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* This isn't just a factor in martial-arts series. It can show up in {{Mon}}s series like ''Franchise/YuGiOh'', ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'', ''Anime/{{Beyblade}}'', and ''Bistro Chef'' (better known as ''Fighting Foodons'' in the States), and CookingDuel series like ''Manga/YakitateJapan''. Essentially, anything that has individual competition, typically in a TournamentArc, will tend to end up with this kind of arms race.

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* This isn't just a factor in martial-arts series. It can show up in {{Mon}}s series like ''Franchise/YuGiOh'', ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'', ''Anime/{{Beyblade}}'', ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'', ''Franchise/{{Beyblade}}'', and ''Bistro Chef'' (better known as ''Fighting Foodons'' in the States), ''Manga/FightingFoodons'', and CookingDuel series like ''Manga/YakitateJapan''. Essentially, anything that has individual competition, typically in a TournamentArc, will tend to end up with this kind of arms race.


* Displaying formidable multitasking skills, the eponymous ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha'' is revealed in the series' ancillary manga to be able to train in the magical equivalent of VR constantly while leading her normal civilian life, apparently to explain her jump from neophyte magical girl to hardened battlemage in the short interval between the show's first two seasons. After the second season, she trains so hard she becomes known as "[[TheAce Ace of Aces]]" and is promoted to Combat Drill Instructor [[ImprobableAge in her early teens.]] In the third season, another character trains herself nearly to the point of exhaustion in an effort to prove herself ([[HardWorkHardlyWorks but doesn't quite succeed]]).

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* Displaying formidable multitasking skills, the eponymous ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha'' main character of ''Franchise/LyricalNanoha'' is revealed in the series' ancillary manga to be able to train in the magical equivalent of VR constantly while leading her normal civilian life, apparently to explain her jump from neophyte magical girl to hardened battlemage in the short interval between the show's first two seasons. After the second season, she trains so hard she becomes known as "[[TheAce Ace of Aces]]" and is promoted to Combat Drill Instructor [[ImprobableAge in her early teens.]] In the third season, another character trains herself nearly to the point of exhaustion in an effort to prove herself ([[HardWorkHardlyWorks but doesn't quite succeed]]).


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* ''[[Series/WonderWoman1975 Wonder Woman]]'': The source of Wonder Woman's powers. In "Fausta, the Nazi Wonder Woman", Wonder Woman, under control of the golden lasso, explains to a disbelieving Colonel Kesselman that her strength comes from training in a pure environment. And, of course, she had to beat every other Amazon in order to become Wonder Woman.


* Averted by ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'', insofar as the focus is more on teamwork, [[IndyPloy clever tactics]], exploiting your environment, [[FlawExploitation exploiting enemy weaknesses]] and using [[HeartIsAnAwesomePower weak or peculiar powers to devastating effect]] than pure fighting power. Hell, a lot of the abilities shown by the characters are so [[CrazyAwesome unorthodox]] that putting them on a power level scale is rather hard.
** Even brought up in a flashback where Dio, when asked what he thinks is the weakest ability he's seen, states that in the world of Stands there are no objectively strong or weak ones.
** For example, one of the most epic battles in the series is a rock-paper-scissors match between two people whose Stands don't lend themselves to fighting, the two of whom can't read each others' moves, and our hero, [[AuthorAvatar Rohan]] only wins because he [[spoiler: cheats]].



* ''Manga/FairyTail'':
** Surprisingly averted for the most part. The main characters don't get significantly stronger throughout the series outside of the two {{Time Skip}}s where they undergo TrainingFromHell and/or get a NextTierPowerUp to catch up to the new threats and their allies [[spoiler:since they spent seven years trapped in stasis]], with the exception of Lucy, who gets several new celestial spirits (one of whom, [[spoiler:Loke]], is probably stronger than any she started with). They continue to triumph anyway by virtue of being Determinators with ThePowerOfFriendship and through good ol' fashioned teamwork. That last one makes sense given the strong emphasis on being TrueCompanions in this series. Also, battles are usually determined not by strength but by strategy and luck.
** It is played straight a few times, however. [[spoiler:Mirajane's victory over Fried despite her rustiness is mostly because she just has more power than he does plus running on UnstoppableRage. Elfman has to overcome his mental block of using Full-Body Take Over to beat Sol. Natsu gets a temporary power-up from Jellal in order to defeat Zero.]]

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* ''Manga/FairyTail'':
** Surprisingly averted for the most part. The main characters don't get significantly stronger throughout the series outside of the two {{Time Skip}}s where they undergo TrainingFromHell and/or get a NextTierPowerUp to catch up to the new threats and their allies [[spoiler:since they spent seven years trapped in stasis]], with the exception of Lucy, who gets several new celestial spirits (one of whom, [[spoiler:Loke]], is probably stronger than any she started with). They continue to triumph anyway by virtue of being Determinators with ThePowerOfFriendship and through good ol' fashioned teamwork. That last one makes sense given the strong emphasis on being TrueCompanions in this series. Also, battles are
Although ''Manga/FairyTail'' usually determined not by strength but by strategy and luck.
** It
averts this trope, it is occasionally played straight a few times, however.straight. [[spoiler:Mirajane's victory over Fried despite her rustiness is mostly because she just has more power than he does plus running on UnstoppableRage. Elfman has to overcome his mental block of using Full-Body Take Over to beat Sol. Natsu gets a temporary power-up from Jellal in order to defeat Zero.]]



* Averted up the wazoo in ''Literature/TheCaliforniaVoodooGame'', where hypercompetent Bishop's martial arts techniques vastly out-class the limited training of Alex Griffin, [[spoiler:yet Griffin still kicks Bishop's ass because he's [[RoaringRampageOfRevenge so pissed off]] that he doesn't care if his ribs or fingers get broken: he just keeps smashing his opponent into the walls, denying Bishop the elbow room required for his dojo-ballet moves]].


->''"You can tell a {{sho|nenDemographic}}unen series by the amount of times that someone says 'I'm training to become stronger.'"''

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->''"You can tell a {{sho|nenDemographic}}unen shounen series by the amount of times that someone says 'I'm training to become stronger.'"''


** Surprisingly averted for the most part. The main characters don't get significantly stronger throughout the series, with the exception of Lucy, who gets several new celestial spirits (one of whom, [[spoiler:Loke]], is probably stronger than any she started with). They continue to triumph anyway by virtue of being Determinators with ThePowerOfFriendship and through good ol' fashioned teamwork. That last one makes sense given the strong emphasis on being TrueCompanions in this series. Also, battles are usually determined not by strength but by strategy and luck.
** It is played straight a few times, however. [[spoiler:Mirajane's victory over Fried is mostly because she just has more power than he does. Elfman has to get a new Take Over to beat Sol. Natsu gets a temporary power-up from Jellal in order to defeat Zero.]]

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** Surprisingly averted for the most part. The main characters don't get significantly stronger throughout the series, series outside of the two {{Time Skip}}s where they undergo TrainingFromHell and/or get a NextTierPowerUp to catch up to the new threats and their allies [[spoiler:since they spent seven years trapped in stasis]], with the exception of Lucy, who gets several new celestial spirits (one of whom, [[spoiler:Loke]], is probably stronger than any she started with). They continue to triumph anyway by virtue of being Determinators with ThePowerOfFriendship and through good ol' fashioned teamwork. That last one makes sense given the strong emphasis on being TrueCompanions in this series. Also, battles are usually determined not by strength but by strategy and luck.
** It is played straight a few times, however. [[spoiler:Mirajane's victory over Fried despite her rustiness is mostly because she just has more power than he does. does plus running on UnstoppableRage. Elfman has to get a new overcome his mental block of using Full-Body Take Over to beat Sol. Natsu gets a temporary power-up from Jellal in order to defeat Zero.]]


* In the ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' book ''The Ellimist Chronicles'', this sort of arms race between Ellimist and Crayak ends up [[spoiler: destroying a handful of galaxies and ripping a hole in spacetime that makes them omnipotent, universe-controlling gods]].


--> '''[[BadassGrandpa Yoda]]''': Powerful you have become, Dooku. TheDarkSide I sense in you.
--> '''[[MasterSwordsman Dooku]]''': I have become more powerful than any Jedi. [[BlatantLies Even you]].

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--> '''[[BadassGrandpa '''[[OldMaster Yoda]]''': Powerful you have become, Dooku. TheDarkSide I sense in you.
--> '''[[MasterSwordsman Dooku]]''': I have become more powerful than any Jedi. [[BlatantLies [[ArrogantKungFuGuy Even you]].


* Pretty much every Shaw Brothers [[Wuxia kung fu]] movie ever has this as either its major theme or as an important plot element.

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* Pretty much every Shaw Brothers [[Wuxia [[{{Wuxia}} kung fu]] movie ever has this as either its major theme or as an important plot element.element.


* Pretty much every Shaw Brothers [[Xianxia kung fu]] movie ever has this as either its major theme or as an important plot element.

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* Pretty much every Shaw Brothers [[Xianxia [[Wuxia kung fu]] movie ever has this as either its major theme or as an important plot element.


* The basic premise of the Stephen Chow flick ''Film/KungFuHustle'' where everyone's kung fu is stronger than someone else. Sing's kung fu for the majority of the movie is awful, leading to him being beaten and slapped around by everyone... [[spoiler: until he is beaten to near death and he archives peace with Buddha.]]

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* The basic premise of the Stephen Chow flick ''Film/KungFuHustle'' where everyone's kung fu is stronger than someone else. Sing's kung fu for the majority of the movie is awful, leading to him being beaten and slapped around by everyone... [[spoiler: until he is beaten to near death death. This unlocks his "blocked chi" and he archives achieves peace with Buddha.Buddha. Also he can knock buildings down with his hand. Without touching them.]]


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* Pretty much every Shaw Brothers [[Xianxia kung fu]] movie ever has this as either its major theme or as an important plot element.

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* PlayedForLaughs in ''Series/TheCrazyOnes'' when Simon Roberts, played by the inimitable Creator/RobinWilliams, says "Your Kung-Fu is no good!" (with requisite out of sync lip movements) to the giant [=Rock'Em-Sock'Em=] Robot in his office as he hides from an important meeting.


* The basic premise of the Stephen Chow flick ''Film/KungFuHustle'' where everyone's kung fu is stronger than someone else.

to:

* The basic premise of the Stephen Chow flick ''Film/KungFuHustle'' where everyone's kung fu is stronger than someone else. Sing's kung fu for the majority of the movie is awful, leading to him being beaten and slapped around by everyone... [[spoiler: until he is beaten to near death and he archives peace with Buddha.]]

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* Played with in ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda2'' where Lord Shen can't beat Masters Croc, Storming Ox, and Thundering Rhino with his admittedly formidable kung fu style... which is why he shoots a cannon at them. Po, however, still uses martial arts to to beat Lord Shen's cannons after [[spoiler: achieving inner peace.]]

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