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"The never-ending battle for truth, justice, and the American way."
A stock reason given in the opening/narration of a show. This is why the good guys in some shows (particularly Anime, Kaiju, and Toku) fight against evil. It's for justice, righteousness, or some other term that seems like a good reason to launch all your fighters or Humongous Mecha and beat the stuffings out of rubber suit monsters. Justice especially seems to apply to anything in relation to these series.
This seems like Concepts Are Cheap, but these shows can have fully developed plots. This is just mainly applied to the trailers, narration, and theme songs. Then again, most of the audience is here to watch giant monsters and robots fight, so why worry about deep motives?
Do NOT confuse with Justice Will Prevail, a more complicated topic to say the least.
Anime and Manga
- America in Axis Powers Hetalia:
America: Should we not fight in the name of justice?
- Light and L of Death Note shout "I AM JUSTICE!" and variations ("Justice will prevail", "I have become Justice," etc.)... and it is thoroughly deconstructed.
- The lyrics to the opening of GoLion, as well as dialog in its American localization, Voltron.
- Kazemakase Tsukikage Ran: Meow will fight anyone for this reason. She even calls herself 'The Beauty of Justice'
- The World Government Marines in One Piece have a bit of a thing for justice. Aside from having the characters for justice printed on captain-rank officer's coats, several prominent personnel tend to have their own take on the concept; Admiral Aokiji has "Lazy Justice," Admiral Akainu has "Absolute Justice," Rob Lucci has "Dark Justice," etc.
- In Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Mami's Leitmotif is "Credens Justitiam" (Believe In Justice). Sayaka also has this philosophy, but goes WAY too far with it.
- "Sailor Moon, guardian of love and justice!"
- Amelia in Slayers.
- Transformers: BURNING JUSTICE!!
- Used in the Omake episode of Wedding Peach, which was a Pastiche of Toku shows.
- The Adventures of Superman: The first quote is the modified form of the radio intro which was used on the first television series. It might have been the Trope Maker.
- Superman is actually a subversion of this though. He's mainly concerned with For Happiness, spending most of his time doing random acts of kindness like stopping floods, chasing off supervillains, and plucking kittens out of trees. He doesn't much care what supervillains do as long as they're not hurting anyone (or being Lex Luthor). Writers have him bandy the term "justice" around a lot, but crimefighters like Batman and The Flash are a lot more focused on criminal justice than Superman is.
- Judge Dredd. While he can often come across as an uncompromising jerk, people too often forget that the Judge really does embody the Lawful half of Lawful Neutral, and his primary motivation in doing so, is his conviction that his society will not survive without it.
- The much criticized Justice League: Cry For Justice has a lot of the characters saying that they "Want Justice!" despite the fact that they are really just out for revenge.
- In PS238, an elementary school for the children of superheroes (and villains), some of the superkids have gotten an odd habit:
Kid #1:"To the cafeteria!"
- While the X-men have a somewhat more original concept, and had some of the first Anti-Villains in American comics, the promos for the cartoons would talk about using mutant powers "for the benefit of mankind."
- In the opening scene of The Godfather, we see a very affected Amerigo Bonasera explain how, for justice, he must go to Don Corleone.
- In Star Wars, Obi-Wan described the Jedi as "the guardians of peace and justice." Of course, he was talking to a young-for-his-age twenty-ish rube with stars in his eyes.
- Don Quixote in a nutshell, especially in The Man From La Mancha.
- Maybe that is the motivation of Don Quixote in Man of La Mancha but certainly is not in the book: In the first part of the novel, Don Quixote is The Hedonist that only wants to live his dream of being an Knight Errant. In the second part his motivation evolves to For Happiness. He resumes his view of this trope in his advices to Sancho:
“Consider the guilty person who comes under your jurisdiction as a poor wretch, subject to the frailty of our depraved nature, and insofar as you can, without doing harm to the prosecution, show yourself to be pious and clement, because, although the attributes of God are equal, mercy flourishes and is more resplendent than justice."
- This is the driving force behind the Knights of the Cross in The Dresden Files. No matter what their background, the Knights are driven by the sole purpose of righting wrongs, fighting evil, and protecting the innocent. In a setting that at best runs on Grey and Gray Morality, they are unquestionably the Good Guys.
Live Action TV
- Angel. "We live as though the world is as it should be, in order to show it what it can be." Angel initially thinks that he does what he does, in order to gain redemption and avoid going to Hell; but he eventually realizes that he helps people simply because doing the right thing is an inherent part of his identity.
- Odo in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was motivated by what he described as an inborn need for justice. Law was a secondary thing. He used to theorize that a need for justice may have been an inborn trait of his unknown species...too bad it turned out not to be the case.
- Their natural tendency is only to enforce order and obedience. While Odo justifies the need for both with Justice (no pun intended), the rest of the species is only interested in domination (ostensibly to protect themselves from ever being victims again). Odo's experience working as chief of security under the Cardassians, witnessing the atrocities and the oppression of the innocent Bajorans, is implied to have taught him the value of Justice over pure order. He still takes the Lawful part of Lawful Good very seriously though (so long as the Law in question is itself "Good", like when he allowed several Cardassian dissidents to escape because their crimes did not warrant the death penalty they would have received otherwise).
- Tokusou Robo Janperson: "Janperson fights for justice!"
I am a real American
- Paladins in Dungeons and Dragons often have this creed.
- The first paragraph of the Exalted Core Rulebook states that the world is being gangbanged from all directions by the Deathlords, the Yozis, The Fair Folks, and other ultra-nasty beings. But the Solars (you) are returning, For Great Justice !!!111. The rest of the chapter is spent hammering into your head that it's your own Unconquered-Sun-damned fault that you were bumped in ages past, so now you have to prove that you're indeed doing it For Great Justice.
- As do the Tau Empire in Warhammer 40000, with their ubiquitous catchphrase, "For the Greater Good!" This has the effect of making newcomers to the series believe and latch onto the idea that the Tau are the "Good Guys", prompting others to mock them with the phrase "Good for the Good God!"
- The Tau were this in their original incarnation. At first, the Tau were a Mary Suetopia whose White morality clashed terribly with the setting's charcoal-grey-on-black-on-event-horizon-of-a-black-hole morality. Fan reaction was fairly negative. The Tau got a bit of character development and started doing things that would make them Scary Dogmatic Aliens in most settings, but by 40k's absurd Stealth Parody standards, the Tau are downright nice guys. The Tau may not be in it For Great Justice, but they're amongst the least evil. By now, the Tau have been accepted by most of the fandom. However, the fanbase is so broken and vocal that everything is hated by a good chunk of the fanbase.
- Probably the most common character trait found in hero profiles in JRPGs. It isn't unusual to find an entire team of characters with no similarities apart from having "a strong sense of justice."
- Although in Tales of Symphonia and its sequel it's subverted somewhat, in that Lloyd realizes it's a Meaningless Meaningful Word and doesn't resort to just calling it out as a motivator (and gets pissed if someone else does, particularly when used by Well Intentioned Extremists like the Big Bad for both games).
- And completely inverted in Star Ocean 3, when the in the gap between the penultimate and ultimate battle, the Big Bad Luther's world comes crashing around him and he goes rather mad. In a rather Narmy fashion, he screeches at the party that "RIGHTEOUSNESS SHALL PREVAIL!" before attacking.
- Ace Attorney series: In the Phoenix Wright trilogy, "For Great Justice" is actually the motto of the Steel Samurai.
- Baldur's Gate: "Stand back... FOR JUSTICE!"
- "Feel the backhand of JUSTICE!"
- Tsubaki gets in on this in Blaz Blue. She's a fan of historical dramas, and in the "Help Me, Professor Kokonoe!" segements, it's shown that it's the source for her battle quotes.
- Death Spank is a self-described Dispenser of Justice.
- Ma Chao of Dynasty Warriors ~ "I FIGHT IN THE NAME OF JUSTICE!"
- Freedom Force's Minuteman lives by this creed.
- Guild Wars actually has a skill called "For Great Justice!"
- League of Legends has a twist with Mordekaiser, a selectable champion who likes to say "For great TORMENT!"
- The end of Mega Man 1.
FIGHT MEGA MAN! FOR EVERLASTING PEACE!
- Metal Wolf Chaos: Believe in your own justice!
- A very, very twisted version in Planescape: Torment is Knight Templar Vhailor.
- "Space Ace, defender of truth, justice and the planet Earth! ...and his girlfriend, Kimberly."
- Justice is pretty much what the Suikoden series' Maximillian Knights are all about.
- Voltage Fighter Gowcaizer: "I AM THE JUSTICE, NOT YOU." "THE JUSTICE ALWAYS WINS. NEVER FORGET IT." "NOTHING WINS THE JUSTICE." "LET'S FIGHT TOGETHER FOR JUSTICE!" All courtesy of Brider, who can only be described as a bastard lovechild of Kamen Rider and Gundam, with the former's passion for fighting evil and defending justice dialed Up to Eleven.
- Named for one of the lines in Zero Wing, which also fits this trope.
- A dark, off-hand reference in Drowtales: "My blood will be spilled for great justice."
- Ten Winds, the Badass Grandpa in the comic Keychain of Creation, (which is set in the Role Playing Game Verse of Exalted,) has a habit of leaping in from off-panel to punch or kick an enemy with a triumphant cry of "JUSTICE!!"
- Miko from Order of the Stick uses this for most of her actions.
- Linkara's review of Justice League: Cry For Justice issues 3 and 4 has him beginning the review with the inevitable joke of, "So, let's review issues 3 and 4 of Justice League: Cry For Justice. For Great Justice."
- "Operation Enduring Freedom", the military response to the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, was initially planned to be named "Operation Infinite Justice".
- "No Justice, No Peace" an old rally cry for unfair trials etc.
- Tomonobu Itakagi, formerly of Tecmo (and Dead or Alive fame) used these words almost exactly in a lawsuit against the suits he used to work for.
- This is the basis of the ethical theories grouped under http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deontology