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Fatal Flaw / Anime & Manga

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  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: Whether it be Shinji's raging inferiority complex, Asuka's self-endangering recklessness, Misato's alcoholism, SEELE's bizarre neo-mystic delusions, or Rei's complete disregard for her own life, pretty much everybody has at least one of these, and quite a few have more than one.
  • Light Yagami of Death Note has his overwhelming pride, which reaches A God Am I at its worst and blinds him to the point of refusing to even contemplate his own failure.
  • Code Geass:
    • Lelouch does things without considering their negative consequences, keeps too many secrets, and doesn't trust people.
    • Suzaku has a large lack of self-worth and is too much of an idealist for his own good. Suzaku is unable to see that the people he sucks up to due to his lack of self-worth and desperate desire to be a Britannian are everything that he does not want and he is doing everything he claims he is against on a daily basis.
    • Shirley's attraction to Lelouch gets her killed when she confronts Rolo. Even though she doesn't remember him, she trusts him because Lelouch seems to trust him.
    • Prince Schneizel detachment making him ignorant with the situation and make him vulnerable to be controlled in the end by Lelouch. Yet Schneizel is hypocritical and thinking just in the box. As Lelouch ever stated it to him.
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  • In Chrono Crusade, Chrono's demonic instincts and need to protect others (particularly Rosette) sometimes combine to give him a very, very dangerous temper. Since Chrono's powers drain Rosette's lifespan due to their contract, it's dangerous not just to him, but to Rosette herself. In fact, in the manga this trope is taken literally, when Aion provokes Chrono into unsealing his powers himself and come at him with everything he's got. Several people are killed in the battle, and it drains so much of Rosette's life that the next time she unseals the watch, she dies.
  • Soul Eater:
    • Death the Kid has his raging OCD and self-esteem issues; the presence or lack of symmetry in his surroundings (or remembering that he may have forgotten to symmetrically fold his toilet paper roll this morning) can take him out of a battle in a heartbeat. In one case, Liz uses this against him to avoid getting into a battle in the first place, as the factory containing the Clown scared her, (and with good reason). She does something similar earlier, when taking note of Free's ball and chain to provoke Kid to attack the werewolf.
      • The origin of his OCD is revealed: Shinigami-sama was a Great Old One who possessed the Madness of Order, much like how those like Asura possessed Madness of Fear. All the Great Old Ones can radiate and control their Madness, as their sheer existence and power is so mighty, surrounding beings go mad. As such, there is a need to bring order and those who succumb to it can force humanity to be mindless puppets. Death the Kid's OCD appears to be an offshoot of inheriting this form of Madness.
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    • The Salvage arc suggests that potentially each of the Great Old Ones has one of these which would make Beat Them By Compulsion a valid tactic against Physical Gods.
  • D.Gray-Man Allen goes out of his way to save others, even when it's impossible for him to do so. Kanda is extremely arrogant and rude to the people he has to work with. Lenalee has a raging fear of losing anyone close to her. Krory is a Horrible Judge of Character. Miranda has next to no self-esteem and is easily depressed. And Lavi is torn between his duty as a Bookman and the people he cares about. Cross Marian's flaw seems to be women and girls. He hates returning to the Dark Order, and has been running from them for 4 years. A team is sent to find him. Chief Komui puts Lenalee, a young girl on Cross' team. Cross ends up back at HQ, but promptly tries to escape. But Lenalee hugged him, and begged him not to leave. He thinks about how cute she is, thus he can't refuse her. And that leads to him attending a meeting, being interrogated for his 4 year absence, investigated, demoted, and put under constant surveillance. His being at the Order in the first place made him easy to find when someone comes to his room to attempt to assassinate him where upon he's shot in the head. The only reason he went through any of that at HQ is because he didn't run away when he had the chance, and the sole reason he didn't is because a cute girl asked him not to leave. And said girl wasn't even one of his lovers.
  • Danganronpa 3::
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX: Juudai's stubbornness, being headstrong, irresponsible, impulsive, and impatience are cute and endearing for two and a half seasons. Then all of those combine and (he thinks) gets four to five of his best friends killed.
  • A Certain Scientific Railgun: The main character, Misaka Mikoto, as her title nickname "railgun" suggests, is a straightforward person who resolves her problem by bumping into them head first (helped by the fact that she is the 3rd ranked level 5, one of the most powerful people in Academic City. But when faced with the level 6 shift project, an experiment which resulted in the deaths of 20000 of her clones so the first-ranked level 5, Accelerator, could raise his level, a problem she can't end by beating the responsible parties, she falls into a severe Heroic BSoD, aggravated by the fact that she refuses to ask for help.
  • From Durarara!!, Shizuo's severe anger issues and Kida's inability to face his guilt head on. Not only does this put him in a position where he avoids his girlfriend Saki they make up at the end of the anime series but by not facing this head on, he repeats his whole guilt trip with his best friend Mikado by dropping out of school and leaving Ikebukuro. And Mikado didn't take this well...
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: Kamina's impatience and Simon's lack of faith in himself. Of course, Simon beat his fatal flaw senseless about halfway along and went on to use its limp form as a club, but that's not important right now.
  • Precia Testarossa's Heel Realization in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha The Movie 1st: "I never notice things before it's too late."
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Mami's is Loneliness; it made her reckless over the prospect of gaining companions and mentally fragile. Sayaka's flaw is pride and idealism; the former prevented her from accepting the unworkability of the latter until it's too late. Kyouko's is selfishness; it drove away the one person she came to care about. Madoka's is selflessness; she wants to become a Magical Girl to help others, which has a fatally high cost.
  • In Tiger & Bunny, Kotetsu has a noted tendency to keep personal struggles to himself, even when those personal issues don't just affect him. This starts really coming down hard on him in the second half of the series when he can't work up the nerve to tell Barnaby he's retiring, or the reasons behind it, and Barnaby takes it as a sign that he doesn't trust him.
    • And Barnaby has his own flaw; the hell-bent obsession with revenge that made him an Ineffectual Loner who has rejected any close personal relationships for the past 20 years.
  • According to Shura of Blue Exorcist, Yukio could be exploited by demons because he keeps his emotions bottled up unlike his more hot-headed brother Rin. Likewise, Rin has trouble controlling his flames because he's afraid of them.
  • School Rumble
    • Harima is so committed to making Tenma happy that he's willing to deprive himself of happiness.
    • Tenma always wants to make others feel better. This almost get her killed in the manga.
    • Eri is a Clingy Jealous Girl. A hint of Harima getting paired with a girl sends her into a quiet rage which almost messed up her friendships with Mikoto and Tenma, and in the manga almost gets Tenma killed.
  • Future Trunks from Dragon Ball Z at first appears to have everything together: is a badass, has a tragic past, able to beat Freeza and King Cold like it was nothing. But as the arcs progress, his fatal flaw regarding his issues with Vegeta end up costing him big.
    • Vegeta himself allows his stubborn pride and arrogance to get the better of him several times, and among other things is the main reason Cell was allowed to reach his Perfect form.
    • Goku has one that rears its head on occasion: His love for a challenging battle. He projects this desire onto Gohan, who lacks said love, leading to Goku's death.
      • His mercy has also come back to bite him in the ass. Sparing Vegeta and Piccolo Jr ended up gaining him powerful allies in the end, but refusing to just kill the obviously, unrepentantly, mustache-twirlingly evil Frieza has gotten TWO planets blown up and himself killed before a time "rewind" undid it.
    • Gohan himself has one, as Piccolo points out in Dragon Ball Super: whenever Gohan has a major power advantage, he lets it get to his head and ends up toying with his opponents and letting his guard down. When he battles Cell, despite Goku's pleas to finish Cell off right then and there, Gohan refuses and opts to keep torturing him, leading to Goku's death. When he battles Super Buu, he allows the beast to retreat and recover, allowing him to return and capture him, Gotenks and Piccolo.
    • Most of the villains in fact have the fatal flaw of thinking there is no way they can be defeated. With Vegeta, it was a low-born defeating an elite. Frieza couldn't comprehend (or rather refused to accept) that a "monkey" could become stronger than him. Cell believes his final form is perfect (having the best qualities of each fighter) and thus cannot be defeated. Buu couldn't stand Vegetto's strength. All of them suffer a Villainous Breakdown when they are proved wrong.
      • Frieza also had the flaw of being too cruel and sadistic to finish off especially hated enemies quickly, preferring to let them suffer before the end. It was this flaw in particular that led to the rise of the first Super Saiyan in more than a thousand years, the one thing that Frieza feared in all the universe and that he'd previously wiped out Planet Vegeta and nearly all of the Saiyan race to try to stop.
    • Chi-Chi's wrath and impatience is this. Because of her wrath and impatience, it causes her to think irrationally and to make the worst decisions. Her (albeit understandable) anger even got her turned into an egg and killed by Majin Buu.
  • In Bakuman。, Nanamine's fatal flaw is his inability to empathize with others. Not only does it lead him to twice attempt to rise to the top of Jump by using consultants, all the while viewing people as expendable, but it also means he is unable to write characters with "heart", in spite of his talent as an artist.
  • Berserk has Guts' wrath and Griffith's ambition and pride, as well as Casca's self-sacrificing nature.
  • In Attack on Titan, Eren is very emotionally-driven (especially by his temper) and can be reckless at times, which tend to him making decisions that end up having negative consequences for himself and others. Such as trying to avenge Thomas's death, resulting in most of his team's deaths and himself being eaten. His other flaw is his rigid view of morality, to the point he doesn't see the middle ground. Case in point, his reaction to villains expressing guilt, only enrages Eren even further as he believes that they shouldn't feel remorse.
    • Mikasa's protectiveness over Eren had her prioritizing his safety over everything else, including her own life, which clouded her judgement and made her less efficient as a soldier. When she thinks Eren died in Trost and again when the Female Titan captured Eren, she became recklessly suicidal and at one point, it led to Levi being injured to save her.
  • Luffy in One Piece has one true fatal flaw: personal loyalty. The length of which he's willing to go to help a friend is nothing short of incredible. This may manifest as stubbornness, anger and inconsideration. For instance, his inability to control his volcanic rage eventually lead to Kuma attacking and scattering all the Straw Hats around the world. Luffy does what he wants, even if he knows there would be grave results. The above example had Hatchan making Luffy promise not to cross paths with a World Noble, regardless what happens. But when Camie and Hatchan are kidnapped and injured, Luffy went ahead and broke his promise and while he did apologize, he didn't show any regrets.
    • Usopp's inferiority complex due to his belief that he is not strong or useful to the crew which is mostly comprised of people with Devil Fruits or Charles Atlas Superpower. This eventually leads him to misinterpret Luffy's decision to replace the broken Going Merry, causing the two of them to fight and Usopp leaving the crew for a period of time.
  • In Bleach, Aizen's god-complex and belief that he was above everyone else led him to discard strategy and cunningness (what had previously allowed him to outsmart and outplay his enemies). He relied too much on his unnatural power upgrades and became Drunk with Power. Which would lead to his defeat at the hands of both Ichigo and Urahara.
    • Shinji's distrust of Aizen meant that it was easy for Aizen to get away with his scheming because, as Aizen himself points out, Shinji never got to know Aizen as a person so when Aizen sent an imposter disguised as him to carry out his vice captain duties, Shinji never noticed the imposter was a fake.
    • Hinamori's infatuation with Aizen meant he was able to play her like a fiddle throughout the Soul Society arc - she was so under his thrall she even thought he'd been brainwashed into it a while after and even fought Kira, one of her best friends, over Aizen's "death".
    • Ichigo believes that his Chronic Hero Syndrome is what directly lead to his mother's death - he saw a young girl about to fall into the river and ran to help her, ignoring his mother screaming at him to come back, only for the girl to be a lure from a hollow. His mother ran in to save Ichigo and was killed, which he blames himself for. Later it's revealed Masaki could have killed the Hollow easily...had she not been depowered at that exact moment.
    • Neliel's condescending underestimation of Nnoitra comes back to bite her in the ass twice - first she continually follows him around on missions and rubs it in his face that she has a higher rank, never finishing him off in their fights, which to Nnoitra was disgracing him as a warrior. Nel is therefore utterly unprepared when Nnoitra teams up with Syazel, nearly kills her fraccion and then cracks her mask, crippling her by turning her into a child and throwing her out of Las Noches to die. Then when they meet again in the present, Nnoitra points out during their fight that the Espada have grown much stronger in her absence and Nel refusing to kill Nnoitra despite the threat he poses means that when she unexpectedly returns back to her kid form, he promptly curbstomps her, then starts torturing Ichigo in front of Orihime before Zaraki shows up and intervenes.
  • It becomes clear pretty quickly that Satou's biggest flaw (Hikikomori tendencies aside) in Welcome to the N.H.K. is his incredibly addictive personality, marked by him hurling himself headlong into anything he's introduced to (internet porn, MMORPGs, etc.) and needing to be bailed out by others.
  • In Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic, Hakuryuu's desire to avenge the murder of his father and two brothers is beginning to isolate him from the one person he wanted to protect the most and he would do anything to get power to attain that revenge, including going down the path of depravity.
    • Alibaba's lack of confidence and self-doubt, especially in the Balbadd arc, made him indecisive which in turn caused problems when he tried to stand up to his older brother the king of Balbadd on behalf of his people.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • Yami Yugi has his Pride where he feels that he has to win at all cost, even if he has to do questionable things, such as being prepared to kill Kaiba during their rematch in Duelist Kingdom to save Yugi's grandpa. He eventually grows out of this as seen in his Battle City duel with Bakura where he refused to attack the injured Bakura.
    • Kaiba's flaw is his obsession with being the best, at everything, and indeed, some have used his need defeat and surpass his rival as a way to manipulate him, or try to. Kaiba's obsession can often keep him from thinking clearly and take needless risks in pursuit of his goal. He would likely find life more enjoyable if his need to be number one didn't dominate him.
  • Arslan's father King Andragoras in The Heroic Legend of Arslan was overconfident that his powerful army could overcome any enemy with little regard for tactics or planning, despite warnings from one of his generals. That pride would cost him the battle of Atropatene where he not only lost a huge portion of his soldiers, the rest of his followers scattered, the capital city becoming overrun and he himself would be imprisoned.
  • In Hakuouki, Hijikata's desire to protect Kondou. He deliberately plays the role of the harsh disciplinarian and "Demon Vice-Commander" to elevate Kondou's warm and friendly nature for the troops, dealing with most of the issues and problems instead of Kondou. This backfires on both of them as Hijikata's efforts leaves Kondou entirely unprepared to deal with the harsh realities of leadership when the Boshin War began and Hijikata to suffer a Heroic BSoD when Kondou sacrifices himself to buy his men time to escape and is executed.
  • Bishamon's refusal to accept consequences of her actions in Noragami. She regularly takes in more Shinki that she can to protect them despite the strain and the danger it puts on her. When the Ma clan was destroyed by Yato as a Mercy Kill, she refused to acknowledge her own failing that led to the clan being corrupted and blamed Yato instead. She consistently insists that she is fine when she is not, causing in turn her Shinki to hide their own problems because they don't want her to worry, resulting in their hidden anxieties straining her body further.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • The homunculi, as a whole, are firmly convinced that they're invulnerable. While they are much harder to kill than an ordinary human, they're by no means indestructible, and the Philosopher's Stones that power them. In combat, they're more likely simply to take incoming hits and heal rather than dodge, which causes them to burn through their energy reserves faster. Additionally, this belief has allowed the heroes to get the drop on them many times.
    • Envy's fatal flaw is his sadism; he simply cannot resist an opportunity to Kick the Dog or gloat about his atrocities to anyone who will pay attention, even when it's really not a good idea. His bragging to Roy Mustang, a Person of Mass Destruction who had already killed Envy's fellow Homunculus Lust, about how he was the one who murdered Maes Hughes, Mustang's best friend, leads directly to his undoing.
  • Elfen Lied: Lucy's flaw is her desperate need for affection. Having had a horrible life, she wants someone to love her so much that if she even suspects a betrayal, heads will roll. Literally.
  • Parodied in Air Gear when Spitfire points out that Ikki has a crippling weakness, that he sucks at using AT. Ringo has to admit he's not wrong.
  • In Accel World, Haruyuki's fatal flaw is his lack of self-esteem. Not only does this frequently hold him back in battle, it also means that he initially doubts that Kuroyukihim would be interested in him, leading to some tension between them.
  • In Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid, Elma's flaw is gluttony. In the past, it ended up destroying her friendship with Tohru and her attempts to bring peace to humans in the other world. In the present, it makes it very easy for others to take advantage of her.
  • Banana Fish brings this up in regards to Ash's devotion to protecting Eiji, and how it endangers both of them. This is exploited by Blanca, a professional assassin hired by Golzine and Lee Yut Lung.
  • In The Promised Neverland, Lord Bayon's flaw is Gluttony. He found cattle-grown humans to be tasteless and secretly arranged for hunts in his grounds and at first, very sparsely. But his desire to consume such delicious food made Bayon indulge himself more and more and made the hunts into grand events. But by frequently shipping in children to replenish those killed, this would lead to a resistance forming and they would be the ones to kill Bayon.
  • From Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam and Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ, Haman Khan's fatal flaw is despair. She Used to Be a Sweet Kid, and she could have become one of the greatest heroes of the Universal Century. But due to Char going off to play soldier and finding herself as an absolute dictator of a generally-pretty-evil bunch at fourteen, she grew disillusioned with humanity and came to believe that they deserved nothing more than an absolute dictator. This led to her death, as well. When she fought Judau to a draw, but failed to defeat his ideals, she gave up and killed herself.


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