Some Favorite Lines From Anime and Manga

Some lines in anime just stand out as exceptionally dramatic or memorable. Something you’ll quote in seriousness or jest or just as a fun memory of a show. So along the lines of a post I did a year or so back, here are ten quotes and selections of dialog that I’ve always found particularly memorable. Among them are ones that just made the scene they were in, others that feel like they say something of worth beyond just entertainment. But all of which are memorable and hold a special place in my experience of their respective series. Nine from anime, one from manga, in no particular order. And share your own in the comments! Spoilers are present within the body of each entry.

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Code Geass R2, episode 04

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After regaining his memories of the events of season one Lelouch finds Rolo planted in place of Nunally to keep tabs on him. He…doesn’t take it well considering that Nunally was his whole reason (or so he said) for launching his rebellion in the first place. Trying to take action against him doesn’t work until he manages to sell Rolo some lies about how he care for him because of the time they spent together and thinks of him as a brother. And then uses his Geass to have a sniper stage a moment where Lelouch takes the hit with his knightmare frame for Rolo. Rolo is now crying and full of that whole ‘power of friendship’ stuff while Lelouch delivers this line in an internal monologue, just dripping with hatred and contempt. It’s beautiful to my ears! While I supported Suzaku against Lelouch’s rebellion all through seasons one and two, regardless of this there’s nothing more satisfying that seeing a plot like that come together. At a devious point or two in life I could certainly identify with the intoxicating feeling of having your enemy right where you want him and have him thank you for it. It also helped that I hated Rolo from the start. I did nothing but cheer and laugh at his death later in season two.

True Tears, episode 11

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“Shinichiro no kokoro no naka ni…Show ▼

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In shipping wars limited and total I don’t think there’s been words that have struck so deeply, with such a sense of sadness and defeat as these. Everything had been going so well for Noe up until a little after the half-way point in the show. But she slowly began to lose ground as Shinichiro repeated the mistakes of his father and chose the evil, resentful one and spurn his true love, the one who actually completed him as a person. Noe took it as well as she could, singing a variation of her usual rhyming songs, but it was a heartbreaking line to hear.

Simoun, episode 25

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When you stop living by forcing your feelings upon others it feels as if you’re standing in another, larger world. Because I was always waiting I came to believe that everything was the fault of the one I cared for. I can’t keep living like that. I want to feel truly loved.

This was the final, culminating moment that set to rest what was a long, passionate, and complicated relationship between Paraietta and Neviril. For the longest time with Paraietta it was all about waiting on Neviril, hoping that she could be strong for her and have Neviril come to depend on that strength. I’m always a fan of when the typical mamoru-ism present in much of anime (“I’ll protect you/be the one to protect you”/every word out of Touma’s mouth) is subverted by a healthy dose of reality. xxxHolic did this in its second season quite well when Watanuki learned the price of  trying to save everyone by sacrificing himself, and in a different way this realization of Paraietta’s addresses the same topic. And it’s so powerful here because of the long, twisting journey that Paraietta took through the series to finally come to this point. She stood by as a leader and childhood friend but sulked in the shadows when Neviril was paired with other girls in the beginning of the series. She kept this waiting approach and never made a move later to the point where she bottled up so much and got so impatient that she almost raped Neviril before stopping herself. After that moment of self-disgust it still took her time and several conversations with Kaimu and Alti to begin to realize where she went wrong. Neviril was all that mattered to her through the series and it took real strength of character and deep introspection to come to realize that she was actually blaming her for everything. She finally saw the truth behind her ‘mamoru-ism’ protecting of Neviril, her jealousy of Aaeru, and her unconscious hostility towards Neviril, and managed to let go of all of it. Quite a powerful moment.

Legend of the Galactic Heroes, episode 110

[spoken] Can you see those stars, Felix? [internal monologue] I wonder if you’ll go on a journey through those stars one day. And at that time I wonder if you’ll go alone or… [he speaks to his wife and then Felix reaches up] You too, Felix?

One of the final lines of Legend of the Galactic Heroes is, my favorite character, Wolfgang Mittermeyer to his newly adopted son as the latter reaches up to “seize the universe” just as Reinhard had spoken of doing. After all that both sides have been through over the course of the series, with some sort of peace and stability fought for and established, yet again human ambition seeks to change it, to overthrow, to seize. In the innocent, instinctual action of a baby one of the major overarching themes of the entire 110 episode series is conveyed. Simply but clearly and powerfully to underscore that “in every age, in every place, the deeds of men remain the same.” Mittermeyer, skilled and loyal veteran of Reinhard’s wars that he is, can only sigh briefly at this display of human nature but then smile and enjoy another part of the human experience, the warmth of his loving family.

Shiki, episode 11

Sunako, there was something I was thinking of asking you the next time I saw you, too. Are you Abel? I think…you’re a Shiki.

Despite him being treacherous, Shiki-sympathizer scum, I always really enjoyed Muroi’s talks with Sunako in his ‘secret base’ in the abandoned chapel. They were like a subtle but very tense probing back and forth as each tried to figure the other out leading to this point at the halfway point of the show. After relating his idea for his next story Sunako points out how it draws from the Abel and Cain motif in the Old Testament. As he explains the younger brother character and what he’s called, a Shiki, he finally prods more strongly and asks Sunako about what she is. While it’s done in a roundabout way, as all their conversations have gone, the manner in which it is so much more direct than other questions charges the atmosphere of the scene. The music, the visual setup, it was all perfect. And the actual line “君はアベルのかい?” always stuck in my head, prominent among many great moments from an excellent show.

Honey and Clover, episode 13

I planted basil and beefsteak plants on my balcony in the beginning of summer. They quickly grew under the summer sun. But during one of the July typhoons, the tallest beefsteak plant snapped in two. My mother looked at the snapped plant and said “They won’t return to normal, so tear it off where it broke. If you do that a new stem will grow from there and new leaves will grow from it.” But I couldn’t help but hesitate because the small leaves on the end of the stem were still healthy. They didn’t change at all after the stem snapped. [...] I hoped that your heart would tilt just a little towards me. Why do I always end up dreaming? Over and over, never getting tired of it, like a fool repeating the only thing she knows. I went out on the balcony a few days later, the snapped beefsteak plant was writing on the ground, unable to hold up its own weight. It was just like my mom said. I had no choice but to tear it off where it snapped. There was no choice but to break it there and let it grow a new stem. But I still become hopelessly confused. Unable to break this feeling. Unable to break…

A running internal monologue that ran throughout the second half of episode thirteen, and a wonderful metaphor worth quoting at length. It stands as such a memorable quote to me for two reasons. Honey and Clover was always a very expressive series, able to express emotions of all varieties in creative words, imagery, and music. This running metaphor for Yamada’s unrequited love for Mayama being one a great example of this ability. It shows how Yamada has internalized her fear of letting go but also how difficult it is for her to overcome it. And the other reason is that it’s relatable and the viewer can really feel and sympathize with the emotions being presented. The main reason Honey and Clover is my favorite series is that all the characters speak directly to me, and to anyone who’s gone through that college and early adulthood stage of life. I was no Yamada shipper but I think that everyone has at least walked a few steps in her shoes, and in the shoes of all the other characters in the show. As necessary as it is to move on for Yamada, for each of us at certain points in life, it’s still not easy.

Planetes, volume 3, chapters 12 and 16

The Cat: That’s your big revelation? How normal.

Hachi: I needed to feel normal.

This is the final moment in a running conversation that occurs at the start and end of volume 03 of the Planetes manga between Hachirota and an illusory cat that enters his mind after he sees a cat struck by a car staring right at him as it limps away dying. [All of this (and more) great stuff was left out of the mediocre anime adaptation, so for the millionth time: if you've only seen the anime FOR GOD'S SAKE, READ THE MANGA!] The actual cat at the start of the volume was a very haunting image, barely visible intestines hanging out of it, a thick trail of blood, looking straight at Hachi in a way that gives you chills when you look at the panel. Hachi has successfully managed to become part of the Von Braun crew for their trip to Jupiter but has seemed to lose all energy and motivation. While going ‘camping’ on the moon he has something like a near-death experience when the white cat with the strangely long tail first appears. It’s not quite feasible to quote the entire conversation plus context, but importantly the cat questions Hachi’s claims that he can’t find a way home, telling him that he’s human, he loves Ai, and that that’s enough for him to survive. It takes some time but eventually this sinks in and he heads to Earth to see her, recalling and strengthening his love for her. The night after announcing their engagement to his parents Hachi departs for a few moments when he sees the cat. Now full of confidence in his motivations he reaches one of his most important moments of realization. That he was so angry and fearful that he thought the isolation of space would let him run away. Except that he’s realized that space, Earth, everywhere is connected and for all the beauty and danger of it he can survive because he has people he cares for and that care for him. Quite the normal revelation, as the cat told him, but a very important one for Hachi.

Cowboy Bebop, episode 26

Bang.

Does much more even need to be said? It was the perfect ending to the series, filled with the smooth attitude and stoic film noir influences that infused every second of Cowboy Bebop. It just couldn’t have ended any more perfectly.

Mobile Suit Gundam, episode 12/Soldiers of Sorrow compilation movie

Probably THE most well known speech in all of anime is Ghiren Zabi’s speech at the funeral for his brother Garma. The opening image of this post was even something of a tribute to it in Code Geass, complete with the repetition by the audience. It showed just how vicious and determined Zeon was to destroy the Earth Federation and place the Zabi family as corrupt autocratic rulers of all humanity. And it also signaled a new phase in the war as Ghiren Zabi’s place in the Zabi hierarchy became more prominent. SIEG ZEON is something long remembered and much references and imitated, and it would serve as the rallying cry of later Zekes and their viewer sympathizers for years to come.

Legend of the Galactic Heroes, episode 110

To accomplish just this little thing we needed 500 years of time and billions of lives. If only the people hadn’t lost their interest in politics around the end of the Galactic Confederation. If only they knew how dangerous it was to give unlimited power to a despot and if only they had learned from history how many people would be made unhappy under a government that prioritized national profits over people’s rights we wouldn’t have had to sacrifice as much as we did. Politics always takes vengeance on those who belittle it.

Absolutely my favorite single quote from any anime series is the final sentence here. It’s something I even rank alongside the best real world quotes on history and politics. Over 110 episodes wars raged back and forth as the Reich and the Alliance governments rise, fell, and reinvented themselves leading in the end to republican democracy being restored to only one small corner of human territory. The Alliance that Yang and Julian fought to uphold collapsed under the weight of its own failings. At moments Yang and his inner circle even wondered if the people of their country even deserved such a system when they would abandon their principles to opportunistic politicians out of greed or fear. History certainly took its vengeance on them. But at the same time the people are all that can comprise and maintain a democracy and perhaps what Julian helped to build will endure if they remember the bloody lessons of the past.

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40 Comments

  1. Posted February 24, 2011 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    it was a heartbreaking line to hear.

    It was a joyous line of celebration of the rise of the true champion.

  2. Exar
    Posted February 24, 2011 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    Honey and Clover, even after reading the manga and watching the anime who knows how many times

    It still moves me in a way that no other series has (except for Kare Kano) Its probably because i too am

    college and have been in some of the character’s shoes. But dam the scene where Takemoto confesses

    to hagu still brings tears to my eyes…. :(

    • Posted February 26, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

      The scene I just can’t watch, or at least not comfortably, is his final moments with her at the train station. I was much more interested in the Mayama-Rika-Yamada drama through the series but that scene still hits like a punch to the gut.

  3. godlet
    Posted February 24, 2011 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    It also helped that I hated Rolo from the start. I did nothing but cheer and laugh at his death later in season two.

    It was easy to do…I had that exact same reaction.

    Thanks for this post. It was good for some moments of nostalgia, though I haven’t seen every one of these. The ending of Cowboy Bebop really was perfect. Being reminded of True Tears was great too. I’d forgotten how much I’d liked that show. I’d actually never really liked Noe, so I wasn’t personally devastated by it, but the scenes where he was properly explaining his feelings to Noe (something not done enough in anime I think) brought out a lot of empathy in me for her. But I was happier at the confession scene right after it.

    • godlet
      Posted February 24, 2011 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

      I had never really thought about favorite lines from shows, so after reading this I’ve been scrambling to think of my own. Probably my favorite would be from Denpa Teki na Kanojo:

      Not many people believe in divine retribution. That’s because this world’s a lazy fellow. But, from time to time, he does a good job.

      That show actually has quite a few lines that are favorites for me.

    • Posted February 26, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

      Just half an hour ago or so I finished rewatching True Tears with a SCCSAV group over Skype (we’ve been watching three episodes per week) and it was great to see again. I was full in supporting Noe but even so the show had a great ending and handled drama in ways too few series do. Shinichiro’s attraction to both Noe and Hiromi, the way Ai’s subplot played out and her reconciliation with Miyokichi, even Jun’s siscon for Noe and his decision to leave were all done really, really well.

      • godlet
        Posted February 27, 2011 at 4:32 am | Permalink

        I’ve been thinking of rewatching True Tears since I saw this post. I’ll probably do so the next time a friend wants to watch something together. I really agree though about how well executed it is.

  4. Posted February 24, 2011 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    Great list.

    Instead of sharing a bunch of quotes here, I’ll continue your good work in a future post.

  5. Posted February 24, 2011 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    I will second what ghostlightning said these are amazing and I’ve got quite a few I could share too ^_^

    Love your lotgh picks. such a powerful tender moment for Mittermeyer

    • Posted February 26, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

      Happy to see that you enjoyed them :) LoGH is filled with so many great quotes but those two I’ll always remember. They summed up so much of what the show was about, and the moment with Mittermeyer and his family was touching as well as profound.

  6. Posted February 24, 2011 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    I love stuff like this. I had a lame version of this post years ago, maybe I’ll do a good one like this now!

    Also, I have a theory that long before Cowboy Bebop ever went to production, when it was still in the first stages of being an idea, Watanabe Shinichiro already knew that this would be the last line. It’s a total guess, but that’s the kind of line that upon coming up with it, you’ve sealed your fate that this creation must come to life. I’ve done a lot of similar things in my own writing, deciding something like how a character is going to die looooong before even considering why they’re going to die.

    • Posted February 26, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

      I’ll look forward to seeing a post from you on it. That’s an interesting theory for Cowboy Bebop, and I could see it being plausible. Have that one image in mind and then work backwards from it. Might explain why it fit together so well while some endings feel like they were written late in the game.

  7. Posted February 24, 2011 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    Bang.

    Best. Line. Ever.

  8. Posted February 24, 2011 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

    Mittermeyer is your favourite? How middle-class.

    • Posted February 26, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

      Mittermeyer was my favorite among a group of characters who included many favorites. I guess the reason I liked him most was because I admired him the most, I kind of looked up to him. He had what I’d like to get out of life. He wasn’t out for ambition and to rule things himself. He was a loyal friend to Reuental through everything and one of Reinhard’s best and most trusted commanders. But despite his high level of responsibility and all the wars and politics and turmoil he managed to stay above most of it and value loyalty and a quiet life rather than personal glory. At the end of the series he had a home and a loving wife to come back to. Yang Wenli came close in my admiration, but Mittermeyer is the character I look up to, he’s led the kind of life that I’d like to lead.

  9. Posted February 25, 2011 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    Despite not having seen Code Geass R2, I thought I recognised that screen, EO!

    I (and Chrono and Mysty no doubt) just hope you don’t mean it. *Shudders*

    • Posted February 26, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

      Hey now, I only went full-on Lelouch mode on people who deserved it. But I certainly felt that Lelouch-esque satisfaction from it. Heh, maybe I’ll make one of those ‘Diary of an Anime Lived’ posts on it one day.

  10. Posted February 25, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    That LOGH line felt like a middle finger at the face of *incoming literary elitist phrase* Marxist theory of de-politicisation. 110 episodes of a cartoon all for the sole purpose of telling us to PAY ATTENTION TO POLITICS DAMNIT!

    • Posted February 26, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

      I’m not a political theorist (always liked that least out of my university’s four poli sci focus areas) but I thought that Marxism was all about making everything political and then they decried de-politicization after Marxism was discredited by the end of the Cold War. My understanding is that Marxism is against de-politicization, but I’d be interested to know if this isn’t so.

      • Posted February 27, 2011 at 2:00 am | Permalink

        I meant de-politicisation in the media sense. That drooling in front of the television meant you stopped paying attention to the important stuff. Like politics. Which is pretty much the exact opposite LOGH made me do. Hence the big fat middle finger to the theory

        (I’ve been wanting to write a post on that idea in LOGH, but I’d sound like too much of a ponce quoting Marx)

  11. Turak
    Posted February 25, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    The one line that keeps going through my head is from Code Geass.

    “What of the E.U., which made equality a right? Rabble politics by a popularity contest.”
    -Emperor Charles zi Britannia

    Probably because the Student Senate elections at my college are coming up and the candidate that I’m supporting might lose to the lesser qualified, but more popular candidate.

    • Posted February 26, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

      It sucks but unfortunately it happens. That’s why you have to run the popularity game and trick convince the masses to vote for you, especially in a school setting. Getting more candidates to run and then forming a large voting bloc in your favor might help you too. The bloc doesn’t need to be a majority so long as it’s substantial and there are enough candidates to split the votes. Good luck to your candidate.

  12. Posted February 25, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    ALL HAIL LELOUCH! I hate Rolo too, but I was kind of sad when he died… it was a touching scene, and for ONCE he wasn’t a total dickwad. But yeah, before that I kept wishing for him to die.

    • Posted February 26, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      SUZAKU FOREVER! I just couldn’t bring myself to care at all for Rolo. I didn’t like him that much when he was informing on Lelouch just because of his personality, even if it would have helped undermine Lelouch’s organization. But I especially lost any sort of respect for him when he got all teary eyed and fell into Lelouch’s trap. Not only did he start working for the enemy, he showed himself to be weak willed as well.

  13. Posted February 25, 2011 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    I completely forgot about Lelouch’s line there. It really was impressive how he was able to make use of his enemy and turn him into a “brother”. I haven’t seen the other shows so I can’t comment, but one of my favourite anime lines is “people die when they are killed” by Emiya in FSN.

    • Posted February 26, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

      Lol, is that really the line? As in, it’s not being spoken as a joke?

  14. berz
    Posted February 25, 2011 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

    well kudos to ya, since i dont see any “drill” references here heh

    i wish i could remember something to quote from either eureka seven or honey & clover since both are great shows.

    • Posted February 26, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

      I was thinking about including the final “Omae! Dare da to omotte yagaru!” that everyone joined in during the last episode of TTGL, but it didn’t quite make the cut.

  15. Posted February 26, 2011 at 12:24 am | Permalink

    Overall great list. Can’t argue with LoGH of course although to be fair, that show is FULL of awesome lines.

    I totally agree with your True Tears pick. That is without a doubt my favorite and most remembered line in that show. One thing that you did not mention was the further elevation of that line by spectacular sound effects (some of the best ever in an anime) of the waves crashing behind Noe as she sings that line. To paraphrase The Simpsons, if you slow it down, you can see the exact moment that Noes heart is ripped out from her when she says Yusa Hiromi.

    • Posted February 26, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

      Thanks. That line from True Tears really was made even more powerful by the music, and the art and direction. A perfect moment of melodrama without overdoing it. After finished the rewatch today with the SCCSAV group I again appreciated how well the show managed to present its drama without stepping over the line (with the exception the scene where Shinichiro chases the moving truck.)

  16. Layfon
    Posted February 26, 2011 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    It’s over 9000!!

    • Posted February 26, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

      Certainly a memorable one. It’s only in the English dub, so I guess dubs actually are good for something!

  17. Big D
    Posted February 27, 2011 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    You left out…

    “Ritsuko Agaki. I… (just saved 10% or more by switching to Geico)”

    “Liar.”

  18. Kit-A-Ron-Ron-Kat
    Posted March 1, 2011 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Wonderful selection so far. LOGH being one of the very few true epic saga out there it is indeed highly quotable. Among others, Admiral Bucock answer to the Kaiser’s surrender offer was nicely done.
    From other animes, a few that stick to me to this day:

    “Gentlemen, I really love War. [...]”
    The Major Hellsing (anime/manga)
    – – I would quote the whole speech were it not for its length. That sentence alone though sum it up perfectly.

    “AMEN !!!!”
    Father Anderson * Hellsing (anime)
    — I admit quoting him is borderline cheating because it is Norio Wakamoto voicing him. But seriously, if all priests spoke like him, no vampires or any other malevolent creatures would dare trespass on a church premise !

    “Abriels don’t cry. [...] Imperial sovereigns must be fair. More importantly, they must be seen to be faithful to their subjects. If they were to find themselves crying over one subject, they would have to cry over them all so as not to play favorites. But that is not possible.”
    Admiral Spoor * Banner of the Stars II (anime)
    — I tend to agree with that statement, and not just for absolute rulers of a galactic empire…

    “Have you ever had a day where you couldn’t sleep because you were too hungry ? CHIVALRY MY ASS !!”
    Lavie Head * Last Exile (anime)
    — Coming from a teenage civilian girl held at gunpoint aboard a warship; in no small part thanks to her, the fleet admiral aborted a suicidal charge to instead retreat in an organized fashion, ultimately saving what remained of his fleet to fight another day.

    “… I also bought some other things. ((pulls out a cards deck)) Here… Want to play with these ?”
    Satou Tatsuhiro * Welcome to the N.H.K (manga)
    — My favourite scene from this story, very bittersweet (not many of those in NHK).

    “Oh you’re awake. I messed up.”
    Osaka * Azumanga Daioh (anime/manga)
    — Osaka fanboy forever ^^

  19. Darkfireblade25
    Posted March 1, 2011 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    great quotes here EO, although the only ones i know for sure are the code geass and the true tears ones since in only watched those xD. dang that true tears one was a killer :/

    there are a few memorable ones from clannad. one that i can pull from the top of my head is when ushio says:
    “because daddy bought it for me”
    oh god that one made me cry so hard ;_;. the accumulation of 2 generations of suffering the same mistakes was shattered in that one moment and it crumbled until it was gone when she finally let out all the sadness placed upon her when she cried in her daddy’s arms. it truly is a wonderful scene put in context of the last half of the series.

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