In the Area 88 manga, Mickey tries to be a voice of reason to others. When the lost soul with PTSD is the sane man of the story, it really highlights how unstable and reckless the other characters are.
During his meeting with Rishar, he tries to give the idealistic Rishar a dose of reality by reminding him of how many people have been killed by Asran's civil war. When Rishar waxes poetic about the will of the Asranian people, Mickey warns Rishar that the people may call for Rishar's execution after the war.
Mickey tries (and fails) to convince Saki that Rishar's peace conference proposal was genuine. He also talks at length with Saki about Asran's poverty, but Saki is unwilling to consider selling Asranian oil. Later, Mickey reacts with understandable horror when Saki proposes using nuclear weapons against the anti-government forces.
In a manga issue published in Animerica, he flies after a distraught Greg following the deaths of Jensen and Campbell and tries to talk him down, seeing as Greg has flown off into a war zone.
Soul Eater: Maka. She's the only one of the three main meisters who's practical, mature and focused. Black Star is incredibly arrogant, self centered, obnoxious and loud, while Kid is an obsessive freak about everything being symmetrical. Among the staff, Yumi counts as a sensible voice amongst her rather more eccentric colleagues, especiallyLord Death.
Some would say that Seras Victoria is one of these as well.
Marcille from Delicious in Dungeon is the only one to point out how outlandish or dangerous Laios and Senshi's plans are. Chilchuck feels the same way, but is more resigned and goes along with it.
Mazinger Z: Professor Yumi, Shiro and sometimes Boss alternated in filling the role. The first one was the director of a research lab where Mad Scientists (the funny version) and Hotblooded, hardheaded teenagers ran around. The second one was KoujiKabuto little brother, and often showed more brains than his rash, loudmouthed, tactless older brother. And Boss... well, even though he was Plucky Comic Relief, often he was the one had to talk Kouji or Sayaka into reason.
A more serious example happened in episode 7: while Sayaka was going through a Heroic BSoD, thus losing her will to fight, and Kouji was playing Achilles in His Tent, Boss was trying to remind them repeatedly a Mechanical Beast was coming and all of them would die if they didn't fight back! Later, as Kouji and Sayaka were apologizing to each other, Shiro noted boss was the only one in that situation with his head on straight.
Azumanga Daioh. Yomi is probably the most sane person in her group, followed by Chiyo.
One Piece. When the antics get too crazy, Nami or Zoro will yell at the crew about the absurdity of whatever is happening.
Robin to a somewhat lighter degree. She usually just smiles and admires their free spirits, but she once outright refused to go with a stupid battle formation because it looked too silly, much to the crew's surprise.
Vivi, when she was still a part of the crew, was often one of the voices of reason alongside Nami and Zoro.
One Piece somewhat subverts this trope, as there are plenty of Only Sane Man situations, but the actual crew member playing the sane man varies wildly - depending on the situation it could be any of them. Even Luffy had one once (Chapter 166 or Episode 104).
Less humorously, this is what Coby, Smoker, and Tashigi are when they realize that the marines have pretty much lost it and are going on a petty massacre of pirates when they could be saving lives. At the time, their initial goal of killing Ace was already completed, and Whitebeard was dead as well, plus there was Blackbeard who was going on a straight out rampage and was threatening to destroy Marineford. Instead of helping with that, they (along with a bunch of high-ranking officers such as Akainu) instead start killing pirates who don't want to fight anymore (or have any reason to) all in the name of justice. Coby calls them out on it, which nearly gets him killed.
Trafalgar Law automatically became this once he allied with the Straw Hats. While it may seem that Law could manipulate the crew easily, especially given the massive Chessmaster credentials he got during the Punk Hazard arc, the truth of the matter is he was never in control of the alliance to begin with. Any attempts to make them his Unwitting Pawns were pretty much nil, seeing as he did not account for their antics or Luffy's "I do whatever the hell I want" attitude. That's the downside of being the normal (or at least closest to normal) side of the alliance.
Thanks his upbringing, Sabo was this in regards to Luffy (an idiot) and Ace (broody and confrontational). While he shared some of their quirks and their love of adventure, there was no question he was the most rational of the three.
In How to Read 13, (the Death Note encyclopedia), after the quiz, it shows that Soichiro Yagami is the only one with common sense.
Re-l from Ergo Proxy to the point of being The Comically Serious. This is, however, mostly due to her lack of social interaction with regular people, and she eventually comes to realise that everybody has flaws, and sometimes it's best to just accept it and go with the flow.
Haré often takes this role in Haré+Guu. Sometimes his desire for normalcy makes him abnormal.
Hen Zemi: Nanako is often the butt of everyone's odd fetishes, although she does have her own, hers are just overshadowed by the others.
Ikuto of Nagasarete Airantou is convinced (for a while, at least) that he is the Only Sane Man on the Airantou. He is certainly the only man. After a while, he decides that there's little point in taking issue with all the crazy, and just rolls with it. Still doesn't believe in ghosts (despite meeting one or two) and insists on calling the local kappa a turtle.
In Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo, Beauty (and occasionally Gasser) seems to be the only one capable of noticing how strange everyone else is acting, despite a few rare occurrences where she acts strange as well. Softon applies too, being slightly more serious than everyone else, but when your head is shaped like poop/chocolate ice cream, it's hard to be taken seriously.
Iceland considers himself to be the most sane and mature of the Nordics, but his hiddenhot-blooded side and slightly bratty nature often belies it. Amusingly, at one point he is horrified to consider that he may be the strange one of the group.
Princess Tutu has a mild version of this trope: Ahiru, as a duck who used to live outside of the story, is the only one at first to notice the odd things that happen in town, like a cat being a ballet instructor and an anteater being one of the students. She quickly gets used to the oddities of the town, however. Autor might also qualify - he's the only character to realize that he's living inside of a fairytale that isn't a character in the story.
Chisame from Mahou Sensei Negima!. At the beginning of the series, she is apparently the only one to notice, or care, that the students of Class 3A are... a little on the odd side. Not odd as in 'a little eccentric', odd as in 'that girl is obviously a robot!'. On the bright side, she noticed that Negi seemed to have an unusual respect for her, which proved useful when hegoesberserk and she has to snap him out of it.
In Excel Saga, Watanabe was at first the only one who complained about working for the Department of City Security, the absurd situations they were put in, how ridiculous their equipment was, while everyone else kept quiet because his co-workers were either idiots or were just okay with getting work. Then things got more dangerous and Watanabe went insane, and for a while Sumiyoshi was the only one upset at how unstable everything had gotten. He calmed down once Matsuya started working to keep everyone out of danger.
Shinpachi on Gintama, even though he sometimes get carried away by his friends' weirdness.
Tsuna from Katekyō Hitman Reborn! - though as the series goes on, less so, since the insanity is apparently contagious.
Azusa appears to be this at first, and rails on the other members of the band for not being what she expected (in the respect that they rarely practiced, and sat around eating cake and drinking tea), but eventually accepts that their own quirks are what makes them what they are, and later on gets shocked when it gets pointed out to her how she became just as quirky as them through association.
Nodoka is the real only sane woman. She's the only one that does not fall to the other girls antics.
There was also Mio Akiyama, who keeps the Light Music Club in check. Unfortunately she is overpowered by Cloudcuckoolanders and Genki Girls. This was until Azusa Nakano came in and shared that position.
Yukiteru of Future Diarywas the Only Sane Man until his parents died and he was convinced he could make things right by becoming God; "sane" being defined as "not a homicidal maniac". He may have a Freudian Excuse, but when you massacre orphans in the name of becoming God, you lose your "sane" titlenote Though it should be noted said orphans were trained combatants and better organized than most child soldiers.
Very ironically, the end reveals that Yuno was the only "true" sane person all along (yes you read that right), especially when the various reasons for her actions (her inability to save the First World Yukiteru and the fact everyone in the Second World was as good as dead anyway) are brought to light. Indeed, Mirai Nikki is one of the rare cases where it's not the ax wieldingYandere that's nuts, but the world around her with its warped metaphysical laws and facade of "normal" society.
Sanpeita from Kemeko Deluxe! is apparently the only sane man left on the planet. While his classmates have a problem with their short, Gonk-ish, supernaturally powerful and totally insane teacher insisting she's married to him, their problem is generally jealousy. His childhood friend, who is aware that the teacher is a cyborg suit containing a hot girl, tends to ignore this in favour of protesting to the impropriety of the relationship. His sister is in raptures over her cool "onee-sama". His mother is totally oblivious. Meanwhile Sanpeita cries about how his normal life is being totally destroyed...
Shuichi, Kirie's boyfriend in Junji Ito's horror manga Uzumaki, is often the only person who sees the spiral phenomena happening all over town as bizarre, and who realizes the danger the town's in. He sometimes slips into spouting Cassandra Truths in a "You Have to Believe Me!" voice, though by the manga's start, he's largely given up on trying to convince the public and focuses instead on just protecting Kirie.
Although Maeda seems to get this kind of treatment somewhat too, seeing how he is the only one of the main cast who seems to care about stuff like that you need nine players to play baseball, AND that gorillas and motorcycles don't count as players, something Kamiyama seems to completely ignore at that point.
The cameraman in Millennium Actress is the only person to notice that they are acting out scenes from old movies.
Kagami from Lucky Star is the most sane person of the main cast.
Lucy is pretty much the only sane person in the guild in Fairy Tail. When she points out what's wrong people act like she's a loony. Later she is joined by Max, Warren, Carla and Pantherlily.
Takamine Kiyomaro from Zatch Bell! often takes this role, especially when Kanchome, Folgore, or Riddle professor are around. One particularly hilarious occasion was in his dream after which he loses Answer Talker.
Jim 'Crocodile' Cook takes up the mantle in season 3 of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX.
Anzu plays this role in the Yu-Gi-Oh! when Dark Yugi isn't.
Taizo in The Legend of Koizumi is the only one to realize the patent absurdity of a world where politics are decided by mahjong, they really can rebuild him, and the Nazi high command not only survived WWII, but have been living on a moon base this entire time.
Hito Nami from Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei, due to her excessive normalness. Harumi and Abiru are close behind, though still fall prey to their eccentricities (former is a Yaoi Fangirl with an ear fetish and the latter is a Bandage Babe due to a severe tail fetish).
Kanzaki in Tears of a Lamb. Other characters even acknowledge it.
In the first arc of Higurashi: When They Cry, Keiichi appears to be the only one to realize how bizarre and sinister the town is getting while all his friends start acting hostile and suspicious, but later arcs make it clearhe was the crazy one. However, in other arcs just about everyone seems to be crazy at one point or another, but throughout the story, we never see Mion Sonozaki snap though her sister does and starts pretending to be her. Even the center of the events, Rika Furude, went crazy a few times, even if she never accomplished anything.
Bleach has surprising few examples that truly fit this trope, despite all the crazy situations that happen throughout the course of the story.
Very early on, Ichigo sees himself as this when literally everyone around him gets caught up in Don Kanonji hype enough to mimic the celebrity's signature laugh. Even Rukia, who doesn't actually know what's going on and is just joining the fun.
In Episode 303, the shinigami play a New Year's karuta card game. It's originally supposed to be based on a real game but Yachiru doesn't bother explaining the rules. Players get ejected on the basis of made-up rules and things quickly degenerate into chaos with kidou and shikai being liberally thrown around. And then bankai reduces everything to rubble. Hitsugaya is the only sane man.
In Episode 335, Kira Got Volunteered by Hisagi to host an New Year's divisional kite-flying bonding exercise, but Hisagi sabotages it to spice things up. Things escalate from gentle bonding to all-out war. Only sane man Kira attempts to end it but accidentally destroys Yamamoto's barracks. Yamamoto's Unstoppable Rage ends the chaos with the effectiveness of a Fantastic Nuke.
Juu from Denpa Teki na Kanojo is this in a more literal sense: he's one of the few characters who can claim a clean bill of mental health.
Hatori from Fruits Basket seems to be the only sane one in his group of friends (the other two are Shigure and Ayame) Whenever they start their antics, he chimes in with a line like "How could anyone sleep with all this noise?" or "Don't the two of you ever stop?"
Kou of Arakawa Under the Bridge perceives himself to be this, and has decided it is his job to restore some measure of sanity to the other people living under the bridge. However, his sanity is largely relative to the residents living under the bridge...
Katteni Kaizo gives us Umi and Suzu, subverted with Umi though as it turns out she's just as zant as Kaizo, but better at keeping a lid on it.
Magic Knight Rayearth: High Priest Zagato was the only one who questioned the Pillar System—with one person, Emeraude, focusing her entire will to make sure Cephiro was prosperous and peaceful. Everyone else, Emeraude included, accepted it as a fact of life until Part II forced them to question its rightness.
Jim Hawking from Outlaw Star is frequently the only one to see the insanity in Gene's incessant Indy Ploy's.
Sting owes something to Gates Capa of Zeta Gundam, the only remotely sane Cyber-Newtype, whose job seems to have been keeping Rosamia stable. Zeta also features Emma Sheen and Henken Bekkener whose Ensemble Dark Horse status is owed almost entirely to their being a pair of reasonable, rational, competent adults in the childish Dysfunction Junction that is the AEUG.
Koushi Inuzuka of Sumomo Mo Momo Mo is the only one aware that there are laws against the types of shenanigans that regularly break out, and he regularly quotes them for good measure. He also initially objects to the impossibility of some actions, but eventually just settles into being a Deadpan Snarker about it.
Hyuga Koushiro is more or less this in Kamisama Dolls, especially among the Seki. Utao and Kirio are just children, Aki's a homicidal maniac and Mahiru is... not all together there. Kyouhei tries to be this but still has lingering, unresolved issues from the same event that broke Mahiru and contributed to Aki's issues.
Konan from Naruto is arguably this when it comes to the Akatsuki.
She's the sanest individually. If we are going by pairs, arguably the most normal (and by default, sanest) is Itachi (who would have also been an individual Only Sane Man if it weren't for his messed up plan involving Sasuke) and Kisame (who doesn't count individually because he's extremely bloodthirsty). This is because Konan is loyal to and the partner of a guy with a massive God complex, and the other pairs include a pair of immortals who argue all the time, with one being greedy as hell and the other a sadomasochist with an extremely foul mouth, and two artists who argue over philosophies over art (one who likes to blow stuff up and the other likes to make human puppets). Then there's the last pair, which includes a plant guy with a likely schizophrenia disorder, and the Plucky Comic Reliefwho's really the mastermind of the entire organization and actually willing to plunge the entire world in Lotus-Eater Machine because he decided that current reality is hell and the only way to avoid it is create a dream world.
Stoic trainer Green compared to nice guy Red, flirty ex-thief Blue, and shy girl Yellow.
Aloof Silver or strict Crystal compared to hotblooded troublemaker Gold.
Bratty midget Emerald can't stand prissy Ruby's and wild Sapphire's endless bickering.
Impatient straight man Pearl, spoiled heiress Platinum, and cheerful glutton Diamond have all had a chance to be the normal one among the trio during their journey.
Snarky Cheren or responsible White compared to ditzy Bianca and loudmouthed dreamer Black.
The Budokai announcer and dog king of the world in Dragon Ball are probably the only persons in the world not connected to the main cast to realize that Mr. Satan's claims of beating Cell are nonsensical and that it was much more likely he was defeated by one of those super powerful people who had fought in the previous Budokais and defeated Demon King Piccolo.
General Blue during the Dr. Slump crossover is the only one, including Goku, to notice how totally insane the world of Dr. Slump and its people are. They both nearly go mad from the craziness.
Piccolo becomes this when he's around Goku, Goten, Trunks, and especially Gotenks. You have to feel sorry for the guy when he had to deal with Gotenks' ego trips when the fate of the universe lays in his hands.
Like Bulma, Vegeta seems to believe he's the only sane man around Goku and his sons. Like him refusing to do the Fusion Dance because it's unfitting to a warrior, chewing out Gohan for not keeping up with his training during times of peace, and yelling when Goku has one of his goofy moments. He may have a point, if his Blood Knight tendencies weren't worse than Goku's, which leads him to do stupid things.
Future Trunks stands out as a contrast to the other Z-Fighters by being the only one to know the consequences of letting an enemy live. As a result, whenever he comes across an enemy, he tends to finish them off as fast as possible where if someone else is in a similar position, they would probably stall until it's too late. Given the Bad Future that Future Trunks came from, where such stalling frequently got them killed against the ruthless enemies Trunks has fought, he is very, very justified in this.
Dr. Fuyutsuki from Neon Genesis Evangelion. Compared to the various psychological problems that afflict almost everyone else in NERV, Fuyutsuki is a bastion of sanity, with his only real issues being lingering attraction to Yui Ikari and regrets about his involvement in Gendo's plans.
Hilariously, Ein the dog is heavily implied to be the only sane being aboard the Bebop.
In Corseltel no Ryuujitsushi and sequels, Nata the darkness dragon is this to the other baby dragons. In terms of older dragons and mages, he's still just a baby, though.
While multiple characters in Rave Master posses common sense, the vast majority quickly turn out to be Not So Above It All and will join the wackiness as soon as someone more serious than them temporarily joins the team. The only person who can make everyone else take on a comic relief role is Sieg Hart, who's somewhat exasperated when he realizes that the two most important people needed to stop Demon Card are also the two flakiest members of the cast.
Though not intended to give this effect, Prince Odysseus in Code Geass appears to be the only sane man in all of Britannia. Though frequently called "mediocre" and depicted as indecisive and having a flat, unexcitable temperament, these aren't necessarily bad things in governance, he's only indecisive insofar as that he is basically the only character who is open to more than one possibility while dealing with complex, volatile geopolitical situations (nobody in this world ever thinks to abandon or even amend their absurdly convoluted plans when everything falls apart, despite millions of lives and entire economies often being at stake contingencies plans are completely unheard of) and reacts to things in a calm, reasonable manner rather than standing up, screaming and launching into a silly hand movement. He acts like a normal politician in world-power that's seemingly run entirely by supervillains. He's always the voice of reason, he's never paralysed with shock and never raises his voice. He may very well be the only reason the Holy Empire of Britannia hasn't destroyed the world in a barrage of explosive shells, off-model faces and ridiculous poses.
Euphemia also has this effect being one of few major characters whose solution to everything isn't mecha, morally ambigious to evil schemes, and costumes. Her tendencies are only less than her older brother mentioned above because she is a bit reckless and naive.
Homura from Sekirei is often stuck as this, among Minato's Battle Harem. One of the other rare male Sekirei, Mutsu, seems to be cursed to be this wherever he goes. When the two meet briefly, the later realizes the former lives at Izumo Inn and as such is dealing with hisoldcomrades. He expresses his sympathy and wishes the other good luck in dealing with "those witches".
Ami in Toradora! is the Only Sane Girl. Sure, she lacks tact, but if you actually listen, you realize what she says makes a lot of sense. Plus, considering her company is Minori and Taiga, it's hard not to look sane by comparison.
In Nerima Daikon Brothers Hideki is the only one who reacts to the craziness around him the way a normal person would. Subverted with Ichiro, who appears calm and composed but whose behavior is often downright weird.
Rock in Black Lagoon is the one character in the show who isn't a hardened criminal, and as such he's constantly questioning the sanity or morality of the actions of his shipmates. Since he's such a lousy criminal, he ends up taking care of mundane affairs and running errands.
Durarara!! has the main protagonist Celty Sturluson, who happens to be a dullahan that doubles as a Biker Babe. To put this in perspective, the sanest person in the entire main cast happens to be a headless, amnesiac psychopomp. That alone should tell you what kind of series this is.
Kyohei Kadota is this for the van gang.
In Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Madoka is the only main character who's emotionally healthy, and the only one who contracts because she wants to. Everyone else is coerced into it by impending death (Mami and Kyouko) or severe trauma (Homura and Sayaka).
Zigzagged by Shiina from Gourmet Girl Graffiti. While in her family she is seen to be aloof and does not adhere to social norm much, when grouped with Ryou and Kirin, she seems to be the only one that doesn't make rash decisions or do spur of the moment things as the other two girls have a habit of doing, particularly Kirin.
In Brave10, Saizo and Rokuro divide this position as amongst the Braves they are the most reasonable and down-to-earth ones, but both can be egged on to join in the shenanigans at different times, Saizo most likely by Kamanosuke or an opponent, and Rokuro by Yukimura.
The typical reaction of one-shot characters to Ryo and Kaori's antics. Even Saeko, who has known Ryo for a long time, tends to get these...
When charged with guarding actress Yumiko Sato against life-threatening 'accidents', Ryo found himself the Only Sane Man when compared to Yumiko: she's even loonier than him. Between the two of them, the poor director was getting crazy even before Umibozu replaced all the fake guns used in the movie with actual ones (including a bazooka)...
Sayaka Ryujin's arc featured a free for all for the title, due the crazyness of all characters: Sayaka is left speechless at Ryo's antics (and her own inability to get rid of him) and at Kaori kidnapping the guys she had sent to kidnap her, Ryo and Kaori are unable to tell who's crazier between Sayaka (who tried everything to rid herself of Ryo) and her father (his reaction to Sayaka faking to seduce Ryo to get him in trouble with Kaori was crying: "Saeba! Why did you refuse my daughter?!"), and all of them look positively sane when Torakichi Seiken shows up with enormous platform boots and tries to pass himself as a much bigger man (Sayaka actually facepalmed when she realized the biker gang giving her trouble worked for Torakichi, and continued facepalming until Ryo recovered from the shock of having to deal with that idiot and his gang and mopped the floor with them).
Kaori found herself in this position when Mick Angel showed up, as Mick is practically an American version of Ryo, just whackier and more perverted.
My Monster Secret: Asahi is pretty much the only character who actually realizes the absurdity of what the rest of the cast gets up to. Mikan sometimes functions in this capacity (usually when the Gods of (Mis)Fortune are involved), but she's much more prone to get dragged into the insanity. Similarly, Akari tries to fit this role (usually when dealing with Akane), but has a tendency to occasionally succumb to whatever craziness is going on around her.
Poyopoyo has Hide, who also serves as the Butt-Monkey. After receiving many random photos from his classmates in Episode 5, he gives up and says "I'm surrounded by idiots..."
Even though the titular character can be quite dumb at times, he often shows surprising degrees of common sense and tends to play the Straight Man.
When Odagiri's feelings and temper don't get the better of her, she has more common sense than most of the characters and will not hesitate to sigh or point it out when her surroundings are acting ridiculous or idiotic. Ultimately, she is a downplayed example, since her feelings and temper do get the better of her a lot of the time.
Even Yamada and Odagiri get to play the weirdos to Tamaki's only sane man, given that Tamaki is smarter than Yamada, less hot-tempered than Odagiri, and less impulsive than both of them. This continues in the student council as the other members are Yamada, Odagiri, a pervert, an anti-social jerk, and an airhead.