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Memento Mac Guffin / Anime & Manga

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  • The key from Attack on Titan, which doubles as a Tragic Keepsake.
  • Sailor Moon:
    • Pictured on the main page: The star-shaped music box is a reminder of her link with Endymion and their past life together. At the end of the first season, she takes it out and shows it to him (he was brainwashed and crazy at the time) as a last resort, pleading for him to remember who he was and how they loved each other long ago. It works, but the locket disappears and is never seen again afterwards.
      • The manga has a small pocket watch (which is what was turned into the star locket) that Usagi got from Mamoru. During the revelation of Usagi being the moon princess, it plays backwards as Usagi regains her memories as Princess Serenity. Toward the end of the Dark Kingdom arc, Sailor Moon, saddened by how she cannot break Mamoru's brainwashing, strikes him and then stabs herself with a sword, hoping that their next reincarnation will lead to a happier life. The pocket watch becomes a Pocket Protector, as it took the brunt of the stab, which allowed Sailor Moon to survive.
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    • Also near the end of the anime's first season, we have Minako/Venus's friend and Secret Keeper Katherina's locket. Venus finds it after Katherina has been forcibly turned into a youma, with the bonus of it having a picture of both girls inside. She then pleads with Usagi/Moon to spare Katherina and dis-possess her.
  • In Act 2 of Sailor Moon Crystal, shortly after making her first friend ever in Usagi, Ami's attachment to the pen she won on their first outing is so strong that, while Brainwashed, she's oblivious to orders from the Monster of the Week as she staggers to retrieve it from across a room, dull-eyed but happy when she does. (the pen later becomes her Transformation Trinket)
  • Hitomi's pendant in The Vision of Escaflowne belonged to her oft-mentioned grandmother.
  • Yuri's blue pendant in Kyo Kara Maoh! is a double whammy—it was given to him by his godfather, Conrad (and, in a variant of Lost Wedding Ring, Yuri panics when he loses it); but Conrad was entrusted with it by Julia... who is reincarnated as Yuri. The pendant therefore connects Yuri to two people (Conrad and Julia) and a memory (his past life).
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  • The iron cross Germany gives Italy in Axis Powers Hetalia to cement their friendship. Doesn't help that they become an Official Couple later in the comics.
  • Digimon Savers: Masaru's dogtag belonged to his father, who gave it to him the day he left on the Digital World expedition. It symbolizes manhood (what else?) and serves as a reminder of the ideal Masaru is always chasing.
  • Code Geass:
    • Suzaku's pocketwatch (more accurately, his late father's pocketwatch), which symbolizes his being stuck in the past. When he leaves it behind during the first season's finale (with the body of the woman he loved, shot dead by his best friend), it's supposed to signal the fans that the kid gloves are off.
    • He also keeps his pin(?) designating him as Euphemia's knight, holding it introspectively and brandishing it at others as a symbol from time to time (notably in R2 episode 17).
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    • And Rolo's locket, which was given to him by Lelouch. It symbolizes... the er, "brotherly friendship" between him and Lelouch.
    • Also, Euphemia's quill pen, which he keeps with him and uses to write. His cat Arthur is shown running off with it in R2 episode 5. Boy, he sure does have a lot of stuff on him.
  • Tohru's picture of her mother in Fruits Basket—she takes it everywhere, even addressing it as "Mom."
    • Also a slightly less sentimental one in the manga—she keeps a baseball cap that was given to her by a mysterious boy who helped her find her way home once when she got lost.
  • Sora from Someday's Dreamers II: Sora always wears her late father's watch, even though it's way too large for her wrist.
  • Duel Monsters trading cards are frequently used to this effect in Yu-Gi-Oh!. The first episode of the Duel Monsters anime revolves around Seto Kaiba forcibly wresting away Yugi's grandfather's Blue-Eyes White Dragon; he wouldn't sell it because it was a reminder of his friendship with Arthur Hopkins. Of course, the Blue Eyes White Dragon card is a Memento MacGuffin (or Tragic Keepsake, depending on how you look at the situation) for Kaiba himself, which is part of the reason why he wanted it so badly in the first place... For Kaiba, it was a weapon for domination in the card game. Only in the case of the duel against Isis/Ishizu did it become a Memento MacGuffin.
  • Ciel Phantomhive's family ring from Black Butler.
  • Clam shell in the anime of Witchblade.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, Edward carries around a silver pocket watch given to him when he joined the military. In the inside of the watch he engraved the date 10 Oct. 03, the day he burnt down his home, to remind him he can never turn back.
  • Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex:
    • the full cyborgs Batou and Major Katsunagi have mementos from their pre-cyborg days: Batou's exercise weights, and the Major's watch. The watch does double duty as a straight-up MacGuffin as well: the Major accidentally left the watch at her house on the day she had to go into hiding, so Batou risks capture to retrieve the watch for her.
  • The sheet of song lyrics in Gravitation, the ones that Shuichi wrote and Yuki criticized. Presumably, Shuichi kept the original copy—it reappears at a key point at the end of the anime.
  • Ryo's bed in FAKE—it belonged to his deceased parents. Don't think about this one too hard...
  • Ichika from Uta Kata keeps the mirror shard into which Manatsu changed in a drawer, together with Manatsu's beloved soap bubble pipe.
  • The three magical jewels in Sorcerer Stabber Orphen, specially Cleao's sword. That one was a heirloom of the Everlasting family, and Cleao tags along with Orphen and Majik to make sure Orphen will give it a good use.
  • In Deadman Wonderland, Nagi has two of these: one is a locket that has a photo of his baby in it, the other is the scarf from his late wife that he ties around his waist. The locket is more plot important, however, as it is revealed that there is no photo of his baby in it, since the baby is actually being kept in a lab at Deadman Wonderland as soon as it was born.
  • In Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Homura's weapon of choice changes to a bow in the last episode. Previously it was a buckler, to symbolize her wish to protect Madoka. After Madoka's Heroic Sacrifice, Homura uses a bow that looks very similar to Madoka's. She also gets Madoka's hair ribbons, and wears one of them in place of her usual headband.
  • Rei's bracelet—later given to Kira—in MARS. To Rei, it signifies his time in America, and is a good luck charm. To Kira, it signifies the beginning of her "proper" relationship with Rei.
  • Both played straight and subverted in Neon Genesis Evangelion by Gendo's broken glasses. Rei keeps them in her room as a sign of connection and loyalty to him. In End of Evangelion, before she ruins his plans for Instrumentality, we see the glasses lying on her bedroom floor, smashed to pieces.
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena:
    • The Duelist Rings (Rose Signets) are worn by all duelists. Many episodes show a sequence from Utena's childhood, when she receives hers from Prince Dios.
    • Juri Arisugawa's locket may be seen as this or Tragic Keepsake, depending on whether you see it as a link to the happy days Juri shared with Shiori and the Nameless Boy ( Ruka), or as a reminder of Shiori's betrayal.
  • Cyborg 009:
    • In the 2001 adaptation, Albert Heinrich keeps the ring belonging to his tragically lost fiancee Hilda on a chain around his neck. Eventually, it comes in handy when he uses it while nearly completely paralyzed to shoot down Cyborg 0011.
    • Also, a man named Nicholas keeps a locket which is found between his clothes right after he's murdered in front of the Cyborgs. Seeing it reverses his girlfriend Lina's Laser-Guided Amnesia and breaks the Mind Control that the Big Bad of said arc had over her.
  • In the first episode of the anime version of Get Backers, Natsumi hires Ban and Ginji to get back a stuffed toy cat that was given to her by her mother, who is now dead.
  • Shin's sister's mobile phone in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny.
  • Hayate the Combat Butler
    • Though Hayate doesn't know of the significance of their stone for quite a while, he's given the King's Jewel/Stone of Bonds by Mikado, it reminds Mikado of his daughter, who appears to be the original one who found the stones (she's dead and he seems to want her brought back). It's called the Stone of Bonds by Maria and Nagi, and it reminds Nagi of her bond with Hayate. Eventually Mikado decides it's useful as a mark of inheritance for the Sanzenin fortune.
    • It's also a stone that Athena and Midas need to reopen the doorway to the Royal Garden. Multiple uses for a single item that didn't seem particularly noteworthy at first. Oh, and there's more than one. Most notably, Wataru now has one, given to him by his mother.
  • One Piece: Luffy's straw hat. Some of the Straw Hats also have one. Zoro has Kuina's sword, which doubles as a Tragic Keepsake. Nami has the tangerine trees that her foster mother Bellemere used to plant. Chopper has the hat that he always wears, given to him by Dr Hiluluk, and Brook has the Tone Dial that contains the Rumbar Pirates' final song before they died.
    • Later on, Luffy's straw hat is revealed to have belonged to Gold Roger himself.
  • Goku's Four-Star-Dragon Ball. It's one of the few things he has to remember his (adoptive) grandfather by.
  • The key Chiyoko gets from the fugitive artist in Millennium Actress.
  • Future GPX Cyber Formula:
    • Asuka wears her pendant, which contains a photo of her brother who ran away from home 5 years prior to the storyline of the main series. The pendant also serves as a clue of the identity of the mysterious driver, Knight Shoemach.
    • Kurumada has his loupe, which was given by a man named Gen-san from his youth. With the loupe, Pei finds the cause of the understeer on Hayato's Asurada. It also helped Kurumada to find the cause of his friend Kojiro's crash on a test drive.
  • In Maiden Rose, Klaus keeps a textbook which Taki had written "thank you" in back in their Luckenwalde days and has it with him during a mission. It ends up saving his life by slowing down the bullets he takes.
  • Carly's glasses in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's. Jack finds them in the ruins of the Arcadia Building after she is recruited to the Dark Signers, and holds onto them, thinking she's dead at first. When he discovers the truth and she turns against him, the glasses become the link to making her past self resurface. When Carly loses the Dark Duel she started—on purpose, to spare Jack—there is a heartwarming moment between them, where Jack gives her the glasses back so she can look at him again before she dies, the usual penalty for losing such a duel. (Fortunately, she gets better later.)
  • Pokémon: Ash received a few gifts over the series, coming from some of the friends that he's traveled with over the years only to go on their separate journeys. A handkerchief and a custom fishing lure from Misty, one-half of a Contest Ribbon and a Teddiursa carving from May, and a broken Pokeball from Gary. Brock also had a present to give, some cutlery, but since he went on to become the one with the currently longest travelling time with Ash, it was kinda moot, and these silver were never heard from again. Dawn, meanwhile, has a Ribbon she received from her mother as a good luck charm.
    • Serena from the XY series has a handkerchief that used to belong to Ash; in their first meeting as little kids, he used that cloth to bandage her injured knee. Serena starts her own journey to see him again and return the handkerchief. Ash doesn't remember her until he was presented with it.
  • Barnaby from Tiger & Bunny has a burnt sash that he acquired when Kotetsu risked his life to protect him from Lunatic's firebolts. Supplimental materials say that he keeps it in his company locker as a good luck charm. Karina also has a memento from Kotetsu—a towel he got her to replace the one he accidentally ruined.
  • Rurouni Kenshin—the hairpin Tomoe got as a betrothal gift from Akira, the man Kenshin killed. When Oibore is seen with it, it cements his identity as Tomoe's father.
  • Orihime's hairpins in Bleach were gifts from her older brother Sora who died the same day he gave them to her. She had hated them for being too childish, but after his death always wore them. They first become relevant when Sora after becoming a Hollow, realizes on seeing the pins that she has never stopped thinking about him. They later become the focus of her spiritual powers.
  • Season two of the Magic Knight Rayearth anime has Lantis give Hikaru a mirror pendant that belonged to his mother. It is also a Chekhov's Gun, playing a role in the final battle.
  • Yata Misaki's awesome wrist-watch-cellphone-thingy in K—it was given to him by his former best friend Fushimi Saruhiko during their Middle School years. That he kept it shows that Misaki still misses and treasures the relationship they once had.
  • In Chapter 15/ Episode 12 of Gourmet Girl Graffiti, Akira gives Ryou the apron Ryou's late grandmother used to wear. Since Ryou was raised by the said grandmother, she treats it as a representation of her grandmother.
  • Chitoge's iconic ribbon in Nisekoi was given to her by her mother back when they actually saw each other. And it's tangentially related to the promise made 10 years ago.
  • The blue pendant or brooch Chtholly wears on her neck in Sukasuka formerly belonged to an older Leprechaun she once looked up to as an older sister figure back when she was a child. The pendant/brooch now serves as a motivation for her to move forward and grow stronger because she knows that as someone who was raised as a weapon of war she could die any day in the battlefield and strives to live her life as much as she can. After she herself dies in a Dying Moment of Awesome combined with a tearjerking Heroic Sacrifice, it's then given posthumously to Tiat in a moment that symbolizes Chtholly passing on her role as main heroine to Tiat as Tiat herself becomes the main heroine of the sequel light novel series. Also doubles as Tragic Keepsake.

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