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  • Leigharch from Black Lagoon. This junkie was only in one arc, mostly as Plucky Comic Relief, yet he managed to gain a fanbase the same size as those of the main characters.
  • Giant Robo has the remaining members of the Big Bad ruling council, the Magnificent Ten. Plenty of people were disappointed at how they only got a few minutes between them to strut their stuff, but damn it was cool.
    • They even have the established star thing going for them, as the cast of Giant Robo are all characters from previous anime & manga by Mitsuteru Yokoyama. This was most definitely intentional, as they were supposed to be the main antagonist (as indicated by the Sequel Hook) for the Grand Finale before it got cut short.
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    • Their boss, Big Fire himself, had even less screentime, most of which was actually an impostor, but is just as well-remembered.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya:
    • A common surprise for anyone that gets into the show via the hype around it is that Internet meme Ensemble Dark Horse Tsuruya has a very small role in the show, with only one or two memorable scenes; her actual Character Focus comes a while later in the books on which the series is based.
    • Emiri Kimidori, who appeared once in one episode, but got her own Image Song album before some other main characters. She, too, gets fleshed out a little later on in the books, but she's still a very minor character... so far.
    • Ryoko Asakura could count as well. Sure, she had a few scenes in the first few episodes, and she gets good screen time in The Movie and the tenth novel, but the only scene where she really gets much characterization or interaction with anyone else is a doozy.
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  • Kazuhiko Amagasaki from Tenchi Muyo! who appeared briefly in the first episode of the original OVA series, but ended up with his own Omake comics and a much larger role in Tenchi in Tokyo.
  • Considering how popular DIO's Road Roller attack and Flechette Storm are among the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure fandom and video games, you'd hardly believe that they were each used exactly once in the entire series, during the same fight with Jotaro. Then again, we are talking about DIO.Although the attack is used once again in both the endings of Stone Ocean and Steel Ball Run, just not by DIO but two people closely associated with him, his last fanatical follower and the alternate universe version of himself respectively.
  • Nabeshin and Kumi-Kumi in Puni Puni Poemy. They only appear at the beginning of the first episode, and are subsequently Stuffed in the Fridge. Nabeshin and Kumi-Kumi (who married in Excel Saga) are the most interesting characters for many people. They do come back for the last episode, though.
  • Many fans of Princess Tutu consider a character who only appears in one episode as one of their favorites. Femio, an outlandish, beauty-obsessed, rose-wielding ballet student shows up as a victim for the Dark Magical Girl, and he's so hilarious that he's become a hugely popular character to the fandom, showing up in fanart, fanfic, cosplay and roleplaying nearly as much as the actual main characters of the show, probably because he defeats the powers of darkness through sheer narcissism and stupidity.
    • Oh yeah, and he's also voiced by Vic Mignogna. Keep in mind that this was years before Ouran High School Host Club.
  • Noriko and Kazumi's appearance at the end of Diebuster stole the climax of the show. They were only in it for about 30 seconds had no lines and weren't even seen yet they managed to turn a Bitter Sweet Ending into a Heartwarming Moment.
  • Gustav St. Germain from Baccano!! fits this trope like a glove. He's in the series for a grand total of ten minutes, barely makes an impact on the plot, and yet he's probably just as memorable as some as the biggest badasses in the series.
    • It's also because he's essentially the narrator of the show's Framing Device.
  • Chiyo's Dad in Azumanga Daioh has a speaking part in about five skits, but is one of the mascots of the series.
  • Kaworu appeared for only one episode in Neon Genesis Evangelion (and the climactic parts of End of Evangelion), yet he is in the most memorable scene in the entire series and the results of that scene trigger the end of the series (whichever one you go by). It may be interesting to note that he is getting a bigger role in The Remake Rebuild of Evangelion.
  • Lord Raptor in the Darkstalkers OVA, his depiction is often considered to be incredibly awesome (and is also one of Scott McNeil's coolest performances). Only problem? He was only in the 1st episode for about 10 minutes...
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX gives us Dimitri, played by Marc Thompson. His ridiculously silly and awesome impression of Dan Green's Large Ham Yami Yugi from the original series makes Dimitri one of the most memorable side-characters in the series, and he only shows up for two episodes. It helps that as he stole Yugi's deck to copy his dueling styles, those two episodes were spent busting out fan favorites like Dark Magician, Dark Magician Girl, and Black Luster Soldier.
  • Death Note: Barring one cameo appearance a few episodes earlier, Matt only shows up for the kidnapping scene before getting riddled with bullets. Hasn't stopped him from becoming one of the fans' favourite characters.
    • He appears a bit more in the manga before that scene, though his appearances are so sporadic that they all amount to 16 panels note  maximum.
    • Then there's TV reporter Koki Tanakabara, who shows up for about one minute to denounce Kira, announcing his full name at the end while knowing that Kira can kill him just by knowing his name and face, and establishing himself as one of the most courageous characters in the entire series.
  • In ''Claymore"" Teresa is a posthumous character who only appeared in a few flashbacks. However due to sheer badassery, she is bar far the most loved character by the fandom in the whole series!
  • Jinpei Matsuda of Detective Conan. He appeared in exactly one backstory arc of this long runner and its effects to the canon is arguably minor (except for Inspector Sato), but he still listed as one of the main characters on the show's official website.
  • Deadman Wonderland has Rokuro who only appeared for four episode and yet his insane actions earned him a huge following.
  • Sano the Hospital Hottie whom was only in the 22nd episode of the Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex series but lets just say some folks remember her for her... potential — she was a fairly blatant Ms. Fanservice Lipstick Lesbian whom was blatantly trying to hit on the Major. However the only reason why that episode didn't become a softcore lesbian porno was because she was actually a assassin that Motoko had to stop and beat. (Besides Sano would most likely be a part of Motoko's little harem if she turned out to be good anyways.)
  • Burger-kun's five minutes of screentime in Darker Than Black Season 2 somehow managed to net him an internet fandom, for God knows what reason.
    • Most likely due to his nonchalant attitude and his complaining about having to eat burgers for his remuneration. And he doesn't have the Required Secondary Powers for his Super Speed.
  • Bruce Ironstaunch from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. He's just some nameless member of a cheering crowd who makes a Bicep-Polishing Gesture while Rossiu is announcing that Simon will be executed. Since that gesture means "up yours" elsewhere, Western fans saw him as the one good man standing up for the heroes, and he became a legend.
  • Ojamajo Doremi Naisho has a character named Fami, who only appeared in the last episode but is particularly memorable, mainly because she's Doremi's granddaughter from the future.
  • In-Universe example. In Only Yesterday Taeko recalls how as a child, she had a one-line part in her school play. Determined to get as much use of this role as possible, she puts significantly more effort into this single line than the rest of the performers, resulting in her stealing the show and being offered a role in a completely different play. However, her father forbids her from accepting the role.
  • In Tiger & Bunny, Origami Cyclone is a "superhero" who does very little by way of actual crimefighting, and the ranking system that the city uses places him even lower than the Butt-Monkey, Wild Tiger. Nevertheless, his corporate sponsors are very happy with him, because he's good at his real job of inserting himself anywhere there's a camera as living advertisement.
  • In Episode 1 of Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn, when the Kshatriya is generally fucking things up, one nameless Mook in a Stark Jegan decides to take it on by himself, putting up a very good fight before being sliced in half. He is known only as godspeed.
  • Soul Eater: Hiro appeared in a single special chapter (and a single anime episode) and still remains incredibly memorable, so much he's present in both official popularity polls, probably for being the only one meister shown to be able to cope with Excalibur.
  • Shou Tucker of Fullmetal Alchemist is a rather strange example. Even though he's only in one chapter before he's killed off by Scar, he is one of the first truly intimidating antagonist encountered by the Elric brothers, and still stands out as one of the series' most horrific villains. It's very shocking to some fans that the character widely regarded as the most despicable in the history of anime shows up near the beginning of the series, and not very long at all.
  • An unnamed one-panel character in Mahou Sensei Negima! managed to get her own entry in the character sheet for the impressive feat of cramming twelve Fanservice Tropes into said appearance.
  • In Outlaw Star, Shimi/Leilong is perhaps the biggest bad ass of the series, defeating the entire crew in open combat, but only appears in one episode, and he doesn't even die like almost every other one-off villian.
  • Inuyama, the "cowardly" samurai/firefly enthusiast/assassin from Samurai Champloo only gets one episode and he nearly beats Jin, stopping only when he discovers his employer's death and decides to walk away. And what's worse, he promises that they'll meet again.
    • Oddly enough, the reason for this is simply because the writer completely forgot about his character until it was too late to add him into the plot.
  • Several one-shot characters in Pokémon apply, even though many of them usually appear in only one episode they are often deemed as some of the show's most memorable characters. Whether its characters whom are actually from the games such as Lt. Surge and Sabrina, or Anime only characters such as A.J and Giselle.
    • In the dub, any character-of-the-day voiced by DAN GREEN is likely to be this. Especially Gym Leader Byron.
    • Tobias during the Sinnoh League lives in infamy to this day for owning Ash with a Darkrai and a Latios.
  • Code Geass has Mao. He was only in a few episodes in a row towards the middle of the first season, but is remembered for being Crazy Awesome, and at the very least foreshadowed Lelouch's Power Incontinence.
  • Yuna from InuYasha. She only had two episodes but the amount of fan art you would think she was a reoccurring villain. It helps that she has Evil Is Sexy, Vapor Ware, Absolute Cleavage and Toplessness from the Back.
  • Robotech: The Super Dimension Fortress Macross character on which Dr. Emil Lang was based on was just an unnamed chief engineer in the original Japanese version. The character design already had cool looking all-black eyes. Robotech went further, giving Dr. Lang a memorable German accent (courtesy of actor Greg Snegoff). All this for a character that had only appeared in two episodes with three minutes total of screen time. He would become a major supporting character in the aborted Sentinels production and the rest of the Expanded Universe.
  • Charlotte the Dessert Witch, of Puella Magi Madoka Magica, got less than two minutes of screentime in a twelve-episode series. Danbooru currently list her as having over two thousand different fanarts, more than all the other witches, all the supporting cast, and all the spinoff characters put together. Being the Knight of Cerebus and deliverer of the show's first Wham Episode help, as does generally being cute. In Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: Rebellion, she's an Ascended Extra, although the characters call her "Bebe". She even changes back into her human form, new character Nagisa Momoe.
  • Hinata and Hikage Miyakawa made a grand total of three appearances throughout the Lucky Star anime (and only a few more in the manga), but managed to get their own spinoff series later on.
  • Kimihiro Watanuki made a 14-minute appearance in Blood-C: The Last Dark where he provided Saya's sword which would use to kill Fumito. He brought out about the price for the sword which Saya mentions that she would do it later. By the end of the movie, this was not mentioned again and the sword is left behind after Saya killed Fumito.
    • This goes the same with Yuka Amino, the 28-year old woman who pretended to be Saya's friend in the TV series and wanted to be the governor of Tokyo. She only has two scenes where she does secretarial duties for Fumito and by the end of the movie where she finally achieves her goal as governor without any repercussions.
  • The first Shuffle Alliance in Mobile Fighter G Gundam. Their absurd Gundams transform from playing card suits—diamond, spade, etc—and they themselves are a pretty flashy bunch of badasses in Awesome Anachronistic Apparel who take out a bunch of DG-cell-infected, subway-car-throwing Gundam Fighters hardly breaking a sweat. And they're a match for Master Asia. Sad, then, that they do a collective Heroic Sacrifice to save the new Shuffle Alliance in just the next episode.
  • If this trope can be played negatively, MaloMyotismon would qualify (putting aside his previous incarnations as Myotismon and VenomMyotismon). He only appeared during the last two episodes of Digimon's second season, and is remembered as one of the suckiest villains ever in an anime series.
  • Kuroha in the Kagerou Project anime Mekakucity Actors. Despite being shown in the opening doing something extremely plot important and being hyped up as a source of conflict in the intro and The Stinger of episode 11, he only appears halfway into episode 12 and hams up the scene for all of five minutes before he ultimately bites it.
  • Sailor Moon gives us Sailor Saturn. Five minutes of screen time of the anime is all she needs to prove she is the strongest of the Sailor Senshi, and she properly pays for all the hype being built about her during the whole Sailor Moon S arc, giving us the most epic Final Battle, and disappearing for whole two seasons...
  • Whenever Masaaki Yuasa is hired to animate a scene.
  • Luke and Jan, the Valentine brothers from Hellsing only appear in one episode (2 in the TV anime) but have one of the largest followings in the fandom. Jan for his over-the-top Laughably Evil nature and Luke for his Smug Snake-ness and brutal offscreen death. It helps that they invoke Evil Is Sexy for quite a few fangirls.
  • Despite being heavily featured in promotional material for The Last: Naruto the Movie, Sasuke only appears twice in the actual movie, and is especially epic in his second appearance, because it involves his only dialogue.
  • The Farmer with a Shotgun in Dragon Ball Z has a surprisingly large following for a character whose sole purpose was to demonstrate that Raditz was Immune to Bullets. He'd go on to become something of a Recurring Extra in the anime, even making a cameo in Battle of the Gods.
  • Fairy Tail: Any of the Celestial Spirits, including the Spirit King, could be considered this in general as they can only appear when a Celestial mage summons them. However, the Silver Keys (outside of Plue) are extremely rare to see.
  • Ranma ½:
    • Tsubasa Kurenai was a huge hit with fans when he appeared, for combining his uniquely quirky Master of Disguise Wholesome Crossdresser persona with being a hardcore, flamboyant romantic amidst a cast full of the romantically shy, as well as being a suitor for Ukyo, who at that point was unique in that she was the only one of Ranma's would-be brides without a rival suitor pursuing her hand. This led to him becoming a popular minor character for fanfiction in the series' early days, with many treating him as a full-blown member of the cast, despite the fact he canonically only had the one storyline.note iii
      • Inverted with Konatsu, who was ultimately created to actively fill the "Ukyo's rival suitor" space that Tsubasa had been rejected from but who completely failed to make much of an impact with fans at all, despite doing Tsubasa better by having his own second dedicated story. He has gained a little more popularity as Ranma 1/2's manga has become better known, but still tends to be considered inferior to Tsubasa.
    • Natsume & Kurumi, the faux-Tendo sisters from one of the anime's two-part oavs, are also hugely popular with the branch of the Ranma that acknowledges the anime. This no doubt stems from a mix of their sympathetic backstory and their being the most formidable female fighters in a series where female martial artists tend to be Paper Tigers — they even have their own Ki Attacks, unique amongst the female cast of the series.
  • My Hero Academia: Hitoshi Shinsou only has two significant appearances - confronting Class 1-A before the Sports Festival, and fighting Midoriya during the Sports Festival. Beyond that, he makes only the occasional cameo appearance. Yet his desire to become a hero despite being saddled with a villainous power resonates with enough people that he still consistently places in the top twenty in character polls.
  • The appearance of a She Is All Grown Up Himiko Shinobibe talking with the present day Himiko during the latter's Hidden Purpose Test in Wataru 2 didn't just throw fans for a loop, but it became Fan Fic Fuel on the endless possibilities of what the character could be like in a couple of years In-Universe.


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