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Wounded Gazelle Gambit / Anime & Manga

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Wounded Gazelle Gambits in anime and manga.

  • Invoked and defied in Accel World. At the start of the story, Takumu has gotten it into his head that Haruyuki is pulling one of these to manipulate their mutual friend Chiyuri and keep her from moving past him and into a full relationship with Takumu. In truth Haruyuki can't stand being perceived as an object of pity for Chiyuri and has actively been pushing her away as a result.
    • Played straighter earlier on. Araya has been getting away with bullying Haruyuki because he has an app that lets him evade the security cameras, so Kuroyukihime comes up with a plan to get him caught in the act- at lunch, she provokes him into punching Haruyuki and causing him to crash into her. While the two are injured, Kuroyukihime encourages Haruyuki to act as though he's been more badly hurt than he actually was in order to help ensure Araya gets his comeuppance.
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    • Much later on, it's revealed that Kuroyukihime actually was a victim of this trope. After learning that her sister manipulated her into killing Red Rider, Kuroyukihime confronted her sister in the real world, threatening her with a letter opener and demanding that they duel in order to settle things. However, her sister refused, and ended up getting cut when she took the knife from Kuroyukihime. Since the incident was caught on camera, Kuroyukihime ended up getting kicked out of the house- given that Kuroyukihime's sister is highly manipulative, it's almost certain that this outcome was something she'd planned for.
  • In Ashita no Nadja, Nadja dolls up to attend a high-class party where she can get answers about her stolen Orphan's Plot Trinket and see who has been impersonating her. Soon, she meets up with one of the culprits... and it's her old friend Rosemary. What does said culprit do? Though she's willingly in the whole complot, Rosemary tearfully tells Nadja that she's a mere pawn, kidnapped and blackmailed by the Smug Snake to pose as Nadja. It works so well that Rosemary returns the brooch... but sends Nadja into an Heroic BSoD by revealing the truth behind her involvement, ripping Nadja's Gorgeous Period Dress into pieces and kicking her out of the mansion.
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  • In Attack on Titan, this is how Eren Yeager infiltrates enemy territory - he pretends to be a Shell-Shocked Veteran, complete with bandages covering half of his face and a missing arm and leg. Falco (who is one of Reiner's subordinates and future titan shifter candidate) falls completely into his trap by helping him mail letters since mail sent from the mental hospital Eren's hiding at is monitored and, eventually, leads him directly to his target, Reiner.
  • In Basara an overthrown dictator, whom the cast never actually met in person pretends to have been a sex slave at his own court. Most of the good cast believe his tearjerker story but the heroine doesn't trust him. She lets him tag along anyway though he doesn't even pretend to be nice.
  • Bleach: During the Soul Society arc, Captain Aizen fakes his own murder as part of his plot. He leaves behind information suggesting he was killed for discovering a conspiracy, changing most but not all of the facts so that the good guys fight amongst themselves and remove a major obstacle for him.
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  • During his meeting with the Black Knights in season 2 of Code Geass, Schneizel pulls this by implicating that he could have been affected by Lelouch's Geass and not know it, as part of his plan to turn the knights against Lelouch.
  • Used in at least two episodes of Detective Conan. One where the killer turns out to be the deceased, and another where the killer stabs himself to allay suspicion. Suspects will sometimes attempt this to deflect suspicion from themselves, but of course Conan sees through them all; one victim was injured because she was trying to pull one of these on her fiance to be.
    • In at least two other cases the killers planted evidence against themselves in such a way as to make it look like they were being framed. And the case of a robber who lured his former partners onto a ship on the pretext of splitting the loot from a robbery past the statue of limitations, kills them, then shoots himself, making it look like one of his dead partners did it before they killed themselves.
    • Averted in a case where Ran thought that the karate champion she fangirled was the murderer, but he was planting evidence against himself to divert attention from the true murderer, his Broken Bird girlfriend. He was arrested too, but for Taking the Heat.
    • Averted also with Asami Uchida's almost death in a fire. One of Conan's theories at the beginning was that she caused the fire to drive attention to herself... but it was her Hopeless Suitor, who tries to stage a Rescue Romance to gain her attention.
    • And another case has Ran and Sonoko's old schoolteacher murdering her colleagues for killing one of their students, and to make believe one of the "victims" was the killer, she knocked Sonoko out with chloroform and then lay a corpse with her (the teacher's) wig next to her, to make it look like both of them were attacked.
    • Played very, VERY straight in a filler case where a girl who was subjected to a cruel Prank Date decides to turn the tables on the guy who did it to her by attacking other girls and faking attacks towards herself, making it look like she and the other gals are being subjected to Stock Shoujo Bullying Tactics. She intends to conclude her revenge by killing herself and making it look like the guy killed her; however Conan uses Sonoko to reveal this plan to everyone.
  • Employed in a Detective School Q case. Midori Tachikawa, Kazuma's favorite teacher at his elementary school, did this via poisoning herself in seemingly strange circumstances to get a large sum of money from life insurance. That money wasn't even for herself, but for her seriously ill baby's medical treatment. Kazuma is heartbroken as he unmasks her, but after learning her motivations he also makes sure she gets a lighter sentence and the money she needs for her child.
  • Rika from the manga Devil Beside You does this to protagonist Kayano in order to get attention from Takeru and have him break up with Kayano.
  • In the first Martial Arts tournament in Dragon Ball, Ranfan's entire strategy revolves around screaming when her opponent is about to hit her and striking while their guard is down. Well, that and stripping.
  • Downplayed in the 13th Dragon Ball Z movie Wrath of the Dragon. After his arrival on Earth, Hoi tries to jump out of a building while knowing that Gohan and Videl (as the two Great Saiyamen) would come to his rescue and trick Z-Fighters into helping him release Tapion.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, Winry is brought in by the Kimblee under the pretext of fixing Ed's automail arm, but really serving as a thinly veiled hostage to keep the Elric brothers from acting out. Once they tell her what's going on, she uses fake crying so she can accompany them and some soldiers on a mission with fewer guards around. Later, after they confront Scar and he agrees to cooperate, Winry suggests having him "kidnap" her, in order to permanently get her away from Kimblee. The Elrics are very reluctant, but eventually agree to the plan.
  • In the 3rd OVA to Fushigi Yuugi, Mayo tells everyone that Miaka was selfish and irresponsible, and that she was a slut who kept going back and forth between Tamahome and Hotohori. (Which earns her a What the Hell, Hero? from both Taka and Boushin.)
  • In Future GPX Cyber Formula, Henri does this to make Shinjyo, Gudelhian and Heinel believe that Hayato hit him and was driving recklessly to get ahead of other racers. It fails at the end when Hayato beats him in the African race.
  • Goddess Creation System
    • After it becomes clear to some servants that Xiaxi is sucking up to the house masters, the other servants refuse to help her with a task that Mingluan asked her to handle. So she loudly drops the teapot, falls to the ground and quickly feigns some tears. When Mingluan rushes over to see what's going on, she says nothing happened *sniff* I'm sorry I dropped your tea *sniff* don't worry about me. The other servants are first confused then horrified, but their protests are totally ignored over such strong evidence. All of them are quickly fired for harassing Mingluan's favorite new servant.
    • Feng Lan, Mingyi's legal wife, begins harassing Xiaxi for real later on. The important part is that after she succeeds at a task that Feng Lan expects to kill her, she's told to kneel outside in strong sun until Feng Lan returns for her. Unpleasant, but passive and probably not terribly dangerous unless it was a very hot day. After some hours pass, her husband returns and asks about her, is brushed off and later asks again. At this point, Xiaxi throws herself into the river and acts as though she was being abused so terribly that suicide was the only escape. Mingyi promptly divorces Feng Lan since he hadn't really liked her that much anyway and the family name she thought was protecting her doesn't mean much to the Wang Pu family.
  • Great Teacher Onizuka:
    • Female characters will play on Onizuka's sympathies all the time, and Onizuka still falls for it every time.
    • Eventually, it's revealed that the incident that turned Class 3-4 (then Class 2-4) into a bunch of teacher-hating jerks is one of these. Miyabi, jealous that the teacher she had a crush on was getting engaged to someone else, took pictures of herself naked and handcuffed and made it look like the teacher did it. It backfires horribly, causing one student to be arrested for assaulting a teacher and said teacher to resign rather than explain his innocence.
  • Haruhi pulls one (or at least, threatens to) using Mikuru in the second chronological episode of Haruhi Suzumiya, fabricating evidence that the computer club president groped Mikuru in order to blackmail him out of a computer. When the club president points out that all the other members saw what really happened and can vouch for his innocence, Haruhi simply proclaims: "I'll just say all you geeks ganged up on (Mikuru) and *BLEEP*ed her!" It's the first indication we get of just how far Haruhi is willing to go to get her own way.
  • An especially nasty example happens in Ikki Tousen. Kaku and Enjutsu (the latter out of revenge) lure Teifu out by sending him a video where she's disguised as Teifu's crush Ryoumou and, with the help of other people, fakes a kidnapping and rape attempt. The consequences lead to the first time that Ryuubi's Superpowered Evil Side awakens.
  • Played for Drama in Kaguya-sama: Love Is War: In Ishigami's backstory, he was friends with a girl in middle school, only to discover that her boyfriend was cheating on her. When he confronted the boyfriend, he tried to buy Ishigami's silence by offering to "give" the girl to him — which made Ishigami snap and start beating the everloving crap out of the guy. Unfortunately the boyfriend was in Drama Club, so he was quickly able to act like Ishigami was a Stalker with a Crush attacking him out of sheer jealousy, turning the entire school against him and staining his reputation for at least a year.
  • Subverted in Kare Kano. Clingy Jealous Girl Tsubasa tries to use this technique against female lead Yukino since she's dating her beloved Arima, but Arima himself knows better and actually catches her trying to kick Yukino on the head while she thinks he's not looking.
  • Kyo Koi O Hajimemasu: Rika is fond of this trick, especially when it comes to Halstead. When Kyota refused to sleep with her and said he dislikes women like her, she set it up so it seemed he had harassed and raped her, giving her an excuse to break up with Hal and ruining their friendship.
  • In one of the early chapters of Kyou Kara Ore wa!! the initial banchou of Nan High does this to Mitsuhashi, beating up a student and then shouting accuses at Mitsuhashi and Itou (who are stronger) to make the other students think they did it. It explodes in his face, as this prompt Mitsuhashi to steal the money of the Student Council, hide it in a comic book of the banchou and then calling attention on it as the banchou was accusing him of doing exactly that.
  • In Mai Hime the There Can Be Only One plot picks up speed after Sister Yukariko (being influenced by her lover, Ishigami-sensei) pretends to be attacked by the morally ambiguous Dark Magical Girl Nao, so when the others attack Nao and injure her, she becomes really mad and turns into an enemy.
  • A double-team version happens in Mamotte Shugogetten, where Izumi pretends to be sick to get Shao Lin's attention, while Ruu An uses the separation to try and win Tasuke's heart. Ultimately fails when Ruu An, surprised by Tasuke's honest concern for what the Chivalrous Pervert might do to Shao, allows him to go "save" her. Of course, when he gets to the nurse's office, we learn that Shao used her magical servants to keep Izumi in bed, never once realizing his intentions.
  • In episode 13 of Mayo Chiki!, Nakuru pays a visit to Jiro's house. When he sees her at the door, he immediately tries to close it, then threatens to call the police because he doesn't want "that weirdo" in his house. So she resorts to yelling out for help and that she was being kidnapped, which forces him to let her in, lest someone really does come and thinks he's trying to kidnap her...
  • Nami invokes this early in One Piece, pretending to succumb to her injuries so Luffy will go into an Unstoppable Rage and take out Captain Kuro. As soon as he's no longer paying attention, she gets back up and loots Kuro's ship.
    • In an earlier episode, she fake-complains that her chest hurts, causing the pirate she's talking to to get distracted staring at her breasts, before she then swiftly disposes of him. In the 4Kids Entertainment dub, this was changed to her saying her shoulder hurt.
  • An unusually benevolent example happened in Ore-sama Teacher where Torikichi/Josephine threw itself into a pond to attract attention from Snow (Mafuyu) and Strawberry Love (Okegawa), in hopes to reconcile them. Didn't work because someone else got to it first, though.
  • Subverted: "Princess" Ayanakoji in Ouran High School Host Club tries this against Haruhi Fujioka, but none of the members of the titular Host Club actually believe her for a moment, so all it accomplishes is to get her doused with cold water and permanently banned from the Host Club.
  • Many characters in Paranoia Agent manage to twist this trope in order to inflict it upon themselves. Many characters will injure themselves (or pretend to be injured) in order to gain sympathy from society in general around them by placing the blame on an urban legend known as Lil' Slugger, a kid with a golden baseball bat and roller blades who they claim randomly assaulted them. This is just to shirk any responsibilities they had with their job or daily lives. Unfortunately, things go from bad to worse when Lil' Slugger grows from being a scapegoat excuse into an actual Eldritch Abomination, and people start getting killed. Consider it the ultimate form of Laser-Guided Karma for using this gambit in the first place.
  • Sae from Peach Girl is a master of this. Most of the conflict in the first arc is driven by Sae convincing people that Momo is bullying her. In fact, she seems to rely a little too much on this tactic; even in circumstances where it's obvious she's lying, this is still the first thing she'll always pull.
  • A Teddiursa from Pokémon successfully frames Totodile and Chikorita for the teft of a ham and some hot dogs, when in fact the Teddiursa stole them. Thus, Misty (who falls for its charms) is quick to blame them both. Unlike Misty, Ash Ketchum (who actually owns the Totodile and Chikorita in question) isn't quite fooled: he doesn't figure out that Teddiursa is the thief, but he is pretty sure Totodile is innocent and, after some hesitance due to sausages in Chikorita's mouth, also consoles Chikorita that he knows Chikorita would never steal. When they finally catch Teddiursa in the act of stealing bread, it tries to blame Bulbasaur for hurting it and stealing it. Doesn't work this time... except with Misty, again. When Nurse Joy tells Bulbasaur's story, Misty realizes the truth and apologizes to Totodile and Chikorita.
  • In the second season of Princess Tutu, this is used by a corrupted Mytho, and a little by Rue, making Fakir look like an unstable, violent person who pushed his roommate out of a window. He even pushes the "wronged innocent" thing a bit further by making unconvincing claims of having fallen, as if covering for an abuser.
  • Ranma ½:
    • Ukyō uses this in "Ukyō's Secret Sauce", but with a twist. She implicates her Love Interest Ranma as the one who has injured her (by cheating on her with Akane, since Ranma spent the night in Akane's room). Since Ranma is already feeling guilty about wrecking her special sauce (and letting her think it was her failure) he falls for it pretty badly. Afterwards Ukyō comments to herself: "Wow, tears really do work."
    • Ranma himself has done this a few times. Most prominently in "Team Ranma vs. The Legendary Phoenix", where he attempts to use it (as "the pigtailed girl") to trick Kunō into getting rid of a bird that is constantly attacking Ranma and which Ranma can't hurt, due to its paralytic gaze.
  • In Real Bout High School, wannabe ninja Asuka Kuronari pulls this during her fight with real ninja Kyoichi Kunugi. She pulls down her mask and cries her eyes out while telling him her life story, why she thought she could be a ninja if she tried hard enough, and asks him to look at something: a smoke bomb, which she immediately deploys, giving her cohort Xiaoxing the chance to attack him. While the tactic fails to defeat him, he is so impressed by her deviousness (contrary to what Naruto may claim, this is a good trait in a ninja) that he leaves the battle and declares that she may be a real ninja after all.
  • Suiseiseki from Rozen Maiden uses this to try and convince the others that Hinaichigo is bullying her. It spirals into a conflict that wrecks the Sakurada household.
  • During the later parts of Nephrite's arc in Sailor Moon, Zoisite pulls a more subtle version of this by harassing Nephrite until he gets angry enough to fight back, then running to Kunzite for comfort on the grounds that Nephrite was mean to him.
  • Played with in Snow White with the Red Hair when the member of the family behind the attacks on Kiki's suitors who is one of her suitors is also attacked. While he knew what his family was up to though he had been lied to about the ultimate goal of the attacks he had no idea the family head was going to have him wounded to divert suspicion. He also managed to not be wounded when someone else saw the attack coming and got in the way to protect him, he adapted quickly and still used the opportunity to help shift the blame for the attacks on Mitsuhide.
  • Spy X Family has Psychic Child Anya secretly help her father take down an enemy agent this way. As the man runs past her, she simply clings to his coat and and screams that she's being kidnapped. Sure enough, her mother - an undercover assassin - goes full Mama Bear and kicks the unsuspecting spy into the ceiling.
  • Tokyo Ghoul:
    • In a story from the first Light Novel, Alpha Bitch Mayuhara pretends to have been punched in order to get Touka in trouble with their teacher.
    • In :Re, Nimura Furuta is found barely conscious and badly beaten in the aftermath of a massacre. He reports that everyone else was killed during the fierce battle, and breaks down in hysterical tears. In truth, he murdered the other survivors and is actually laughing over having gotten away with it. This is our first hint of his true nature.
  • Inverted in Tokyo Godfathers when Hana shouts at a group of people to draw them closer together by making himself the villain. He even explains it with a reference to a Red Oni, Blue Oni story right afterward.
  • Bakura did this when he teamed up with Marik to trick Yugi's grandpa in Yu-Gi-Oh!.
    • Marik too. He called himself Namu, his brother Rishid called himself Marik, and Bakura's crazy half pretended to be the not crazy half of his split personality.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX:
    • Played for laughs, where the effect of Blair/Rei's "Maiden in Love" card is to make puppy eyes at the male monsters of her opponent and turn them against each other since they can't bring themselves to attack her.
  • Yu Yu Hakusho:
    • Miyuki tries to pull this when fighting Yusuke. While Kuwabara is opposed to hitting "her" Yusuke fights her normally. He even asks Kuwabara why he wouldn't fight back and "just let her ream him." In the dub, where she's a woman, she tries to garner sympathy by saying that being a woman means nobody takes her seriously. On the unedited DVDs, Yusuke found out Miyuki is a guy by feeling around and uh...not getting what he expected.
    • Bakken tries to do this by pretending that Yusuke's beating broke his ribs. Yusuke isn't fooled for a second and easily blocks his attempted sneak attack.
    • Urashima successfully pulls this on Kurama by claiming he's only participating in the Dark Tournament because his mother is being threatened. Just as Kurama is feeling sorry for him, Urashima gets a good hit in and mocks him for falling for his story.
  • During the Nadai arc of Yona of the Dawn, Yona and the others knock Jaeha out and leave Shin-ah to babysit him, since he's already been drugged and forced to suffer through the withdrawal symptoms of Nadai. Jaeha wakes up and wants to go after Yona, and uses his dragon leg to jump out a window, planning to outrun Shin-ah. Shin-ah then jumps out after him, lands hard on the ground, and lays there, knowing that 'big brother' won't be able to resist fussing over him. Jaeha immediately turns back to scold him for being so reckless and Shin-ah grabs on to him. Jaeha ends up dragging Shin-ah all the way to catch up with Yona.


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