Dai's Big Adventure, more or less. A Shounen manga (and later anime) series, spun off the wildly popular Dragon Quest RPG series, with a scenario by Sanjo Riku and art by Koji Inada. The titular hero, Dai, is a young kid who's been raised by monsters on Delmarine Island after he was washed ashore as an infant, the only survivor of a shipwreck, and who dreams of being an adventure hero. Since the Demon King had been defeated many years before, the monsters have been freed from his influence and are actually quite peaceful — but suddenly, one day, the Demon King comes back to life, and the monsters start raging again.Just then, a "hero trainer" named Aban who is later revealed as the hero who had slain the Demon King lands on the island with his wizard trainee, Pop, and sets up a magical barrier, which frees the monsters from Evil's influence. He then proceeds to train Dai to be the next Great Hero, but before they can complete the training the Demon King himself shows up, Aban sacrifices himself and fails... but Dai flies into an Unstoppable Rage, and chases the Demon King away.After the battle, he and Pop decide to fight the Demon King, to rid the world of evil once again.Not to be confused with the Konami 3D Fighting GameLightning Legend: Daigo no Daibouken.
All of the Other Reindeer humans are usually viewed in a positive light, but it's clear more than once that Dai has been and will be rejected by most humans for being half dragon knight and 'unnaturally' strong. The reason Baran snapped.
The final arc revealed that Aban was playing dumb since his teen years, both to fool his enemies and to avoid awkward comparisons with his (vastly inferior) allies. This even gets it's own sub-story where it's explained with lots of details.
Anguished Declaration of Love Played straight when Shrinking Violet Merle, during a decisive battle against Vearn's army protects Pop from death using her body as a shield. Pop freaks out wondering why someone like her would risk her life to protect a worthless loser like him, which makes Leona finally lose it and brutally reveal (on his face, no less) that Merle has been in love with him since ever and he is worth a lot for her. Of course, Pop gets shocked by this revelation but that's only the beginning, because...
Merle blames herself for not having enough courage to confess her love when she had the chance, and begs Pop to say the name of the woman he loves, so she could learn what real courage looks like. After a moment of hesitation, Pops ask her to forgive him, because the woman he loves is Maamu. Keep in mind that Pop's confession is made in the middle of a battlefield, when Dai and company are about to assault Vearn's fortress for the definitive battle and Merle is literally dying on Pop's arms: Maamu gets crushed by Pop's confession and to make things even worse, seconds later Merle dies in Pop's arms. (She gets better, thanks to Pop having a Heroic BSOD that launched his magical ability off the scale.)
Think it's already dramatic enough? Wrong! Maamu didn't take this confession very well and rejected Pop right off the bat, only to feel crushed by guilt later. (The way she treated him, the way Pop's odd behavior suddenly made sense, and the way she kept asking him for advice about her crush on Hyunkel... So yeah.
Later, having regained their composure and finished their respective battles against the Shinei Kidan, Pop asks Maamu to not worry about him, since he already knew she loved Hyunkel and so he wishes them luck and he will do his best to be worthy of Merle's love. Maamu interrupts him, asking Pop for some time to sort her own feelings about him so she could give him an honest answer about accepting his love or not. In the end, their relationship is left with No Romantic Resolution
This troper says averted. As of the final chapter, Merle and Maamu are traveling with Pop. Hyunkel on the other hand is being stalked by that priestess who fell for him pretty hard.
Big Damn Heroes Happens regularly, several times per arc to be precise. Listing every instance of it would take a LONG time. However, it's worth noting that both Crocodine and Hyunkel like doing this a lot.
"Blind Idiot" Translation: the French manga translation by publisher J'ai Lu is notoriously awful. Most of the characters and places have names transliterated directly from the Japanese kana (Poppu, Hadora, Demurin, exception: Fuam for Maamu), the translators couldn't decide in the first volumes if Aban was male or female and thus wrote "he (she)" and the masculine and feminine alternatives of adjectives whenever he spoke or was mentioned, and in at least one instance "Yuusha" (grand hero) was considered the name of the hero ("the grand hero Yusha!"). The "Aban strash" also became the "Aban slah." Very obnoxious and literal sound effects ("freeze," "hug") were added in small font next to the Japanese sound effects. To add insult to injury, it was printed on low-quality paper (think newspaper quality) that made the ink stick to your fingers. Thankfully, another publisher is remaking the whole translation from scratch, almost ten years later.
Actually, Aban just pretends to be an idiot to hide his own abilities from foes and friends. A side story explains how he has been doing that since his mid teens, and how the goofy glasses he wears all the time were given to him by princess Fiora herself to complete the disguise.
Comedic Sociopathy (in real life, Pop would be acutely brain damaged and Maamu in jail from beating him up all the time. But Hilarity Ensues, and Pop acts like a jerk after all.)
Cue the Sun: Dai receives his father's sword this way in the final battle against Vearn.
Cut Short The anime ends after Dai's first encounter with Baran, which is less than a third through the Manga's full length, and which also ends on a rather different way. In the Anime Baran is overwhelmed by the strength of Dai's bond with his friends, and he concedes the battle because of it. But in the Manga Baran decides to cut this bond by erasing Dai's memories before retreating to gather his comrades. Needless to say, it would have been more infuriating if they took the Manga route in this case.
Defeat Means Friendship Crocodine and Hyunkel; quite a few of the minor antagonist characters are much better inclined towards the heroes once they've crossed swords.
Demoted to Extra: Crocodine sadly loses his status as a main character after Flora asks Leona to join the team as Aban's hypothetical fifth disciple.
Subverted, as he did in fact participate in the final battle against the Big Boss. His battle abilities fitted his role at the time, which is spectator. Also, Dai and Co. needed to at least grow out of his shadow, having been rescued by him for so many times
Even Evil Has Standards: Myst-Vearn may be a card carrying adherent to the will of Vearn, but he has nothing but disgust for Zaboera's deceptive and backstabbing ways, even leaving him, basically, to die against the ground forces, and boy was he pissed when he heard Zaboera bad mouthing Hadlar..
Baran also gives a fairly good idea of what Dai could become if he grew disillusioned with humankind.
Expy at first, Dai looks like a young Son Goku (Akira Toriyama did the character designs for Dragon Quest after all). He gets better. Other characters are clearly influenced by Akira Toriyama's characters too.
Fanservice if you still don't know after a few volumes that Maamu and Leona are "bouncy," you must be blind.
Fantastic Nuke The dreaded Black Cores. On the back-story, one of them was powerful enough to destroy an entire continent
Feed It a Bomb Pop pulls a variation of this by unleashing a fire ray spell into a dragon's mouth. Its rider was not pleased, at all.
Hard Work Hardly Works Subverted. While Dai's friends cannot catch up to Dai's level of power, they all go through harsh trainings to increase their powers and are able to assist Dai tremendously. There are always multiple threats that need to be dealt with Dai's being only able to tackle the strongest one.
Heel-Face Turn Way too many instances. Crocodine, Hyunkel; even Baran and Hadler, among others.
He Who Must Not Be Seen Demon Lord Vearn is always hidden by a veil when he speaks to his subordinates until the final arc.
Same for Myst-Vearn, who's actually a dark spirit who inhabits and guards Vearn's true body.
Heroic Sacrifice Many characters including Aban; Pop; Baran; Merle; Hadler; at the very end, Dai himself, though it's strongly hinted at that he somehow survived since his sword still shines.
Some of them actually survived the experience, like Aban; Pop and Merle
Humans Are Bastards Played with. Most people and even demons and beasts turn out to be great folks deep inside (sometimes after their HeelFaceTurns). On the other hand, Baran had such a horrible experience with human beings (save for Soara) that he ended up going on a rampage.
Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: Hyunkel and Pop (really any fighter and Pop) are a textbook version of this trope. Hyunkel starts off as an extremely powerful swordsman who gives both Dai and Pop a hard time. He becomes a powerful ally but ends up overshadowed by his teammates and only catches up by using his own lifeforce. Pop starts off as a Miles Gloriosus but takes several levels of badass, cumulating in him becoming a powerful sage and Dai's biggest ally in his fight against Vearn. Dai averts this by being a Magic Knight.
Made of Explodium The Shinei Kidan explode when they die, and there's a good reason to it that's not explicitly stated in the Manga: Since their bodies are made of the extremely rare and powerful Orihalcon, it would be disadvantageous for them if the heroes could scavenge their remnants to forge some new weapons and/or armor with them.
For the same reason, their severed body parts also tend to explode.
Magic Knight: Dai learns to be one over the course of the series, mixing magic to his sword attacks; Baran's a natural born one as the Dragon Knight
Magnetic Hero: Dai, evident by the answer Crocodine gives Baran when he asks why he gives it all to protect Dai: "Before I met him I thought humans were worthless, but he showed me I was wrong. And not only me, Hyunkel was like that too... to us, Dai is our Sun."
Male Gaze: Embodied in Pop. He once notices Gome hitching a ride in Marm's clothes because her bust looks bigger than normal.
Not So Different: During the Final Battle, Dai unleashes his full power, something he had been actively surpressing until then for fear of losing his memory or his mind or permanently morphing into something was not human. Shortly after Vearn makes the same thing, transforming into a gigantic monster. He remarks Dais is right like himself, willing to lose his self in order to achieve victory. Dai reluctantly and silently agrees.
Obfuscating Stupidity: Aban. He thinks gloating over his capabilities is a waste of time (and gloating includes merely stating them or showing them). So he pretends -or lets other people thinks- he is a bumbling fool, unless he needs using them.
True Companions the disciples of Aban — Dai, Pop, Maamu and Hyunkel — plus Crocodine and Leona.
Oblivious to Love: Maamu is completely oblivious to Pop's feelings for her, while Pop doesn't realize that Merle has been in love with him since they first met. Meanwhile, their friends sigh and facepalm.
Shrinking Violet Merle fits this trope like a glove. The fact that she is Maamu's polar opposite and how she is painfully aware of how Pop only has eyes for Maamu makes it hurt even more.
Shout-Out this troper has trouble in not thinking Hyunkel is something from Saint Seiya. Seriously, look at his armours and how he equips them. He even looks a bit like Hyoga.
He was dubbed by Phoenix Ikki's former seiyuu Hideyuki Hori. Think about what army he is in charge of, and how many times he comes Back from the Dead. The connection is more than obvious.
Dai and Baran's Kamehame Hadoken. There's even one instance where Dai shoots one, and the recipient of the blast sees the ghostly image of Baran standing behind him in the same pose, a Shout-Out to how Gohan defeated Cell in Dragon Ball Z.
Zaboera's son Zamza's Hyper Demon form has some traits to it reminiscent of Cell, specifically, eating people in order to become stronger, having an ability that allows for quick regeneration, being composed of the traits of numerous types of demons, and even the mouth on his chest somewhat resembles Cell's tail-mouth, being used in the same way.
So Proud of You: Avan gives this to Dai, Pop, Maamu and Hyunkel after he meets them again.
Sorting Algorithm of Evil: subverted: after normal troops prove to be no match for Dai's team, the Big Bad sends his best warriors — the six generals — after him.
But also played straight in the order in which the generals fight Dai, at least at first: Crocodine is a lot weaker than Hyunckel, who gets his ass handed to him by Flazzard, who in turn is a joke compared to Baran.
Granted, from the moment Crocodine failed, Hadler had wanted to send all 6 of his generals at once, but the order was belayed by the Big Bad
Spell My Name with an S particularly extreme if you take into account the "Blind Idiot" Translation in the French manga. Dai was renamed "Fly" in French and Spanish to avoid the phonetic equivalent of "die" ("fly" is an impressive name, thank you very much); Hyunckel/Hyunkel/Henki (in the French translation of the anime); Marm/Maamu/even Fuam in the French manga; Pop/Poppu (ditto); Aban/Avan/Ivan; Hadler/Hadlar/Hadora; Dermlin/Delmulin/Dremlin/Demurin/Whatever island; Crocodin/Crocodine/Krokodine; Vearn/Ban; Freezair/Flazzard/Freeze; Gome/Gomen.
Superpowered Evil Side Dai's "Dragon Knight personality" isn't evil, but it sure is terrifying and shows a darker, more violent side of his personality than we are used to.
Sword and Sorcerer: Dai and Pop. Dai despite being a Magic Knight, favors swordsmanship and most of his spells are either short range offensive attacks or boosts to his fighting ability. Pop when teamed up with Dai, provides the long range explosive firepower, defense and after he becomes a Sage, healing that Dai lacks. Demonstrated beautifully in the fight against Vearn when they display both the Tank and Healer (or Defense) and Meat Shield and Glass Cannon sides of the trope.
Taking the Bullet Plenty of examples. Crocodile actually used this as his main fighting tactic against Baran to buy time for Dai.
Later, Flora asks Leona to join the team as Aban's hypothetical fifth disciple and Crocodine is more or less relegated to the background. When Aban conveniently reappears, he recognizes her as part of the team and as the disciple he'd have chosen.
Team Mom - The aptly named Marm, who even represents Compassion.
Team Pet Gome, which also happens to be a literal miracle bringer created by the Gods.
Also, Chu the karateka mouse.
10-Minute Retirement when Dai freaks out and runs away in his pyjamas after being defeated by Vearn.
Took a Level in Badass Many characters, but especially Pop, who according to Hyunkel, Kill-Vearn and Vearn themselves, is even scarier than Dai.
You know you're a badass when you use a spell even after dying.
This gets even more evident when, during the final battle against Vearn Pop quickly discovers the weak point on Vearn's absolutely invincible battle stance, then cleverly turns Vearn's power against him (allowing Dai to cut one of Vearn's arms off) and even neutralizing Vearn's ultimate magic attack with ease, all while staring at him with a "take that" expression on his face.
Warp Whistle Hadler uses an artifact named Chimera's Wings to retreat after his humiliating defeat during his first fight with Dai
The spell Ruura also works this way, being a teleportation spell that requires a clear image of the location where the user intends to go; therefore, it's only possible to transport to locations he/she has already visited.
Weak, but Skilled: Hyunkel. He starts as one of the strongest characters, mainly for his exceptional swordsmanship skill, but quickly becomes relatively average when compared to other characters. Dai is the hero, Pop can use magic, and Maamu is infinitely stronger physically than he is. Then he starts using his own life as a weapon and takes a few levels in badass.
Avan himself fits this trope, as he wasn't abnormally strong. His skills and superhuman intelligence, however...