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A Pure Heart in an Impure World (Or Vice Versa)

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Post #460702
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2:25 pm, Apr 11 2011
Posts: 1355

I'm looking for a manga/anime in which the protagonist has an incredibly pure heart, despite having been surrounded by the most horrific impurities in the world - perhaps even being subjected to those impurities. But still, they retain their goodness of heart and a kind of innocence that seems miraculous, given everything they've seen or been exposed to... They've lived in utter darkness, but somehow, that darkness hasn't infiltrated their soul. It's not that they haven't suffered pain - perhaps even agony - but it hasn't made them cruel. On the contrary, they've only become kinder... They remain, despite it all, exquisitely pure.

The protagonist must have NO positive support/influence in their lives, or, at most, maybe only one positive influence. They must otherwise be surrounded by the worst humanity has to offer, and still somehow turn out to be among the best humanity has to offer.

Example: A prostitute who had been sold off when she was a child, and who has been subjected to horrific abuse of all kinds over the years, still holds a pure love for one man and one man alone - and is incredibly kind, managing to help/save other prostitutes whenever possible, even at cost to herself.

Example: A boy raised in the slums, surrounded by gangs, brutality and the stench of corruption, still retains a hope that the world can be a better place - and through honest work and inspirational community service, manages to save many lives around him. One day, he even becomes a social/political leader who remains incorruptible despite the system rotting to pieces around him... He has to go through hell trying to reform this system, which even puts his own life at risk, but he never loses faith.

I'm ALSO interested in the direct reversal of this scenario... Someone who, despite only having the best life has to offer and having the kindest, loveliest people around them, still turns out to be evil/malicious. Basically, I'm interested in the moral incongruity of people at the extremes (very pure or very impure) managing to develop in ways directly contradictory to their immediate environments.

Example: A man living in a small seaside town, surrounded by natural beauty, a loving, close-knit community and a perfect family, still manages to have a depraved obsession with... uh, let's say, corpses. And making more of them. He didn't have a bad childhood - in fact, it was great - and he suffered no great tragedies or even mild difficulties. He's had a happy life - nothing to explain why he's turned out to be ape-shit crazy and absolutely evil, but there you go. That's how he is.

Stories like that are welcome, too!

Both scenarios are fascinating to me... "A Pure Heart in an Impure World" or "An Impure Heart in a Pure World". I'm interested in people remaining pure despite being surrounded by utter filth - maybe even being drowned in it - but I'm also interested in people somehow turning out to be impure despite having a very pure environment. Absolute good and absolute evil... I want stories that explore whether or not these things actually exist, by nature, instead of nurture.

Thanks in advance!

Post #460706
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the mu...

2:50 pm, Apr 11 2011
Posts: 1049

kind of like the movie "Life is Beautiful"... right?... on second thought i guess not

Post #460709

3:13 pm, Apr 11 2011
Posts: 7

Ii Hito by Takahashi Shin immediately comes to mind.

Post #460711
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3:29 pm, Apr 11 2011
Posts: 570

A Pure Heart in an Impure World?
Tetsudou In, Love Letter - Prostitute's love for a man whom she never met.
Kiichi!!- Havent finished reading this though.
Deep Love - Ayu no Monogatari- Pretty obvious.
Mother Sarah
Hokuto no ken

I also recommend you watching White Orleander
The protagonist must have NO positive support/influence in their lives, or, at most, maybe only one positive influence. They must otherwise be surrounded by the worst humanity has to offer, and still somehow turn out to be among the best humanity has to offer.

Not as extreme as this but it's a story about a girl whose life changed after her mother was imprisoned and she had to move to different foster homes.

Paul Rusesabagina from Hotel Rwanda

The three aboriginal girls from Rabbit proof Fench..

Chrispina and Rose from Magdalene Sisters

City of Life and Death shows the events through the eyes of different people, including a Chinese soldier, a young Japanese soldier and ordinary citizens.

Vigilante Harry Brown from Harry Brown!!

Last edited by Brucie_kun at 3:37 pm, Apr 11

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Post #460751
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8:16 pm, Apr 11 2011
Posts: 1439

A Pure Heart in an Impure World

Not Simple -- It's so beautifully told (I mean, it's ONO Natsume), you'll be touched I know it!!! Seriously... who knew 1 volume could be so awesome!! eyes

Wendy -- well... it's a bit gritty... more like a troubled heart thrown into a chaotic world of corruption. It's a fantasy... A nice change from the usual fluff that I read. bigrazz

Post #460758
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8:57 pm, Apr 11 2011
Posts: 377

Pumpkin Scissors(pure heart - impure world) oh god this is soo fitting im proud of myself to have thought of that eyes
sadly, I can't think of anything else not already mentioned...

Post #460769

10:22 pm, Apr 11 2011
Posts: 272

shamo the set off for the story is sort of like the "vice-versa" you mentioned,then it turns between all the crazy shit the protagonist pulls it's hard to figure out that he doesn't lose his "humanity"

berserk? maybe the protagonist hass too much "positive support" for your principle it should fit..

ichi the killer I havent't read much until now.a "good person"(sort of) in a bad environment is killing people.can't say whether it fits more or rather less.

hope,faith and moral....I can't remember whether they play a big role.the caracters are phsychologically deep at least

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Post #460842
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3:18 am, Apr 12 2011
Posts: 420

Well, I'm not too sure how well this fits, and its not the main character, I forgot her name... So...

Super Pure Girl X from Sayonara zetsubou sensei

I think it fits because, although it's not a super-impure world, it certainly isn't healthy being surrounded by so many weirdies (although it could be a good experience for some excessively closed-minded people...) but she still maintains her purity.

Post #460867

4:48 am, Apr 12 2011
Posts: 78

Deadman Wonderland maybe?

Post #460876
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5:28 am, Apr 12 2011
Posts: 322

Rather than Deep Love - Ayu no Monogatari, I think Deep Love - Reina no Unmei or Deep Love - Pao no Monogatari are perhaps better examples. However, they're both sequels, so you might as well read Ayu first.

Battle Royale -- okay, so he hasn't been living in darkness his whole life, but some pretty gruesome stuff happens and he remains annoyingly optimistic and moral.

Ciel -- for January (the character, not the month).

Yellow Heart -- kind of. It's about a prostitute in love and she's a pretty nice girl, though it's not exactly what you're looking for.

Post #460888
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6:50 am, Apr 12 2011
Posts: 185

Bad Environment, Good Seed
I couldn't find absolute good, but i remember finding some characters that manage to have good points and strive for better lives despite having terrible lives.

Tekkon Kinkreet - This kids grew up homeless in the slums. This might not be exactly what you're looking for, since they do steal/mug to survive. Kuro's dedication to Shiro, who is mentally handicapped, is admirable. They still find time to have fun and be kids, which is amazing. No extreme goals or accomplishments, they are just kids after all.

Shikeisyu 042 - About a death row inmate who is released into the outside world. He did kill people, though the details are unclear. His life appeared to be living hell before being incarcerated. He was abducted at a young age, and then found several years later, bloody, on a train. Very innocent and childlike, though, upon being released. His goals are modest; he wants to live the life he wasn't able to and survive one day at a time.

Might not be what you're looking for (but has some components):
Heren Esp - It really is a single traumatic experience, but she was in a terrible accident where her family died and she was left deaf, mute, and blind. She's still very cheery and innocent. She is eager to help when she can and discover new things.

Piano no Mori - Might not quite be what you're looking for. About two child pianists. One was raised on piano in an extremely privileged family. The other is a prodigal son of a prostitute who plays a piano in the forest. I wasn't sure if this would fit since the prostitute's son does not only experience bad things; he is loved by his mother (although she cannot always protect him) and has a teacher motivated to make him succeed.

Vinland Saga - Might not be what you're looking for, because character evolution is very slow, and he definitely is no saint in the beginning. About a child who follows a viking leader who murdered his father. Throughout the years, he too becomes a heartless murderer and suffers terribly while pursuing his revenge. Even at his most despicable, he seems very childlike.
Spoiler (highlight to view)
Recently, he realizes how many people he's killed and resolves to strive for peace instead of violence. The epiphany is done very tastefully, and the mangaka really makes you feel for this character. Assuming it follows the legend, he will become a monumental person

Good Environment, Bad Seed

God's Child : Fits great. Warning: pretty disturbing (do not confuse with godchild). About a sociopath who, despite being brought up by very normal and sweet parents, is extremely twisted. His abnormality is independent of his environment. ** Fits very well.

Monster : The twins did not have a great upbringing very early in life, but their lives after being adopted were pretty nice, and people were very caring. Though their lives were not free of darkness, the manga brings up an interesting point. Two twins who both suffered turned out very differently.

Ludwig Kakumei : Privileged aristocrat who is a necrophiliac with a penchant for collecting female corpses. Stylized gothic manga, so might not have the depth you're looking for.

>.< It's pretty hard to find a well done manga where the main character goes through a lot of trauma and comes out unscathed.

Last edited by faraway at 7:22 am, Apr 12

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Post #461361
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5:52 am, Apr 14 2011
Posts: 110

Liar Game perhaps?
The protagonist, Nao may seem naiive and a bit of an idiot at first, but what sets her apart from the other players of the game is her intentions. >.< Don't want to spoil too much

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Post #461368
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6:46 am, Apr 14 2011
Posts: 1037

Angel Densetsu, hm?

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