Posted by: AceRailgun | February 13, 2012

That Anime Character #7 – Out of their league

This one is an interesting one I though about. Although it sounds similar to fish out of water it is actually a lot different.

The fish out of water is simply someone who has been thrown into a scenario they are not accustom to and forced to adapt but the character who is out of there league may well be comfortable in their setting but is simply surrounded by people who are incredible or very different in one way or another.


I’ll use Mayuri from Steins;Gate as the example of a character who is out of her league intellectually. She is surrounded by scientists and an elite computer hack and yet she fits in perfectly. I doubt she can have many intelligent conversations with the rest of the cast but she gets a free ride with the group simply because she is childhood friends with Okabe. I doubt if she approached the group at her current ages she would be able to form any kind of bond with them. It’s strange but the other characters don’t doubt her opinions when she has them. Maybe they keep her around because she reminds them what an average person is like.


For a strength example I’ll use two characters. Rakki from Claymore is the first. He tags along with a half demon to hunt demons who could easily kill him with there super human abilities in the blink of an eye. Somehow he manages to not draw attention to himself for the most part and gets away from most battles safely. When the enemy do notice him they simply toy with him because he is so weak. To add to his troubles he is the only child involed with the demons. After the time skip Rakki does step up his game a bit which is an interesting twist.


The second example is Sokka from Avatar the Last Airbender. That poor guy is so far out of his legue it’s not funny. He follows the most powerful person in the world into battle along with his sister who is a very talent water bender and can easily wipe out enemies. Sokka is armed with a boomerang and clueless motivation which does help him save the day on occasion but more often then not he is comic relief. In the second season another powerful character is added to the cast which puts Sokka to even greater shame as she is a blind child with more core strength then him.


I’m sure there is more characters that fit this trope but those were the ones I could think of off the top of my head.



  1. Interesting point there, Ace.

    It’s also nice that you put Sokka as an example even though the series is technically Westernized cartoon.

    • Thanks.

      Avatar The Last Airbender may have been created by western writers but it share similaries with anime so it feels wrong not to call it anime. Poor Sokka is so out of his league and I didn’t even get into the stuff that happens in the 3rd season.

      • Yeah, that’s unfortunate but you should probably finish the series before The Legend of Korra comes out.

      • Oh I knew I worded that wrong. I just meant to say I hadn’t even talked about how when Zuko joined he put Sokka to even more shame.

        I can’t wait for Korra. I might even blog about it.

      • Ah, I see. Lol.

  2. There are a lot of common character types in anime…

  3. Nice read here. I think another old example would be someone like Krillin or Tien from Dragonball Z yes? I am suggesting them because as the series progressed their power levels stayed the same and they were pretty much useless the entire series.

    • I’ve never watched much DragonBall Z but I do remember Krillin being rather weak. Since it is a fighting anime did it give those characters weaker opponents to battle or do they always just try and escape the battles when they start?

  4. <–join the imperial army! Tuturu! 😀

  5. That’s something I actually never thought about. But now that I actually think about it you’re completly right. There are characters that do not share similiar abilities and hobbies with the protagonist and the other characters and , most of them are there to simply put a smile on our faces and increase the protagonist’s morale.

    • I never really noticed until now that these characters seem to have a knack for building moral and motivation in the group or protagonist. Good spot.

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