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  • Mazinger Z: In episode 17, Holzon V3 unleashed a chain of strong earthquakes left in ruins several Japanese cities and killed a lot of people. Forty years later, after a chain of earthquakes and tsunamis turned several Japanese cities in rubble, that episode looks even more tragic.
    • And Dr. Kabuto's manor, where he built Mazinger-Z, was located on the Forest of Aokigahara. Why is that relevant? Read and get creeped out. At least it seems clear why Juuzo chose that place: nobody would try to bother him or spy on him.
  • Getter Robo: In the Getter Robo Go manga, penned in 1991, the Big Bad nuked the city of Sendai out. Flash forward to 2011, when a tsunami has smashed Sendai out and people can not return to the city because a nearby nuclear plant is leaking radioactivity out.
  • The 70s Super Robot anime Zambot 3 had the Big Bad making people into "human bombs", and detonating them - one even exploded on an airliner and caused it to crash. Horrific even back then, even moreso now with suicide bombings in the news.
  • Violence Jack: The world went to crap following a major natural disaster. Cool! Did we mention that the disaster took place on September 11, 197-? Oh...
  • Lupin III had a similar plotline, about Arab terrorists developing a pill that turned people into unwilling living bombs.
  • When Naruto first defeated Neji in the chuunin exam, he convinced him that he isn't bound by fate, just as Naruto is able to defeat him even though he is a failure, while Neji is born with a pedigree that makes him strong. Later we learn that Naruto's father was the Fourth Hokage (arguably the most powerful Hokage to live), and his mother came from a clan that was related to the first two Hokages, making his pedigree even better than Neji's, and meaning that if fate existed, it was fated for Neji to be defeated by Naruto. What makes this worse is that Naruto is The Chosen One of a prophecy, destined to either save the world or destroy it. No matter which way you spin it, Neji turned out to be right in the end.
  • In Neon Genesis Evangelion, when the Japanese government and private corporations create the Jet Alone project, a nuclear powered mecha, as an alternative to the EVA series, NERV hacks the robot's computer system causing a near meltdown and putting an end to the project. This is already harsh enough, when the news breaks that a virus by the name of "Stuxnets" has, apparently successfully, stalled the enrichment of uranium in Iran by sabotaging many pieces of hardware and software critical to the process. In other words, the first known cyberattack to the critical infrastructure of a country, thus raising the chilling prospect that it is now technologically feasible to hack a nuclear power plant and perhaps trigger its reactors to meltdown.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, Mustang tells Hughes that the soldiers who won't shut up about their girls back home always die. Surprise, he was right, just years later, in a death that involved both the girl he was talking about, and was shot to death, where directly after making this comment, Mustang makes a gun motion at him.
    • Shou Tucker's transmutation on Nina to make a talking chimera. One has the nasty feeling that someone out there did a better job. Guess what?
    • If one were to watch the 2003 anime version prior to reading the manga or watching Brotherhood, the scene where King Bradley (a.k.a. Pride) kills his son gets a sense of irony in the manga when the kid's revealed to be a homuculus himself, namely Pride.
  • Cowboy Bebop episode "Wild Horses" has an old old Space Shuttle being brought out for one last mission. The shuttle? Columbia. Cartoon Network actually pulled this one off the air for a while after the disaster.
    • Similarly, the episode "Cowboy Funk" was pulled off the air after the events of September 11th, due to the episode involving the bombing of tall buildings.
  • Other anime episodes not aired by networks for being too close in subject matter would include an episode of Pokémon in which a skyscraper is destroyed by a giant Tentacruel. I'm not sure that 'close enough to not be aired' counts as 'in any way actually similar'.
    • Similarly, the episode "Tower of Terror" was banned in North America for almost two years after September 11th, and the episode "A Scare in the Air" was renamed "Spirits in the Sky".
    • Ironically, that didn't stop the scene of Tentacruel smashing a tower from being in the show's opening for the rest of the Indigo League season.
    • The Team Rocket vs. Team Plasma two-parters were delayed because of the earthquake in Japan. The special contained such scenes as a Paul-lookalike Plasma Grunt and a Liepard blowing up a building, and James blowing up the city.
  • Two almost immediate examples from Transformers Armada:
    • The episode "Palace" begins with Demolishor buried in a desert, taking sniper shots at the Autobots as they struggle to find him. The episode aired during the time of the Beltway sniper attacks.
    • The later episode "Tactician" begins with a news report of a space shuttle nearly colliding with something in space, which somehow appeared to be an exact duplicate (it turns out to be Jetfire). Two days after the episode aired, the shuttle Columbia disintegrated.
  • In-universe example: In Hellsing, there's a scene during which Enrico Maxwell, the head of Iscariot, is being chewed out by Integra Hellsing for allowing her men to be killed by Alexander Anderson. He responds by saying, "Two men? If we killed two million of your worthless Protestant scum I would not have shed a single tear." It becomes a whole lot scarier in hindsight when that's exactly what he does. The killing people, not shedding tears.
    • Also Jan Valentine said that he planned to kill Integra and violate her corpse afterwards. Later, we find out that thugs did the same thing to Seras's mom.
  • Natsuki Takaya is the queen of this trope with Fruits Basket and Hoshi wa Utau. Yuki takes the cake with: "There was something I wanted, something I envisioned, loving parents, a happy home with everyone smiling at me. A home that no one would ever want to leave, a warm place, a warm person. It exists, I know it does." When we first meet him it's beginning to become true, but later in the manga, it becomes clear how he became SO desperate for it.
  • And another one for the WTC September 11th attacks: with another 70s Combining Mecha show, Voltes V. Part of the first episode shows a series of stills showing the invading aliens' armada laying waste on the world's military forces and key cities, and among them was a certain pair of twin towers. What's more disturbing is that this image was flashed right after the montage of the Liberty getting blown up.
  • In Paprika, Detective Konakawa is tormented in his dreams by the cry of "what about the rest of it?" in regards to a film he started with a friend in school that was left incomplete after he walked away from the project and the friend dies. Satoshi Kon, director of Paprika, died in August 2010 with his next movie incomplete.
  • In the first episode of Future GPX Cyber Formula ZERO, Hayato and Randoll nearly got killed in the British Grand Prix when their cars collided, Hayato's car went off the track banking and crashed to the ground. Then came the Formula One San Marino Grand Prix a month later, in which 2 separate accidents resulted in the deaths of Roland Ratzenberger and 3-time champion Ayrton Senna.
  • In Macross Frontier: The False Songstress, Alto and Sheryl fall of a cliff with their Segways, but they managed to survive. Less than a year later, Jimi Heselden, the company owner of Segway died in an accident falling off a cliff...while riding his Segway.
  • In Durarara, Celty describes Shizuo's level of strength to a reporter by saying, "You know how, no matter how good a martial artist is, you can just shoot him and it's all over? Shizuo's the gun." The pithy line seems to take on a much darker meaning in a later arc when Horada nearly kills Shizuo doing exactly that.
  • Way back around Volume 7 of Mahou Sensei Negima, Negi reveals his past: how, when he was four, he tried several times to get himself into danger so his Disappeared Dad would show up and rescue him. One night, a horde of demons attacked his village, turning many people to stone and slaughtering the rest. With only Negi and his cousin Nekane alive, his dad Nagi did show up and fight off the demons. Ever since, Negi felt that the entire thing was his fault, and that it was some divine punishment for his earlier actions. Asuna calls him an idiot and says that it couldn't possibly been his fault; one four-year-old cannot inadvertantly catch the attention of a demon horde. And then, late in the Magic World Arc, we find out that the demon attack was specifically an assassination attempt on Negi's life, made by the Megalomesembrian Senate because Negi was the son of two of the Senate's most powerful enemies. So, in short, the massacre was Negi's fault; they came there and butchered everyone specifically to try to kill him.
  • In The Prince of Tennis, Ryoma oversleeps and arrives late to a match, and when asked he says "I was helping a pregnant woman to the hospital." Later in the story Oishi makes the same excuse, but he was actually telling the truth...and since he caught the soon-to-be-mom when she fell down a flight of stairs, he got a serious injury in his arm.
  • Remember ~Tokyo Magnitude 8.0~, the anime which describes a fictional scenario where Tokyo is almost completely destroyed by an earthquake, magnitude 8.0? Well, on March 11, 2011, nature decided to lob Japan with a quake that was 9.0 on the Richter scale.
    • This is probably the most egregious example, but there are a lot of anime & manga which in some way involve a major earthquake/tsunami devastating Japan. The 9.0 earthquake is to manga what 9/11 is to western comics.
    • Ditto for Coppelion, which the background story involves Tokyo being destroyed by a nuclear reactor explosion, caused by earthquake destroying its cooling system. It's almost as bad as it can get.
    • The plot of Kanojo o Mamoru 51 no Houhou deals with the survivors of a sudden massive earthquake.
    • In episode 10 of Puella Magi Madoka Magica, which aired Friday, March 11 2011, at around 1 or 2AM, the emergence of Walpurgis Night brings forth a ruined, flooded city. Guess what happened around 1PM or 2PM of the same day? It got to the level that the last two episodes were declared Too Soon to be aired, and were broadcast about one month later.
    • Hayao Miyazaki: It felt really inappropriate to watch Ponyo (it was on cable) wherein one character is chided for freaking out about tsunamis and the title preschool sea spirit causes a fun one; additionally Princess Mononoke ends with a wave of sludge wiping out a human settlement. Not to mention that Ponyo is about a tsunami. Guess what happened on March 11 2011? The second biggest tsunami ever recorded that's what (worst was the tsunami that hit 14 countries in 2004).
    • Satoshi Kon: Millennium Actress uses earthquakes to highlight significant points in the title actress' life, starting with her birth in 1923. Additionally, both Paprika and Paranoia Agent end with Tokyo in ruins, although those were caused by "mindquakes".
    • The final stretch of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha the Movie First, which happened in the course of a single day, involved a duel over a devastated city submerged in sea water, a flashback that involved a disastrous power plant meltdown, and a climax where the protagonists had to stop a massive quake caused by the Big Bad. The movie was released in 2010. One year later, Japan was devastated by a 9.0 earthquake that was immediately followed by a tsunami, causing a radiation leak from a nuclear power plant that eventually grew into a level 7 nuclear accident.
    • Saikano anime ended with the entire planet being destroyed by a massive earthquake. It didn't help that the town was swept away by the tsunami.
    • Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex features an episode where Togusa visits ruined and flooded Tokyo where rebuilding has barely started despite of years of effort, and where he must keep wary of radiation leaking from a ruined nuclear powerplant. Does this sound at all familiar?
    • Whitebeard from One Piece has the power to cause earthquakes and tsunamis. He nearly destroys Marine Headquarters. And it gets even worse when Blackbeard takes his power and indirectly sends a Tsunami right into Saobody.
    • Fans chose the Ruby/Sapphire arc of Pokémon Special via poll to be re-released in wide-ban format. This is the arc where Groudon and Kyogre, two weather-based legendaries, duke it out between each other, causing massive earthquakes and floods [1] that wreak havoc and destruction all across the Hoenn region. People were even shown crowded and huddling in a shelter. Due to the really bad timing, only the first out of the planned three volumes has been released.
  • In the series AIR, Misuzu Kamio's body eventually debilates in a way very similar to a cancer patient, and dies in the arms of her adoptive mother/aunt, Haruko. This already gut wrenching scene becomes even sadder after her seiyuu, Tomoko Kawakami, died of ovarian cancer a few years later on June 9, 2011.
  • Tadashi Kawashima, the writer of Alive the Final Evolution died of liver cancer, and wrote the last few chapters from his hospital bed. Ordinarily, Author Existence Failure is tragic enough. However, death is a very strong recurring theme in the manga, with the driving force of the plot being a Happening-esque "suicide virus".
  • Broly, in the climax of Dragonball Z Movie 8, says to Goku after being powered up by his friends "No matter how much power you absorb from those idiots, it won't be enough to kill me!" Movie 10 pretty much reveals that Broly was actually quite correct about that statement (at least in regards to being killed by Goku's power increase, although just barely).
  • The OVA Series Bubblegum Crash has got a bizarre coincidence. In the last episode, the heroes desperately fight to prevent an attack on a Japanese power plant which could not be deactivated in the right time to prevent damage. This attack could cause a meltdown which could irradiate many parts of Japan and threatens Tokyo directly. In a really bizarre, macabre coincidence, one of the 3 writers of the series has the last name "Fukushima".
  • A rather brutal example in Elfen Lied where Kouta's sister, Kanae, tries to tell him that Lucy kills people. This ends up in a rather depressing scene where Kouta yells-at and slaps his sister; his final words to her were "Apologize to her! If you don't I'll hate you!" Immediately after, Lucy brutally kills her right in front of him. The fact that those were his last words to his little sister, who was telling the truth the whole time and whose Famous Last Words were a plea for him not to hate her ("No, Kouta! Please don't say you hate me!"), is pretty damn harsh in hindsight.
  • In the early chapter of Gunslinger Girl, we get Henrietta making it clear that she would kill herself if Jose stopped caring about her. It's heart-warming at the time, in a weird way, but becomes much worse when Jose, knowing that Henrietta will never be able to feel anything towards him after she was restored to the factory settings, kills her (and himself).
  • In 2010, Bang Zoom CEO Eric P. Sherman stated that the studio will stop dubbing anime due to internet piracy. Two years later, Bandai Entertainment, Bang Zoom!'s last largest client for their dubs, will shut down DVD/BD distribution. Good job "fans," now there will be no more anime dubs coming from Bang Zoom!
    • Oh, Bang Zoom's still active. They're dubbing anime for Aniplex of America (e.g. Madoka Magica) and Sentai Filmworks (e.g. K-On!).
  • In-universe example: In Rosario to Vampire, the Security Committee wanted Tsukune's blood just because he was human. In the second serialization, we find out why. Turns out their leader at the time was actually a mole for Fairy Tail and was even willing to put the entire Security Committee at risk by murdering Tsukune. This means that if Tsukune died and the Security Committee was eventually caught afterward, Fairy Tail would've won for sure.
  • Yoshinobu Nishizaki, producer of the iconic anime television series Space Battleship Yamato passed away on November 7, 2010 after falling off his steamboat ironically named Yamato.
  • In Code Geass's episode 19, Kallen claim that Euphemia is a useless puppet princess of Britannia who can't make any decisions of her own. Some episodes later, Euphie gets killed after being accidentally mind controlled by Lelouch (himself a rebellious member of the Britannian nobility) and stripped of her free will. ... Ooops?
  • Due to the rather... "special" nature of the mangas she wrote for Shogakukan, it was speculated that Mayu Shinjo may have been an abuse victim in her past, as a way to explain her penchant for Melodrama, Rape Tropes, etc. She actually was. And at the hand of her Shogakukan editors, the same ones she wrote these "special" mangas for. And for worse, she's not the only one.
  • In Bleach, Ishida once says: "Tell Aizen that a Quincy has come! For the one you truly have to fear is not a Shinigami but a Quincy!" " Flashforward to several arcs later... and the FEARSOME villains of the last arc, the Vandereich, turn out to have huge ties to the Quincies. And they're invading Soul Society. GOD FUCKING DAMMIT, ISHIDA.

 Fellow Troper in the Large Ham page: "And for all the hamminess, boy did Ishida's words come back to haunt Hueco Mundo later! That's right, not only is Ishida a Large Ham, but he's a prophetic one, too!"

  • Love Live!:
    • Nozomi's groping of Nico may cause some viewers to be uncomfortable in the dub. That's because their voice actresses, Laura Post and Erica Mendez respectively, are Ragyo Kiryuin and Ryuko Matoi from Kill la Kill. With the former having molested the latter.
    • One of the lyrics for "Shocking Party" (DANCING DANCING NON STOP MY DANCING) ended up as a sad irony after A-RISE permanently disbanded in real life due to Maho's retirement and Ayuru's marriage and pregnancy.
    • The 7th episode of the Second Season, named "Melody of the Heart", made its rerun via streaming on the franchise's official YouTube channel...right after the Typhoon Hagibis disaster.
  • Love Live! Sunshine!!
    • Riko's backstory features her having an anxiety attack on stage at a live piano performance. During Aqours first live concert, Riko's seiyuu (Rikako Aida) ended up suffering a panic attack during her piano performance on "Omoi yo Hitotsu ni Nare".
    • Most of the CYaRon! songs about friends growing apart and old friendships being broken (courtesy of the lyrics writer, You Watanabe) finally makes more sense as she expresses her fears of the future of her relationship with Chika, in an indirect fashion, since You cannot figure out how to tell Chika directly.
    • The meaning of "Sora mo Kokoro mo Hareru kara", the song included in the second Blu-Ray, becomes quite a bit sadder when you know the context in which it's played in the anime.
    • Mari is seen injuring her leg during the Tokyo event in the first season's 9th Episode. Mari's seiyuu, Aina Suzuki also injured her leg during the last stop of the Fan Meeting Trip session in Chiba.

Notes

  1. and droughts
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