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  • Death Note:
    • The audience gets to know the kind of person Light becomes when we learn that in the time between acquiring the Death Note, and meeting Ryuk, he's already written pages of names within the Note, knowing that they're all dead by his hand. And then he proclaims his plans to use the Death Note to become "God of the New World".
    • L is introduced as a character when he tricks Light into killing Lind L. Tailor, and then uses various pieces of circumstantial evidence to discover that Light is not omniscient or all-powerful; he does, in fact, have limits on his ability to kill people, and L now knows where "Kira" lives. He also openly taunts Light, becoming the first person in the series thus far to truly make him angry. Not only is this L's Establishing Character Moment, it's also his first Crowning Moment of Awesome.
    • The anime introduces Mello and Near in the same scene, having the former freak out in reaction to what he's told while the latter remains totally calm, nicely setting up the Red Oni, Blue Oni dynamic between them.
  • Yusuke Urameshi in Yu Yu Hakusho spends his first scene, and in fact the first several episodes, dead. This is far from defining, as he gets better, but the true Establishing Character Moment here is him getting rather irritable at the people gathered around his corpse, even taking a swing at one of the paramedics there to take his body away. He is a ghost at the time, so it really comes to nothing.
    • Kurama walking out on Hiei and that other guy after acquiring the magic mirror.
  • Captain Smoker in One Piece gets an interesting introductory scene -- a little girl spills her ice cream on him, but rather than snarl at her or Kick the Dog he kindly offers to buy her a new one. This establishes him as a more morally complex character than many of the other Marine characters in One Piece who doesn't adhere to the Marine's "Absolute Justice" doctrine, and hence mainly serves as a Worthy Opponent later on for the crew.
    • Luffy's first appearances in both the manga and anime pretty solidly define his personality and approach towards life, albeit at different angles. In the manga, we see him as a small child giving himself a scar on his cheek to show how tough he was, and is cheerful in the next scene. The anime shows him bursting out of a barrel cheerfully screaming about his great nap.
    • The first thing Admiral Akainu does onscreen is blowing up a ship full of evacuees that the Marines had promised to spare just because of the slim chance that one of the criminals they were after might be onboard. And bear in mind that this happened in Robin's backstory, 20 years ago.
    • Zoro's first appearance in the manga is being tied to a pole, starving for 9 days and smiling. Also, when he eats the dirty riceball that a little girl left him (who he had earlier rescued despite not knowing her and was why he was captured in the first place) and asks Luffy to tell her that it tasted good, you know he's a good guy at heart.
    • Sanji is introduced serving Fullbody and his date, making advances on the date. When Fullbody tries to get him in trouble in revenge for being humiliated, and ends up spilling the soup that Sanji made on the floor, Sanji beats him up, as wasting food is a Berserk Button for him.
    • Nami's first appearance in both the anime and manga does this - in the manga, she's running away from some pirates who she's just stolen from, and when Luffy falls out the sky in front of her, she uses him as a scapegoat so she can run away. In the anime, she's sweet-talking a guy on a rich passenger ship, only to sneak off to steal things the second everyone's distracted.
    • Ace is introduced as having fallen asleep in a restaurant, while eating and while in the middle of the conversation, making it look like he'd died mid-sentence from spider poison. The first thing he does upon waking up is wipe his face on a lady's dress, wonder why everyone's panicking...and immediately fall back to sleep in the same position as before. His following conversation with Smoker also shows his more serious side.
    • Mihawk is introduced by effortlessly destroying Don Krieg's flagship, already having destroyed the rest of his fleet. When asked why he followed them, he stated it was to kill time.
  • Within minutes of first appearing in Yu-Gi-Oh 5 Ds, Crow steals from a warehouse, pulls off a one-turn-kill against a Mook, then flips out some wings on his motorcycle to fly over a ramp to safety. Get used to such moments.
  • While it may not appear this way at first, the initial appearance of Priscilla in Claymore sets up a lot of what will happen later. We hear that she's a new Claymore who's recently ranked # 2...and then she's late, and when she does show up she trips and falls over while apologizing for being late because of some Yoma. Just as the other Claymores and the audience are prepared to write her off, we look around and see that the alley she just came out of is covered from top to bottom with dead Yoma, which she just plowed through, by herself, without alerting the others. This establishes Priscilla's naive and innocent nature while giving a glimpse of just how ridiculous her powers are, so it's no surprise that she later becomes what may be the most powerful awakened being ever.
  • Precia Testarossa's first scene in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha involves her sadistically whipping her daughter Fate for not bringing her enough Jewel Seeds. Say hello to the Big Bad of the first season, and by far the cruelest villain of the entire series.
  • Before she even makes it to her first audition in Kaleido Star, Sora shows her colors as a spirited and determined youth by chasing down a man who stole her luggage using some impressive amazing acrobatics. When a girl is able to chase after a guy at full speed through heavy traffic and catch up to him, don't think she'll be one to give up her greater goals (becoming a full-fledged member of the Kaleido Stage troupe) so easily.
  • In Berserk, Guts is first seen having sex with a woman who turns into a demon, then shooting her with his arm cannon, then killing a bunch of thugs in a tavern with his crossbow and chopping one in half with one blow of his BFS. The purpose of this is to let the reader know just how ruthless Guts is, and to demonstrate his Badass qualities.
  • In the first episode of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Kamina challenging a giant robot to a fight on foot with nothing but a katana, while self narrating, clearly displays the level of Hot-Blooded determination the audience is to expect.
    • In the same episode, Yoko comes in swinging down on a rope and blasting the Gunmen with a sniper rifle.
  • Lelouch gets two critical ones in the first episode of Code Geass; firstly, after using his Evil Eye to make the soldiers threatening him kill themselves, he flashes an Evil Grin. More importantly, and more commonly overlooked, is the fact that when he thinks he's about to die, he thinks of his little sister.
    • In his flashbacks we see he is not physically fit when Suzaku beats him in a race up a hill as well. During a chess game he moves his king first showing his penchant for bold, audacious and borderline reckless moves. When he is trapped in the truck Lelouch deduces he is in Tokyo's old subway system by ear showing his brilliant mind.
    • In the first episode, Suzaku proceeds to give Lelouch his only gas mask when the (supposed) container of poison gas opens, and then gets shot for refusing to kill Lelouch for witnessing something he shouldn't. This becomes a lot more significant once we get The Reveal about Suzaku's motivations.
      • Suzaku is such a dynamic character that he gets multiple ECMs. His admittance to Kallen about killing his father, his willingness to use Nunnally to manipulate Lelouch, his Laughing Mad moment after the FLEIJA goes off. Of course, exactly which moments properly establish his constantly evolving character is best left to personal opinion.
    • When Cornelia is introduced, the very first thing we see her do is lead an army of elite Knightmare pilots to a stunning victory against clearly outmatched foes. The generic bad guys are blown to smithereens, and the viewer is treated to a visual of her Knightmare standing triumphantly over her fallen foes, surrounded by flames. At that point, it's quite obvious she's not to be trifled with.
    • Nunnally referring to Sayoko as Japanese and not Eleven.
    • In Nightmare of Nunnally, Alice is first introduced using her Super Speed powers to steal the skirts of the bullies harassing Nunnally. Later chapters reveal that this is not the first time she has done something like this.
  • Ryoma from New Getter Robo successfully prevents a Yakuza boss from stabbing him by grabbing his wrist in time...only to grip down on the blade with his free hand anyway, just to show how Badass he is. "Come on, push or pull. You'll save face if you at least chop off a finger." This sets the tone for the rest of the series, which is mostly composed of Crazy Awesome and Slasher Smiles.
  • Azumanga Daioh opens in the manga with Yukari-sensei boisterously introducing herself...to the wrong class. The anime opens with her stealing a student's bike to get to class on time. Actually, Azumanga Daioh is very good at setting up what a character will be like on first meeting: Chiyo-chan tutors a very embarrassed older student in her second scene; Sakaki makes Chiyo nervous at first...and then we see her "preferred jobs" list includes "Veterinarian" and "Toy store clerk"; Tomo volunteers to stand in the hall with buckets and fails.
    • The opening sequence of the anime introduces the girls in manners befitting their personalities as they are tossed into the air: Chiyo-Chan is loving it, Osaka looks surprised, Sakaki seems confused, Yomi tucks and rolls, and Tomo enjoys it...until the logo smacks into her.
      • Kimura's defining moment is the page quote for Joshikousei, when he loudly declares how much he likes high school girls.
  • Our introduction to Lucy from Elfen Lied is a scene of her brutally murdering about thirty five guards. While naked.
  • In The Prince of Tennis, Keigo Atobe, captain of the Hyoutei team, walks onto the tennis court for his match against Seigaku's Kunimitsu Tezuka amidst cheers and cries of "The winner will be Atobe! The loser will be Tezuka! The winner will be Hyoutei! The loser will be Seigaku!" from his large crowd of supporters. When he reaches the center of the court he raises his hand and snaps his fingers, silencing the crowd at "The winner..." He then flings off his jersey and exclaims "Will be me!" His supporters go nuts. And that tells you everything you need to know about him.
  • Gundam:
    • Kamille Bidan quickly establishes just how hot headed he can be when he assaults an elite officer of the Federation. This is the first of many rash actions he takes before maturing into a respectable man and soldier.
    • Allenby has this defining her as an Action Girl by pitting her in an arcade simulation battle against Domon. The machine broke down before either of them called it quits.
    • In Gundam Wing, the five Gundam Pilots each get their Establishing Character Moment in the first episode, where four of them get brief scenes showing their initial battles on Earth and parts of their personalities (Duo's enthusiasm and glibness, Trowa's cool head and stoicism, Quatre's nice guy with an edge, and Wu Fei being an Arrogant Kung Fu Guy). Lead character Heero gets his at the very end when Relena invites him to her birthday party; in rapid succession, he tears up the invite, wipes away the tears that previous action caused, then whispers his Catch Phrase into her ear: "I'll kill you."
    • Mobile Suit Gundam Age's Woolf Enneacle has an entire episode for this. He struts out of the shower declaring that he's the best and challenges Flit to a contest for the Gundam. Then in the second half, we see that his massive ego is actually justified because of his skills on the battlefield. The Hero of the second generation Asem is introduced when he beats up the bullies who are harrassing his friends and then worries about the mobile suit contest because he wants to impress his father. And third generation protagonist Kio proves his heroic credential by unhesitatingly staying in danger zone to rescue some left behind children amidst an attack on his home city.
  • The Ranma One Half anime started with a mysterious redheaded girl angrily escaping from a huge shadowy monster panda, dexterously dodging its attacks and countering with a flying kick and an impossible-looking throw, then loudly complaining about being forced into an Arranged Marriage (quite rudely in the Japanese version, too) and claiming to be looking for the cure to a curse. The manga merely delayed it a bit by introducing the Tendo family first, but Ranma's first appearance to the world was very memorable and quickly defined his basic traits to the audience at large. (It also indicated that something very weird was about to begin.)
    • Kodachi Kuno gets a very distinctive one as well, as when Ranma meets her for the first time, she's been cornered by three rival gymnasts attempting to get revenge on her for previous times she had ambushed them. Kodachi responds by feigning innocence, defeating them effortlessly, and then continuing to beat on them even whilst lecturing them on how "if I weren't a lady" she would really do something awful.
  • In the second episode and chapter of Chrono Crusade, Rosette gets hurt during a battle and is briefly knocked unconscious. Chrono then jumps to conclusions and assumes she's either badly injured or dead and has a Freak-Out, trying to break the seal on his demonic powers on his own. In both versions it serves to establish Chrono's true nature as a demon, and also how fiercely protective he is of Rosette. In the Manga it also establishes Chrono's Fatal Flaw--his temper--which pays off in volume 5, when he breaks his seal when confronted with Aion and tries to kill him--nearly killing Rosette with his powers and setting half of San Francisco on fire in the process.
  • In Mahou Sensei Negima Jack Rakan is introduced when he interrupts Negi's fight against Kagetarou and proceeds to end it with a sword the size of a building.
    • After Kurt Godel's first appearance, it is quite clear that he is a manipulative asshole and a blatant liar ("Where have I seen your face? Couldn't possibly have been on Megalomesembria's Most Wanted...") -- and that he is not one to be trifled with, politically or on the battlefield.
  • Firo's first appearance in the anime version of Baccano has him taking out an old homeless man that was trying to stab him--even though Firo had given him money a moment earlier--after said homeless man cuts off a couple of Firo's fingers...which immediately reattach themselves.
    • The light novel introduces him this way, as well, except it replaces his fingers being cut off with him simply disarming his opponent and knocking him out (since at the point in the novel when he's introduced, he's still a Badass Normal).
    • Although it's not his first scene, Luck Gandor's establishing moment in the anime comes when he recites the first few lines of Edgar Allan Poe's poem "Spirits of the Dead," and reflects that where previously his fear of death made the poem terrifying to him, now that he is immortal he would no longer be afraid to die if he could.

 Luck: This is truly regrettable.

  • Fullmetal Alchemist - The very first thing Scar does in the series is break into a guarded house in a very leisurely manner and slaughter Shou Tucker by BLOWING HIS HEAD APART. He then turns his attention to his daughter Nina Tucker, whom Shou Tucker has alchemically fused with her dog. Scar then kills her as gently as he can and then prays to God to accept her father and her.
  • Full Metal Panic has Sagara Sousuke established right from his entrance to be an emotionless Badass that doesn't have any particular feeling or compassion towards people dying. The whispered girl that he rescues asks him if he feels sad that one of his brave comrades died, to which he blankly replies that he doesn't really know or feel anything particular.
    • And then there's Gauron's establishing moment during the first episode he's shown...where he has shady dealings and smugglings with the KGB. When the huge, muscled lieutenant gets angry at him for raising his rates, calling him a "Chinaman" and threatening to throw him into the labor mines, Gauron calmly and smilingly takes out his gun and pumps the man's head full of lead. He then proceeds to happily go up to the terrified colonel and continue discussing business. It certainly sets the idea and tone for the rest of the story that Gauron is a complete Ax Crazy psychopath that won't hesitate to kill anyone for the heck of it.
  • Balalaika gets one of these at the end of the third episode of Black Lagoon, when she calls the Lagoon Company in order to tell them a "very funny joke," the punch line of which is her firebombing the apartment of that arc's antagonist. While there were a couple of hint in the two previous episodes, this scene is the moment that clearly establishes her as the Affably Evil Sociopathic Hero Blood Knight that she is.
    • The first episode has a number of examples: Dutch with his cool-and-in-control persona as he competently manages a group of hostages. Revy's establishing moment during the next scene shows her as a psychotic woman with a Hair-Trigger Temper, and caps off with Revy trying to shoot Rock while looking away before being corralled by Dutch, the only person on the crew who can handle her. Rock is initially portrayed as a quite fearful Fish Out of Water, but in the Yellow Flag scene, the first clue we're shown that he is more than he seems is when he drains his rum in one gulp before Revy's shocked eyes, leading to a drink-off between the two. And then the shootout, which shows Revy sporting a Slasher Smile while capping a group of hardened mercs with Guns Akimbo, establishing just why she's called "Two Hands."
  • Aside from kicking ass (in most cases, anyway), the Suzaku and Seiryuu Seishi from Fushigi Yuugi commonly make an entrance while their body symbols are glowing.
  • The anime of Trigun pulls this off beautifully with its main character, Vash the Stampede. His very first first appearance, where he survives an entire saloon being blown to pieces, belies his later appearances as an incompetent goofball, giving the audience brief but profound proof that, despite his immature behavior, he really could be the legendary outlaw.
  • Fairy Tail gives a pretty unique one to it's main villain, Zeref. After building him up for 200 chapters/95 episodes as the ultimate evil the readers are shown a scene of him (though he goes unnamed at the time) about to be attacked by a pack of wolves. After literally killing them without trying he apologizes for having taken their lives, and in fact tried to ward them off before they could attack so that they'd remain unharmed. It was such a drastic difference from what readers expected that despite earning the nickname "killing mage" virtually no one considered he may have been the anticipated villain.
    • The first chapter/episode showcases Natsu and Lucy quite well. Lucy seems to be an average fan girl but shows courage in confronting the villain of the episode with her Celestial Spirits. Natsu shows off his many Idiot Hero traits before revealing his true power as "Salamander".
    • Gray and Erza are established pretty well too. Gray's moment is simple; he first appears wearing nothing but a pair of shorts, with the narrator saying he has a bad habit of taking off his clothes. Erza's is more complicated; she comes in to the guild hall carrying a gigantic horn with one arm, then proceeds to criticize the behaviour of multiple members, with them freezing fearfully. Then, when she sees a fearful Natsu and Gray pretending to get along, she says she's glad, implying that she's kinder than she's letting on.
    • In the scene where Fairy Tail guild master Makarov is introduced, he scolds the members for the huge number of complaints regarding their reckless behaviour that he has received from the council, and immediately proceeds to burn away all those complaint letters and tells the members not to care about the council.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya: Every main character gets one:
    • Haruhi's very first line cements her character: "I have no interest in ordinary humans. If there are any aliens, time travellers, espers, or sliders, come join me. That is all."
    • Kyon quickly establishes his snarky narrator status with his initial monologue
    • Yuki Nagato easily establishes her status as a quietpassiveEmotionless Girl by allowing Haruhi to use her club room and replying to 4 questions with eight words (two of which are her name).
    • Mikuru Asahina's introduction is her getting kidnapped and molested by Haruhi because she is cute.
    • Itsuki's intro has him asking what the club is for, then happily joining after Haruhi explains, much to Kyon's confusion and shock, establishing him as the always cheerful guy who doesn't seem bothered by anything.
  • A Certain Magical Index has several:
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion is filled with them:
    • Shinji: an introvert concealing large amounts of rage at his father over being abandoned yet still returning when his father calls, and then submitting to his father's manipulation of protecting others while putting himself at risk both physically and emotionally. An amazingly complex character, but all pretty well established in the first episode.
    • Misato: Wild party girl in her picture, drives like crazy, sympathetic in a motherly or Cool Big Sis way towards our hero, established in the first episode.
    • Gendo: a cold hearted bastard who manipulates everyone, and willing sends his own children into mortal combat, first episode.
    • Rei: mysterious, magical, stoic, obedient, all in the first episode with only a single line of dialogue.
    • Asuka: the infamous introduction, following her skirt blowing in the air: *SMACK* *SMACK* *SMACK* "What was that for?" "Viewing fee."
      • That's only half of her character, though. In the next episode, she is shown crying in her sleep about the loss of her mother, which displays her sweeter, almost completely hidden side.
    • Kaji: "Is she still wild in bed?" While playing footsie under the table. Oh Kaji you Handsome Lech you.
  • Rebuild of Evangelion 2.0 opens with a fight between the previously unseen Third Angel and new character Mari Illustrious Makinami. In the space of the first few minutes, we witness Mari gushing over her Eva's controls, casually singing to herself while heading into battle, trying to GIGA DRILL BREAK the Angel, wincing in pain then exclaiming that it's fun and finishing the battle by arming the self-destruct and ejecting.
    • Shortly afterward, we get Asuka's introduction, which is much more...er, theatrical than her series one.
      • Theatrical meaning she leaps from a plane in a giant robot, and tears one of the largest Angels shown so far a new one before she ever touches the ground. It was dead by the time she landed.
  • From the Yu-Gi-Oh manga, the very first image of Yami No Yuugi, or the Pharoh, has him dressed in leather, casually perched on a brick wall, and giving a bully, who had beaten the crap out of his host hours before, what can really only be described as the mutant offspring of a Rape Face and a Death glare. Within the next few pages, he challenges the bully to a game that consists of nearly stabbing their hands with a huge hunting knife through a stack of dollar bills. The bully loses. The Pharoh does something to convince the bully a pile of leaves is really a pile of cash. It's implied that the Bully never recovers from this. You now know everything there is to know about the Pharoh.
  • In Cowboy Bebop, we have Faye's first moments on screen, which are a quick show up of her ''assets'', her smoking a cigar, getting attacked and defending herself quite well but getting captured at the end; all in barely a minute.
    • The first episode shows off Spike's badassery as a martial artist practioner and experienced bounty hunter, before revealing his bullheaded destructive tendencies in his conversation with Jet.
  • Gunslinger Girl first shows Henrietta, the quiet little girl with a violin case, break a mans' neck with said violin case, before opening fire up on a group of thugs with a P90 submachine gun...remaining completely expressionless. It quickly switches to a montage of her training, which she tackles in the same emotionless, mechanical fashion. The next scene, though, has her puddling up when her handler admonishes her for being reckless, effectively demonstrating that for all the killing, she's still a little girl.
    • In the first episode featuring Triela we see her acting as a Cool Big Sis to Henrietta, then it changes to her running down a Mafia mook who she takes down with a few aimed blows, then shoots without orders when he draws a gun, then she backchats her handler over the matter when he reprimands her -- all establishing Triela as a kind, mature, skilled Action Girl with a touch of independence and rebelliousness unusual in these brainwashed cyborg killers.
  • K-On! has the main character Yui oversleep, almost drop her cell phone in an attempt to pick it up, panic, race to school, (falling over on the way out), saying goodbye though a mouthful of food. Even in her rush to get to school on time, she doesn't neglect to pat an adorable puppy and help an old lady across the street..... and when she does get there, she finds out that she got there early by mistake, having read the clock wrong.
  • Spice and Wolf does a great job with Holo, who, first and foremost, howls. Then she asks for some ale, grabs some food, messes with Lawrence's head, plays with his emotions a bit, announces she'll be traveling with him, and then goes back to sleep, in about three minutes flat. A second moment shows a more fragile side, as Horo reflects on how she's no longer needed by the people she had watched over.
  • Durarara introduces Izaya Orihara by having him orchestrate the rescue a teenage girl from a kidnapping attempt...which he also orchestrated. Why? He just wanted to see how she'd react. It's a bit of an experiment for him, the question being whether he can get her to commit suicide. Why? Because he loves humans, and it's so interesting to see what they'll do.
  • The very first moment of Omega Shenron from Dragon Ball GT involves him killing his own fellow Shadow Dragon for actually sticking to an honor code.
    • Actually he was aiming for Goku but Nuova Shenron jumped in front of the blast. It was never his intention for Nuova Shenron to die.
    • Pan's fight with the bank robbers manages to condense her cockiness, compassion (trying to get the person she though was a little kid out of there), ability to fight and bravery (remember, she's supposed to be 10, and is already at least stronger than Frieza, as she is able to beat Android 20 (Dr. Gero) who was stronger than Frieza).
  • Eyeshield 21 has a few:
  • The Wandering Son anime adaptation has Chiba smacking a boy with a book on the head when he taunts Nitori, the object of her affections, about if he and his Platonic Life Partners dated. At that period in time Chiba had a disliking that person, and she walked out of the classroom after attacking him. This scene shows off her Violently Protective Girlfriend and Clingy Jealous Girl behavior. A different variation happens in the manga where she's introduced asking Nitori if he was involved with a girl, to which he replies no. This makes her happy and she leaves, which makes Nitori monologue about how she's strange; this scene sets the mood for her social awkwardness.
    • The manga is pretty good at this. Chizuru is introduced in both medias as wearing the male uniform on the first day of school, and later essentially hitting a girl; this shows off her calm Cloudcuckoolander nature and her Genki Girl attitude. Her best friend Momoko is first seen clingy at her side, Oka is first seen asking Nitori if he has any masculine interests before dismissing him, Yuki is first seen seemingly flirting with a ten year old..
  • The first sight the audience gets of Kotetsu in Tiger and Bunny is him standing on the rail in his Wild Tiger costume, waiting to intercept a hijacked monorail. When the producer of HeroTV instructs him to wait until after the commercial break to make his move, he refuses, telling us more or less everything we need to know about his role in the series.
    • There's a moment for both title characters while they're out of costume and the camera isn't running. When passing by a child whose balloon was stuck in a tree, Barnaby walks on without sparing the scene a second glance. Kotetsu, on the other hand, immediately retrieves the balloon.
    • Barnaby gets a positive one when he saves Kaede (though he had no idea she was Kotetsu's daughter) from certain death -- it's the first indication that despite his apparent coldness and indifference, he's not heartless.
  • Hei of Darker Than Black is introduced viciously interrogating and then killing a Contractor, showing that he's not at all a typical hero. He then gets a very different establishing scene in his civilian identity as Li, where he's a nice, gentle guy. The series is all about reconciling the two moments.
  • Haku's first action in Spirited Away was to tell Chihiro to leave the spirit world for her own safety and distracting the other spirits, despite (seemingly) not knowing her. Later, when he gave her some food to stop her from disappearing, he lets her touch his hand to prove that it worked. It was a quick blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment but Haku's tender expression towards Chihiro proves that he isn't as cold as he seems.
  • Lucky Star opens with one for protagonist Konata. After an impressive run on the track, she is asked by Tsukasa why she doesn't go ahead and join the club. Konata's response? It would get in the way of her anime.
  • In Mai-HiME, Shiho is first established as a Clingy Jealous Girl when she punches Yuuichi out of the way when he tries to give Mikoto CPR, saying that "(his) eyes look indecent".
    • Haruka's first scene has her yelling at Mai for the property damage caused by her arrival at Fuuka Academy, while the other student council members are calmer and more welcoming of Mai.
  • Kenshin Himura dodges Kaoru's attack easily but feigns Obfuscating Stupidity after realizing she's not a threat.
  • In the very first scene of Bakuman。, Moritaka Mashiro is sitting in class, bored and pessimistic about his prospects if he gets a "normal" job while drawing a detailed sketch of his crush Miho Azuki.
    • Eiji Nizuma's first mention is when he wins an honorable mention in a manga contest, and says that he won because he was drawing while other kids his age played video games. This comes off as somewhat arrogant to Mashiro and Takagi, but it also shows the depths of Eiji's passion for manga, especially when Eiji later confirms that he had to draw because he didn't live near others and his family couldn't afford video games.
    • The editor in chief, in response to Eiji asking to cancel one series he doesn't like if he becomes the top-ranked manga artist, says he will consider the request if he still wants to do it after he learns about the difficulty of becoming a professional and becomes the top-ranked manga artist, showing his respect for determination.
  • Christine from Daa Daa Daa seems like a quiet girl until the end of the episode. First she voices her concern that Kanata and Miyu have not returned to class then she starts talking to herself about what they are doing together and even imitates their voices and finally she trashes her desk in a fit of rage.
  • Bleach gives us Ichigo Kurosaki who is seen beating up a bunch of thugs because they knocked over a vase which was an offering to a little girl who died recently. It would turn out Ichigo was doing all of this for the little girl, who came back as a ghost. He later tells the ghost girl that he will bring her new flowers and to hurry up and go to heaven.
    • Ginjou was introduced by bumping into Ichigo and acting like a spaz as his bag was dropped. But as soon as Ichigo hands the bag to him and leaves, he flashes a smirk and his face was framed in shadow.
    • Nanao finds Kyoraku sleeping and tells him intruders have broken into Seireitei. He lazily responds with "What do you want me to do about it?" This was significant for another reason because Kyoraku's Evil Counterpart Starrk has the exact same exchange with Lilinette during the Hueco Mundo arc.
    • Gin's first appearance involves him slicing off Jidanbo's arm and declaring that for a gatekeeper, losing means death. He then stays around long enough to confirm Ichigo's identity, then starts to walk away, only casually knocking Ichigo back and forcing the gate shut when Ichigo plans on fighting him.
    • Chad's first scene in the manga has him catch a steel bar before it can hit the parakeet his friends just gave him, shrugging off any damage.
  • In his first minute on screen Garrod Ran hijacks a Mobile Suite, with nothing but a 9mm and a homemade flash bang, he then goes on to "rescue" a girl from kidnappers, steal a Gundam, wipe out an entire army with his Gundam's Wave Motion Gun and put his girl into a coma, and that's just the first two episodes.
  • Akazukin Chacha botching her spell.
  • School Rumble
    • Harima monologuing about the wonder of love after he had just beaten the tar out of a bunch of delinquents.
    • Harima and Hanai try to impress their boss with their strength while working part-time as movers. The boss says they're not as strong as "Ichi-san" who they picture is a big burly dude. Turns out she's a tiny girl who can lift a piano.
  • Seto no Hanayome: Lunar-papa's super action packed entrance.
  • In Muhyo and Roji, Yoichi is first introduced performing a Skinship Grope on Nana.
  • How does Sengoku Basara introduce us to Sanada Yukimura? Oh, just by having him blow open a giant door with his Dual-Wielding spears, making a dramatic speech while whooping some Mook ass, and eventually summoning a spiraling tornado of fire to impress his badass mentor!
  • Axis Powers Hetalia has several of these in the first chapter. America shows his Adult Child personality and how they can make a huge hero to defend the earth. Switzerland irritably snaps at Japan for agreeing with America. England first appears to be the Only Sane Man (with a hint of Tsundere towards America), only to lose his temper when France speaks up and then get into a fight with him.
    • Then China attempts to calm things down but is ignored. Greece shows his philosophical side while being surrounded by cats and later is seen sleeping when the rest of the countries argue amongst themselves. Russia mentions enjoying seeing Lithuania begging to him in tears with a cheerful smile and then asks if Latvia agrees (while Belarus holds a knife to his throat). Poland jumps in to protect Lithuania from Russia. Germany yells at everyone to shut up and strictly proceeds on with business. Italy, when chosen to speak first, shouts out his trademark food "PASTA!!!!!!!!!!!"
      • Italy gets another one when he first meets Germany; he's found hiding in a tomato crate, tries and fails to convince Germany he's a fairy, then tearfully surrenders and begs for his life.
    • In Canada's first appearance, he apologizes for being late ... with no one realizing who he is.
  • Naruto's introduction establishes his nature as a prankster well enough, but the first scene that shows how there's more to him than that is when he sits on the swing, looking on at all the other kids who graduated get congratulations from their parents, while he is the only one who failed, showing the depths of his loneliness and isolation.
    • In Iruka’s second scene, he tells Naruto that he can’t go home until he cleans the monuments, and Naruto sullenly responds that he has no one to go home to. Iruka ponders it for a moment, then tells Naruto that if he finishes, they’ll go out for ramen, effectively showing that Iruka may be strict, but also cares for Naruto.
    • Gaara’s pre-Heel Face Turn character is established when he breaks up the fight between Kankuro and Team 7 by threatening to kill Kankuro, his own brother.
    • Might Guy appears in a puff of smoke, brags about his rivalry with Kakashi, punches Lee for using the Primary Lotus in a sparring match, then tearfully hugs him and assigns him laps.
    • Jiraiya is introduced peeping on women in the baths, then knocks out Special Jonin Ebisu with one attack.
    • Sai is introduced kneeling before Danzo, with a smile Danzo knows is fake. When told to stop it, Sai apologizes, saying that he read smiles are good for such situations.
    • Hidan and Kakuzu's introduction indicates their conflicting personalities as a psychotic religious zealot and a practical, greedy mercenary. Hidan confesses that he might kill the Two-Tailed Beast's host in a rage, prompting Kakuzu to remind him that the mission is everything, to which he responds that his religion forbids not killing opponents.
  • In Mai-Otome, Nina's introduction involves her getting a drink as a gift from some admirers among the passengers of the sand ship. A desperately thirsty Arika then runs into her, spilling part of the drink on her and gulping down what's left, resulting in her adoptive father getting a look at her panties and her being mortified.
    • Shiho tells some Corals gossiping about Nina possibly facing expulsion for the incident in Episode 1 that they shouldn't talk about their classmate like that. When they're out of earshot, she gleefully holds up her "spiraling" stick and declares that this is Nina's punishment for not accepting her offer to be her room attendant.
  • Detective Conan has Teen Genius Shinichi solving a case and not being able to resist the challenge. He meets up with his childhood friend Ran, who after he casually insults her father, punches a metal pole while cheerfully smiling.
  • Kaze no Stigma: Kazuma Yagami is established brilliantly in his first scene, with him first making multiple smart comments towards the cousin he hasn't seen in years, then only agreeing to help the man who hired him after he agrees to pay 100x the original fee, than proceeding to destroy the demon terrorising said man's house with minimal effort.
  • The first minutes of Sayonara, Zetsubou-sensei's first episode could pretty much be considered the Trope Codifier, from Fuura Kafuka's introduction where she happily dances beneath sakura trees on her way to school whildst praising spring, love and hope, to Itoshiki Nozomu interrupting her happy stroll by hanging himself from one of the trees in front of her very eyes, setting the tone of these two characters straight, and then playing the suicide attempt for laughs, setting the tone for the show.
  • In Sailor Moon, the episode that debuted Makoto Kino had her effortlessly beating up three punks who were about to assault Usagi for running into them. This is her very first scene, and well before she even knew she was Sailor Jupiter, and before she even knew who Usagi was.
  • In Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, the eponymous heroine is first seen with her glider coming to rescue Master Yupa from a rampaging Ohmu, which she approaches peacefully and successfully calms down so that no one needs to be harmed.
  • Koichi Shidou of Highschool of the Dead first appears to be a well meaning teacher concerned for the safety of his students. But when one of said students breaks his ankle and pleads for help, Shidou responds "Oh well, that's it for you!" and stomps him on the face before casually walking away and leaving the boy as zombie food. What a dick!
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