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You Have Failed Me / Anime & Manga

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  • In Rosario + Vampire, Anti-Thesis leaders execute anyone who fails to kill Aono Tsukune... and are then promptly executed by their higher-ups when they fail to kill him. Subverted at the end of the first manga season when the second in command appears to execute the leader for failure, and then heals him instead. It helps that the second-in-command was the leader's only friend during the time he was a human and gave him some of his abilities to help survive.
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  • Mimi and Sheshe suffer this fate at the hands of both their bosses in Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch. They got off lucky the first time, only turning back to their original forms; the second time, depending which version you're following, either their hearts are absorbed like Seira's, or they get eaten alive.
  • Subverted twice in Yes! Pretty Cure 5 by Bunbee. He drops Girinma down the Trap Door, presumably never to be seen again... only for Girinma to climb back up five episodes later, ready to fail him again. Much later, Bunbee finds himself on the other end of this trope, being dropped off of a building by Kawarino. Bunbee turns out to have grabbed a convenient ledge... and then remembered that, you know, he can fly, thus the reason why he has appeared during the sequel.
  • Sailor Moon:
    • The Quirky Miniboss Squad in 4 of the 5 seasons all fall prey to this trope at the hands of each season's Big Bad. There was at least one villain per saga doing so, from Queen Beryl killing Jadeite to Galaxia eventually winding up killing all but one of her minions, including the "brainwashed" Uranus and Neptune.
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    • Rubeus gives a specially cruel twist to it in regards to Kooan from the Ayakashi Sisters, whom he gives an exploding MacGuffin and sends off to fight the Senshi to force her to kill herself for him, since she loved him.
    • Ironically, Rubeus himself falls victim to this trope when he's left to die on his exploding ship by Green Esmeraude for failing to capture Chibi-Usa and stopping Sailor Moon from saving the Inner Sailor Guardians that he captured in the previous episode.
    • This practice is also probably the reason that no youmas in Series 1 ever attempt to flee when outmatched. In Episode 05, Jadeite calmly informs youma Kyurene that should she fail at her task, her life is forfeit... so when she indeed fails, she only flies a short distance away and then does not try to run away when Sailor Moon attacks her — probably knowing she is doomed to die either way.
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    • Sailor Stars is a particularly cruel instance of this trope. The Big Bad (Sailor Galaxia) sends her four minions, the Anima-Mates, to Earth to find "true star seeds" (immortal souls) inside of the living beings of Earth that would impede her chances of taking over the galaxy, and killed most of them when they failed (except Sailor Lead Crow, who was too ambitious for her own good and got eaten by a black hole). At the end of the series, it turns out Galaxia knew that the Sailor Soldiers held the true star seeds the whole time, which makes it seem like she toyed around with the Anima-Mates for yuks and giggles.
    • What's amusing, such stratospheric minion-disposing rate is the consequence of the anime being Lighter and Softer compared to the manga. In the manga, Sailor Senshi just fry most of their opponents, while the anime tones down violence considerably, so when villains (with notable exceptions of certain Big Bads) die, it is either through this trope or Hoist by His Own Petard.
    • The Live-Action Adaptation Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon averts this by having Queen Beryl respond to a subordinate suggesting their rival be killed for failure "... why should I kill a loyal servant?"
  • Excel Saga:
    • Subverted: Diabolical Mastermind Il Palazzo drops Excel down a miles-deep, alligator-filled pit almost every episode and in several chapters. It isn't always alligators; in fact, the first time they appear in the anime, Il Palazzo refers to them as a Christmas present ("I have provided you with a knife and all suitable supplies"). The next time we see Excel, she's discussing the proper way of killing an alligator and complaining about how tough it is to skin one.
    • Played straight later in the anime and the manga, though in different ways. In the anime Il Palazzo shoots Excel through the chest and leaves her to die in the desert, and in the manga Il Palazzo abandons Excel on a deserted island and replaces her with a competent robotic double.
  • Science Ninja Team Gatchaman plays it straight toward Leader X's commanders. For almost every episode, a new commander is brought in when one of his commanders fail. There are times, however, when one of the commanders are given a second chance before failing again and getting killed.
  • Mai-HiME: Father Joseph gets the "You're fired" speech from the higher-ups at Searrs for failing to eliminate the main characters in Episode 12. However, they don't actually kill him...they allow him to sit and watch as Alyssa and Miyu enact their plan to take over Fuuka Academy. He was eventually killed by Miyu after he shot little Alyssa at mission's end.
    • His shooting Alyssa was also an example of this trope, as he was sent in to deal with Alyssa for her failing to take over the school.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • The Red Ribbon Army is known for its low tolerance for failure.
      • For his failure to collect Dragon Balls (he managed to retrieve the Dragon Radar, but his superiors don't care), General Blue is used as a measuring stick for new baddie Tao Pai Pai. Colonel Silver is likewise condemned for his inability to retrieve Dragon Balls.
      • On the topic of the Red Ribbon Army, their definition of failure is... well, just say that anything even slightly wrong is a failure, sometimes with the successes expected. For instance, Commander Red, when he is talking to Colonel Silver, mentions that a soldier who ended up losing an eye from being unable to efficiently dodge Red sicing his pet cat at him was "no longer with them", implying that he executed him because he couldn't evade the cat efficiently.
      • General Blue once had a soldier executed for picking his nose.
      • And the Path to Power movie has General Blue executed after bringing five of the Dragon Balls to his superiors, all because he missed one that was half-buried in the sand nearby.
    • During the Saiyan Saga in Dragon Ball Z, Vegeta kills his partner Nappa after he gets his ass kicked by Goku, considering Nappa to be no use to him as a Saiyan warrior considering how Goku made an idiot out of him and broke Nappa's spine.
    • Frieza holds his army in line with fear of this, and promised this punishment to Zarbon if he failed to retrieve Vegeta. And Zarbon he actually likes; most minions would've already been dead by the time that threat was issued (though part of it is that Frieza was running low on minions at the time). He does this to his henchman Orlen when he failed to question the Namek that he killed, and when facing off with Trunks, he kills one of his lackeys who is scared to face Trunks after all the other Mooks are sliced up effortlessly.
  • Digimon:
    • MetalSeadramon from Digimon Adventure kills Scorpiomon after he fails to capture and incapacitate all 8 of the kids (Joe and Mimi escape). Though it must be said Scorpiomon failed big time and multiple times before MetalSeadramon did him in, and that MetalSeadramon was probably the least Bad Boss out of all the Digimon Adventure villains.
    • Machinedramon also kills WaruMonzaemon after he's defeated by the kids, and Puppetmon shoots Blossomon and Mushroomon after they let TK slip away. And the most famous, Myotismon's killing of Pumpkinmon and Gotsumon when they fail at being evil. Myotismon did this a lot actually. Very few of his minions survived till the end of the arc and at least half of them were killed by him for this reason, and most of those that did were absorbed to fuel his One-Winged Angel form.
    • In Digimon Frontier Duskmon says Arbormon (who was just defeated) has become a liability because he has lost his Beast Spirit before casually slicing him.
  • In Princess Tutu, when Princess Kraehe continually fails to bring the Raven a heart as a sacrifice, he attempts to eat her heart instead. She escapes, but barely. (Ironically, he then later seems to be surprised when she betrays him and tries to save Mytho from the same fate.)
  • In Full Metal Panic!!: The Second Raid, a Running Gag sees Ax-Crazy Psycho for Hire Gates do this to quite a lot of subordinates for any number of random reasons. It's mostly played for Black Comedy, if only because of the utterly insane ways he does it: In one case, he shoots a man who gainsaid him in the head point blank and then argues with his corpse for a good thirty seconds before noticing he is dead, and then starts bemoaning the man's sudden and unexpected death and wonders how it happened.
  • Marik Ishtar of Yu-Gi-Oh! tends to do this whenever one of his Rare Hunters loses. He controls their minds briefly and leaves them in a seemingly permanent comatose state after delivering his messages. In the manga, Marik's punishment to Pandora (Arcana in the US) could be considered worse. Marik scans the unconscious Pandora's mind for a time he contemplated suicide and increased those feelings, stating that when Pandora comes to he's immediately be Driven to Suicide.
  • One Piece:
    • The conspiracy group Baroque Works holds this as the penalty for any agents failing their assigned mission. While none of them like it (except insofar as it gets them promoted), most of the Officer Agents treat it merely as part of the job.
    • Donquixote Doflamingo does this to Bellamy after he loses to Luffy for disgracing his flag by using his powers to force Sarquiss to kill him; however Bellamy survives. He later attempts it again on Gecko Moria, apparently on orders of someone in the World Government who outranks Sengoku, as it would be better for the Seven Warlords of the Sea's reputation. Turns out Bellamy got a second chance. Apparently, if you really do your best and you aren't an arrogant jackass, Doflamingo will be a Benevolent Boss to you.
    • Nero, a CP9 initiate, gets finished off and thrown in the ocean by Rob Lucci for failing to defeat Franky, as well as for losing his temper and trying to kill him instead of bringing him in alive.
      Lucci: You half-assed worthless trash...and you call yourself a member of CP9.
  • Naruto:
    • Subverted: After Tobi notices that Sasuke failed to capture the eight-tailed beast for Akatsuki, he intercepts him and reminds him that betrayal means death, but instead of killing him, has him go to kill Danzo instead.
    • Mentioned much earlier in the Sasuke Retrieval arc, when Kimimaro stated that even if Tayuya succeeds in killing off Shikamaru (which she didn't), he was going to kill her (and probably anyone else left in the Sound Four) anyway because she failed to bring Sasuke to Orochimaru by sunset. Kimimaro would never have gotten a chance to make good on his threat, though, since he died too.
    • Sasuke eventually does this to his second team, throwing Suigetsu and Jugo to the wolves just because he doesn't want to wait to fight Danzo, then stabbing Danzo through Karin rather than making an effort to save her as he decided her getting taken hostage makes her not worth keeping (he was even going to finish her off himself to keep her quiet).
  • Used in Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan. Interestingly, this isn't used just to demonstrate that the Big Bad is a dick. One of the protangonist's youkai allies uses this to infer that the Big Bad in question is extremely confident and has legitimate reason to be so.
  • In episode 42 of Tekkaman Blade, Tekkaman Omega imprisons Blade's twin brother in a sort of organic prison pod for his repeated failures. It's only when his sole other Tekkaman is slain that he is willing to release him.
  • Katekyō Hitman Reborn! has the Varia, the Vongola crime family's elite assassination squad, who have a stated policy of killing those who fail. One of the reasons they're so tough is their tradition of "erasing the weak," meaning those who fail in a mission are swiftly put to death by one of the others. This may be closer to an Informed Ability, as we've only actually seen them carry out the policy once, and the victim survived and was even allowed to rejoin the unit.
  • This is apparently the standard policy of The Syndicate in Darker Than Black. Huang regularly reminds Hei of this whenever he gets insubordinate, but Hei, apparently aware of the absurdity of the situation, completely ignores him most of the time. Huang was right, though; their bosses do try to wipe them out when they get too far out of line.
  • Bleach:
    • After Renji is defeated by Ichigo in the Soul Society arc, Byakuya orders him imprisoned without having his life-threatening injuries healed. Renji's friend Momo is horrified, and attempts to call him out, but he doesn't listen.
    • Aizen (almost) murdering Halibel, and later Tousen.
    • Rudbone and the Exequias, whose job it is to kill any Arrancar who loses a fight, like Dordonii and Ciricci. In other words, Aizen is so fond of this trope he actually created an official department of You Have Failed Me.
    • When Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez is beaten, but not killed, by Ichigo, his immediate superior Nnoitra Gilga appears out of nowhere and slashes his throat, although that was more because he just wanted to hurry up and get Grimmjow out of the way so he could kill the weakened Ichigo himself. Word of God indicates he managed to survive, but he doesn't return until the final arc sporting the scars.
    • Given his harsh treatments to his subordinates, Yhwach also indulges in executing minions who fail at their tasks. Or having Haschwalth do it for him.
  • Hellsing:
  • Subverted in Soul Eater. After failing to prevent their plans being foiled, Mosquito is offered a drink by Arachne. Giriko implies it may be poisoned; however, Arachne reassures him and tells him to make up for it by doing better next time.
  • Yu Gi Oh season 0 had Kaiba doing this with his brother Mokuba. This was the first series based on Yu-Gi-Oh!, and Mokuba wasn't Kaiba's Morality Pet there.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! Season 3 has Noah pull this one on The Big 5 when they lie about giving Tristan's body back and try to take the other bodies by force. Given how much that Noah hates cheaters, it's no surprise that he stepped in. Although, he may just have stopped this from happening solely because he believes that it makes him look bad and that he doesn't really care about cheaters otherwise. It really doesn't help that The Big 5 lost all but one duel, and even still technically lost the one time they defeated an opponent. You have failed, indeed.
  • Yes. Even Pokémon.
    • In the anime, we don't see this out of actual villains, though Giovanni rightly chews out field grunts Jessie and James whenever they try to call him. On the other hand, Paul will regularly release any Pokémon that fails to live up to his standards, however ridiculous they may be. This tends to overlap with You Have Outlived Your Usefulness, as being a long runner on his team does not provide immunity — as Chimchar came to learn firsthand. This came back to bite him big time when Ash finally beat Paul using the same Chimchar he threw away.
    • Pokémon Adventures sees Ark, an Aqua Admin, ordered to stay behind and defend team headquarters while Archie, Amber, Angie, and the Magma alumni take the Kaien I to the Cave of Origin. To be fair to Archie, Ark should have known better about when and around who to indulge in Evil Gloating. To be fair to Ark, however, Sapphire is harder to kill than the lot of them anticipated.
    • Also from Special, Malva does not know the meaning of mercy. She doesn't hesitate to order her Pyroar to point-blank Flamethrower grunts who fail their missions. One grunt is spared after some torture for at completing at least part of his mission, and another is presumably killed as he isn't shown getting back up. The only reason why the Flare scientists haven't gotten this treatment is that they still have their uses.
  • Rapunzel in MÄR has the unfortunate habit of offing any of her teammates who lose in battle, but gives them the chance to redeem themselves if they beat her in a game of rock paper scissors. It's a mark of how bad she is, considering her teammates are Aqua, Captain Hook, and her equally as horrible brother. She cheats at rock paper scissors — Aqua wins, and Rapunzel's brother murders Aqua anyway. Her cruel ways turn out to earn her a well deserved death, killed off by a member of her side, Ian.
  • Jack and the Witch. After being given a chance to recapture Jack and his friends, Allegra fails. As an example to all who fail, the evil queen punishes her by exiling her to the Ice Caves for eternity.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, Father and Pride consume the people who fail them, even members of their own "family".
  • Star Driver features a rather tame version of this one. Glittering Star pilots who lose to Takuto get their Cybody piloting privileges revoked. It's understandable, as the series repeatedly mentions that Cybodies are really freaking expensive and they can't just have any incompetent buffoon step in and break their toys whenever they feel like it.
  • In Shaman King, Hao does this to three random shamans by burning them alive after their failure to capture and get their revenge on Lyserg. And retains his calm, cheery attitude in doing so. Creepy.
  • Averted in Legend of Galactic Heroes, where Reinhard doesn't kill any of his admirals despite some of them having some rather spectacular failures. Especially in the case of Hot-Blooded Admiral Bittenfeld, who walks into an obvious trap that ends in Admiral Fahrenheit dying in an attempt to bail him out, which would certainly get him killed by Vader, but gets to fight again and distinguishes himself in the following battle.
  • In Black Lagoon, this action sets off the Greenback Jane arc. The boss of the counterfeiting ring decides to do this to motivate everyone else. Problem is: he killed the only person who could access the servers that had the patterns, wrecking the entire operation. Then, Jane manages to escape and seeks refuge within the Ripoff Church...
  • Fairy Tail:
    • Brain gives Cobra this treatment after Natsu nearly beat him with a single roar and despite him about to kill Natsu anyways. Apparently, it wasn't so much "you have failed me" as "you haven't succeeded enough for me". Unfortunately for Brain, Cobra survives and pays him back with interest seven years later.
      Brain: (after shooting Cobra in the back/through the shoulder) "I don't need the six demons if such an average guild can defeat them so easily, you trash!!"
    • Yukino was forced to strip and erase her guild mark, therefore kicking her out of the guild after losing to Kagura.
    • Subverted by Sting and Rogue after losing to Natsu and Gajeel. They were beat up by their guild master and when Sting's Exceed tries to reason with their guild master, he was promptly killed (or so we thought). This causes Sting to go berserk and blow a hole through said guild master.
    • Zeref kills Mard Geer after Tartaros fails to activate Face, awaken E.N.D., and destroy Fairy Tail, judging this as proof the demon just wasn't strong enough to fulfill Zeref's wish for death. Mard Geer, who previously had boasted proudly of fulfilling his loyalty to Zeref by killing him, is left in tears and begging for another chance before Zeref ends him.
  • Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro: After DR is defeated, tortured and left for dead by Neuro, he's rescued by Kazai. But because DR breaks down to anger and anxiety, he's immediately burned to cinders by his rescuer as per Sicks' orders, stating that because DR gave in to human emotions in addition of having failed his mission, he could no longer be part of the Bloodline.


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