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10 Anime Character Abilities That Aren't As Useful As They Seem

A limitless variety of superhuman abilities are the bedrock of most popular anime, especially those belonging to the shonen category. From alchemy to pyromancy, magic to music, psionics to strength, there are dozens of power types accessible to characters (depending on the genre, of course.)

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Unsurprisingly, there exist several abilities that might seem useful at first glance, but have no real lasting impact on the narrative — whether it's because they are grossly underpowered, exaggeratedly violent, or simply because they have far too many drawbacks to be consistently effective.

10 Armstrong's Strong Arm Alchemy — FMA: Brotherhood

In theory, Alex Louis Armstrong's alchemical technique is devastating; he employs his fists to punch materials into different shapes, usually arrow-shaped projectiles of stone and metal.

Excluding the lack of subtlety in his ability, the Strong Arm Alchemist miserably against his older sister, Major-General Olivier, who utterly shames Alex in a duel for their family home. Olivier doesn't even know how to invoke alchemy, nor does she need anything more than her trusty sword. Brute strength doesn't always win.

9 Melody's Musical Range — Hunter X Hunter

Melody calls herself a Music Hunter because her goal is to find the rarest sonata of all, a dark piece of music that curses anyone unfortunate enough to play or listen to it. She possesses incredible hearing, allowing her to spy on opponents from a great distance, as well as evaluate their emotional status through the cadence of their footsteps or their heartbeats.

Melody's skills are certainly helpful in certain contexts, but not in the broader framework of the narrative, which largely revolves around overpowered fighters. She's definitely a great friend to Kurapika, though.

8 Katsuki Bakugo's Explosion — My Hero Academia

Bakugo's Explosion, as he often declares, will make him the greatest hero of all time. Not only is this patently untrue, but his Quirk is so destructive that it can be tricky to wield.

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Further, Bakugo's temperament is directly proportional to the amount of energy he expends in battle. In other words, he tends to go overboard when pushed, forcing him to resort to reckless moves that end up failing him. Bakugo is a lot calmer now, but he has a long way to go.

7 Yasutora Sado's Brazo Izquierda Del Diablo — Bleach

Sado's series of Brazo-related techniques is later revealed to be part of his Fullbring, but his earlier versions aren't all that impressive. The Brazo Izquierda del Diablo magnifies the attack power in both his arms, and is capable of nullifying abilities like Gantenbainne Mosqueda's La Muerte.

Unfortunately, Bleach's Sado doesn't really have any decent fights to his name; he is mostly relegated to the sidelines when serious opponents emerge.

6 Hiei's Jaganshi — Yu Yu Hakusho

The iconic Jagan Eye possessed by Hiei allows him to read minds, observe events from a great distance, as well as manipulate opponents who aren't as strong as him. He also modifies his body using the ability, converting himself into a green-hued multi-eyed demon that augments his natural talents to a great degree.

Not enough, though, because Hiei never transforms into the Jaganshi after his initial fight with Yusuke, preferring the far more effective Dragon of the Darkness Flame.

5 Spike Spiegel's Martial Talents — Cowboy Bebop

Spike is an extremely adept fighter when it comes to unarmed combat, relying on his vast martial knowledge to exit brawls and scuffles without much damage. On the other hand, his proficiency with pistols is so high that it practically makes physical combat pointless.

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He is one of the finest sharpshooters in the series, if not shonen anime at large, and this makes a lot more sense in the context of the Cyberpunk solar system he lives in. It's not like Spike can dodge bullets (all the time).

4 Shota Aizawa's Erasure Quirk — My Hero Academia

Shota Aizawa, more commonly known as the Pro Hero Eraser Head, has one of the most powerful Quirks in the world. As long as he stares at his opponent unblinking, he can cancel out their Quirk. Aizawa employs Erasure to great effect, like when he keeps Tomura from Decay-ing an entire city and the people within, but there are far too many complications.

Erasure causes his eyes to dehydrate, which further increases the chances that he might blink in the middle of battle. It doesn't work on heteromorphic Quirks either, nor does it boost Aizawa's combat potential.

3 Captain-Commander Yamamoto's Zanka No Tachi — Bleach

The old man of Bleach hides some intense firepower under his sleeve, or, in his case, disguised as a walking stick. Yamamoto's zanpakuto creates a flame that is practically un-extinguishable by normal means, considering that Aizen himself couldn't extricate himself from the fire fortress he gets himself trapped in.

The bankai, Zanka no Tachi, is an incandescent ability that turns Yamamoto into an incalculable force of heat, but is so volatile that it can raze both the wielder and the world into ash if left unchecked.

2 Saitama Is Practically Omnipotent — One-Punch Man

Saitama is unique in terms of his omnipotence, but it also raises the question of how he managed to acquire them in the first place. Nevertheless, the man barely needs to touch his opponent gently in order to destroy them, no matter how durable they might be.

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Saitama considers his powers to be a burden because he doesn't get to exercise the full gamut of his abilities against anyone without converting them into a pile of mush. Most bizarrely, individual mosquitoes seem to be immune to Saitama (although this could be an extension of the show's parodic elements.)

1 Rui's Spider-Threads — Demon Slayer

Rui's spider-themed Blood Demon Art is fully capable of vanquishing inexperienced opponents like Tanjiro, despite the latter attacking him with the completely unpredictable Hinokami Kagura, or Dance of the Fire God.

It takes the likes of Giyu to show Tanjiro how weak Rui really is. Giyu's iconic Eleventh Form: Dead Calm tears the demon's Cutting Thread Rotation to shreds before decapitating him in a single fluid slash.

NEXT: 10 Strangest Anime Abilities That Are Surprisingly Useful

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