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Faking The Dead / Anime & Manga

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People faking their deaths in anime and manga.

  • In Episode 17 of Attack on Titan, while Armin, Reiner, and Jean are fighting the Female Titan, she knocks Armin off his horse. She then seems to be gaining the upper hand in the battle when Jean is unable to strike at the back of her neck, until Armin yells at Jean to avenge his best friend's death, meaning Eren, which this Titan killed earlier. While he is clearly lying, the Female Titan does stop attacking for the moment, giving Jean enough time to escape.
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  • Once he learns that the Queen of Midland and her nobles want him dead, Griffith of Berserk blackmails Foss, the head of the conspiracy, into helping him set up a Batman Gambit involving Faking The Dead that ultimately leads to the Queen and her nobles being locked into a burning castle to die.
  • Occurs in Black Butler: Book of Murder, in which Sebastian appeared to be deceased. It was false, and Ciel, although aware the whole time, was dang convincing in his seeming grief.
  • Aizen Sousuke of Bleach. Notable in that he later reveals himself to be not just alive, but the Big Bad as well, and that the death was merely one part of his elaborate Gambit Roulette. He did this again in the Fake Karakura Town arc.
  • Part of the backstory of Code Geass: Lelouch and Nunnally Lamperouge are in fact disgraced royalty who faked their own deaths in order to hide in exile in Area 11 (formerly Japan). It gets used a few more times in the series, with Zero declared dead at the start of R2, Nunnally, Sayoko and Guilford presumed dead after FLEIJA detonated, Marianne revealed to have hidden in another character's body, and Suzaku "dying" in the final battle to take up the mantle of Zero. Despite all of that, Word of God says Lelouch is genuinely dead in the end. And even death didn't stop C.C. from bringing him Back from the Dead.
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  • Briefly in Darker Than Black: When Hei was fighting Wei, he intentionally got his own blood on his mask and fell off the edge of a building. Wei smugly headed down to kill Alice and Breaking Speech Kirihara, and was rather unpleasantly surprised when the Black Shinigami smashed in through the window, kicked him in the head, and electrocuted him half to death through the blood he'd gotten all over the floor.
  • Death Note:
    • Matsuda throws himself off a balcony and onto a mattress hidden below, to reduce his risk from Kira.
  • Detective Conan:
    • In a case from volume 30, Captain Ersatzes of famous detectives were invited to an abandoned mansion and, being observed by surveillance cameras, fake killing each other off and/or dying via various ignoble means to deduced who the real killer was in order to Pull the Thread on her.
    • In a filler case, a desperate woman stuck with an abusive fiancè asked her friends and neighbors for help to fake her death and get away, and they agreed. But in an horrible subversion, they didn't count on said abusive fiancè finding out about the plan, killing the girl and then trying to use Kogoro as an Unwitting Pawn to put the blame on the friends.
  • In Detective School Q, this happenens several times:
    • The three-parts case that doubles as Ryu's introduction has three people from Class A murdered in very gory manners... but is actually a Secret Test of Character from Morihiko Dan and Class A, and the three "victims" are pulling this trope. The Class Q kids find out halfway through the deal and stage their own Faking The Death incident to reveal this.
    • A School Newspaper Newshound named Maya is found apparently bludgeoned to death by the murderer from the Boarding School case because, unbeknownst to herself, she has crucial information that could ruin his plans. It turns out Maya survived the attack, but the Q class pretended that she had died so she wouldn't be targeted again; she's hospitalized and in recovery, and this is revealed once the case is solved. However, this is a case of Spared by the Adaptation since Maya was Killed Off for Real in the manga.
    • In the case concerning a Mad Bomber who refuses to spill out where he hid his last and deadliest bomb, Class A and Class Q manage to trick the man into believing said last bomb had already detonated, which leads him to gloat about the destuction it caused and slip out where he had put it. The whole plan included Kintarou faking his death in the explosion, and Kazuma faking an Heroic BSoD over it. (The omake has Kintarou tragicomically wondering if this would happen when he died for real.)
    • A CEO who was going to be on a business flight that crashed but gave her ticket to someone else at the last minute chose not to come forward and admit she didn't die in the plane crash, because her life insurance policy was large enough to keep her failing company solvent. Unfortunately, when she tried to see her family one last time disguised as a Phony Psychic, her Locked Outof The Loop sons thought she was a con artist in cahoots with their Evil Aunt... and murdered her to protect their little sister.
    • At the very last case, it turns out that Ryu's father's death was faked by King Hades to give Ryu plausible motive to kill four of his former house servantsnote  in a case nine years after the event. Yes, it's much more complicated than it seems.
  • In The Familiar of Zero, Colbert dies onscreen in season 2. There is no hint that he might be alive until he shows up in season 3, saving the day at the last minute. It turns out his death was faked with magic.
  • Done in Fullmetal Alchemist with Maria Ross. Ross is charged guilty for killing Maes Hughes (who was actually killed by a shapeshifter assuming Ross's appearance). Roy Mustang, knowing that Ross wouldn't do this, forges a corpse and shows its wholly incinerated remains as evidence that Ross was properly punished, while Ross in actuality escapes and returns for the climax of the plot. The government does order the coroner to confirm the corpse's identity through dental records... but, as it turns out, the coroner was in on it too.
  • In Full Metal Panic!, the powerful psychic and temporal energies coming off of Yamsk 11 cause Sophia (possessing Kaname's body), Sousuke, and Tessa to see a vision of a possible future in which Sophia shoots the latter two dead. The real Kaname, a prisoner in her own mind, exerts enough mental influence to make Sophia believe that she really did kill Sousuke and Tessa so that she and her allies would turn their attention elsewhere, giving the heroes the breathing room they need to turn the tables. By the time she finds out, Sousuke is already en route to destroy her plans and it's too late to stop him.
  • In Gintama, Katsura slashed in the beginning of the Benizakura arc and disappears for the rest of the arc, until the final battler when Katsura reveals to have been hiding in an Elizabeth costume. Points to the person who killed him; Okada Nizuo was so confident in Katsura's defeat that Nizuo decided to cut off Katsura's hair as prize before he even checked Katsura's alive or dead status - allowing Katsura's to survive.
  • In Haiyore! Nyarko-san, Nyarko apparently gets killed Taking the Bullet for Mahiro. He sobs over her body, bemoaning how he should have been nicer to which point she grabs his head and pulls him into a very deep kiss, with plenty of tongue. It turns out the good luck charm she gave him in episode 2 acted as a Pocket Protector, and she played dead for this precise reason. Worth pointing out, during this episode the pair is in the middle of a "Freaky Friday" Flip, so from Mahiro's perspective his own body just gave him a giant French kiss; he's understandably not happy.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • Jotaro is forced to do this during his fight with Dio, as he had just been struck with dozens of knives and can't survive another attack. He even goes as far as to have Star Platinum temporarily stop his own heartbeat.
      • Almost defied: Dio decides to cut his head off just in case, but Polnareff gets the jump on him, allowing Star Platinum to revive Jotaro and get him back in the fight.
    • Earlier than that, Avdol is seemingly killed by Hol Horse and J. Geil, but eventually shows up later in the story, explaining that he just barely managed to deflect the otherwise-fatal blow so that it only knocked him out instead. His party (sans Polnareff, who was Locked Out of the Loop along with the audience for fear that he'd accidentally blab about what they were going to do next) then decided to fake his death so that he could recover in secret and eventually catch up with them.
    • His grandfather Joesph pulls this on Wamuu, taking it to video game levels of Refuge in Audacity, as in he is moving around whenever Wamuu isn't looking. Wamuu does notice, but it's all a part of the plan.
  • Katekyō Hitman Reborn!:
    • Rokudo Mukuro pretended to have suicided by shooting himself in the head. Turns out he shot himself with a special bullet that allows him to possess others and tries to surprise attack Tsuna using other people's bodies.
    • Future Tsuna also does the same thing in the future arc.
  • In The Kindaichi Case Files volume 4 (or the first arc of the second season of the anime), Hajime fakes his death in order to get all the suspects in one place, while at the same time demonstrating an optical illusion that the culprit was using to throw everyone off.
  • Prior to the events of Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid, Tohru was saved from certain death by Kobayashi after a battle with the gods. Since everyone in other world assumed she was dead, she took the chance to drop off the radar and be freed of her responsibilities, only informing Lucoa and Fafnir of her survival. This ends up causing quite a bit of friction with her rival/former best friend Elma.
  • In the Mobile Suit Gundam original show, Char and his sister fake their own deaths to go into hiding, taking on fake identities that lead them right back into the War. This formula is repeated for several other Char clones, such as Zechs and his sister Relena in Mobile Suit Gundam Wing.
  • When Balsa in Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit is hired to protect Prince Chagum, her first step is to set fire to the Second Empress' palace, hoping the assassins will assume he died in the flames. They aren't fooled for a second.
  • Naruto:
    • In chapter 487, it's revealed that Kisame faked his death with a Zetsu clone and is hiding inside Samehada so that he could infiltrate the Cloud Village and capture Killerbee more easily. He does note that the plan didn't go entirely without a hitch since Samehada liked the Hachibi (Eight Tails) enough to actually give Killerbee chakra. Meaning that, when push comes to shove, Samehada might have Conflicting Loyalty.
    • The most important use of this trope is the zigzagging with regards to Uchiha Madara. Believed dead after his battle with the First Hokage, he used the following decades to perfect his Evil Plan until he died of old age well before the main story began. At that point his identity was assumed by Obito, his chosen successor who utilized Madara's reputation and apparent miraculous survival to his advantage.
    • Obito is also a mild zigzag, having apparently died while on a mission only to survive with no means to contact anyone. The faking was unwilling at first as he wanted to return home but after witnessing Rin's death he decided That Man Is Dead and went with this trope.
  • Done hilariously in One Piece. Nami faked killing Usopp to get him away from Arlong. When he returned to Zoro and Sanji, they were having their first fight, and accidentally Double-KO'ed the arriving Usopp.
    Sanji: He is alive.
    Zoro: Nope, I think he's dead now.
    • The same arc featured the debut of Usopp's "Ketchup Star", which he uses to make it look like he's either dead or seriously injured. He successfully used this to get a member of the Quirky Miniboss Squad to leave him alone, but soon finds it in himself to fight the guy anyway.
  • In The Rising of the Shield Hero Malty is sentenced to a Cruel and Unusual Death which is confirmed when her body is shipped back. This is later revealed to be a homunculus created by Tact's harem to hide her survival.
  • Quite the Tear Jerker in The '90s Sailor Moon anime— One episode revealed Minako's Back Story as Sailor V. She lived in London with a woman she saw as her older sister named Katarina and an older man named Alan who she clearly had a crush on for awhile, until one day when she went into a building to investigate a crime as Sailor V. The theif threw a grenade at her, which wrecked the building. Katarina barely escaped with her life, and Minako was alive, still hidden in the rubble, when she saw Katarina embrace Alan and realized those two were more than friends. She left and pretended she had died in the accident so those two would be happy together without her getting in the way. note 
  • In the two-part Weiß Kreuz OVA Verbrechen ~ Strafe, Aya and Yoji receive orders to kill Ken and Omi for refusing to complete a mission. Tipped off that the orders are fraudulent, the four stage a vicious battle which apparently ends with the deaths of Omi, Yoji, and Aya, and use it as an opportunity to get the jump on the source of the fake orders.
  • In Yuureitou, Reiko killed her adopted mother and apparently killed herself afterwards. As it turns out, Reiko was Tetsuo prior to his transition.
  • Yu Yu Hakusho:
    • Toguro faked killing Kuwabara by stabbing him just around the heart, barely missing it, in order to give Yusuke the motivation to defeat him. Kuwabara played along for the same reason, only revealing himself to have been faking after the fight was finished.
    • Also, both Toguro brothers fake the dead in the arc before the Dark Tournament, to let Yusuke and Kuwabara think that they are anywhere near close to them in power, at least for a little while.
  • There was a really elaborate one in Zetman, where old man Amagi tricked Jin into believing his 'Auntie' had died and had been turned into a player. To make this work they scan Jin's memory to digitally recreate his Auntie and their living room and have her be shot through the head. they made Jin experience this in a dream. After this they created a player that looked like a naked Auntie with a nasty case of Shot-To-The-Face and made a player designed to look like Zet mutilate her, in front of Jin's eyes.


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