Having a catchphrase is something that feels like a cliché in modern fiction. However, in the right context, these lines can still pack as much impact as they traditionally have. A catchphrase often defines the personality of a character, and it builds a sense of reliable anticipation for the audience.
Knowing that Jotaro Kujo will end a fight with “Yare yare daze.” never gets old, even though fans of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure are always expecting it to happen. Many other anime characters have a similar kind of catchphrase that even becomes an iconic element of the anime itself. These phrases build hype, inspire, and create some of the most memorable moments.
10 “You Are Already Dead.” (Fist Of The North Star)
Kenshiro is a master of the Hokuto Shinken martial art style. It’s a combat style that revolves around attacking precise pressure points on the opponent’s body. Kenshiro would often attack his opponent’s vital regions and exclaim “You are already dead.”
Seconds later, those opponents’ bodies would burst from the inside, proving him correct. The mere idea of proclaiming victory before it happens is already cool enough for a shonen hero, but the iconic line delivery provided by voice actor Akira Kamiya turned this catchphrase into an iconic meme within the anime community.
9 “It’s Time To Duel!” (Yu-Gi-Oh!)
“It’s time to duel!” is a phrase that defined a generation of aspiring Yu-Gi-Oh! fans and card players. It’s used throughout the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime as Yugi Muto’s signature catchphrase before he begins a duel with his latest opponent.
It expresses his enthusiasm to take on the new challenge and his love of the duel monsters game. Its implementation in the English dub opening is legendary. fans of Yu-Gi-Oh! have carried forward Yugi Muto’s passion for duel monsters into the real-life trading card game ever since.
8 “I’m Gonna Become The Pirate King!” (One Piece)
Monkey D. Luffy’s ultimate goal is to become the pirate king. To do so, he’s journeyed together with the loveable Straw Hats and inched ever closer to finding the mythical One Piece. His catchphrase, “I’m going to become the pirate king!” has been his guiding light throughout this adventure.
Luffy says it often, and he never wavers on it no matter how many other rival pirates mock his ambitions. He even exclaims it at the end of every next episode preview, as if to remind himself and the fans about his convictions.
7 “This Is Exhilarating.” (Dr Stone)
Senku Ishigami is someone who knows no bounds when it comes to science. When he’s thrust into a primitive stone world in the future, he has to use all of his knowledge and skills to advance the scientific level of humanity back to where it once was.
Yet, rather than feel overwhelmed by the burden of this enormous task, he takes things one scientific step at a time. Then, with each new discovery, a step toward progress, or an exciting challenge, he claims: “This is exhilarating.”
6 “Go Beyond, Plus Ultra!” (My Hero Academy)
A motto represents what a school stands for and what it strives to be. UA High School prides itself on being the defacto school in Japan for raising aspiring young heroes, all of whom possess unique and powerful Quirks.
Its students take the motto “Go beyond, plus Ultra!” to heart as a motivational booster in their most dangerous moments. It’s such a powerful phrase for the heroes of UA that even former student Endeavor begrudgingly used it when unleashing his final attack on the monstrous High End.
5 “I Am The Bone Of My Sword.” (Fate/Stay Night)
Rin Tohsaka’s servant, Archer, has a far more complicated backstory than he lets on. Much like other servants, he was a figure of historical importance. But, unlike the others, his legacy comes from his future heroic deeds.
The phrase “I am the bone of my sword.” is spoken entirely in English, and it signifies the beginning of his lengthy incantation before summoning innumerable weapons to wreak havoc upon his enemy. It’s his ultimate attack, and the phrase has sent a chill down the spine of Fate/Stay Nightfans ever since.
4 “Dedicate Your Hearts!” (Attack On Titan)
Motivation is everything on Paradise Island. The Survey Corps was barely holding it together against the threat of the man-eating Titans clawing at their walls. Yet, the phrase “Dedicate your hearts!” was uttered by their commanding officers to help them push on.
It’s a phrase that signifies how they cannot afford to not give their all when it comes to protecting their land and people. When these words eventually become twisted by those who have extreme ideas about the future of Paradis, it takes on a different meaning entirely.
3 “El Psy Kongroo.” (Steins; Gate)
Self-proclaimed scientist Rintarou Okabe has a lovable colorful personality. The man is often seen acting in strange and quirky ways that serve to bring his wildest fantasies about the world to life. However, dangerous and even more unimaginable events really come to pass.
The cast of Steins; Gate replies upon his eccentric nature to stay hopeful and find a way forward. His signature catchphrase “El Psy Kongroo,” is reassurance that Okabe stays true to his ideals, and it provides a sense of relief that some things in life can stay the same.
2 “I Don’t Know Everything, I Just Know What I Know” (Monogatari)
Almost every character in monogamy has at least one catchphrase they regularly use. However, the strong writing of the monogamy series that these catchphrases all ensure deeper meanings that relate to their characters in satisfying ways.
Tsubasa Hanekawa is endlessly kind and someone who Koyomi Araragi will rely on in a time of need. Her intelligent and helpful nature hides the fact that she’s one of the most tortured characters in the story, with many expectations placed upon her. That’s perfectly encapsulated by her signature phrase, “I don’t know everything, I just know what I know.”
1 “Yare Yare Daze.” (Jojo’s Bizzare Adventure: Stardust Crusaders)
Everyone has their favorites when it comes to the Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure protagonists they love most, but there is a universal love for Jotaro Kujo in the yo-yos community. His bad boy attitude and stylish attire provide a nice contrast to when he lets out his raw emotions on his foes.
Nothing represents that better than when he emerges victorious against an opponent and just has to express his thoughts about what a pain it was. To do so, he caps off his battles with a smooth “Yare yare daze,” which translates most closely to “Good grief.”
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