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Foregone Conclusion / Anime & Manga

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Foregone Conclusions in anime and manga.

  • Anatolia Story, as it is based in ancient Anatolia (modern-day Turkey), and ties in well with established history, anyone familiar with the Hittite Empire knows how certain events are going to play out.
  • While not at the very start, the main characters of Bokurano learn two volumes (two episodes in the anime) in that they're all either going to die or their entire planet will die if they fail their task. The drama is just seeing in what order they will die and if they fail.
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  • For Assassination Classroom, the dramatic tension in the flashback to how Koro-sensei was transformed is in how everybody knows by that point how badly the growing bond between Koro-sensei and Aguri is going to end.
  • Axis Powers Hetalia:
    • For anyone who knows their history, the Axis will lose. Although it has little bearing on the series' continuity itself... despite the name.
    • Let's make that "show based on history means you'll see loads of Foregone Conclusion".
  • Baccano! does this by showing the very spoileriffic aftermath of the two main plots (i.e. Firo and Luck becoming immortal, Ladd losing an arm and being thrown off the train, most of the focus characters surviving the Flying Pussyfoot massacre, Chane accepting Claire's proposal) in the very first episode. The trick is that it's entirely out of context and makes no sense until you get through the series at least once, and that the real wham moments (such as the Rail Tracer being Claire) are left for the rest of the show. Unless you read the first episode credits, of course.
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  • Barefoot Gen, both the manga and anime start in Hiroshima, August 1945. Nothing more needs to be said.
  • Basilisk has an opening narration indicating that the efforts to make peace between the clans failed and everyone killed each other off ignominiously. The series shows how it happened.
  • After viewing the first episode of the anime adaptation of Berserk which shows Guts as a badass, BFS-wielding, handicapped Jerk with a Heart of Gold, who seems to have a beef with a dude named Griffith, and seeing that a big portion of the series is in fact a flashback, we all know how Guts is going to end up by episode 25: the rest shows us how.
  • Bleach:
    • The "Turn Back The Pendulum" flashback arc takes place 110-101 years before Chapter 1 and it's designed to show how the Vaizards and Urahara's group ended up hiding out in the World of the Living. Even though readers know exactly what the titular pendulum is counting down to, the backstories of the characters involved are still unknown so the arc can still insert some impressive reveals along the way.
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    • The "Everything but the Rain" flashback arc takes place 20 years before Chapter 1 and shows how Isshin ends up losing his Shinigami power and living in the World of the Living, married to Masaki. Kubo surprises the fandom with some impressive reveals due to fan assumptions that it would be a fun, ditzy, Meet Cute story. It's instead a dark, brooding tale that centres on the Ishida family, climaxes with the utter ruination of Ryuuken's Quincy future, and casts both Ichigo and Uryuu's entire personal history in a brand new, and much darker, light.
  • Bloom Into You has a three-volume light novel spinoff featuring Sayaka Saeki, Touko's best friend, and each volume has a foregone conclusion for anyone who's read the manga.
    • In the first volume, Sayaka has a Romantic Two-Girl Friendship with her sempai, Chie Yuzuki, only for it to end when Yuzuki breaks up with Sayaka. A bitter and heartbroken Sayaka transfers to Toomi East for high school and meets Touko.
    • In the second volume, Sayaka, despite doubting whether Touko's quest to become like her sister will bring her happiness, doesn't openly say anything about it, establishing the terms of their friendship in the process. Partly because of this, Touko ultimately chooses Yuu over Sayaka near the end of the manga.
    • In the third volume, Sayaka meets and falls in love with another girl, Haru, a fact that is revealed to Touko and the audience in the final chapter of the manga.
  • Codename: Sailor V, technically. Minako's appearance in the Dark Kingdom arc of Sailor Moon clearly shows that she is going to regain her past life memories before joining the rest of the Senshi, and it's a pretty good guess that the Dark Agency will cease to exist as an organization. What makes it qualify for this trope is that, although Sailor V predates Sailor Moon and its main character was imported into the Sailor Moon continuity right away, the resolution of its own story was only published after Sailor Moon ended, tying the two plots together. It should be noted, however, that Sailor V was originally born as a standalone story, of which Sailor Moon could be considered a spinoff, so the mangaka likely wasn't drawing it with this trope in mind.
  • Danganronpa 3 has Zetsubou-hen, the prequel of all events of the Hope's Peak Saga, therefore, it's a telling of the events that led to The End of the World as We Know It, the death of all student council and the fall of all Class 77 in despair, therefore, The Bad Guy Wins. To anyone who has been accompanying the franchise, none of these events are surprising.
  • This trope is rather apparent in both of the Dragon Ball Z TV specials:
    • In Bardock: The Father of Goku, it's pretty clear that Freeza destroys Planet Vegeta and almost all its inhabitants at the end.
    • In The History of Trunks, Gohan dies, Trunks becomes a Super Saiyajin and Bulma builds a time machine so that Trunks can return to the past. Notably, unlike the Bardock special, the Trunks special was originally in the manga and was expected and slightly altered.
    • Resurrection 'F' takes place after the Buu Saga, but before the World Tournament where Goku meets Uub. So suffice it to say, it's not a matter of if the revived Freeza is going to be beaten by Goku, but rather a matter of when and how. Subverted when Frieza actually wins, if barely, and even kills Vegeta and destroys Earth before Whis rewinds time.
    • On the subject of Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Super takes place between the end of the Buu saga and Z's Distant Finale, so Earth will stick around and none of the characters seen in that episode can die and stay dead.
  • Fate/Zero, as a prequel to Fate/stay night, is subject to this. Anyone who is familiar with the latter will know that the Grail is corrupted, and Kiritsugu will be forced to order Saber to destroy it, resulting in the fire. Kiritsugu saves Shirou by implanting Avalon in him and adopts him, and he will die from the Grail's curse a few years later, without ever seeing his daughter again. Kotomine will give in to his inclinations and become a villain. Kariya will fail to rescue Sakura, and Rider will be unable to convince Saber that her ideals are flawed. Tokiomi, Aoi, and Irisviel are all Doomed by Canon as well.
  • Fushigi Yuugi: Genbu Kaiden is a prequel to Fushigi Yuugi, where the fate of Genbu's priestess was revealed. There's no way Takiko will survive the story to the end.
  • The Ga-Rei -Zero- anime does this as part of its three starting Wham Episodes. In the first episode that entire squad is revealed to be made entirely of Dead Stars Walking, which sets the tone but doesn't actually invoke this trope. In the second we meet the real cast, including familiar faces from Ga-Rei... whom Yomi proceeds to kill. Finally, with the third we flashback to the first time Yomi and Kagura meet, at the latter's mother's funeral, and the anime continues from there, leading up to Yomi's Start of Darkness. The viewer knows it's going to happen, knows it's going to be very painful (and it is), and the tension is derived in three ways: firstly, seeing how Yomi went insane, secondly, a desire to see which of the many sympathetic characters we see manage to live to the end of it and thirdly, whether or not Yomi can overcome the More Than Mind Control once the series catches up to the second episode. It's one hell of a ride.
  • The opening of Grave of the Fireflies: "September 21st, 1945. That was the day I died."
  • In Inazuma Eleven, most of the time the soccer matches and battles resolve around either one of two things: it's a match in a soccer tournament, or it's a match for justice. Plus it's shown that they ALWAYS manage to win during once of these matches. This makes it a foregone conclusion that the protagonist team will manage to overcome their challenges and hardships. But then subverted in season 3 where they lose a match, and only manage to draw in another, during the Football Frontier International tournament. Although it was a match during the group stages, so it doesn't automatically disqualify them.
  • Lampshaded in Mahou Sensei Negima!: after the dramatic tale of Nagi and Arika, it's pointed out that if they hadn't survived Negi would have never been born.
  • Something similar can be said for Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn, given that it takes place before F91 and Victory. This has the effect of making Unicorn's aesop about the hope for the future and human possibility ring rather hollow, given that the peace attained at the end lasts a mere twenty years.
    • This can be said for pretty much every Gundam midquel regardless of media. No matter how many Super Prototypes are fielded, no matter how the main character is treated as "the greatest Ace Pilot the world has never known", it's not going to go against the anime.
  • My Hero Academia: The anime outright states in the opening narration that the protagonist will become the strongest hero. This isn't much of a spoiler, since the protagonist receives the most powerful "Quirk" in the first episode, but learning to use it proves to be a slow process; after numerous manga volumes, he's still nowhere near the predetermined number-one ranking. It does take some drama away from doctors warning him that he could ruin his body by overexerting himself, and any situation where his life seems to be in danger.
  • Mysterious Girlfriend X: It's treated as a given that the main characters, Tsubaki and Urabe, will eventually be each other's first sexual experience (Urabe, who's mildly psychic and can experience others' feelings and transmit her own feelings to them through exchange of saliva, even says in the first chapter that an inner voice told her that Tsubaki would be her first sexual partner). So far, though, the manga's still ongoing (80 chapters thus far) and they haven't even had their First Kiss yet, but there's no doubt between either of them (or to the reader) that greater levels of intimacy will eventually take place between them; Tsubaki even muses at one point that his "mysterious girlfriend" may eventually become his "mysterious wife." Actually subverted. In the last chapter they run away together and she tells him they will go all the way in the morning. Cut to a few years later where it shows he never left the virgin club, implying she died during the night.
  • Naruto:
    • A Naruto Shippuden filler takes a character from the manga who we only knew from sourcebooks and from a manga spread and spread it out. The character is Utakata, a rogue ninja from the Hidden Mist Village and host of the six-tailed beast. Unfortunately, anyone who read the manga knew that he did not show up and was implied to have been captured off-screen. So this obviously was not going to end on a happy note...
    • Likewise, the manga's flashback story showing Minato's life prior to the Nine-Tails' attack. We've already been told beforehand that he and his wife will die immediately after their son Naruto is born, with Minato's final act being to seal the Nine-Tails into Naruto's body.
    • Thanks to the manga ending and the epilogue being a Distant Finale, the ending to the canon movie The Last: Naruto the Movie (a Romance Arc for Naruto and Hinata) is already known. The question is less "Will They or Won't They?'' and more "How Will They?".
    • Itachi's Story, a duology of novels about Itachi's backstory, ends with Itachi massacring his clan.
  • Night Raid 1931: Japan would eventually plunge into imperialistic militarism and ravage China, and the rest of the world would also descend to war eventually, despite whatever efforts the protagonists might attempt to do.
  • One Piece:
    • One Piece has the Skypiea arc, where a giant island got blown up into the clouds. During the arc, you learn about how an explorer four hundred years ago was best friends with a warrior from the aforementioned island, the explorer eventually left and promised to return. Considering that the Straw Hats learn about the explorer from a fairytale/propaganda piece where he gets executed and the main characters are on the island in the clouds, it's not exactly a surprise that the story doesn't end well.
    • This happens often with the backstories of various characters, in which there is usually some kind of mentor/parental figure who was taking care of him/her during a happier time in his/her life. Sometimes, we are explicitly told already that said parental figure is dead, while other times it can be inferred from the fact that the person has not been seen yet in the present. Either way, we can expect that, somehow, that happy life they had together won't last and that shit will hit the fan before the flashback is done.
  • A Place Further than the Universe: It isn't explicitly stated, but since this series contains no magic or future-tech, it's obvious to the audience that Shirase's mother cannot possibly have survived alone in Antarctica for the past three years, so her rescue plan clearly isn't going to work out. The tension comes from not knowing how she will process this fact when she has to confront it. The climax is built around her finally coming to terms with what happened—by finding her mother's laptop, with over a thousand unread emails from her daughter(one per day since her mother's disappearance), some of which we saw her sending—and moving past it.
  • Pluto is based on an arc of Astro Boy, so naturally, there are quite a few events that are expected to come to pass for anyone familiar with the original. Gesicht, for example? Dead.
  • Subverted in the Pokémon episode "Holy Matrimony!", where James tells Jessie, Meowth, and the twerps the sad story of his childhood as an orphan, living alone with only his Growlithe for companionship. James dies at the end of his (obviously fictional) story, and promptly confuses himself when Misty reminds everyone that he's still alive.
  • The PSP game of Puella Magi Madoka Magica (created by the same guy as Fate/Zero). It takes advantage of the previous multiple timelines witnessed by Homura, but doesn't deviate from the anime canon, so no, you can't even Earn Your Happy Ending here. "Dedication has no reward", indeed.
    • Two of the spinoff mangas (The Different Story and Oriko Magica) also have this going for them. Since they take place in alternate timelines created by Homura's Groundhog Peggy Sue antics, we know that Madoka is going to either die or make a contract.
  • The first chapter of The Quintessential Quintuplets shows Fuutarou marrying one of the Nakano sisters. The drama comes from the fact that the sisters are quintuplets, and the bride shown in the first chapter can't be clearly identified as any of them, so the reader doesn't know who they are.
  • Due to Resident Evil: The Marhawa Desire being set up as the Prequel to Resident Evil 6, it would only make sense for Chris Redfield and Piers Nivans to survive the events of the Marhawa Desire incident to enable them to participate in the events of Resident Evil 6.
  • Romeo X Juliet. Well, duh! But did the original end with an epic showdown against the One-Winged Angel form of a Creepy Child who speaks in verse or a Heroic Sacrifice to save the story's world? Didn't think so. The series does toy a bit with the idea of letting Romeo and Juliet defy their ultimate destiny, before just going "Nah."
  • The Rose of Versailles:
    • Shoujo drama surrounding the court of Versailles on the eve of the Revolution. While the fates of the fictional characters are uncertain, everyone and his dog knows what happens to Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI.
    • Also invoked in-story early-on by Oscar when she's forced to pick sides in the conflict between the Countess Du Barry, lover of king Louis XV, and Marie Antoinette, then merely the wife of the heir to the throne: she quickly reasons that Du Barry may be the more powerful in that moment thanks to the king's support, but the king was old and in that moment she would lose all her power at the same time Marie Antoinette became queen, so she picked Marie Antoinette's side. Just as expected, Du Barry ultimately wins their contention-and then, less than two years later, Louis XV dies, making her victory completely meaningless.
    • The sequel Eikou no Napoleon-Eroica does the same as its parent series. Particularly notable when Alain and Bernard try and kill Napoleon before he can crown himself emperor, as it's obvious they will fail.
  • From the original Saint Seiya, we already knew how few the survivors from the last Holy War were; anyone who read it knew what kind of fate awaited the sheer majority of the characters in Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas, as well as a few pointers about how the Holy War would end.
  • Saiyuki:
    • Since it's the Prequel to the adventures of their Reincarnations, it's a pretty good guess that Konzen, Kenren, and Tenpou are going to die in Saiyuki Gaiden, yes? Readers of both series know that Goku is going to lose all of his memories of these events and be trapped in a lonely mountain cave for several hundred years, that Nataku will choose permanent suspended animation, and it's a pretty educated guess that Goujun will die at some point, too (but not before writing an account of the events), seeing as Jeep/Hakuryu is probably his reincarnation. It's still surprising to learn exactly who the characters were in the heavenly bureaucracy and what their exile has to do with the main story, though.
    • Also, the prequel Saiyuki Ibun which details how Houmei became Koumyou Sanzo. Two of his fellow sanzo-candidates are Toudai (future Goudai Sanzo) and Tenkai (future Maten sutra sanzo). You know Goudai's eventual fate from the Burial plot arc and you know that Koumyou will be Tenkai's successor for the Maten sutra. The story is in how they get there.
  • Shaman King practically revolves around one of these, given that Hiroyuki Takei practically tells the audience Hao will become the Shaman King. There is no one in the series capable of standing up to him. He still does an amazing job of revealing backstories and setting up the ending on the way there. This is thankfully averted in the anime where Hao is defeated and he is stripped of his godly powers, preventing him from becoming a problem again.
  • Sakura Wars:
    • In The Gorgeous Blooming Cherry Blossoms, anyone who is familiar with the first Sakura Wars will know that the Hive of Darkness and Aoi Satan will not only survive the events of the OVA since they die in the game proper; Sakura's training with Arataka will succeed and she will leave Sendai for Tokyo; and Ōgami will replace Maria as the Flower Division's captain.
    • The fact that Ayame surviving the entirety of the first OVA and first episode of The Radiant Gorgeous Blooming Cherry Blossoms is made clear, since she dies at the end of the first game.
    • Also for The Radiant Gorgeous Blooming Cherry Blossoms, anyone who has played Sakura Wars 2: Thou Shalt Not Die were able to figure out that Ogami will be leaving for Paris; and based on the fact that Ogata and Orihime have a loving relationship in the fourth episode, it’s safe to presume that they already reconciled.
    • Iris makes up with Leni in the second episode of the The Radiant Gorgeous Blooming Cherry Blossoms since they perform together in The Blue Bird during Thou Shalt Not Die.
    • Since École de Paris takes place before and during Sakura Wars 3: Is Paris Burning?, we already know that Ōgami, Erica, Glycine, and Coquelicot will join the Flower Division in Paris; Lobelia will be detained in preparation for her recruitment; and Salu will survive the events of the OVA.
    • In Le Nouveau Paris, Erica will step down as captain since we know that Ogami will still be the captain by the time of Sakura Wars 4: Fall in Love, Maidens.
    • Because Sakura Wars: The Movie takes place after Is Paris Burning?, we already know that Ōgami will return from Paris to help his friends in Tokyo.
  • Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu, by beginning with Yotaro and then going back to tell the tale of the guy teaching him. It's established from the beginning that Kiku becomes the 8th Yakumo and that Sukeroku dies. That doesn't make his death any less shocking and tragic.
  • Akagi having never lost was clearly established in the author's earlier manga Ten. So in the Akagi it was obvious that he would have to win every single game making him an Invincible Hero.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann starts off with a 2-minute scene showing how the creators wanted the show to end (Simon and the Dai-Gurren-Dan waging war on all other Spiral-races to protect the universe), but they threw the script away (and didn't consider re-watching the first episode) and ended up subverting it.
  • ∀ Gundam applies this retroactively to just about every Gundam continuity. No matter what happens or how successful the protagonists are, the peace/order/victory they've achieved is at best bittersweet and fleeting. At worst, it's all for nothing due to the Moonlight Butterfly.
  • Uma Musume loosely follows the real events of the 1998 and 1999 racing season. As such, anyone familiar with the racing careers of the real horses can predict certain critical events. Namely, that Silence Suzuka breaks a leg during the Fall Tenno Sho. However, Suzuka is Spared by the Adaptation and survives her injuries, unlike the real horse that had to be euthanized.
  • Uzumaki is set up in its opening pages as being a retelling of the events after the fact by lead character Kirie. Subverted, in that the obvious conclusion that this means she makes it through intact isn't true in the end.
  • Yume No Shizuku Kin No Torikago is based on the Ottoman Empire of the 16th century, specifically focusing on the reigning years of Suleiman the Magnificent and the ascension of Hurrem from slave to concubine to Empress. Just like Anatolia Story, created by the same mangaka, knowing history will foretell many events.
  • Windaria. The story is narrated by Alan after he's gone old and grey and so a number of things are clear from the start: 1. Alan survives the story. 2. Marie does not. 3. The world has recovered from the damage about to unfold. 4. Alan has done something so terrible that not even being lauded as the hero who rebuilt the world can ease his guilt. The how of the story is not even alluded to and no other character is mentioned so there are still plenty of surprises.
  • Wolf's Rain begins as Kiba lies dying in the snow. The scene is repeated near the end (Episode 30), but it's not quite the end of the scene, as Kiba then falls through the ice and drowns, and it's followed by a Distant Finale.
  • Your Name shows from the first scene the protagonists appear in that Mitsuha will survive to adulthood; once the reveal hits, the question is "how"?


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