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  • Used during the collective Mind Rape scene in the Cyborg 009 2001 series.
  • Angel Beats!: Yuri in the computer room, when she finds out that she can become 'God', denies the power. Made all the more powerful when you remember that her objective all along was to find 'God' to defeat him.
  • One Piece:
    • Everyone knows that Zoro is one of the main good guys and despite him not showing it as often, he does look after the crew. The end of Thriller Bark shows exactly what kind of lengths he would go for them, as he fully intended to sacrifice himself as part of the deal to Kuma to spare the others. After this happens, Sanji catches Zoro standing still some time later, surrounded by a pool of his own blood. When Sanji asks what happened in a panic, all Zoro has to say is "nothing happened."
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    • During Usopp's introductory arc, he was willing to take on the entirety of Captain Kuro's men without his village even being aware of the danger. This nobility gained him the respect and aid of Luffy and the others.
    • Usopp's fights also tend to be examples of this. Especially his first real battle of the series. His opponent Choo is his physical superior in every conceivable way, and Usopp survives his first encounter by playing dead. As he starts covering himself in dirt to make his excuse for letting Choo leave more believable, he realizes he doesn't want to be a coward and a liar, stands up to Choo while scared to death, and actually comes out on top and wins. To Usopp's credit, he was certainly FASTER than Choo.
    • During the Alabasta arc, despite taking a massive amount of punishment from Miss Merry Christmas and Mr. 4, Usopp keeps standing right back up. He also says that it's impossible that Luffy is dead, despite Miss Merry Christmas's claims, saying that Luffy is destined to be King of the Pirates. These early battles cemented Usopp as a Cowardly Lion that may act scared, but when the chips are down, he's not running away.
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  • In Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Batou corners a serial killer he had been chasing in order to exact revenge on him for slaughtering a village full of innocent people. He has the opportunity to kill him without anybody asking questions (in fact, the CIA agents working with him were banking on this to happen). However, Batou reminds the killer (and himself) that he's a law enforcement officer now, not a soldier, and promptly arrests him.
  • The defining moment of The End of Evangelion: Shinji Ikari has the choice of returning to life (and allowing others to do the same) or dooming humanity to an eternity as a single non-sentient organism. Nobody would EVER know if he chose to die. Nobody would judge him for it. The decision was his and his alone. He proved, for possibly the only time in the series, that he truly was the hero by deciding to return to life, even though it would be painful and lonely.
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  • In Planetes, Tanabe is on the moon with no air left in her suit, and an unconscious terrorist with a full tank of oxygen at her feet. She is tempted to let the terrorist die and steal the air for herself. But in the end she realizes she can't, and lets herself begin to choke to death.
  • A variant occurs in Death Note. After discovering the eponymous Death Note, Light goes on a rampart killing spree of criminals over 5 days that surprises a god of death. This is later revealed to be because he expected some divine retribution to come to him and he wanted to do as much "good" as possible. It's only after Ryuk explains to him that there are no immediate consequences to using the Death Note (specifically that the major price is the user cannot go to Heaven or Hell when they die) that he starts his A God Am I attitude... then it all goes downhill from there.
  • Very important to Code Geass. Much of the point of Lelouch is showing someone who pretends to be The Hero in the limelight, then revealing his "real self" when isolated from that limelight. The series shows that Lelouch is quite capable of both very good, and very bad things... as well as not being an entirely stable person.
  • In A Certain Magical Index, Touma Kamijou will never walk away from somebody in trouble, even though nobody really knows he exists and his accomplishments will never be acknowledged. To the point where, when one of his opponents asks him why he fights and saves people, Touma's reply that he has never found a single good reason to abandon anyone is enough to convince her that he is insane.
    • Touma has defeated Fiamma of the Right, a extremely powerful magician that has become an enemy of the entire world, and the two of them are stuck in Fiamma's flying fortress, which is falling towards the ground. Fiamma accepts his loss and prepares himself for his death, but he's surprised when Touma helps him up and starts carrying him to the last escape pod. Fiamma questions his actions and points out out that the pod is only capable of saving one of them, and Touma replies without pause that then Fiamma needs to escape. Fiamma is left dumbfounded when he realizes Touma is completely serious, even when he could return home as the hero who defeated the mastermind that instigated World War III and nobody would criticize him for leaving him behind, instead very likely being praised for finishing him off. This and Touma's actions during their previous fight completely change Fiamma's outlook, motivating him to fight to protect the world he had tried to forcibly purify before and granting him a newfound respect towards Touma's way of saving people he had previously mocked.
    • Touma once again follows his personal beliefs by protecting and helping Othinus, who like Fiamma had become a global enemy and had subjected him to millions of worlds designed to torture him, to relinquish her great powers. During this journey he fights some of his allies and friends that are trying to kill her, and all of them are surprised and confused by Touma's actions, since only Touma and Othinus kept their memories of the events that changed them both.
  • In Shakugan no Shana, Shana once considered killing her romantic rival Kazumi Yoshida while time was frozen, but stopped.
  • In Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid, Mamori can transform into a sword for Mirei to wield. She is completely unconscious until she turns back. Mirei knows this, yet she kept her promises to Mamori while wielding her even though Mamori would never know.
  • In the 2015 anime/manga of The Heroic Legend of Arslan, when the group was separated and chased by Lusitanians, Gieve spotted Arslan and Elam being attacked. At this point in time, Gieve was Not in This for Your Revolution and could have pretended he didn't see them or even helped the Lusitanians claim the hefty reward on Arslan's head. Instead, he came to their rescue and repeatedly protected them throughout the rest of the journey.
  • In Time Stranger Kyoko, the eponymous heroine talks with Sakataki about her adopted nature and is scared that she might be a demon-kirit. She admits that she almost turned off her twinsister's life-support machine when she was younger, but stopped herself upon realizing what she was about to do.
  • In Glass Mask, Ayumi heads to a secluded valley in secret for one last acting exercise before going home, convinced she cannot defeat the protagonist, Maya, for the coveted role of the Crimson Goddess. A passing farmer warns her that the bridge to the valley is rotting out, and shortly afterwards, Ayumi spots Maya coming down the same path. Realizing that she'd get the role if Maya fell, Ayumi pretends not to have seen her...but ultimately runs back to pull her up when she hears Maya scream. This also inspires her to go back and face Maya with her own skills, rather than relying on underhanded means like the other celebrities she'd always despised.
  • Sword Art Online: A major theme of Kirito's character throughout the Fairy Dance arc, as Kirito believes that if you indulge your baser instincts while anonymous online, you end up becoming a worse person as a result; by contrast, Sugou Nobuyuki, the Arc Villain, is a Card-Carrying Villain who revels in being able to do all the horrible things online that would see him ostracized in the real world, and uses ALO as his own personal outlet for indulging in his sick fantasies. At the end of the arc, Sugou, after being maimed and permanently injured by Kirito during their battle in ALO, attacks Kirito in real life outside the hospital Asuna is in with a knife. Kirito manages to overpower him and seems fully prepared to slit Sugou's throat with his own knife, particularly after all of the atrocities Sugou committed throughout the arc, not the least of which was sexually assaulting Asuna while making Kirito watch. Ultimately, however, Kirito settles for just leaving an utterly broken Sugou, reduced to Inelegant Blubbering and knowing his plans are in ruin, unconscious in the parking lot for the police.
  • Dragon Ball Z: Mr. Satan is initially a Glory Hound and Fake Ultimate Hero, but he certainly has the heart of a hero if nothing else. This is exhibited mid-way through the Buu arc when he's left to his own devices with the titular villain; after promising to the public to kill him and failing via various means, he sees Buu's friendly nature and befriends him instead. The full extent of his moral character is shown at the end, where he tries to fight Kid Buu despite knowing he doesn't stand a chance, and helps contribute to the Spirit Bomb that ultimately finishes him off.
    Mr. Satan: I've been a shameless fake my whole life. But they believed me. They loved me. So if I turn my back on them now, what will it make me?
  • In Dragon Ball Super, when Jaco takes Bulma to see Master Zuno, he sees that Burp Man is the one ahead of him in line. He could arrest the guy then and there, but he posits that it'll lead to Burp Man telling the Galactic Patrol that Jaco used him as The Scapegoat when Jaco himself destroyed a valuable monument. He's about to leave the guy to his devices when Bulma mentions that Beerus threatened to destroy Universe 7, and that they'll all have to hope he was joking. With the universe on the line, despite the fact that he'd be in the clear if he just ignored Burp Man, Jaco then risks getting caught, subdues Burp Man when he takes a hostage, and gains Bulma audience with Zuno.
  • In UQ Holder!, Touta comes across Yukihime while time is frozen. Her shirt is open, exposing her breasts. While Touta is highly tempted to do something perverted to her, he resists temptation and instead covers her with his jacket.
  • During the Sick Visit arc of Kaguya-sama: Love Is War, Hayasaka leaves Shirogane alone with a feverish Kaguya making it very clear that no one will interrupt them no matter what he does and that Kaguya won't remember any of this tomorrow. He could molest her and get away with it, but of course never really considers it. He could also take advantage of her impaired mental state to 'cheat' in their game of wits by asking her highly personal questions that she would never answer if she was coherent. The only thing he asks is if it's his fault that she's sicknote  and touching her lips with one finger even after she drags him into bed herself and falls asleep.
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