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Asuna: Where am I?
If a character is shown in a Metaphysical Place -- Another Dimension, another plane of existence, inside one's mind, etc. -- there's a good chance that he or she will be completely nude, to emphasise that this location is outside the bounds of the physical world.
Frequently seen in sequences involving Journey to the Center of the Mind or soul-viewing as symbolic of the "naked" truth and/or vulnerability, or just the fact that you can't take anything with you, clothing included. Also commonly implemented with a Fetal Position Rebirth.
Anime & Manga
- Pops up often in Sailor Moon, even remaining in the dub. Like in the transformation sequences, however, nothing explicit is observable. It is particularly relevant at the very end of the final episode of Stars; Sailor Moon spends the last episode completely naked and with wings on her back.
- Seen in Martian Successor Nadesico when Yukina falls unconscious, and for absolutely no reason, we briefly see her naked and curled up in the Fetal Position Rebirth in her own mind.
- The scenes in Melfina's cyberspace-ish place in Outlaw Star are at least a partial case; the Intimate Healing scene with Gene probably clinches it.
- Played with in the last episode of Scrapped Princess, where Pacifica, just back from being dead, coalesces naked in the arms of her (fully clothed) older brother. After an awkward moment, she punches him and gets out of his arms and onto whatever passes for the ground in that place, loudly accusing him of being a pervert.
- In the final stage of Goku's transformation to SS 3 in Dragonball Z, we briefly go into his mind. Of course, the fetal position is used for... young Goku?
- There was one way before that on Planet Namek. During his fight with Freeza, Goku has a visualization of Vegeta... who is completely naked for some inexplicable reason. This comes off seeming really strange because both Bardock and King Vegeta also show up in it, but they are fully clothed.
- Dragon Ball Abridged, naturally, mocks this relentlessly. It turns out that at the time Vegeta died, King Yemma was being a troll and ordering the newly-deceased to strip upon entering the afterlife.
- In Digimon Tamers, the kids are naked when they merge with their Digimon, and this surprisingly stayed in the dub.
- This was taken a step further in Digimon Frontier where the nudity occurs in every single spirit evolution, complete with animations of their clothes appearing to be burned off. Not only that, but in the final form of Susanoomon, all five kids are shown standing around naked in a circle, holding hands.
- A few instances were edited, though. The first Susanoomon evolution included a shot of both Takuya and Kouji doing the "clothes burning" thing and their respective Digi-Spirits tossed around them. This short part of the sequence was removed from the dub, possibly due to the implied Ho Yay from the two... fusing.
- The first-season episode "No Questions, Please" seems to actively defy this trope when Vademon deprives Izzy of his inquisitive nature, and it's not long before he convinces him to ditch practically everything... that is, except his clothes, of course. "Of course."
- Berserk does this a few times in dreams and flashbacks. One in particular shows a young Guts and his stepfather figure, who for some reason is sitting naked on his throne with a skeletal dog.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion
- Note that strangely enough, this happens a lot to Shinji (and to the women in his fantasies) and a few times to Rei but not to Asuka, even when she gets Mind Raped (except in the director's cut version, where she does show up sans clothes).
- We also have Giant Naked Rei and Giant Naked Kaoru in The Movie. And lots of naked dead (?) people in the conceptual LCL space from nowhere. Hey, at least Gendô was fully clothed!
- When Ichigo merges with the cat in the first episode of Tokyo Mew Mew.
- Mahou Sensei Negima: The dream spell, which works via a naked astral projection inside someone's mind. Asuna is not happy about it.
- Fushigi Yuugi
- The last episode has Miaka and Tamahome hugging naked on the Astral Plane.
- When Yui is absorbed into Seiryuu she is seen completely naked and in a fetal position.
- Also, in the 3rd OVA, Mayo and Miaka go to a Metaphysical Place of some sort to recite the summoning incantation to call Suzaku, and both are nude while doing so.
- Kaname in Full Metal Panic when she's plugged into the submarine and doing her Whispered thing.
- In Fullmetal Alchemist, Alphonse's real body is left naked, ragged and restless in the endless white void of "The Truth" after the botched human transmutation at the start of the series. Edward even gets to briefly see him when he transmutes his way out from Gluttony's stomach and into Father's lair. Also, both Ed and Pride appear naked in chapter 105/episode 61 when Ed transmutes himself to destroy Pride's container.
- In the 2003 anime version, this happens when we see a character at the Gate of Truth, though it isn't exactly consistent: Wrath, Izumi, and Alphonse are naked when they're seen at the Gate, but Envy and Edward (much to the fangirls' disappointment) are fully clothed.
- The fact that in The Movie, Wrath is welcomed to the gate by a naked Izumi in a particularly Oedipal scene in this already Oedipal show was spoofed by a Fan Art in which Envy is welcomed by a naked Hohenheim and exclaims, "Is this some kind of sick joke!?" Adding a link here would be welcomed.
- Seen in Narutaru during the occasional peeks into Shiina's psyche.
- Used several times throughout Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha. Examples include Hayate in the Book of Darkness after she became its master, and Caro during her flashback sequence.
- Getting Mind Raped in Code Geass sends you to a very unhappy place, sans clothes.
- Lain is curled up naked among cables in the ending credits of Serial Experiments Lain.
- In the Gankutsuou manga, Edmond visualizes himself as naked when he is going mad in prison.
- This happens a few times to Nadia in Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water.
- And to Chise at the end of Saikano.
- In Princess Tutu, Fakir and Mytho have nightmares (or possible flashbacks to prior lives) in which they're naked. Fakir also later has a trippy scene in which he communicates with a tree in a sort of spirit world -- he starts off clothed, then becomes naked later on as he starts to accept the spirit's message.
- Chrono Crusade
- The first time Rosette "dives" into a soul, she's depicted as being in a naked "soul" form. Oddly enough, her soul is shown as clothed the next time she does it in the manga.
- Also, in one scene Chrono is shown in a nightmare as being naked in his true form, reaching out a hand as an equally-naked Aion beckons him closer.
- And then there's yet another dream, this time of Rosette's, where she's shown naked in Chrono's arms as he bends forward to sink his fangs into her neck to seal the contract. Moriyama seems to really like this trope.
- In Prétear episode 12, Mawata is trapped inside the huge evil tree Fenrir created (basically, she is inside her own hatred and despair), separated from the outside world; she is shown naked and curled up in the fetal position when Himeno is trying to get inside the tree and rescue her.
- While being Mind Raped in one arc of Yami no Matsuei, Tsuzuki is shown naked. Usually the sight of the very attractive Tsuzuki showing off his muscles would be Fan Service, but the context and his screams quickly turn it into Fan Disservice.
- In the Grand Finale of Macross Frontier, at the end of Alto and Brera's final attack run on Grace, Sheryl and Ranka's song reaches a crescendo where, via their superdimensional Power of Rock, they project themselves into Alto's mind. Their clothes disintegrate, ending up with them standing naked, back-to-back, to guide his finishing shot.
- Interestingly, when Hakufu ends up in a place like this during her Journey to the Center of the Mind in episode 11 of Ikki Tousen Dragon Destiny she's naked except for a pair of panties. Kan'u's experience earlier in the series plays this trope straight, however.
- Happens (at least) once in Kiddy Grade, in a later episode when Lumière uses her Ability to counteract the D-command used on Éclair.
- A rather unusual case occurs in The Movie of Ah! My Goddess. Belldandy... consoling, then hugging a younger version of herself. Also naked. In waist-deep water for good measure. Belldandy's probably the only person (or at least one of a small pool) who could actually get away with this.
- Semi-hallucinatory naked people floating in space are a staple in pretty much all Gundam series.
- Lately used when Mobile Suit Gundam 00 goes Trans-Am.
- The really offensive example are Gundam Seed and Gundam Seed Destiny, where naked people are shown unnecessary too often during emotional scenes. The classic UC timeline (one word: Newtypes) has some, but not so much.
- You can now include Gundam Unicorn in the list.
- The weapon characters from Soul Eater are shown this way while transformed. It's also occasionally used for being inside souls. Notably, Soul is at first shown fully clothed in weapon form, but starts being depicted nude after he is scarred.
- Mai-Otome has Arika meet her Mother this way, After she is forced to destroy her Mother's body to depower the Valkyries
- An interesting variant takes place in the manga for Aoi Shiro, when Yasumi Aizawa is revealed to be the ghost haunting the resort. She can have an out of body experience, sending her soul out of her body. She is not experienced enough, however, to have clothing appear with her. She had to have this pointed out by one of her teammates in the kendo club wondering why she was naked.
- Tenchi Muyo!
- Takes place when Kagato is trying to pry the secret of Tsunami out of Ayeka's mind.
- As well, there are a few instances of this in the two Tenchi Muyo manga series, including a scene where a childhood friend of Tenchi's is revealed to be a spirit while her body is dying elsewhere and a scene where an old rival of Washu's invites Sasami to watch Washu in a contest. When they arrive, they're both naked, which takes poor Sasami by surprise.
- Elfen Lied has a few instances of this where a young Lucy starts to feel the effects of the relentless abuse she is subjected to by those around her.
- Space Runaway Ideon': Be Invoked does this to everyone in its Kill'Em All ending.
- Kamichama Karin uses this for the Transformation Sequences (natch), but only the Stock Footage ones.
- Infinite Stratos does this with Ichika and Houki. This by itself wouldn't be so bad, unless you watched Gundam Unicorn, and can draw parallels to Ichika and Banagher.
- Puella Magi Madoka Magica gives us a scene where Homura and Madoka are naked while embracing, when the two of them say goodbye on a plane outside reality, just before Madoka becomes a goddess-like personification of Hope because of her wish to save all Magical Girls from becoming witches. On TV, everything from the shoulders down was censored by starry blackish-purple space clouds. On the Blu-Ray edition, they're just straight-up nude.
- This is how Kei meets her dead older sister's Opposite Sex Clone Go in Getter Robo Armaggedon. Once this is over, Kei returns to the Getter-2 and goes into a Full-Frontal Assault against the enemy.
- In Space Adventure Cobra, the sisters Jane and Catherine Royal are seen together, naked in a void, as they are dying.
- In the final volume of the Sorcerer Hunters manga, Tira sacrifices her life for Carrot. The next chapter begins with her floating naked on the astral plane, thinking of how she would have liked to hear Carrot say he loved her before she died. After a few pages, Carrot appears in said plane as naked as her, tells her he loves her, and they embrace.
- This also happens earlier, in volume 7 when Gateau dies during the battle with Sacher and his brainwashed sister Eclair. Because he's one of four gods meant to keep the demon god inside of Carrot in check, Carrot begins to degenerate, causing Marron, Tira, and Chocolat to channel their own gods to save him. All three are naked during this scene.
- Yorrick's vision in Y the Last Man: Safeword.
- In Iron Man, when Tony Stark is in his armor, sometimes they will draw a panel with Tony sitting in his underwear talking to a myriad of computer screens. This is taken to mean that he is deep in conversation with his armor's A.I., and letting the armor do the flying.
- In X-Men, when people use telepathy to travel the astral plane, they are just outlines of their bodies unless they actively think of making some clothes (usually armor).
- An issue of New Mutants, in which Dani Moonstar and Professor X go into the astral plane together, adds a couple of details to this. First, the characters don't perceive themselves or one another as the ghostly outlines, but rather as normally-colored and textured versions of their physical bodies. Second, astral bodies are idealized versions of their physical bodies. Dani is shocked to see that the naked Xavier is a lot hotter than she expected, then notices that the same thing is true of herself. (And as Dani was pretty hot to begin with, Xavier must have been very happy.)
- Averted with Doctor Strange and other magicians, whose astral bodies are always fully clothed (unless they choose otherwise).
- Lampshaded and Justified in Witchblade. When Sara is on a Vision Quest to see the origin of the Witchblade, she looks down annoyed and asks where her clothes went. When she wakes up, she's still naked. The guy overseeing the vision explains that the Witchblade wrapped her in a cocoon during the vision.
- Prez experiences this in one of the last arcs of The Sandman.
- This happens to people who die in Chick Tracts.
- He does keep his pants, but when Luke Skywalker has an intense fever dream in Marvel Star Wars, he's inexplicably shirtless, even though his body in the medical ward is fully clothed.
- The title character of the British newspaper strip Garth would sometimes go on psychic journeys naked except for a very prominent set of briefs.
- Used in the last Harry Potter book, although Harry's first act after becoming conscious is getting some clothes on. Averted in the film version, in which he loses his jacket and glasses, but keeps the rest of his clothes.
- Loosely implied in Left Behind, as clothes don't get raptured, although Revelations distributes some robes.
- In the Maurice Sendak picture book, In the Night Kitchen, the main character, in a dream, "fell through the dark, out of his clothes." Interestingly, everything is completely uncensored, causing what is in all other regards a fun, innocent children's book to regularly make "top banned book" lists.
- For reasons that are left unexplained, traveling into the underworld in the Sword of Truth series needs to be done naked. Richard, at least, is somewhat exasperated by this fact, at one point asking something to the tune of, "Look is this really necessary?" Other characters are either amused or enjoying the opportunity.
Live Action TV
- In Farscape, the Delvian telepathic experience of Unity is almost always depicted with the two characters involved being completely naked. The only exception is in "Season of Death" when Zhaan enters mostlydead!Aeryn's mind to bring her back to life and she's still strapped into her ejection seat.
- Andromeda also has at least one example, in "Star Crossed" when Rommie and Gabriel interface. In the computer world, the avatars are naked. Then again, they are having computer sex. Rommie is always clothed when interfaced with Harper, who is also clothed.
- In one season 3 episode of Babylon 5, a stressed-out Susan Ivanova has a nightmare of walking into the Command & Control room in the nude, not realizing the fact until she's exposed herself to everyone in the room. Later, after waking up, the nightmare is compounded. She talks about having nightmares to John Sheridan, and he points out it could be worse: she could be dreaming of going to work naked.
- Xena: Warrior Princess musical episode: Gabrielle is transported naked to Illusia (pune on illusion) and Joxer uses Illusia magic to make her a dress of flowers.
- This is seemingly the default in both White Wolf Werewolf games. When a werewolf physically enters the spirit world, they pretty much bring themselves and nothing else. This is another reason why the Rite of Dedication is useful, as it allows a werewolf's clothes to be interpreted as part of their "spiritual identity."
- In the Japanese version of Earthbound, Ness is naked in Magicant. This was unsurprisingly removed from the US version, in which he's simply pajama-clad. In any case, since this is an SNES game with 16-bit sprites, there's no objectionable detail to speak of.
- This occurs in Beneath a Steel Sky, an old adventure game. When you go into cyberspace, guess what?
- The ending of Xenogears fits this trope to a T. Ah, the more innocent time when Fei and Elly ran away naked in some conceptual space from nowhere... Note that Fei isn't naked when he is visiting his own mind, which probably means that there must be some female nudity involved for the creators to strip him!
- This trope can also apply to Sephiroth in the Promised Land in Final Fantasy VII.
- Interestingly enough completely avoided in Advent Children. When Cloud projects to the Promised Land he and Aerith are both fully clothed and standing back to back. The shot also never goes above the mouth. All this emphasizes that Cloud is either unwilling or unable to actually look at Aerith when doing this.
- In one of the Quests in The Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion, you have to wear a special amulet to enter someone's dream world. In keeping with this trope, all your items and equipment disappear when you enter, leaving your character in his/her underwear. The dreamer there is still somehow wearing his robe. Of course, once you're there, you can get into one of the drawers scattered around to get some clothes.
- Gene Catlow has this in the form of the Sight of the Soul, which shows everybody naked (though most of the characters get to keep their "fur coats"...), apparently symbolizing the fact that it's impossible to lie or conceal the truth using that form of communication. Your intentions, personality and secrets are essentially "naked" there. It even shows machines without their casings.
- Heavily lampshaded in Girly: When Winter ends up in a place like this, she immediately wonders why she's naked and where her naughty bits went.
- Nioi's visit to Ellen in El Goonish Shive.
- Happens fairly regularly in Dominic Deegan.
- In Misfile, the spiritual exchange between Kate and her dead sister (who was possessing her up to that point) has them both naked. It was a genuinely touching moment of redemption on both sides, and all we could think of was "boob squish!" Sigh.
- These strips near the climax of the "Ephemural" arc of Two Kinds. Trace's mind/soul looks really young in there, which is probably due to his amnesia...
- In LeveL, Cael spends the vast majority of the (ongoing) chapter five in this state, only it gets worse.
- YU+ME: dream -- "Stupid symbolic nudity!"
- Played straight and subverted in The Dragon Doctors; the spirit of Tanica, an assassin trapped in the form of a tree, is shown this way, but when we see many other spirits explicitly clothed, it becomes clear that Tanica's case simply shows off how vulnerable she feels.
- Something Positive portrays Hell like this, though apparently not Heaven.
- In Heartcore, Ame goes through this when being dominated by her father.
- Tiffany Winters in Eerie Cuties, during her little adventure as a ghost, in the Barbie Doll Anatomy way.
- Happens when using spiritual energy in Concession, (except to Joel, who wears a black cloak which is actually his sister Miranda). Barbie Doll Anatomy goes a step further than normal for (anthropomorphic) dolphins -- their legs also disappear.
- Orel's vision in the Moral Orel episode "Grounded". Of course, that's just the beginning...
Orel: I guess your clothes don't die with you. That's nice for them.
- The Venture Brothers
- Brock Samson's drug-induced Vision Quest.
- And Doctor Venture's psyche-searching session with Doctor Henry Killinger (and his Magic Murder Bag) leads to him being unclothed by the end.
- King of the Hill: At a sweat lodge vision quest, Bill sees himself riding a motorcycle naked, and flying headlong into a giant pie. He calmly intones "I know how I'm gonna die."
- In Adventure Time, the Ice King has one of these. Thankfully, his beard is inexplicably longer during that scene, protecting the audience from any... unpleasantness...