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Good Is Not Soft / Anime & Manga

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  • Houtarou Oreki from Hyouka. As an individual, Houtarou is introvert, aloof and apathetic, but hardly a bad person. However, he's not above blackmailing others if it will save him energy in the long run.
  • Dr. Kenzo Tenma from Monster is an excellent example. While a genius neurosurgeon, he's a humble, principled and compassionate doctor, loved by his patients. His only obvious flaw is his habit of manhandling those who offend his sense of justice. But when it becomes clear that he must go on a manhunt in order to save innocents from the monster he unwittingly unleashed on the world, he soon takes a level in Badass and becomes a fearsome vigilante.
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  • Team Touden from Delicious in Dungeon are all heroic characters, but they don't hesitate to cut down the monsters of the dungeon, including demi-humans. Laios even lectures Senshi about how no one can ever know what a monster is thinking and so to try and treat them gently is suicidal. He's immediately proved right when Annie, the kelpie Senshi had become close to, tries to kill and eat the dwarf. Laios and Senshi kill her and they make her into their next meal.
  • Played with regarding Takeru Digimon Adventure 02. He is normally nice, friendly and level-headed, but he can be far less pleasant towards an enemy that's pissed him off, The most poignant angry moments had his coldly suggestion that they should kill a dangerous Dark Digimon and physically beating up Ken/the Digimon Kaiser. However, this is addressed in the series, with Takeru recognizing that these tendencies weren't exactly healthy, and with Iori being pretty conflicted about teaming up with him specifically, when they realize they're Jogress partners, but Iori doesn't know if they're up to the task, so he's more in control in the latter half of the series.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Future Trunks is a Nice Guy that is very polite, and values life having come from a Bad Future where all the protagonists have died. However, he's a Combat Pragmatist who is very serious in battle aiming to kill his opponents and even willing to fight his own allies if the situation calls for it. Such as when his father Vegeta wanted to aid Semi-Perfect Cell to become perfect. Trunks warns Vegeta that he will blast him to stop Cell but Vegeta thinks Trunks is too soft to shoot at his own father. Trunks proves Vegeta WRONG.
    • Goku when he was a kid/teen. This is especially demonstrated when he mercilessly kills King Piccolo and his children for murdering his friends. He also destroys the Red Ribbon Army with his own hands and kills his foes even when they're fleeing for their lives. He downplays this trope as an adult, due to the combination of him showing mercy to his enemies, thus making them into friends and mostly enjoying fighting for the competitive aspect. Although, some traits of this remains like him letting Frieza live with the shame of being defeated by a mere monkey and blasting Frieza when he shot him in the back. After accepting that Frieza is irredeemably evil and too dangerous to live, he atomizes him with a Kamehameha. He was also more than willing to kill Cell and Buu, not offering them the chance to walk away; in fact, in the case of Cell, while the other Z-Fighters were horrified at the sight of Gohan basically torturing Cell to death, Goku was more concerned that Gohan was taking too long and wanted him to finish Cell off before he got desperate. And when properly enraged, he will beat his enemies to a bloody pulp.
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    • Gohan when his Berserk Button is pressed. When he loses control, people tend to get seriously hurt or killed. Just ask Frieza, Cell, and Super Buu.
    • Zen'O seems to be this. While he's generally friendly and reasonable, instantly befriends Goku because he treats the former so casually, he or rather, his future counterpart, doesn't think twice before destroying fallen god Zamasu (and the whole timeline) after the guy kills everybody in the multiverse except the heroes. Unfortunately, he also suffers from a case of Blue and Orange Morality, as the Tournament of Power arc shows.
    • In fact, it can be said that most of the heroes (except Vegeta) are this at some way or another.
  • The heroes in Fist of the North Star all have this trait in spades. Are you good, a woman or a child? They'll protect you and nurture you with a smile on their face. Are you evil? You Are Already Dead.
  • Lyrical Nanoha: Nanoha is one of the nicest people around and always tries to communicate with her enemies first. That does not mean she won't blast her opponents hard, if necessary, which may include students, friends or daughters. The fandom tends to refer to this 7 as a kind of "Listen or be shot. Fail to listen, be shot again." mentality.
  • Belldandy of Ah! My Goddess is the sweetest, kindest, most nurturing person imaginable. She'll go out of her way to help anyone and would never raise her voice in anger. Oh, and she's also an unspeakably powerful being and the very incarnation of Beware the Nice Ones, so don't get any ideas about taking over the world or harming her loved ones. Ever.
  • Yu Yu Hakusho: Poltergeist Report is a spinoff movie that basically turns all the protagonists into hot-blooded shonen versions of this. Even the Jerkass or more annoying characters like Genkai, Hiei, and Keiko have shades of it or at least take a level in kindness.
    • Kurama is very friendly and kind-hearted, but as Hiei once stated, "He's even more cutthroat than I am when it comes to battle." One of the most chilling ways they showed this was when he had a demon who threatened his mother under his power and begging for his life.
      Roto: You believe in mercy, don't you?
      Kurama: No. [causes a plant to bloom and erupt from Roto's body]
      • Kurama extends this to his friends, if being harsh will do them more good than being nice. See when he trains Kuwabara for the Dark Tournament.
        Kurama: Hiei cannot prepare you for the viciousness of the fights. Your weakness and his honor make him go easy on you. I will not.
  • Luffy from One Piece. He's generally an oblivious person with a good heart, but has shown quite capable of taking on anyone, even his friends, if he feels they've done wrong.
    • In the first chapter, when Shanks and his crew approach Higuma and his mountain bandits, who have beaten Luffy up and are planning on killing him, one of them points a gun at Shanks' head, only for him to be unfazed and ask if the bandit would risk his life. Lucky Roux then quickly appears near the bandit and kills him with a headshot. The other bandits are shocked and outraged, but Ben Beckman says they're not dealing with saints and Shanks says that he can ignore being insulted, spat on and having drinks poured on his head, but he will not stand for anyone threatening his friends.
    • This is the usual attitude the followers of Moral Justice in the Marines show, notable examples being Smoker and Kuzan.
  • Celty Sturluson is — underneath her fearsome reputation as the Headless Rider of Ikebukuro — easily the most sympathetic and benevolent figure in Durarara!!. Nonetheless, her fearsomeness is fully justified whenever she's dealing with lowly street thugs.
  • Shunsui Kyouraku of Bleach is easily the friendliest and most laidback of the captains. Despite that, he will do his job, even the more violent parts, when it comes down to it. In his very first arc, after giving Chad an opportunity to run away from the fight, he cuts him down. He killed Starrk, who was actually a Reluctant Anti-Villain. And he pushes back against the Central 46 when he thinks they're hindering the Gotei's military readiness.
  • Touma Kamijou of A Certain Magical Index. He's compassionate to just about everyone, and many scenes show him helping out complete strangers who he just happened to pass by. He's also fairly upbeat despite his perpetual bad luck. However, threaten or harm someone on his watch, and he will kick your ass. Even if you are a Physical God and World War 3 stands in his way.
  • The main characters of Everyday is Sunday are just two normal, well-meaning people who support each other when in trouble, but they won't hesitate to catch or get back at criminals who've done wrong.
  • Hanji from Attack on Titan is generally a sweet, friendly and funny person. But any senior officer of the Survey Corps is not someone to trifle with as the Female Titan found out and Pastor Nick learned the hard way.
  • Toale from The Legend of the Legendary Heroes is one of the sweetest people you'll ever meet, especially in a world full of Anti-Heroes and Sociopathic Heroes. Don't think for a moment, however, that he doesn't understand war or that sometimes, you have to be harsh to get things done.
  • The main crew of Snow White and Seven Dwarfs are either made up of those falling on the Anti-Hero end of the spectrum or characters who are this. They're great and honestly nice people, and Takeru in particular averts What Measure Is a Mook?, but that still doesn't mean that he won't blow you up if you attack his friends.
  • The titular Rurouni Kenshin is a Nice Guy and is known to go out of his way to help others. But if you manage to tick him off by harming innocents or his friends, you will be in a world of pain.
  • This is a common trait among some of the most powerful people in Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic.
    • Aladdin is a very sweet and friendly boy who goes out of his way to help others and detests war but hurting his friends or innocent people will cause him to deliver a beatdown and even then he will not kill you.
    • Sinbad cares for the people of his country deeply and treats everyone with respect. However anyone associated with Al-Thamen will be mercilessly annihilated and he will resort to any measures to protect his country.
    • Scheherazade is a benevolent ruler of Reim and she has a naturally kind disposition to those she meets. That being said, she can be utterly ruthless in protecting the affairs of her country and making sure that the Reim empire continues to expand.
    • Muu is friendly to everyone he meets by default but anyone who threatens Scheherazade or Reim should be prepared to face him first.
    • Ugo was initially presented as a protector and friend of Aladdin but when Judar was about to seriously injure Aladdin, Ugo stepped in and destroyed him with raw physical power. In an earlier episode when Aladdin rushed to save Kou;s princess, he was ambushed by renegade Kou empire soldiers. Ugo completely obliterates them about 30 of them upon arrival, note  Aladdin either does not notice this or does not care.
  • Naruto has several characters that fit this trope, given that most of the named characters are or were members of their respective nation's military.
    • Naruto himself often has shades of this. He is genuinely friendly to most people and is incredibly kind to his friends. This doesn't mean, however, that he can't kick your arse hard should you prove to be an enemy, and god help you if you hurt one of his precious people.
    • Perhaps the best example is Kakashi Hatake. He is kind and laid back with his students and colleagues yet is capable of instantly becoming a pragmatic, efficient, and ruthless fighter should you be an enemy of his nation or worse yet if you try to harm his comrades or loved ones.
    • Kakashi's childhood friend Might Guy is a prime example as well. On the surface he is an overly energetic and naive fitness/martial arts fanatic who constantly calls upon the power and goodness of youth. Yet he is shown on several occasions to be a warrior of near equal skill to Kakashi and willing to fight to the death to defend his allies. In later arcs he Sacrifices himself by fighting Madara to the death, after the latter had essentially become a physical god, in order to buy time for Naruto and the reinforcements to get to the battlefield to save his allies
    • Choji Akimichi also qualifies. He is one of the more laid back and personable people in the entire series, and has a rather strong moral compass, but he is still a Konoha shinobi and is willing to die defending his comrades. In the Sasuke Retrival Arc he volunteers to stay behind to block Jirobo's persuit of Team Shikamaru, and not only manages to defy the odds and win the fight but absolutely destroys Jirobo when the latter insults Shikamaru, becoming the first member of Naruto's generation to kill an opponent outright.
  • Ran Mouri from Detective Conan is all sweet, kindness and gentleness and is willing to help people, whether they're friend or foe. But being a national-level karate user, she won't hesitate to take anyone down when her loved ones are in danger.
  • While the Outer Senshi and the Sailor Starlights of Sailor Moon fall more into the realm of Good Is Not Nice, the Inner Senshi are heroic, kind-hearted young girls who value The Power of Friendship and they abhor the idea of putting innocent people at risk. They have also taken down countless youma and have actually killed the main villains of the manga upon transforming for the first time.
    • Usagi may be the forgiving, selfless, pure heroine of the series, but she is rather terrifying when genuinely angered. In the manga, she is far more likely to just off the villain than try to forgive them if they bring harm to her friends and family. Even in the anime, she actually wanted to kill Katarina when she was forcibly turned into a youma rather than heal her, because Katarina was the reason for Minako being a Heartbroken Badass.
    • Makoto is a nurturing, generous girl who wouldn't hurt anyone that didn't mistreat others. She just wants to be accepted by her peers, and she is strongly encouraging of those who wish to pursue their dreams. But for the people she does witness bullying others, she will threaten them, and do her best to rough them up. Being an Empowered Badass Normal who is freakishly strong without becoming a Senshi, this means trouble for those who do get on her bad side. She is the Senshi of Courage, after all.
    • Minako is friendly and cheerful, and willing to be late for class to stand up for people she sees getting picked on. She is also willing to fight bullies in the same manner as she fights youma, just barely shy of killing them. As Sailor V, she often beat youma to death with her fists and feet, and even her own high heels. She is also the one who disemboweled Queen Beryl for attacking Sailor Moon, and even kicked Makoto into unconsciousness for trying to harm Usagi (mind you, Makoto was brainwashed). Hell, she even killed her love interest for being an enemy in disguise. Minako is brutal when it comes to her mission and dealing with enemies of the Senshi.
  • Arslan in The Heroic Legend of Arslan is often seen by others as being a weakling due to his effeminate appearance, naivete and compassion for others. However, he is a capable fighter by his own right and he is fiercely dedicated to his friends, including outright threatening someone for the first time because they had placed Daryun in danger.
    • And for that matter, Daryun himself. Absolutely heroic to his own side, consistently kind and gentle with Arslan (if a bit overprotective), but when in battle he is utterly terrifying: intense, utterly badass, and without a single shred of mercy for those foolish enough to stand against him.
  • Ash and his companions in the Pokémon are thoroughly altruistic and playful, and tend to be forgiving to even villains or jerks....when they seek it. When you act like a douche or try to steal or harm Pokemon however, expect them to unload their most powerful Pokemon onto your team or even you. It isn't rare for them to be so infuriated by the scheming of the likes of Team Rocket that they'll get a beating from their Pokemon after being defeated.
  • Kabane in Kemono Jihen is something of an Extreme Doormat who only cares about the well-being of those close to him. He's a good listener, amiable, and fiercely loyal, if socially awkward. He's also more than happy to try to tear apart your throat with his teeth or use the Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique if you make an enemy of him or someone he cares about. He also doesn't get the notion of pity and will be totally remorseless if he utterly dismembers you after you tried to kill him.
  • Despite her tender heart, Mikako Nagamine from Voices of a Distant Star shows no hesitation whatsoever in Goomba Stomping a tarsian so she can finish it off with close-range gunfire or bloodily cutting them to bits with her Tracer's Laser Blades.
  • In Tokyo Shinobi Squad, the Narumi-kai is a group of all-around Nice Guys in a profession filled with sadistic, psychopathic criminals. But they're still Professional Killers by trade and will respond to threats with lethal force.

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