I've seen this across several different anime, although I don't have a specific example right now.

Typically the attack will be a barrage of projectiles and the defending character (e.g. the main protagonist) hasn't landed a hit yet or otherwise hasn't revealed how much of a threat he is yet. I understand the translated term "running away" is meant as a jeer against the protagonist. However, the protagonist is still engaged in active combat, and I would think "running away" means attempting to disengage. In this case the taunt has faulty logic. I understand taunting does not need logic, it is meant to strike a nerve and make the target more predictable.

Is it that tactical evasive maneuvers are considered cowardly and are disallowed in Bushido? I'm basing this guess off of an example in One Piece; When Zoro initially duels Hawkeye, gets struck and is about to lose, Zoro asserts that taking a step backward is equivalent to breaking his oaths and forfeiting his ambitions. This might not be the best example though since the characters, during combat, including Zoro, have no qualms against preserving their own life by dodging attacks, which is the context of this "running away" taunt.

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    "Stand and fight like a man!" [but if you're not doing that, that must mean you're too weak to do so] is more or less the implication, I imagine. I don't think there's any particularly Japanese cultural content to this taunt; one could easily imagine a medieval European knight saying something along the same lines to an opponent who, in a jousting match, decides to have his nimble horse evade oncoming lance blows rather than actually engage him in lance-to-lance combat.
    – senshin
    Mar 17, 2016 at 1:14

1 Answer 1


Many people will accuse someone of running away in a fight if they do a lot to evade being hit by their opponent. Generally in a fight one can tell wether an individual is actually "running away" or just trying to avoid getting hit. Someone who does not actually want to be in the fight or is scared will generally keep running away with out making an attempt to actually fight back.

In the case of One Piece we see a lot of characters dodge and evade but that reason is to just avoid damage. Luffy for example will dodge a lot of attacks but he will make every attempt to inflict as much damage as he can on his opponent. He will even fight back when he does no damage at all. (i.e. Magellan)

Dodging and evading is not considered cowardly most characters will just call it so becasue they are fustrated that they have missed their attacks and wish to goad their opponent so that they may stop all of their evasive maneuvers.

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