Well I've been bored lately and I feel most anime this year has been quite lackluster, so I thought I'd discuss one my favorite characters from one of my favorite series that's on hiatus(hopefully not forever) and what I think make him special.
To give a little bit of story about World Trigger, the earth suffers periodic invasions from being of another dimension called Neighbors and Border was established to combat this threat. Mikumo wishes to become a border agent in order to rescue his friend/mentor who was kidnapped, pretty simple. In order to be accepted in for the operation however Mikumo must compete alongside his team in the Rank Wars. Mikumo doesn't seem much different than you typical shonen protagonist in that he's kind, friendly, and has the can do attitude of all shonen protagonist, but what separates Osamu from other protagonists is how slow his growth is and I don't mean that in a bad way.
Typically in anime/shonen main protagonists is introduced as an underdog, but it's typically not long before they're climbing above everyone else i.e. Midoriya goes from having no powers to being one the most powerful rookies there is and taking out villains in a relatively short amount of manga chapters to say for example. I don't think there's anything wrong with liking this, but on a personal level I feel that it makes their climb much less interesting and once a character has achieved that point I lose interest in them going forward.
It's made clear to us the viewer how unexceptional of a combatant Mikumo is as he should be. Other border agents are not only more talented, but more experienced as well it doesn't make sense for an upstart like Mikumo to be a match for everyone. To me this makes Mikumo's growth feel much real, he truly seems like just a relatively average guy, he's not some guy born with demon that gives him unbelievable strength. This isn't to say Mikumo isn't useful however, he makes up for what he lacks in combat ability in well thought out tactics which I think makes the series most interesting which brings me to my next point.
Mikumo is smart, not a genius. Traditionally when anime tries to portay a character as being smart it's to near omniscient levels of genius where characters have accounted for things they could not have realistically known about as their opponents are crippled by their sheer intelligence. Mikumo is not that guy either. It's not he's able to process information 1000 times faster than anyone else or something like that he just carefully researches his opposition figures out the way best to engage which may sometimes result in failure despite how well the plan was. Seeing what plan Osamu has comes up with and how he intends to work against his myriad of disadvantages is the funner part of the series for me personally. I'm sure everyone loves seeing Kuga kick ass and Chika shoot her gun, but it's Osamu's intellect I find most interesting.
All these things goes towards making a character feels at the very least a bit more real and believable than what we traditionally see. Osamu is not a superhuman in fact you may even say there's nothing special about him at all, and that's what makes him: