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13 Times Anime Cowards Had Extremely Heroic Moments

Updated January 28, 2020 7.8k votes 1.5k voters 45.3k views13 items

Not every anime character is a brave hero who rushes headlong into danger. Some are more cautious, even veering into outright cowardice. But even characters who cry, scream, and run away in the face of danger can have moments where they summon their courage and do something truly heroic.

Who are some anime cowards who had heroic moments? One recent example is Ginro from Dr. Stone, who pushed past his fear to save Chrome from falling into a lake full of sulfuric acid. Looking for something more old school? Yajirobe is the last person anyone would have expected to slice of Vegeta's tail. 

Which of these characters had the most impressive moment of bravery?

...more
  • Yajirobe is a ronin - basically a samurai who doesn't answer to anyone. While he's fairly handy with a sword, he'd like to avoid conflict of all kinds whenever possible. Bravery isn't really his thing, which is why he usually doesn't make an appearance during important battles, preferring instead to take on support roles like delivering Senzu beans. 

    When Goku is about to be crushed to a pulp in Vegeta's giant monkey paws, Gohan and Krillin are paralyzed with fear. Yes, Krillin does try to send an energy beam Vegeta's way, but when that doesn't work he just stands there shaking. It looks like the end, but all of a sudden Yajirobe appears out of nowhere and slices off Vegeta's tail with a katana before scurrying back into the shadows. Vegeta transforms back into his human form, dropping Goku to the ground in the process. 

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  • 2

    Zenitsu Agatsuma Protects Tanjiro's Box With His Life In 'Demon Slayer'

    Zenitsu Agatsuma Protects Tanj is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 13 Times Anime Cowards Had Extremely Heroic Moments
    Photo: ufotable

    Despite the fact that he's training to be a Demon Slayer, Zenitsu Agatsuma isn't what anyone would call brave. Whether he's pleading with Tanjiro to protect him, or screaming and crying in front of a small child about how neither of them are ever going to make it out of a bad situation alive, he's basically the human personification of cowardice. That's what makes it so surprising - and so meaningful - when he lets Inosuke beat him to a pulp in order to protect a box that belongs to Tanjiro, which he knows contains a potentially dangerous demon.

    Why doesn't he run screaming in the other direction? Because he knows that Tanjiro is willing to protect whatever's in the box with his life, and he trusts Tanjiro and is willing to endure pain for him. 

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  • 3

    Armin Arlelt Provides A Risky Distraction In 'Attack On Titan' 

    Armin Arlelt Provides A Risky  is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 13 Times Anime Cowards Had Extremely Heroic Moments
    Photo: Wit Studio

    Armin Arlelt is too complex of a character to be fully written off as a "coward" but he's also never the person who rushes headlong into battle. When there's a Titan attack, he's usually terrified. While he's a tactical genius, he also lacks confidence in his own abilities. When his superiors give him control over the team's strategies, he doesn't think that he's cut out of the job, and only takes it because there doesn't seem to be anyone else who can.

    This is where Armin displays one of the greatest acts of heroism in the whole series. Armin directly challenges Bertholt - who is currently in his Colossal Titan form - in order to distract him long enough for Eren to plug up the hole in the wall using his hardening skills, and then tear Bertholdt out of his Titan form. While this works, Armin is severely burned by the Titan's steam in the process. He knew before he started that he likely wouldn't survive his own plan, but he went for it anyway. 

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  • Mr. Satan is known for his less-than-heroic attitude: he's more than happy to take undeserved credit for defeating Cell, and when faced with an opponent that's too powerful, he'll try to get out of it with his dignity intact by feigning illness or claiming that the other person is cheating. But despite his less than ideal qualities, Mr. Satan really does care about the safety of humanity and is a good person at heart. That's why when Android 16's functional head begs him to bring him to Gohan, he makes the journey in spite of the risks. This allows Gohan to complete a Super Saiyan 2 transformation. 

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