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The Unfettered / Anime & Manga

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  • The Black Order of D.Gray-Man is probably an entire organization of these people. Established with the sole purpose of averting the Apocalypse, no sacrifice is too great, no experiment too hideous, or no line too sacred to cross when it comes to defeating the Millennium Earl. Individuals within the organization do deviate from this goal, but the organization at large has a single-minded purpose.
  • Father of Fullmetal Alchemist is an exceptional case of this. He's probably the only one on this page to literally remove his fetters and give them physical bodies.
    • And then there's Shou Tucker. Shou. Fucking. Tucker. The man who was willing to experiment on his wife, his daughter, and even himself in the 2003 anime version and turn them into mutated chimeras if it meant furthering his research.
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    • Scar. He will stop at nothing to find a means to destroy the empire of blue-eyed devils who killed his people. And in a way, he actually succeeds.
    • Kimblee in the 2003 anime version is too misanthropic and sociopathic to know the meaning of 'restraint': By all good fortune he doesn't have a higher goal, but if he wants to do something he will do it without thought for the consequences. His backstory claims be blew up his own commanding officer and squadmates simply because he wanted to.
  • The Lunatic Magician from Delicious in Dungeon is going to protect the royal family and the sunkern kingdom from invaders and anyone who gets in the way will get brutally murdered. She has no other priorities apart from this due to being murderously insane.
  • The Contractors in Darker Than Black prioritize their own survival to this level and have absolutely no shame and restraint in doing anything as long as it ensures their long-term survival, although as we eventually learn there are a few exceptions.
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  • Akagi will do whatever it takes to win, whether cheating a blind opponent, throwing a friend into a high-stakes game just to see how the opponent reacts or handicapping himself by throwing away a significant fraction of his blood. Even his allies describe him as a monster and a demon.
  • Code Geass:
    • Lelouch and Suzaku achieve this mentality at the end of the series. Lelouch in particular forces another character to back down by threatening suicide, as he'd rather die than not achieve his goals. In general, while he might talk the talk, his ties to his friends (and especially sister) do act as fetters—for most of the series. It's only after Lelouch loses most of them that he's really willing to do anything for his goals. At which point he conquers half the world in about an hour.
    • On a more temporary basis, Lelouch's Geass turns its victims into this whilst they're under its effects. They'll stop at nothing to fulfill the command given to them, no matter how many of their usual principles (be they self-preservation or not going on genocidal massacres) it violates.
  • In Death Note, though it's tempting to say Light qualifies, he kills people he would normally consider good (threatening his goal), because they hurt his pride (example: Lind L Tailor). Both L and Light sacrifice many things that seem important to them in pursuit of their goals, such as Light's family and L's privacy and safety, but neither are particularly expressive about what exactly they aim for or value In Light of this, the series' best candidate for this trope is Misa. She is willing to kill innocents in order to find her idol, Kira, and give half her life to make herself more useful to him. When she achieves this, she changes her goal to winning Light's affection. It is the threat of his displeasure rather than execution that prevents her from following him continually, she kills for him, she refuses to name him under mild torture, she is willing to help him catch Kira (when she doesn't know he is Kira) and she is pleased when he tricks her long-time companion, Rem, into dying to protect her, freeing him of suspicion.
    • Mello absolutely qualifies, as he's willing to to anything to accomplish his one unchangeable goal, defeat Near.
      • Near even says in the manga that Mello would rather die than be or live with defeat.
    • Also Beyond Birthday in Death Note: Another Note has only one goal: "get L's attention" and he will do anything to further that goal.
  • Askeladd and Canute in Vinland Saga both fit this, though the former appears to be a tad too jaded.
  • In Bleach, Dordonii Alessandro Del Socacchio admits feeling ashamed at striking at the childlike Nel in order to draw out Ichigo's full strength, but points out that "If your objective is to 'protect my friends' and my objective is to 'defeat you at full strength', then what I am going to aim for is not you, but that one little baby, nothing more."
    • Gin Ichimaru is also a candidate of this trope. His main objective for following Aizen was to avenge what was done to Rangiku when they were kids. He was relentless in achieving this goal; he killed people and threw away Soul Society's trust, his captaincy, his friendship with Kira, and even his friendship with Rangiku in order to get close enough to Aizen to kill him.
    • On the heroes' side we have Mayuri Kurotsuchi. He shows no hesitation in committing atrocities to further his understanding of the soul. Unlike Gin he never hid this personality trait, which is likely why he ended up being "resigned."
  • By the standards of Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu (but not the main series, where he's shown as part of a military structure), Sousuke is an example of The Unfettered in that he is utterly unbound by (and indeed incapable of understanding) the fetters, norms and standards of modern society. Instead, he operates on soldier logic. He isn't entirely there (mostly due to Kaname and her Paper Fan of Doom), but generally has absolutely no concept of 'Fair Play' and 'Proportionate Response'. The results are... Interesting to say the least.
    • One interesting example is when he holds a knife to the throat of an innocent old lady, threatening her "wellbeing" if Kaname and the others come closer. Kaname defuses it with her Paper Fan of Doom, and proceeds to attack him.
    • Later on in the manga/novels while he is searching the world for Kaname he truly does become The Unfettered. Finding her becomes his purpose in life. All of his decisions come back to how he has to find her.
  • Paul from Pokémon is a chillingly accurate portrayal. While he is not incapable of showing respect for his elders, such as Professor Rowan, he is a ruthless and cruel Trainer who trains his Pokémon harshly, treats weak Pokémon and even other Trainers with utter contempt and has released no less than six Pokémon on screen for poor performance in battle and feels no remorse for his actions, seeing his actions as the only way to make an efficient team. He also shows little to no emotions apart from his ever present scowl (and occasionally a condescending smirk, usually for Ash), is quick and firm in his choices, sees nothing morally wrong in his abuse of both people and Pokémon, and has no qualms about using borderline illegal moves in battle (Elekid using Brick Break on Cranidos' leg, Torterra biting Gliscor's tail, and pretty much every move by Ursaring), and is by far one of Ash's most powerful rivals, serving almost as a living antithesis to his entire philosophy on Pokémon.
  • In Naruto, the titular character is an example of The Fettered. In contrast, his main enemies largely fall under this trope.
    • At introduction, Gaara was solely driven by his desire to face and kill strong opponents, thus proving his own strength. Naruto was absolutely terrified by this as he couldn't understand how somebody could survive the loneliness and grow strong.
    • Orochimaru dedicated his entire being to living forever, performing gruesome experiments on himself and countless victims in pursuit of a perfect host. He sacrificed his four elite bodyguards and most prized subordinate to ensure Sasuke could defect and barely batted an eye.
    • This a trope is part of Sasuke's Character Development. His Face–Heel Turn was largely driven by his conclusion that the strength of his bonds with his comrades was so great, that by breaking them he would become even stronger which will allows him to achieve his goal: kill Itachi. But even after that he continued to have standards not to kill innocent people and was against Orochimaru's methods, even describing them as stupid and selfish. However after his battle with Itachi, he slowly goes more and more insane, and this trope results, though his dedication to Team Taka prevents him from truly becoming this. It is only after he kills Danzo and abandons them that he really becomes The Unfettered.
    • Sasuke's brother, Itachi, should be counted as well. He will do anything to protect Sasuke and the Konoha even if it means to murder his own parents and cause the potential genocide of his entire clan. However this Subverted later, in regards to Sasuke, as he considered Sasuke's free will an acceptable sacrifice, after realizing that his brother may have fallen too far to save.
    • Also most Akatsuki members fall under this. Such as Pain, Hidan and Kakuzu. All of them don't care who gets in their way as long as it completes their objectives (for Hidan its slaughter for his god Jashin, for Kakuzu it's profit and for Pain it's achieving peace).
    • One word: Tobi. Or, to be more exact, Obito. Nothing will stop him from achieving his goals and the world be damned. Murdering his entire family, his mentor, attacking his village, his closest friend and plunge the entire world in a war with them against an army of white Zetsus and Edo Tensei Zombies mean nothing. It is revealed that he plans to use Infinite Tsukuyomi with the power of the Ten-Tails to rewrite reality to include everyone important to him being alive and to pretend that these events never occurred, justifies this in his mind. He still keeps going even when the Ten Tails is ripped from him and he is on the verge of death (although and with a changed goal). And even his death was сould not stop him from continuing to follow his goal.
    • Madara Uchiha also fall under this. He chose to abandon his clan and his friendship with Hashirama to pursue the Assimilation Plot and he later handed down to Obito for to achieve his goal.
  • In Saiyuki, Ukoku Sanzo aka Nii Jiyeni is the Zen philosophical version of this trope: he's come out the other side of Nietzsche Wannabe and fully embraced his own interpretation of the concept of "hold nothing", which is one of the series' main themes. He's one of the series' most frightening villains as a result.
  • Griffith from Berserk fits this to a tee, but nowhere more completely than when the Eclipse goes down and he sacrifices his entire band of mercenaries, people who stood by him and believed in him and fought and bled for him, to the demon gods of the Godhand in order to join them as their fifth member because he'd plateaued while attempting to achieve his dream of having his own country.
    • Guts himself qualified when he was Walking the Earth alone as the vengeance-driven Black Swordsman. When Rosine and her Apostle Spawn tried to put an innocent girl named Jill between him and themselves, he didn't even blink before cleaving the Spawn in half and almost taking her with them (he just missed her by a tiny inch). Since then, he's gained another group of True Companions and has softened up considerably, thanks largely to him realizing that he'd forsaken the one person he should never have let go of for the sake of pursuing vengeance against Griffith for the above betrayal.
  • Gendo Ikari from Neon Genesis Evangelion wants to bring about The End of the World as We Know It, both to merge all human souls into one so they will be liberated of misunderstandings and suffering and to be reunited with his wife, whose soul is currently trapped in a mecha. To achieve this, he's willing to use his own son and surrogate daughter (Both of which he actually cares about, even if it's all but apparent at first) as tools and guinea pigs, makes them fight monsters, does his fair share of large-scale scheming and manipulation, and goes even as far as offering his body to a pair of Yandere scientists whom he found annoying at best to keep them placated and thus useful for his plans. He's generally a very pragmatic person who's not above sacrificing the life of a 14-year old kid for the greater good (or what he sees as such), but will do the dirty work himself if he should be forced to. (For example, pulling ropes amongst some random technicians when there's a blackout.)
  • Kiritsugu Emiya from Fate/Zero. For him, anything is permissible so long as the net lives saved is greater than those lost.
  • Roberta from the Black Lagoon OVA: Roberta's Blood Trail will kill those who killed her master then return to the young master. And she's not particular about what it does to her, anyone else, or the long-term consequences. Move or die.
  • Monster: Johan Liebert kills anyone who gets in his way without any feeling about what he's doing. One character that he's about to execute tells another character, "He doesn't even blink when he kills people."
    • Not to mention Inspector Lunge, who follows this trope to a T. He is convinced Tenma is responsible for the deaths and that Johan doesn't exist to where he devotes every waking second of his life to tracking down Tenma and capturing him. Lunge even accepts a divorce from his wife without any second thoughts and made it absolutely clear to her that his investigation always comes first. Lunge finally encounters Johan himself near the end of the series and does a Heel–Face Turn, at least after his world comes crashing down around him.
  • Paul von Oberstein from Legend of Galactic Heroes.
    Oberstein: The Galactic Empire... no, the Goldenbaum Dynasty must fall.
    • And he will do anything to accomplish it.
  • Nausicaa, when you think about it, spends most of the manga without hesitation making decisions which tear at her heart in pursuit of her goal: To get as few living creatures as possible killed.
  • Two examples from Trigun, Millions Knives & Legato Bluesummers. Knives has no reservations about doing anything in his considerable amount of power and influence to wipe out humanity, while Legato is slavishly devoted to Knives and will even kill himself to help Knives accomplish his goals.
  • Jomy in Toward the Terra turns into one after the destruction of Nazca. He leads the Mu to war, gives Tony the okay to kill surrendering soldiers and is ready to abandon a station full of Mu hostages. Many Mu feel disgusted by these actions. Fortunately, he gets better.
  • Yuji Sakai from Shakugan no Shana becomes this after merging with the Snake of the Festival. He will do anything to create a world where Crimson Denizens no longer have to consume humans to survive.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Akemi Homura characterises this trope as the ideal state of being for a magical girl, due to the nature of their contract. Fittingly enough, she is one herself, being willing to do absolutely anything in order to save Madoka. Just check out this exchange between her and Madoka in episode 5:
    Homura: That contract forces you to give up on everything in exchange for a single desire.
    Madoka: So you've given up too? You've given up on yourself and the other girls? On everything?
  • Dragon Ball Z: This is the reason why Kid Buu is considered the most dangerous form of Majin Buu, despite not necessarily being the strongest form. Fat Buu was persuaded not to kill and destroy anymore since he didn't understand that what he was doing was wrong, and Super Buu was (barely) reasoned with by appealing to his desire to fight strong opponents. Kid Buu, however, literally doesn't care about anything beyond destruction, and the first thing he does is destroy the Earth. Then the neighboring planets. Then he set his sights on the afterlife.
  • The Major from Hellsing, his only goal is to wage war, he doesn't care who wins, loses or dies so long as the war is waged.
  • Huey Laforet and Claire Stanfield from Baccano!. The only moral question Huey considers dwelling upon is the question of "is this action For Science!?" Claire, on the other hand, is thoroughly convinced that he's the king of the world and thus just does whatever he damn well wants to at the moment.
    • Ironically, Huey himself considers Elmer to be this. He might actually be right.
    Elmer: I'd sell the souls of all humanity to the devil if I thought it'd get us a happy ending.
  • Ryo Narushima from Shamo doesn't just live this trope, he practically is this trope. There is absolutely nothing he is not willing to do to win a fight and survive. This includes: various acts of sometimes completely unprovoked assault, maiming opponents, calling up a rival on the phone while raping his girlfriend, murdering his own parents with a knife, taking dangerous illegal steroids, and even biting off a man's penis.
  • Hanma Yujiro from Baki the Grappler will go to any lengths to have a good fight. His worst action by far is the sheer hell he has put his son through just to have someone even potentially equal to him. He even states to his son Baki that if he fails to live up to his expectations, he will repeat the whole process with his son.
  • Rau Le Creuset from Mobile Suit Gundam SEED. He'll do anything, even die in the process, to complete his goal of annihilating the human race.
  • Heero Yuy from Mobile Suit Gundam Wing starts off like this in the very beginning of the series, not caring if or how he dies, so long as he can complete his mission but it fades as he begins to give a crap about human life.
  • Mikasa from Attack on Titan. Her goal is simple: protect Eren at all costs, from any threat. Be they Titan... or human.
    • This is also the motivation of the Survey Corps Commander Erwin Smith. His aim is to defeat the Titans. No sacrifice is too big if it furthers that goal. Later on in the manga, Armin starts coming over to that line of thinking too.
    • It appears that now, Eren himself is becoming this. Almost 10 years after the beginning of the series, he still wants to wipe out the Titans. Even though he himself is a Titan, and he knows that the other Titans are/were humans, too. He's even willing to be seen as a threat to humanity to do it.
  • Lucy, Kurama, Bando, and Director Kakuzawa from Elfen Lied. Lucy has no reservations about doing anything in her considerable amount of power to kill all the humans and replace them with her species. Kurama's goal is to save the human race, even if it involves terminating innocent children and women alike. Bando's goal is to kill Lucy no matter what the cost is. Director Kakuzawa's goal is to wipe out the human race, replace it with the Diclonius, and be worshiped by them as their new "God."
  • Yuno Gasai and Minene Uryu from Future Diary. Yuno's goal is to do anything for Yukiteru, even going as far as to keep the universe in an eternal time loop, forever replaying the Diary game. Minene's goal is even simpler: to destroy religion.
  • Aoshi in Rurouni Kenshin, for a time. The goal: bring honor to fallen comrades (by defeating Kenshin, naturally). The sacrifices: working for the omnicidal Big Bad, attempted murder of his Old Master, tossing out all morals, and (would have included) his own life. He got better.
  • Yuriko Mifune of Kotoura-san admits this about herself. She's most certainly goal-devoted and takes an unapprehensive approach; however, and thankfully, she's never truly ruthless nor immoral—just a Plucky Girl who challenges the Untrusting Community's Fantastic Racism against those with Psychic Powers.
  • Rosario + Vampire:
    • Nagare Kano, a sicko pervert who stalks Kurumu and is perfectly willing to stoop to such lengths as blackmail and theft to get his way.
    • Gyokuro Shuzen is a pristine example. She is determined to acquire power and dominance for herself and will do whatever it takes to do so, up to and including throwing her own daughters to the wolves.
  • Amshel Goldsmith of Blood+. Everything he does is so he can find out everything he possibly can about the chiropteran race, and he'll do whatever it takes to do so, be it performing twisted genetic experiments on helpless children or starting a biological apocalypse by turning the people of New York City into chiropterans.
  • Olba Mayer of The Devil Is a Part-Timer! is willing to go to some pretty heinous lengths to kill Maou and Emi, up to and including making an entire underground mall filled will innocent civilians collapse simply to take them out. Needless to say, after seeing Olba for the scumbag he is firsthand, Emi no longer trusts the Church of Ente Isla.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Dio Brando, Kars, Kira Yoshikage, and every other every primary antagonist. Meanwhile Johnny Joestar is an usually civil (if sulky) heroic example, a major part of his character development being his finding out how far he's willing to go to get what he wants.
  • Lalaco Godspeed from Space Patrol Luluco refers to herself as "the very incarnation of true, unfettered freedom" and does not let anything get in her way once she decides she wants something. This is best demonstrated during the finale when she puts in the same amount of effort to helping her daughter confess to the boy she likes as she does beating that same daughter to steal a city.
  • Eishi Tsukasa in Shokugeki no Soma is always striving to improve his cooking. If he needs to help his subordinates grow so he has sous-chefs who can keep up with him, he'll be the kindliest and most patient mentor in the world. If he needs to compete with a challenger who is angling for his seat on The Council of Ten Masters, he'll crush the hapless bugger so thoroughly he'll never pick up a kitchen knife again.
  • As stated in the theme song, Afro of Afro Samurai only lives for revenge. Most of the drama in the series stems from the consequences of his willingness to give up or destroy anything else in pursuit of it.
  • Saint Seiya has Pisces Aphrodite, that terrifies everyone who knows about him because he just doesn't care in the slightest of what happens to his enemies. He demonstrates by casually mind-raping an opponent that knew something he wanted to know, poisoning anyone who tries to cross his temple without permission, and reacting to the threat of being hit by a sure-kill attack by unleashing his own sure-kill attack out of curiosity on who'll die first.
  • The Rett Team in ∀ Gundam are the descendants of Moonrace scouts whom Dianna sent to Earth to prepare for resettlement. Despite their New Age Retro Hippies look, they will do anything so long as they think it will advance Dianna's goals. Their lack of any battlefield norms or protocols earns them the disgust of Dianna's regular forces, who will respect typical battlefield codes. The Rett team, meanwhile, has no qualms conducting a nighttime assault on a militia hospital. After nuclear weapons are rediscovered (and several detonate), their leader Cancer wants to find the remaining two and set them off somewhere on Earth so that there's no possibility they'll harm Dianna. They only come under control once they actually find Dianna herself and she's able to give them direct orders—which happen to be to advance her new goals of finding a peaceful settlement. Had she ordered them to continue attacking the Earthers indiscriminately, they would have cheerfully done that, too.


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