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Sensor Character
Few examples are this literal.

In short, a character with a sixth sense that they can use to detect other characters. Telepaths reach out to look for the minds of other characters. Others might detect lifeforces or auras, or perhaps a specific type of phlebotinum. A more realistic version might be a character with enhanced hearing or sense of smell who can track others down. Depending on the setting, it might be the special skill of a single character or a basic secondary power anyone can use.

Compare Aura Vision and Third Eye. For the technological counterpart, see Everything Sensor. May be related to Enemy Scan. See also The Force Is Strong with This One

Examples

  • Bleach: It's a basic secondary ability of anyone who is spiritually aware to be able to sense the reiatsu of other spiritually aware/active beings. Depending on their level of exposure to the spirit world, however, will depend on how well they can interpret and react to it. Even characters who are said to be bad at reiatsu-control have no problem sensing the reiatsu of others unless anyone is actively working to suppress their reiatsu.
    • In the first filler arc, mod souls which could specifically sense the Bount were introduced.
  • Early on in Dragon Ball Z, the ability to sense ki/power levels without a scouter or other device was part of what separated the good guys from the bad guys. Vegeta was the only non-hero on Namek with the ability, having picked it up on Earth. As the series went on, more and more people were able to do it on their own.
  • Certain ninja in Naruto, actually called sensors, have the ability to detect the chakra of other ninja. This is also one of the innate abilities of ocular jutsu, namely the Sharingan and Byakugan.
    • It uh, should be noted sensors (but not the eye powers) were a minor ass pull as they were never mentioned before their introduction in the 2nd half even though they would seem pretty useful for finding say Sasuke
  • Claymore features several characters whose uncanny abilities at sensing the yoki (demonic energy) have led to them being mainly used for remote observation of other Claymores and yoma. Case in point: "God Eye" Galatea and "Tracker" Dietrich.
  • In Cyborg009, one of the nine cyborgs is a woman whose only special ability is super-senses at long range. The nine are intended to function as a unit, and her job is to detect incoming threats (though she does get a laser gun to defend herself with).
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, Xingese warriors like Lan Fan have the ability to detect the Qi of others. Lan Fan can detect the homunculi because of their twisted life energy.
  • Pretty much any telepathic mutant in X-Men (Prof. X, Jean Grey, Emma Frost...) can fill this role. On the same subject Wolverine's senses are so high tuned he can recognize and track people by individual scents -this ability also allows him to see through shape-shifter disguises.
  • The Marvel Universe character Rachel Summers was forced to use her psionic abilities to detect and hunt down mutants in a dystopic alternate future.
  • Dr. Kate McCrae from The Black Hole is so ESP sensitive that she can communicate telepathically with V.I.N.CENT, a robot! (Unless it's a case of They Just Didn't Care)
  • Deanna Troi in Star Trek: The Next Generation worked this way when she was well-written.
  • Persona 3: Mitsuru and later Fuuka, with their ablities to dectect Shadows crossing with Mission Control.
    • Persona 4: Teddie and later Rise. Rise's upgraded Persona provides the page image, for reference.
  • In Justice League, J'onn J'onzz often fulfills this role, thanks to his telepathic abilities.
  • Over the course of the first few The Wheel of Time books Perrin's connection to wolves grants him a sense of sight and smell on par with that of a wolf. He routinely notices people walking up behind him by catching their scent before they make a sound.
  • Wizards in The Black Company series can learn to be those. Actually, the company owes most of their victories to Boring but Practical applications of magic (as opposed to Stuff Blowing Up favoured by the villains )
  • In Darker Than Black, emotionless children known as 'Dolls' are used for remote scouting and searching. They're capable of sending their senses out through some medium - the exact medium varrying from Doll to Doll. The most common type - used en-masse by the antagonists - sees through powerlines and electrical appliances. Other types we've seen can see through any surface of water, or any surface of glass. Often, they work in concert with Contractors, spotting targets for them.
  • In The Dresden Files Harry can sense the presence of magic in others. He can even tell how skilled a user the other person is from minimal contact.
    • In-universe, Halloween is a very powerful time magically when all sorts of status quos can change. Naturally, a number of major showdowns happen then. In order to counteract this trope, one of the early Merlins (successor to the Merlin) invented Trick-or-Treating so that the immortals wouldn't know if they were about to try and snack on a squishy human or a not-so-squishy deity. Lulz presumably ensued.
  • All Force-sensitive individuals in Star Wars can sense the presence of other Jedi, Sith, etc., as well as powerful emotional outbursts from normal people.
  • Shamal of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha has this role in addition to being The Medic. Her ability to detect enemies is advanced enough that she could spot someone hidden from more conventional magical and technological sensors employed by The Federation. Other characters can also use spells like Area Search.
  • InuYasha: Youkai can sense the aura (jyaki) of other youkai. Spiritually capable humans such as monks and miko can also sense these auras. This also applies to humans who don't have spiritual abilities but who have been trained to deal with youkai, for example, professional youkai-exterminators such as Sango and Kohaku.
  • In the Twelve Houses series, Cammon can sense the presence of people nearby as a side effect of his Empath mystic powers.
  • Cole can sense the alien fugitives on Tracker.
  • Current or former hosts to Goa'uld symbiotes in Stargate SG-1 have the ability to detect Naqadah at close ranges due to having traces of it in their bloodstream. This means that after a brief stint as a host in season three Carter can usually tell if there's a disguised host somewhere in the area, even if she isn't sure who it is.
  • In the Ear, the Eye, and the Arm, the titular Ear, Eye, and Arm are mutant detectives with super sensing - hearing, vision, and some vague empathetic/psychic power (as well as really long limbs). The Ear and the Eye have to wear earmuffs and very dark sunglasses so that normal sights and sounds don't overwhelm them.
  • Tobias of the Animorphs has several major strengths, and this role as a Sensor Character is perhaps the most important. He is Mode Lock ed into the form of a red-tailed hawk, and therefore he has extremely superior vision and hearing. The other characters can also change into hawks or the like, but since Tobias spends all of his time in the form of a hawk, he is still better at using these hawk senses than they are. The aliens also provide more fantastic examples, like Ax with his ability to sense the passage of time as accurately as a clock, or the Leerans with their psychic senses.
  • Each faction in Dawn of War has units that can detect infiltrated enemy units; all psykers, for example, are detectors.
  • Babylon 5: Telepaths have the ability to sense each other or the thoughts of mundanes unless special care is taken to block them (extreme mental discipline on the part of the person trying to hide, forcing the telepath to take ability-suppressing drugs, or having another telepath provide Psychic Static).
  • Touhou: Star Sapphire, one of the three fairies of light, has the ability to detect living beings around her. Worth noting is the fact that she seems to be a step above the chronic stupidity that plagues fairies in this setting, most likely because of her ability to detect trouble and just move away from it, usually leaving her partners in crime to recieve the punishment for whatever mischief they just caused.
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