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Knight Templar / Anime & Manga

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  • An example of this played for humour is the comedy duo/Lovely Angels Love Pheromone in Akahori Gedou Hour Lovege. For even the slightest misdemeanor against them (such as calling Aimi flat-chested), they will destroy anything in the surrounding area with their Powered Armors. They have no Hero Insurance whatsoever and are, in fact, seen as villains by nearly everyone. Yet all the while, they claim that "Anything can be done in the name of justice!"
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  • Seryu Ubiquitous from Akame ga Kill! is one of the fiercest adherents of the Empire, and is sworn to eliminate all who dare to oppose it. She is very dedicated to what she considers "justice", but her moral compass is seriously off. Not only does she turn a blind eye to pretty much every evil thing that her beloved Empire does because she is fully convinced that the Empire represents the ultimate good, but she is also very sadistic and has an All Crimes Are Equal approach to dispensing "justice", with even the smallest crime against the Empire being punishable by death in her eyes.
  • Akira in Ao no Fuuin becomes one as the story proceeds. His duty as the Byakko is to kill Oni, but as things happen, more and more Oni appear and he starts to go along the idea of "A dead Oni is a good Oni". While he certainly is only fulfilling his duty and Oni are presented as bloodthirsty, violent people who feast on humans, it's also portrayed as a very bad turn of his character and adds to the story's Grey and Gray Morality.
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  • The Holy Iron Chain Knights in Berserk are devoted to smiting out all traces of evil. The problem: they include "anyone not following our exact procedures for demon-smiting" under "evil". Because of a prophecy about a Hawk of Light, which they consider the newly-reincarnated Big Bad Griffith to be, and a Hawk of Darkness, which they consider Anti-Hero Guts to be (though it's actually Griffith as Femto), things go downhill in a hurry. Doubly applies to Inquisitor Mozgus, who believes in horrifically torturing people to "expiate their sins". The thing is, the Holy Iron Chain Knights are supposed to be strictly a ceremonial guard consisting of young noblemen whose parents wanted their heirs to have all the prestige of military service with none of the danger. It is their leader, Farnese, who is completely and fanatically dedicated to the cause. She gets better, thankfully.
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  • Satyajit Shyamalan from Birdy the Mighty: Decode is this, believing that it's his duty as one of the "chosen" to use an alien super weapon to wipe out all of humanity except the "chosen" few. He never once remotely considers that he might not be doing the right thing, or even that he might not succeed, and he ultimately gets killed by that same super weapon without ever realizing his mistake.
  • Black Butler: Ash/Angela and Queen Victoria just want to make England a brighter, purer place in Season One.
    • Ash/Angela even gets bonus points for being an utter Hypocrite, doing things themself that they see as capital offenses in humans.
  • Buraiden Gai: the Director of the Human Institute.
  • Suzaku of Code Geass starts out as a Wide-Eyed Idealist and a Knight in Shining Armor. After Euphemia's death, he falls into Knight Templar territory when he starts conquering/enslaving other countries for the Emperor in the hopes of gaining control over Japan some day. Eventually, after a couple of My God, What Have I Done? moments, he gets better — or at least self-aware enough to point his Necessarily Evil tendencies in the right direction.
    • Many of the major noble characters in the Holy Britannian Empire are self-righteous. The Emperor believes that what he's planning to do is so righteous that conquering and dehumanising entire countries, which is the opposite of the ideology he claims, is justifiable, even though it's only buying him time. Schneizel, too, believes that world peace is worth murdering somewhere around 10 digits worth of people and then oppressing the remainder for. Even Mao has his Knight Templar moments, though he doesn't seem to care enough to actually be a Knight Templar.
  • Kinshirou Kusatsu in Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE! verges heavily on this. Convinced of his wealth, social status, all-around superiority, and possession of an evil green hedgehog, he believes in world domination by the elite few — namely, him and his two minions friends, Arima and Akoya.
  • Danganronpa 3 has Kyosuke Munakata, the Future Foundation leader who believes that despair can only be eradicated by killing the people responsible for it, and considers every death "a necessary sacrifice" towards that goal. He flips after Tengan asks him if Yukizome's death was also necessary.
  • Death Note's main character, Light Yagami, a.k.a. "Kira", is a Knight Templar, though he's not as severe on punishment as other Death Note users. In fact, most of the interesting characters at least border on this; L is willing to torture people (albeit another Death Note user) to capture Kira, Mikami is eager to kill for Justice, Misa for love, and Light himself...This series has an extra-lubricated Slippery Slope.
  • Thistle, the Lunatic Magician from Delicious in Dungeon is very big on burning any whom she considers usurpers and outsiders. That is, anyone who dares stepping into the dungeon or touching anything left in it, or opposing her twisted attempt to keep her kingdom immortal. Indeed, [[the Magician isn't quite right in the head.
  • The Royal Knights organization from the various versions of Digimon are the incarnations of this trope, following anyone who possesses holy or god-like powers with a sense of unquestioning dogmatic loyalty. Usually, whoever is bossing them around goes nuts, and they end up acting as honorable villains until several of them wise up and turn "true good".
    • Lucemon is a prime example.
    • The Hypnos organization in Digimon Tamers are Knights Templar. They seek to protect the world from dangerous Digimon, but employ ludicrously indiscriminate (and almost never effective) tactics in doing so. They are horrific, genocidal, and downright brutal when it comes to actually dealing with the Digimon. Especially the ones that they catch...
  • Dragonball Super: Zamasu, Supreme Kai-in-training of Universe 10, seems to have this as his primary character trait. He's disgusted by the fact that mortal beings are flawed, and believes the very existence of mortals to be a blight upon the universe. He argues at one point that, as a god, his duty should be to annihilate evil wherever he finds it. His mentor, Gowasu, praises his strong sense of justice but condemns his lack of compassion, saying that their duty should be to guide mortals and help them improve themselves. In the end, his desire to create a "perfect" universe leads him to commit multiversal genocide on both the mortals and the gods who would stop him.
  • The 12th from Future Diary is definitely this.
  • A large number of the antagonist characters from the various Gundam incarnations tend to be this, due to the prevalence of Grey and Gray Morality in the larger Gundam mythos. Interestingly, many of them also share a common motivation of wanting to force humanity to move off of Earth and into space, for varying reasons from character to character and series to series.
    • In the original Mobile Suit Gundam most of the Principality of Zeon's Ace Pilot characters such as Ramba Ral and Johnny Ridden fervently believe that they are fighting a righteous war of independence against The Federation, with The Rival Char being a bit of an outlier due to his outward loyalty to the cause while secretly having his own motives. Most of the Zabi Family that presides over Zeon falls into this as well, particularly Dozle and Garma.
    • In Gundam 0083, primary antagonist Anavel Gato and his commander Aiguille Delaz are both hardcore Zeon loyalists who not only believe that Zeon was right but that it is their sacred duty to sabotage any efforts for peace between what is left of their side and The Federation — even if it means using superweapons such as nukes and colony drops.
    • Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam brings viewers one obvious Templar and one very undercover Templar (so undercover, in fact that you have to go to All There in the Manual to confirm him). The obvious Templar is Paptimus Scirocco, the eventual Big Bad of the series who frequently gets Even Evil Has Standards moments regarding his nominal allies, the Titans. The undercover Templar is Jamitov Hymen, the actual leader of the Titans who is assassinated by Scirocco late in the series. While seemingly no more than the political counterpart to his thuggish Insane Admiral Bosque Ohm, Jamitov's true motives are actually very similar to Scirocco's, as both men want to bring peace to the Earth Sphere by forcing the inhabitants of Earth into space via "starving them out". The 2005 A New Translation movies tried to make Jamitov's motives a little more clear, since in the original there's almost no hint of his being anything other than the Earthnoid supremacist he pretends to be.
    • This is played with in Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack: titular antagonist Char has seemingly become this due to his following in Scirocco and Jamitov's footsteps (though through much more drastic means as he favors colony drops rather than economic warfare). But as it turns out, Char's lofty rhetoric and Well-Intentioned Extremist front turns out to be exactly that — a front — and in truth his motives are still just the same Evil Is Petty ones as his original incarnation, having taken control of Neo-Zeon and staged the entire war for the sole purpose of having one more final showdown with his longtime rival Amuro.
    • In Mobile Fighter G Gundam, Broken Pedestal Master Asia is helping the Devil Gundam because he believes humanity is destroying the Earth (a not invalid belief, judging by the ruined condition of much of the planet we see) and must be either forced off the planet or exterminated outright. Unlike most of his brothers in extremist arms featured here, he is allowed a Heel–Face Turn via Redemption Equals Death.
    • Treize Khushrenada from Mobile Suit Gundam Wing is a Cultured Warrior who believes that "war without civility only gives rise to massacres" and so instigates a civil war in his own faction as a protest against the rise of Mobile Dolls.
    • Villain Protagonist Flit Asuno from Gundam AGE is especially worth mentioning with his quest of vengeance against ALL the Unknown Enemies (Vagan) in the name of the Messiah for Earth.
  • The Vatican's elite Iscariot Section XIII in the anime and manga Hellsing. Not that the protagonists are much better.
    • Ironically, this is actually downplayed with Father Alexander Anderson. Yes, he's a bit indiscriminate in his targeting of vampires, as poor Seras has learned the hard way. Otherwise, not so much. And this is proven during Maxwell's Holy Crusade upon Protestant England; instead of backing up the genocidal Maxwell, Anderson is completely disgusted by his bloodlust and the killing of so many innocent Christians and readily assists Alucard in killing him.
    • As shown above, Maxwell is even more Ax-Crazy and fanatical than Anderson, which is truly amazing. Unlike his mentor, Maxwell is willing to kill millions of innocent civilians just to satisfy his own Drunk with Power ego, and finds an entire army of equally nuts clergy members to help him. It's the main reason why Anderson has to waste him.
    • Anderson's protégés, Heinkel and Yumie, tend to lean towards this as well. However, unlike Maxwell, both they and another large chunk of Iscariot (many of whom were also raised by the Scottish priest) are directly under Anderson's influence, so they don't take the fanaticism or blood-letting quite so far.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure has Enrico Pucci in its sixth part. Pucci is a somewhat unusual case in that he was manipulated by a Card-Carrying Villain (Dio Brando himself, no less!), but he nonetheless believes that what he does is what God desires - for woe to be removed from humanity. By accelerating time to the point that the cosmos resets and then repeats itself, he's going to make humanity subconsciously aware of everything that will ever befall them in the future, meaning that they'll never be struck with shock, terror, etc. Instead, they should all be in a state of fatalistic, calm acceptance. The villainous part comes from his willingness to manipulate the various prisoners whom he imbues with Stands, and killing the Joestars and anyone else trying to obstruct him as barricades to God's will. In fact, one could argue that the final confrontation between him and Emporio, and Pucci's plans to make everyone aware of Fate being brought to nothing, is essentially Utopia Justifies the Means getting completely refuted as unjust and untenable.
  • Admiral Haruki Kusakabe from Nadesico is a particularly evil Knight Templar, especially in the movie, where he crosses the Moral Event Horizon.
    "There is only one Justice, and it is obviously on my side."
    • He might be more of a hypocritical, propaganda-loving megalomaniac, however. His underling Genichiro Tsukiomi, on the other hand, assassinates his best friend at a peace conference for daring to negotiate with the evil Earthlings, on Kusakabe's orders. He's become The Atoner by the time of the movie, however.
  • Naruto has a few villains who count as this trope rather than Well-Intentioned Extremist.
    • Danzo Shimura is one. While he does acknowledge that some of his actions are morally reprehensible, the lengths he is willing to go to, his conviction that only he can save the world, and the fact that he still believes his methods to be fully justified even when they cause most of the problems in the series, pushes him over the edge from Well-Intentioned Extremist into this trope.
    • Toneri from The Last movie isn't really well-intentioned considering his goal to destroy Earth won't benefit anyone. He still counts as a Knight Templar because he thinks destroying the Earthlings for abusing Chakra is a decree from his ancestor, making him the "hero". Of course, he's unaware that it's really just propaganda from the Otsutsuki branch family who misinterpreted Hamura's will and has a Heel Realization upon learning the truth.
  • SEELE in Neon Genesis Evangelion is perfectly willing to torture young children, kill everyone in NERV, followed shortly by everybody in the entire world, horribly, to unite mankind in a "perfect" state of existence to gain transcendence and evolve humanity to it's next stage. At least the Angels weren't so pretentious.
  • The religious branch of the Ancient Conspiracy "Soldats" in Noir were this way, despite the ironic creation of Soldats due to their persecution 1,000 years ago. Altena, similarly, will stop at nothing to see her ideals realized, for the sake of humanity, no matter how many must die, Les Soldats or otherwise.
  • In One Piece, since the heroes are pirates, many of the Marine officers are Knights Templar, the most notable of whom is probably Admiral Akainu. The very first thing we see him do is blow up a civilian ship simply because they might have one of the archaeologists the World Government wanted to wipe out aboard. They didn't.
    • Some of the Marines, such as Akainu and Lucci, are downright dogmatic in their devotion to the concept of "absolute justice" and can give the impression of a massive, sprawling organization comprised almost entirely of Knights Templar. This is somewhat tempered by the presence of more reasonable characters like Smoker, Garp, or Aokiji. After the Time Skip, two of those examples are no longer in the Marines, largely in part due to protesting the actions of people like Akainu.
    • And now we've got a slighter version in the Fishman Society. Since the World Government have been heavily invoking Humans Are the Real Monsters on the fishmen, some of the more extreme segments are ready to wage war on the entire effing world to secure decent treatment of their kin. Suffice it to say that most of said kin realize how batshit insane a solution this is.
  • Mayor Takeshi Hirokawa of Parasyte believes humans are irredeemable monsters for the damage they have caused to the environment and that parasites were sent to wipe them out. His faith in this cause is so strong that he launches a political campaign and becomes Mayor of East Fukuyama City so he can designate feeding grounds for parasites to keep the hunters from being caught. When the police raid his office, he spends his last moments lecturing them that he is righteous and that humanity is vile, even showing an expression of shock when they fatally shoot him after he finishes speaking.
  • The Prince of Tennis' Rikkaidai tennis team, who will stop at nothing to win. Especially their captain, Seiichi Yukimura, after he gets better from his illness.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Sayaka starts heading this way after she becomes a Magical Girl, and eventually becomes the very thing she's fighting againstthis is the eventual fate of all magical girls of the series.
    • Thanks to going back in time several times to try to prevent Madoka from dying and becoming a witch, and watching her friends die and the destruction caused by Walpurgisnacht, Homura becomes one in order to prevent Madoka from becoming a witch.
    • Some of the witches are this. Elsa Maria "saves" people by absorbing them into her barrier. Kriemhild Gretchen, Madoka's witch form in the alternate timelines, wants to do the same thing to everyone in the world. And of course there’s Homulily/Homucifer, who traps Madoka and the others in a Lotus-Eater Machine to “protect” them.
    • Then of course you have The Incubators of whom Kyubey is part of. Beings who are trying to starve off the heat death of the universe by gathering the energy of despair from the girls that make a contract with them then eventually turn into witches. They honestly believe their doing good for the universe even if it comes at the cost of lives, both from the girls that turn and the human victims who're unaware of them.
  • Duo and Slur from the RockMan.EXE saga. Slur, in particular, is another example of a thoroughly evil Knight Templar.
  • Rosario + Vampire: Fairy Tale is a Nazi-esque terrorist organization that is firmly convinced that Humans Are the Real Monsters and wants to wipe them out and conquer the world for monsters. Of course, a significant chunk of their time and resources is also spent towards oppressing and killing their fellow monsters for not agreeing with their extremist views; Kuyou, the former head of Yokai Academy's Security Committee, and secretly The Mole for Fairy Tale, comes right out and says that humans are disgusting scum and vermin who are worthy only of death, even flat-out telling Moka and the rest of Tsukune's Unwanted Harem that they deserve to die simply for even daring to associate with a human.
  • Rurouni Kenshin: The eponymous hero was this during his assassin days for the Ishin Shishi: a vicious assassin who would kill in cold blood if he thought it would bring about a peaceful era. Thanks to a series of tragic events, he eventually has a Heel Realization and becomes The Atoner. Unfortunately, due to a combination of self-destructive tendencies, Berserk Button, and trauma, Kenshin's former "Battousai"-self now manifests as a golden-eyed Superpowered Evil Side when his Thou Shalt Not Kill vow begins to waver.
  • The goals of Shaman King's X-Laws are fundamentally good: stop Hao from taking control of the world. However, when they start beating up and killing people just because they were allied to, or were about to side with, Hao, they kind of stop looking heroic. Their leader, Jeanne, may seem like a Nice Girl, but is just as much of a Knight Templar as her followers; she is willing to torture to death anyone who opposes her, believing that it's what she has to do.
    • Ironically, their target, Hao, could be considered this too. He wants to kill all normal humans in the world so that only Shamans remain, since supposedly only good people can see ghosts. He's also completely willing to kill other Shamans who get in his way.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann's main antagonists are mostly this trope.
    • Some fans view the Anti-Spirals as being thoroughly evil examples of the Knight Templar, due to their repeated crossings of the Moral Event Horizon. [[spoiler:First, they turned Lordgenome to their side against his will, making him massacre his own people. Second, they turned Nia into their slave, and then tortured her, ripping her apart from the inside. Finally, the reason they tortured her? They were sick of merely oppressing Spiral races, and wanted to Kill 'Em All. Oh, and in The Movie, the torture/interrogation scene? It involved Naughty Tentacles.
    • Lordgenome claims that he forced humanity underground and killed all who came to the surface in order to keep the Anti-Spirals away from his planet]].
  • In Tiger & Bunny, Lunatic is a NEXT who possesses pyrokinetic abilities that rival even that of Hero TV's Fire Emblem, and who has made it his personal mission to judge and execute criminals who would otherwise escape justice.
  • Tokyo Ghoul: The CCG is entirely dedicated to the cause of wiping out the entire Ghoul race, even peaceful ones who don't actually hurt anyone. Humans who sympathize with or aid Ghouls are shown no mercy.
  • Trinity Blood has quite a few bloodthirsty crusaders for justice — notable among them is Brother Petros, director of the Department of Inquisition, who can favorably be described as "zealous though unsubtle" and accurately described as a bloody lunatic.
    • Petros is really more of a Jerk With A Heartof Gold, willing to listen to reason, and outright defies orders from his superior (who is a flatout Knight Templar) in order to rescue the pope instead of letting him get martyred.
      • An early episode also subverts this when Brother Tres Iqus, Gun Kata badass extraordinaire, declares his intent to kill an innocent child simply because he has been ordered to by his superiors, but runs out of bullets. Moments later, he empties his weapon into an attacker and walks away (revealing that he does not mindlessly follow orders from the "good guys"), which is saying something because Tres is an android.
  • When one of these is made King of Hou in The Twelve Kingdoms, his kingdom apparently starts well, but very soon, it gets worse as his absolute sense of justice and human nature poisons his common sense and people are executed by the bazillion under his orders. That is, until the minor noblemen and government officers get fed up with the bloodbath and behead him, his wife, and their kirin as punishment.
  • Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle:
    • Fugil Arcadia sometimes refers to himself as a hero and sometimes claims to be the villain of Lux's story, making it hard to pin him down as this trope in the first few volumes. Several flashbacks and private moments reveal that he really does believe himself to be a hero who fights for his deceased friend's vision of a peaceful world where the masses can be happy. Unfortunately, he believes the only way to accomplish this is to topple oppressive governments, find ideal leaders for the masses to rally behind, eliminate anyone who disrupts the new order, and manipulate the memory of the masses to make them forgot anything that can cause public unrest. Worse yet, Fugil is not above engineering tragedies for potential heroes in order to motivate them. He already repeated this cycle for centuries due to his propped up governments turning corrupt, and is unwilling to admit that his plan is both unsustainable and an affront to free will.
    • Singlen Shelbrit wants to Take Over the World and establish a ruling class of elite Drag-Knights to replace the current decadent nobles. He genuinely believes his goal will result in a more efficient and less corrupt world, and is willing to cause False Flag Operations and blackmail others into serving him if it means helping him towards that goal. It says something that the aforementioned Fugil considers him a potential hero.
  • Wedding Peach: Scarlet/Salvia believed that reforming devils was stupid and kills even the harmless ones. Subverted as it's discovered that a devil killed her best friend- after she showed it mercy, which totally broke her. She mellows out though.
  • The SOLOMON organization in Witch Hunter Robin has strong ties to the Roman Catholic Church, particularly the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith...better known by its truncated historical title of the Inquisition.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! has Dartz and his organization, Doma, which wants to destroy the world in order to save it.
    • Yami Yugi was also an intense Knight Templar in the early manga, driving people insane and directly setting five people on fire in order to protect Yugi. Many of his punishments took place through penalty games, but still, many of them are Disproportionate Retribution. When Yugi becomes fully aware of his presence after Yami Yugi is prepared to kill Kaiba to win, Yami tones WAY down, only approaching his old levels in Season 4 of the anime-only Doma arc when he (temporarily) loses Yugi's soul to the Orichalcos seal he used.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX has the Society of Light, headed by a vague alien Energy Being called "The Light of Ruin."
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's makes a full set with the Yliaster Trio, Aporia and Zone, who have come back from the future where Momentum has destroyed the world for the purpose of saving it. They have the power to erase and rewrite history, slaughtering people behind the scenes without most people being aware of what's happening. Then we have the Ark Cradle, which has a negative spin, cutting all power to Neo-Domino and coming down to wipe out not only the City, the heart of Momentum, but everything in a radius of 30 miles. Paradox himself comes from the same future in The Movie, with the same beliefs.
  • Sensui of Yu Yu Hakusho was a particularly brutal Knight Templar before the start of the series, believing that all demons were irredeemably evil and all humans were good, killing all demons indiscriminately. When he was given overwhelming proof that his convictions were wrong, he went completely insane and tried to overrun the world with demons, believing all humans to be corrupt.


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