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How Utterly Overpowered Anime Protagonists Made Their Shows More Interesting

Updated June 14, 2019 80.4k views12 items

There are countless overpowered anime characters who are just ridiculously strong. Usually, they are enemy character driving the protagonist to grow stronger, or they exist solely for the sake of intense, over-the-top action. However, some OP characters serve to make their shows far more interesting. Whether smart, strong, or just plain invincible, these characters change the focus of the show. Instead of progressing a story about getting more and more powerful to defeat increasingly difficult antagonists, OP protagonists are used to highlight something more unique. 

Characters who are overpowered from the start get to avoid the tired plot progressions, which is one of the reasons why Dragon Ball Z sucks and why Bleach just falls flat on its face after the first few arcs. In shows with main characters who are already strong, fans get to see novel ways of solving problems, new ways of thinking about power, and a generally more intellectual or emotional story. 

By changing things up, OP protagonists break the monotony and stereotypes of other anime. Such characters make their shows fun to watch for fans who want to experience different types of stories and journeys. Check out the various overpowered protagonists below and read about how they bring something fresh to your anime repetoire. 

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  • Shigeo Kageyama From Mob Psycho 100

    Shigeo Kageyama From Mob Psycho 100
    Photo: Funimation

    Mob Pshycho 100's lead character, Shigeo Kageyama, is an extremely powerful psychic, but an otherwise dull middle school student. When faced with serious threats, he is often able to vanquish them without effort, and there's even more power that he's unwittingly repressing. The show successfully turns the focus of the story away from Kageyama's own power and instead focuses on his desire to lead a normal teenage life. His troubles come from the ways his powers and the threats that come with it hinder that aim. The fights he gets roped into rarely revolve around simply beating an opponent, and instead focus on his internal struggle of how he should handle the battle.

  • Vash The Stampede From Trigun
    Photo: Madhouse

    Trigun's main character, Vash the Stampede, is an incredibly gifted gunman with supernatural abilities. Compared to almost anyone he encounters, he's far more skilled and dangerous. The catch is he doesn't want to hurt anyone. He has been responsible for great destruction in the past and doesn't want to cause any more suffering. This leads to him finding all sorts of interesting ways to end fights without anyone getting hurt and struggling with enemies who try to force him into lethal combat.

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  • Manji From Blade Of The Immortal

    Blade of the Immortal's anti-hero protagonist, Manji, has been cursed with immortality and has to kill a thousand evil people before he can lift the curse. Being immortal gives him a serious edge, as he is often fighting enemies who are more skilled than him, but get caught off guard when their fatal attacks don't stay fatal. Cursing a protagonist with immortality shifts the focus of the anime away from Manji simply being OP and offers a look at what it means for someone to be unable to die and what the purpose of living is. 

  • Sora And Shiro From No Game No Life

    Sora and Shiro make up the online gaming duo known as "Blank" in No Game No Life. Shiro is young, but has genius-level logic that lets her solve problems easily. Sora, her older brother, is skilled at reading situations and people. Together, they are incredibly talented and they use this talent to play games. Eventually, they compete with a god named Tet in a game of chess, win, and are subsequently brought to an alternate reality centered around games. The show then focuses on the way the two characters solve problems in each of the games and rely on one another to succeed, rather than just showing how they beat everyone else.