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Technical Pacifist / Anime & Manga

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Technical Pacifists in anime and manga.

  • Ah! My Goddess: Belldandy is only ever reluctant to do violence, even wanting to talk down an Eldritch Abomination. Generally, the only time she'll actually use those immense powers she has for fighting is if someone threatens her sisters or Keiichi. Even then her combat is, at worst, of the "surprising what you can live through" variety. The rules under which gods and demons live make this pretty much mandatory for them both. "Sealing" and various harassment are okay, but killing just takes out someone on your own side too.
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  • The members of AKB0048 are this. They're very competent fighters and pilots, but will only defend themselves from DET soldiers enough to stun and injure, and avoid killing at all costs.
  • Graham of Baccano! is violent, but he doesn't like killing people because it makes him feel guilty.
  • Isidro from Berserk was accused by Mule Wolflame (Reborn Griffith's kid knight) of not taking fights seriously as he does not use any moves with the potential to seriously injure or kill an opponent. This likely because he was fighting a human child not a demon or monster, as Isidro has no qualms about murdering trolls with his Salamander Dagger. Isidro's idol and mentor Guts subverts this to the extreme having killed well over a thousand people human or otherwise and from a young age too.
  • Enju Aihara in Black Bullet. What sets her apart from her partner, Rentaro Satomi is that while Rentaro is willing to use lethal force if necessary, Enju absolutely refuses to kill another human being despite having the ability to fight the Gastrea. This is lampshaded by Kayo Senju herself where she stated Enju isn't the kind of person who is willing to kill someone.
    • It's also implied the reason Enju only fights with her feet is because she wants to fight the Gastrea without having to kill people.
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    • Also, Enju's Dark and Troubled Past while living in the outer districts shown that she had to commit any sort of crime such as stealing just to survive. The only crime she never committed is murder.
  • Kaname Tousen of Bleach believes in the path of least bloodshed, but is concerned more with unnecessary bloodshed than no bloodshed at all, being he is more than willing to shed a little blood when necessary, such as attacking fellow )captain Zaraki Kenpachi or chopping off Grimmjow's arm. He's all about justice, but it's recently been revealed that "justice" and "good" may not be the same thing in his book, as he only joined the Gotei 13 to get revenge on them for the death of his friend.
    • Chad. He doesn't want to fight, and won't fight for himself, but if you threaten his friends, particularly Ichigo, he will kick your ass.
    • Kon. He refuses to kill, due to his past, but has no qualms about attacking a Hollow, with no weapon, if he wants to protect someone.
  • A Certain Magical Index: Sure, Kamijou Touma's probably the unluckiest man in the world thanks to his Anti-Magic right hand and can still kick your ass in a David vs. Goliath. However, he will never sacrifice anyone or bring himself to actually kill someone whether if it is his friends, his Unwanted Harem, or even villains who were trying to kill him and his said friends. Heck, even the series Anti-Hero, Accelerator, who is known to kill to protect those he cares about, admires Touma for how he is able to protect those around him without sacrificing a single soul. This is even mentioned by Heaven Canceller himself. Touma takes this so far that he spares Fiamma of the Right, the man who started World War III and whom most of the world really really wants dead, after defeating him. He then advises his foe to go out into the world and connect with its people, hoping that will cause him to recognize the error of his previous way of thinking.
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  • A weird subversion of this is seen in Corrector Yui, where the corrector program Peace has the power of materializing any kind of weapons, but doesn't use them, ever, because he says he's a pacifist and won't fight or use weapons. Instead, he gives it to other correctors to use against their enemies.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Goku becomes an example of this after his Character Development. While he loves fighting and training to become stronger, he doesn't kill his opponent if he can help it, giving even his worst enemies a Last-Second Chance. Throughout Dragon Ball Z, he is directly responsible for the deaths of only two villains: Yakon, who blew up after gorging himself on too much of Goku's energy, and Buu, the series' final Big Bad. He even wished for Buu to reincarnate as a good being. And he does, though it's more of a cameo barring the anime-only Dragon Ball GT.
    • Android 16 does at first want to kill Goku, but only because he was programmed to do so. He refuses to fight anyone else, and is often seen protecting small animals and birds from the explosive fights happening around them. He later reveals that he has a great appreciation for life in all its forms and doesn't want to see any of it harmed. Therefore he makes one exception to his "no fighting" rule: he decides to kill Cell, because Cell is a threat to everything he holds dear. And when he finally does meet Goku face-to-face near the end of the story, he doesn't make any attempt to fulfill his programming (then again, Goku was by this point way too strong for 16 to have had a chance).
  • Fairy Tail: The Fairy Tail guild as a whole. No matter how much horrible the villains' goals or their methods of reaching them, the worst that'll usually happen is a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown with their plans in ruin around them and being arrested, and even the ones that die are usually victims of other villains. That said, this only seems to apply to human characters; the genocidal Tartaros guild ended up with more than half of its core members slain and most by Fairy Tail's hands.
  • Edward Elric in Fullmetal Alchemist, as well as his brother Alphonse, and maybe Izumi Curtis too - all are quite willing to beat the crap out of people but aren't killers. Ed also fits the "doesn't like guns" variety of Technical Pacifist. Colonel Mustang and his followers take this stance during the coup d'tat they stage in the endgame. They disarm and injure every enemy soldier they come across, but they refuse to kill any. It's partly this trope and partly a way of flipping off the members of High Command.
    • However they are not above working with the more vicious Northern battalion dubbed the "Briggs' Bears".
  • Gantz: Katou. He's the personification of this trope taken to its logical conclusion.
  • Rushuna of Grenadier. She lives in an Alternate Universe of the Japanese Civil War that has rifles and super-weapons, but is dedicated to winning battles by making the enemy lose his will to fight and not attacking the enemy. This doesn't work, so she ends up using her six-shooter to shoot scores of villains, just making sure no one dies with her Improbable Aiming Skills. However in the manga no qualm with killing is mentioned, and its more through random happenstance that her shots are non-lethal than any intent (such as running out of bullets just as she presses her gun to an opponent's head and pulls the trigger).
  • Gundam has a number of these characters across multiple series. More recent works have particularly showcased this philosophy, but it was not unknown in older series.
    • Early on in Mobile Suit Crossbone Gundam, the Crossbone Vanguard intentionally spares the lives of Jupiter Empire pilots because (like the Mobile Suit Gundam Wing example) they don't know the full scope of their leader's plans. If not for this, The Hero Tobia would have been killed in the first chapternote . Later on, however, we learn that the Empire executes pilots who escape for wasting resources, rendering the Vanguard's mercy rather pointless.
    • In G Gundam, all world governments have adopted this as policy by agreeing to the Gundam Fight as a means of deciding national superiority rather than outright warfare. Unfortunately, the Gundam Fight system is still riddled with corruption and other problems.
    • The Mobile Suit Gundam Wing Team becomes Technical Pacifists in The Movie, primarily because the enemy soldiers have been lied to by their leader and think they're fighting for a noble cause when, in fact, it's all about said leader's mad desire for revenge. As soon as the deception is revealed, every single pilot surrenders willingly. In the series itself, only Quatre is like this from the start as he's from a family of Actual Pacifists rather than Child Soldiers. While he will kill when necessary, he's the only one of the five who will call for surrender first.
    • It has to be added that at the end of the film, when on Earth and fighting at AT LEAST 50-1 odds, the Gundam pilots, along with Zechs and Noin, fight and wipe out nearly all of the enemy forces before their own suits began to take damage and run out of ammo...without a SINGLE enemy pilot dying. This is lampshaded by the Gundam pilots, who joke that if they were aiming to kill, they'd have won so much sooner.
    • Loran Cehack of ∀ Gundam will not hesitate to kill, but only after he's exhausted all other means to resolve whatever conflict he's part of without bloodshed. He also makes a point of using his Gundam for many non-combat purposes, like laundry and livestock transport.
    • Kira Yamato of Gundam SEED is a unique example. About halfway through the series he decides that he'll no longer kill people as he believes his enemies are generally good people who deserve to live but he'll continue to fight in order to put an end to the confict. He aims to disable his opponents (usually by dismembering their mobile suits) rather than kill them. And given the combination of his skills and the multiple extremely accurate weapons of the Freedom Gundam, he's very good at that, sometimes disarming many dozens of mooks in a matter of seconds. However, in a few cases, he does kill people, generally when the stakes are very high and many, many lives are on the line. He has also occasionally killed someone by accident, such as Stella in the Destroy Gundam.
      • That technical pacifism eventually bites Kira in the ass when Shinn is out for his blood and knows very well that Kira never targets the cockpit, only the weapons and optical sensors. Despite the Freedom being the Bigger Stick, Shinn still manages to take it down for good. Though later in that fight Kira does wise up and aims a lethal blow at the Impulse's cockpit, Shinn only survived because of his mobile suit's gimmick. He learned from this experience because the next time he ran into Shinn (both now in their Midseason Upgrades, the Strike Freedom and Destiny, respectively), he stopped holding back so much and went straight for kill shots; though he made no attempt to pursue when Shinn was forced to retreat due to low energy/ammo.
    • Rau Le Creuset's death is a much clearer example. Kira was severely angry at his philosophies on life and humanity, plus the fact that he had just killed Kira's ex-lover Flay. He's also piloting the first Humongous Mecha in the series to prove at least a match for Kira's Freedom Gundam, and has the skills to put it to good use, meaning that it would have been virtually impossible for Kira to stop him without killing him.
      • Kira's girlfriend, Lacus, is another Technical Pacifist. While she doesn't do any fighting herself, she shares Kira's ideals, and willingly uses him as a sword to deal with those who try to prolong the war.
    • Speaking of Gundam SEED, Lowe Guele of Gundam SEED Astray is like this. The charter for the Junk Guild says that members can only attack if they are attacked and when Lowe fights back in the Red Frame, it's usually to disable. Of course, this is a guy who repaired a mecha-sized katana, built a 150 meter version of the same weapon and designed an all-purpose sword of a mercenary. It gets even funnier when you play him in an SRW or a G-Generation game.
      • To quote the man himself in his promotional anime short: "Don't worry, I'm a Junk Tech. I don't kill."
    • Banagher Links of Gundam Unicorn has a very low kill count throughout the campaign despite the possibility of his mobile suit going berserk and taking control for him. He has a Heroic BSoD the first time he kills someone.
    • Kio Asuno of Mobile Suit Gundam AGE becomes this from Episode 40 onwards after spending time in Vagan, where he learned about the hellish conditions the citizens go through in their life. While he will sortie, he only uses his weapons to disable less-skilled opponents and for self-defense.
  • Rally Vincent in Gunsmith Cats (or at least the manga) is reluctant to kill, despite being an expert in fire gun's use and maintenance, and having a day job as the owner of a Gun's shop and a night job as a bounty hunter. She is pretty proficient at shooting down the other's gun's hammer/trigger, or, if pissed off enough, their trigger fingers. Though she'll kill bad guys if a good guy is in dire danger, she would regret it. Her sidekick, Minnie May, holds a similar morale, though her specialty are bombs.
  • Issei in High School DXD will never hesitate to fight, especially if it's for Rias, but he would really rather talk his enemies down or intimidate them into submission with a beatdown and/or warning shot. It's made very clear this is a conscious philosophy and not something that comes naturally, as he nearly causes a Casualty in the Ring when his buttons are sufficiently pushed (and he was committed to doing so, with his victim being saved by outside forces) and doesn't hesitate to finally kill a major villain once and for all when the opportunity presents itself.
  • Josuke is the only JoJo in Jojos Bizarre Adventure who has never killed a single person. But that doesn't mean he's not above beating the crap out of people. And don't even think about hurting his mother, or he'll make you wish he would kill you. Oh, and never insult his hair ever.
  • Tsuna from Katekyō Hitman Reborn! clearly hates fighting (he always has a saddened frown when in Hyper Dying Will mode), and he never kills human opponents. However, he is fine with destroying robots as long as no one is piloting them, and he will not hesitate to kill those he deems as "monsters." Case in point, after he obliterates Byakuran (a human) with an X-Burner, he and his friends seem to have no second thoughts about killing someone.
  • Ryozanpaku from Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple teach the Katsujin-ken (life giving fist). Freya wields the Simple Staff because it allows her to defeat her enemies without killing them or causing any serious injuries. She refused to continue fighting Kisara after her staff broke and turned into a sharp and dangerous weapon.
  • Tenka from Laughing Under the Clouds will cheerfully beat the living crap out of you while laughing maniacally and proclaiming himself to be the law, but he will not kill you even if you're a mass murdering psychopath. In fact, that was the route of the dispute he left the Yamainu over.
  • Yang Wen-Li from Legend of Galactic Heroes would love to live in a universe in peace and claims to be totally inept when it comes to guns and actual fighting. He is also directly responsible for the death of tens of millions of imperial soldiers and is quite aware of the contradiction.
  • Balsa from Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit is not above wrestling people into submission, knocking the wind out of them, simply pummeling them senseless with the blunt end of her spear, or smashing someone's face in with a rock. However, she has sworn an oath never to take a human life and never deals fatal wounds or fights to kill — in one case she's forced to do so, she goes into a Heroic BSoD after the battle (though she later learns her opponent survived).
  • Naruto:
    • Itachi Uchiha witnessed the horrors of the Third Great Shinobi War when he was about four to five years old, and it traumatized him to the point that he hated war with a passion, and loved peace, no matter fragile it was. Since then he has been a technical pacifist, preferring to use his unbelievable genjutsu powers to incapacitate his opponents rather than take lethal action. Ironically it was his desire to avert another war that caused Itachi to wipe out his entire rebellious clan under Danzo's orders.
    • Naruto himself is one of these; from the first chapter for more than 600 chapters to the present, he has never, ever, ever actually killed someone. It's not that he won't kill if he has to, although he doesn't like it, events have just conspired to ensure that he has never actually caused someone to die by his own hands. Even Kakuzu, the first victim of his devastating Rasenshuriken technique, somehow managed to survive what should have been a killing blow just so he could be finished off by Kakashi instead.
  • One Piece
  • Tetsunosuke from Peacemaker Kurogane, due to huge trauma from his past, refuses to kill people. Even though he's in the Shinsengumi. This is kind of lampshaded, as he is unable to tell Suzu that Yoshida wasn't killed by him, because he realizes that he just simply used Okita to do the deed for him.
  • Haru Glory, The Hero of Rave Master believes it's morally wrong to kill other people. Apparently, beating the ever living daylights out of them is perfectly fine, so long as they deserve it (which, of course, they always do). The first main villain, and the final one-the originals son, both had to opt for suicide to be defeated. Never mind that the first killed Haru's mom in cold blood and the second was trying to destroy the world even though he already massacred about half of it. Haru wouldn't kill them. He avoided this with Lucia twice and even tried to convince both of them to live.
  • Himura Kenshin from Rurouni Kenshin is a Meiji era former assassin that has forsworn the taking of human life and wears/uses a sakabatou (katana forged with a blunted outer edge) more because of this vow than laws against private uses of swords. Of course he will maim and cripple when sufficiently provoked. Lots of times he does stuff with the blunt sword, like hitting people in the throat or smashing them head-first into the ceiling so that they hang there, that could easily kill them, but it never does. Because he's just that awesome a judge of force, apparently.
  • The protagonist of Sadamitsu the Destroyer hates hurting his opponents more than he has to (he often brings medical supplies to regular brawls so he can patch up his opponents after they're defeated) and hates the sheer lethality of his borrowed powers against alien criminals. He's very happy when his ally creates a bokken for him to use the power with, as it allows him to defeat and seal the aliens without killing them.
  • Andromeda Shun of Saint Seiya, who tends to stop after every other attack to politely ask his opponent to stop so he won't be forced to hurt them, and is more willing to let the bad guys whale on him than release the power he's holding back.
    • Averted if your name's Pisces Aphrodite and you killed his father er... master. Though he might let you live if you you repent and don't keep pressing your luck.
  • Prince Philionel from Slayers doesn't believe in violence. He thus developed Martial Pacifist style with attacks like Pacifist Crush, Kindness to All Creatures Kick and Goodwill Towards Men Smash. Though he uses them on Always Chaotic Evil creatures and avoids fighting humans if possible. His daughter Amelia, however, is more justice-obsessed and less restrained.
  • Exa of Superior sees the war between humans and demons as one big Cycle of Revenge, and refuses to kill so as not to provoke further killing. This doesn't exactly endear him to his fellow humans, most of whom (falsely) see it as a Guilt-Free Extermination War. However, Exa only embraces this trope when he has no other choice. At all other times, he qualifies as an Actual Pacifist who attempts to resolve disputes through diplomacy, runs from fights so long as it won't leave anyone in harms way, and only employs nonlethal magic such as defensive barriers.
  • Kai from Switch (2002) is very kind and gentle. That is, until his friends are put in danger.
  • Sword Art Online: During Aincrad, Kirito really would rather not kill anyone if he could help it, instead preferring to disarm Player Killers and forcing them to surrender. He even has PTSD over the few times he was forced to kill in self defense. That said, if given both the reason and the power, he will make you suffer. Prominent examples include setting the Pain Absorber to zero before brutally killing Sugou in-game to the point his real body was left with permanent injuries, and trapping PoH inside a tree in a game that runs on Year Inside, Hour Outside.
  • 25th Baam from Tower of God. Fight when he needs to and holds back as much as he can. As long as you don't get between him and Rachel.
  • Trigun anime's lead Vash the Stampede lives this trope as his essential gimmick because it was Rem refused to let anyone die. Outlaw with a very big gun and Improbable Aiming Skills, does a lot of ass-kicking when required, but goes to great and painful lengths to avoid letting anyone be killed. Likely to whack someone with his gun, throw the bullets out the back of the gun, shoot their pants off, get bubblegum into their gun, or let the terrain clobber them if engaging, also very likely to run away. Will deliver non-fatal shots if necessary. Gets sneered at and called either a moron or a hypocrite a lot. Starry-eyed idealist, but scary if pushed far enough. The Big Bad's evil scheming more or less culminates in sending his fanatically loyal psychic Dragon to force Vash to shoot him dead to save his remaining best friends. Object: 'Eternal Suffering to Vash the Stampede.' In the end, shoots Big Bad through all major limbs and carries him into the desert over his shoulder.
    • The situation in the manga version is slightly different. But he saves the world through psychic powers of love instead of violence in the end, and apparently convinces the Big Bad to give up genocide. It could be partly that he's been left with no allies, almost no power, and a fraction of his former lifespan.
    • Trigun provides a possible deconstruction. When Vash is seen without his Badass Longcoat on, his entire body is either scar tissue or held together by metal brackets, and is just generally horrible looking. These were wounds he acquired because of the difficulty inherent in winning a gunfight without killing. It is quite likely that he wouldn't have a scratch on him if he was fine with killing, as his Improbable Aiming Skills would allow a more ruthless gunman to kill anyone with one shot from the hip. Then there's the fact that he could easily regenerate them all using his Plant powers...but he doesn't want to tap into that power without a really good reason. Such as Knives personally trying to kill him with an Angel Arm.
      • Another argument about Trigun deconstructing the technical pacifist; Vash's philosophy means he must always Save the Villain, even when the villain in question is a monster who has gone so far past the Moral Event Horizon that most would happily argue that he warrants nothing more than being put down like a rabid animal. The series also invites one to consider whether or not Vash is ultimately responsible for all the deaths that Knives commits, simply because Vash refuses to stop him if it means shooting him, and implies that Vash's arguments for being a pacifist are, ultimately, just as childish and naive as the ones Knives uses to justify his Kill All Humans rampage.
      • In the anime, the biggest scene that can be said to argue for Trigun deconstructing Vash's pacifist stance is the story of what happened after the July 5th incident. Yes, Vash somehow managed to redirect his Angel Arm so that nobody was killed, but the city itself was destroyed... leaving the entire populace stranded in the middle of the desert with no food, water or shelter. Hundreds of thousands of people died a slow, agonising death, or were murdered over meager supplies, all because Vash regards collateral damage as meaningless compared to human lives.
  • Able Nightroad of Trinity Blood is a priest who explains to everyone he meets that both vampires and humans are God's creatures and that despite any atrocities one may have committed no one deserves to be killed. But he also has to eat...
  • Thors from Vinland Saga becomes one of these after his desertion from the Jomsviking.


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