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Deconstructed Character Archetype / Anime & Manga

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  • Light Yagami of Death Note deconstructs a Vigilante Man. One of the main points of the series is showing just how narcissistic and self-serving one would have to be to delude themselves into thinking that their own judgement is better than the law's. After finding proof that the titular Death Note works, Light initially sets out to only kill criminals because he wants crime to end for good. However a combination of his growing God Complex, wounded pride, and self-preservation drives him to start murdering police officers note  and innocent people note . This shows how these sort of people will inevitably Jump Off The Slippery Slope. When Near finally catches him in the end, he outright tells Light that he's nothing more than a crazy serial killer who deluded himself into believing that he became God through the Death Note.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Goku alone has several deconstructions:
      • From the Android Saga onwards of Dragon Ball Z, Goku becomes one for The Ace and the Hope Bringer. Because he is so good and so powerful, his friends and family tend to depend on him too much to solve the current problem, and they don't put their trust readily in anyone else but him. They become noticeably deflated and pessimistic when he isn't around, and Gohan firmly believes that he can never surpass his father, despite Goku showing him otherwise. Goku's death in Trunks' timeline is one of the many reasons why things got so bad and Bulma invents the Time Machine mostly to save him, firmly believing that he can do something to stop the androids. Vegeta eventually gets so sick of being overshadowed by Goku that he sells his soul for power and unleashes Majin Buu upon the world. Goku himself has realized that his loved ones are far too dependent on him; he knows that one day, he will be dead for good, and if his loved ones don't stop relying on him so much, then no one will be able to counter the next big threat to Earth. Which is why Goku regularly searches for successors. Dragon Ball Z Abridged gives a very good example to a broken and defeated Vegeta.
        Cell: Next time, why don't you remember your place like the rest of them, and wait for Goku?
      • The end of the Kid Buu fight deconstructs Humble Hero. Because Goku always saves the world from the shadows, no one, outside of a few, know of his deeds. So when Goku begs the world for energy to power the Spirit Bomb that will kill Majin Buu, only the people who intimately know him listened; everyone else blows him off just as they did Vegeta. It takes Mr. Satan, the resident Fake Ultimate Hero, to yell at the people of Earth to get them to cooperate since Mr. Satan, not Goku, is known as the world's savior.
      • The Future Trunks Saga of Dragon Ball Super deconstructs the idea of Goku bringing out the best in people. After meeting and fighting Goku, instead of Zamasu becoming friends with him it sparks Zamasu's Start of Darkness and he begins to see Goku as a Satanic Archetype since he gained power that surpasses the gods.
      • From the same saga, it shows how having an Inexplicably Awesome protagonist is horrifying when used by an antagonist. Goku Black is Zamasu using all of Goku's abilities and extreme growth against the characters turning him into an Invincible Villain.
      • During the Universe Survival Saga, Goku ends up deconstructing his nature as a Challenge Seeker and Blood Knight. His eagerness for a good fight so utterly blinds him to the consequences of Zen'o's tournament (losers get their universe destroyed) that fighters from other universes assume he must be evil and uncaring. Goku himself doesn't help this assumption since he is more focused on all the strong people he'll get to fight than the ramifications of the tournament and what will happen to everyone he defeats. However, this is Downplayed when it's revealed that Zen'o was going to nuke Universe 7 along with seven other universes anyway since they all had mortal ratings below 7 (this was before he met Goku), so Goku indirectly gave at least one universe the chance to save themselves. Most of Gods still hate him for his uncaring nature and relationship with Zen'o.
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    • Vegeta deconstructs The Rival and The Proud Elite. Because he was born into the Saiyan nobility and raised to believe he was always the best, he loses it when Goku surpasses him, especially since Goku is a lower-class soldier and, in his view, should be a nobody. It causes him to develop a severe Inferiority Superiority Complex, leading him to constantly try to prove himself by fighting strong opponents, which leads to Androids 16, 17, and 18 being awakened and Cell reaching his Perfect form. It comes to a head in the Buu Saga where his obsession with surpassing Goku becomes so great that he deliberately lets himself fall under Babidi's dark magic and ends up causing the resurrection of Majin Buu, leading to the deaths of nearly everyone on Earth and the destruction of several other planets before Buu's rampage is stopped. It's only by accepting that Goku is simply better than him that Vegeta finally begins to recover and find some level of peace and happiness.
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    • Frieza gets two:
    • Babidi shows why being a Bad Boss who is prone to You Have Outlived Your Usefulness is a detriment in the long run. He ruthlessly kills Spopovich and Yamu when they exceeded his expectations and allowed Buu to eat his loyal Dragon Dabura, despite his warnings that Buu would turn on him and begs him to reseal him. When Buu did turn against him, he had no one left to protect him.
    • From the Super manga, Zamasu shows why choosing a successor based on Asskicking Equals Authority isn't always a good idea. As Whis puts it, Gowasu should have chosen his successor based on their compassion and not just based on their fighting strength. In the case of the anime, Zamasu demonstrates why having a pure heart and a strong sense of justice are not good things to have if you're so set in your belief that you can't even consider the possibility of being wrong.
    • Over the course of the Universe Survival Saga, Zen'o deconstructs the Asskicking Equals Authority archetype. In all the time he's shown, Zen'o has shown zero actual leadership qualities, doing nothing but relaxing, playing games, and giving orders when he wants something, leaving all delegating and kingly duties and, well, thinking to his decidedly shady Grand Priest: at no point has he demonstrated what landed him the position as King of Everything other than being able to annihilate anyone who disagrees. The result is that for all his overwhelming power Zen'o comes off less a deity or a king and more an innocent, sheltered little kid having fun squishing ants and not really understanding the weight of his own actions.
  • Attack on Titan:
    • Eren Yeagar has all the usual tropes of a Stock Shōnen Hero. Full of uncontrollable emotions? Check. Clueless idiot who has no sense of strategy? Check. Fights using only will power? Check. However, all these tropes are portrayed realistically with several negative consequences. While determination is necessary for combat, blindly attacking enemies head-on is a great way to ruin any clever plans that would minimize casualties. If anything, Eren himself can be blamed for causing needless deaths and hurting his team.
    • Deconstructed further, in the wake of the Marley arc, with the post-time skip Eren having grown into a thoroughly ruthless Wild Card. Ultimately, Eren's refusal to self-examine leads to a nasty case of Protagonist-Centered Morality; he no longer cares if he's seen as the bad guy, because he sees himself and his ideals as good. Finally, once he becomes more powerful than them, Eren confronts one who always outclassed him and bailed him out of trouble until recently, and tells them that he's always hated them for a multitude of reasons. Mikasa, who never saw herself as his rival, is driven to tears.
    • The self-destructive side of having a Living Emotional Crutch is shown through Mikasa who at one point believed Eren had died. She had a mental breakdown, recklessly threw herself and her squad against the Titans, getting most of her squad needlessly killed. Later when Annie kidnapped Eren, she lost herself in anger trying to stop the latter and would have gotten herself killed if Levi hadn't stepped in.
  • Alucard from Hellsing is this for the Invincible Hero archetype. He's an immortal Sociopathic Hero able to survive near-total bodily destruction and few if any situations ever credibly threaten him. At first, it appears that the Major's plan simply involves starting a war with London. However, it's eventually revealed that there's a lot more to it than that. The point of his plan is to get Alucard down to a form where he's vulnerable enough to finally die. Starting a war and taking London down are pretty much just bonuses. Brought
  • School Rumble deconstructs different high school romance character archetypes.
    • Harima is the delinquent hero whose life is changed when he falls in love with Tenma. It's only then does he realize how pointless his life has been so he decides to be a manga artist.
    • Tenma hides her loneliness by being the Genki Girl.
    • Yakumo seems like a Yamato Nadeshiko but really she's an Extreme Doormat.
    • Eri's Tsundere qualities alienate people.
    • Nara is a Ridiculously Average Guy who expects to get an Unwanted Harem, but never does.
  • Ueno in A Silent Voice shows the painful results of being a Tsundere. She likes Ishida but her Can't Spit It Out tendencies confuse him and her abrasive attitude only pushes him away. Her failure to properly talk to him leaves her frustrated and angry which she channels by lashing out at the world and bullying Nishimiya - which only pushes Ishida further away.
  • A rather sad version of the Genki Girl is shown in School-Live!. Yuki is so cheerful and optimistic that her mind outright refuses to see how gloomy and depressing the situation is, to the point of hallucinating that the rest of the students are fine and there is no Zombie Apocalypse - when her delusions temporarily break, she initially completely breaks down. Her cute, eccentric personality caused her to be bullied prior to the apocalypse. Her Nice Hat in particular was considered weird by others.
  • Umino from Satou Kashi no Dangan wa Uchinukenai is a quirky, rich New Transfer Student who refers to people by their full name, insists she is really a mermaid, and has several odd qualities such as saying noises out loud and telling the protagonist that she hates her as a term of endearment. Instead of these traits making her cute and popular, she ends up ostracized and bullied for being weird. It's also implied that her behavior is due to her highly abused upbringing. Umino speaks in metaphors about being a mermaid who will die if she doesn't make a friend by the next major storm, which is actually a metaphorical cry for help. In the end her father does end up killing her.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket is a deconstruction of boys growing up playing soldier with toys and being obsessed with war, by having one of those boys getting to see first-hand just what goes on in an actual war. This is most powerfully shown in the final scene, where Al - who not too long ago witnessed his closest friend die in a battle with another of his friends, in an attempt to save the colony that turned out to be entirely unnecessary - crying his eyes out in a public setting just from the memory of what happened, while the rest of the student body - completely unaware of anything that happened across the series beyond the initial battle - complains that the war is over already, hoping that the next war starts soon and will have even cooler-looking mobile suits.
  • The first generation of Mobile Suit Gundam AGE presents itself as a deconstruction of a warrior messiah, and the psychological toll war can bring to a Kid Hero.
  • Daily Life with Monster Girl is a decidedly lighthearted Deconstruction of the Cute Monster Girl. Rather than taking the fantastic creatures at face value, the manga takes the time to delve into the complexities of their anatomy and how they would interact with the world around them. For example, Mero the mermaid must avoid chlorinated water, since trying to breathe in it is akin to inhaling bleach fumes and will make her sick. Spiders have been shown to get drunk off of caffeine, and Rachnera the arachne is no exception. Manako is a cyclops, and her depth perception is poor. Normally, Hilarity Ensues whenever moments like these pop up, but there have been a few tense moments, like when Miia the lamia nearly drowns in a pool: because she's cold-blooded, the cold water saps her strength.
  • Much of the appeal and possibly the entire point of Code Geass lies with presenting, on one hand, Kururugi Suzaku as an effective deconstruction of Lawful Good characters such as Amuro Ray in Mobile Suit Gundam, and on another, Lelouch as a deconstruction of a stereotypical Diabolical Mastermind antagonist. Lelouch could be considered a mild deconstruction of the Magnificent Bastard trope. Yes, his intelligence and ability to pull a mean game of Xanatos Speed Chess make him a great tactician, but one thing people tend to forget is the number of his plans that ended up going horrendously wrong thanks to circumstances out of his control or he couldn't possibly see coming, often resulting in his friends and loved ones getting killed as a result. No matter how much of a Magnificent Bastard you may be, if you try to pull off a Gambit Roulette, then nine times out of ten, you will end up failing at it.
  • Elfen Lied:
  • Toradora! deconstructs the Tsundere, Token Mini-Moe, and Minor Living Alone with Taiga Aisaka. Her short temper and mood swings stem from insecurity over her small body and flat chest, a serious lack of social skills, and issues with a broken family. Her relationship with them is so bad that she couldn't even stay with any of them them. However, her parents failed to teach her any basic domestic skills. Before she meets Ryuuji, she's living in a filthy apartment and surviving on convenience store food, only able to barely get by because of her father's monthly cash deposits.
  • My Hero Academia
    • The series uses All Might to pick apart the implications of having a superhero who's The Cape and the Big Good, in several different ways:
      • First off, All Might himself is actively putting on the facade specifically for the sake of giving people someone to look up to. He genuinely is a good person, but the pressure of having to uphold that image repeatedly causes him to doubt whether he really is as much of a hero as he makes himself out to be.
      • All Might essentially is the ideal hero... but this means that he may have set the bar for superheroism a bit too high. On the hero side, it means that other heroes end up with inferiority complexes and/or serious envy when they can't measure up. On the villain side, a number of villains do respect him, but think every other hero who doesn't stack up to All Might is obviously a false hero who must be eliminated. And then there's the fact that being the Big Good makes him a target for the villains who want to destroy the hero establishment.
      • When All Might retires after using up the last of his powers, it creates a minor crisis as there's nobody else capable of serving as the series' Big Good. Turns out staking everything on one ideal hero is a bit of a problem if said hero can't keep being a hero for whatever reason. In fact, the people responsible for the first Provisional Hero Lisence Exam after All Might's retirement put a strong emphasis on teamwork so society would begin to focus on several heroes at the same time.
    • Sir Nighteye deconstructs The Fatalist. He is a firm believer of You Can't Fight Fate; no ifs, ands, or buts about it, and he has a very cynical view of ever situation and only sees worst case scenarios. He looks at Izuku as a Sketchy Successor for not having the noticeable heroic qualities and negatively compares him to Mirio, Nighteye's student and the one many believe would've been the next Symbol of Peace before All Might met Izuku. He also criticizes him for wanting to rush in to save Eri from Overhaul without thinking and jeopardize an investigation that's been going on with him. Consequently, his world view hampers his Foresight quirk (which itself is responsible for his negative attitude in the first place). As he later found out, saving Eri in the first place would have solved all his problems in the big picture, since it would pretty much end Chisaki's operation without her as raw material for the drug fabrication. However, he is not above acknowledging this and he defends Mirio and Izuku from the accusations of a colleague since they were following his orders and thus it was Nighteye's responsability. His own cynicism would indirectly lead to his own death as well the crippling of Mirio (due to a Quirk-neutralizing drug he was shot with). Furthermore, while Nighteye's caution is warranted given Overhaul's Quirk turns out to be very powerful, he was still alone and as we would later see, Mirio's own Quirk could counter it and along with having Izuku, they could've likely taken Chisaki in, cripple the organization and kept him from the Villain Alliance.
    • Katsuki Bakugo deconstructs The Ace. He is good at almost everything he does, from sports to studies, and got a powerful Quirk to boot. Combined with lots of praise from everyone since he was a child and not enough (if any at all) reprimands considering his attitude towards others, it resulted in him growing up to be a massive Jerkass with a painfully fragile ego. It even results in him failing the Provisional License Exam, since his jerkassery managed to overshadow his skill display.
    • Endeavor/Enji Todoroki, #2 Hero, deconstructs Unknown Rival. He is motivated by being the best and initially sought to become equal to surpass All-Might. Unfortunately, the physical limitations of his Quirk inhibit him, even after All Might's own crippling. He eventually turns to his children in the hopes they will surpass him and All-Might later on. His wife undergoes Sanity Slippage, injures one of her children and gets put into a mental institution; their eldest son, his initial successor, is heavily implied to be either dead or critically injured since despite his superior Fire Quirk, he inherited his mother's weaker constitution and thus could not handle his own Quirk; two middle children suffer from Parental Neglect (with the older of the two getting Promotion to Parent and becoming the only force that holds the remnants of the family together); and the youngest one, Shoto, is subjected to Training from Hell and isolation from his peers since he was 5, which in the long run leaves him with PTSD and No Social Skills. And to top it all off, Endeavor does become a #1 Hero...not due to his own accomplishments, but solely because All Might is forced to retire, thus making everything he subjected his family to All for Nothing.
    • The deconstruction of Bad Powers, Bad People goes to Himiko Toga. She was ostracized by her own parents for her obsession with blood even at a young age, and the stress of trying to be "normal" and deny her urges eventually caused her to snap and become the Serial Killer she is today.
  • Shaman King
    • Purity Sue is deconstructed by Iron Maiden Jeanne. She is very pretty, cheerful, humble, soft-spoken, immensely skilled as a Shaman, willingly and happily subjects herself to horrible and constant torture in the belief that her suffering will make others suffer less (there is a reason she is called "Iron Maiden"), seems to make the world a brighter place just by smiling, and is immensely kind to Lyserg Diethel when he becomes the Naïve Newcomer of her group. Oh, and she's a ruthless Knight Templar who brutally tortures to death anyone who opposes her, yet doesn't do it out of pure malice but because she truly believes that's what she has to do. At least she seems sad about it...
    • Villain Sue is deconstructed by Hao. The guy's clearly powerful enough to be one, he has a Freudian Excuse several characters acknowledge, he's related to one of the heroes, and killing him just means he'll be back stronger for the next Shaman Fight. It seems completely impossible for any of the good guys to stop Hao from becoming God and destroying the world. Yoh's solution? Realizing that for all his power, Hao is still a lonely and miserable person under his calm, Affably Evil facade. Rather than trying to defeat Hao with strength, Yoh and his friends reach out to him once Hao has attained the title of Shaman King to try and appeal to Hao's better nature. When every character in the series follows suit, Hao is completely caught off-guard and loses his resolve to destroy humanity, admitting defeat calmly and letting everyone go back to their lives. The epilogue indicates that the heroes do see where Hao was coming from when he was rejecting their worldview, but fortunately Hao mellowed out.
  • Karina/Blue Rose from Tiger & Bunny deconstructs Ms. Fanservice. She's marketed as a mix of Faux Action Girl (she does have decent ice powers, but her fanservicy outfit puts serious hampers on her fighting and she doesn't have hand-to-hand training) and Romanticized Abuser (people think she's a hot dominatrix, but she's as much a tsundere)... and she hates it, due to how far her public image is from her real personality. Not to mention she doesn't even have much of a choice: her sponsors are the ones who choose the skimpy outfit, to start.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima! deconstructs the Idiot Hero: the main character's father, Nagi Springfield, is pretty much the World's Strongest Man, capable of defeating even the strongest opponents without breaking a sweat, and his usual reaction to any kind of enemy is to simply charge head-on and beat it into submission. Which normally works for him, since he's so incredibly strong. However, he seems to be unable to think his way out of a situation, and he finds himself out of his playing field when faced with a problem that can't be solved by simply hitting it hard enough - for example, the impending destruction of the Magical World.
  • Monster Rancher deconstructs Aloof Big Brother in the form of Tiger and his younger brother Gray Wolf. Tiger wanted to toughen his brother up so often acted strict and harsh towards him. However, this treatment fed Gray Wolf's inferiority complex and insecurities and Moo magnified it to full blown Green-Eyed Monster proportions to the point Gray Wolf wanted to defeat and kill Tiger, much to Tiger's horror.
  • Naruto: Sasuke is your typical anime rival: angsty, brooding, and stoic, with an all-consuming obsession to be stronger than The Hero. Though it's all the result of severe mental trauma after seeing his mother, his father, and his entire clan get slaughtered by his older brother. Before this happens, he's a pretty cheerful young boy, and he's a pretty normal, well-adjusted person in an alternate universe where his clan wasn't killed (granted, it's in a non-canon movie but still). His mental state only gets worse throughout the series.
  • In Noragami, Yato is a Shameless Self-Promoter but his desperation for clients is a result of his innate fear of disappearing. He has few believers and a very unstable existence. He knows there is a very low chance of reincarnating like other gods if he were to die. Also, advertising himself as a delivery god is Yato's way of breaking free from his "father" and his own past of killing others.
  • Berserk:
    • Griffith is a deconstruction of the Rags to Riches princely hero of fantasy stories, the Determinator, and the Knight in Shining Armor. Rather than being noble, he's actually immensely ambitious and scheming, and views his True Companions as tools for his own advancement. His extreme devotion to fulfilling his dream has resulted in him committing things like kidnapping, assassination, prostitution, manipulation, and a Deal with the Devil. Following your dreams comes at a very real cost, and that cost can involve the lives of others.
    • Guts deconstructs the badass. He can drink molten lead, routinely win fights against demons who would rip battle tanks apart, and can cut through entire armies of men on his own, but that's only because his entire life has been one big trial by fire and he's a broken wreck of a man as a result. While he embodies quite a lot of Shōnen characteristics seen in many well-known characters in manga and anime, what separates him from those characters is just how thorough an examination the story gives on those traits. His refusal to give up no matter the cost has more or less put his body through so much physical torture that the only thing keeping him from dying is dumb luck or sheer willpower. His extreme devotion to his loved ones severely outweighs any concern for other people. His love of fighting is taken to its logical conclusion. And finally, his Dark and Troubled Past, while having molded him into one of the most proficient warriors in-universe, has granted him WAY more baggage than he can emotionally handle.
  • Ano Hana The Flower We Saw That Day smashed the concept of a Purity Sue to pieces. Menma is ridiculously pure and innocent because she died as a young child and thus got mentally and emotionally stuck as a little girl forever. It's also brutally shown how much pressure that kind of character would have on others. Tsuruko and Anaru both remembered Menma fondly but are also jealous and resentful that she left an insanely high unattainable standard when she died. Jintan and Yukiatsu are emotionally screwed up due to still loving Menma well after her death with Jintan being unable to function in social situations and Yukiatsu cultivating an unhealthy obsession with her.
  • In Karin, Kenta's young and beautiful mother Fumio's attractiveness resulted in the majority of her bosses sexually harassing her and her co-workers hating and isolating her. The combination of repeatedly losing her job and trying to pay the bills caused her to become so stressed that she was becoming a wreck.
  • Yu Yu Hakusho deconstructs '90s Anti-Hero in regards to Younger Toguro. Ridiculously muscled and possessing tremendous power? Check. Cold, aloof son of a bitch with little care for others? Check. No inhibition to destroying anyone he is ordered to kill and/or needs to be killed to fulfill his goals? Check. Though the "Hero" part? He is a Fallen Hero who made his Deal with the Devil with the intention of using his newfound eternal youth to avoid being powerless to stop massacres like the one that cost his students their lives. However, he gradually became more jaded in his outlook and lost faith in his mission upon realizing he had become no different than any of the demons he fought, being that his wish for eternal youth was based more out of his selfish desire to never grow old than it was out of any utilitarian goal he had used as an excuse.
  • Hunter × Hunter: Gon is initially a Stock Shōnen Hero, an optimistic young man determined to achieve his goal. As the series progresses we learn the traits that make up his character (stubborn, simple, wide-eyed and honest) have heavy consequences. During the Chimera Ant arc he is deconstructed into a sort of Anti-Hero. His determination goes above the safety of others, his friends are tools to meet his ends and a Despair Event Horizon turns a Next Tier Power-Up into a horrifying Power at a Price.
  • Pokémon of all things deconstructed the To Be a Master trope with XY character Alain. His total focus on becoming the strongest causes him to neglect the people important in his life and be an Unwitting Pawn for Team Flare. He believes that beating every strong trainer would make him stronger yet finds himself helpless when actual danger arrives. He stops enjoying his wins and never considers what to do after he became the strongest, his reasons behind it constantly changing to justify his path. And despite always winning battles, Alain finds himself feeling inferior to Ash Ketchum, who encompasses the happiness and wisdom that he never got under Lysandre's guidance.
  • In Bleach, Coyote Stark is one of the very few Token Good Teammate of the Espada to be not arrogant, violent or evil as a follower of Aizen. But as his fight with Shunsui is shown, despite being a noble person, he is still fighting for the wrong side.
  • Akane Hiyama from Love Tyrant deconstructs the Yandere. She definitely acts like one and is perfectly willing to murder anyone who comes between her and Seiji. But then her character arc happens and we see how she became the way she is. Since she was young she was put into strict training by her mother to become an Emotionless Girl and a cold killer. The fact that she always stabs Seiji when angered or tries to kill any girl that comes close to him is due to the fact that she was taught that Murder Is the Best Solution. The first time she met Seiji was also the first time she felt emotions, hense why she's so dangerously in love with him.
  • Trigun: Vash himself is a deconstruction of Technical Pacifist. He will not kill his enemies nor hurt them in any major way, and the show takes great pains to show that it's a noble calling, but possibly misguided considering the Crapsack World circumstances (Vash's body is a mass of scars, the sixty billion double dollar bounty (until it's removed) means that anybody with a gun and a desperate need of money (which is practically the whole planet) is out to get him, he's constantly arguing with his companions (or at least Wolfwood) about the usefulness/futility of his Thou Shalt Not Kill code, the Quirky Miniboss Squad and the Big Bad are out to make Vash suffer by any means possible, which usually involves killing everything that moves and going the extra mile with anybody that Vash so much as gave the time of the day to, increasing in cruelty/kill count up to Apocalypse How levels as the series goes on...)
  • Altair/the "Military Uniform Princess" from Re:CREATORS can be viewed as the deconstruction of Draco in Leather Pants and Evil Is Cool. Despite attacking the main characters, she was all but mysterous with ambiguous motives and wore a very stylish suit, hence her nickname. These are all traits of popular antagonist characters. Her popularity dropped when she brutally murders Mamika for trying to help her cope with her Creator's suicide, but then she manages to ascend into a full-blown In-Universe Villain Sue thanks to the fact she had a 100% Adoration Rating of those who were viewing the "Elimination Chamber Festival", and ultimately gets what she wants in the end and escapes punishment (because there is absolutely nothing the other characters can do to stop her other than facilitate this). After all, who cares about all the other characters that she murdered and/or traumatized if the most badass character gets their happy ending?
  • Kyo & Kyo Sawagi from Ben-To are both presented as The Dreaded. They both enjoy fighting and are virtually unstoppable. It eventually got to the point that everyone simply stopped fighting them all together because they were too strong. And for Blood Knights like them, it's the worst thing to ever happen to them.
  • Kotoura-san: Poor, poor Haruka Kotoura. So Innocently Insensitive. Having an attitude like that would make everyone around cold and distant, but she's Just a Kid and was never taught any better. That, and Power Incontinence is to blame.
  • In Liar Game, Akiyama's mother was a kind and honest person but that unfortunately led her to be easily deceived by an old friend who deceptively pulled her into a MLM. Despite working hard, she never saw any money and her debt remained the same. When she tried to get out, the company required a huge sum of money she would have never been able to pay off. She eventually took her life because of this.
  • Blue Exorcist:
    • Shura Kirigakure is this for the Christmas Cake. There's a running gag where she lies about being younger than she actually is, which is something Yukio would often point out. However, later in the series, it's revealed that the reason why her age is a sour spot for her is because she has a curse on her bloodline where the women in her family die at the age of 30.
    • Izumo Kamiki is this for the Tsundere. She is often hostile towards her classmates, regardless if they're nice to her. It is then later revealed that she had a rather traumatic Freudian Excuse. When she was little, her mother neglected her and her younger sister because her father didn't want kids. Later, she, her mother, and her sister are subjected to horrifying experiments to revive a nine-tailed fox demon. Because of this she deliberately wanted to avoid making friends to keep them away from what she experienced.
  • One-Punch Man
    • Suiryu is this for Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy and the Smug Super. He's confident in his abilities and loves reminding his opponents about how strong he is. He also has traits of The Social Darwinist, claiming that the only reason why he got so strong was so he could do whatever he wants. He finds out the hard way that there's Always a Bigger Fish when Gouketsu beats him down hard and is saved by the same heroes he looked down on before he gets beaten down again. Defeated and humbled, Suiryu is forced to reevaluate his outlook on life as he begs for any hero, no matter how weak, to come save him.
    • Saitama himself is what happens when a God-Mode Sue is taken to its logical conclusion. He trained himself intensely to become a great hero, only to learn that beating anyone with a single punch leaves him very bored with his life. Without anything to really threaten him, Saitama simply stopped feeling much of anything.
    • Tatsumaki deconstructs Big Sister Instinct towards Fubuki. Tatsumaki believes that she has all of Fubuki's best interests at heart, but is so brash and arrogant that she goes to the extreme about it and causes Fubuki to live a lonely childhood under the belief that having friends will only drag her down. It gets to the point that Tatsumaki believes that her Blizzard Group is keeping Fubuki from reaching her full potental and attempts several times to kill them. What really holds back Fubuki is the fear and loathing she has for Tatsumaki.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion (of course) has quite a few looks into certain character types:
    • Shinji as the No Respect Guy. The guy fights dangerous monsters on the daily, risking his life and sanity, but at the end of the day he continues to get treated like crap: his Love Interest cares little for him, his father refuses to show him any affection, and he all around gets constantly belittled, insulted, and ignored. He's eventually convinced that no one loves him and if that's the case then the whole world should just disappear...
    • Half of the series has its characters in general first presented as classic anime stereotypes of the Humongous Mecha genre (and in fact predates a few of them), but as the series progresses they are revealed to be extremely messed-up individuals whose behavior is an endless source of troubles. Think about it—a kid is abandoned by his father, who suddenly calls him back after years to jump into the cockpit of a robot he's never seen to fight a grotesque alien monster? Obviously a boy like that would start off as dysfunctional and only get worse from there. Most of the series involves exploring just what sort of mental issues such characters would develop:
      • Hot Scientist, Doctor Ritsuko Akagi, is very attractive but the attention she receives from Gendo ultimately doesn't satisfy her in the end because she is ultimately just a Replacement Goldfish for Gendo's late wife.
      • Misato Katsurgi is the Hard-Drinking Party Girl who chugs beer like a man and cracks jokes off duty (much to Shinji's discomfort), the Manic Pixie Dream Girl who owns a pet penguin, and the Team Mom for the Pilots. As the series progresses, it shows that the first two archetypes are just acts she puts up to keep people at a distance, and that her job as Major inhibits her attempts to be a mother figure to Shinji and Asuka, as she sends them into battle after battle to satisfy her desire for revenge against the Angels killing her father in Second Impact. As a result, both her charges end up pushing her away to the point where Asuka has a mental breakdown after suffering a massive defeat against an Angel used Mind Rape on her and was offered no support from her guardian after the fact, and attempts suicide. Meanwhile, Shinji is an adolescent boy who struggles to see Misato as a mother figure while noticing how attractive she is, despite being much older than him. Misato tries to appeal to him as a woman instead in the movie, but it only confuses him further and doesn't do anything to lessen his Sanity Slippage. Rebuild of Evangelion takes this a step further when she drops the act entirely, falling into the He Who Fights Monsters trap of becoming a second Gendo in her ruthless quest for revenge.
      • Rei Ayanami predates the stock Emotionless Girl archetype and in fact is the Trope Codifier for it. She's also the trope maker for Rei Ayanami Expy. However, the show itself tears both concepts to shreds. Rei isn't actually emotionless, only distant and stoic due to the extreme amounts of trauma she suffers due to being murdered, cloned, and Conditioned to Accept Horror by her commander. As Gendo's personal time bomb, she's an Apocalypse Maiden designed to end the world the moment he says so, and he has made her well aware of how expendable she is. Other continuities make it worse, implying he may have been abusing her further, due to her resemblance to his late wife.
  • A Place Further than the Universe, being a deconstruction of Schoolgirl Series, also takes care to do this with its characters:
    • Kimari appears to be the Idiot Hero and Genki Girl. In most series, someone like her would be the catalyst for the plot moving forward by inspiring others to follow her, but not here. She doesn't end up being the driving force behind the plot or any of the other characters' development; with no deeper reasons for going to Antarctica rather than having an adventure, she ends up being a Pinball Protagonist who's just excited to be there, just the same as the audience.
    • Shirase looks like The Stoic, and has the appearance for it, but she's actually the Determinator whose desire to get to Antarctica no matter what provides the impetus for the plot to move forward. That attitude, however, gets her mocked by others who consider her weird for being so obsessed with that one thing, and she ends up being driven to prove them wrong. She does make it to Antarctica, but sheer determination doesn't quite prepare her for accepting the fact that her mother's dead or finding emotional closure.
    • Hinata has the appearance of another Genki Girl, but is actually The Stoic and Wise Beyond Their Years. But why is she that way? Well, because she was bullied so badly in school that she ended up dropping out. Her mature attitude is a result of being forced to grow up before she was ready for it.
    • Yuzuki is a deconstruction of the "popular kid" tropes like the School Idol, Idol Singer, and Spoiled Sweet: she is a relatively famous child actor, but unlike what's usual, she absolutely hates it, suffering under the thumb of a Stage Mom and not being allowed to experience any of what normal high schoolers do. She's been friendless seemingly forever because everyone who claims to be her "friend" has only been interested in her popularity and not her as a person.
    • Megumi deconstructs the Satellite Character. She's an Expy of Nodoka Harimura and generally exists in the first few episodes as someone for Kimari to emote to, while providing a little exposition about their backstories. As Kimari starts to hang out more and more with her future expedition mates, Megumi appears less and less, only to cheer her on. It turns out that far from being happy for Kimari to go on an adventure, Megumi is genuinely hurt by being pushed to the background of Kimari's life in favor of her new friends. She ends up going to great lengths to sabotage Kimari's trip to Antarctica because she's jealous of her new friends, but more importantly she's scared of losing her Only Friend for good.
    • Shirase's mother Takako takes the Determinator deconstruction even further. She managed to piece together the first civilian expedition to Antarctica seemingly single-handedly just by never giving up and getting others to follow her lead, and she winds up leading a large expedition who are completely loyal to her. In an utterly tragic example of this trope, her inability to know when to quit ends up getting her killed, when she goes back for the laptop that her daughter uses to contact her via email, and gets lost in a sudden blizzard. The rest of the crew are left with crippling guilt over failing to prevent her death, the expedition is left on life support with sponsors pulling out over the bad publicity, and Shirase is left without a mother during the most important years of her life.
  • Assassination Classroom:
    • Nagisa Shiota is this for Dude Looks Like a Lady. Nagisa has a notoriously effeminate appearance, which is often the subject of jokes. However, it is later revealed that his dangerously delusional mother refused to let him cut his hair and forced him to wear girl clothes because she wanted a girl and because her own parents never let her act feminine.
    • Kaede Kayano is this for the Satellite Character. The reason why she was rarely active during the story was because she was trying to make Korosensei drop his guard with her when she revealed her tentacle powers.
  • One Piece:
    • Badass in Distress was deconstructed hard with Portgas D. Ace. The moment this badass was rescued after a long time as a Distressed Dude, he fought alongside his savior Luffy awesomely... and all of a sudden, he died protecting him from the enemy, sending the poor dude into an Heroic BSoD.
      • From the above, the Whitebeard War Saga deconstructs Luffy's Determinator traits. To save Ace, he has to go to the deepest level of Impel Down, and he gets heavily poisoned by the Chief Warden Magellan in the way, and even though his determination helped him to heal himself faster than normal when he got some healing hormones from Ivankov, he got some lifespan loss from doing so. And then Luffy and company have to go back upwards again because Ace has been taken to Marineford for execution. And it doesn't stop there - fast forward when he finally saved Ace, Admiral Akainu kills him. As mentioned, Luffy has an epic Heroic BSoD that lasts for about a week.
    • Usopp is one of the very few members of the Straw Hats that doesn't have Devil Fruits or impossible physical abilities, which results in him getting an inferiority complex and sees himself as worthless and not useful on the crew. He misinterprets Luffy's decision to buy another ship to replace the broken Merry as Luffy and the others being quick to abandon comrades who aren't any use to them.It's further complicated in that at that point Merry WAS alive, gaining a spirit of its own due to how much the crew loved her. Usopp kept it a secret from the others, possibly justified because even in a crazy place like One Piece such a thing would probably be unbelievable and the others might rightfully assume that he's lying to protect the ship.
    • Token Good Teammate is deconstructed through Reiju, Sanji's sister. She is actually a nice and decent person but the Vinsmokes' very low opinion of kindness and empathy has made Reiju terrified for her own life and would only do acts of kindness when her family isn't around. The constant pretending to support her family's actions and behavior has left Reiju with deep self-loathing, to the point she wants her family and herself to die as the only way to atone for their actions.
    • The residents of Ebisu Town are all Perpetual Smilers because Orochi was tired of all the sorrow and tears from the citizens in poverty, so he sent them dud SMILE fruits that came with no powers to rob these citizens of the ability to do anything but smile. So now, the citizens are unable to express any emotions or facial expression except for smiling and laughing, meaning they are unable to show their sadness, anger and pain while their family and friends suffer and starve to death around them.
  • Nyarko from Haiyore! Nyarko-san deconstructs the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. Even though Mahiro is attracted to her, he's put off by her aggressiveness, which he finds annoying at best and horrifyingly stalker-like at worst; in fact, the only thing that's kept her from outright raping him on multiple occasions is his skill with weaponized forks. There's also the fact that her "zany" personality includes lying about their relationship to other people, which Mahiro outright tells her has made it so he doesn't believe her when she tries to confess her feelings because he can never tell when she's honest. And of course, this isn't even mentioning that the way she "changes his life" is by dragging him into life-or-death battles with powerful alien criminals. In short, a Manic Pixie Dream Girl is exactly the last thing the Only Sane Man wants; at one point Mahiro even remarks to himself that if Nyarko acted like a normal human girl, they'd probably have become a couple long ago. They do end up getting together, but it isn't until the very end of the series, after a lot of adventures and hardships.
  • Sanrio Boys, of all things, looks at the Social Circle Filler with sympathy. Do Tsuchiya and Machida, Kouta's two friends since middle school, just accept their place and quietly fade into the background when the protagonist finds his main cast like most "best friend" characters do? Not quite; Tsuchiya does, but he does it with resignation, while poor Machida tries to keep hanging with Kouta while the latter demotes him from "friend" to "acquaintance". By the finale they accept they're not Kouta's friends anymore, since at the very least he's happy with his new crowd.
  • Sword Art Online
    • Suguha deconstructs the Kissing Cousins and Not Blood Siblings Love Interest. While she and Kazuto are first cousins and their relationship would be acceptable in Japan, they're also siblings who have been raised together for as long as they can remember, making them siblings first and foremost. Suguha knows that her family would be upset if they knew she had feelings for her brother, so she tries to get over it.
    • Sinon deconstructs the Minor Living Alone, and to some degree, I Just Want to Have Friends. Because she lives alone, she has to pay for her own expenses with a relatively meager allowance, and has trouble making ends meet. She's desperate enough to make friends that she quickly accepts Endou and the others' offers of friendship, not knowing that their only interest in her is because she has an apartment that they can use to throw parties, and the resulting betrayal of her trust leads her to be relatively cold and aloof until she starts making real friends. Because she lives alone, in a building with relatively poor security, she ends up being targeted by Death Gun.
  • Zombie Land Saga: Sakura Minamoto deconstructs a few archtypes:
    • She deconstructs the Cute Clumsy Girl in that her self-admitted clumsiness is what leads her to run headlong into the street without regard for traffic, leading to her death by truck collision. The deconstruction is taken further by showing that continually having moments like "I spent weeks preparing for the relay race only to pull a muscle during the opening ceremony" in life caused her to have issues with self esteem and motivation.
    • She also deconstructs the Determinator when it comes to working in a group; she gets so enthusiastic about something, she races ahead without stopping to consider anybody else, and if she can't see how what the others are doing is directly relevant to what she's doing, she thinks they're goofing off, missing any hidden lessons there might be.
  • The Rising of the Shield Hero: Jesus, where do we begin?
    • Naofumi Iwatani deconstructs the Loser Protagonist. As the Shield Hero, Naofumi is heavily mistreated by pretty much everyone around him, to the point of being falsely accused of a crime he didn't commit just after arriving in the world. By being labeled as Loser Protagonist and never being given a reason why, he ends becoming an Anti-Hero who embraces the negative attitude thrust onto him and turns to only finding trust in people who are similarly mistreated by society. It grows worse when he starts to become stronger than the other heroes, and both the kingdom and the Church of Three Heroes start to take notice. They actively do everything in their power to stop him from getting strong to ensure that he remains a loser, from trying to take away his only means of fighting properly (Raphtalia) from him in an unfairly rigged duel to legally forbidding him from using the Dragon's Hourglass to remove his and his party's level restrictions, and finally trying to frame him for kidnapping Melromarc's second princess partly to deny him of any potential allies. Ironically, the end result is this trope being inverted by the time Naofumi's name is cleared and everyone sees him as a hero.
    • The Legendary Heroes as a whole deconstruct The Chosen One. The Legendary Weapons' method of choosing their owners basically boils down to finding a group of people with enough gaming experience, tossing them into a world similar to the MMOs they've played and expecting them to get the hang of it. This proves to be a tremendously terrible idea, as three of the four heroes end up treating the world like it's all one giant video game, thus leaving no small amount of misery in their wake and turning themselves into underpowered liabilities, while the one hero who learned (in a truly awful fashion, by the way) to take it seriously ends up having to clean up all of their messes.
    • Princess Melty Q Melromarc deconstructs the Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling trope. She is more responsible as opposed to Malty, to the point the Queen has officially made her the Crown Princess despite being the youngest. Bearing such heavy expectations led her to try and suppress the childish aspect of her personality.
    • Motoyasu takes a straight-up sledgehammer to the Idiot Hero trope. He's a man with childish ideals and heroic aspirations who claims to be running on The Power of Trust when it comes to his party. The end result? An easily manipulative dumbass whose own ideals prevent him from recognizing his moments of hypocrisy and only lead to him refusing to believe that he's in the wrong no matter how bad things get.
    • Itsuki deconstructs the Ideal Hero. While he has enough moral code to count as heroic, he's also a raging Narcissist, rendering him incapable of admitting his mistakes or apologizing for them and completely unable to consider anyone else's thoughts and opinions about himself, which only causes the people around him to detest these traits. As a result, everybody ends up keeping their distance from him and him from anyone else in return. Pretty fitting for the Hero of The Bow.
    • Ren deconstructs the Ineffectual Loner and Heroic Wannabe tropes. While he is in a team, Ren prefers to order his teammate to fight by themselves while he trains solo. Naofumi compares him to the guys who play MMO games alone and have high pride in their abilities, which also makes them unable to work well with others, especially because of his tendency to expect his teammates to know what he's planning instead of telling them outright. Also, while he does try to live up to his title as a hero, he's too short-sighted and stubborn in his adherence to RPG tropes, preventing him from becoming the heroic figure he strives to be.
    • King Aultcray Melromarc deconstructs the Tragic Bigot. Aultcray has a deep seething, hatred towards demihumans and by extension the Shield Hero who they worship. Why is this? Because his sister was kidnapped by demihumans and he believed they murdered her. That in itself is sympathetic... however, he takes out all his anger on Naofumi, who has never heard of what happened and wasn't even born at the time, and has done very despicable things to him from trying to deny him party members to keeping his level capped, and was willing to start a war with other countries and conspire with the Church of Three Heroes, a cultish religion. All this because he wanted revenge against a guy who is barely connected to him, making everything he does very petty in hindsight. Because of his actions, he lost any sympathy he may have gained. It takes meeting his sister's children and the death of his wife for him to finally realize how much of an idiot he was.
    • His daughter Malty, meanwhile, is a perfect deconstruction of the Royal Brat whose personality is summed up by It's All About Me. She gets away with everything because she manipulates people, her father helps her by essentially protecting her from blame, and because she is a princess, she holds political power that allows her to get away with it every time. As a result, she repeatedly screws people over without considering the long-term effects of such actions, and even after her mother strips both her and Aultcray of their royal titles, she continues to get worse and worse. The end result is that her horrendous personality is literally what gets her killed in the end, as EVERYONE, even her previously doting father, wants her dead by that point, as not only is she too toxic for anyone to have anything to do with, but her penchant for betraying anyone she comes across and inability to stop kicking the dog only ensured that nobody would actually help her when she needed it the most.
  • Persona 4: The Animation deconstructs Fire-Forged Friends. Yu and his friends have caught the murderer and peace has returned to the town. But with no more murders, all his friends drift apart because the only thing keeping them together was solving the murders and without them, they had nothing in common anymore. This was actually a nightmare induced by Mitsuo's Shadow on Yu and in reality, the friends had developed into True Companions and would stick together thick and thin.
  • Kotoura-san: She could have been a classic Moe protagonist and is one deep down. The problem is that her Telepathy cannot be turned off so she's unable to distinguish between speech and thought. In her backstory, she grew up in a society where Tatemae is a commonplace concept. Added to common moe traits of innocence and shyness, it did not end well for her at all. As a result, many of her major character tropes are either Deconstructed, Played for Drama, or they are simply cynical in nature.
  • Zeref from Fairy Tail deconstructs the Greater-Scope Villain. He's first mentioned as the most heinous dark wizard and mass-murderer in the world, and his influence can be felt across the series' various loosely-tied story arcs, such as destructive demons of his creation and artifacts that appear tailor-made to help him cheat death. His legacy has also inspired several Big Bad Wannabes who believe he's either dead or sealed away somewhere, and aim to bring him back to unleash his brand of evil onto the world. In reality, Zeref is just an average Joe who despises death and violence, but was struck with a horrible curse that made him immortal and kills people against his will. On top of that, his resurrective artifacts were meant for bringing his baby brother Back from the Dead, and his demons were made to help him end his undying suffering. Unfortunately, his name became so synonymous with evil and created such a thick stigma that he's since become a self-loathing wreck who embraces the role of Big Bad because he feels he has no other choice.


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