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Dirty Coward / Anime & Manga

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  • Takehiko Inoue's Vagabond features Hon'iden Matahachi, whose usual "flight instead of fight" response fuels his inferiority complex compared to his childhood friend Shinmen Takezou; after he didn't have the bravery (or whatever) to follow Takezou into a shed, they're physically separated, and over the next four years he only catches fleeting glimpses of his former friend now called Miyamoto Musashi. It doesn't help that Matahachi had become a con artist passing himself off as Sasaki Kojirou, and is very self-conscious of his self-preservation instinct and inferiority complex both conflicting with his desire to exceed Musashi (if only in name, pinning his hopes and idolation on the real Kojirou as being the one who could overcome Musashi in fact).
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  • Shinji Ikari of Neon Genesis Evangelion fervently believes himself to be this, even though he's saved the world quite a few times despite being terrified while doing so. This is partially because his life just sucks that much. His infamous Survival Mantra, "I mustn't run away! I mustn't run away!" is him chiding himself for being frightened when he has absolutely every reason to be terrified of the giant monsters trying to kill him.
  • Pop from Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai started out like this, but he gets better.
    • There is also Zaboera, who actually takes pride in being one.
  • In Delicious in Dungeon, Kensuke the living sword ran away during the fight with Red Dragon. This taught Laios a harsh lesson about bonding with monsters.
  • Berserk:
    • Magnifico is a good example and has yet to grow out of this.
    • Nina in the Conviction Arc was even worse. She repeatedly considers abandoning other characters to save her own skin, including Casca, who is mentally ill and incapable of looking after herself. However, she's still somewhat sympathetic, because her inner monologues show that her cowardice isn't really a conscious decision that everyone else is expendable; she does want to be brave, especially for her "sister" Luca, but when her life and well-being are threatened, she panics and can't bring herself to actually follow through with it. Also, the reason for her getting cold feet is often perfectly understandable, best illustrated by her arrival into the torture chamber, by far the most nightmarish place in the entire Tower of Conviction, as can be seen here.
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    • Corkus at first did not have the spine to deal with Guts personally, but he later did dare to have him having seven or so of his cronies do it for him. He also did have the gall to mock and try to rough him up...after Griffith dislocated his shoulder.
    • The Baron of Koka, the first real demon battle Guts has in the manga, gleefully kills and destroys to satisfy his sadism. But when Guts proves he's not invincible, his arrogance disappears and he starts begging for the mercy he never would've shown his victims. Guts doesn't give him any.
  • Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?: Ishtar abandons her Familia and tries to sprint when Freya retaliates. She ends up suffering a mortal fall after a feeble attempt at striking Freya.
  • Defied by Big Bad Phantom from MÄR, who regularly kills any and every mook that runs from battle. He only does this a few times onscreen, but it is clearly established that he despises cowards. He even denies his mooks the death of the protagonist Ginta, saying that, since he's a Worthy Opponent, there's no reason to kill him until he's strong enough to put up a proper fight.
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  • Uragami from Parasyte, who has been known to rape and murder humans, runs away and screams in fear when he sees a Parasyte reveal its true form for the first time.
  • Akito Tenkawa spends much of the early part of Martian Successor Nadesico trying to flee from combat, though to be fair, he's got some fairly serious psychological problems, considering it's a comedy series. Unlike a certain other pilot of whom he is partly a parody, he gets over it. Eventually.
  • Mad Scientist Akihiro Kurata from Digimon Savers, just one of the many, many things that fans can hate about him.
  • Zofis from Zatch Bell!, who is revealed to be afraid of Brago and anyone with more power than him.
  • Fist of the North Star:
    • Jackal, a minor arc villain, is the practitioner of a martial art called "Nanto Bakusatsu-ken" — South Star Exploding Kill Fist. Despite the grandiose name, the style consists mainly of throwing sticks of dynamite at enemies while at a safe distance. Kenshiro calls him on this by snidely asking him if it's even truly a martial art (to which his only reply is “Hey, as long as it works”). When Kenshiro goes on his Roaring Rampage of Revenge, Jackal leaves his men to die and ultimately tries to lie his way out of his fate, first tricking a giant inmate into thinking he's his long-lost brother before siccing him on Kenshiro and then trying to lie to Kenshiro about said inmate being a monster, which turns out to be the last mistake Jackal ever makes.
    • Jagi, in addition to being a heartless and cruel monster, is also the most cowardly of Kenshiro's major villains in the series, and the only one who does not Face Death with Dignity — in fact, he has the ignominy of being the only Hokuto Shinken practitioner to beg and grovel for his life in the tradition's entire 2000-year history.
    • Also applies to almost all minor thugs in the series who live long enough to realize that they're screwed. A lot of them end up completely breaking down and begging for their lives. It doesn't help that Kenshiro's primary fighting style has a penchant for rather gruesome delayed death attacks.
  • High School Of The Dead:
    • Misuzu Ichijou is quick to kick her "BFF" down the stairs to the zombies just to avoid sharing her fate. She ends up paying for this very quickly with her life in the anime or with her humanity in the manga.
    • For all his talk about "survival of the fittest", Koichi Shido is a snivelling weasel, immediately running at the sight of "Them" and cowering in fear when Kohta points a gun at him. His cowardice is the only reason Rei opts not to kill him when he has her at his mercy, declaring he's not worth it.
  • Most of Akame ga Kill!'s villains are this, as part of the series' Black-and-Gray Morality, but several examples stand out.
    • Prime Minister Honest is a total sleazeball who utilizes the most underhanded tactics imaginable to meet his goals; he even went so far as to barb Incursio's hilt with danger beast poison during Tatsumi's execution. In the anime, after all of his plans fall apart, he tries to flee, whimpering and whining pathetically the whole time, and then screams for someone to save him when Leone blocks his path.
    • The Wild Hunt, in addition to being heartless and cruel monsters, are also the most cowardly of Night Raid's major enemies (with the exception of Cosmina and Izou), and the only ones (with the exception of Cosmina) who do not Face Death with Dignity — in fact, they beg and grovel for their lives as they die.
    • Bolic is so cowardly that he begs for the Jaegers to protect him when Night Raid comes to assassinate him.
  • Chaka from Black Lagoon is a sociopathic asshole whose specialty seems to be Kicking the Dog and who sees nothing wrong with beating a noncombatant just to provoke his colleague into a gunfight, then running away while toting a human shield when things go badly for him and shooting several of his henchmen just because he's pissed. He fancies himself a Wild West gunman, but he's nothing more than a stupid, incompetent prick who thinks himself something far more than what he actually is. So much so that when he's finally dealt with, it's by Revy denying him his duel with her and leaving him for Ginji Matsuzaki, who relieves him of his gun and both of his hands before sending him into a pool to drown.
  • Kishin Asura from Soul Eater became a physical font of insanity and evil because he was scared of everything — which led to paranoia and the desire to become so powerful that no one could harm him, at any cost.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • Yoki constantly suffers the consequences of his scumbag actions, mostly because he keeps lying and backstabbing so he can bribe his way into a higher military rank. Every nasty scheme backfires, landing him in nastier and nastier situations to the point that he's the manga's resident Chew Toy. One of the characters even points out it's entirely his own fault that he gets into these messes. Eventually, he finally starts to move out of this, first becoming actually useful, and then later showing some courage by ramming a car into Pride.
    • This was the accusation of Kimblee against Pride. On realizing he was near death, Pride tried to take over Ed's body as a new host, just moments after explaining his hatred of humans. Kimblee couldn't stand the cowardice and hypocrisy.
    • Envy acts like a big shot and constantly resorts to dirty tricks, such as the Shapeshifter Guilt Trip, when fighting his enemies, and will bitch and moan non-stop the very second he's losing. His cowardice really shows when he reveals to Roy Mustang that he killed Maes Hughes and brags about it... and when he realizes just how bad of an idea it was to piss off Mustang, spends the remainder of the episode running in fear of the conflict he willfully brought down upon himself.
    • The 2003 anime has a subversion with Rick and Rio's mother, who seemingly abandoned her children to die during the Ishval invasion before she got herself killed in an explosion. They later learn that she suffred from an eyesight degeneration and didn't notice that her children were in front of her. She ran away trying to find them.
  • The first Big Bad of Negima! Magister Negi Magi is pwned by Chachazero after running from the final battle of the Kyoto arc. The point of her "The Reason You Suck" Speech is proven completely true when she gives Chigusa the most ignominious defeat ever: scaring her so badly that she fainted, revealing her cowardly nature.
  • High School Dx D: Raynare loves to stand around, taunt and torment people she thinks are inferior to her, but the moment she realizes she's in trouble, she tries to run away, happily sacrificing her minions in the process. She laughs at Issei when he spills out his lingering affections toward her, mocking him as completely unworthy of being boyfriend material, yet attempts to fall back on their date when Rias is about to kill her. Issei expresses disgust she's only now responding to his feelings when it's convenient for her, and gives Rias permission to finish her off.
  • Yukiteru's father from Future Diary is this, all the way. He even kills his wife because he's terrified that she'll tell the police he just left his son to die on a collapsing tower.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • Hol Horse manages to be the only recurring villain in Part Three... by running for his life whenever things go wrong. He also refuses to ever work alone, despite being an assassin; he knows how weak his Stand is against most other Stands, after all. The incident that finally dispatches him even comes about because of his cowardice: told by a fortune-telling book that he'll kill Jotaro at noon, he takes the shot from a far distance and from cover... which allows for a Prophecy Twist to send the bullets back into his head. To be fair, Thoth was prescribing that shoot-from-cover bit. The only thing Hol did wrong was use his own watch, which was fast, rather than a perfectly accurate clock. Had he done that, the bullets would have hit Jotaro along with the water burst from the pipe. Also, he didn't die — like with Enya, he disengaged Emperor before the wounds could become fatal.
    • Rubber Soul tries to surprise Jotaro with a sneak attack after getting caught in the water. Prior to this he tried weaseling his way out of a beating with a "Just Joking" Justification, and only got an advantage because Jotaro wanted to get more information on future Stand users and delayed the punching. When Rubber Soul is incapacitated again he tries the same line, but Jotaro just holds him in place while Star Platinum pummels him.
    • J. Geil, on top of being a rapist and loving to inflict harm on others and brag about his depraved acts, immediately runs away and begs for his life once Jean-Pierre Polnareff, the brother of one of his victims, defeats his Stand.
    • Steely Dan, like Hol Horse, has a pretty weak Stand. But at least Emperor has some offensive power by itself; all Lovers does is relay Dan's own pain to its host, amplified several times over. Dan, pure slime that he is, doesn't just use this as a deterrent. No, he effectively blackmails Jotaro into being his slave, even to the point of forcing him to steal a bracelet, then get beaten silly by security, while Dan himself steals an even more valuable necklace during the commotion. All the while gloating over being tacitly invincible. Of course, once Kakyoin outmaneuvers and drives Lovers out of Joseph, Dan devolves into a pure sycophant, begging for mercy without dignity... then trying to use an innocent girl as another hostage to force Jotaro to let himself be stabbed! Dan fully deserved the 3+ pages/20 seconds of Ora-Ora that Jotaro ultimately unleashes on him.
    • Alessi, whose Stand allows him to de-age anyone who touches his shadow. This is the only way he's willing to fight anyone (unlike Hol, who just adheres to the creed "run away to fight another day"), even if the nearest adult is a harmless woman. He has to use an axe to fight them. And to think he keeps calling himself a "good boy". Which make his defeat all the sweeter when he runs into Jotaro. He manages to use his powers on him, but Jotaro is so badass that even as a Standless kid, he's more than a match for him, giving him the ORA ORA treatment anyway and then laying him out with an uppercut. Talk about irony.
    • Dio Brando, of all people, is this. Even though he is determined, this does not mean he is particularly brave; for all his pride, he isn't above fleeing or begging for his life when things turn sour.
  • Genma Saotome, father of the titular character of Ranma ½, falls somewhere between this and Lovable Coward. Despite being one of the more formidable martial artists in the locale, whenever trouble arises (and it's often his fault that it does), his plan of action invariably boils down to some variant of "run away" or "make Ranma deal with it". Whether it's pinning the blame on Ranma, telling Ranma that it's his "duty" to handle things, or simply vanishing into the woodwork and leaving Ranma with no choice but to try and handle something he hasn't the faintest idea about, Genma virtually never lifts a finger to help. He also has a bad habit of grabbing the nearest bucket of water as soon as it seems like he might have to answer some pointed questions.
  • Virtually every Dragon Ball villain has moments of this; they're so arrogant that they believe that no one can stop them, and then Freak Out and become desperate when they meet someone who can and does kick their ass:
  • Daemon Spade from Reborn! (2004) turns out to be one of these when facing someone who can actually defeat him. His "special move" is to bravely, bravely, run away to another dimension.
  • In Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple, Nijima used Seigfried as a human shield during the D of D. He also runs from almost every person who even slightly threatens him. Averted once when he lies to Kenichi to keep him from being lynched by Ragnarok.
  • InuYasha:
    • Kotetsu, the twisted artist who uses demonic ink fueled by human blood and entrails, begs for his pathetic life when Inuyasha has him cornered.
    • Naraku, especially before he Took a Level in Badass. He typically uses demonic puppets of himself or manipulates others into fighting Inuyasha and his companions for him so he doesn't have to worry about his own safety, and whenever he does fight on his own, it's almost a guarantee that he'll pull a Villain: Exit, Stage Left as soon as the tides turn against him.
  • Rurouni Kenshin: Takeda Kanryu acts like a big shot and gloats about the power of money while unloading a gatling gun on Kenshin and his friends. As soon as Kenshin bypasses said gatling gun and is staring him down, Kanryu is reduced to a pathetic wimp begging Kenshin not to kill him, right before Kenshin breaks his jaw.
  • One Piece:
    • Helmeppo bullies people while hiding behind his tyrannical Marine Captain father Morgan. He gets better, though, when his father is defeated and he learns to become a great marine.
    • Kuro, as a Foil to Lovable Coward Usopp. Tired of being pursued by the Marines, he sets up a scheme to murder an innocent young girl and his men in order to inherit her wealth and retire. Luffy even tells Kuro that he should've put constantly being under the Marine's radar into consideration before sailing out to be a pirate.
    • Marshall D. Teach, better known as Blackbeard, is a notable example in that despite having the D. initial, he started begging for his life the moment it was in immediate danger.
    • Spandam crosses the line to become a more obvious asshole than he already was in the flashback, when he started to beat a defenseless Nico Robin and mocks her about a military operation against her home island, which resulted in the death of her family and friends. He also beats Cutty Flam/Franky when he's down, but starts to scream and cry when he manages to bite Spandam in the head couple of times.
    • Demalo Black AKA Fake Luffy. He tried to pass himself and his crew as the real Straw Hats in order to win himself a larger crew without even having the skills or looking like them (or even acting like them, as he shoot two random people and mockingly apologized) to back it up, and it bit him hard when Sentomaru and a group of Pacifistas came to arrest the real Straw Hats (who coincidentally decided to reunite that time); he only could flaunt his supossed heritage to try slipping, but Sentoumaru knocked him out in one hit. Needless to say, his recruits weren't pleased.
    • Flashbacks in the Fish-Man Island arc reveal that East Blue antagonist Arlong was really this. It turns out that the real reason Arlong was in the East Blue was because, after getting his ass kicked by Vice-Admiral Borsalino (the future Admiral Kizaru) and his former friend and captain Jimbei, he realized he could never measure up to the top players of the Grand Line. So, he instead ran off to the weakest sea to fulfill his ambitions there, because he knew that there was no one there strong enough to stop him.
    • Judge Vinsmoke is one of the more disgraceful examples in the series' recent history. In a one-on-one fight against Sanji, he needs jetpack boots, an electric spear, and a small army's worth of human shields to win against his "weakling son." Again, this is against one person. Literally sobbing and begging for his life when surrounded by Big Mom's men didn't exactly boost his reputation in the eyes of the fans, or his other four children. Personally attacking Big Mom at the royal wedding is the only time he's shown to have somewhat of a backbone...though admittedly, it's because he was forced into that position and had no other choice but to fight.
    • The Celestial Dragons. When it comes down to it, they're nothing more than sadistic, overgrown bullies who take advantage of the protection they receive from the World Governmentnote  to commit insanely horrific acts, such as slavery, torture, and murder, for fun. When someone manages to find a loophole around their protection, or just plain doesn't care what happens to them, they cry and beg for mercy like the sniveling filth they are. So far, the only known Celestial Dragon to avert this trope is Donquixote Doflamingo, and that is only because of his harsh childhood after his father took him out of Mariejois with their family to live a normal life.
  • Zoisite from Sailor Moon, a Smug Snake who prefers to use dirty tricks and cheat to win, and always running away when a fight is looking to be getting tough. The sheer level of cheating, conniving cowardice he displays actually makes him one of the more effective villains in the series, lasting longer than many of his contemporaries.
  • The first Story Arc of Magical Girl Raising Project has the Faux Affably Evil Fav, one half of the Big Bad Duumvirate. He gleefully orchestrates Deadly Games and manipulates Magical Girls into slaughtering each other for his sick amusement, all the while remaining smug that nothing can touch him since nothing on Earth can destroy his terminal and kill him. However, when Ripple is revived and enraged by his cruel words about Top Speed's death, Fav's bravado goes out the window the moment he sees her carrying a weapon from the Magical World (the only thing that can destroy his terminal) and he tries to make excuses for his words. Snow White can sense his panicking thoughts and warns Ripple not to listen, and Fav can only futilely plead for his life before Ripple gives him his well-deserved demise.
  • Gundam:
    • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny:
      • Yuna Roma Seiran was a snivelling coward and wannabe Manipulative Bastard who got Orb into the war on the Earth Forces' side, takes command of the army at the front...and then proceeds to spend the campaign having one panic attack after another. He's incapable of standing up to Earth Forces Captain Neo Roanoke, who more or less takes over the campaign and uses the Orb forces as cannon fodder, and is ultimately killed when trying to escape from a losing battle.
      • Lord Djibril, Blue Cosmos leader, is a much more dangerous example, as he combines this trope with Diabolical Mastermind. When things go south for him, Djibril always bails, leaving his allies in the lurch...only to return soon after with his latest Weapon Of Mass Destruction primed for combat. A slimy, cowardly bully who nevertheless manages to cause hundreds of thousands of deaths through pure malice.
    • The first opponent Riku and Yukio face in Gundam Build Divers is Douji. His MO in Gunpla Battle Nexus Online was to tail new players, wait until they're sufficiently weakened, then trick them into going into battle where he would defeat them without getting into trouble thanks to Loophole Abuse. When Riku overcomes him, he's left a sobbing wreck who vows revenge.
    • SD Gundam Sangokuden: Brave Battle Warriors, an adaptation of the BB Senshi Sangokuden toyline based on Romance of the Three Kingdoms from the SD Gundam BB Senshi model series, has Enjutsu Zssa, based on Yuan Shu. Here, Enjutsu is a sniveling, pompous, gutless coward who runs at the first sign of danger and even abandons his own brother in the face of an attack by a single enemy. He also has the gall to be surprised when Enshou Bawoo (based on Yuan Shao and himself not exactly a sterling example of bravery either) ends up yelling at him for leaving him to die.
  • Subverted with Taikobo in Soul Hunter. He pretends to be this early on but is actually a Chessmaster, using how people see him to his advantage.
  • Captain Knowles of of the Goliath in Last Exile ordered his ship to flee battle before the retreat was sounded. Later, he was too cowardly to face Alex in a duel he himself demanded and so decided on a ship-to-ship duel, figuring his battleship would be superior. When he saw his opponent was the Silvana, he ordered his gunners to fire before the fight started.
  • Masao from Shiki is a bit of a downplayed version. Notably, his cowardice makes him less of a threat than many other vampires because he's too scared to routinely kill and eat humans. He plays the trope somewhat straighter in the manga than he does in the anime.
    • A somewhat straighter but less obvious version is Atsushi Ookawa. When he first meets The Vamp Chizuru, he says that people stay in at night because "they're all a bunch of stinking cowards," yet when Chizuru is actually in danger, he fails to rescue her because he's too scared of his father to risk his wrath, and later, when he's discovered after killing Toshio Ozaki's mother in revenge, he begs for his life.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • PaniKnote  is portrayed as the classic cowardly bully, who pushes other people down in order to make himself feel braver. Yami isn't buying it. This carries into his duelist tactics: as Yami notes, hiding his monsters in shadows so opponents can't attack because they don't know how strong they are is a cowardly way to duel, and when they're revealed, he switches them to defense and sets them up behind barriers to protect them until the shadows return. Although this becomes a case of Fridge Logic when you consider how often Yami, Yugi, Joey, and various other characters we're supposed to root for are forced/choose to play defensively at times.
    • Yugi's accusations of cowardice towards Noah Kaiba are far more justified, given how he uses his power over the virtual world to manipulate everything in his favor as he pleases, often committing the same underhanded acts he had scolded the Big Four for committing. Yugi eventually tells him that, despite his intelligence and deceptive age, he's still nothing but a Spoiled Brat who never grew up because he never wanted to.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's, there was Lotten, the Big Bad of the Crashtown arc. He seemed brave enough when he had the advantage, but when things turned against him, he detonated a series of explosives planted in Crashtown and fled to save his own skin (even willing to leave his lover and partner Barbara — the only one who was loyal to him — behind to her fate). He didn't escape, and the most interesting part is, while the dub had to edit out the scene where Kiyru forced him to finish the duel (Kiryu's winning move simulated Lotten being shot in the head), the dub ending may have been far more fitting, depending on one's point of view: Kiryu refused to finish the duel, instead letting it remain unfinished so everyone would know Lotten chickened out like a coward.
  • Mr. Heartland, The Dragon to the Big Bad in Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL. He usually uses a hologram when he has to talk to someone who might be angry at him (a good idea once, because Kaito tied to slug him) and when the heroes stormed the Faker's compound right before the Final Battle of the first season, he hid behind a army of robots, doing nothing but taunting them. (He did get his in the end when he fell through a portal to the Barian World, where he was turned into a bug-like creature. Also, in the later arc, he did develop enough of a spine to confront Kaito directly.)
  • Isao from Bokurano. When it's his turn to pilot (which ends in his death), he just runs away, resulting in him dying without winning a fight, and long-term adverse consequences to the pilots.
    • In the anime, there's also Koyemshi, as a human, who's even worse than Isao. Despite having forced a pilot to participate, he breaks down into a sobbing wreck when it's his turn and cuts a deal, which ends up turning him into the robot Koyemshi and forcing him to recruit other pilots.
  • Wolf's Rain: Tsume's back story has him being one of these, with him running away, leaving his friends to die. He's a unusual example in that he's portrayed as ultimately a good person, having grown out of his cowardice by the time the show starts.
  • The protagonist of 1982 manga AKIRA, Shotaro Kaneda, despite his bravado, had a nasty habit of abandoning his friends when they got into trouble and running away when things got sticky. Except for Tetsuo, who (despite having every reason) he never really left behind. This tendency is all but ignored in the film.
    • Mr. Nezu also qualifies, especially in the film, where he tries his damnedest to make a run for it when his underhanded dealings blow up in his face.
  • Sword Art Online:
    • Kuradeel poisons the rest of his party, paralyzing them, and slowly tortures Godfrey to death before trying to do the same to Kirito. When Asuna turns the tables on him and nearly kills him, Kuradeel pathetically tries to appeal to her conscience before trying to kill her.
    • Nobuyuki Sugou/Oberon spends most of the Fairy Dance arc cocky, composed, and arrogant, declaring himself a god and rubbing in Kirito's face that there's nothing he can do to stop him... as long as he's in control of the situation and has his Game Master powers backing him up. The minute he's stripped of his admin privileges and faced with a righteously pissed-off Kirito, Sugou has a massive Freak Out and breaks down crying like a scared little girl. He's just as cowardly in real life; he attacks Kirito with a knife, slashing his arm in a surprise attacks, and kicks Kirito multiple times after he falls to the ground before trying to kill him... and when Kirito overpowers him, takes the knife away, and states his intention to kill him with it, Sugou panics and immediately tries to make a break for it; Kirito just barely manages to stop himself from finishing him off, by which point Sugou is crying Tears of Fear and loses control of his bladder before passing out.
    • There's also Endou and the two other girls who try to extort money from Shino "Sinon" Asada, by triggering her past trauma, simply because they don't have the guts to actually get violent with her. When Shino's friend, Kyouji Shinkawa, bluffs and pretends to be summoning a police officer to Shino's aid, Endou and the others immediately flee. At the end of the arc, after Shino overcomes her fear of guns long enough to show that Endou didn't deactivate the other safety on her model gun, then uses the gun to shoot a can with perfect accuracy, Endou is left stunned, on her knees.
    • Dyne, leader of Sinon's squad in Gun Gale Online. He specializes in ambushing groups of monster hunters (who aren't specialized in fighting players, although they are armed and ready to fight), and tends to give up and flee at the first indication that he's in over his head. He's also something of a hypocrite in that he complains about monster hunters who hire bodyguards coming off as cowards. That said, he does put himself in the line of fire to give Sinon the chance to take down a heavily armed foe, albeit after Sinon browbeats him for his cowardice.
    • Gabriel Miller, the Big Bad of Alicization's second half, constantly brags about being an Invincible Villain and stealing people's souls, but when Kirito beats him and leaves him to be Dragged Off to Hell, he screams and begs for his minions to save him.
  • Cross Ange:
    • Julio Asuka Misurugi verges into this once he gets cornered by Ange, while begging for his life. He even offers to reinstate his sister back to the royal family in exchange for sparing him. Unfortunately for him, his attempts failed once Embryo erases him.
    • Embryo himself in the final episodes. He ditches his Diamond Rose Knights to be left to die fighting the DRAGONs to make way of searching for Ange. Then in the final battle, he hijacks Salia and Hilda's Ragna-Mail into attacking Salamandinay. Unfortunately for him, none of these worked thanks to a Kirk Summation, Salia and Hilda's Ragna-Mails broke free from his control.
  • Persona 4: The Animation: Yukiko, Chie, and Rise all provide a minor example during the fight against Shadow Naoto; they use Teddie as a Human Shield to save themselves from Shadow Naoto's Rapid Aging-inducing Eye Beams, and then flat-out bail on the guys to avoid suffering the same fate. This is in stark contrast to the original game, where they're willing to shield Yu from fatal attacks if their Social Links are progressed far enough.
  • In Attack on Titan, despite Kitz Wörman / Kitz Weilman warning the recruits that desertion is punishable by death, he's the first to run away when the Titans return.
    • Most of the people in power throughout the series are this trope. Some are even willing to sacrifice thousands of people just so they can retain their wealth and authority.
    • Inverted with Dimo Reeves, who is presented as unlikable and selfish in Season 1 when he attempts to prioritize evacuating his caravan before the people of Trost. However, it's later revealed that his company has been essential to stimulating the district's economy and preventing unemployment.
  • Death Note: Light Yagami has no qualms against killing thousands of people, criminal or otherwise, for the sake of his plans, but at the end of the series, when he's been outed as Kira and faced with his own mortality, he absolutely freaks out and begs for someone, anyone, to save him.
  • Wolfsmund: Wolfram is revealed to be this when he abandons his own men when the fighting goes south, with his own Dragon stating his disgust at his master's actions. It shows again when he's about to be executed, despite subjecting countless people to horrific ends, he goes out sobbing that putting him to death is unjust.
  • Yu Yu Hakusho has its fair share of these in the Dark Tournament arc.
    • Roto basically pulls a Steely Dan on Kurama, threatening his mother with a remote that summons a demon to kill her if he dares to fight back, beating him while he's helpless, and immediately starts begging for his life once the tables are turned. He even states that he wasn't really gonna press the button! Kurama still kills him.
    • The rest of Team Jolly Devil Six, who leave Rinku to fight Team Urameshi after Hiei's "fight" against Zeru.
    • Bakken, who is all too eager to beat up an unconscious Kurama, but is reduced to pathetically begging for mercy within minutes against someone who can actually put up a fight, like Yusuke. In the anime, he even smashes a rock over Yusuke's head while doing so...which has no effect on him at all. Cue a one-sided beatdown that leaves Bakken's entire body broken.
    • There's also Gonzo Tarukane, the Big Bad before the Dark Tournament Arc. Once all his money and protection is gone thanks to Yusuke and co., he turns into a panicky, sobbing wreck, and attempts to escape his mansion, taking Hiei's sister, Yukina, with him. Then Hiei shows up. Gonzo couldn't have picked a worse choice of sentences to beg for his life.
      Gonzo: WAIT...! I don't know who the hell you are, but if it's money you're after...we can talk! Listen here...that broad behind you, she makes jewels like you wouldn't believe!note  I could pour millions from her!
      (cue Death Glare and a NASTY beatdown from Hiei)

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