Follow TV Tropes


Love Redeems / Anime & Manga

Go To

  • Ah! My Goddess: The gentlemanly nihilist Celestin is redeemed, not by anyone loving him directly, but by feeling the love between Keiichi and Belldandy (he'd used Grand Theft Me on Keiichi, at the time). Knowing such a thing could exist, he regains faith in existence and ceases his attack on reality.
  • Akame ga Kill!: Tatsumi becomes the receiver of the love and affection of an insanely powerful general in a country he is currently part of a rebellion against. He attempts at first to use this to try and convince her that what is going on in her country is wrong and bring her to his side through The Power of Love. He soon realizes this is impossible, because deep down, she is completely insane and nothing he does will ever change that.
  • Advertisement:
  • Subverted at several points in Anatolia Story, when the protagonists discover the parts love played in the bitterness and corruption of the two villains, Nakia and Nefertiti. Even though both were shown as being the victims of bad circumstances (forced into arranged marriages for the good of their home countries) and were shown at their nicest in flashbacks with their lovers, it's made clear that they've grown to too far gone to even consider redemption. This is shown through how Nakia is willing to sacrifice Urhi, should it protect herself, and how Nefertiti completely forgot the significance of a momento she gave her brother.
  • A running theme of Apollo's Song. The futuristic arc has the queen of the artificial humans become kinder and more gentle after she falls in love with Shogo. Similarly, the storyline where Shogo and Hiromi are stranded together on an island, their blossoming love causes them to be much less selfish. The main storyline, meanwhile, deals entirely with Shogo's psychotic behavior being healed through learning to accept love, which turns out to happen when the Hiromi of that period is actually a student of Shogo's psychiatrist, sent to keep an eye on Shogo and teach him love after he escapes the institute he was kept at.
  • A Certain Magical Index:
    • Whether or not Accelerator even can be redeemed for the things he's done is a point of contention both in and out of universe, but it's clear that Last Order's love for him (and his for her, though he rarely admits it) is one of the only reasons he's improving at all.
    • Shizuri Mugino begins becoming a better person with her developing a genuine friendship with the rest of ITEM and a love for Shiage Hamazura, although Shiage doesn't return her feelings and she is aware of this.
    • Accelerator's strange friendship with Misaka Worst pulled her out of a suicidal rampage and seems to be bringing out some slight improvements in her behavior.
    • Othinus stopped her plan of destroying and remaking the world after growing to love and respect Touma.
  • Code Geass: Subverted in season two, when Rolo, Lelouch's fake brother/would-be assassin, does his Heel–Face Turn. Lelouch saves Rolo's life, then tells Rolo that even though the memories of their relationship were fake the feelings were still real, and Rolo 'isn't suited to death and violence.' Since Rolo had been showing signs of attachment to Lelouch, and his life before posing as Lelouch's brother had been one assassination mission after another, this of course causes him to switch sides. Lelouch's next internal monologue, however, reveals that he had staged the whole thing in order to convert Rolo, and that he fully intends to 'use him up and throw him away like a dirty rag', as a kind of revenge for daring to replace Nunnally.
    • The cruelest part? The trope was played straight with the other party. Rolo goes from a Creepy Child assassin to an adoring little brother. In episode 19, when Lelouch was betrayed and abandoned by everyone, Rolo was the only one who stayed with Lelouch, even after Lelouch admitted he was just using Rolo. Then, Rolo died.
    • Advertisement:
    • At the same time used straight with Viletta and Ougi, after going through the revolving door as they get a happy Disney wedding. Which in a cruel twist of irony led to the aforementioned betrayal of the Black Knights against Lelouch, and Rolo's self-sacrificial rescue, followed by Lelouch enacting the Zero Requiem as a result of feeling he had no one else to turn to in order to carry on, and dying in the end.
  • Cowboy Bebop: The implication is that once upon a time Spike and his Evil Counterpart Vicious were the same until the love between Spike and Julia turned Spike good.
  • In Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!, Kinshirou, who's spent the last few years engaging in Love Makes You Evil and Not Good with Rejection, is ultimately redeemed by the restoration of his friendship with Atsushi.
  • Downplayed in Danganronpa 3. Izuru's forgotten feelings for Chiaki resurface after he watches her die, motivating him to finally abandon his Bystander Syndrome and plot against Junko; however, he's still doing it for his own reasons, his interests just happen to be in the name of Revenge against the Big Bad. Ironically, those same feelings for her caused him to join Junko in the first place, so this is rather full-circle.
  • Digimon
  • Dragon Ball Z: Vegeta goes through this, going from outright bad guy to Token Evil Teammate to eventually sacrificing himself in an attempt to save his loved ones in a Redemption Equals Death way, even knowing that it wouldn't be enough that he'd escape hell. Later, when King Yemma lets him out on parole to help with the threat he failed to take down with him, Goku used his feelings for Bulma as a way to convince him to join forces with him (literally). And in the final battle, while Goku's occupying the Big Bad, Vegeta is coordinating their allies on other planets to create a final trump card, which involves bringing back everyone who's died since the ordeal with the Big Bad began, aside from the most evil ones. And with that proviso, Vegeta was one of the ones brought back, finally cementing his status as a good guy.
    • This happens quite a bit over the course of the series; Piccolo Jr.'s Heel–Face Turn comes from him developing genuine fatherly affection for Gohan to the point he sacrifice himself to save him, Android 18 (and her brother by proxy) turns because Krillin fell in love with her and chose to try and protect her from Cell instead of outright destroying her, not to mention all the antagonists Goku has caused to Heel–Face Turn (or at least mellow out) through The Power of Friendship.
  • Eureka Seven: Though it takes almost the entire series, Anemone, Eureka's Evil Counterpart, is redeemed by The Power of Love when she is reunited with Dominic, her significant other.
  • Fairy Tail:
    • As the Tenrou Island Arc begins to wind down, Ultear and Meredy are leaving the island via boat, where Ultear confirms that she was the one who attacked Meredy's village. She then stabs and throws herself overboard, her My God, What Have I Done? moment overtaking her will to live. However, Meredy uses her magic to learn exactly how Ultear feels, and saves her from death while saying they can forget about Grimoire Heart and live on together, coupled with a declaration of love.
    • Also, the reason for Ultear's Heel–Face Turn is that she fell into the sea where the melted body of her mother Ur ended up. After witnessing her mother's memories and being able to experience her mother's love for her, she realizes that her mother didn't abandon her and that her actions were not justifiable and were, in fact, unforgivable and tries to fix some of her mistakes.
    • During the the Alvarez Empire arc, Gajeel of all people admits to being this. He apparently developed a strong sense of self hatred for his past crimes after joining Fairy Tail, and still seems to consider himself evil and worthless. when he believes himself to be dying, he finally confesses his love to Levy. He tells her that he was one of the worse kind of monsters and thanks her for caring for him and staying by his side despite the fact that he once tortured and almost killed her for his own amusement. He credits her with being able to bring out the last shred of good in him and says that he was able to learn how to love because of her, one of his last actions is to tell Levy that, more or less, loving her was the only good thing he ever did.
    • Hoteye/Richard is a very odd example. He started off as a greedy, money obsessed member of the Oracion Seis, but the use of a machine that manipulates the good and evil within a person turns him into a gentle, childish Love Freak. Even when the machine's effect ends, he remains unchanged because he remembers why he descended into greed in the first place; he only wanted money to hunt for his beloved little brother who had been kidnapped and sold into slavery.
    • The Celestial Spirit Gemini started off nearly as sadistic as their master Angel/Sorano of the Oracion Seis, but after taking on Lucy's form and seeing Lucy's compassion for Celestial Spirits first-hand, they find themselves overwhelmed by her love and can't bring themselves to kill her, weeping Tears of Remorse.
  • Fatal Fury: In the first movie, young Lily Maguire was a pawn in Geese Howard's plan to murder his old rival Jeff. She grew up into a gorgeous and flirty Femme Fatale, but could never forgive herself for her role in Jeff's death, until she met Jeff's eldest son Terry and gradually recovered her hope in life. But since this is Terry Bogard we're talking about...
  • Used in Fist of the North Star repeatedly, often crossed over with Redemption Equals Death. Especially obvious in the case of Raoh. Just as Yuria admits she's about to die, Raoh realizes that he loves her. However, he really, really, wants to fight Kenshiro. More than just about anything else, including conquering the whole world. So he hits a few pressure points, ensuring that Yuria will live a few years longer, and heads off to his final hopless-battle knowing that once his little brother kills him, Yuria will be loved and taken care of.
  • Fruits Basket:
    • Kagura confesses that she pursued Kyo because she thought that loving him would cancel out some cruel and selfish behavior toward him, but now she realizes that it was as selfish as the original actions.
    • Both Kyoko and Kyo became happier, nicer people after Katsuyo and Tohru respectively entered their lives, as those were the first people to treat them so well.
  • Hunter × Hunter: Meruem, the King of the Chimera Ants, started life as a psychotic monster who planned to massacre the denizens of an entire country in order to consume the few Nen users living there. In order to stave off his boredom, he challenged the best game masters of East Gorteau to life-or-death matches and killed the losers without remorse. Then he met Komugi, the champion of gungi who beat him every time they played. Komugi's interactions with Meruem slowly changed his mentality about being a king and made him a better and humbler person. In the last moments of his life, Meruem calmly accepted his fate, realized his foolishness as a king, and chose to spend his last few hours playing gungi with Komugi.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure has a platonic (Maybe) example with Robert EO Speedwagon, who starts off as a violent, destitute mugger in the rough streets of Victorian London, but after meeting Jonathan Joestar and trying to mug him, he ends up touched by Jonathan's mercy, empathy, and kindness, and becomes his extremely close friend. He eventually ends up a kindhearted billionaire oil tycoon who dedicates his fortune to both helping the Joestars fight evil and developing life-saving medical technology to help people all over the world.
  • Kaguya-sama: Love Is War: Kaguya used to be a borderline empty shell whose only view on others was based on how she could take advantage of them. Falling in love with Shirogane caused her to realize how toxic her worldview was and (slowly) become a nicer person.
  • In Kamisama Kiss Jirou's affection for Nanami mellow him out quite a bit. Looks like Nanami is responsible for it happening to Tomoe as well.
  • Kara no Kyoukai: Sociopathic Hero Blood Knight Ryougi Shiki limits herself to avoid killing for her Actual Pacifist Love Interest Mikiya's sake.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's: This is the reason why the Wolkenritter weren't the cold-blooded weapons that the Time-Space Administration Bureau remembered when they appeared. Hayate loved them and treated them as her family so the Wolkenritter gained personalities with kind hearts. Even the Book of Darkness was affected, with the love she had for her mistress having grown so strong that she was willing to sacrifice herself to protect her mistress.
  • Sara from Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch is an odd case. Love Makes You Evil took effect when she was sixteen, having been tricked into believing she'd been abandoned. Now, at twenty-three and aiming to destroy the world, she realizes that the poor guy was innocent just as a chandelier falls on him and goes back to good. The anime does away with the chandelier.
  • Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water presents Nadia as a Broken Bird variant. She's initially abrasive and distrusting of others in general (especially adults), due to her upbringing and because those who pursue her either want to use her, or simply want the Blue Water she possesses. But she gradually learns to accept and trust those around her, thanks to her growing feelings for Jean, along with Grandis and the Nautilus crew.
  • One Piece:
    • Boa Hancock starts off as a personification of the Screw the Rules, I'm Beautiful! trope, an absolute dog-kicking bitch to everyone except for her two younger sisters. However, after disclosing her Dark and Troubled Past to Luffy and falling in love with him, she begins to turn around and eventually becomes an overall nice person (to her allies, anyway). Not to say that Luffy returns her feelings, but still.
    • As a 10-year-old child, Trafalgar Law saw everyone he ever cared for die in the genocide of his home country, becoming its Sole Survivor only thanks to hiding among the corpses of the other citizens to escape, all due to the World Goverment's corruption. This, understandably, drives him insane and causes him to become an Ax-Crazy Tyke Bomb who joins Donquixote Doflamingo's pirate gang to kill as many people as possible in the three years before he succumbs to his disease. But Doflamingo's kind-hearted younger brother, Rocinante, tries everything he can to find a cure to Law's disease while showing him compassion and love, eventually succeeding in finding a cure and saving Law from the Donquixote family at the cost of his own life. Rocinante's kindness to him turned Law away from the dark path he was on; while he's still a stoic, jaded, somewhat cold Anti-Hero as an adult, he's an overall decent person, and he credits Rocinante's love as the reason he was able to regain his "heart".
  • Phantom Quest Corp.: Bosco is a Friendly Neighborhood Vampire who's been trying to kick the habit ever since he met Makiko, a 19-year-old college student that he fell in love with. To that end, he repeatedly exposed himself to crosses and garlic to build resistance to them, and high-powered UV lamps, which is how he eventually became immune to sunlight - all so he could be closer to her. Not only did she reciprocate, she's been allowing him to feed on her four times a year, at 200cc's per quarter.
  • Pokémon: While it never really convinced them to become permanent good guys, Team Rocket care enough for their Pokémon (and each other) that they go out of their way to help them in times of trouble (see "A Poached Ego" and "Crossing Paths" for some excellent examples, although you should also bring a tissue).
  • Prétear: The final episode has Sasame throwing himself in the way of an attack meant for Takako/Fenrir. This selfless act saves them both from the dark power they'd been possessed with—but considering they both ended up that way because of their unrequited love in the first place...
  • Princess Tutu: Dark Magical Girl Rue eventually turns against the Big Bad Raven because of her love for Mytho. Then again, that was the reason for her evil actions in the first place...
  • Plays a major role in all parts of Robotech (and to a lesser extent, its parent series Macross): The Zentraedi, Meltrandi, Robotech Masters and even Invid make a Heel–Race Turn upon discovering love.
  • Sailor Moon:
    "It seems... we are not gonna have our Chocolate Parfait."
    • This repeated itself in Sailor Moon R with Saphir and Petz, though Petz was already a redeemed villainess. And Petz herself was redeemed because of the love of her younger sisters Berthier, Koan, and Calaveras. In fact, except for Koan, all the Ayakashi sisters had their Heel Face Turns as their siblings tell them that they're not alone and they can have a peaceful life as humans.
    • Subverted in the case of Kunzite and Zoisite. Yes, they were in love, but they never even considered a Heel–Face Turn. In fact, given that Zoisite outright stated that everything he did was for Kunzite, and Kunzite later swore that he would get revenge for Zoisite's death, their love motivated many of the things they did.
  • Both justified and exploited in Sekirei. Over the course of the series, several villainous Ashikabi are shown becoming less malicious and more caring towards their partners as time goes on. It's eventually realized that this is an aspect of the mystical bond between a Sekirei and their Ashikabi, causing both to grow as people and become the best version of themselves. Natsuo realizes that the Chairman knew about this aspect of the Bond, and gave him the Disciplinary Squad in hopes the Bond's power would eventually save him from himself. Realizing his words are true, Karasuba responds with disgust and rips out her own Wings, breaking the Bond and terminating herself rather than accept the Bond's redemptive power.
  • In Space Patrol Luluco, Alpha Omega Nova turns out to be an Empty Shell working for the Big Bad. When Luluco realizes that she still cares about him, she confronts him and somehow releases a blast of pure love that fixes that problem.
  • In Tokyo Ghoul:Re, Seidou Takizawa begins to regain his humanity after Akira Mado and Amon Kotarou both risk their lives to save him. After the one month Time Skip, he's looking healthier and more sane... and has spent the whole time watching over a badly-injured Akira.
  • The Weatherman Is My Lover: Done in a very low-key but realistic manner, where both of the lonely Stepford Smiler characters help each other change for the better through The Power of Love.
  • In Yona of the Dawn, Kan Tae-Jun is part of the coup that overthrows and kills Yona's father, King Il. Tae-Jun harassed Yona for years, hoping to marry her and take the throne. When he thinks he accidentally killed her, driving her off a cliff while pursuing her, this plunges him into a deep, guilty depression. Despite his awful treatment of her and viewing her as a means to an end, he did have genuine feelings for her. When he finds out she's alive, he's overcome and crying too hard even to look her in the face. His attempts to impress her result in him coming to admire her initiative and her drive to see the people of their kingdom prosper, and her kindness influences him to become more kind, to develop empathy for his subordinates and the common people, and while he is still in love with her, he stops trying to influence her to see the same. Zeno predicts that he will have a revolutionary effect on the kingdom. 100 chapters later, Yona, Algira, and Minsoo come to see him for a dangerous, even treasonous favor against the king he originally helped into power. Minsoo's inner monologue reminds us that Tae-Jun has always treated Yona like a prop to place himself on the throne, and he dislikes him immensely, and is surprised when he's met with a Tae-Jun who is humbly grateful to Yona for preserving his tribe, and who reacts to her enthusiastic hug with a simple smile and an affirmation of his loyalty to her.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • The love between High Priest Seto and Kisara saved Seto from accepting the lure of The Dark Side and later from being possessed by his father.
    • In the original manga, this happened for Seto Kaiba; Yugi's mind crush left him comatose for a year, but that reawakened his love for his younger brother Mokuba, changing him from a complete sociopath into a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX Once Juudai remembers his vow to always love Yubel, it's that love that leads him to choose Super Fusion to add to their hand, giving him the chance to fuse their souls together, purging them of the Light of Ruin, redeeming his mistakes and theirs as well.
  • Yu Yu Hakusho:
    • Subverted when villain Sensui still tries to do nasty evil things despite being in love with Itsuki. Yusuke remains a jerk through most of the series even though he's in love with Keiko... though you could argue that Yusuke might be on the level of the villains without Keiko's mix of nagging and affection.
    • Played straight platonically with Kurama and his human mother, Shiori Minamino. He fused with her unborn baby and then planned to abandon her once his injuries were fully healed, but seeing her care for him is what made him one of the good guys.
    • Yusuke's ancestor, Lord Raizen. A member of a human-eating species of demon, he fell in love with, and then had sex with, a female doctor in medieval Japan, who had the guts to stand up to him when he tried to eat her (whose lineage later led to Yusuke). When we meet him, he's dying from starvation from refusal to eat human flesh in honor of the lady doctor, who died when she gave birth to their kid aka Yusuke's ancestor. Yusuke, being his most powerful descendant, becomes his successor after Raizen's death.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: