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Anime and Manga
- Chivalry of a Failed Knight has Stella Vermillion, who as a child was Unskilled, but Strong with fire magic to the point of burning herself. Through intense training, she eventually mastered her magic as well as swordplay, allowing her to become a powerful A-ranked Blazer. However, she's frustrated that most people attribute her success solely to talent rather than hard work.
- In Dragon Ball Z, it's often shown that Gohan has far greater natural potential than his legendary father, Goku, and sure enough he does briefly surpass his dad at the end of the Cell Arc. However, Gohan has a tendency to skip out on training, (Goku lives for challenging fights, and Gohan has nowhere near the same enthusiasm for it) which winds up causing his power and fighting ability to drop considerably by the next arc and cause several other characters to pass him in strength.
- Ginga: Nagareboshi Gin: Gin the Akita dog is born as naturally stronger and more intelligent than his brothers, but he still has to go through vigorous training to become a skilled bear hound.
- In My Hero Academia, when one of the school's Big Three, Mirio Togata, does a demonstration for Class 1-A, they all marvel at his strong Quirk. Another Big Three member, Tamaki Amajiki, responds that they're looking at it all wrong and what's really impressive is the carefully honed technique that he uses to take advantage of his powers.
- Seen often in Naruto:
- The protagonist himself, Naruto Uzumaki, is really this trope. Initially, he is meant to represent The Everyman who can trump the genius through grit alone. However, the reality complicates things. One, he has a decorated heritage that includes Senju and Uzumaki blood. Two, the most powerful Tailed Beast, other than the Ten Tails itself, was sealed within him at birth. This alone puts him above, say, Rock Lee in the grand scheme of things. That being said, Naruto does indeed hone the talents he has and eventually earns the respect of his peers.
- Sasuke also counts. He's a genius in every sense of the word and has the amazing Kekkei Genkai, the Sharigan, and all of its potent abilities. Yet, he too gets his hands dirty for the sake of getting stronger, including when he defected to Orochimaru's side. It's just that the "Trained" part gets lost in a certain kind of mire.
- Maka from Soul Eater. She's shown to be skilled as a Scythe Meister and as an EAT Student, she's a cut above the rest. But there were times where she had to develop her scythe-handling skills by herself because her partner, Soul, used to do all the cool stuff, not her. Also, when she gets her Grigori Soul, that took some time to master, even if it's an innate and rare type of soul. Most importantly, Maka's intelligence is her greatest asset and has several academic feats to her name, like getting 1st on the Super Written Exam, but that doesn't discuss the fact she studied voraciously weeks in advance to make it happen. Fittingly, she strikes the midline between Death the Kid and Black*Star.
- Rinne Berlinetta from ViVid Strike!. She was shown to be a naturally gifted athlete but only became a top tier fighter after going through some Training from Hell set up by her coach, Jill Stola. Interesting enough, Jill believed that Hard Work Hardly Works when up against those who were inherently strong or powerful.
- Harry Potter: Inverted by Gilderoy Lockhart, who was apparently intelligent enough to get sorted into the intellectual Ravenclaw House, but in adulthood his magic skills seem to have regressed into near-nothing from disuse (with the exception of Memory Charms, which he uses to follow monster hunters, learn their secrets, then take the credit for their deeds).
- In His Dark Materials, Xaphania explains Lyra's lost innate alethiometer reading capacities as something which can be permanently regained by a lifetime of learning.
- In The Black Magician Trilogy, Sonea Invokes this: She has exceptionally powerful magical talent, but devotes herself to training and study in part to defy her aristocrat classmate's prejudice that she's an unsophisticated, Unskilled, but Strong peasant. This is demonstrated in a Wizard Duel that she wins with an extremely complex, technically challenging technique rather than overwhelm her opponent's defenses with raw force.
- Horace Altman of Ranger's Apprentice is noted to have incredible natural ability as a swordsman, to the point where he can pull off moves completely instinctively, but in the first books, is relatively inexperienced. Training from Sir Rodney, Gilan, Shukin, and years of combat practice against everyone from Gallican bandits to Morgarath, turn him into a Master Swordsman, one of, if not the best in the series.
- Fire Emblem:
- Cordelia from Fire Emblem Awakening would rather be called this than an outright genius. She even lectures to Sumia in one of their supports about limitations.
- Subaki and Caeldori in Fire Emblem Fates are held as the pinnacle of perfection in the army, yet that disregards the amount of dedication they put into their craft, the latter especially, being a Cordelia Expy.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
- Twilight Sparkle. Most unicorns can only get good at magic that's related to their "special talent", but Twilight's special talent is magic itself. On top of that, she's one of the strongest unicorns in the world in terms of raw magical power. In order to realize her potential, Twilight spends a lot of time researching and practicing new spells.
- Rainbow Dash is a naturally gifted flyer who broke speed records even as a child. She dreams of joining the Wonderbolts (a team of stunt flyers akin to the Real Life Blue Angels), so she practices often to make sure she's good enough to qualify.