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"Next time, you're not allowed to stare at me like that with your back to the sunset."

A common usage in sports/competition shows, and occasionally parodied in other genres, the hero, team, or group in question will swear allegiance to fulfilling their dream while facing the setting sun (often while standing on a cliff or beach overlooking the ocean, but not always).

A Sub-Trope of Watching the Sunset.

See also: Cue the Sun and Riding Into the Sunset.

Examples of Against the Setting Sun include:

Anime & Manga

  • This trope is an Undead Horse Trope in Anime, due to its prevalence in the anime of 70s and 80s. Nowadays, it's more often parodied than played straight, unless it's Shounen sport anime.
  • The page image is from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.
  • Kodomo no Jikan's anime has this in the episode "Memories".
  • Used in an episode of Mai-Otome.
  • Also in Mai-HiME when Tate dies. In a slight twist, it's not Tate who is framed against the setting sun, its Mai's face as she desperately tries to tell him she loves him before he disappears
  • Parodied in the School Festival episode of Mahoraba, where the Symphony Club (all three of them) swear to become a true symphony instead of an appreciation club, despite lacking both the number of members necessary and the talents required.
  • In Macross 7, Basara sits on the roof and writes a song against the red setting sun—only the red setting sun is a fake projection against a humongous screen, designed to make the interstellar colony ship that's his home seem more Earth-like. In the song, he refers to a red sunset projected on a screen....
  • Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl opens with a How We Got Here classroom scene lit Against the Setting Sun that is repeated three times.
  • Parodied frequently by Rock Lee and Might Guy in Naruto, where an inspiring speech is enough to cause a beach to appear out of nowhere.
    • In fanfictions of this series the response of people seeing the moment is usually a combination of awe (because they can't break the genjutsu or... whatever it is) and sheer, unadulterated horror(they want to look away... but they can't).
  • The third episode of Ranma ½ ends with Kunou confessing his love to girl-type Ranma Against the Setting Sun.
    • In The Movie, Big Trouble in Nekonron, China, the cast address their resolve to rescue Akane from Kirin and the Seven Lucky Gods against an image of the setting sun with the word "youth" stamped on it.
    • In a story where Principal Kuno vows to teach Akane how to swim, she has all but given up (and has a mild neurotic breakdown) when Ranma, the Principal, and all her classmates encourage her to try again, with the setting sun framing them. She tries again. And fails.
  • Episode 11 of Eyeshield 21 is actually called "Oath Beneath the Setting Sun".
  • Parodied in Full Metal Panic: Fumoffu ("Let's run towards that setting sun!").
  • Clannad had Tomoya confess to Nagisa in the Theater Club's room with the setting sun's beams shining through the partially open door exactly between the two of them. D'AWW...
    • In the same vein, Shuffle had Rin confess to Asa at a lookout point above their town, with the kiss scene ensuing right there and then.
  • One Piece: Sogeking's personal introduction ends with him staring out from a cliff at the setting sun. Fitting, since the whole sequence was a massive parody of the opening sequences of Japanese hero shows.
  • In Gensomaden Saiyuki, the four heroes regularly pose on cliffs facing the setting sun, dwelling on their journey West and how nothing is going to stop them.
  • The Lucifer and Biscuit Hammer: At one point, Yuuhi affirms his absolute loyalty to Sami and ends with a resolute stare. Sami blushes heavily and forbids him from staring at her like that again with his back against the setting sun.
  • The final scene of episode 18 of Yes! Pretty Cure 5 GoGo had Syrup and Urara having a meaningful conversation Against the Setting Sun, and then he gave her an "air ticket" as a gift for her, in case she wants to ride him (not that way) to feel the wind on her face.
    • And all of that just held even more evidence that they were eventually going to become the Gamma Couple, with Nuts/Komachi as the Beta and Coco/Nozomi as the Alpha.
  • Ouran High School Host Club has a scene where Tamaki is carrying Haruhi out of the ocean after having saved her from drowning. There's a beautiful sunset behind him as he walks onto shore.
    • The last episode of the anime also has Tamaki and Haruhi falling from the bridge Against the Setting Sun toward the water below holding onto one another.
  • Mon Colle Knights' Show Within A Show sees this happen with Sergeant Bunchou and an ally, which later tops off a delusion by Count Collection where he sees Mondo against such a sunset, and believes it to be proof of his newly formed bond with Mondo, complete with hallucination of Mondo wearing the clothes of the sergeant. Mondo for his part is actually thinking about Rokuna.
  • The second episode of Venus Five briefly features a movie shoot with a man in Speedos (and director coaching him to do it more over the top) dramaticly cursing the setting sun.
  • Parodied at the end of the first episode of Brigadoon Marin and Melan. After Melan rescues Marin, they face each other against the sunset. He's worried about whether she was injured. She's just worried about whether he saw her patched underwear.
  • In Saint Beast, Judas and Luca repeatedly end promises or finish important conversations by staring off at the setting sun. Kouin Jojishi Tenshi Tan finishes with all six main characters deciding to rebel together before gazing at the sunset.



 "After all, tomorrow is another day!"


Live Action TV

  • Early in Angel, he made a speech reaffirming his commitment to protecting people while watching the sun set, and as it went down smashed the magical ring that made him invulnerable so he could see it.

Video Games

  • One level in Osu Tatakae Ouendan involves a teacher trying to inspire his female students—one segment has them going jogging, and if the segment is failed, the students pass the teacher on scooters, laughing at him, as he laments "The setting sun is crying!"
  • Soul Calibur had a stage set against the setting sun. It was awesome.
  • Crocodile Isle sinks away into the ocean against a setting sun.
  • Done in Suikoden V near the start of the game, as Lyon vows to protect the Prince no matter what as the two watch the sunset.
  • An iconic backdrop in the Rygar games. The first stage of the Play Station 2 version uses this as a homage to the original arcade game.