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Adults Are Useless / Anime & Manga

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Useless adults in anime and manga.

  • Alien Nine has a premise where all of the adults at an elementary school stay inside heavily armored rooms while sending their students to capture the aggressive aliens. It didn't help that at least some of the adults, namely the teacher in charge of the school's alien catching group, and the principal, were deliberately useless as part of some sort of conspiracy. The rest of the adults were just useless. Yuri's mother is especially bad; Yuri comes home from an alien assault that is awfully reminiscent of a rape, and her mother just tells her to cheer up and do her job.
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  • In Beelzebub, when Oga's mother hears he's in a gang war, her reaction is to just let him deal with it. The school only has two teachers, the principal and the lunch lady, who both make a special effort to stay as uninvolved with the delinquents as possible.
  • Used as a plot necessity in the Lost Children Arc in Berserk (even implied in the title). With the exception of Guts, every adult present is either a violent and sick pervert, a completely clueless moron, or a useless coward. Turns out that the Big Bad of this arc is a teenaged girl apostle who turns the local children into her spawn to join her elf fantasy land, all of them being very lethal, while she makes adults into spawn to use essentially as her own Cannon Fodder as punishment for treating children so poorly. Also, the village children who aren't turned into monsters seem more ballsy than the adults around them, namely Jill.
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  • In the manga BioMeat, nearly every bad decision concerning the outbreaks were made by adults. The only right decisions and almost every heroic act were done by children or the four main characters as adults.
  • The mother of Hinako Aikawa in Bitter Virgin is arguably worse than useless. Not only did she flat-out refuse to believe her new husband was molesting her daughter Hinako until Hinako's second pregnancy, she also made a point of hiding the first pregnancy from him so he wouldn't know "what a horrible kid" Hinako was. In fairness, when she finally did accept the truth, the first thing she did was chase said husband out of the house with a knife, and soon they moved away. Though she actually assumed that Hinako was making a False Rape Accusation against him and was actually just sleeping around. It wasn't until the doctor stated that from the bruises she wasn't a willing participant did she start to listen.
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  • Bleach. Averted. Although the hero and his main group of friends are teens, the adults in the story all get their roles and place in the story. Ichigo's not the protagonist because the adults are useless but because his lineage is something special.
  • In Bloody Monday it seems that the only heroes capable of doing anything competent are high school students, from the legendary hacker Falcon to the master archer. In fact, evil agent J is actually the twin(?) brother of said archer, and K turns out to be a student from the school's Newspaper Club.
  • In Bokurano, while only the contracted children can pilot the robot, they get some help from the Japanese Self-Defense Forces officers who came to help them after Komo told her father (a Diet member in the anime and an admiral in the manga) about it. Said individuals help the children to win their battles at times and even volunteer to become Zearth pilots even if they ultimately never pilot themselves, and Kanji once wonders if the government would rather have adults become the pilots instead. This is played straight, however, when Tanaka and Seki are unable to prevent Kako from beating up Kirie, which results in Chizu stabbing Kaku, and, being unarmed, can't prevent Chizu from killing innocents in collateral damage as she uses Zearth's lasers to kill the men who raped her.
    • It's discussed later on, when Kanji meets some of the men who'd volunteered to become Zearth pilots immediately before said men go on a Suicide Mission to help him win his battle. Kanji apologizes for not doing better, but one of the men tells him that the adults should be the ones fighting for the planet. Maki's parents express a similar sentiment to Ushiro and Kanji when the two visit the Anos near the end of the manga.
  • Subverted in Bokura no Hentai: Ryousuke tries to avoid telling others that his mother has fallen mentally ill in the wake of his sisters death, and that he dresses up as her to appease his mom, however when his girlfriend finds out she confronts him about his crossdressing, learns his reasons why, and gets him to allow her parents to get involved. Ryousuke's mother is then sent to a mental health facility, where she's shown better later, and he gets sent to live his father.
  • The anime Brynhildr in the Darkness shows a group of teenagers who fighting a evil organization. During the plot you do not see a single adult who is not either useless or evil. The only exception is the uncle of the male protagonist, but he also has no share in the fights and "missions."
  • In Cage of Eden the vast majority of the adults are incredibly ineffectual or worse, not helped by most of the male adults being a bunch of perverts. The only exceptions are Oomori and Kokonoe, the former having useful first aid skills, and the latter having made a few good explosives. The doctor is competent in his chosen position.
  • Played with in A Certain Magical Index. On the one hand, most adults shown are reasonably competent (or villains), and include police officers, teachers, and doctors. The problem is that Academy City consists of over ninety percent students, so there simply aren't enough adults to do everything. The primary police force isn't even made up of adults, but is the student-run Judgement organization (adults make up the SWAT-squad Anti Skill). Throw in the fact that all espers shown have been under twenty, and adults tend to get worfed a lot.
  • All of the adults in A Cruel God Reigns except for Lindon and Dr. Orson, who dies of cancer. Greg is the cause of all of Jeremy's problems, Sandra needs taking care of by her son and not the other way around, Natasha spots the abuse but doesn't say anything, the dorm leader moves Jeremy to a new dorm away from his only steady friend, Cass' parents are abusive alcoholics, the teacher at the alternative school tries but is ineffective at managing his trouble students, Jeremy's Aunt Karen banishes him after he attempts suicide twice and attempts to seduce her husband, etc, etc.
  • The only competent adult presence in Dennou Coil, other than the main character's manipulative grandmother, turns out to be seventeen and still in high school.
  • Zig-zagged in Detective Conan, where many of the adults are okay at doing their jobs, but still worthless and the case is solved by the apparent six year old who, due to the identity problem and low credibility, needs to use an adult's voice to cover his detective antics.
    • Zig-zagged especially with Kogoro. He's shown to be a bumbling fool several episodes (Especially early on) and is an alcoholic and sometimes physically hurts Conan. However, averted because he actually does come to conclusions a lot of real life detectives would and actually knows some stuff Conan doesn't. (He's more street-smart; Conan's more Book-smart.) His biggest shortcoming is that he's competent, but impatient. He wants to get back to drinking, so he normally comes to a theory and keeps insisting he's right until proven otherwise. However, he averts this when the case is personal or if Ran or Conan are threatened, then he becomes scarily competent. There have been several cases where he got it mostly right and just needed a couple hints from Conan, or where he got it all right but only realized it after Conan did. (He's slower.) There was one occasion where he did get it right, and another where he not only got it right, but got details that Conan missed.
    • However, Shinichi's father Yuusaku is just as good a detective as he is, if not even better. He's only useless because he's simply almost never there and he'd rather continue writing about mysteries than solving them.
    • Ran's mother Eri Kisaki is a highly successful lawyer and is actually quite competent at detective work when the need arises. However like Yuusaku above, she only makes a paltry handful of appearances in the series.
    • Ultimately averted, though, by the fact that Conan is almost an adult himself (he just LOOKS like a kid).
    • If anything; Megure is perhaps the most worthless of the adults - he's so strictly adhered to police code that he refuses to take a leap of faith and think maybe not all cases are like the ones you learn about in the police academy.
    • Also averted with a good deal of recurring characters like the members of the FBI and CIA James Black, Jodie Starling, Shuichi Akai and Hidemi Hondo/Rena Mizunashi/Kir. There are a lot of members of the Black Organisation who are much smarter than Shinichi/Conan like Vermouth, Gin, Pisco or Irish (Movie 13). The Police also isn't completely useless, they are pretty competent at what they are doing, it is just that the cases shown are not solvable without thinking out of the box like Conan does. There are even police officers like Miwako Sato, Wataru Takagi, Kansuke Yamato and Yui Uehara who are able to solve a good chunk of many cases on their own. Heiji's father, chief commissioner of the Osaka Police Department Heizo Hattori, who in addition to being very smart is also an uber-badass.
  • Being a series intended for kids, Digimon tends to apply this; to which degree varies from series to series:
    • Digimon Adventure played it straight; since no adult had a Digimon partner (even though some of them didn't need one), and only Digimon are powerful enough to fight another Digimon, it meant that parents had to watch their kids saving the world. That didn't stop some parents to fight back even if it's futile or help their children to figure out a semi-cryptic prophecy.
    • Digimon Adventure 02 is even more straight about this, since even the adult villain was ultimately a puppet for the Big Bad which the kids then had to defeat.
    • Digimon Tamers averts it, since even though adults still don't have Digimon partners, they are able to kill Digimon by other means, know a lot more about them than the kids, provide technical support and ultimately it's them that make it possible for the Big Bad to be defeated.
    • Digimon Frontier only has human adults in the backstory, and have the kids saving the world by themselves since all the Digimon (some of them "adults", so to speak) die at one point (even if not permanently), so it plays the trope very straight.
    • Digimon Savers averts it, since humans manly/hot-blooded enough can punch out skyscraper sized Digimon (by the tip of their weapons), adults can now have Digimon partners and nearly everything that went wrong is due to an sorry excuse for an human adult.
    • Digimon Xros Wars plays it straight in a similar way to Frontier, since the adults remain completely unaware that Digimon even exist.
  • In The Drifting Classroom, every adult in the school ends up dead or insane within the first few volumes.
  • Kaze Hikaru author Taeko Watanabe's lesser known work, Family!, bases almost entirely on this trope: it revolves around an American family whose teenage children are sensible and mature while their parents are completely clueless grown-up kids. Almost all other "adults" are just as frustratingly childish. Strangely enough, Freddy and Sharen were shown to be decent parent material back when their children, Jay and Fee, were just toddlers, but for some reason, Freddy becomes a helpless crybaby while Sharen just turns absolutely oblivious of how other people feel and enthusiastic about Cookie Monster. Their youngest daughter Tracy is also known to be completely fearless when being kidnapped; in fact, she just calls her parents on the phone to let them know that she won't be home any time soon, and decides to stay to help the pathetically clumsy kidnapper with his soul-searching, and yet no one other than Fee seems to be a tad bit concerned about her absence at all.
  • In FLCL most of the adults are more immature than the children in the story.
  • In Fruits Basket, virtually every adult is neglectful or outright abusive:
    • As a child, Yuki is forced to stay with a person who verbally abuses him and his mother brushes his complaints off. Kyo is completely hated by his father, who does absolutely nothing to prevent him from being locked up upon graduation. Akito's father is dead and her mother outright hates her. Rin is abandoned by her parents, so they are unaware when she is pushed out a window and locked up in a room. All of the older servants in the household allow Akito to act freely, because they feel that the God of the Zodiac has the right to treat the Zodiac any way.
    • Also, Kyoko's parents neglected her, and kicked her out of her house after getting in a fight trying to quit her gang. Her father tells Katsuya that he's crazy when he tells him that he hopes to marry her.
    • Subverted by Hanajima's family (who did everything they could to help her with her ESP, including transferring her to a new school when she was bullied) and Kyoko herself (who did such a good job raising Tohru that Tohru considered her words as lessons to get through life). Hiro's mother is loving, if ditzy, and Kagura's mom worries about her daughter's well-being (at one point, she discourages Kagura from attending an event that Akito will be at, implicitly fearing that Akito would hurt Kagura like Kisa was hurt). Zig-zagged in the case of Kisa's mother. She failed to notice that her daughter was horrifically bullied at school and is upset with Kisa for not telling her about it, but then Tohru explains how the worst part of bullying is that the victim believes they're at fault and does their best to hide it from people who could help them. Kisa is then sent to live at Shigure's house for awhile so she and her mom can recover, but her mom calls often to see how Kisa's doing and make sure she's eating well.
  • Completely subverted in Fullmetal Alchemist: the military personnel are far from incompetent. They are highly skilled, extremely intelligent, and almost as central to the plot as Ed and Al. If anything, the brothers thinking adults are useless gets them into a fair bit of extra trouble. In the end, Ed he can only succeed by trusting and accepting the help of the adults on his side, including his own absentee father.
    • When Edward and Alphonse Elric disobeyed a direct order from Major Armstrong to search the abandoned laboratory 5, refusing to wait for him to look into the matter deeper before going into the lab, second Lieutenant Maria Ross and Sergeant Denny Brosh slap and berate both of them on that, trying to do everything themselves, being just a child still and ends it with "'s okay to trust adults sometimes." The slapping part with Al apparently didn't work since he's a suit of armor and all.
  • Future Boy Conan: Conan is an uber-capable 10~12 year old, capable of running roughshod over all the adults in the series. His female co-star Lanna is similarly, if not as capable.
  • In Gakuen Ouji none of the teachers notice or care about the rape of the boys or the extreme bullying that occurs between the students. When Rise gets locked in a closet and is screaming for help, the teacher walking by ends up putting up a charm to dispel bad spirits instead of letting the poor girl out.
  • In the first arc of Ginga Hyouryuu Vifam we have a bunch of children holed up in an abandoned military installation with some weapons, and elsewhere on the same planet we have the Terran military in a state-of-the-art underground facility. The children manage to beat back several enemy attacks, while the military base gets wiped out along with all personnel after just one.
  • In Great Teacher Onizuka (GTO), the only adult who seems to be competent at anything is Onizuka himself. He's only lucky.
    • Justified Trope. The kids of the manga are actively fighting their teachers and other authority figures. It's hard to be useful to people who will completely ruin you just for trying. And it's not luck that lets Onizuka get through to them, it's the sheer fact that they are incapable of hurting, beating, embarrassing or otherwise driving him away.
    • In the first episode, he outright says he wants to avoid this trope since he felt it firsthand.
      "They just saw me as a delinquent. When someone keeps calling you useless you eventually believe it yourself. That's why I want to be there and help the kids be the best they can be.
  • In Haruhi Suzumiya, the only character over 20 who actually does anything is Future Mikuru (and it's questionable if she counts, as she's just an aged-up version of an existing teenaged character). Could be more of a case of There Are No Adults/Invisible Parents also. The adults rarely impact that story, the only ones who appear are Future Mikuru and Koizumi's Organization minions (Arakawa, Mori, etc...who actually seem to be hyper-competent). The only ones who seem useless are the North High administration.
  • Played pretty straight throughout in Highschool of the Dead. With rare exceptions (like Saya's parents) anything an adult does makes the situation immediately worse.
  • Teachers in Iris Zero mostly don't concern themselves with their students' problems. They claim it's impossible for a normal adult to comprehend things connected with Irises. It goes as far as ignoring an event that leaves the student body in fear and Toru being heavily bullied due to his lack of power.
  • Kirby: Right Back at Ya! was especially bad at this. The adults are always at the mercy of their dictator King Dedede who made such poorly-veiled excuses to get everyone to blame Kirby for any major atrocities that King Dedede so obviously caused himself (out of spite for Kirby), and the adults never learn despite suffering over 60 times. They don't even learn to appreciate how helpful Kirby can be when he himself gets dirty fighting monsters while they are busy running around like headless chickens. Only the children have common sense, but sadly, they lack credibility.
  • Let's Lagoon: There's only one adult, he just washed up on the island and is probably injured, but he's pretty useless (and probably had a thing going on with the female castaway) which irritates the resourceful protagonist to no end. Turns out he didn't have a thing going on with the female castaway, but instead her sister.
  • Little Witch Academia is inconsistent about this. It's mostly averted in the OVAs, where the adults aren't the heroes saving the day but they at least do the responsible things you'd expect from adults; but it's mostly played straight in the TV series, where all the adults besides Ursula and Croix are ridiculously incompetent—they exist only to teach classes and prescribe punishments, sometimes needing the kids to sort out their messes. They signed a major funding contract for the school without reading it because it's in ancient dragon language, but, naturally, Diana can read it and discovers the dragon who wrote it was taking advantage of their inability to read it, giving them much less than he owed them.
  • Played in Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple. In most of Kenichi's fights his masters stand on the sidelines, even joking and gambling on the outcomes, even if his life is in danger. This is because they believe that a good master stays out of their disciple's fights. It's subverted to hell and back whenever Kenichi is attacked by a master-class or something: they'll step in and beat the life out of whoever attacked their disciple. However, it is played completely straight with the staff of Kenichi's high school, who seem completely unaware of the massive gang activity right under their noses, and his parents, who are oblivious that their son has a habit of getting into life-or-death battles with skilled martial artists from around the world.
  • Loveless, oh so much so. Every adult is either abusive, ineffective, or emotionally fucked up enough to not be able to help, whether that's with Ritsuka being abused by his mother or all those 12 year old kids running around on their own getting into spell battles.
  • Averted in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid, where Einhart is captured and befriended by the adult cast very early on, before she even gets the chance to meet (and fight) Vivio. It helps that that the Lyrical Nanoha franchise as a whole lacks a Competence Zone.
  • In Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic we see the adventures of Aladdin, Alibaba and Morgiana, which are all teenagers. And they are involved in saving many people, fighting dangerous monsters, and evil mages. While many adults are not incompetent, starting with Sindbad and his generals, only a few of them are morally pure, so the real heroes are just the teenagers.
  • In Mahou Sensei Negima!, After the True Companions went back in time to Set Right What Once Went Wrong, some of them went straight for help from the adults. After being heard, they were told to leave the rest to the grown-ups, to which Weasel Mascot Chamo responded by saying "Tsk, tsk, tsk. You don't get it, principal. History has already proven that it's no good to leave things to you guys. You should leave things to us here." In the end, while they did help, it was the students who saved the day while the adults were useless (mostly because the Big Bad had already developed countermeasures for them).
    • There's also a number of aversions, as there were several useful adults around, but they all sat off to the side and watched. Later chapters see the adults actually getting involved a little more.
    • Most adults, and at least one of them is a badass, have proven to be anything but useless, what with saving Negi's behind after he was OHKO'ed by the incoming Big Bad.
  • In Mai Hime, most of the adults seem to have a very strong Weirdness Censor in play, and the few that aren't are almost all tools of the Ancient Conspiracy.
    • On the other hand, Midori is an adult and is arguably the great unsung hero of the series as well as being the most level headed of the HiME (despite first impressions to the contrary). Additionally, Natsuki's adult contacts provide her with a lot of useful information and one of them also bales her, Mai, and Mikoto out of some trouble they had managed to get themselves into. Furthermore, while most of the adults have little knowledge of what's going on around them, most of them seem to be quite competent within their own professional spheres (and it's also worth noting that the majority of the younger characters are rather in the dark about what's going on as well).
  • Mazinger Z: Plays with it but subverts it. The weapon most powerful in the world is handed over to a teenager, and Dr. Hell and his servants (who are all adults) are unable defeat a bunch of teenagers... but neither Kouji nor Sayaka nor Shiro -nor Boss and his gang- would have been capable of protecting humankind and defeat Dr. Hell if they would not been supported by plenty adults. All workers in the Institute (starting with Prof. Yumi, who was a good scientist and strategist) were fully competent and without them Mazinger Z would have not got the frequent upgrades, repairs and maintenance it needed. This situation was repeated in the sequels: Great Mazinger and UFO Robo Grendizer.
  • My Bride is a Mermaid: Pretty much all the adults except for Masa and Ren are either incompetent or wildly apathetic.
  • The adults in The Mysterious Cities of Gold are either incompetent or, in the case of the longer lasting antagonists (Gomez, the Doctor and Malinche, the Olmec leaders), outsmarted. Mendoza's probably the only one who isn't really outsmarted.
  • In Nagi-Asu: A Lull in the Sea, the adults of both the land and sea bicker so much like children that they are often rendered incapable of cooperating with each other on even important matters such as the Ofunehiki. In one instance of this, the actual children end up scolding the adults for their immature arguing.
  • Mostly averted in Naruto. Throughout the first half of the series, the adults actually do most of the important, high-level fighting. Post-Time Skip, where the "Rookies" begin carrying more of the weight, it's portrayed not as this trope, but as the new generation taking up the mantle of their predecessors. And even then, apart from Naruto and Sasuke, the strongest fighters in the series are still mostly adults.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion deconstructs this. The reason why they're useless is because most of them are at least indirectly on SEELE's payroll, and it would be a Very Bad Idea for them to act as Spanners In The Works regarding Instrumentality.
    • The eponymous Eva units are piloted primarily by children. It's alluded to, but not clearly explained that this is linked to the Second Impact. They do state rather clearly, though, that they have to use children, although they seem a little bummed about it at first
  • Haruka's mother in Psychic Detective Yakumo does not put up any fight, protest, plea, when her daughter wants to walk into a potentially dangerous situation to rescue Yakumo.
  • Rosario + Vampire: There are students and teachers who attempt to rape, murder, mind-control, or otherwise commit felony-grade crimes against our protagonists on what seems like a weekly basis; our protagonists, in turn, defend themselves, often with near-lethal force. In the rare event that authority figures appear or that punitive measures are taken against the offenders, it's almost laughably minimal. The teacher who turned students to stone as "art" and the math instructor who mind-controlled students to force them to study were put on suspension, nothing more. Meanwhile, our protagonists are practically knee-deep in the casualties they turn out from these often-brutal fights, and there appears to be little or no action taken against them, either. (Perhaps monsters just have a much more casual view of rape and murder, seeing as how many of them can apparently survive anything short of actual decapitation.)
    • The headmaster of Yokai Academy, Tenmei Mikogami, certainly comes across as such. He is the principal of a school that promotes human/monster co-existence, and yet, among other things, he allows a Swimming Club full of mermaids to suck the life out of any males they persuade to join, as well as Kuyou (who happens to be an anti-human extremist and a terrorist) and the corrupt Student Police to abuse their authority and make the other students' lives miserable, leaving Tsukune and his friends to sort such things out. In fact, when Kuyou had Tsukune scheduled for public execution because he was human, Mikogami explicitly said he wasn't going to stop it and forbade Ms. Nekonome from doing anything to intervene, something she rightfully calls him out on.
  • Out of all the competent adult characters in 3-gatsu no Lion, Hina's homeroom teacher is the one character to embody this trope, being unable and unwilling to interfere with the bullying going on in her classroom, despite being spoken to directly about it and knowing about the bullying for some time.
  • Satou Kashi no Dangan wa Uchinukenai: Nagisa comes to this conclusion after talking with her teacher about her friend's abusive father. Her teacher has a similar reaction when he cries over their inability to have saved Umino from her father. There were multiple signs of abuse but adults either didn't notice, didn't want to get involved, or thought Umino was lying.
    Nagisa: Adults act like heroes but all they really want is to control us children.
  • School Days. The only adult that appears is their homeroom teacher. And true to trope, what few interactions he has with the main characters is essentially telling them to shut up so he can get on with class.
  • The only adult in School-Live! is the Sensei-chan Megu-nee, who is a Butt-Monkey who consistently gets ignored by most characters and doesn't really do anything. Subverted later when it's revealed that Megu-nee has been Dead All Along and what we see is really a hallucination of Yuki's, explaining why the others treat her like she's barely there. The actual Megu-nee was responsible and even died as a Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Averted in Soul Eater as most of the adult characters are far more powerful than the teenaged main characters and end up saving their lives at some points.
    • Even once the kids are shown to have improved significantly, the adults are still around being not-useless. For example they're acting in the background during the Baba Yaga arc, and now during this new storyline; Yumi with Kirikou's group, Tezcatlipoca disrupting Black Star's fight with Crona.
    • 'Salvage' has a group of them heading for Noah in the real world, as Spartoi hunt for Kid within the Book. Shinigami's not relying purely on the kids, it seems.
      • Although this is a bad example since the entire adult squad gets worfed in just a few panels.
      • Sadly true. It wasn't, technically, when the example was written.
  • In Suterareta Yuusha No Eiyuutan, it's played for full horror effect. The protagonist, Katsuragi Daichi, is horribly bullied, to the brink of death, on a near daily basis, by the vast majority of his class. The teachers not only turn a blind eye to it, and the subsequent visits to the infirmary, with all his horrific injuries, if they note that he's barricaded himself in his dorm room, for fear of his safety, they use their master key, break into the room, and physically drag him back to class so the bullies can have their way!
  • Sword Art Online, the games get jacked by the villains to make it giant battle royales. Most of the adult authority figures play no direct role in solving the crisis apart from providing medical care for the players trapped inside the game. Sister's Prayer, a side story, reveals that the government planned on an operation to disable the batteries of all NerveGear systems simultaneously in case Kayaba had a fail-safe designed to kill the players if anyone interfered, but the plan is never put into action. In the end, Kirito is the one who plays the greatest role in saving everyone still alive in SAO, as well as the remaining players spirited away to ALO.
  • Played with in Tamagotchi. The parents and teachers are a big influence in the main cast's lives, offering effective comfort and guidance. Other adults, however, are more comical and unhelpful.
  • The grown-ups in Tamako Market act very over-the-top, and are pretty gullible, while all the teenagers are wiser.
  • Tokyo Ravens: Averted. The adults are not only competent, but play almost as active a role in the plot as the main cast. Their experience also makes them Combat Pragmatists.
  • Although Tomica Hyper Rescue Drive Head Kidou Kyuukyuu Keisatsu seems to play this straight at first, with the titular Drive Head robots only being able to be driven by children and any adult driver failing to make them run, it is ultimately subverted. The drivers' adult allies all play important support roles, ranging from building and maintaining the Drive Heads to joining them right on the scene of a rescue. About halfway into the show, a fourth Drive Head is introduced, which is actually piloted by an adult.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX: Lampshaded in Season 3, usually by Asuka and Kenzan, as the kids easily resign themselves to the fact that the adults have fallen apart and it's up to them to take charge. Principal Sameshima might also be a Deconstruction, since from the start, having to repeatedly burden teenagers with the responsibility of saving the world truly causes him a great deal of guilt and inner-turmoil.
    • The original series also plays this pretty straight - especially the manga, which may as well be titled All Grownups Are Out to Get You: The Series. The Lighter and Softer anime somewhat ameliorates this.


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