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Jerk With A Heart Of Gold / Anime & Manga
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  • Ashita no Nadja has Black Rose (aka Keith Harcourt), a thief who mind-breaks the nobles he steals from and teases Nadja for a lot of things, such as stealing her first kiss. But as it turns out, he is Just Like Robin Hood, and is acting on the wishes of his dear, dead mother.
  • Attack on Titan:
    • Captain Levi from is utterly stone-faced and rude to his subordinates, has the Face of a Thug, and is often thought of by both characters in-universe and fans as callous. He's actually incredibly compassionate and cares about his troops, even willing to ignore his Super OCD to take the hand of a bloodied and dying soldier and reassure him in his last moments.
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    • Jean begins the series as a selfish Jerkass who cares only about getting himself into the Military Police. After the death of his best friend in the battle that nearly destroyed his hometown, he abandons his selfish ways to join the Survey Corps. Emphasized when he comforts Armin after their captor molested him when he was dressed as Historia.
  • Kagura from Azumanga Daioh, she is hyper-competitive and barely takes her studies seriously, yet she once helped a foreigner with his luggage, has helped against cats that frequently bite Sakaki, and even when she acts like a full-up jerk, she never means any harm. Tomo and Yukari also qualify; in their case, the "jerk" part is much more apparent due to how they (sometimes deliberately) act as jerks, but their hearts of gold are still there.
    • Mr. Kimura is a possible deconstruction of the trope. Yes, he's an unapologetic ephebophile who stalks and harrasses some of his students, but on the other hand he frequently donates large sums of money to charity, cleans up litter when he finds it, has a loving wife and family, seems to be a genuinely good teacher, and once prayed for peace on Earth as part of a prayer ritual... but all of this doesn't change the fact that he's still an unapologetic ephebophile who stalks and harrasses some of his students.


  • From Berserk:
    • Guts is violent, cruel, cold, and obsessed with his personal goals, which are often achieved at great cost or risk to others. But he genuinely cares about the people around him, is a compassionate leader, and his distant, uncaring demeanor seems to come from a desire to keep people away from the danger he's constantly in. It ... doesn't always work out that way.
    • Serpico is extremely cold, and mainly concerned with Farnese, but because of it, won't complain when occasionally being heroic.
  • Black Bird: Kyo can be a complete and utter Jerkass.... However, he does love Misao, is willing to die for her and do anything to make her happy, and can be incredibly sweet and gentle to anyone smaller or weaker than himself (particularly children, which is why Tarou is so devoted to him).
  • Bleach:
    • Byakuya Kuchiki is shown to be arrogant and very snobby (possibly to do with his noble family upbringing), but he has been proven on more than one occasion to be fiercely devoted to his sister, Rukia.
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    • Same goes for his lieutenant, Renji Abarai, who is very Hot-Blooded and loyal to those he cares for, including Rukia.
    • Kensei Muguruma, and his lieutenant Mashiro, get along like an ice cube and the sun, but when the Wonderweiss started beating the shit out of her, the first thing Kensei did was go and save her, then deny that was his intention. He also saved Hisagi from a Hollow when he was young and tried to get him to smile, although he did it in a hilariously frightening manner.
  • Domyoji Tsukasa of Boys over Flowers, who manages to be a sympathetic male lead despite frequently beating up random bystanders.


  • Dola from Castle in the Sky. She's a crusty, tough-talking old lady who is abrasive, bossy, and even controlling of her boys. She even tries to kidnap Sheeta (and steal her crystal) at the beginning of the movie. Later on, she grudgingly agrees to let Pazu help her save Sheeta and agree to take them aboard her ship. (While she's playing chess with her husband, who questions her about her affections for the kids, her response is, "Whaddaya mean by that, ya old fool?! I'm after treasure. That's all." Deep down, however, she's actually a softhearted person who comes to admire Pazu and Sheeta for their loyalty toward each other. (She does a brief double-take, though, when she overhears Pazu telling Sheeta that Dola is "much nicer than she pretends to be.")
  • Muta from The Cat Returns is literally called a Jerk with a Heart of Gold at one point. He fits the build exactly. He has to be coaxed into helping others for selfish reasons, but for friends he's willing to fight an entire kingdom.
  • Cells at Work!: Megakaryocyte is the leader of the Platelets, and acts as a tough Drill Sergeant Nasty most of the time. However, she also expresses pride in the Platelets when the manage to meet her high expectations, and awards them all medals for fixing an internal hemmorhage in a timely fashion with minimal losses.
  • In A Certain Magical Index, Accelerator and Stiyl were both introduced (and still are) as totally heartless characters, but were shown to have a heart of gold whenever it comes to their loved ones (Last Order and Index respectively).
  • Tomoya Okazaki from CLANNAD, who tries to project the image of a wangsty, cynical lazy ass, delights in twisting the truth for practical jokes on anyone and everyone (leading to some impressive amounts of confusion and misunderstanding among the more naive cast — Nagisa especially), and tries to look all bored and detached. Yet he ends up trying to help the main characters of every arc, without a second thought, and has been seen to cry at the ends of some of the arcs, in Manly Tears, or open frustration and sadness.
  • Helen, from Claymore, was introduced as a total bitch toward the main character, and a bully among the warriors in general (second only to Undine, who is just pretending to be a jerk). But once you get to a level of understanding with her - maybe even save each other's lives in the process - you have Helen's back till the end, and she'll never let you down.
  • In Code Geass, Lelouch is a snarky Magnificent Bastard who calls concepts such as "justice" and "honor" jokes and talks down to most people. Despite this, he goes out of his way to protect and look after those close to him, even his best friend-turned-rival and his Mysterious Waif partner with a Sugar-and-Ice Personality.
  • A Cruel God Reigns:
    • Lorenzo constantly torments Ian, treats Marjorie like a child, and cheats on Claire with Pascal. Despite this, he has some redeeming moments. He comforts Nadia when Ian falls for Jeremy, even attempting to confront Ian about it. He tries to convince Claire that Marjorie should be given more freedom, and also rescues Jeremy from Pascal's drug-induced abuse.
    • Ian also fits, by caring about Jeremy, but often gets too angered by Jeremy’s failures, and his attempts to help are… off.


  • Kurosaki/Daisy from Dengeki Daisy qualifies by being rude and obnoxious in-person. But over the phone... incredibly charming.
  • Chilchuck from Delicious in Dungeon is this. In one chapter, he constantly complained about how the party's behavior will get them all killed someday and how he is willing to lie to them so they won't make him go further. But then he's struck speechless when it's pointed out he just didn't want his friends to die. He's a snarker, but his friends are the most important thing to him.
  • Kogoro Mouri from Detective Conan is lecherous, alcoholic, and has a HE-UUUGE ego. And let's not forget about the way he treats Conan for simply being smarter than him. However, don't let that fool you: he has shown to care deeply for his family, especially his "little girl", Ran. He also reprimands Heiji's father for going too far in punching Heiji and making him bleed. When one of his friends was murdered under his very nose in a Hot Springs Episode and the killer was another of his friends. For one time, the guy was awesome. SERIOUSLY awesome.
  • Cross Marian of D.Gray-Man fits. He has shown he has his Jerkass moments. But, he's not a complete jerkass. The manga has shown many hints and instances to illustrate that Cross isn't heartless, and while many people aren't fond of him, there's many people who apparently think very highly of him. Allen says he lives off lovers and acquaintances. So he's apparently someone you could be fond of, and even want to help, should he care to show his kinder side. He's shown protectiveness, empathy, sadness, concern, and hesitation. Although, most of these things are shown when it comes to Allen and women.
  • Rika of Digimon Tamers goes from Jerkass to this thanks to Character Development and her Defrosting Ice Queen status. By the end of the series, she's pretty much gotten rid of most of the "jerk" tendencies.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Bulma is self-centered, vain, and spoiled, but not a bad person.
    • Piccolo (Jr.), son of Piccolo (Dragon Ball's most powerful villain), finally kills the hero, then mentors the hero's son, Gohan, and later sacrifices his life to save said Gohan. Piccolo eventually becomes the closest thing the True Companions have to a Team Dad.
    • On a much smaller scale, Yajirobe. A belligerent glutton who’s been around since Dragon Ball, and who loudly declares he wants nothing to do with the other Z-Warriors, still always ends up coming to their aid when they really need it.
    • Vegeta himself becomes one in the Time Skip following the Cell Games of Dragon Ball Z, where he becomes a loving, if not distant, father to main timeline Trunks, and he's become more attached to Bulma. He also performs a selfless Heroic Sacrifice on Majin Buu later onward, and fights with Goku on friendly terms for the first time against Kid Buu, also fighting for the Earth for the first time. At the end, he's a stark contrast to the callous, self-absorbed Jerkass that came to destroy Earth years ago. This is best shown in Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods and Dragon Ball Super, where he swallows his pride and tries to please Beerus, and absolutely loses it when he slaps Bulma.
    • Mr. Satan/Hercule is a glory-stealing, loudmouthed buffoon with an overly inflated ego, but he's genuinely well-intentioned and willing to help when push comes to shove, even if it puts him in active danger. Over time the jerkish parts of his personality fade, and by Dragon Ball Super he's effectively a non-combat member of the Dragon Team, on good terms with most of the group and especially fond of his son-in-law Gohan.
    • Launch herself is this for her blonde-haired Perpetual Frowner, Superpowered Alter Id. Introduced as a criminal, she eventually found True Companions with the main group the more she spends time with them in her blonde-haired form.
  • Rouce, a.k.a. Red Lightning a.k.a. Mink's father in Dragon Half. A once-renowned warrior whose recent "exploits" consist of fighting his dragon wife, hitting on any attractive woman (regardless of her availability), faking life-threatening diseases to get out of hunting for food, and pulling down his own daughter's pants, it seems the only thing he's good at now is lying. However, he does get a moment of off-panel awesomeness by singlehandedly slaughtering a horde of monsters about to eat his wife and daughter. Though he appears to be sleeping when the two return to camp, the blood on his sword (and trademark "R" cut on the monsters' corpses) make it pretty clear that he's the one who saved them.
  • Dr. Stone: Senku Ishigami is a genius and he knows it. He can be quite Insufferable, talking down to others, frequently mocking them, and being described like a villain in how he interacts with others. However, everything he does is for the sake of bringing humanity from the stone age to the modern age as fast as possible. Senku also never rejects a valid suggestion or idea, even if it seems foolish on the surface, and understands perfectly well that others have vital skills he lacks. Finally, for all his talk of doing everything logically, he frequently goes out of his way for the sake of others; when he creates glass lenses, he not only makes a pair of glasses for Suika's poor eyesight, but makes absolutely sure that the first thing she sees with them is a beautiful field of sunflowers.
  • Shizuo Heiwajima from Durarara!! acts like a complete Jerkass at some points, but it turns out that, when you don't activate his Hair-Trigger Temper, he's actually just a socially inept sweetheart. He deeply cares about his brother and basically anybody who isn't Izaya Orihara.


  • Eyeshield 21:
    • Youichi Hiruma never refers to anyone by their real name, only by his personal nickname, and all his personal nicknames start with "fucking" (toned down to "damn" in Viz's translation of the manga). (Sena is "Fucking Shrimp", Mamori is "Fucking Manager", and then there's his best friend Kurita, "Fucking Fatass", and so on.) He's a violent gun nut who slings a constant string of verbal and physical abuse on his team, uses blackmail to get his way like some people say "please", and lies like it was going out of style. He also never fails to reward perseverance, dedication, and effort as long as the team doesn't suffer for it, has his own unique brand of showing affection which he doles out with regularity, and puts himself through all the same crap that worse crap than he puts everyone else through.

      One notable scene was when an exhausted Yukimitsu made it to the top of the Tokyo Tower, as part of Hiruma's tournament to get more teammates. However, Yukimitsu's bag of ice, that he was suppose to bring up to the tower, had all melted. But secretly, Hiruma slipped in an ice cube and congratulated him for making it.

      Another example is when an enraged Gaoh was rampaging in the stands looking for someone who insulted someone he considered a Worthy Opponent, Hiruma jumped in front of Mamori and Suzuna to protect them from harm.
    • Agon at the end, reveals a kind heart by shaving his head to give Unsui inspiration to play for himself. This, after dozens of chapters acting as a bully to everyone.
    • Linebacker Habishira. Mostly out of blackmail, but even after being released by Hiruma so they can practice, they still help Deimon out a lot.
    • Marco. All he wanted to do was win the Christmas Bowl for his girlfriend, Maria, and show her the rising sun after the victory, but lost sight when Maria disproved of using Gaou as a weapon.


  • Fairy Tail has a lot of them:
  • In Freezing, the third years may be major, major jerks who were obsessed with beating the crap out of the main character for unjustified reasons, but they're still soldiers trained to save humanity from Eldritch Abominations. During the Academy Siege, they were in the front lines covering for everybody else.
  • Kyô Sohma from Fruits Basket. Despite being a jerk to everyone, he develops great affection for Tohru, whom he eventually falls in love with.. He hates Yuki, but he does seem concerned when the latter collapses because on an asthma attack. Also, he clearly cares for Kagura despite her Tsundere/Yandere tendencies towards him.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • Edward Elric acts like a jerk to many characters - including his younger brother Alphonse, who constantly has to apologize for him in the trend of "Don't take it personally, he's like that with everybody."
    • Greed, who is named after the sin of avarice, isn’t as selfish and insensitive as he claims to be, or as his name would imply. He genuinely cares for the objects and people he “owns”, and is occasionally quite serviceable.
    Nice to meet ya, kid! I'm Greed. Wanna be friends?
    • Roy Mustang frequently appears callous and arrogant to those (Ed in particular) who don't understand his past and/or motives.
    • Olivier Armstrong seems cold, unforgiving and hard as nails, but while she won't forgive weakness from her underlings, she'll walk over hot coals for them all the same. For example, when some of her troops were going down a deep hole, under instructions from Captain Buccaneer that they should seal the door after twenty-four hours, the Major-General made sure to issue the man tasked with tracking those hours with a broken watch.
  • Takuto, the male protagonist of Full Moon, is snarky, anti-social, occasionally rude ("baka" is his favorite word), he will always say the exact opposite of how he truly feels… Yet when nobody's looking, he'll do something incredibly sweet. Just make sure you don't blink, because you'll miss it. By the end of the anime series, his jerkish side pretty much vanishes. His last action is to sacrifice his life and soul to save Mitsuki from her cancer. A heart of gold as well as it can be defined, indeed!
  • Tasuki in Fushigi Yuugi is a thieving, Hot-Blooded, hard-drinking He-Man Woman Hater who is constantly offending the hell out of his teammates with obnoxiously blunt remarks both intentional and unintentional. But he's also ferociously loyal to the group, cries the hardest at Nuriko's death, reams out brainwashed Tamahome for hurting Miaka's feelings and breaking her arm. To top it off, he is nearly beaten to death making a You Shall Not Pass! sacrifice for her.
  • Future GPX Cyber Formula:
    • Naoki Shinjyo started out as a Jerkass when he lashes out at his team's mechanics and gets angry over his poor driving skills despite being The Ace, but once Miki Jounouchi blames him for having no respect towards mechanics and he proves himself as a true racer, he begins to show more of his softer side.
    • Karl Lichter von Randoll also started out as a arrogant racer when he puts down other racers, saying that he's better than anyone, but after the race with Hayato in the Spanish race that ended in his defeat, he slowly softens up and begins to have a sense of chivalry.


  • The Fallen Angel and main protagonist of Gabriel DropOut, Gabriel is for the most part an apathetic and rude Gamer Chick, who disregards the very values she used to live by. Even still, she does occasionally have a few redeeming moments:
    • While Gab herself won't admit it, Vigne acknowledges that she does have a caring side to her, stopping by Vigne's house during one of her sick days to not only check up on her, but to deliver her homework and refreshments which Gab purchased with what little remaining money she had.
    • In episode 11 she helps Satania keep the dog she rescued by begging the owner of Satania's building to allow pets and even agreeing to work an extra day at the coffee house, all without telling anyone.
    • While she still loses an awful lot of time, money and effort on her MMORPG, it's fair to say that she is still a healer type in-game, like when she began playing in the first place when she had the best intentions.
    • In the second OVA, she breaks the rules to give a critically injured blind girl her sight back.
    • There's also Satania, a boisterous and petty demon girl who adopts the stray dog that keeps stealing his melon bread because she cannot abide for it to be put down at a dog pound. She even gives the dog the bigger half of her melon bread when they reach Hokkaido. Even Gabriel is moved by the gesture and even pulls some strings behind Satania's back for her to be able keep the dog.
  • Gakuen Alice has a great example in Natsume Hyuuga, who is pretty much horrible to Mikan from the get-go and remains so even as he gradually falls for her. His behavior towards Mikan changes in small steps over the course of the manga, and he has gotten to the point where he would give his own life for her sake. But all in all, while he is rather cold towards most others you do sense his innate kindness, especially through his interactions with Ruka or You-chan. You also eventually find out that his sister was being kept hostage and he was doing everything he could to protect her.
  • In Gakuen Babysitters, Chairman Morinomiya, despite coming off as a cold, old woman most of the time, has shown many instances to be very kind and caring toward her adoptive grandchildren. Even during times where she would vent her busy schedule, after receiving an invite from Kotarou for a play she immediately had things rescheduled so she could attend.
  • Azusa Mizutani from Gakuen Ouji. The guy is pretty much a dick, especially towards Okitsu, often insulting or igoring her. He also doesn't understand when he's being tactless and hurting her feelings. He does often try to make up for it when he realizes, such as standing up for her and coming to her aid when she needs him. Unfortunately, he tends to go back to being a dick again a few chapters later.
  • Midou Ban in Get Backers has a mocking nickname for nearly everyone (monkey trainer, thread spool, computer boy, etc.), is selfish, sneaky, gropes women constantly, and is generally just not a nice guy to be around... unless your name is Ginji, and you get to see that "Ban-chan" is really just a cuddly, misunderstood dork.
  • Batou from Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex is basically a good guy, but he can be a bit of a jerk. More played straight in the manga, where he's a Deadpan Snarker who's Vitriolic Best Buds with his old friend, The Major.
  • Gintama:
    • Gintoki Sakata is rude and snarky to almost everyone and often scoffs off other people's problems as none of his business. However, when push comes to shove, his kindness and sense of honor pushes him beyond humanly possible limits and the juxtaposition certainly makes him seem that much more awesome. Even more, he might risk his own life in order to help the needed ones.
    • Hijikata from the Shinsengumi is even harsher than Gintoki, but if the situation is very serious, he'll do whatever he can to help those in need of assistance.
  • Chiharu Eniwa of manga series Girl Got Game argues, shouts, and fights at Kyo almost as soon as he meets "him". Chiharu does have a short temper, but he's actually nicer than he lets on. When he does help someone (usually Kyo), he'll often say "I'm only helping so you don't get mad at me later," or some other half-hearted excuse.
  • In Goddess Creation System Ming Zhu views Xiaxi as an obstacle to her marrying the prince, so she kidnaps her. However, while the prince and his uncle both think Ming Zhu will probably murder Xiaxi, she never actually threatens to harm her at all. She attempts to bribe her to leave and when that fails enters into a basically fair competition, though one where Xiaxi is at a disadvantage. When she ends up losing, she frees her, admits that Xiaxi was right about the relationship not being a good idea from the start and seems to view her as a new friend.
  • In Great Pretender, Laurent Thierry is an aloof, manipulative chessmaster who constantly teases his compatriots and who frequently manipulates them in order to get what he wants. As a result, nobody trusts him and most regard him with suspicion. However, it's suggested that he does truly care about the members of his team, and part of his manipulations seem to involve getting his teammates in the right place at the right time to help them resolve longstanding issues in their lives so that they can move on. There's also the fact that he's a Robin Hood-esque conman who only cons bad people, and who won't let his fellow conmen harm innocents.
  • Gundam anime franchise:
    • Mobile Fighter G Gundam: Domon Kasshu has to be the Gundam poster boy for this trope. He's got zero manners, major anger issues, and drives his partner nuts; in fact he's basically a straight-up Jerkass at the start and matures into this trope. But he's also a Friend to All Children, respects his rivals, and does a good job as a Warrior Therapist when he doesn't need one himself.
    • After War Gundam X: Witz Su is brash, rude, and unapologetically mercenary, but he's using his pay to help his family and does care for his friends a great deal.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny:
      • Shin Asuka initially seems to be a troubled youth with authority problems and chews out anyone who tries to help him in most ways, and as the series goes on, it becomes more and more obvious that he is a genuinely nice person. He’s even willing to take care of the enemy Gundam pilot, Stella.
      • Yzak Joule, after some well-deserved character development: aggressive, stand-offish and generally a Jerkass, he expresses care for Athrun when he's reassigned ("Don't get killed until then..."), and although he's still pretty aggressive by the time SEED Destiny rolls around, he's covertly working for Lacus.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam 00 has Lyle Dylandy, who pretends to be a lazy Handsome Lech in the beginning, but that's an act designed for two effects, one is to protect another character from falling in love with him via Loving a Shadow because she idolized his dead twin brother, and the other is part of a more complicated Double Agent scheme. in the beginning, at least.
    • Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam:
      • Kamille Bidan is in possession of huge Wangst and can be a big Mood-Swinger, but he also genuinely cares for those he loves and tries to help them.
      • His rival, Jerid Messa, is more brutal. Basically, he's a huge Jerkass, but if you do manage to make him care for you, he'll genuinely do so... before you eventually suffer the Cartwright Curse.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam AGE: Woolf in the first generation. He enjoys annoying his crewmates and tries to nab the Gundam from Flit, but he looks out for Flit in combat. By Gen 2 he's still a cocky maverick, but much more of a mentor figure.
  • Van of GUN×SWORD will dismiss someone’s plea to rescue their town because it has "nothing to do with" him, but then he'll think better of it, especially after his Morality Pet Wendy prompts him a little (or gives him an outright scolding). Speaking of Wendy, he takes her for granted much of the time and occasionally treats her rudely, but if she's sick, in danger, or even just unhappy, he acts surprisingly tender towards her.


  • Hajime no Ippo:
    • Mamoru Takamura only cares about boxing, and therefore takes it very seriously if a boxer disgraces himself, and he respects a boxer that fights well, regardless of the results of the fight. Aoki and Kimura get especially surprised of him when he approaches Ippo, not to mock him, but to congratulate him after he loses against Date Eiji. He was also extremely brokenhearted after the “Bear” incident. Because Nekota had killed the very same bear that he had spared on account of her caring for her cubs, he literally cries. For a guy that beats up his fans and grabs people's cocks in the shower on a regular basis, this shows that he at least has some kind of idea of common sense.
    • Also Takeshi Sendoh, who is Hot-Blooded and a borderline Blood Knight... but actually started fighting to protect people rather than hurting them in purpose.
  • Hanaukyō Maid Team. Konoe, especially in La Verite. She starts off very stern and strict with Taro, but ends up becoming friendly toward him
  • Haruhi Suzumiya:
    • The titular character is selfish, bossy and arrogant, but she does treat the Brigade members very well, like after Kyon fell into a coma in Disappearance and when Yuki fell sick because of the Sky Canopy Dominon in “Snow Mountain Syndrome”. Most recently seen in the end of the beta storyline of Dissociation.
    • Kyon is prone to presenting himself as a world-weary Deadpan Snarker, but he's a deeply compassionate person who treats everyone equally and seriously in thought, if not in action.
  • Many characters in Hetalia: Axis Powers act like this at some point or another, being jerks to each other during conflicts but genuinely showing kindness and concern for younger nations, animals or their subordinates: America, England, France, Germany, Austria, Prussia...


  • Inuyasha has the titular half-demon, who is frequently abusive to his companions, physically and verbally. When Kagome describes his behavior to her friends in the modern world, they all consider him a Juvenile Delinquent. Despite this, he is very protective of his True Companions, and trying to hide his feelings of love for Kikyo and Kagome.


  • Jin has Nokaze and Tanosuke, both of whom come across as rather jerkish in their first appearances. As they and Jin get to know each other better, they slowly reveal their hearts of gold - Nokaze collects money to pay for treatment of her co-workers and Tanosuke buys Jin's debt when the doctor has to lend money to save a courtesan Tanosuke has made pregnant.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • George Joestar I from Phantom Blood is a Downplayed example. While he can be strict at times to his son, Jonathan, he does so believing it will help Jonathan grow into a good man.
    • Joseph Joestar in his youth was this. A short-tempered man who is prone to picking fights, but cares deeply for his grandmother, so much that when he was caught up in a mid-air hijacking as a child, he brutalized his assailants not because they hit him, but because their hitting him caused him to accidentally stain the sweater his grandma gave him with blood. He also goes out of his way in his first appearance to help a kid who picked his pocket when he gets jumped by a pair of crooked cops. He's shown to have mellowed out with age, however.
    • Caesar Zeppeli from Battle Tendency becomes this after going through Character Development.
    • Jotaro Kujo is not a very nice man by his own admission: he starts fights at school with students and teachers, considers female students fawning over him a pain in the ass, skips the bill at restaurants if he dislikes their food, and gets annoyed by his mother's doting nature. Nonetheless, he is not only fiercely loyal and protective of his friends, but is willing to travel halfway across the world to save his mother from DIO's curse. Like Joseph, he's shown to mellow out with age.
    • Jean-Pierre Polnareff can come off as abrasive and extremely hot-headed, but he genuinely cares about his friends.
    • Iggy from Stardust Crusaders is an anti-social Boston Terrier who wants nothing to do with the Crusaders battle against DIO. Despite this, he would never leave a friend or dog-lover to die, so much so that he willingly sacrifices himself to save Polnareff from Vanilla Ice.
    • Diamond Is Unbreakable:
      • After being defeated by Koichi, Tamami Kobayashi becomes this.
      • Shigechi Yangu was a friendly yet greedy middle schooler who had a mean streak whenever money was involved, but had a strong sense of justice as he used his Stand to collect 100-yen coins exclusively as they weren't legally required to be reported lost and he gave his life trying to stop Kira after learning his identity.
      • Yuya Fungami is first introduced as an arrogant punk, but he later shows himself to be an overall decent guy.
    • Being Neighborhood-Friendly Gangsters, Team Bucciarati from Vento Aureo are this, in particular:
      • Bruno Bucciarati at first comes off as a ruthless gangster, but after befriending Giorno, he's shown to genuinely care about his team.
      • Leone Abbacchio, constantly antagonizes Giorno and acts aloof to the rest of the team, but is genuinely loyal to them.
      • Guido Mista's Stand, Sex Pistols, specifically the one labeled No.3, constantly bullies No.5, but is still the first to try to help when another No. is in danger.
      • Narancia Ghirga is a bit bratty and has an extreme Hair-Trigger Temper, but he's still overall good at heart.
    • Narciso Anasui from Stone Ocean is a Token Evil Teammate who treats anyone who isn't named Jolyne or Jotaro poorly, but he's still willing to attempt to sacrifice himself to save the other heroes.
    • Yoshikage Kira from JoJolion is this, making him a pretty stark contrast to his Original Universe counterpart.


  • Layla Hamilton from Kaleido Star, the Broken Bird who is as tough on herself as she is on new recruits to the Kaleido stage, and has quite the daddy issues.
  • Tomoe from Kamisama Kiss is normally sarcastic, rude and highly critical of just about anything Nanami does. But if anybody else tries to insult her and/or criticize her, he is quick to come to her defense. If you hurt or threaten Nanami in any way, shape, or form, you're in for a world of pain.
  • In Karneval:
    • Gareki, who is Tsundere, still has a weak spot for Nai’s innocence (though it won't spare the poor kid getting bonked in the head, and all the other annoying brats in the world can go rot for all he cares).
    • Hirato seems to effectively hide how much he cares for his crew and how often he makes certain of Nai's safety.
    • Akari is harshly vocal about Hirato's apparent callousness toward his crew and the people essentially under his care, before turning around and doing essentially the same thing.
  • Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple:
    • Tanimoto acts like a Jerkass towards Kenichi, but when push comes to shove, he's willing to throw his lot in with the Shipaku Alliance.
    • Nijima seemingly doesn't care about the desires or well-being of the Shinpaku Alliance (especially Kenichi), but he has shown that his is willing to stick out his own neck for the team when he really needs to.
    • Akira Hongo, the "God Fist" of YAMI's One Shadow Nine Fists, looks and acts like a very aloof fighter, but over time he is revealed to have been a very good mentor to his now-deceased prize student Sho Kanou (and later, to Kanou's fellow students under him as well), and he didn't take it very well when he learned that Kanou had died at the end of the D of D Tournament arc. It's also indicated that he's always respected the bond between master and student (hence the reason he advises Sakaki to go support Kenichi instead of fighting the Demon Fist, which he does himself) and Kenichi earns his respect for standing up for Kanou's self-sacrifice to protect Miu during the aforementioned D of D.
  • Ryuko Matoi from Kill la Kill is short-tempered, foul-mouthed, and is 99% of the time driven solely by revenge. Beneath her rough exterior, however, is a kindhearted girl who cares deeply for her loved ones and is willing to help anyone in trouble, just as long as they don't try to get eye candy from her, and when she's given the chance to kill the two people who caused her the most misery, she decides to forgive them.
  • While Pauley Cracker from Kimba the White Lion can be sarcastic and pushy, he cares deeply for his friends and is willing to do whatever it takes to help them.
  • Kimi ni Todoke presents Pin, the apathetic homeroom teacher, who shows little to no sympathy for any of his pupils, goes out of his way to embarrass people and generally just acts really rudely to just about everyone. Despite this, though, his Pet the Dog moments and occasions on which he actually gave pretty good advice have shown that he's not so bad, deep down.


  • Shinka, in the anime for Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions, is always abrasive towards everyone else in the club. However, the fact that she joined their beach vacation is a telltale sign that she's far friendlier to them than she'd ever like to admit. Her heart of gold is especially highlighted in Episode 9, when she actually gives Rikka advice on romance.
  • Vita from Lyrical Nanoha. She has something of a fiery temper and is rude to everyone but Hayate. At the same time, she's violently protective of those she cares about (which, by the time of StrikerS, is pretty much the entire main cast). Although the jerk part faded as the series went on.


  • Alto Saotome from Macross Frontier acts like a jerk to a lot of people and (in the beginning) mutters about how much he hates his home, Frontier, but in spite of it does everything he can to protect it. The Belligerent Sexual Tension between him and (Tsundere) Sheryl leads to the obvious conclusion.
  • In Medabots:
    • Couch Mountain seems like a cruel man who makes students run laps for no reason, and seems to be doing deals with shady characters. In reality, he was trying to buy land to put up a park for poor children. And then, in the end, he makes the main characters run some more laps for staying up late.
    • Lead bully Samatha might also be one of these, charitably keeping around her totally incompetent minion Spyke and often helping the heroes out when they really need it. She just does a damn good job at hiding it (and does actually fire Spyke in one episode, though not without provocation).
  • Hitoyoshi Zenkichi from Medaka Box definitely qualifies, he moans about having to do things all the time, will chew someone out in a moments notice, gives up constantly and he goes to extreme lengths to show how awesome he is (in one week he tried out every club the school had to offer earning the nickname Bukatsu Storm), but if you even think about doing something to one of his friends he will make sure you go down, even if he has to go down with you.
  • Taishou from Mekko Rarekko is a great example. At first, Taishou was a bit of a bully and a Jerkass towards Buchi his only friend in the first two volumes. But the reason that the two are friends is because back in second grade when Taishou saw that Buchi was being bullied, he wanted to help him out. And its not just because he felt it was the right thing to do. Taishou was bullied a lot in first grade. One could even call it torture and when he saw that Buchi was being bullied, it reminded him of his Dark and Troubled Past and he didn't want to see someone else go through the pain of being bullied.

    As noted above, Taishou still isn't the greatest person in the beginning of the series. Because he grew jealous of Buchi working on a project with Fukami, instead of with him he ends up raping Buchi. After a punch to the face from Fukami, he realized what he had just done and he breaks down in tears. He gets much better in the third issue after he takes a level in kindness and he goes from a Jerkass to a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
  • Les Misérables: Shōjo Cosette has Eponine as an adult. She is still mean as an adult, but she is much more troubled by her actions, outright hinders her father's criminal attempts when she is not avoiding associating with them, and generally comes as sympathetic and regretful of her mistreatment from... everyone she wronged.
  • Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid:
    • Tohru is pretty amicable towards her friends and especially Kobayashi. But if you're neither, she probably hates you.
    • Saikawa is Hot-Blooded and confrontational, but the main reason Kanna considers Saikawa her Best Friend is because she is a very sweet and doting girl who is not shy on telling Kanna how much she loves her.
  • Mitsuba from Mitsudomoe has a dismissive and superior attitude towards everybody. Yet, she just as often slips up and reveals that there's some genuine kindness in her. One of her earliest examples is the replacement pencil cases Futaba made. Mitsuba kept using hers well after her sisters no longer were.
  • While Sherlock Holmes of Moriarty the Patriot is rude, abrasive, and terribly annoying to not only his clients but his friends and brother, he cares about them more than he is capable of expressing properly and would do just about anything to help people and protect them. He's just not very good at being sincere about it.
  • Muhyo and Roji:
    • While Toru Muhyo is typically fairly cold, showing either irritation with or disdain for those around him, he often does this to teach Roji subtle lessons, and typically goes out of his way to get the best possible result for the ghosts he deals with, even when he seems to be taking a harsh stance on them.
    • Rival Executor Daranimaru Goryo may appear a ruthless bastard, but he actually shows genuine concern for his assistant Ebisu, and even cries over him. Twice.
  • Murasakiiro no Qualia: Tenjou acts like a jerk towards Yukari but has actually always been doing her best to try to understand her better. This attitude only manifested after the event in their past.
  • Lunar, of My Bride is a Mermaid, starts as a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing, but there are a few incidents that make it clear that she really does care about Nagasumi, at least a little.
  • My Hero Academia:
    • Shota Aizawa/Eraserhead, the homeroom teacher of Class 1-A. When All Might learned of this, he got really scared because he knew Aizawa's reputation for being very strict. But there's a method to his meanness. The world of superheroes is a lot rougher than the news makes it out to be; it's a hard road (especially for this class when Surprisingly Realistic Outcome occurs very early when villains attack) that requires lots of effort. If he's infamous for kicking out students, it's because they can't make the cut in his opinion. That said, he's able to see a lot of potential in this year's class, and while he still rails at them, he can also appreciate when they live up to his expectations. Plus, when things get real (such as during the USJ attack), he immediately puts the students' safety first. From what little we've seen of him, his Class 1-B counterpart Vlad King appears to sport a similar attitude.
    • Mt. Lady may exemplify the negative aspects of the hero industry, being an Attention Whore with no problem stealing the spotlight from other heroes and making snide comments about Midnight, but she takes her job seriously. She saves Bakugou by blocking the League of Villains, and pulls a You Shall Not Pass! on Gigantomachia, despite being incredibly outmatched and knowing it.
  • Yuta Shimada of My Monster Secret is typically an epic-level Butt-Monkey whose creepy skirt-chasing leads to a lot of karmic punishment, but he does occasionally get his times to show that he does have some redeeming traits, the most prominent of which is his loyalty to his friends. He was a Shipper on Deck for Asahi literally from Chapter 1, is always polite and friendly towards Asahi's Love Interest Youko, and helps them out when things start looking bad near the end of the series. In a later chapter when Shiho is actively trying to seduce Shima, he explains that he turned her down because she recently got rejected, and even he isn't so scummy as to take advantage of a girl in emotional distress. All this gets lampshaded in the final chapters, where the principal outright tells Shima "You're actually kind of tolerable when you're looking out for your friends."


  • Several characters from Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water qualify.
    • Nadia herself wavers between being a complete Jerkass and a Not Good with People sort of person, but in the canonical episodes of the story, she fits into this trope. Aside from being suspicious of other people, she has a nasty, quick temper and gets angry quite easily, misunderstanding everyone's actions at the drop of a hat. That said, she is also shown growing to care for Jean, as evidenced by her attempt to comfort him about his father's death, and even suggesting him to build another aircraft to cheer him up. She even brings him a half-baked dish of seaweed. She's also transformed by the end of the show into a genuinely caring person. She sacrifices her Blue Water's power to resurrect Jean, and even marries him.
    • Captain Nemo is very reserved most of the time, and sometimes makes harsh decisions. However, he’s fundamentally a good person who cares for his crew and mainly wants to stop Gargoyle from destroying the world. He even comes to see Jean as a surrogate son and has a soft spot for Nadia. It turns out he's her father.
  • Naruto:
    • In Part I, the eponymous character (Naruto Uzamaki) was a brash, temperamental brat fond of picking fights with everyone and completely lacking in social graces, but he was also surprisingly kind to people like Inari and one of the few to interact with Gaara as an equal rather than with fear or hate. During ‘’Shippuden’’, his childish behaviour is downplayed, as he matured both emotionally and physically over the Time Skip. Justified in that he was a pariah of sorts because of him being the jinchuuriki. He was ostracized and thus developed as he did. When people actually showed kindness to him, we get to see that he cares deeply for his friends and loved ones.
    • Sasuke Uchiha, on the other hand, is a complicated issue. He fed a tied-up Naruto during the bell exam, in violation of the test instructions. The scene where he saved Naruto's life and told Naruto that it was his duty to save Sakura, where he said he didn't want to lose those important to him doesn't leave any opening for interpretation. He was a Jerk with a Heart of Gold... sadly, the emphasis is on was. Although since the second stage of the Fourth Shinobi War, he may be turning good again, because he chose to protect the Hidden Leaf Village rather than destroy it.
    • Sai is introduced as an abrasive Jerkass, but mellows out while Naruto establishes bonds of friendship and camaraderie with him. He tends to make insulting comments from time to time, but typically in misguided attempts to become friends with Naruto and Sakura.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi:
    • Chamo, the Weasel Mascot, is a Dirty Old Man in ermine form, and constantly tries to manipulate people for his own gain... but he never puts his own goals above the safety of the rest of group, tries to make sure everybody else benefits along with him, and generally tries to make himself as useful as possible, even when an ermine generally wouldn't be able to do anything.
    • Ayaka Yukihiro has her moments of charm as well — when she's not being a Rich Bitch and Ojou — she shows herself to have strong principles and be genuinely quite caring of others.
    • Tosaka constantly bullies Ako, and constantly complains about her, Negi, and everyone else. He willingly turns over the evidence that could send Negi to prison at no cost after blackmailing him with it, even though Ako volunteered all of her rights and was willing to essentially become his slave for life. Tosaka implies that while that is what she might have meant, some rather nastier things may have happened as well if she'd gone through with it. However, he also tells Negi that his Missing Mom, Arika, was an extraordinary person, and he cherishes the memory of the single time he met her (when Tosaka was a mere Street Urchin) very fondly. And later, he chooses to make a Heroic Sacrifice, Taking the Bullet for Ako.
    • Dynamis seemed to be an Aloof Big Brother/villain, who is completely condescending to Fate’s Quirky Miniboss Squad, saying what a shame it is that Cosmo Entelecheia has gone from being a massive organization to relying on four little girls to do their dirty work. Then he thanks those same minions for staying with the organization, because without them it would have been impossible for them to have gotten as far as they have, and that they should be proud of themselves for surpassing the Cosmo Entelecheia of the past. Koyomi even lampshades Dynamis’s surprisingly caring speech.
    • Chisame, being the Only Sane Woman in her class, remains pretty snide and sarcastic as she gets drawn into Negi's magical adventures. However, she repeatedly demonstrates that she cares deeply for him and her classmates, and wants to be off adventuring with them, despite her protests to the contrary.
    • While Evangeline for the most part insists on playing Token Evil Teammate to Negi and the gang, she is constantly giving them advice and has rescued them from life-threatening situations on more than one occasion.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: Asuka Langley Soryu is an angry and temperamental Tsundere, but despite that, she still tries to be compassionate to Shinji; this even more visible in the manga version, post her initial appearance in Volume 4. Unfortunately, he's just too secluded to open up to her, leading to many angry confrontations between the two over his cowardice and her arrogance.
  • Magari Kazuma of Nora spends the first two volumes of the series treating the titular Hot-Blooded demon like a misbehaving puppy and most of his classmates like idiots, claiming flatly to make decisions based solely on which outcome will most benefit or least inconvenience him, and being generally bastardly to everyone. And yet... he will do anything to protect the people around him, often foregoing magic and just leaping irrationally to their defense, quite at odds with his normal Magnificent Bastard-in-training persona. And you really don't want to imply that humans are inferior; the results are not pretty.
  • Nezumi from No. 6 is nasty to most people, and violent at the very least provocation. But he also sings to Dogkeeper's dying pack members to ease their suffering, to say nothing of what he'll do where Shion is concerned.


  • Haru Jigokumeguri from Ojojojo is a unique case in that the jerk part is actually subconscious due to a bad case of Becoming the Mask. While she is a genuinely sweet girl, she often finds herself slipping into her Rich Bitch persona and acting condescending to those around her, including her friends and boyfriend (though she gets better as the story progresses).
  • One Piece:
    • Roronoa Zoro acts distant and somewhat insensitive to others, but has shown himself willing to go through Hell and high water for his True Companions. Most of his Pet the Dog moments deal with Morality Pet, Chopper.
    • Nami, who is The Scrooge, is also hiding a heart of gold. She was introduced as a thieving jerk. It seemed to be an act in order to help her village from a ruthless gang lord, but after she was freed from her debt, she made it apparent that she was still as greedy and manipulative as ever…which is justified to an extent, due to the fact that her family was very poor before her village was taken over. She has shown a soft spot for women and children and, thanks to Character Development, even was willing to give up part of her wealth to Rolling Lola out of thanks. She eventually is able to forgave a former member of the gang that had terrorized her village and tried to help him win back a kidnapped mermaid friend with a large part of the wealth collected by the crew.
    • Smoker revealed his heart of gold in one brief scene. A little girl with a 3-layer ice-cream cone bumps into him, and instead of getting pissed at her for staining his suit, he gives her money to buy a 5-layer ice-cream cone, and apologizes to her.
    • Curly Dadan is Luffy and Ace's foster mother. She isn’t very kind towards her young men, constantly complaining about how much of a nuisance they are, and can’t even praise without calling them “idiots” or “assholes”. Despite this, she is very protective of them.
    • Dr. Kureha is anti-social, has next to no bedside manner, and takes whatever she feels like as payment for her services, but had a Vitriolic Best Buds relationship with Dr. Hiraluk and cares about her protege Chopper, even if she chases him away when he goes to join the Straw Hats so that he doesn't see her cry. Chopper also has some shades of this, as whenever he's complimented he starts insulting the one giving the compliment and saying he doesn't need their praise while grinning ear-to-ear and doing a Happy Dance.
    • Pekoms of the Big Mom Pirates comes across as very abrasive yet when he saw that the Strawhats saved his family and home he broke down in tears of joy and thanked them on his hands and knees. He was also go to lie to Big Mom's face that he did not see them; if only Capone wasn't there also.
    • Bartolomeo is obnoxious to the extreme during his fight at the Colosseum, deliberately insulting and provoking the audience repeatedly. However, he protects the entire section of audience behind him from being flattened by Elizabello's King's Punch. Given that he could control the dimensions of his barrier, he didn't really need to protect anyone other than himself.
  • Parodied in the first episode of Osomatsu-san, where the brothers turn the show into a typical idol anime to increase viewership. Karamatsu's idol form establishes himself as a lovable bad boy by thoroughly mocking the new show's heroine and then making it up to her by diving in front of a car to save an absurdly tiny puppy.
  • Kyouya from Ouran High School Host Club keeps up the image of a selfish manipulator at all times, though one episode reveals that he is capable of helping others with no ulterior motive. Late in the manga, he also chews out Tamaki's father for dashing his son's hopes of getting his family to reconile just to exact his revenge, something Kyouya couldn't spin as being for his own benefit in any way, and could even screw him over if Tamaki's father decided to punish him.


  • Officer Ohta, Patlabor. He once went to an arranged date, did like the girl quite a lot... and helped her out when he learnt that she was in love with someone else and the guy was in serious trouble.
  • Himari's possessor, in Penguindrum, is an entity that horribly insults a young girl like Ringo all over when summoning her a Shoma to her presence, and some episodes later summons both of them again... to give a Ringo, who has just had a Heroic BSoD, some space to cry about her huge troubles. During which, it is still calling her mean names.
  • From the Pokémon franchise:
    • Pokémon anime:
      • Gary becomes one after his Character Development. He still enjoys getting under Ash's skin, but he does honestly care about him and helps him out in times of need. The same behavior applies years later to Ash's companion Goh.
      • Drew, from the Hoenn arc, loves switching between Jerkass and Pet the Dog moments while interacting with May. This is the main thing that distinguishes him from May's other rival Harley: he may not always be nice about it, but he's always honest with her and genuinely wants her to improve. Harley, on the other hand, pretends to be nice to her so he can manipulate her into losing.
      • Besides her villainy, Jessie of Team Rocket really is a jerk: she has a harsh personality, a leadership style that ranges from "despot" to "tyrant", and is self-centred to boot. Despite this, she cares deeply for her friends and her Pokémon and has several times sacrificed her own happiness on their behalf. (See Chansey, Dustox, every Team Rocket Breakup Episode ever.)
    • Pokémon Adventures:
      • Black is introduced with Jerkass attitudes, (see his treatment of Bianca during the first gym battle), but he's not malicious, he's just way too excitable most of the time and forgets to consider others when focused on his own dreams. After he's been called out on this, he has made an effort to stop acting like a jerk to people.
      • Gold is also a fantastic example of this. He is lazy and arrogant, and he Constantly refers to Crystal as "Super Serious Gal" just to annoy her. But his heart's in the right place and he does care for others.
  • Hayate from Prétear, the Tall, Dark, and Snarky knight who pushes people away out of fear of creating another Big Bad.
  • Randou, from Pretty Face, went to such an extreme in Jerkass behaviour that basically everyone he was in contact with either fear or hate him. The only exception to that is his crush, Kurimi, who sees the heart of gold within him. Eventually the gold part becomes more noticeable.
  • The Prince of Tennis: Kaoru Kaidoh, master of “The Snake” (In professional circuits, the Buggy Whip Shot), enjoys acting like an aggressive cobra around other players. Cold stares, heavy breathing, and frightening glares. All of this is hiding his heart of gold; in the anime, he nearly drowns trying to save a puppy.
  • Fakir, the jerkish, controlling guardian of Mytho in Princess Tutu, who turns out to be using the tough exterior to hide his fear of being killed in service as Mytho's "Knight" and being a failure in the end.
  • Kyoko from Puella Magi Madoka Magica. She's very callous and selfish, advocating that magical girls should only use their powers for their own benefit. In her first appearance she would have killed Sayaka if Homura hadn't intervened, but after learning the Awful Truth that magical girls are basically liches, she becomes much less antagonistic. Her heartbreaking backstory makes it clear that when she says magical girls should be selfish, she really is trying to help Sayaka by preventing her from making the same mistakes she did. Her shift away from jerkassitude is made clear when she saves Sayaka from Homura, in an ironic reversal of their first encounter. Her heart of gold becomes especially apparent after Sayaka becomes a witch and she tries to bring her back. This fails, and Kyoko uses a suicide attack on Sayaka so that she won't have to die alone.


  • The Quintessential Quintuplets:
    • Male lead Fuutarou Uesugi is an academically gifted student, but had no friends and was rather asocial before his interactions with the Nakano sisters, being rather blunt when he talks to others without a care if he offends them. However, he has a strong sense of the family, since he took the job in part to bring extra income to help his father and sister (whom he loves to dote on) and he wants to bring them out of their poverty. And he also has a strong code of ethics that he abides to, shown when decides to quit the job when he learns how neglectful the Nakanos' father is being towards them.
    • Out of the five Nakano sisters, Nino is the most abrasive and conflictive, but she really does love her sisters and it shows, with most of her hostility towards Fuutarou being rooted in her deep-seated fear of him changing her sisters and taking them away from her. After some character development on her end, she becomes a lot nicer and a lot less apprehensive towards Fuutarou.


  • Ranma ½: Pretty much all of the protagonists in this series fall under this trope, although in some cases it's more evident in the anime (which tends to show a more pleasant side to the cast in general).
    • Ranma Saotome is sharp-tongued, enjoys taunting others, can be something of a Smug Snake, and especially in the manga tends to default to messing with peoples' heads whenever it would convenient or amusing. But he's also got a set of core principles he is adamant about upholding, key amongst which is helping people in need and trying not to make girls cry. He also has a hidden vulnerable side that he, on rare occasions, is willing to reveal to Akane Tendo.
    • Speaking of Akane Tendo, she's judgmental, self-righteous, almost as sharp-tongued with Ranma (to the point she causes as many of their fights as he does), and is quick to lash out with physical violence when even slightly irritated. But she's also a compassionate and caring girl who can extend a great deal of trust even to people who have repeatedly wronged her in the past (more than does to Ranma, in fact). Like Ranma, she's also quick to leap in when she sees people needing help.
    • Ryoga Hibiki may be characterized primarily by his resentment of Ranma, and his P-chan masquerade is infamous amongst fans, but at the same time he has an extremely strong set of principles. He is quick to leap to the protection of people in need, and despite his avowed antipathy towards Ranma, has repeatedly helped Ranma out in times when Ranma has needed it.
    • Genma Saotome is firmly established as a pretty crappy dad, but there are occasional hints that he does genuinely love and care for Ranma, with flashbacks showing he tended to be more openly affectionate and paternal when Ranma was younger.
    • Shampoo is the most overtly ruthless of Ranma's would-be fiancees, with the notorious catchphrase that "obstacles is for killing". Despite this, it's also shown, especially in the anime, that her Accidental Marriage is backed by very genuine love for Ranma on her end, and she has repeatedly tried to assist Ranma when given the chance to do so. She also at times extended a compassionate hand to her unwanted Stalker with a Crush, Mousse, although he usually squanders these and gets on her bad side shortly afterwards.
    • In the anime, it's shown that, despite being a Self-Proclaimed Love Interest, Kodachi Kuno does have a buried softer side that she wants to let Ranma into. In separate anime-exclusive stories, she offers the Tendos financial support when they are going through tough times to try and help Ranma out, she takes Ranma & Genma into her home when Genma gets into a fight with Soun, she shows she's willing to be a good "traditional" housewife for Ranma, and it's also shown that she deeply misses her long-lost father and, once she learns about his return, she tries everything she can to bring him back into her life before Tatewaki (who hates him for the awful things he did when Tatewaki was a kid) drives him off.
  • Gokudera Hayato, of Reborn! (2004), is kind of a jerk, especially to Yamamoto, but just check out how affectionate and caring he gets whenever Tsuna's around...
  • Rosario + Vampire:
    • Gin slowly develops from a Handsome Lech who describes all of his relationships as “conquests” into one of these. It begins with him taking the blame for causing problems on campus although it was actually one of his ex-girlfriends who was at fault, as well as becoming a One-Man Army against the Fairy Tale organization because they were messing around with his friends, specifically Sun, the one girl who has gone toe-to-toe with him and gained his respect.
    • Inner Moka as well, first introduced as cold and uncaring towards everyone around her. As the series goes on, she starts to become more appreciative towards her friends, and eventually falls in love with Tsukune by the end of the manga.


  • Sailor Moon:
    • Mamoru Chiba/Tuxedo Mask, the title character's love interest, starts out as a Deadpan Snarker "snob" who enjoys teasing Usagi about everything. Even after he’s revealed to be the Tuxedo Kamen/Mask that’s been rescuing the girls, he insists on Malicious Misnaming Usagi as Dumpling/Bun-head (“Meatball Head” in the anime's DiC dub.
    • Rei Hino/Sailor Mars is impatient, cocky, and easily the most critical of Usagi out of the Inner Senshi. A few times, Rei had even goaded other Senshi into mistreating Usagi as well. Rei also made a little girl cry in the SuperS season. Yet she is staunchly loyal to Sailor Moon, comforting Usagi when she is in true distress, gave her life to keep Sailor Moon safe twice, and stands up for Sailor Moon when the Starlights berate her. She is also protective and encouraging towards Ami Mizuno/Sailor Mercury.
    • Makoto Kino/Sailor Jupiter, is a Subverted example. She is assumed to be a violent bully because of her temper, but she's actually very sweet after becoming friends with Usagi, and is one of the most patient and motherly of the Inner Senshi.
    • ChibiUsa spent a good part of the R season antagonizing Usagi, even though Usagi saved ChibiUsa's life as Sailor Moon many times, often getting seriously hurt in the process. Even after ChibiUsa learned that Usagi was Sailor Moon, she still had such a low opinion of Usagi that she couldn't bring herself to respect Usagi as Sailor Moon, and stole Usagi's Silver Crystal brooch, which eventually led to Rubeus kidnapping the Senshi. Nevertheless, she grows to appreciate and admire Sailor Moon (though she never misses an opportunity to insult her) and the rest of the Senshi with time. ChibiUsa also develops a heartwarming friendship with Hotaru/Sailor Saturn, and would give her life to protect her.
    • Haruka Tenoh/Sailor Uranus: She may be harsh towards the Inner Senshi, especially Sailor Moon, but after Sailor Moon saves Hotaru from Pharaoh 90 while sacrificing the Holy Grail in the process, and later proves herself against Uranus and Neptune, Haruka finally accepts Usagi's fate as Messianic Archetype.
    • Minako Aino/Sailor Venus comes off as this to an extent in Codename: Sailor V (less so in the anime). She is brash, fist-happy, and constantly treats Artemis like crap (which genuinely hurts him). But she regularly defends fellow students from bullies, will endure a great amount of hardship in the name of her mission, and would protect Sailor Moon with her life (and expects the other Senshi to do so).
    • Shingo Tsukino can be rude and annoying to Usagi just like most younger siblings and is pretty snarky, but he genuinely loves his sister and worries about her safety. The two basically have a normal sibling relationship: they may argue and annoy each other, but when things are serious, their family bond trumps all.
    • Yaten Kou/Sailor Star Healer is harsh, cynical, vain, and holds grudges easily, but she can be really caring. After Luna attacked Sailor Iron Mouse and was injured by her, Yaten cradles her before leaving her with Artemis and tells Sailor Moon that she's only helping her out of admiration for Luna's brave actions. When Seiya passes out at their concert, Yaten looks horrified and incredibly concerned as she checks on her, and when Seiya is venting out her frustrations on their lack of progress at finding their princess, Yaten was worried and had been talked out of following Seiya when she stormed out of their apartment by Taiki. When Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, and Venus, protected the Starlights from Galaxia's attack, Healer kneels down to them and emotionally asks them why they would do that for them.
  • Genjou Sanzo, from Saiyuki, makes (empty death threats) at his companions, calls them his servants, and often employs physical violence on them. BUT, he rescues Goku and keeps the kid around even though there's no advantage in doing so, gives a pep talk veiled in rudeness to Yaone and Dokugakuji during "Against the Stream" so they'd get over their confusion, repeatedly says he won't interfere, won’t help, and is not on anyone's side, but then proceeds to do so, often with an excuse.
  • Saki:
    • Touka Ryuumonbuchi comes off as something of a Rich Bitch who's full of herself. It turns out that her entire reason for recruiting the Ryuumonbuchi team was to create a strong team so that her cousin Koromo, a mahjong prodigy who has been isolated since the deaths of her parents, can face many strong opponents and make friends. Touka also, in spite of her intense but one-sided rivalry, has her butler Hagiyoshi fix Nodoka's stuffed penguin Etopen, partly on Koromo's request.
    • Hiroe Atago often taunts and insults her opponents, but Hisa, the recipient of such taunts, realizes, while in the midst of a nervousness-triggered Heroic BSoD that Hiroe wants her to play at her best so she can enjoy herself. Hiroe is also quite nice to her teammates, particularly her younger sister Kinue.
  • In SCR Yed, Kazuma is known as a mercenary who will take just about any job if the pay is right, but he always becomes emotionally invested in the outcome when he's found out that his target has been abusing people, or threatening children, or generally doing anything that makes the audience say "Kazuma, please kick his ass". After a confrontation with HOLY, his best friend dies, and he abandons all strategy to madly swings his fist at anything with a HOLY logo on it.
  • Ban from The Seven Deadly Sins comes up as a jackass who doesn't care about anything but himself and the stuff he steals. His backstory, however, reveals that when he went after the elixir of immortality, Elaine told him that if he were to take the elixir, the forest surrounding it would die. Ban promptly decided that it wasn't worth it (claiming that the wild berries used in one of his favorite drinks was grown in that forest). He may be a thief, but he is not a monster.
  • Megumi, of Servant × Service, tends to frequently verbally bitchslap everyone, particularly Hasebe and Ichimiya. On the other hand, she's shown to be quite the Cool Big Sis figure for Touko, and generally gives Lucy advice that is actually sound in context. She also goes out of her way to help save Hasebe and Lucy's relationship.
  • Giroro of Sgt. Frog is normally a hard-boiled warrior, but he's proven that he's willing to go all out to protect the squad. And even moreso, Natsumi. He also shows his softer side to his cat.
  • Kiyoshiro, from Shattered Angels, begins his characterization by ripping dresses off of female students. His heart of gold is shown when his brother convinces him to change his behaviour.
  • Yuuki Natsuno, in Shiki, is cold and distant towards others, not to mention he hates the village he lives in, but when a vampire attack occurs he isn't afraid to put his life on the line to stop them.
  • Slayers:
    • Zelgadis, especially for the anime, is cold and arrogant, because he just wants to be human again, and he cares for his companions, especially for Princess Amelia. In the original novels, though, he is more of a straight-up Jerkass.
    • The novel-exclusive character Luke has similar justifications to Anime! Zelgadis.
  • Sonic X:
    • Knuckles is a friendly rival with Sonic, but very anti-social and short-tempered. Despite this, he maintains a complicated relationship with Rouge.
    • Rouge is often selfish and greedy, but she cares about Topaz, her partner, and has a complicated relationship with Knuckles.
  • Soul Eater:
    • Black*Star often seems so full of himself he hardly has time to care about anyone else, but he does care for his scythe, and is willing to "share the stage" with Tsubaki. While he fights Crona (with brute force, as always), he does attempt to create Defeat Means Friendship by insisting that Crona could have someone to rely on in him, the one around whom the world revolves (or something to that effect). He also goes off to get revenge for Maka while she is recovering from a battle, and flies into a panic when Soul is hospitalized.
    • Soul is usually the Deadpan Snarker that appears to only really care about advancing himself, but he also cares for Maka, and regularly protects her from harm.
    • Mifune is one of the best swordsmen in the world and regularly faces off against Black*Star, yet carries around candies for children and swings his sword for a small child witch named Angela.
    • On the one hand, Stein’s Mad Scientist tendencies (dissecting scythes For Science!) are disturbing when not played for laughs, while on the other hand, it becomes clear over time that he does care about the people around him.
  • The Story Between a Dumb Prefect and a High School Girl with an Inappropriate Skirt Length: Izubuchi often comes across as this. He yells and calls people dumb trash at the same time as he makes sure they're not hurt, and helps them if they are.
  • Sara Werec, of Str.A.In.: Strategic Armored Infantry, is clearly a good person, and we (the audience) already know that. She's had to put away her kind and friendly nature because she blames herself for her dead schoolmates and just wants to stop her brother. The “Space Squadron”, however, think she’s acting selfish and aloof.
  • Manabizaki from SWOT is more concerned with studying than with people. He insults people and treats everyone as beneath him since he has "the greatest brain in the universe." Or, at least, he claims not to care. He's come to the rescue of a wimpy male classmate (later a friend) more than once and an ex-delinquent girl he's developed a crush on. His sputtered and obvious excuse? The people attacking them were making too much noise for him to study. Or he was just on the way to a test/class/study-session and the guys were in the way.


  • Wakatake of Tantei Team KZ Jiken Note is egocentric and has a bad temper. However, it is quite obvious that he doesn't seem to have much evil intentions, has a hart of justice, and will help out his friends when the need arises.
  • Asada from Team Medical Dragon frequently acts like a misogynistic, perverted, carefree Jerkass. Then a patient gets in with an improbable injury, he saves the day and proceeds to lecture everyone about how the patients' well-being is the most sacred priority.
  • Kittan Bachika from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann usually comes off as loud-mouthed and a Drill Sergeant Nasty, but he's ultra-protective of his sisters (even their eye-appealing curvaceous figures) and puts his life before that of his team. Tragically, this is what leads him to make a Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Nishiki Nishio from Tokyo Ghoul. When first introduced, he's described as having an abrasive personality that makes most people wary of him and repeatedly tries to kill Kaneki over petty misunderstandings. Later on, however, he turns out to be deeply devoted to his human girlfriend and after being hired on at Anteiku, becomes a good friend to both Kaneki and Touka. His voice actor even describes him as a Tsundere, pushing others away out of fear of being betrayed.
  • Sayaka from Tonari no Kashiwagi-san is a jerk by her own admission, and tries to maintain that perception, but will help out if she can. She even wrote study notes for Yuuto, who she has a notably frosty relationship with.
  • Toradora!
    • Taiga, who has a short fuse, ferocious temperament and generally tsundere nature, but donates anonymous presents to orphans at Christmas and other things of that ilk.
    • Ami, who begins more a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing but with a bit of Character Development turns into someone who is merely hugely sarcastic and very teasing.
  • Nicholas D. Wolfwood, from Trigun, insults you, beats you up out of "affection" and struggles with the Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism by sadistically killing bad guys. This is all because he's actually an altruistic and generous dude. The “violent jerk” traits are toned down in the anime, leaving a cocky and pessimistic attitude.
  • In Tamagotchi, Memetchi gets more bossy from The Power of Gossip onwards, but still means well.


  • Ataru Moroboshi, of Urusei Yatsura, who combines this with being a Casanova Wannabe. It's strongly hinted that the reason Lum loves him so much is because she can see the noble parts of him that most others (including himself) can't.


  • Hamel, the titular Violinist of Hameln (manga continuity only). He purposely humiliates people, charges exorbitant prices for anyone who hears his music, plans zany schemes to make money, actually uses his friends as ammunition and is so selfish he'd rather eat his crow companion than go hungry for even a little while. And believe it or not, he really is a good guy underneath it all.


  • Sawamura Takeshi, in Wa ga Na wa Umishi, because the main character Rintarou rubs him the wrong way. He's not above hitting and threatening Rin frequently, but he's also saved Rin's life more than once. Whenever there's a job to be done he's the man to do it. Grumbling all the way.
  • Wolf's Rain
    • Tsume always acts tough and cynical, frequently arguing with the other wolves, and doubting their belief in Paradise. Still, he becomes protective of them, especially the younger wolf Toboe, who idolizes him.
    • The human, Quent. When he's not obsessed with wolf-hunting, he can be a fairly decent guy, if you buy him a drink.


  • Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches likes this trope very much, especially at the start - when the series goes a bit Lighter and Softer, traditionally nice characters become more common:
    • Yamada is this trope at the start of the series. His attitude isn't pleasant, but he will go out of his way to help people in trouble. By the time of the second witch war, he has taken so many levels in kindness that he's a Nice Guy.
    • Similarly, Shiraishi liked to hide her good heart behind an aloof facade at the start of the series. She would also regularly be a bit rude and comically honest. She also develops into a through-and-through Nice Girl with time.
    • Miyamura seems rather unpleasant and arrogant at his introduction, and throughout the whole series he trolls Yamada constantly, but he's a good enough guy.
    • Itou had a very overbearing and petty attitude when she joined the Supernatural Studies Club, but she came around and is entirely capable of being nice, though she tends to be harsh on Yamada.
    • Tsubaki acts very rude when he is introduced, but he later shows himself to be friendly underneath.
    • Hikaru is a delinquent who often gets in trouble, but this is often caused by a lack of social skills, and his loyalty to his brother shows that he is a very good person.
    • Odagiri is a very flawed person who can be hot-tempered, petty, arrogant, and manipulative, but the way that she unselfishly allies herself with Yamada and Tamaki at the height of the first witch war makes her one of Yamada's closest and most valued friends.
    • Noa is a villain of the main characters in her introduction arc, but still cares tremendously about those she considers her friends. When she does a Heel–Face Turn, she's still this trope - full of attitude, but a good person nonetheless.
    • Tamaki was borderline antisocial when he was introduced, but showed himself to have a good heart when he finally made friends. He gets nicer later on, but still has a case of Inferiority Superiority Complex.
    • Ushio is an aloof and grumpy person a lot of the time, but he also shows himself to be a good friend.
    • Leona initially doesn't come across as the nicest person in the world, being a girl who throws scissors after anyone who approaches her. But when Yamada and the others get to know her, she isn't that bad, and she has just forgotten how to interact with others due to being a Hikikomori.
    • The chairperson is not actively rude but she can be hard to get along with because she's so stand-offish and only cares about her duties as a Class Representative. That doesn't change the fact that she's a responsible person, and she does show a sweet side from time to time.
    • Nancy is hot-tempered and rude, but the fact that she uses so much of her time on keeping track on and helping the witches proves that she is a good and very well-intentioned person.
    • Kurosaki is a pure Jerkass at his introduction, but develops a softer side with time and manages to befriend Arisugawa and Yamada.
    • Kaori is quite spiteful towards Yamada and Noa, but she has a sense of honor (wanting to repay her debt to Yamada), is able to swallow her pride and apologize, and she manages to turn from a bully to a Bully Hunter.
    • Like his club partner Nancy, Sid can be kind of a prick at times, but a well-intentioned prick. He's more willing than her to show his soft side, though.
    • Hino is shown to have a bit of an attitude, like when she gave rude answers to Yamada's mails, and when she didn't want to meet up with him in the classroom during their first year, but she's an overall good person.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • Seto Kaiba is an arrogant male Rich Bitch, who rips up rare cards just so that he can have the only copies in the world. But his asshole attitude is because he’s made himself hard to take care of his younger brother, Mokuba, whom he is fiercely protective of. He actually was a Jerk with a Heart of Jerk when first introduced (and even tortures Mokuba in the manga after he loses a game), but Dark Yugi's Mind Crush destroyed the evil in his heart, letting him rebuild himself as a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
    • Katsuya Jounouchi (Joey) is a juvenile delinquent who used to bully Yugi. He stopped because Yugi was trying to protect him from older bullies. He never forgets this debt, and pushes himself to win the Duelist tournament for his little sister’s eyesight operation.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS has the protagonist Yusaku Fujiki, unlike the other protagonists started out as a cold-hearted Jerkass (akin to Kaiba) and has a great distaste for standing out. While he may be a cold-hearted Jerkass, he does have a number of noble and heroic moments in the show. For one, he prefers to keep GO and everyone else from getting involved rather than recruit allies since the battle against the Knights of Hanoi is dangerous.
  • YuYu Hakusho:
    • Hiei is a jerk, long past his initial appearance. His favourite target of mockery is Kuwabara, mostly for his weakness and stupidity. Late in the series it’s revealed that Kuwabara is the only pureblood human in the gang, marking him as exceptionally strong for the category. But his re-introduction as Yusuke’s ally reveals that he’s being driven by the desire to protect his sister. After working together, Hiei also seems to respect his allies, and becomes a loyal companion.
    • Yusuke Urameshi is a street fighter, juvenile delinquent, and generally has an extremely negative outlook on life. In-series he’s called out on lacking the basic manners of being a human being, but he cannot stand those who hurt the innocent, and is EXTREMELY protective of his friends.
    • Kazuma Kuwabara is in competition with Yusuke for “The Toughest Juvenile Delinquent” in their entire school. Both are daily brawlers and the lowest scoring students in the entire school. Although Yusuke treats him as an Unknown Rival, the rest of the school is usually just as afraid of either one. But when a teacher threatens to get one of Kuwabara’s gang mates to lose their job, Kuwabara accepts any humiliation, and studies as hard as he can to help his friend. When a demon comes to make Kuwabara commit evil acts, he can’t even steal a comic book properly.
  • Yanda from Yotsuba&! is an example. He makes himself an enemy of Yotsuba very quickly; he frequently taunts her and makes fun of her, even to the point of making her cry sometimes. Even the adults consider Yanda a fool and usually side with Yotsuba, but it's easy to see Yanda doesn't act out of spite and is a big kid himself. This is most clearly obvious when Yotsuba is sad after her beloved teddy bear is damaged and only Yanda can shake her into action by pestering her. When she begins to sulk after finding out Yanda will go camping with her family and friends, he even lets the other children draw eyes on his eyelids to make her laugh.


  • Zombie Land Saga:
    • Kotaro Tatsumi is rude, hot-headed, and frequently snide towards the girls, but beneath his Mean Boss exterior is shown to deeply care for them, especially Sakura. It's implied he was a friend of Sakura's from school before her death.
    • "Legendary Biker" Saki Nikaido seems like your typical bosozoku gangster: a rude, violent, anti-authoritarian delinquent. She's shown though having a softer side as she becomes a loyal friend to her group mates, as well as being particularly kind to children.
    • Arata Okoba is a gruff, sometimes surly reporter who isn't afraid to expose potentially reprecussive information on others. But he also cares a lot about Saga, and eventually warms up to Franchouchou. Even when he could've exposed them as zombies to the world, he decides to hold off and instead help them aid the healing of Saga after a the storm.

Alternative Title(s): Anime


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