  • In The Rose of Versailles, Rosalie sees her foster mother get run over by a carriage being driven by the noblewoman who is none other than her birth mother. Continuing the stretch of crazy coincidences, Rosalie meets Oscar when attempting to prostitute herself, then meets Oscar again later when she mistakes Oscar's home for Versailles. Rosalie just can't avoid the contrived coincidence...
  • Sailor Moon R:
    • The second episode reunites the Sailor Senshi for another season of adventure. How does it do this? The bad guys stage a fake casting call for a TV show and out of untold millions of girls, they just happen to completely randomly stumble upon four of the five Senshi and the best friend (and favored Victim of the Week) of the fifth. Let it be noted that it wasn't even as though the bad guys chose these people based on some vague explanation of them having a ton of energy or whatever. It was the original TV staff that just happened to choose them.
    • Kaolinite (from Sailor Moon S) explains that the senshi's powers orchestrate events so that senshi are always close to a place of a future attack. This makes sense given that just five senshi (nine for outerplanetary attacks) have to protect a planet.
  • Sgt. Frog uses it for humor in episode 37, pointing out the four different coincidences (including one that seems to have nothing to do with anything) that just so happen to resolve the plot in exactly the right way.
    Narrator: Eh? Why did this happen? Well... we can't help it now that it's done with.
  • Space Battleship Yamato:
    • A couple of characters are on Titan being chased by an alien mook. One of the characters comes across a blaster lying on the ground and shoots the mook with it. After doing so, he notices that the blaster belongs to his brother, who was thought to have been KIA in the area (his brother's abandoned ship is also close by). It would have been quite a stroke of luck for anybody to stumble upon these items after landing on a random area of the planet, much less the missing pilot's own brother...
    • The fact that the main (human) heroine of the series is a dead lookalike for (the alien queen) Starsha and her sister is also an unexplained and apparently random coincidence.
  • In Summer Wars, it's a pretty big coincidence that Love Machine's creator just so happens to be related to OZ's most powerful player, right when they're in the same house for a family reunion. And another relative has a convenient super-computer to help fight it. Oh, and the one house guest who's not actually related to anybody? He's the guy Love Machine is framing for its crimes.
  • In Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, if the Anti-Spiral hadn't used Nia out of everyone to be their messenger, Earth would have been doomed, since it was due to her and Simon's love that the heroes were able to find the Anti-Spiral's homeworld. Also, what were the chances that Simon, the person with the most Spiral energy potential, find the Core Drill and Lagann underground while digging for treasure?
  • Tiger & Bunny:
    • The two main characters happen to have the same exact superpower, down to the name, strength multiplier, and time limit. There is no in-universe reason for this at all, and nobody thinks it's anything noteworthy. Would have been averted in the original draft, where Barnaby had teleportation powers instead.
    • Also in episode 12 when Jake is randomly selecting which hero to fight against, he selects Kotetsu and then remarks he won't last a second before choosing another card. He ended up drawing Barnaby's card. He lampshades this by pointing out how he picked them together and saying "they really are a team".
    • Part of Rule of Funny, there are many, many coincidences that prevent Kotetsu from drinking the drugged coffee in episode 20.
  • In the very first episode of Witch Hunter Robin, the eponymous character shows up at a warehouse where the squad is fighting a witch and saves the day, with no explanation for why she happened to go there. No one ever comments on it.
  • Your Name:
    • The owner of the ramen shop Taki and his friends stop at is a former Itomori resident who later helps Taki reach the remains of Itomori.
    • As Mitsuha waits to board a train to go back to Itomori after a day of fruitless searching for Taki in Tokyo, a train Taki was taking just happens to show up at the station she was at. This gives her the chance to pass him her ribbon, which becomes important chronologically later.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh!: Capsule Monsters, Yami lampshades this as he wonders how the group could have won a vacation to the place Grandpa was last seen, have their plane crash, and run into the one man who knows where he is. He takes it as a sign that something isn't right.
  • Done especially so in the Zatch Bell!. A poor innocent girl in the story gets brainwashed into partnering with an evil demon and attacks her very best friend. But what's this? It turns out the attack was blocked by another demon who happens to be both said friend's partner and that demon's worst enemy. Really, out of 6 billion human beings on earth for the scattered 100 demons to choose from, these two pick two human friends that grew up together? Well, that's just dandy. It's also rather dandy that 50% of the demons fought are at one point found in Japan, and everyone in the cast all speaks English/Japanese. And why doesn't the Brainwashing demon just use his physic powers to raise an army to avoid fighting the latter demon? Maybe because it, in turn, will be the only reason he's able to find and fight him in the first place by attracting his partner's attention.


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