Post Reply Anime suggestions where MC has little power but lots of skill?
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Posted 8/3/16
Summary: Looking for suggestions on shonen anime where the hero has little or no power compared to those around them, but uses skill or brains to keep up with or surpass other characters.

Ok, I love Shonen. Something about training and getting stronger, and epic battles just hits that sweet spot for me. However, I am starting to grow tired of the same old trend; The main character has amazing natural potential or some ace ability that dwarfs everyone in sheer power. Ichigo, Naruto, Natsu, Tsuna, Gon, Luffy, etc etc. Half that battles they win are not due to skill but sheer, unmitigated power. While that's fun, its not as fun as watching someone take a little power and make it go a long way. I just finished My Hero Acedemia, and was super exited at first. Here was a kid with no powers planning to compete... until he got powers. Don't get me wrong, it was still fun, but I was a little let down. I once heard of an anime where the summary said there was a hero highschool or training place and a boy with no power beat a girl with immense power at the start, but I never looked into it and can't find it to watch it. Anyone know it and was it any good?

Other than that, any suggestions? I would really love to see a show where the main hero is still a badass, but because of his or her skill and brains, not their inner raging demon fire or awesome. The longer the better (12 episode anime are over right when I start to get into it) but I'm willing to try anything at this point.
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Posted 8/3/16
Mirai Nikki

It takes skill to be this useless.
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Posted 8/3/16
Rock, in Black Lagoon. Anti-hero.

Light Yagami, of Death Note. Well, not really a hero.

Lelouch Lamperouge, Code Geass. Anti-hero.

Dr. Kenzo Tenma, Monster.

Akane Tsunemore, Psycho-Pass. Becomes badass. Her co-star, Shinya Kogami, also counts.

The Major, Ghost in the Shell franchise. Her prosthetic body is good, but it's her skill and resources that get the job done.

Sakurako, Beautiful Bones. Currently only twelve episodes. Expecting another season.
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Posted 8/3/16
While I thank you for the suggestions, none of these really fit what I was looking for. Like I said, I really enjoy the battle shonen type of anime. Mysteries and thrillers are fun and I am writing some of these down for rainy days when I am in the mood for those kind of anime, but they not really what I'm looking for right now. Ghost in the shell is really good, but I always thought her body was just as good or better than most of he crazies she faced. Still, damn good anime.

Now it's possible it just doesn't exist, but what I'm looking for is something like Naruto or My Hero Acedemia. Colorful characters with colorful powers that make really fun matchups. However, the MC doesn't have a natural talent or unique super power that is over powered, and instead relies on skill/ brains to make up the difference. I suppose a really good example would be kenichi the mightiest disciple. He didn't have any real talent or natural power. Instead he kept up with the villains with sheer effort, skill, and brains. Not once did he win a fight by "his inner spirit rage spilling out and saving the day." or something like that. Fate stay Night was another good example, now that I think about it. The guy used a sub par ability (strengthening objects) to stand up to a lot of people that should have mowed over him.
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Posted 8/3/16
How about:

Hikaru no Go -- Hikaru gets "haunted" by the ghost of an ancient Go master embedded in a blood stain on a Go board in his grandfather's attic. Initially, he has no interest or understanding about the game, but plays to appease the ghost (Sai) at first simply by doing what he is told. Gains comrades and rivals (one in particular) and gradually comes to be passionate about the game.

Moribito -- Basically one woman warrior (mostly) alone against the forces of an entire country. She is skilled/intelligent but has no super powers. (A very young) Prince Chagum is accused, by those in power, of being possessed by an evil spirit. Court advisors declare he must be put to death by his own father's hand. His salvation is in the form of Balsa, a spear woman and mercenary from Kanbal, the kingdom across the mountains, who needs to atone for her past by saving (this last of) 8 lives.

Ongoing: The Heroic Legend of Arslan--The 14-year-old prince of Pars, lacks the leadership skills befitting a future king. But after his father falls victim to a treacherous plot, Arslan must embark on a journey to reclaim the kingdom and fulfill his destiny as ruler of Pars.
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Posted 8/3/16
No game no life - The main characters don't have any special powers, they just use their intelligence to beat their opponents.
Girls und Panzer - Tanks fights with nothing else but strategy.
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Posted 8/3/16
Baki The grappler trying to be strongest man in the world at 13


Kenchi-The strongest disciple

I like fighting anime but you train to get stronger
Posted 8/3/16 , edited 8/3/16
Only anime that comes to mind is World Trigger. Season 1 is 73 episodes long but theres 3 main characters. Mikumo is basically extremely weak but extremly smart to make up for it and leader of the group. He basically comes up with all the plans and battle srategies but gets hit taken out of battle easily though.

While the other 2 main characters yuma and chika are power houses and extremely op. Only thing is Chika really doesnt see much action. So yuma is the only OP/power house of the group and does all the major fighting.

Only thing no idea if you want to sit through 73 episodes so up to you lol.
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Ok, some of these sound really neat and will probably check them out, but I am noticing something here. From the sound of it, most of the anime suggested are set in worlds without crazy super powers or magic. It sounds like Moribito, The Heroic Legend of Arslan, Baki The grappler, No game no life, and Girls und Panzer have everyone on the same playing field where your skill is all that matters. For example, is Moribito going up against super powerful monsters/wizards where she is at an innate disadvantage, or is she going up against other warriors who also trained with weapons? Is Baki the Grappler full of people who have natural ability vs skill, or did they all work hard to get where they are? If they are all on the same playing field then the hero isn't really fighting against a natural disadvantage, they are just learning to be the best like everyone else.

Now, I could be wrong and I would be very excited to learn that I am! That would mean these anime are precisely what I'm looking for. World trigger sounds really interesting! I actually prefer longer anime so I can really binge on it
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Posted 8/3/16
There's one airing this season called Alderamin of the Sky.

wyrvan 
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Posted 8/3/16 , edited 8/3/16

Squee913 wrote:

Ok, some of these sound really neat and will probably check them out, but I am noticing something here. From the sound of it, most of the anime suggested are set in worlds without crazy super powers or magic. It sounds like Moribito, The Heroic Legend of Arslan, Baki The grappler, No game no life, and Girls und Panzer have everyone on the same playing field where your skill is all that matters. For example, is Moribito going up against super powerful monsters/wizards where she is at an innate disadvantage, or is she going up against other warriors who also trained with weapons? Is Baki the Grappler full of people who have natural ability vs skill, or did they all work hard to get where they are? If they are all on the same playing field then the hero isn't really fighting against a natural disadvantage, they are just learning to be the best like everyone else.

Now, I could be wrong and I would be very excited to learn that I am! That would mean these anime are precisely what I'm looking for. World trigger sounds really interesting! I actually prefer longer anime so I can really binge on it :)


No Game No Life is probably the closest to what you are looking for on that list. While the fantasy world in NGNL is structured around games it has a high amount of magic and superpowers with humanity at the bottom ranks with no magic whatsoever. The MCs have to play games preferred by their opponents (homefield advantage). Their opponents outmatch them physically by a ridiculous margin and, if that wasn't enough, use magic and superpowers to cheat. The MCs only have their intelligence to work with and have no margin for failure.
http://www.crunchyroll.com/no-game-no-life

Girls und Panzer starts with the MC being the only one on her team who has any training at all at the tank battles. They end up having to fight teams that are better trained, better equipped and outnumber them.
http://www.crunchyroll.com/girls-und-panzer

Here are a couple more shows to consider.

ALDNOAH.ZERO - MC has only his intelligence and an inferior training mech to fight against arrogant enemies with overpowered super robots.
http://www.crunchyroll.com/aldnoahzero

Rokka -Braves of the Six Flowers- Starts off as a Fantasy adventure show then turns into a locked room mystery. The MC has to use his wits to find who the enemy is before anyone is killed by mistake.
http://www.crunchyroll.com/rokka-braves-of-the-six-flowers-




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Posted 8/3/16
^Yes, Aldnoah.Zero has a mech pilot who uses his wits, and some epic battles. More of a space/war drama than a typical shonen.

Also check out Btooom!

For when you're in the mood for a thriller: Akagi. Intense! He has little power but immense skill.



Posted 8/3/16 , edited 8/3/16
I second Rokka -Braves of the Six Flowers- as well it's really good and follows the light novels extremely well.

Also forgot to include in my earlier post Mikumo does improve his fighting skills throughout the anime but still gets taken out easily though. Oh and the middle of the anime is a big all out battle and spands like 20 episodes. So might be a bit bored with that part but the show improves and gets a more faster pace toward the end of the season. Also it follows the manga extremely well like Rokka does with the light novels and why the anime is long and well a bit drawn out/slow in some parts.

Hopping season 2 comes out sometime soon for both Rokka -Braves of the Six Flowers- and World Trigger both are extremely good.
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Posted 8/11/16
Captain Harlock is pretty much the archetypal guy who gets by on skill and charisma instead of raw power.

Log Horizon also springs to mind. The main character is a support class but really his strength is his tactical and planning skills.

Konosuba for this taken to a humorous extreme. On paper the main character is the weakest person in the party. But through some luck and finesse he is usually the most valuable member of the party.

Similarly there is Is it Okay to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon where once again the hero lacks power. Skill is involved but the hero also seems to have the right heart.

Irregular at Magic Academy was this at first and I think it would have been a good premise to stick with but then they decided to keep adding powers to the main character.
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