In some anime series, the main character is so perfect and ridiculously overpowered that he attracts companions (usually a harem) with zero effort. However, that is not the case in every series. Sometimes it is more interesting to see the main character that is practically useless (or at least hiding his power) surrounded by companions that are skilled. It is a very small and specific genre of anime, but if that is what you are looking for, that is what we have curated here.
The Rising of the Shield Hero
Unlike Captain America has taught us, a shield is not a very good weapon for fighting. With very low offensive power, Naofumi must depend on his companions to attack. While his defense is superior and he is far form useless, without his companions, Naofumi wouldn’t have gotten very far at all.
Princess Connect: Re:Dive
In this series, the main character has very little impact on anything around him. His passivity is played for comedy, but it is shown he has some power to support those around him. His companions are both inept and incredibly overpowered in their own unique ways, which is a refreshing change for the fantasy genre overall.
Bofuri: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, So I’ll Max Out My Defense
Similar to the Rising of the Shield Hero, but self-inflicted, Bofuri is about the aimless wanderings of Maple who put all her points into defense. She is unbeatable, but also won’t be beating anyone. She depends on luck and others to win since she can’t really do much damage herself.
Yukiteru is perhaps the definition of a useless protagonist. He grows a pair much later into the series, but even then, Yuno is still the problem solver. Even if Yuno isn’t solving his problems through unexpected and sometimes unwelcomed violence, his other friends are solving them due to Yuki’s inaction.
Do You Like Your Mom?
The whole “joke” of the series is that the guy is excited to start his virtual MMO life, but has to do so with his mother who is also much more overpowered than him. He never has a chance to bloom into a useful main character with his own impressed harem because his mother constantly outshines him.
Neon Genesis Evangelion
This is played with a bit in NGE. Part of Shinji’s anxiety comes from his feelings of uselessness and inferiority, thus making him useless. You see him be a badass at a few small points, but for the majority of things, it is Asuka and Rei that do a lot of carrying because Shinji is having one existential crisis or another.
Yona of the Dawn
Yona’s whole journey surrounds her realizing how ignorant of the world she was in the palace and growing into a potential leadership role. She’s not a great fighter or a great leader at first, but her companions are. They guide her growth, defend her person, and make for a handsome man harem.
When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace
This series is about school children who manifest super powers suddenly. The main character is pretty impressed with his ability to make black fire, right up until he sees the powers of his peers are vastly more useful. As there are no battles to fight with these powers, much of the show is comedy, though.
While the main character is one of the more useful characters in the show, he is made out initially to seem insignificant. Hope’ Peek gathers the best of the best in a specific area. The best martial artist. The best baseball player. The best detective. By comparison, Naegi, having the best luck, should not be that useful.
Baka and Test
While the main character in Baka and Test plays his extreme stupidity and weakness to his advantage at times, he is what he is. Much of the time, it is his other classmates that are dominating the battles in this series. The main character is mostly there for the laughs.
Do you have any other anime recommendations where the main character is the weak one compared to his peers? Let fans know in the comments section below.