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Meaningful Echo / Anime & Manga

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Meaningful Echoes in anime and manga.


  • Assassination Classroom:
    • After Koro-sensei gets himself into a tangle after failing to solve a wire puzzle in less than a second, Asano Sr. taunts him that not every problem can be solved with speed. Later, Koro-sensei repeats this line to his students after revealing the mountainside pool he built by damming a stream and letting it pool up overnight.
    • Karasuma's first words to the students, in regards to Koro-sensei: "I'll cut right to the point. I want you to kill this monster!". Later repeated to Class E (in a metaphorical sense) by Asano Jr., who is fed up with the Chairman's educational methods and wants them to take him down during the second semester final exams.
  • Bleach:
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    • The Memories of the Rain arc towards the beginning of the manga has Rukia briefly flashback to someone telling her there are two types of fight (for life and for pride). Towards the end of the Soul Society arc we're given both the context of that comment and the identity of the person who said them.
    • Chapter 352 has a rather meaningful, though quite sinister, echo of Orihime's scream of 'Help me' to Ichigo. Ichigo comes back as a hollow, obsessed with protecting Orihime from everything, who is only capable of saying 'You. I'll...help....you.' Needless to say, it shakes Orihime up pretty bad.
  • Chrono Crusade:
    • Chrono reacts with shock when Rosette overlooks the lights of a city and remarks "[It's] like each light is its own life." A later flashback reveals why: Mary said something very similar to Chrono right before Aion ordered him to kill her.
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    • In another scene, a demon screeches to Chrono that he has nowhere to run to, and Rosette retorts "The place where Chrono can go back to was already decided four years ago!" In the very last chapter of the manga, the line is echoed before Chrono and Rosette part ways, when Chrono tells Rosette "Wasn't it you who said "The place where Chrono can go back to was already decided four years ago"? And that place is...wherever you are. So I'll definitely be back."
  • Lelouch Lamperouge from Code Geass has the philosophy that "The only ones who should kill are those who are prepared to be killed". He says it several times throughout the series, beginning with the climax of the first episode, directed at The Empire's soldiers who were about to execute him. Then in the final episode, he says it to his friend Suzaku to show that he's prepared to give up his own life for what he believes in as well as to atone for the countless lives he's destroyed on the path to that goal.
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  • Early in Countdown to Heaven, the 5th Non-Serial Movie of Detective Conan, Genta chides Mitsuhiko when the later leaves some rice uneaten with "My mom says it's bad luck to leave even one grain of rice." When asked why he saves Ai at the end of the movie, during her attempt at a Heroic Sacrifice, Genta responds with the same line.
  • In the 2001 anime of Cyborg 009, when Jet first picks up Joe, he jokingly asks him "Where do you want to fall?" Much later, he repeats the question as they're about to reenter the earth's atmosphere and burn up.
  • Death Note:
    • If you've seen the anime once, a couple of the shots in Episode Nine (the pencil and the closing smirk, to be specific) are going to stand out a whole lot more.
    • Throughout the first half of the series, Matsuda finds just about everything he says and does met with the response, "Matsuda, you idiot!" — mostly by L. This is always a throwaway line Played for Laughs. However, in the second half of the series, the story becomes bleaker and the joke fades away. Then Light revives it in the last episode in a context that is much less funny:
      Light: Matsuda, you idiot! Who the hell do you think you're shooting at?!
  • An example where the echo comes from the original speaker: Early on in the manga Dengeki Daisy, Kurosaki insults Teru by telling her "I'm not interested in puny, A-cup girls." Later, he tells the school council president, in response to her flirting, that "I'm only interested in puny, A-cup girls."
  • Digimon
    • The exact lines may have been different in the Japanese version, but there's a moment in the movie, the segment known as "Our War Game," in which the Mons are fighting Diaboromon and the kids are back home acting as Mission Control. When they're cut off, Izzy looks at Tai with his best Oh, Crap! face, saying "connection... terminated." Later, once they get everything sorted out and figure out how to beat Diaboromon, it becomes an awesome Pre-Mortem One-Liner when Omnimon ends the fight by introducing the enemy's skull to his BFS, and says triumphantly, "Connection... *kachunk!*...terminated."
    • In Digimon Adventure, when Yamato was convinced he was better off alone.
      Gabumon: I've waited in this world forever just so I could meet you, and only you!
    • In Digimon Adventure tri., when Gabumon, after losing his memories from the Reboot, asks why Yamato risked his life to save him.
      Yamato: I came to this world to see you, no one but you!
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • The protagonist Edward Elric's fatal flaw is his pride; he spends much of the story wielding godlike powers of creation and destruction and trying to find a way to surpass the law of Equivalent Exchange. He only admits to being only human twice in the story; once after his greatest failure, when he wasn't able to save Nina from her Mad Scientist father, and he is lamenting his own powerlessness. The other time is when he gave up his alchemy to save his brother's life, when he is choosing powerlessness over the loss of his sibling; his finest hour. In the echo, he calls back to the first incident with a similar statement to what he said then. The two speeches wrap up his Character Development nicely; the first time, he views his humanity as a weakness, and the second time, as the source of his strength.
      Edward: That's all I've ever been: just a tiny, insignificant human, who couldn't even save a little girl.
    • When Father kills the original Greed, he tells him "Return to whence you were born. Return to my depths and rejoin my soul. Return, Greed." This was him taunting Greed over the fact that Greed's greatest desire was to be independent of Father and live out his own ambitions. When Father is dying at the end of the series, Ed gives him a similar send off: "Go back to where you were born. Go back to nothing, Homunculus." Bonus points for the fact that [[spoiler]]this was right after Greed's Heroic Sacrfice negated Father's defenses for Ed to finish him off[[/spoiler]].
    • The series starts with Ed and Al battling Father Cornello, and ends with them battling another Father. Ed even repeats the final line of the first chapter after knocking Father to the ground: "Get up, you novice; I'm about to show you just how outclassed you really are!"
    • When Ed is first face to face with Truth at the start of the series, he asks him what he is, Truth replies "I am what you call the world, or perhaps the universe, or perhaps God, or perhaps truth, or perhaps all, or perhaps one, and I am also you." At the end of the series, Homunculus/Father is standing before the Gate of Truth, and demands to know who he thinks he is. In his monotone voice, Truth gives him the same answer he gave Ed. Right before he gave a more Ironic Echo of Father's line about Truth delivering despair lest people become boastful and casting him into the darkness beyond the gate.
  • The title character of Irresponsible Captain Tylor has this: his first and last order to the crew in the series is "Do what you want to do." The first time, it leads to utter anarchy and mutiny. The second time, after Tylor has greatly defused the war, it takes on a whole new meaning, and the crew of the Soyokaze takes it to a broader level. Most of them quit the military; the marines become fishermen, while their dropship pilot and comm officer become models.
    • And then, they continue following it by joining up together again with Yamamoto and Tylor to recrew the Soyokaze after Yamamoto's been reassigned as captain of a new ship.
  • A Tear Jerker on in Karin where her older brother Ren always gives her nudgies, much to her annoyance. In the end, for the first and only time, he affectionately pats her on the head, remarking how she always hated it when he was rough on her. Then, he wipes her memory of him and her vampire family. Karin's family was planning this from the very beginning, since they know that Karin isn't a normal vampire and was more human than vampire.
  • The finale of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Strikers has several, all of them used for Heartwarming Moment.
    • Shortly before splitting up to sabotage the Saint Cradle's engine, Vita tells Nanoha not to worry about her since she and Graf Eisen specializes in smashing stuff and "There's nothing in this world we can't destroy". During the penultimate episode of the season, while Hayate cradles a heavily wounded Vita who thought she failed to break the engine, Hayate tells her that against such valiance that she and Graf Eisen had shown, "There is nothing in the world that they can't destroy", just as a portion of Graf Eisen that had lodged itself into the engine causes an explosive chain reaction.
    • During an early episode, the six-year old Vivio trips while running to Nanoha-mama, and instead of helping her up, Nanoha encourages her to try her best "to stand on your own", until a worried Fate-mama protests and helps Vivio up. Come the penultimate episode, a worried Nanoha runs to the crater where Vivio was after Nanoha blasted her with five Starlight Breakers to free her from the control of the relic, and as she reaches the edge of the crater, a very bruised Vivio tells her not to come, "I can stand on my own", after all, she promised Nanoha-mama that she'd be strong.
    • The very first scene of the season is Subaru crying out for help, and Nanoha saving her and telling her that she tried her best and that everything is going to be okay. Subaru's part in the epilogue has the exact same dialogue, only she's playing the part of the rescuer rather than the child. Doubles as Bookends.
    • When talking about memories of her original owner in the third sound stage, Agito says "Strangely, my heart feels warm." Signum says the same thing to her the first time they unison.
  • Mekakucity Actors: Both Episodes 1 and 11 begin with Shintaro and his power, the Retaining Eyes Snake, using Ayano's voice and form, having vague conversations about memory. About halfway through both sequences, there is a close-up of one of their eyes as it glows red, and the latter will ask Shintaro if he finally remembers what happened. By the second scene, he does.
  • Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid: When Kobayashi tries to help Ilulu overcome her Tragic Bigotry towards humans in chapter 38, Ilulu says "You're trying to trick me." When all is said and done at the end of the chapter, Ilulu tearfully hugs Kobayashi and asks "Can you trick me?"
  • Done with an action rather than a word in Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: In the first episode, Heero tears up Relena's birthday invitation in order to distance himself from her (saying afterwards, "I'll Kill You!"). In the last episode, Relena tears up the birthday letter Heero left for her in order to bring them closer (saying afterwards, "Next time, tell me in person").
  • Naruto:
    • "Hey... you're not hurt are ya? Scaredy cat."
    • A massive Tear Jerker of one: Naruto tells Neji the reason he fights so hard is, "Because I was called a failure," then adds that Neji, being a "genius" should be able to do so as well. Over 400 chapters later, Neji tells Naruto the reason he gave his life for Naruto and Hinata is, "Because I was called a genius."
    • Near the beginning, Kakashi tells Sasuke, who's terrified upon facing Zabuza, the first opponent completely out of his league, that he will not let any of his comrades die. Much later, when Naruto and Kakashi are fighting Tobi, Naruto repeats this promise. This time, he's unable to keep it because of Neji's aforementioned Heroic Sacrifice.
    • When Sasuke was young and asked his older brother to train with him, Itachi would poke his forehead and say "Sorry Sasuke, next time." The last thing he does before dying is poke Sasuke's forehead and say "Sorry Sasuke, there won't be a next time." A complete and utter Tear Jerker.
    • In the very first chapter of the manga, Mizuki asks Iruka why he was trying to hard to save the demon fox. Iruka's response? "He's not just a demon fox...he is a member of Konoha. He is Uzumaki Naruto!" Nearly six hundred chapters later, Naruto releases the seal on the Kyuubi's chakra. "You're not just a demon fox... you are a member of Konoha. Let's go, Kurama!" One of the best uses of this trope ever, as Iruka's words were the first step to making Naruto into the person he is today.
    • When confronting Gaara, Naruto thought that the loneliness he had endured prior to finding friends was a "pitch black hell" which could have led him to becoming like Gaara. Years later Obito, who was often compared to Naruto, stated that the world became a "pitch black hell" after Rin died and he began his descent into villainy.
    • When asked why Zetsu fights for Akatsuki, his reason is stated to be "land". During the Fourth Shinobi War Zetsu reveals he is actually the will of Princess Kaguya, who intends to use the Elemental Nations as a nursery to grow an army of Zetsu clones.
  • From Neon Genesis Evangelion:
    • In Episode 16, Shinji, having a near death experience, relives a half-forgotten memory from his early childhood of being with his mother at a lakeside on a sunny day, where she tells him "Well, that's good for you." He later wakes up in the infirmary, to find Rei sitting on a chair by his bedside. Seeing that Shinji is awake once more, she starts to leave the room, telling Shinji that he can just stay in bed and relax for the rest of the day. Shinji protests that he is feeling just fine, to which Rei replies with "Well, that's good for you," in the exact same manner his mother said the line in his memory. Shinji instantly makes the connection and does an Eye Take in response.
    • In Episode 21, Gendo and Naoko Akagi have a conversation. He says he has no regrets about his work, and she calls him a liar, thereby offering the viewer a possible clue about Gendo's silent line in End of Evangelion, which was followed Ritsuko calling him a liar as well. It's further supported by the fact that Ritsuko was there and overheard them talking. She has a lot of issues regarding her similarities to her mother, making the repetition especially meaningful.
    • ...the "I'm home"/"Welcome home" exchange between Shinji and Misato. The first time, it takes place when Misato becomes Shinji's guardian and brings him home with her, more as a form of formulaic politeness: Shinji obviously still feels uncomfortable and out of place in Tokyo-3. The second iteration of the dialogue takes place after he ran away and was about to leave the city for good, but couldn't bring himself to get on the train. When he realizes that Misato came for him, these words show that he has accepted Tokyo-3 as his home. The third instance then takes place in The End of Evangelion, as Rei has decided to break free of Gendo's control, and come to Shinji's aid by reuniting with Lilith. She then calmly whispers "I'm home." as she looks upon the crucified white giant, before Lilith greets her with "Welcome Home" (via a capitation) and absorbs her.
    • A flashback shows Asuka desperately trying to get the attention of a man twice her age by exposing her chest to him, exclaiming "Look at me!". Soon after that, she is subjected to what was to become the Trope Namer for Mind Rape, and the deep rooted issues that caused her Attention Whore-like behaviour are unearthed. The chest she was showing were meant to prove that she's an adult, but she was actually acting like a kid that wants attention — therefore, the Mind Rape shows her repeating the "Look at me!" line at her mother, this time showing her as a small child, with her face full of tears and snot.
  • One Piece:
    • In one chapter, Vice-Admiral Tsuru tells Garp that "The sin rests not with you" in regards to Ace being found to be the son of Gold Roger. At the end of the chapter, Garp has a flashback to where Roger himself is telling Garp that "My child who is yet to be born bears no sin."
    • At Gold Roger's death, he told the whole world that his treasure is out there. When Whitebeard is about to die, he proclaimed that One Piece really does exist.
    • Queen Otohime always pinky swears with her children as a promise to make their future better. When she was dying, her oldest son Fukaboshi promises her that they will collect all the signatures she had long fought for and they will protect Shirahoshi, to reassure her that the future will be better. They seal the promise with a pinky swear.
    • In Mihawk's first appearance, he casually slices a ship in half. In Zoro's reappearance after the time-skip and having been trained by Mihawk, he slices a ship in half.
  • In the Pokémon Adventures manga, at the climax of the final chapter with Red vs. Green for the title of champion, they both repeat lines which they used right back in the first chapter.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica Episode 9. "You can't carry her and fight because you'll get us both killed." First during a Big Damn Heroes moment, the second time right before a Tear Jerker Heroic Sacrifice.
  • In the early episodes of R.O.D the TV the Paper Sisters occasionally hold "Three Sisters Votes". This is merely a bit of comic relief, since Michelle and Maggie always agree and Anita never gets her way. Then halfway into the series Nenene gets kidnapped, and Anita delivers a passionate plea to her sisters that they had to rescue her. When she's done, Michelle announces a Three Sisters Vote. This time the vote is unanimous.
  • In The Royal Tutor, when prince Leonhard first warms up to the idea of Heine tutoring him, he only holds one of the fingers from Heine's offered hand, saying he would try that much. Later on, when Leonhard formally accepts Heine as his teacher, Heine only holds one of the fingers from Leonhard's offered hand. Heine even Lampshaded it, saying he was simply returning Leonhard's earlier handshake.
  • School-Live! begins with Yuki lamenting about how much she loves her school. The lines are repeated in her head as she runs away panicking after killing her first zombie. Her happy delusions of school are shattering before her.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann:
    • In the first episode, Kamina says to Simon, "Your drill is the drill that will pierce the heavens!" Then, much later in the series, Simon says to the Big Bad, "My drill is the drill that creates the heavens!" Which gets bonus points in the original Japanese for essentially acquiring this change of meaning by adding one syllable. There's also "Let's see you grit those teeth!"
    • Don't believe in me who believes in you... Don't believe in you who believes in me... Believe in yourself, Simon.
    • Kamina's last words of "Later, buddy." are heart-wrenching... But Simon joyfully shouting "Let's go, buddy!" back to him right before the series finale lets everyone know that yes, things are gonna be all right.
  • In Tiger & Bunny, Karina/Blue Rose's not sure she wants to continue being a superhero anymore and asks why Kotetsu/Wild Tiger sticks to it so passionately when he gets even less appreciation or acknowledgement for it than any of the other heroes. He replies, "I just want to help people. What other reason could a guy need?" When Kotetsu asks if she's made her decision after she saves him at the end of the episode, she simply repeats the same his answer.
  • In Trigun when the reason for the heaviness of Wolfwood's bundled cross is that it's "because it's so full of mercy!" The cross is actually a gun, the Cross Punisher, in disguise and Wolfwood's an assassin in disguise, and when he says it (in a slightly self-satisfied way) Wolfwood is basically enjoying a nice bit of sarcasm that no one else, at the moment, gets. Near the end of the series, shortly after a redeemed Wolfwood has changed his ways and died defending the cause of trying to save everybody that Vash desperately believes in, Millie gives the Cross Punisher to Vash. He comments on its heaviness and Millie (Wolfwood's love interest) tells him that's because it's so full of mercy. And this time it is.
  • The protagonist of Wandering Son is transgender and whenever she talks about the issue she says "I want to be a girl" or "I wish I were a girl". The final line of the manga has her saying "I am a girl", which is the title of her book which is basically an in-universe version of the manga.
  • On the boat in When Marnie Was There, Sayaka's wants the diary to be her and Anna's secret which echoes the scene earlier at the same spot where Marnie asked to keep her relationship with Anna a secret. The connection is that Marnie's diary brought Anna and Sayaka together as friends.


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