Light Is Not Good/Anime and Manga

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  • In Neon Genesis Evangelion:
    • The angel Arael is a beautiful bright bird that looks somewhat like a bunch of wings or branched out lights/leaves. It is, however, one of the most horrifying angels. It's the Trope Namer for Mind Rape and launches a brutal assault on Asuka's mind, which ends up putting her in a catatonic depression. And yet it's regarded as the prettiest and brightest of the angels. It's engulfed in a glowing white light. It's chilling.
    • The first angel, Adam, is referred to as "The Giant of Light" occasionally. His form lived up to that name.
  • Crane Bahnsteik from Cyber Team in Akihabara
  • Byakuran in Katekyo Hitman Reborn wears all white, decorates his office with white flowers and apparently consists on a diet of marshmallows. At the end of the manga arc, he also sprouts huge white wings and glows. Granted, he's glowing with stolen flames, but the flames turn into white light, according to the anime's current opening credits.
  • Friday Monday from Madlax wears white clothes, has white hair, and a golden mask. His base even looks like a church.
  • Inuyasha has a few examples.
    • First, we have the priestess Kikyo, the antiheroine of the story. Her resurrection is clearly ungodly. She comes back to life with a mind full of hatred and vengeance and does both good (helping people in need, feeding the hungry, taking care of kids) and not-so-good deeds (antagonizing Inuyasha and Kagome, stealing the souls of girls to keep herself alive). Yet obviously, she retains her old holy powers. To her credit, she soon starts losing the hatred that poisoned her, and eventually gets better and becomes the local Dark Magical Girl, sealed by her helping an embittered holy man to go to Heaven and stop working for Naraku. And in the end, her definitive death is one full of peace, in which she finally can go to Heaven herself
    • Even more strikingly, the Living Buddha Hakushin uses his holy powers consciously to erect a barrier to protect the Big Bad Naraku. This barrier prevents people who have demonic blood, like Inuyasha, Koga, Sesshomaru, from entering Mount Hakurei and attacking Naraku.
  • The Society of Light from Yu-Gi-Oh! GX,
    • One could argue that the Society of Light are a deconstruction of the idea that anyone who loses to the light sees their point of view, since anyone who loses a duel against them instantly defects to their side, just like is traditional for villains to do upon losing to the protagonist under the rules of Defeat Means Friendship.
    • The original Yu-Gi-Oh! had Seto Kaiba dressed in white with his Light-type Mons, the Blue Eyes White Dragon, pitted against a leather-clad spirit named Dark Yugi and his Dark Magician (with the rest of their decks tending to match the Light and Dark themes of their signature monsters). However, Kaiba was the Jerkass and Yami Yugi barely hit Anti-Hero.
      • And in The Movie, the Pyramid Of Light, used by Anubis in an attempt to take Kaiba and Yami's life forces to come back to life and destroy the world.
    • Two of the seasonal Big Bads in the original series, Noah and Dartz, were also light-aligned. Noah had a six-winged angel, Shinato, with regal robes and a halo as his deck master, who's name in Japan is Shinato, King of Heaven, and merges with it temporarily, and Dartz's whole deck was light-themed, meant to be around the Orichalchos.
    • In Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's, we have Rex Godwin, our heroic mentor to the The Chosen One(s), but also has some sort of counter-agenda planned. And then there's Divine, resident Jerkass (and a downright bastard).
    • This carries over to the cards themselves - the two cards linked on the page for Eldritch Abomination are both Light-type.
  • D.Gray-man: Despite being demons, Level 4 Akuma most closely resemble angels, complete with glowing white halos and wings. The Noah themselves avert this trope by gaining white skin when not in "horrifying evil" mode.
  • Lucemon from Digimon Frontier was most definitely a version of this; it also had Darkness-based powers, but started out pure Light. He uses both together in his second form. They combine to form Playstation, apparently (at the very least, circles, triangles x's and squares). Yeah.
    • The Royal Knights, being Holy Knights with light-oriented powers, also fit.
    • SlashAngemon would be another example.
  • The Bleach Filler Villain Maki Ichinose is a Well-Intentioned Extremist whose zanpakuto has the ability to manipulate light. He allies himself with Card-Carrying Villain Jin Kariya in an attempt to eliminate Soul Society, which he views as becoming increasingly corrupt. Unfortunately for him, neither his arch nemesis Zaraki nor Kariya himself care for such noble goals or even take him seriously. He does a Heel Face Turn after losing to Kenpachi and getting "The Reason You Suck" Speech, but gets killed by Kariya.
    • The Gotei 13 captains started out as the antagonists, and their main trademark is that they... all wear white overcoats.
      • To a greater extent yet, Byakuya has a white reiatsu and his finishing move is a completely white sword overflowing with white reiatsu. And since reiatsu is thrown about a lot in the series, it becomes rather impossible to miss.
    • Hollows themselves are always a bright white color, despite usually being hideous monsters that eat human souls.
  • Light Yagami from Death Note. All of his symbolism in the opening credits, his speeches, and his ideals (his given name, for crying out loud) state that he is firmly Light-aligned. Yet his method for purifying society, and the way he deals with those around him, peg him clearly as the series' villain. His powers aren't directly Light-inspired -- though everything else about him is. For added melodrama, "Yagami" means "night god".
    • Word of God states that the reason Light became so evil was because he was so pure to begin with. Light was such a good person he was incapable of comprehending evil, and so evil's very existence in the real world threw him all the way off his axis and off the deep end. He couldn't think of any other method of dealing with evil other than pure, unrestrained destruction... no matter the cost.
  • Johan Liebert of Monster is so bright and beautiful looking that he could almost be mistaken for an angel, and indeed, the aura he gives off is one of almost unmistakable lightness. He's also the title character.
  • The Ineffectual Loner brigade "X Laws" in Shaman King all had angels as their spirits. And they did some pretty horrible stuff, being Knight Templars who beat and kill people just so they wouldn't join Hao. Also, in the manga, one of their original founding members defects to join Hao... and this defector used the angel Lucifer as his spirit.
  • Jakou in Fist of the North Star 2 is addicted to light, to the point where he captures slaves to operate his light-generating machinery. Justified by this being caused by his utter terror of Raoh and Hokuto Shinken practitioners in general, who (with the exception of Toki) are very much darkness-aligned and whose martial art is, according to Shin, the Yin (Dark) side of the art of killing.
    • Other examples come from the evil Nanto Seiken practitioners. Their martial art is stated early to be the Yang (Light) side of the art of killing, all but one of the known Nanto Seiken practitioners are clearly light aligned (Souther going so far to declare himself an holy emperor, and having the phoenix as his symbol), and Shin, Yuda and Souther are three massive jerks.
  • Krad from D.N.Angel fits. He's the villain, but he's got all the light-related imagery, white wings and all that, while the good guy, Dark, has... well, you can probably guess.
  • From Trigun Knives, a Bishonen decked out in white, who created the "Angel Arms" -- super-guns of highly destructive light-beams. The manga takes this to an extreme, when Knives starts absorbing the Plants, he is the center of a writhing mass of angel wings and limbs.
  • Kalutika Maybus, The God of Light in the Manhwa "Rebirth" wants to destroy the human race because his life as a human in the 1600s was very unpleasant. Prior to attaining (or growing into) godhood, he was the main character, half-vampire Deshiwitat's close friend. After Desh failed to save Kal's beloved sister, Kal had a Heroic BSOD and became a god. He then vaporized Desh's girlfriend Lilith right before his eyes and sealed Desh in stone for 300 years. Currently, he has somehow revived Lilith and made her his wife/consort. They apparently have a son, a powerful vampire called Gray. In spite of their connections with the vampire race, they're planning on killing them all before moving on to humans (Kal has already destroyed the Galactic Senate Council of Gods which govern his actions).
  • Trinity Blood is another classic example of this: The "Enemy of the World" is a blond Bishonen with six white wings, who dresses all in long white robes and is first seen standing atop the enormous cross which hovers over the Vatican. The hero, in contrast, is a White-Haired Pretty Boy with black wings who dresses all in black and wields a scythe made of his own blood.
  • One Piece has Marine Admiral Kizaru, whose abilities via the Pika-Pika Devil Fruit give him power over light. He can move/attack at the speed of light, focus light into lasers, and also use blinding flashes. This isn't also including the basic advantages of his type of Devil Fruit, which cause solid objects to pass right through him. Though whether this is an aversion, playing straight, or subversion depends on your point of view as One Piece has pirates as the protagonists, making Kizaru the enemy, even though he's on the side of "Good" as far as the OP-verse is concerned.
    • I don't think it's a question at all, it's definitely played straight, the World Government has committed more horrific acts than anyone else in the series. Also Kizaru himself while laid back, is pretty sadistic and aggressive unlike the more Antivillainesque Marines like Aokiji, Garp and Smoker. Actually a lot about the Marines and World Government play with this trope, from the white uniforms of the Marines themselves, to the nobles of the government thinking they're gods.
    • Kizaru at least appears to take his job somewhat seriously, and shows the best leadership qualities out of all the Admirals.
    • Another possible example is the Fleet Admiral Sengoku himself, what with how he apparently has the power to morph himself into a copy of the Buddha. He's still one of the few non-evil Admirals, alongside Monkey D. Garp and maybe Aokiji. He is damn pissed with the most recent decisions of the higher-ups, for example.
    • It seems that everybody in One Piece can be considered "bad" except for the few pirate crews who just want to sail the seas and explore the world (like the Straw Hats), and the few Marines who believe in leaving pirates alone unless they're actively causing trouble (like Admiral Aokiji).
  • In Berserk, Griffith is a godlike demon who would willingly offer his best friend's life for power ( he has, in fact, having sacrificed the Band of the Hawk in order to become a Godhand) and is said to bring about an "age of darkness" which definitely does not sound nice. He appears to people in dreams as a hawk surrounded by light and is appropriately called the Hawk of Light by the Pope of this world.
    • And through Griffith's recent fusing of the planes of existence together with the mortal world using the Skull Knight's dimension-warping attack in the most recent installment, the "age of darkness" is now here.
      • It's worth noting that the fusion of the worlds was achieved thanks to the light produced during said event, further strengthening Griffith's connection to light.
    • Also Inquisitor Mozgus. He is a Knight Templar to the book, who believes the absurd level of sadism (with good measures of masochism) he reaches brings him closer to (probably non-existent in Berserk) God. He's given Light Powers as well. Specifically, angelic wings and a Light Breath. Given by a ragtag false God who's a servant to the false God Griffith (who probably works for another False God... although it's possible it is the real "God").
      • In a chapter that was later stricken from the books and archives because it "reveals too much about the direction of the series", it is revealed that God is actually a manifestation of humanity's negative emotions. Therefore, God is indeed evil. You can find the original chapter online in some places.
  • The sinister White Prince of Code Geass, Schneizel.
    • Also Lelouch, after taking control of Britannia and becoming next Emperor starts wearing a white suit, as opposed to Zero's and the Black Knight's black outfits.
    • And then there's Mao, a White-Haired Pretty Boy whose power is Telepathy which enables him to "see through" the "shadowy personality" of Lelouch (and most of the other characters). Oh, and he's also one of the purest-hearted and most innocent characters in the entire show, who prides himself on using his mind-reading skills to Mind Rape and ultimately kill people he sees as "bad." He may not be the only other one, either, since most antagonists in Code Geass (including Mao and Schneizel) are Knights Templar, and thus in theory light-aligned by default.
    • Suzaku Kururugi has shades of this, as well. Known as the White Knight, and later as the "White Grim Reaper" in the places he helps conquer, he actually started out with noble morals and an honest belief in reforming the system. A few traumas later, and he was willing to do anything to maintain what he saw as peace and reform over violent revolution. This trope is played deliberately in his case, much like Scheizel and Mao, since he's an antagonist of Lelouch. Meanwhile, Lelouch's mother and father are both portrayed as Light in their own ways (his father is the Emperor, and while not overly white in the same vein as Schneizel, still has shades of it, his mother was treated by all who knew her as a saint, and nicknamed "The Flash"). In the end, both were sympathetic in their very ultimate goals, but were veritable antagonists who wished to destroy the Gods as part of an Assimilation Plot, and their twisted love for their kids was their main motivator.
  • In the series Yami no Matsuei, Muraki Kazutaka has a lot of "light" symbolism surrounding him. (In the anime, he was even first encountered in a church by the hero.) The manga takes this even further, in his final appearance he is saved from dying by a giant ball of light "so strong and evil it could burn your eyes out." He may have inherited this trait from his mother, who may have been the one who saved him. That manga arc was really vague in some areas.
  • In the prologue of one of the Baccano! books, a twelve-year-old runaway is found by a man. Said man is androgynously beautiful, dressed almost entirely in white and (thanks to a trick of the light) appears to even be glowing. Is it an angel? Nah, it's Huey Laforet -- terrorist and Mad Scientist who just so happened to be looking for "raw materials" for some very morally questionable experiments.
  • The true villain of Yu Yu Hakusho in the manga? King Enma, the lord of the Spirit World, who was catching weak and innocent demons and brainwashing them to be evil so that he could justify the Spirit World's more questionable actions as being for the sake of protecting the Human World. In fact, the last battle in the manga was against the more fanatical members of the Spirit World, who was appalled at the thought of humans and demons living in harmony and was planning to do some cleansing by causing Armageddon. Ultimately, Enma is overthrown by his son Koenma.
    • Sensui, Big Bad of the Chapter Black Saga, is a former Spirit Detective who has the ability to use Holy Chi.
  • Jellal Fernandez from Fairy Tail used a wide variety of light and heaven themed magics.
  • You can't mention corrupt angels without pointing out Bludgeoning Angel Dokurochan.
    • The same applies to Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch, which has the evil angel Michel; in fact, given his six white wings, white clothing and constant glowing, its hard to know why did he missed being listed here for so long.
  • Spoofed in Slayers, when Amelia, right in the middle of a villain's grand appearance, declares that he can't possibly be the bad guy because he's wearing white, whereupon the other characters collectively facepalm.
  • Big Bad Paptimus Scirocco of Zeta Gundam wears an immaculate white uniform as a visual contrast to the black-and-red wearing jackbooted thugs he works beside. Say what you will about Scirocco, the man had standards.
  • Code Breaker: When we see Ogami's Terrorist Without a Cause, possibly Social Darwinist brother "on camera" for the first time, he has white hair and a white outfit and an ice-cold body in contrast with Ogami's black hair, black uniform, and FLAME ON! abilities.
  • Umineko no Naku Koro ni: Ooh, look, pretty shiny gold butterflies! That lady in the portrait can't be all ba... Dear God.
    • By the 5th Arc, it's subverted, with Battler as the Golden Sorcerer. Which means Dark Is Not Evil gets subverted too...
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, Father is a noble looking old man with white hair and who dresses all in white, and in the Brotherhood anime actually seems to glow with white light. That being said, his true form is an Eldritch Abomination Living Shadow- so he's actually more like Dark Is Evil.
    • In the first anime, there is Hohenheim of the Light a man who for centuries murdered countless people to either steal their bodies or make philosopher's stones, before ultimately reforming.
    • This trope is also present in the form of certain religion related characters. For instance, the first villain faced is a priest, Father Cornello, who maintains the guise of a kind old man when his real intentions are quite megalomaniac. Scar probably fits as well, though he becomes an Anti-Hero.
    • Another example is that of the Affably Evil Mad Bomber, Zolf J. Kimbley. Kimbley wears a pure white suit, has a pair of alchemical circles drawn on his hands that involves the sun and moon, both symbols of light, and his fighting style creating quite a bit of light as a side-effect.
    • Father whose plan succeeded, reshaped his body into looking like a young Hohenheim, meaning that he became a long haired, angelic looking male teenager.
  • Interestingly, Hiromu Arakawa, the author of Fullmetal Alchemist, apparently used this trope in her older manga Stray Dog; the villainous bounty hunter mage makes use of light related powers in the very first fight scene.
  • Solomon from Blood Plus is an angelic blonde bishounen that more often than not wears a white suit. Needless to say that he's also one of Diva's chevaliers.
    • Diva as well. Pale pretty girl with blue eyes, wears white Victorian clothing, is a opera singer and often described as a angel. Bad side? She is a century and a half old Chiropteran Queen who has killed thousands of people, participated in a experiment to create a virus to turn others into chiropterans, had figures such as Gregory Rasputin and Martin Bormann as her chevaliers, meaning she was involved in, if not being the mastermind of, the Romanov Massacre (As she also impersonated Anastasia) and WWII. Should I also mention she raped a 14-year old boy to get pregnant and then killed him, all for the sake of pissing off her sister? Also, when she sings, people turn into monsters.
  • Xargin of Blassreiter may look like a wandering evangelist...but his message is genocide, and he will disintegrate you in your own best interests, with that darn perty smile on his face.
  • Team Trinity are a group of Gundam meisters with biblical surnames and they wear white clothes. Guess what?
    • Well Johan is more of a Dark Is Evil since his Gundam looks more Dark Based.
    • The Alvaaron is bright, shiny gold, and is shaped like an angelic knight. It is also piloted by a guy who wants to destroy and recreate human society as he sees fit.
    • The Innovades also wear white... outfits. Their leader and Big Bad Ribbons Almarck pilots a white Gundam.
  • Hellsing Ultimate
    • Alexander Anderson, a Catholic priest/paladin dressed in white who's kind to children and puppies. However, you even mention the word "Vampire" in front of him and he turns into a homicidal psychopath who won't hesitate to chop up normal humans in his path to purify the world of "evil".
    • The Crusade that was assembled when the Nazi Vampires destroyed most of London. They not only looked like a cross between the historical Knight Templar and members of the Ku Klux Klan, but their mission wasn't to eliminate the vampires and save London, it was to eliminate the vampires and KILL EVERY PROTESTANT IN ENGLAND.
    • The Major fits this trope along with Complete Monster; he wears White and has Blond Hair. This could be attributed to Phenotype Stereotype however. He is still ein Sturmbannfürer des dritten Reichs [1], despite having become one of the most solid examples of Exclusively Evil and Blood Knight existing in Anime.
  • Yashahime is a beautiful young woman who frequently wears long, stylized kimonos and flowers in her hair, is rather graceful with her White God Tree katana and is the High Goddess of Earth. She also has a rather obsessive crush on the Grim Reaper (who's not so nice himself) and is batshit crazy. Oh, and she's really a tree monster.
  • One of the major themes of the manga Angel Sanctuary. God Is Evil, and many of the angels are fanatical, murderous, lunatics. And with which group does the hero side? The demons.
  • In Axis Powers Hetalia Russia manages to curse Japan using the power of the Orthodox Church. Apparently even White Magic is evil if Russia is involved on it. Somewhat subverted with England's "Brittania Angel" mode, which is merely creepy when he's not being hilarious.
  • In Black Butler, Ash is the main villain of season 1.
  • The Sword of Light from Slayers. Slayers Try reveals that it is actually one of a set of five weapons from another dimension that are that dimension's equivalent of the Five Dark Lords.
  • In Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Kuze has a cybernetic body with white skin and hair, and usually dresses completely in white. His followers see him as a savior, but he's also Japans most dangerous top terrorist. Slightly subverted, as it later turns out that he's actually the most noble and kind character in the entire franchise, even though he has turned to extreme measures to bring an end to injustice.
    • Probably emphasized further by the fact that he becomes a lot more sympathetic character after he gets rid of his white getup permanently, and switches to brown leather jacket and blue jeans.
  • In Bastard!!, the only Angel willing to fight to protect humanity instead of wiping it out is the fallen angel Lucifer, AKA Lucien Renlen.
  • This even exists in Dragon Ball. Case and point: FREEZA. His main colors? Pink, purple, and white. Especially in his final form; he's like a bastion of whiteness. In regular demeanor he's completely regal. And he is indeed the lord. Of an intergalactic organization of planet pirates responsible for multiple genocides, including at least one of a race that worked for him at the time.
    • Broly, in terms of movie villains. Adorned in holy-looking clothing. Apparently mild-mannered and harmless. An incredible mass of repressed unstable rage and monstrous power which bursts open and crushes everything in sight including his own father once he's seen Kakarot (Son Goku) again for even ten minutes.
    • In terms of Broly, his father Paragus applies as well. Dressed in a white cape, sporting a damaged eye, introducing himself as a humble servant of Vegeta, and presenting Vegeta a new planet to rule over as its king and restart the Saiyan race - just as soon as he defeated a "Legendary Super Saiyan". His true intentions are to leave Vegeta stranded on this planet, which is a complete ruins beyond the supposed throne city and is about to be bombed by a comet, so that he can restart Saiyan dominance for himself on Earth and rule over it with his Legendary SSJ-potential son as his instrument of power.
  • Kurei from Flame of Recca was made to believe he carried the cursed flame when he really carried the sacred Phoenix flame.
  • Dr. Butterfly from Busou Renkin.
  • The Hyuga clan of Naruto often dresses in white, and many of their names have to do with the sun or other sources of light. However, the leadership of the clan oppresses the branch house with a curse mark that can cause great pain or kill those with it when it's activated, and some members of the branch house possess resentment toward the head family that can be potentially murderous. Despite this, it is implied that Hiashi, current head of the clan, is rethinking the role of the main and branch families, especially after Hizashi sacrificed himself for the sake of his brother and village rather than the head family, and the current heiress, Hinata, is a kind individual who cares for the members of the branch family.
  • Raijin in Yaiba is the God of Thunder, but hinted to be quite evil. Kaguya is the Moon Princess, but is at least a Well-Intentioned Extremist and a Complete Monster at worst. Also Plasma the Light Demon.
  • In Saint Seiya, Virgo Shaka fits. Whilst he's more of an Anti-Hero, he's very deceptive-he's an incarnation of Buddha, but in the first series has aligned himself with the very evil Pope and is only too willing to Mind Rape and maim the main characters. He also happens to be an angelic-looking blonde with bright blue eyes and very long hair. Who glows. In the dark. His Expy from Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas does a similar thing.
  • Aion of Chrono Crusade dresses in all white, and comes with White-Haired Pretty Boy. Underneath his disguise however is a total bastard. Prone of long winded speeches and making your life a total misery.
  • Love Machine, the big bad AI gone mad in Summer Wars might qualify. After it feeds on a few unsuspecting avatars he goes from rather ditzy looking to something that could only be described as a monk, who looks like he fights for good, with an evil mask. What drives the point home though is the bright white godlike aura he can activate at will in this form, making him look like a cyber-messiah.
    • Later when the plan of the family to lock him down fails, he emerges as a giant black monster, made from avatars he already ingested. What involves the trope in this form though are the bright white angelic wings he got from the OZ-Central Building. Moreso, he now looks very dark, but he still has the ability to project his aura, which leads to an extremely cool looking moment, when the behemoth Love Machine triumphs over King Kazma, calls back his minion avatars and activates his bright aura, which actually looks out of place behind his now massive black body. The following scenes show King Kazma, powerlessly floating in the void of OZ, being shined on what can only be described as angelic light.
  • Saikano's Chise glows a bright white when she uses her abilities, which, along with the techno-wings that often sprout from her back, make her look downright angelic. Unfortunately, being "The Ultimate Weapon", this frequently ends in lots and lots of people dying and/or cities being reduced to dust.
  • The Qwaser of Gold in Seikon no Qwaser, appears in one beautiful form or another, and often glows with a golden aura. Sasha and Katja both play with this and the inversion; though Heroes in the series, both are extremely fair-skinned and fair-haired who wear black, both are battle-hardened, vicious and damaged individuals.
  • Da Capo and its sequels have the Giant Sakura Tree and its ever-blossoming kin. There are some truly terrifying scenes in the animes when everything is going horribly right we see beautiful cherry blossoms budding up and blossoming to life even as the characters beg for the trees to die.
  • In Gundam Seed we have Rau Le Creuset. Adorned in white from head to foot, he has blond hair, Blue Eyes, and pilots a mecha entitled the Providence. And is absolutely out of his mind. His Unwitting Pawn, Muruta Azrael wears a light-blue suit, and has a religious name...and is even worse.
  • Miaka and the Suzaku senshi are the main characters of Fushigi Yugi but it's not until Eikoden do we see how selfish and uncaring Suzaku and the other Beast Gods are, concerned only with maintaining their immortality by taking the souls of the girls who become their priestesses.
  • The Guild in Last Exile. Aside from the customary white clothing, Guild ships are very bright and full of sunlight, particularly in contrast to the Silvana.
  1. an SS major of the Third Reich