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Face Death With Dignity / Anime & Manga

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  • Iason Mink from Ai no Kusabi barely winces when both his legs are cut off from above the knees as he was leaving a burning building, stoically waiting next to a door for either the pain and bleeding to take his life away or for the place to blow up.note  Comes to a circle when his lover Riki comes to his side to die with him, and they calmly share One Last Smoke (doubling as Last Indirect Kiss).
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  • In Anatolia Story, Ursula falsely confesses to assassinating King Arnuwanda, so that Kail has the grounds to call off Nakia's attempts to retrieve and frame Yuri for the murder. She makes the entire confession very calmly and, when Nakia tries to still use the opportunity to blame Yuri (Ursula being Yuri's maid and all), Ursula immediately turns it around and pretends Nakia was the one who ordered the killing, forcing Nakia to abandon her attempts to pretend there was someone else behind the whole operation. When Ursula's boyfriend Kash meets her in prison the night before her execution and offers her the chance to run away with him, she tells him that she's determined to stick to her guns, adds that she had hoped they could have long lives and a family together, and gives him her braid as a keepsake. The entire time, she never breaks down. Even at the execution itself, she keeps a calm face.
    Executioner: I take it then you have nothing to say?
    Ursula: Nothing, sir. I am ready.
    Executioner: Very well.
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  • The Reveal of Otonashi's death in Angel Beats!. After surviving a train crash underground, he spends days tending to the survivors' wounds until help arrives, despite his limited resources and all while suffering from some serious internal injuries. With his last ounces of strength, he doesn't cry nor he does contemplate his life, but he instead fills out his insurance card to become an organ donor, ensuring he'll be able to help someone even after death.
  • Deconstructed in Attack on Titan. Being eaten by a Titan is a horrible way to die, and everyone in this world knows it. Rarely does anyone have a calm, dignified response to their deaths, the majority of which are screaming, crying, and begging. Eren's mother Carla was initially relieved that at least both Eren and Mikasa would live, but changed her mind in the face of being eaten; she has to cover her mouth so her children won't hear her begging them to come back for her. Mike intended to go down fighting but as soon as Titans charged from all directions, he died hysterically weeping and pleading for his life.
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  • Ciel Phantomhive in Black Butler qualifies as this since at the end of Episode 24 of Season 1, when Sebastian is about to devour his soul, he tells him to make the process as painful as possible when told by Sebastian that he would be as gentle as possible. Granted, he did not actually die but at the time, we didn't know that.
  • Bokurano:
    • Some of the pilots face their impending deaths this way. For example, before finishing off his opponent, Daiichi confirms that Koyemshi will fulfill his promise to hide his body, and makes a Last Request to Ushiro to treat his younger sister Kana kindly.
    • In the anime, Ushiro manages to comply to said request. Not only he has taken Kana's place in the group (long story) so she doesn't have to fight, but after fighting for almost two days straight and winning, he calmly and briefly speaks about how relieved he feels about knowing his is Zearth's last fight ever.
    • Heartbreakingly averted in the manga with Kana, who did fight a battle. The last time chronologically that we see her alive, she is sobbing knowing she is about to die.
  • Oruha, Suu and Ran in Clover, though primarily Oruha and Suu as while it is suggested that Ran will die in approximately five years it's never actually seen.
  • Code Geass:
    • Lelouch orders his own assassination and uses it to his advantage. A few episodes before that, he mocks the people trying to kill him to save the person in front of him.
    • In the Manga AU Code Geass: Nightmare of Nunnally, Charles and Marianne handle being erased with far more dignity than in the anime, when they were erased from reality screaming at Lelouch. Charles is initially shocked that Nunnally would reject their plan, but after Marianne and C.C. convince him that the decision was hers, he calmly accepts it. Just before vanishing, Marianne smiles and says goodbye to Nunnally.
  • One of the defining characteristics of Spike from Cowboy Bebop is his general unconcern towards death: The only character who seems to trigger anything resembling actual fear of death in him is Tongpu. In "Wild Horses", when told that his deactivated ship is caught in Earth's gravitational pull and will burn up in the atmosphere in about five minutes, his only reaction is to fire up a cigarette and tell Jet where he kept the booze that he wants Jet to inherit. The "BANG!" scene in the final episode can be a very good example of this, depending on which side of the fence you sit.
  • In Death Note, whether a character can do this depends on their moral fiber. Soichiro, the most moral figure in the series, goes out with the most dignity (convinced that Light isn't Kira), L and Watari, who are noticeably greyer, though still recognizably good, each die with some, and the Villain Protagonist, Light, dies crying, whining, and cursing.
  • Anti-Villainous Crossdresser Seiji Asou/Narumi Asai in Detective Conan died while calmly playing the "Moonlight Sonata" in his Disappeared Dad's piano... in the middle of a burning house.
  • Ryoji Kaji of Neon Genesis Evangelion faces his impending assassination with a sense of dry wit, greeting his assassin with a "Hey, you're late." Several other characters also go to their deaths in either a resigned, dignified manner, such as Gendo in End of Evangelion, or as a full blown Heroic Sacrifice in the case of Misato.
  • Dragon Ball has various degrees of this. Most of the villains go down screaming in disbelief or cursing out the heroes, except for these:
    • In Dragon Ball Z, Kid Buu dies with some form of dignity. Although he did scream as he was atomized by the Spirit Bomb, he didn't pitch a fit like all the other villains.
    • The heroes often go out stoically or smiling, while others do scream in terror before dying. Krillin being killed by Frieza being the most standout example.
    • Notably in Dragon Ball Super's Universe Survival Saga: Sidra, Universe 9's God of Destruction handles being erased with grim acceptance, unlike the rest of his team who are freaking out. In contrast, all of Universe 10 face their ends with sad, but calm serenity. Most of the other erased fighters and dieties share this with the former, except for Quitela.
  • In the anime version of Elfen Lied, Lucy calmly goes to face a Bolivian Army Ending.
    • Though it's implied in the closing credits that she survived.
  • Fist of the North Star does this to many protagonists (due to its Anyone Can Die nature) and villains who are Worthy Opponents. For villains, it overlaps with Redemption Equals Death.
  • In Hellsing, Sir Penwood accepts he was a good-for-nothing for most of his life, and then realizes he can make a final difference in the midst of the immense SS Waffen vampire attack. After a heartbreaking moment when he orders his men to leave, they refuse to leave him alone, but eventually, he's alone in his base, with everyone else dead. Then the vampires break down the walls to his sanctuary. He has a beautiful reminiscence of his first meeting with Integra... and whips out the detonator for the C4 charges he's planted across the building. Desperate, the vampires shoot him... and he still presses the detonator.
  • Higurashi: When They Cry: In Meakashi-hen, Satoko as she's killed. She cries at first but, remembering her promise to her brother to be a stronger person, she decides to not cry even though her death is one of the most painful in the series.
    "If stabbing me pleases you, then stab until your heart's content! But I will not cry! Never! Never!"
  • In Hunter × Hunter, the Chimera Ant King is poisoned by Netero's Rose bomb. When he realizes he is dying, he merely announces to Palm that humanity has defeated the Ants and asks her where Komugi is. When they are reunited, he warns her that he is dying and that if she remains close to him the poison will kill her too. She refuses to abandon him even then, so they spend their remaining moments happily playing games and die holding hands together.
  • Hida Takahito from Katanagatari patiently awaits death in a burning castle after his rebellion fails. His last words are to tell his daughter he loves her, and politely greet his executioner.
  • Kekkaishi:
    • Gen Shishio, who after being fatally wounded by Kaguro, finally finds peace and goes out with a serene smile on his face.
    • Princess and Byaku meet their end in this fashion when Kokuboro dissolves around them.
  • Legend of Galactic Heroes: Paul von Oberstein who, as he lay dying from a mortal wound, told the doctors to refrain from making a futile attempt to save him, then left a short instruction concerning his dog and calmly passed away.
  • Ren Kouen's execution in Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic, saying goodbye non-maliciously to his estranged step-brother/the man who ordered him to be executed, Ren Hakuryuu.
  • Clyde Harlaown's final act before his ship was blown up by the Arc-en-ciel (at his own request) in the backstory of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's was to calmly salute Gil Graham.
  • My Bride is a Mermaid: Sun openly accepts that she will have to die for saving Nagasumi and thus breaking The Masquerade. Thankfully, her mom decides to Take a Third Option via Shotgun Wedding.
  • In Naruto, it is revealed that Fugaku and Mikoto Uchiha decided to do this when their son Itachi came to kill them to prevent the coup d'etat by the Uchiha family. They didn't even fight back, and just calmly sat down in their living room while telling Itachi that they fully understood and accepted his decision, that they both still loved him, and that despite their differences in beliefs, they were proud of him; hell, they even encouraged him to do so because he was so broken up about it, and one of their last requests was that he take care of Sasuke. Itachi subsequently broke down in tears as he killed them.
    • Years later, during the 4th War, after the Ten Tails matures, it fires off a barrage of long range attacks. The people at the Allied HQ realize that one is probably headed their way. Rather than evacuate, which would be futile at this point, Shikaku calmly orders Inoichi to telepathically contact the Allied soldiers, as he has one final strategy to stop the Ten Tails. It's not really clear whether they manage to send the strategy in time or not, but their kids on the battlefield are at least aware of them trying.
  • Gold Roger from One Piece. In fact, it's said to be a trait with many people with the middle initial D in their name. Luffy even displayed it when it looked like Buggy was going to decapitate him.
    • Similar with Whitebeard, as the character dies standing upright and without regrets.
    • Heck many of the flashback characters.
      • Belle-mere said her final goodbyes with a smile to Nami and Nojiko before Arlong shot her.
      • Dr. Hiriluk expressed happiness that the doctors of Drum Island were fine even though facing down a firing squad and calmly drank an explosive potion after giving a speech.
      • Tom willingly let himself be arrested again to save his pupils even though it meant being transported to Impel Down.
      • The scholars of Ohara stayed within the Tree of Knowledge as it and their island was being burned to the ground by the Buster Call. Likewise Jaguar D. Saul smiled as Kuzan froze him.
      • And Brook (initially before his Devil Fruit power brought him back) and the remainder of the Rumbar Pirates, severely wounded and dying by poison arrows, spent their final moments singing their favorite song, Bink's Sake.
    • All Ds do this — or at least those who truly inherited the mysterious "Will of D". In fact, one of the indications that Blackbeard isn't a true inheritor is that he doesn't face the prospect of his death with dignity. The moment he's in the slightest amount of danger, he starts begging for his life like the coward he is.
    • Darkly deconstructed with the Vinsmoke brothers, minus Sanji. When they realize that their alliance with Big Mom was a sham and they are about to be killed, Ichiji, Niiji, and Yonji just laugh it off the trap they've fallen in. Reiju notes that this is due to their father Judge removing their ability to feel emotions pre-birth. Reiju herself is a more straight example. She recognizes that her family is twisted and evil, and their demise is a Karmic Death.
    • Having secured his daughter Chiffon and friends' escape, Pound calmly straightens his tie and mentally congratulates her on her marriage right before Oven kills him.
  • In Plastic Memories, this is used several times in the first episode when retrieving Giftia, or androids from people as they near the end of their service life:
    • Zack shows Tsukasa how it's done when they retrieve Edward from an elderly couple. They say their goodbyes and he erases the Giftia's memories prior to taking him back.
    • Their second job ends up with the man attempting to run off with his Giftia to avoid having her taken away.
    • Chizu is outright antagonistic towards the Tsukasa and Isla, and repeatedly turns them away. Nina is willing to allow herself to be deactivated and taken away from her adopted grandmother Chiku. The Giftia believes that losing her personality would hurt her adopted grandmother's happiness more, which finally convinces Chiku to reluctantly sign the release forms.
  • In the climax of Pokémon XYZ, Clembot faces death with a dignity that would put most humans to shame. It calmly tells Clemont he has no choice but to sacrifice it to stop Lysandre's plans, and thanks Clemont for making it and allowing it to serve the Lumiose Gym.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica:
    • In the first timeline, Madoka willingly goes to fight and kill Walpurgisnacht in order to save Mitakihara City, knowing that she is going to die, even as Homura pleads with her to flee the city. Her last goodbye is a smile and a cheerful "Goodbye, Homura! Take care!"
    • In Kyoko's final moments, she quietly prays to God for a happy dream before mercy killing Witch!Sayaka, also destroying her own Soul Gem so Sayaka won't have to die alone.
  • Re:CREATORS: Mamika Kirameki, having discovered Altair's plans, goes out to confront her by herself. Knowing she will likely die, she spends her last moments with her friend Aliceteria, thanking her for being her friend. She survives the battle, but with horrible injuries and Aliceteria finds her before she dies in her arms.
  • The Rising of the Shield Hero: King Aultcray Melromarc and Princess Malty Melromarc are overthrown and put on trial for their various crimes and abuses of power. When they are sentenced to death, Aultcray just sighs, remains calm, and does not resist when he is put in the guillotine, in sharp contrast to his daughter, who begs everyone, even Naofumi, the man whose life she ruined, for her life. Fortunately for them, Naofumi decides death is too good for them (in the light novel, he had to be talked into it, in the anime, he decides on his own) and opts to simply have them stripped of their power and titles and have their names legally changed to "Trash" and "Bitch" respectively.
  • Roy Fokker in Super Dimension Fortress Macross/Robotech spends his last moments in the company of his girlfriend Claudia, and dies of combat related injuries while sitting on a sofa waiting for lunch. It's actually hinted that Roy had already guessed he wouldn't live for long, so he deliberately bypassed any medical treatment to be able to die next to his girlfriend.
  • Athena in Saint Seiya usually plays the role of Barrier Maiden, and puts her life on the line to buy the Saints enough time to deal with the problem at hand. However, in the Hades Chapter she offers her life to Hades if he'll spare Earth from destruction (a gamble since he's not established to be an honorable fellow). He accepts, but she is stopped from going through with her offer when Hades threatens the Virgo Saint by catching his spear with her bare hands... and noticing her blood could exorcise him from the body he was possessing.
  • From Shaman King, when Silva was about to die, he simply smiles and allows Yoh to deal the final blow.
  • Suitengu in Speed Grapher. After springing his ultimate plan and saving Saiga's life, he flies back to the Tennozu Tower, activates the self destruct for a massive reactor under it and calmly waits for the end, joined by his dedicated servant Tsujidou.
    • It's also worth mentioning that he knew for quite a long time that his powers were killing him, and while he underwent procedures to combat the damage, at no point did he ever show fear or rage for his situation.
  • Kayaba Akihiko of Sword Art Online fought his last duel happy that someone would finally be able to defeat him and end the death game he had created. Especially notable not only because he could have easily won the duel through cheating, but also his plan from the very start was for the game to end with his death. He gets a surprising amount of respect both in and out of universe because of this, despite the fact that he indirectly murdered over four thousand people. Contrast with the villain of the second arc, who suffers a Villainous Breakdown when his GM privileges are taken away from him.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann:
    • Kamina gets shot through the stomach with an energy beam and impaled with a spear. After passing out for a moment or two, he picks himself up, gives four Rousing Speeches, takes out an army and one of the two guys who fatally wounded him, then quietly passes away after saying goodbye to his adoptive brother. He does all of this with a huge smile on his face and no indication that his impending death is even the slightest inconvenience.
    • Kittan goes on a Suicide Mission to save Team Dai-Gurren late in the series. He volunteers without any fuss, and kamikazes into his target while cheering for his friends and screaming in defiance at the Big Bad. He even chuckles about how awesome the whole thing was as he's being blown away!
    • In a much more depressing example, Nia goes out with a smile as she disintegrates on her wedding day.
  • Actually the plot point behind a Monster of the Week in Ushio and Tora: a couple of monsters, Tayura and Nadoka, have witnessed since ancient times executions of people, and they're baffled by this specific form of accepting death. To find out how humans can accept demise willingly, they started a perverse game: for centuries they invited humans to their homes and asks them how humans can accept Death peacefully, and if the answer doesn't satisfy them, they kill and devour their victim, mocking humans for being so foolish and unwise. Nadoka ultimately gets his answer as he's about to die, after witnessing Mayuko's selflessness.

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