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Good Is Not Nice / Anime & Manga

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  • Attack on Titan:
    • Levi, the World's Strongest Man, is incredibly rude, coarse and insulting to many people around him and is rumored to be an infamous thug when he was younger. However, he genuinely cares for his men and humanity in general.
    • The Survey Corps is this as a whole, with some of their tactics being less than favorable. They discuss this after having to kill members of the Military Police Brigade.
  • Guts from Berserk. In his backstory, he starts out as a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, but after the traumatizing events of the Golden Age arc and the Eclipse in particular, becomes a cruel, cold-hearted psychopath who, nonetheless, is intent on avenging the deaths of his comrades and protect his now-insane lover from the demons who are constantly hunting both of them down. He does start to get somewhat better over the course of the series though.
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  • Killy from Blame! since he shoots the Silicon Creatures indiscriminately.
  • In Bleach, all of Soul Society exhibits this trope from time to time. Incidentally, Kaname Tosen defected to Big Bad Sosuke Aizen because of this fact, believing the latter's planned world would be an improvement. Particular examples?
    • They merrily employ Mayuri Kurotsuchi, a truly sadistic Mad Scientist who's caused the deaths of many, killed subordinates, and beat up his daughter For Science!.
    • Yamamoto. Has certain ideas about upholding justice and doing his job as a Soul Reaper. Can be extremely harsh in applying the law. For example, whether the order for Rukia's execution was legitimate or not he did not question the sentence. If anything, when questioned by Ukitake and Kyoraku, he emphatically supported the sentence in principle. His response to those Soul Reapers and humans who tried to save her was to order their deaths as well. He is, generally, not a terribly 'nice' person.
    • Byakuya and Soifon deserve a honorable mention too.
    • As well as Hitsugaiya, in regards to Yui Toyokawa.
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  • David of Blood+ also counts. Early on, he beats Kai senseless to teach him a lesson about the kind of world they live in, and forces Saya to fight and work with the Red Shield despite full knowledge that it's tearing her apart.
  • Accelerator of A Certain Magical Index. Used to kill over 9000 people, after getting the snot beaten out of him by Touma, he decides to turn over a new leaf, and make amends with the people he hurt in the past. This doesn't mean he won't destroy (keyword: destroy) you when you threaten those he cares about
  • D Grayman:
    • Yuu Kanda , who says often that he doesn't care about other people, but will save them and protect them, often after saying he was using them as bait.
    • General Cross also falls under this one. He's brutal, but effective, and he genuinely does care about Allen when push comes to shove. Awww.
  • Death Note:
    • L is on the trail of dangerous serial killer known as Kira. He's also a sugar junkie with practically No Social Skills and a very low opinion of most other people, who only takes up cases that interest him in order to fend off boredom. A frequently lampshaded fact is that he and Light are Not So Different.
    • And then there's Near, who is even more Raised by Wolves and much less subtle in regards to snarking. There's endless debate over whether or not he used the Death Note to control Mikami's actions, so as to convict Light. Word of God also states that he "cheats".
    • Soichiro, Light's father. Word of God states that he is the only truly good character in the series...notwithstanding holding two people (the first a civilian, the second his own son) at gunpoint, actually firing - even when it's loaded with blanks - at point blank range during the latter occasion, and later still making the trade for Shinigami Eyes and attempting to write Mello's name in the notebook, only failing to write it in full because Mello asks him if he's ever killed a person before, leading to a moment of hesitation which proves his undoing.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Piccolo. Even after his Heel–Face Turn, he is generally aloof and distant from the rest of human characters. Some of them consider him be to outright scary, but Piccolo saves his softer side for Gohan. Not to mention he is quite ruthless in battle, such as severing Dr. Gero's arms (though he had assumed he was an android) and bifurcating Babidi. He loses some of this after merging with Kami, but he still the most ruthless in the group next to Vegeta.
    • Vegeta. After his Heel–Face Turn, he's still an asshole who is very rude to everyone. Howewer he is a little melted in Dragon Ball Super.
    • From Super, Beerus eventually falls into this as he becomes friends with Goku and the others.
    • Jiren is definitely on the side of good; he’s the strongest of the Pride Troopers and has spent most of his life protecting his universe. He goes out of his way to save everyone and follows a strict code of honor. He’s also an aloof Jerkass who rarely shows anyone respect and hurls verbal abuse at anyone who does something to deserve it in his eyes. He also bluntly tells the rest of the Pride Troopers that he doesn’t really like them; he works with them for both the greater good and his own goals, but he doesn’t care about them as friends.
  • Hiruma from Eyeshield 21 will always take any chance to grab his endless artillery of guns and shoot his own teammates at any notice. However, he does care for every one of them, and will make sure that none of them get seriously hurt. Of course, his excuse is that because the Devil Bats is just such a small team, there are barely enough competent substitutes if anyone gets hurt.
  • From Fairy Tail, the mages of Sabertooth are mean, arrogant Smug Supers who consider themselves better than everyone else in the Grand Magic Games. They're also a legal guild that hasn't resorted to any dirty tricks, like Raven Tail has, so they're technically good guys.
    • Laxus Dreyar is the title guild's example of this trope after he returns.
  • Much like Inuyasha, Kyo from Fruits Basket is a case of this, especially in the anime, where he doesn't go through the Character Development he goes through in the manga. Kyo is very aggressive and occasionally violent, especially with Momiji, but he still cares for Tohru.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • Both of them are generally heroic to a fault, but Edward Elric can be quite an arrogant jerk, in contrast to his more empathetic and polite brother Alphonse.
    • If people are talking about Ed Elric, Roy Mustang shouldn't be exempt by any means either.
    • Even more so Olivia Armstrong who is not only a jerk, but also The Social Darwinist and is still one of the good guys as well as an epic Mama Bear.
    • Izumi Curtis thinks little of verbally and physically thrashing the Elric brothers if it means teaching them important lessons regarding Alchemy or surviving in general. Which pales in comparison to the terror she inflicts upon those who threaten them or her loved ones.
  • Ban Midou from Get Backers. He is the most condescending, arrogant, and insulting character in the entire thing. No one is safe from his snarking. It's even lampshaded in the manga, where the author even says that he makes unnecessary enemies and makes people hate him for his constant taunts and insults. Thankfully, if people stick around him and get to know him long enough, they eventually get used to it and like him. Ginji surely does, huh!
  • Togusa in Ghost in the Shell, as the rookie recruited from the regular police, is the only character who is actively trying to work within the law and respect the rights of criminals. The rest of Section 9 is not above using torture and murder, but the entire country is in such a corrupt state that even Togusa usually accepts that as a necessary part of their work.
  • Gundam:
    • Kamille Bidan from Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, an angry young Newtype who frequently has trouble with authority and other people - especially Jerid Messa, but nevertheless holds a genuine empathy toward innocent lives who suffer both the oppression of the tyrannical Earth Federation and the atrocities committed by Zeon.
    • Setsuna F. Seiei from Mobile Suit Gundam 00, before his Character Development. Haunted by the tragedy in his childhood, he wants to prevent the same thing from happening again to other good people by destroying every single soldier with no remorse. During the first season, he's got a bad attitude, too, and has a strong desire for revenge.
    • In Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny, Yzak sides with Clyne's faction while insulting Kira, Lacus's fiancé. It got to the point that Dearka had to mute Yzak's comm because the guy was shouting so many insults at his allies that people were confused as to which side he was really on. It really makes sense if you know their common past ( Yzak knows that Kira killed one of his friends and disfigured him due to War Is Hell, and he knows that when Lacus fights against a government, she's usually the on the good side. But he's not forgiving enough to speak nicely to Kira while doing the right thing).
  • Sakurako Sanjou from Hana Yori Dango is a Rich Bitch in Sheep's Clothing as well as very nasty when crossed. After her Heel–Face Turn, despite having a kinder disposition, she still remains spoiled and childish.
  • Integra Hellsing; determined to protect the world from any threat, and perfectly willing to mouth off, insult, and snark at anyone who criticizes her, even the Vatican. And specially the Vatican. Bloody Papists. This trope is also one of the defining moments for her character. When Alucard and Seras are holed up in a hotel in Rio de Janeiro that is being swarmed by the SWAT team, which is under Millennium's control via promising immortality to the corrupt government officials in charge of the police force, there's no way for them to get out without killing innocent humans. Up until this point, Integra has scrupulously avoided this, but her hands are tied. When she receives a call from Alucard and he asks if she is willing to set him on them, she agrees. She even questions her decision after hanging up, asking Walter if she made the right choice.
  • The title character of InuYasha is a prime example; he starts off motivated largely by self-interest, and while Character Development soon brings out his better nature, he remains a short-tempered, foul-mouthed Jerk with a Heart of Gold whose first solution to most problems involves violence.
  • Gen from Kekkaishi could be the posterboy for this trope. Masamori is a less obvious example, as he's outwardly polite, even while he's delivering a thinly veiled threat.
  • Both protagonists of Kill la Kill:
  • Meta Knight in the Kirby anime acts as a Trickster Mentor to Kirby, training him and helping him, but being rather distant. Also notable: in his first appearance he speed-trained Kirby to wield a sword... by beating the crap out of him and pointing out all his mistakes. Other times he's cool and distant and generally only directly helps Kirby when his life is in danger.
  • As his journey progresses, Dr. Kenzo Tenma from Monster becomes more and more unhinged, and less and less interested in following the basic precepts of civility. Evident even in the beginning of the series, where he is not above manhandling people in rather unwarranted rage, this escalates into theft, coercion, and all-too-frequent death threats. Of course, he is up against the title character, a sadistic sociopath with no qualms about breaking every moral law in the book just to get at him, so some of it might be warranted.
  • Tiger of the Wind in Monster Rancher can be ruthless and brutal in battle, often going for the kill in one-to-one fights. He is also arrogant and prideful which can lead him to clash with others.
  • Katsuki Bakugo from My Hero Academia. Yes, he's an arrogant Jerkass with a superiority complex, but he still wants to be a hero. When a group of villains mistakes his anger for rebellion and tries to convince him to join their side, he tells them in no uncertain terms to fuck off.
    • Flame Hero: Endeavor embodies this trope as well. While he is the number two hero in the world and has saved countless lives, he is shown to be an abusive husband and father with an unhealthy obsession with surpassing All Might as the number one hero, even if he has to do it vicariously through his son.
    • Shota Aizawa is an apathetic Grumpy Bear who likes pointing out that life sucks and seems to get a kick out of messing with his students, but he is still a Pro Hero.
  • This is the entire premise of My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU. Hikigaya may be a social outcast with a penchant for social suicide and the odd Breaking Speech but he is ultimately a decent and benevolent person. Yukino qualifies too, because she's even more openly blunt and rude, but like him she's a good person at heart.
  • Sakura and Sasuke from Naruto. While Sakura eventually had Character Development, Sasuke underwent a Face–Heel Turn due to placing Revenge Before Reason. In the end, he's again this.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion:
    • Asuka Langley Soryu can be quite arrogant and obnoxious, yet despite claiming to pilot her Eva only to become famous ("prove (herself) to the world"), she risks her life on countless occasions to defeat the Angels/save humanity and is highly honorable (she willingly puts herself in harm's way in episode 11 to square her debt with Shinji).
    • Rei Ayanami also counts. A combination of being a loner, utter devotion to duty no matter how much it might suck and a rather cynical world in general make some of her attempts to be nice fall flat, especially with Asuka or Ritsuko.
  • One Piece:
    • Zoro's reputation as a "Pirate Hunter" and his devastating skill with the swords has terrified people, including many of his crewmates. When fighting, he often sports a Slasher Smile and delights in the bloodlust of having a good fight. But he is unmistakably a good guy with a soft spot for his crew and has been known to go out of his way to protect/help out strangers, including a little girl and an injured man.
    • Downplayed with Sanji. Possibly as the result of being raised by an entire crew of rowdy jerk chefs with hearts of gold at Baratie, he tends to be one of the meaner or ruder crew members towards the locals the Straw Hats meet (the men only of course) or prioritize the safety of the crew over all else. He does have his heart of gold, but he does have his meaner moments. One good example would be how he was ready to abandon the kids suffering under Caesar (Granted, because he thought taking them along was too reckless) if not for Nami changing his mind.
  • Rosario + Vampire: Inner Moka generally fights to protect Tsukune, but is often annoyed when she's called forth to deal with such problems as the other members of Tsukune's Unwanted Harem fighting over him in the human world and nearly breaking the Masquerade in the process. What really sealed her as this trope is her defeat of Kurumu early on in the manga: to make sure she never tried to attack them again, Inner Moka fully intended to rip off Kurumu's wings and tail and would have done so if Tsukune didn't talk her out of it.
  • Sailor Moon: Rei, Haruka, and Michiru are very much closer to this in the 90s anime than in the manga.
    • Haruka and Michiru are very cynical, trying to kill Hotaru in an attempt to stop Saturn from ending the world. Even after Usagi manages to both save Hotaru and the universe, they still are aloof. In the Stars arc, both act as Double Reverse Quadruple Agents for Galaxia, even killing Saturn and Pluto to prove their loyalty. However, they are also Wrong Genre Savvy and end up dying themselves. They have good intentions, but also believe that the ends justify the means and thus do not hesitate to resort to violence or trickery.
    • Rei in the 90s anime is often stated to be heroic and dedicated to the Moon Princess, but her onscreen actions don't really agree, with her often cruelly teasing Usagi or the other senshi and flirting with Mamoru. She's also quite haughty and selfish, once making a young fan of her cry. She's still a force to be reckoned with on the side of good, but she rarely acts like it.
      • In the manga, Rei is more of a downplayed example mixed with Characterization Marches On. She's initially a loner, often covering up her insecurities with haughtiness and (lighthearted) teasing. However, as the series progressed, Rei began to open up. In contrast to her boy-crazy anime counterpart, Rei in the manga is a Celibate Hero who swore her fealty to Usagi in her past life and takes this seriously. She's also shown to have a soft spot for children.
      • Similarly, Haruka and Michiru are much nicer in the manga. They keep their distance during the Infinity arc because they feel that the threats are theirs alone to defeat, with a dash of My Greatest Failure and wanting to keep their princess out of harm's way. They later act as the cool older sisters to the other senshi, who look up to them.
  • Sanzo from Saiyuki is a member of the highest priestly order in Tougenkyo and is on a mission from Buddha to save the world. He has a knack for smacking down villains and convincing people to live again. He's also a bitchy, verbally and physically abusive Jerkass. Several main cast can fit under this trope, except Hakkai.
  • Sgt. Frog Natsumi Hinata is Earth's best of line of defense from her freeloading alien house guest. And she makes sure he knows that a lot. In the most abusive ways she can think of. And even when he's not doing anything deserving a pummeling. Admittedly more of a problem in the anime than the manga.
  • Slayers:
  • Possible interpretation of Shinigami in Soul Eater. Some of his methods of enforcing order are decidedly questionable (Asura, the witches (especially Kim and Angela), Mifune) they're just not half as questionable as what his fellow Physical Gods, or more appropriately their associated baddies, get up to.
  • The supposed hero Sunred in Tentai Senshi Sunred. He knows he's supposed to play the role of hero and does beat up villains regularly. Yet he's also a smoking, pachinko-playing jerk who mooches off his girlfriend and becomes (understandably) annoyed at Florshiem's attempts at "world domination".
  • Touka from Tokyo Ghoul. As a member of Anteiku, she helps to encourage peaceful coexistence between Ghouls and Humans. However, she's still willing to kill when necessary and can be brutal to other Ghouls.
  • In Toward the Terra, Glaive Murdock is presented as an unsympathetic, arrogant jerk, yet he repeatedly takes a principled stand against orders he feels are immoral, pretending he didn't receive an order to kill retreating civilians and refusing to Colony Drop a colony full of hostages when attacked despite a standing order to do so. And in the end, he pulls a Heroic Sacrifice to take out the last Megiddo cannon before it can destroy Terra.
  • Much to everyone's surprise, Eva turns out to be this in Umineko: When They Cry.
  • Vampire Princess Miyu: She does what she can to aid humans, and occasionally feels regret for those she can't help, but in the end her job is to banish Shinma, not to protect or save people. She's not above using mortals as bait, if necessary.
  • Kaiser Ryo of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX is this in seasons 1 and later in season 3. In season 1, he's a loner and not very friendly, but he's willing to risk his life for his friends and brother. Season 3 features a much darker Anti-Hero, but he's essentially one of the "good guys" and ends up sacrificing himself in order to snap Judai out of his Heroic BSoD
    • Judai himself qualifies in season 4.
  • The entirety of Team Urameshi in Yu Yu Hakusho. Hiei is just plain evil For the Evulz (at least at first). Yusuke is an ass towards everyone he knows, but he genuinely cares about all of them, and his power spikes exponentially whenever they're in danger. Kurama is outwardly pleasant, but he's also a Deadpan Snarker of the highest order, incredibly fond of the Stealth Insult towards his less intelligent teammates, and (even by Hiei's admission), the most ruthless fighter on the team, a trait he demonstrates when he mercilessly executes most of his enemies even after they're defeated. By contrast, Kuwabara's a borderline Nice Guy, a Boisterous Bruiser with a soft centre.

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