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"A flashy feature that has limited usability for victory"


  • In Area 88, Mickey quickly discovers that his F-14 Tomcat, while formidable in combat, is a ridiculously expensive gas hog. In the OVA, he's shocked when McCoy hands him an exorbitant maintenance bill for his F-14. In the TV anime, when Area 88 is running dangerously low on fuel, Saki and Roundel exclude him from a high-stakes mission because his F-14 uses too much fuel.
  • Black Lagoon:
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    • Revy's twin shoulder rig for her pistols wouldn't exactly work in real life. With the exception of a sitting position, it'd be too easy to lose the guns if you move too much. That being said, they do earn major style points.
    • Greenback Jane is described as one of the best counterfeit artists in the whole world, and her attempts to create completely undetectable false money are good enough to persuade for a mafia family to hire her. Alas, Jane's The Perfectionist and none of her bills feels good enough for her, and the resulting amount of time and money she puts into getting her project "just right" eventually makes the mafia family decry her "undetectable" bills as this and so they decide to kill her for the inconvenience.
  • Uryu Ishida from Bleach possesses an attack like this — the deadly Sprenger, which requires him to set up a pentacle of Seele Schneiders around his opponent and detonate their stored spiritual energy in a focused blast. He remarks that the attack takes so long to set up that it's impossible to use it in battle without a partner to distract the enemy.
    • Even his ultimate attack in the Soul Society arc functioned that way. Tearing off the glove briefly gave him immense spiritual power, after which his powers were drained to nothing. Awesome.
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    • The Final Getsuga Tenshou, which Ichigo used to curb stomp Aizen. Funny thing is, he didn't even NEED to fully release it; Aizen had been turned into a pinball even after going One-Winged Angel (in fact, he had to go One-Winged Angel just to start landing hits on Ichigo that actually hurt). But what makes it really impractical? Ichigo loses his Shinigami powers.
    • Many Shinigami have Bankai that are incredibly powerful, but they consume massive amounts of power and have downsides that make them much less generally useful than Shikai.
    • Soi Fon's Bankai is basically a Fantastic Nuke, capable of wiping out entire city blocks. Unfortunately, it's also so big she can't properly move or fight with it active (which is especially bad because her preferred fighting style involves being a Fragile Speedster), she has to anchor herself before using it because of its tremendous recoil (and she'll still get hurt even if she does take precautions), and she can only properly use it once every three days. She much prefers to use her Shikai, which allows her to take advantage of her speed and precision in one-on-one combat, even if it doesn't have nearly as much destructive power.
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    • Then there's Ikkaku's Bankai, two massive swords attached to an even larger blade on Ikkaku's back. The weapon gradually gains power as Ikkaku fights, and is incredibly strong when it reaches full strength, but the problem is that his Bankai is very brittle and unsuitable for prolonged usage. Made perhaps the king of this trope for Bleach in that with the reveal that Bankai very rarely naturally repair themselves, having a Bankai with the side effect of "becomes easy to break" essentially means he has the self sacrificing price of the above abilities... but a power boost that only puts him at about the level of a lieutenant at first and he needs to work up to a power boost equal to a captain.
    • Komamura's Bankai summons a massive armored giant that mimics his movements and possesses incredible strength and durability, which is the "awesome". The "impractical" part comes from how any damage the giant takes is transfered to Komamura, and while any enemy strong enough to damage the giant could likely hurt him anyways, that means he just summoned a second, massive target to aim for. In addition, because the giant mimics his movements, a skilled or fast enough opponent can read and dodge it easily, forcing Komamura to rely on using it for a One-Hit KO usually via a quick surprise attack. He does have an advantage in that his Bankai is one of the few that heals naturally on its own without weakening thanks to this, however, and late in the series he undergoes a Deadly Upgrade that removes the "impractical" part of his Bankai completely since it can no longer be physically damaged and he himself is Nigh-Invulnerable as long as his heart is safe, but it's an Hour of Power that when it's over leaves him a powerless wolf, making it a whole new level of impractical.
    • Kyoraku's Shikai leaves him Blessed with Suck, as the 'games' apply to him and can be exploited by his opponent. And, while not shown, it's reasonable to assume it would be problematic if he were to use it in the company of allies, because anyone nearby is said to be subject to Katen Kyokotsu's rules. And she appears to change those at whim, with multiple sets in effect at once. His Bankai is even worse, since the curses it casts can also affect allies and himself, which is why he usually sticks to Shikai.
    • Shinji's Bankai is never seen in the series (it debuts in a later novel), because of this. It inverts perception of ally and enemy within its range, meaning that most groups of opponents will tear each other apart and no longer fight him. However, since only Shinji is immune to this power, he can't use it when any allies are around. Even worse, because it simply inverts perception of ally and enemy, enemies who were already barely on good terms with each other are less likely to be affected nor does it actually affect their other priorities.
    • Rukia's Bankai is a Fantastic Nuke of cold that one-shots As Nodt when used. However, it leaves the user a frozen statue, and if they defrost too quickly or try to move in this state, their body will shatter, leaving them easy pickings for any enemy who comes by while they're defrosting.
    • Urahara's Bankai is never seen in the series until near the very end because it's yet another one that's too dangerous to use with allies around. Specifically, it has the ability to "restructure" anything within its range, including Urahara himself. While defensively this allows him to fix his injuries and strengthen his own body such that he can recover from any attack that doesn't down him the first go around, offensively it's basically a "kill-only" weapon (it can flat-out dissassemble its victims), which is why he refused to use it to train Chad since he could legitimately kill him by accident with it.
    • Yamamoto's shikai alone, given that even his Battle Aura has a paralyzing effect on anyone lacking the spiritual power to withstand it. There are three people who have been known to fight him when using his zanpakuto. Two are his students, the other is Aizen, who technically didn't bother, being Crazy Prepared enough to bring along a Laser Guided Tyke Bomb specifically engineered to nullify Yamamoto's power.
      • Yamamoto very rarely uses his Bankai, Zanka no Tachi, because if he leaves it on too long, it'll destroy the world. As a passive effect. The active powers are much worse.
  • Break Shot: Chinmi and gang do ALL SORTS of cool and flashy shots which involve jump shots, 8 ball combos, air resistance, etc... all to sink a shot that could have been done in 1-2 normal straight shots most of the time. The crowning moment is probably when the 8 ball is in the corner pocket and all Chinmi has to do is tap it in... but he's afraid of sinking the cue ball. Does he do what any normal player would do and tap it on the side or put some backspin on it? No, he does some crazy 20 foot high jump shot!
  • In Captain Tsubasa, there's the Tachibana Twins' signature technique: Skylab Hurricane. One guy kicks the other guy to jump way above enemy defenders. Awesome, yes, but it puts a huge strain in both of the twins' legs, so they can't do it more than a couple times per match, not to mention the risk to injure themselves. Furthermore, as the Tachibanas grow older, and therefore heavier, the strain increases, to the point they become unable to pull this technique more than once per match by the time the Olympics arc rolls around.
  • In Charlotte, Yu and the others have special powers, though each of them has some kind of drawback:
    • Yu can transfer his soul to another person and do whatever he wants, but only for five seconds. There seems to be no limit to how often he can do this however. And it later turns out that his real power is to permanently steal other people's powers, with no limit on how many he can store (although he starts to develop memory loss when the power count reaches the 10,000 range).
    • Nao can make herself invisible, but only to one person at a time. Everyone else can see what she's doing. Despite being far less useful than most invisibility powers, it proves rather useful when she needs to stealthily follow or observe a specific person.
    • Joujirou has Super Speed, which he calls teleportation. Unfortunately, he can't slow himself down, so ends up crashing into stuff repeatedly and has to wear safety equipment underneath his uniform.
  • When the party are trying to harvest mandrakes in Delicious in Dungeon, Marcille, who has only read about the subject in textbooks, suggests a convoluted method involving tying a rope to a dog in order to stay out of earshot of their screams. Senshi, who has actual experience dealing with mandrakes, offers an alternative: just cut the head off before it gets a chance to scream. Even though it turns out letting the mandrake scream before cooking it makes it taste better, the party wisely choose to stick with Senshi's method.
  • In Digimon Frontier Velgemon's strongest attack is a OHKO technique. Probably. You can't be sure, because everyone he uses it against manages to escape the blast radius since it takes so long to perform the technique.
    • MetalKabuterimon has a similar technique — according to Wikipedia, it's the strongest attack among the 10 warriors. But he needs to be perfectly still when performing it and it takes long to charge up.
  • Dragon Ball features several examples to show that, sometimes, power isn't everything;
    • Goku's massively powerful Spirit Bomb attack, an attack which draws energy from all nearby life-forms; it's so ponderous it takes several episodes to fully charge (though this is partially the fault of episode padding) and leaves him wide open to attack, with the added risk of wasting all that energy if he loses concentration. And after all that, it only finishes off a single (canon) opponent in the entire series run.
    • Another King Kai technique, the Kaio-ken, multiplies the user's power several times for a short period, but places a severe strain on the body afterwards (to the point where Yajirobe giving Goku a congratulatory slap on the back afterwards caused him intense pain). It's not surprising that he stopped using it after the battle with Frieza, at which point he had the more reliable Super Saiyan form. Interestingly, Kaio-ken is useful and not that bad... at lower levels. King Kai specifically tells Goku not to go above Kaio-ken x2. However, his battle against Vegeta forced him to crank it higher and his subsequent fight with Frieza even further, thus the severe strain.
      • Speaking of the impractical, we have the Super Kaio-ken, the combination of Super Saiyan and Kaio-ken. Which was seen only once during Goku's filler arc battle against Pikkon (though it is mentioned again in Dragon Ball Super). This technique sounds very awesome, but it is so dangerously impractical that it results in instant death, and Goku can't even use it again, even while dead.
    • Krillin's Kienzan/Destructo Disc is one of the deadliest techniques ever created in all of Dragon Ball as it was confirmed by Word of God that it can cut through anything. Anything. It's essentially a One-Hit Kill, but it has one fatal and significant flaw... Krillin can't control it once he throws it.note  Also, Toriyama negated his own Word of God when a canonically ambiguous mook was able to catch it and throw it back, and again much later when a much more powerful Krillin tried it on Cell, who could ignore it entirely. The Destructo Disc's flaw is highlighted when compared to Frieza's Death Saucer attack, which not only creates two discs, but also allows the user to mentally control them to home after their target. This attack does wind up backfiring on Frieza far, far worse than Krillin's inferior version ever did, but only due to his own lack of attention.
    • Piccolo's Makankosappo/Special Beam Cannon, at least at the beginning of the series when it takes an inordinately long time to charge. It's because when he uses it, he's in the middle of not having an arm. According to Piccolo, having both of his arms would've let him charge faster, which he proves against Nappa. Sadly, the Saiyan sees it coming and dodges.
    • The iconic Scouters are small digital computers that can locate things from far away and calculate power levels, but they are easily broken, can be flat-out blown up by a strong enough aura, can be easily fooled by those able to hide their true strength, and can't take an opponent's skills, speed, or experience into consideration.
    • Another prime example are the Power Stressed forms, which greatly bulk up the user and increase power and speed but drain stamina, as first shown by Roshi during the 21st World Tournament using his MAX Power form and a Kamehameha to destroy the Moon but completely exhausting his strength in the process, and then, much more dramatically, by Frieza on Namek using a similar power-up to match Super Saiyan Goku but quickly weakening into helplessness. Even worse in Frieza's case because he needs to go through a lengthy power-up sequence in-universe just to release that form, which was only possible on Namek because Goku wanted to fight Frieza at his strongest to humiliate him, while Future Trunks doesn't let him get that chance.
      • This goes Up to Eleven with the Super Saiyan Third Grade, an "advanced" Super Saiyan form created during the Cell Saga, that increase the bulk, and thus the available power and the energy and stamina consumption, even more than normal Power Stressed forms to the point of surpassing the power of Super Saiyan 2, with the bulk being so much it actually reduces speed which makes it useless since all the power in the world does you no good if you can't hit your opponent. Goku and Vegeta figured that these forms were useless on their own,note  but the less savvy Trunks found out the hard way when fighting Cell. Way later on in Dragon Ball Super, Caulifla tries to use Super Saiyan Third Grade on Goku, with just as poor results.
    • Super Saiyan 3 itself also counts. It's the most powerful Saiyan transformation seen in DBZ, but consumes an enormous amount of energy, which has a number of drawbacks attached to it. For example, Gotenks using SS3 shortens his normal Fusion Dance time limit from 30 minutes to 5, while Goku using the form as a delaying tactic against Fat Buu reduces the amount of time he has left during his once-in-an-afterlife visit to the mortal world. Later on, after Goku is brought back to life, he finds out that Super Saiyan 3 puts an incredible strain on the body that causes him to tire out quickly during the fight with Kid Buu. Goku later on manages to minimize these drawbacks, but by the time he does, Super Saiyan 3 has become So Last Season.
      • As of Dragon Ball Super, Akira Toriyama has declared that both Super Saiyan 2 and 3 fall under this trope, draining stamina at an increased rate while not offering enough of a power increase to justify it, plus Super Saiyan 2 causing an extreme increase of aggression and sadism. As a result, Goku and Vegeta have mostly abandoned these forms, using them only on rare occasions and instead focusing on increasing their power in their normal states and the original Super Saiyan transformation. When stakes get high, Goku and Vegeta use Super Saiyan Blue instead, which is far more powerful than Super Saiyan 2 and 3 but with none of the flaws. Goku also has the added bonus of combining the Kaio-ken technique with Super Saiyan Blue, which was virtually impossible with his other Super Saiyan forms.
    • Now we have Super Saiyan God, a form that requires five good-hearted Saiyans donating energy to a sixth and has such a high power drain, Goku barely has time to use the thing. The next movie introduces Super Saiyan Blue, which is essentially an improved and more efficient version without all the drawbacks. The Super Saiyan God seen in Dragon Ball Super lessens the Impractical by giving it an extended duration and making it more of a challenge for Beerus, and further lessens it in the Universal Survival Arc by making it a less strenuous power-up, allowing Goku to have an edge in battle while not draining himself as fast as Blue.
    • Speaking of Resurrection F, Frieza's new Golden form also qualifies. While it gives him speed and power surpassing the improved Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan/Super Saiyan Blue while holding back to torture Goku as slowly as possible, he practically bleeds stamina, meaning that he can only maintain it for a couple of minutes at full strength before it starts weakening, after which it quickly peters out and leaves him completely gassed out afterwards. This is entirely Frieza's fault; as Vegeta surmises, once he achieved the form he immediately rushed to Earth to take his revenge, rather than undergoing any further training in order to address the flaw. Dragon Ball Super makes it less impractical as Frieza can control his power in the form, allowing him to last a while longer than in the film while holding back (although he still kicks Goku's ass, and he is still burning Ki at an accelerated rate), but conversely, he burns out after only a minute of using his full power. In Dragon Ball Super's Universal Survival arc, we find out that Frieza spent his time back in Hell fixing that problem, making him so much stronger.
    • Most of the techniques Gotenks comes up with are flashy, but ineffective. His Signature Move, the Super Ghost Kamikaze Attack, initially appears to be very powerful and effective, but when Buu uses it against Vegito, Vegito demonstrates the attack's Fatal Flaw by detonating the ghosts from a safe distance using Ki Blasts, and then mocks Buu for thinking that an attack created by two kids could actually defeat him.
    • Really, Gotenks' very existence is a case of this. While he's undoubtedly one of the most powerful characters in the series, he's far too arrogant and childish to be very dependable. He could have defeated Buu in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, but was more concerned with showing off and looking cool; by the time he got serious, Buu had already killed almost everyone and he wasted too much time at Super Saiyan 3.
    • Gogeta, the fusion of Goku and Vegeta, can also verge into this at times, depending on what level of power they're using. At base Super Saiyan, they tend to take things rather seriously. The higher the tier of Super Mode they use, the more of a Smug Super they become. In the non-canon Dragon Ball GT, Super Saiyan 4 Gogeta ends up taking his battles even less seriously than Gotenks. Sure, they're insanely powerful but the Fusion strain also applies to them, meaning that the Fusion can only last for five minutes while using Super Saiyan 4. Vegito also falls into this in Dragon Ball Super since the Potara earrings have been retconned into being an Hour of Power deal for mortals like the Fusion Dance. Even though Super Saiyan Blue Vegito is even stronger than Super Saiyan 4 Gogeta and takes his battles mildly more seriously when the threat level is high, the Potara earrings also end up having the same drain problems the fusion dance has. This is very much a downplayed example though; even with all these limits, Vegito still manages to cause a good deal of damage against the villain of that arc thanks to being just that dang powerful!
    • The original Fusion Dance itself: it grants an awesome lot of power, but has a 30 minutes time limit at most before ending, needs a 1 hour pause between uses, needs a dance that an enemy can interrupt (as Super Buu demonstrated out of sheer impatience), and is embarrassingly ridiculous. Also, if the dance is not executed perfectly, the resulting fusion can end too fat and out of shape to fight or incredibly ghoulish and weak.
    • Guldo of the Ginyu Force is able to freeze time for as long as he holds his breath... but he can't hold his breath for very long, and doing so uses up a lot of his energy. As shown when he uses it against Gohan and Krillin three times in a row, he ends up so drained that he can't even fire basic Ki Blasts. He's also so clumsy and cowardly that he wastes much of the time he does gain either panicking or tripping on terrain.
    • The Ginyu Force's poses and setups for their attacks. Lampshaded by Goku who points out they take too long and leave themselves wide open.
    • Dragon Ball Super gives us the Super Saiyan Blue Kaio-ken, the fusion of Super Saiyan Blue and the Kaio-ken. It's a technique powerful enough to battle the deadly assassin Hit, who is one of the strongest warriors in Universe 6, and gives Beerus major pause. However, the technique is totally incomplete - the skill only lasts a few minutes (on-screen, it's shown to be only two minutes), has a 90% failure rate and, if performed wrong, could kill Goku. Not to mention, it has an extended charging time. This is why he considers it his ultimate trump card. A few episodes after its introduction, we find out that using it in this way causes "delayed onset ki disorder", which throws off his whole ki potential without proper rest. However, by the Universal Survival arc, Goku perfected the Super Saiyan Blue Kaio-ken and eliminated its drawbacks. But by that point, Super Saiyan Blue was beginning to get worfed, resulting in...
    • Goku's new Ultra Instinct form achieved in the Tournament of Power. It is substantially stronger than Super Saiyan Blue Kaio-ken and has near immeasurable power beyond the Gods. However, it has some crippling limitations. For starters, Goku can't even reliably access the form freely (he even comments that he achieved it by total accident) as it is a Defence Mechanism Superpower that requires the removal of all mental and physical control and only appears in times of desperation. He also cannot control Ultra Instinct once he achieves it, as it will involuntarily burn out on him and the resulting burnout leaves him in tremendous pain. While Ultra Instinct is substantially more powerful than Super Saiyan Blue, Blue remains Goku's most reliable go-to transformation.
    • The Dragon Balls themselves are this trope. Seven balls that when brought together can summon a magic dragon to grant nearly any wish at all? Awesome! The fact that they scatter across the world each time they're used, that they can only be used annually, and that it usually takes generations to gather them all without a Dragon Radar? ...not as much.
      • The Namekian Dragon Balls and Super Dragon Balls manage to make an already impractical in-story cheat code even more impractical simply by being too big to fit in one's pocket. Namekian Dragon Balls are roughly the size of dodgeballs, while Super Dragon Balls are roughly the size of entire planets. The latter have an additional problem: namely, they scatter across the multiverse.
      • The situation is much more severe with the Black Star Dragon Balls in Dragon Ball GT, which scatter across the entire GALAXY and will destroy the planet they were last used on should they not be collected and brought back to said planet within a year's time. The upside? Ultimate Shenron, the Black Star Dragon Balls' dragon, is more powerful than the Earth and Namekian Eternal Dragons and thus has a far greater amount of wishes that he can grant. In the same way, Super Shenron is effectively The Omnipotent.
  • One-shot Urban Fantasy manga "The Dragon's School is on Top of the Mountain" focuses on the only college in Japan to teach dragon-handling classes, which naturally attract a lot of students. However, it's quickly made clear why it's the only one; most jobs a dragon could be used for are cheaper and more efficient with modern technology, and even for the ones that aren't dragons are so cost-inefficient they're not worth it. For example, the main character starts out thinking a dragon would help with his family's delivery business, but quickly realises the costs of taking care of one would heavily outweigh any benefits it would bring.
  • Elfen Lied has two examples from the final part of the manga. The Unknown Man uses a specialized crossbow that fires spiked, poisoned balls of sufficient weight and impact that a Diclonius cannot easily turn them back, especially at close range. He disables Nana with it, then threatens to disfigure a resistant Mayu, till in a Big Damn Heroes moment, evolving Jerkass with a Heart of Gold Bando pounds the intruder to hell and back. Unknown Man gets the drop on Bando as well, but Bando's artificial hand enable him to pull the spiked ball out, which he then shoves where the sun don't shine, sending Unknown Man running and crying. Bando then takes the crossbow for his final battle with Lucy, but the spiked ball was a recovered rather than a fresh one, and the poison is lessened enough for Lucy to overcome it. After Bando is seemingly killed, the crossbow ends up in the hands of the determined Agent who recaptured Lucy, to defend herself and Meganekko Mad Scientist Arakawa from a sinking island full of vengeful Clone Diclonius. She uses it to great effect—and then it runs out of ammo, which, being heavy spiked balls, isn't easily replaced. In this case, sadistically awesome and only very briefly practical.
    • The forces of the Japanese government opposing Big Bad Chief Kakuzawa cook up Vector Tanks, essentially giant Diclonius brains as combat vehicles. Problem—they're only useful against Diclonius, and shake apart when confronting an amped-up Lucy.
  • Eyeshield 21 explains that the underdogs are this by necessity. A training that can give the mostly rookie team the equivalent of three years of physical conditioning for the sport? Awesome, but there is a significant chance that the training will cripple you for life. Perform onside kick after onside kick since the defense can't stop the others' attack power? Awesome, but statistically the other team will still get their hands on the ball more times than you, even with a great kicker. Fly over the line for a 2 point conversion? Awesome, but can be done only once per late game since the star player will likely get his shoulder dislocated if he keeps doing it. Yet sink or swim plays such as these are the only viable choices when the other teams are leagues above the underdogs since not only can they turn the table but psyche out the other team.
  • In-Universe, this is Kenshiro's general opinion on Ki Manipulation.
  • In-Universe, the Gutsy Geoid/Galaxy Guard quickly learn that battles in populated areas are not good things. Seeing as they are dedicated to protecting human life, they end up developing the Dividing Driver so they can create a battlefield that won't get wrecked.
    • As well, they find out that GaoGaiGar's finishing move, the Hell and Heaven, has a dangerous side effect in causing damaging strain to Cyborg Guy's body. Thus, they end up developing the Goldion Hammer and the protective Marg Hand, collectively known as the robot Goldymarg.
  • Full Metal Panic!: The Tuatha De Danaan (TDD-1) submarine has a revolutionary stealth engine that allows it to go undetected by conventional sonars. The drawback is that the TDD-1 has to stay regularly on dry dock for several days for maintenance.
  • Gundam has many weaponry as well as mechas that are, in some way or another, inefficient to use:
    • The Double Zeta Gundam, a massive (even by Gundam standards) Combining Mecha with many BFGs, the most powerful one built into its head. The catch? It can only fire them about two or three times before the suit's capacitors are completely drained of energy.
    • MS IGLOO is based on this premise, though some Super Prototypes like the Hildolfr tank turn out to be effective. The worst offender is the Jormungand's BFG from the first episode, being a big target with low accuracy and a very long cool-down period between each shot. What makes the Jormungand stand out even more is the fact that it was hauled out and only fired three shots... from its own crew out of sheer frustration that Command was ignoring them. When their XO decides to go out and give his crew the info they needed, Char Aznable shows up and tells them to just go on back, the mobile suits will handle this. Which most likely means that Zeon built a humongous gun for nothing more than show.
      • Zeon loved this, constantly creating new classes of mecha instead of just concentrating on a few promising models like the Gelgoog. In particular, the Big Zam was based off of the "super tanks" from World War II that were prohibitively heavy and slow. It could take on long-range roles, but was useless at close-range. This is in contrast to the Federation, who invented the Gundam, Guncannon, and Guntank and just derived the rest of their forces from those three in one way or another because the design was effective and just needed toned down enough to be mass produced.
    • In Victory Gundam, beam weapons have become so powerful, that the equivalent conventional weaponry (read: massive Gatling gun) has too much recoil for it to be aimed properly.
    • Gundam Wing, the Wing Zero, a nigh-unstoppable mobile suit designed for wholesale destruction, rapidly becomes this when used for anything requiring just a bit more precision. Nothing says Awesome, But Impractical like trying to defend civilians when your primary long-ranged weapon can one-shot the entire colony you're fighting in, and your ultra-sophisticated cockpit system is busy trying to Mind Rape you into pulling the trigger.
      • Side materials claim the Wing Zero's Twin Buster Rifle (and by proxy the Wing Gundam's singular Buster Rifle) have variable power outputs and can be altered to "standard" beam rifle levels on a whim. That does little good in a space colony, since any kind of weapon discharge, especially that of a beam-based weapon, may puncture the colony's hull and spell destruction for everyone within it. This is the reason why combat inside colonies is generally avoided across the Gundam timelines, and why some forces (like Mobile Suit Gundam F91's Crossbone Vanguard) develop weapons that are made to avoid this eventuality.
      • Wing Gundam's buster rifle has enough energy for only three shot at maximum output. Wing Zero doesn't share this limitation, however. In Glory to the Losers manga, this was retconned to a dozen energy cartridges, but Heero can't seem to find a way to replace them.
      • This is also stated why the Tallgeese, the Super Prototype to all Wing-era mobile suits, spent most of its existence gathering dust in a museum. Tallgeese was simply too fast, and put so much strain and G-forces on the pilot that most people attempting to fly it wound up dead from the force alone. It just wasn't practical to produce on a mass scale, so the Leo and Aries suits are essentially downgraded versions of the Tallgeese. It's not until the Gundams show up and become a serious threat that OZ decides to repair the Tallgeese to its former glory and hand it to the one pilot they have with the skills to master it, Zechs.
    • From After War Gundam X is the titular Gundam X. On one hand, it's pretty good specs-wise and possesses the almighty Satellite Cannon that's designed to vaporize colonies. On the other, the damn thing has hilariously long charging and cool-down times, requires a direct view of a moon-based facility, and needs a Newtype for the first activation. What's more, its only mid-range weapon is a weird rifle/shield hybrid, making the use of both at the same time impossible. And then Gundam X got badly damaged early in the series along with its Satellite Cannon, forcing it to be remodeled into the Gundam X Divider, with the Divider Shield containing lots of smaller beam cannons. Double X ironed out most flaws by having a separate rifle and a shield, and the cool-down of its Twin Satellite Cannon is greatly reduced).
    • In Gundam SEED Astray the Lohengrin Launcher can fire a huge blast of anti-matter positrons which atomizes anything in its path. It's also so powerful that it can only use a nuclear reactor for power. This wouldn't be a problem normally, but in SEED's universe, anti-nuclear devices called N-Jammers have been scattered across the Earth Sphere in order to prevent nuclear attacks. The one and only time the Lohengrin Launcher is used, its operator has to get to point-blank range of an enemy super-weapon, which puts him within the effective radius of its own N-Jammer Canceller.
    • The Phase-Shift Armor of Gundam SEED. When it was first developed, it was Plot Armor, as it was meant to deflect everything short of beam weaponry, which ZAFT didn't have at the time (aside from in the form of battleship cannons, which are too slow-moving to effectively target mobile suits). However, when ZAFT stole four of the five Gundams, they got their beam weaponry, and it was practically rendered moot. This doesn't include the fact that the armor ran on the suit's battery, which meant that it was draining from it and using the high-powered beam weaponry some were armed with drained the battery faster.
      • PS Armor and its weaknesses are actually a standard theme in Gundam, spawned from the original series itself: Gundams are almost always equipped with super tough armor against any and all non-beam weapons, which allows them to be invincible at the beginning of the series (when everyone is still using machine guns and heat blades) but more or less vulnerable later on when everyone has gained beam weapons. That said, one could say that Gundam armor in general (Luna Titanium/Gundarium/Gundanium/E-Carbon/whatever) is Awesome, But Impractical, especially when it comes down to the fact they're usually too expensive to use on mass production units.
      • In the Gundam SEED Astray OVA, Lowe obtains a BuCUE head from a dealer at an auction. While having a twin-bladed beam saber that rotates is awesome, it takes away a hand from his Red Frame, keeping him from using the Gerbera Straight katana, still uses too much energy from his suit and, when he leaves it behind, laments on the fact that he just lost about a million Earth Dollars.
      • The Trans Phase Shift Armor used by Calamity, Raider and Forbidden. An improvement over the PS, it only drained the battery if it takes damage, meaning longer operation time and more energy for weapons. However, if it gets hit from a powerful heavy attack, it can drain the entire battery, giving no advance warning to the pilot.
      • There have been numerous attempts to make weapon packs that essentially combines the main weapon packs of the initial heroic Gundam. The first was the IWSP, whose heavy usage of solid weaponry was offset by off-balance weight and unwieldy controls, was abandoned by Cagalli in favor of just a basic Aile Striker pack. Then, there was the Destiny Silhouette, which was just a testbed for the Destiny Gundam's systems but proved too energy extensive for the Impulse Gundam to use. Finally, the Perfect Striker pack, who tried to offset the heavy energy usage by shoving a bunch of extra batteries into it.
    • In Gundam 00, the Burst Mode of Gundam Virtue's GN Bazooka it powerful, but it takes Virtue five minutes to recharge after firing it. And on the battlefield, five minutes can make all the difference.
      • 00 had so many Awesome, But Impractical devices that the whole series practically ran on them. From the Gundam Nadleeh's Trial System (only worked on MS connected to Veda, which were few and far between in the first season) to the GN Drive Tau (produced limited energy and early models were radioactive) to the Gaga (little more than a piloted missile, and it took them by the dozens just to break through a GN Field) to the various side story prototypes that were thrown out at random, one wonders how any of these things made it off the collective drawing board, or why anyone would have wanted to use them (well, except the GN Drive Tau anyway).
      • Celestial Being ran on this trope. The GN Drives were designed to create limitless energy, but because of the insane secrecy behind them, only five were made and everyone who made them were killed to keep the secrets. That meant replacing them was impossible and it wasn't until the events of The Movie that they could reasonably make new ones. Then, there was the Gundam 00, which was meant to use a special new system theorized up by the group's founder. It needed two special GN Drives working in harmony to perfectly run and even then it needed extra equipment to make it run at 100% capacity!
    • In the original Mobile Suit Gundam, beam rifles were exactly this, as they were insanely powerful at the time (as they were the means to make a Mobile Suit have the power of a battleship), but they had a few drawbacks - your suit needed to have the sufficient power to power up a beam rifle's charges to fire, you had a limited amount of shots (16 for the Gundam itself) and had no way to reload on the battlefield, and they were quite expensive. It wasn't until suits began having stronger and cheaper powerplants and the advent of the E-Cap device that beam rifles became more practical. For example, the GM (a toned-down mass production model of the original Gundam) had to make do with a shorter-ranged and less accurate "beam spray gun" because it couldn't handle the Gundam's full-power beam rifle.
      • Zeon also had a problem with everything involving Mobile Suit design. They had a tendency to pour money into limited production, highly specialized MS (ones adapted to a single specific environment or style of combat) and weird, experimental mobile armors rather than making a small number of effective "do-everything" designs. This also extended to their weaponry, which tended to be intended only for one or two specific machines; Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket actually addresses this by saying that Zeon developed the "United Maintenance Plan" to produce standardized parts and weapons shared across all their MS types. Unfortunately, they didn't put this plan into action until December of UC 0079, the final month of the war.
      • The next-gen MS competition is a rare example of Zeon averting this trope. One of the machines considered was the Gyan, essentially a giant robot knight armed with a powerful Laser Blade and a shield packed full of missiles and space mines; while it dominated in close combat it couldn't fight at longer ranges at allnote . Zeon's bigwigs recognized the Gyan's shortcomings and passed it over for the Gelgoog, which was equally capable in long- and close-range combat. However, the Gelgoog ended up fitting this trope too, because while it was theoretically on par with the Federation's Gundam it was introduced in the last month of the war and therefore couldn't make a real difference (not helped in the least by the fact that at that point, Zeon was forced to field pilots fresh out of the academy who couldn't bring out the Gelgoog's true potential).
      • The Federation got into this a bit as well, particularly with the ground-combat Gundam and GM from Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team. The upside was that they had power, durability, and capability rivaling the Gundam - even the ground-type version of the GM had a reactor powerful enough to handle a beam rifle - and had a wide variety of weapons and equipment produced for them. The downside is that they were for the most part created out of spare parts from the Gundam, so they only had enough resources to build a small handful of each (20 Gundams and 42 GMs), and repair attempts quickly became strained; the 08th Team ended up with two of their three Gundams taking critical damage and had to be given kit-bashed field repairs using whatever parts were lying around, which usually left them with worse performance than the base models.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory and the RX-78GP02A Gundam GP-02A "Physalis". Designed for fortress smashing, it was armed with a nuclear warhead in the event another Zeon would try that stunt again. After the nuke is used... it isn't much use. All it had afterwards was two beam sabers and head vulcans, which meant it needed help should the opposition confront it afterwards. Not to mention as well that some of its cooling systems were built into its shield, meaning that an attack that manages to pierce it — like, say, a beam saber — could quickly render the suit unusable for its primary purpose.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket showed that the RX-78NT-1 Gundam "Alex" had a special armor suit made out of strong Chobham armor. While the armor was tough and is able to withstand the Kampfer's chain mine, the armor weighed down the "Alex" immensely, killing its speed. As the "Alex" was designed for Newtypes (re: Amuro Ray) in mind, this would be a dangerous thing.
    • Gundam Build Fighters shows that Gunpla Battles are this. This was especially noted with the Gunpla Battle Club — its members kept making Gunpla and getting them trashed early in tournaments. You're looking at $100 USD worth of work (at the very most) going down the drain. This is most likely why the sequel series Gundam Build Fighters Try introduced adjustable damage levels, and said that the normal setting is usually only enforced in big tournaments.
    • In Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team, protagonist Shiro tries to attack an enemy by sliding down the side of a building while firing off all his machine guns at once. He hits absolutely nothing. Norris Packard, the opponent he was fighting at the time, dryly observed "Well, at least it looked impressive..."
    • In Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn, the titular Mobile Suit has a few problems with it. The first is its devastating NT-D (Newtype Destroyer) mode. When activate, it makes use of its Psychoframe technology to battle Newtype enemies and even control Newtype weaponry. However, it means that the suit's pilot has to be a Newtype to actually use it as it would be too strenuous for normal people to pilot and even then it can only be used safely for five minutes. Adding to that is that the activation of the mode means that it can access its beam sabers, meaning that part of its weaponry is effectively locked out.
      • The other problem is its unique Beam Magnum rifle. The Beam Magnum is a powerful weapon as each shot is comparable to 4 regular beam rifle shots. However, do achieve this effect, an entire e-pac magazine is consumed. To that effect, the Beam Magnum's actual magazine is five e-pacs hooked together, meaning it only has five shots. Even worse, as the weapons were designed to be used for the Unicorn series, other units using them will cause damage to their systems.
  • One Heaven's Arena fighter in Hunter × Hunter had the ability to use Nen to create an entire duplicate of himself. The ability seems impressive at first, with the fighter being able to go toe to toe with Hisoka and even rip off his arms. However, it's quickly revealed that the fighter's ability is completely at odds with his natural talent, and the duplicate ability is so complex that he can't learn any other abilities as a result, leaving him as a one-trick pony that's easily thwarted once the ability's weakness is found.
  • Drifting as dramatized Initial D looks good in the anime, watching the cars slide and such. But in practice, drifting is more or less a spectacle rather than an often used technique in racing. This is mostly because your tires will wear out very fast. Averted in the later seasons (stages) when exhibition drifting wasn't really used. The drifting in the later stages were more akin to drawn out versions of rally drifting.
  • In Inuyasha, Miroku's potentially phenomenally powerful wind-tunnel, which sucks anything and everything in the vicinity into a void in his hand, is rendered utterly useless by a permanent swarm of lethally poisonous insects called Saimyosho which constantly buzz around the main antagonists. There are a few instances in which Miroku uses the curse anyway as a last resort, but the vast majority of the time he is prevented from using it. To be fair, without the Saimyosho to balance the field, his power would be quite a Game-Breaker. Also later on in The Final Act, Naraku orders the Saimyosho to stop protecting Hakudoshi, allowing Miroku to use the wind tunnel to destroy him.
  • The magical weapons in Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?. While it can help adventurers that don't know much magic, they are expensive, breakable, and not as strong as actual magic. Welf, possibly the only living person who can make them en masse, refuses to make them for this very reason.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is full of varied and powerful Stands, some of them are hilariously broken but have major weaknesses or requirements.
    • Part 3 is rather infamous for this. Joseph's Hermit Purple, can take "spirit photographs" using cameras, or can pull a more advanced version with a television; unfortunately, in both cases it destroys the device being used, and in 1989 that kind of tech isn't cheap. Made worse by the fact that DIO's "Hermit Purple 2" can pull exactly the same trick but doesn't destroy the camera (though this may not be a limitation of the Stand so much as Joseph being overdramatic). Joseph gets more practical as time goes on, however, demonstrating the ability to draw things in the dirt to achieve the same effect and just using Hermit Purple as a whip.
      • Also in Part 3, Arabia Fats and his Stand The Sun. The Sun is a miniature sun that Fats can summon into the sky. It's as hot as the real deal, Fats can spy on his enemies with it, and it can even shoot lasers. The catch? There's nothing protecting Fats himself from the heat his Stand generates, so he's forced to hide out in a special air-conditioned car lest he is Hoist by His Own Petard.
    • Part 4's Big Bad, Yoshikage Kira, has the ability Bites the Dust, which protects his identity by killing anybody who finds out his name, rewinding time back an hour, and trapping whoever found out in a loop that ensures they'll die all over again. It's one of the most overpowered abilities in the series, but the limitations on it make it also extremely impractical in the long term. For starters, Kira essentially gives up Killer Queen to start the process by attaching it to someone and making them a "bomb" of sorts, meaning if he is attacked by another Stand, he has to recall it, ending the loop and stopping its effects. It also does not allow Kira to maintain his memories of each loop, but it does allow the person who has been picked as his "bomb" to keep their memories of each loop, meaning they can exploit this to change the events of whats happened, even if only slightly. Lastly, Kira is not able to benefit from the effects of Bites the Dust, meaning if someone asks him about his identity, it will do nothing to protect him. The reason the ability is so dangerous is that because Hayato is the "bomb" chosen, the heroes have no way of finding out the truth until Kira gets overly cocky.
    • In Part 5, there's Pannacotta Fugo's Stand, Purple Haze. Purple Haze's ability is producing flesh-eating bacteria that kills people in 30 seconds. The problem is the viruses can't tell friend from foe and Purple Haze himself is extremely short-tempered and difficult for even Fugo to control, and ultimately his stand is a Story-Breaker Power. In Purple Haze Feedback, Purple Haze gets a Necessary Drawback to prevent him from being overpowered.
    • Any Stand that relies on gambling counts. Osiris, Atum, Boy II Man and Marilyn Manson can steal souls, Stands, and possessions up to and including internal organs, respectively, if their users win some kind of game or bet. While they have the potential to defeat ANY kind of enemy, the Stand is pretty much useless if the user is unlucky or outsmarted... or the target just refuses to play.
    • Parts 1 and 2 have Hamon/Ripple abilities. Hamon users can control energy using special breathing techniques, allowing the user to rapidly heal wounds, send impacts through solid objects, and, most notably, kill Vampires by simulating sunlight. This all sounds amazing, but once one gets past the grueling training (which is supposed to take years) they find out that Hamon techniques require uninterrupted breathing, full range of movement, and proper blood flow in order to use. So if the user is underwater, is having their blood sucked, is frightened, has frostbite, has their limbs tied, is being choked, is in a cramped space, or is just tired, then Hamon is unusable. These all sound like extraneous circumstances, but the Hero is fighting Vampires, the leader of which can freeze anything he touches. All of these weaknesses are highlighted in every Hamon fight in part 1.
    • Often enough, the biggest weakness a Stand has is its own user. Because of the Synchronization Stands share with their users, killing the user or at least knocking them out will usually end the stand's threat, and very few Stands have abilities that directly protect and/or heal their masters. For example, The Sun, The Fool, and Horus are near invincible on their own, since the first will fry anyone who gets too close and the second two can reform from sand and ice, respectively. However, their users are respectively an out-of-shape man (who's pinned to his car to prevent The Sun from affecting him too), a Boston terrier, and a bird. Their fights tend to end quick when their enemies get in one good shot.
      • Part 4's The Hand is generally considered to be one of the most powerful stands in the series. Not only is it strong and fast enough to keep up with Crazy Diamond, but it also has the ability to erase anything it wants with its right hand. Range isn't a problem either, because it can erase the space between the user and their target. In other words, The Hand is a One-Hit Kill machine capable of defeating almost anything with just 2 arm swings. Thing is, its user Okuyasu Nijimura is too nice to actually kill people with it, and not bright enough to think up creative uses for it like most people who possess problematic powers.
    • The Stand Arrow from Part 5 has the same ability as all Arrows: it jumpstarts the spiritual power of those who are by it, leading to them either developing a Stand or dying. It is also attracted by those with enough spiritual power to successfully survive the ordeal, so you can know in advance who can survive it and who cannot. However, the Arrow can also be used to pierce a Stand; doing so can result in either a massively powerful (but unpredictable) Stand, or instant death. And unlike the previous case, there's no attraction effect; you just have to stab your Stand and pray that it works.
    • Part 7's Blackmore, whose Stand, Catch the Rainbow, allows him to manipulate both raindrops, and his own body around raindrops, with a wide, near-invincible repertoire of techniques: He can make them dangerously sharp and able to shred anything they touch, force them to linger in the air in one spot, and teleport parts of himself through them for both movement and reach, and even patching up mortal wounds with rain so that he cannot die... the problem is, he cannot actually make it rain in the first place, and must rely on natural weather patterns. So he's practically invincible in the rain, but as soon as it stops he's powerless, and once he gets lethally shot during a fight he knows he's Living on Borrowed Time until the clouds clear.
    • One of the initial contestants in the Steel Ball Run enters with an automobile rather than a horse, getting accepted more due to Rule of Cool than anything. It probably has many advantages over horses, but as this is 1890, mileage isn't one; the driver drops out of the race after less than an hour when he runs out of gas, and realizes just how much it would cost to keep the tank filled for the whole distance.
    • Automatic Stands in general tend to be quite powerful and Nigh-Invulnerable, with their disconnect from their user removing the Synchronization effect that causes Stand Users to take their Stand's wounds and vice versa. The downside is that they are quite unwieldy. Stands that pursue based on a trigger (like Sheer Heart Attack, Notorious B.I.G., Born This Way, and Doobie Wah!) can be circumvented by avoiding said trigger (i.e. Sheer Heart Attack is heat-seeking, so if you have a lure hotter than your body temperature, it'll go after that) while attacking the user, since the user's death will still kill the stand (Notorious B.I.G being the one exception, but it's still impractical since in this case Carne has to die for it to activate in the first place). Stands that are objects that need to be interacted with, like Boingo's Thoth and Melone's Babyface, require a lot of work before the fights even begin, and in Boingo's case the predictions are often subject to Prophecy Twist and lack context.
  • The Law of Ueki: Halfway through the series Mori gets an ability to turn her opponents into glasses fetishists. This means she can make her opponents do whatever she wants, including beating themselves up, by threatening to break her glasses. Unfortunately there is a ridiculous catch: the opponents have to strike a "Goodie-Two-Shoes" pose (both fists placed near chin, one leg raised backwards) in order for it to work.
  • Lyrical Nanoha:
    • Nanoha's Starlight Breaker. It required a really long charge time so its caster must be protected or the target needs to be immobile, and its strength is only equivalent to the total amount of scattered mana in the area, making this technique only suitable as a last resort. It also practically guarantees victory if it is cast successfully.
    • Hayate Yagami also views her abilities in this regard, as her techniques are mostly large scale heavy bombardment spells that require a full unit of Bridge Bunnies to help her aim if Rein is not around. Hayate's literally incapable of using weaker, and generally more practical, spells. She suspects that in a one-on-one fight, even Caro, a C-ranked mage who mainly uses support magic and fights alongside her summoned dragons, would be able to defeat her.
    • This is probably the reason why there are only two known Belkan Unison Devices running around when the TSAB presumably has the capacity to make them. While they do grant an enormous power boost to their lord, they have to be compatible for it to work properly (and compatibility is innate rather than being developed). Plus, Unison Devices are Living Weapons, so they can end up overtaking the person they're in unison with (known as a "Unison Accident").
  • The Pactio cards in Mahou Sensei Negima! can be used for Telepathy. Cool, right? Except that you can only use them to send thoughts to a single person, who can't communicate back unless they have their Pactio card with them, and telepathy is very easily blocked. Several characters point out that a cell phone is generally superior, as you have two-way communication, and can call multiple people with it. Negi also has a very limited mind-reading ability, which requires him to put his hand on his target's head for a few seconds, and walk away with maybe two words, which are likely useless. To be fair, Pactio telepathy has been around for a thousand years or more. On the other hand, telephones are less than 140 years old, and decent cell phones have only been around for less than two decades. So yeah, Pactio telepathy is far inferior to cell phones, but they've been around and in use for much longer. Modern day technology has simply made it redundant.
    • The true completed final ability of Magia Erebea is the ability to absorb an enemy's blast and turn it into the user's power. It's extremely potent, but it requires a large spell circle inscribed on the ground and some very precise positioning. It's only attempted twice in the series due the sheer practical difficulties in getting it off.
  • In My Hero Academia, this can be a major problem in the series' overall society. People tend to have a bias in favor of flashy Quirks with major drawbacks. This ends up happening at the expense of characters who have mundane Quirks that have a very good amount of utility. This results in the Hero courses losing some promising individuals because their Quirks aren't "combat oriented", or the less flashy but practical Quirks not getting the attention and credit they should. Examples of flashy, but problematic abilities include:
    • "One for All" is this when Midoriya first acquires it. His body is still not able to handle the incredible Super Strength it grants, nor is he able to regulate how much power he uses when he activates it; for a significant amount of time after obtaining the ability, he can't use it without breaking his limbs, and after a fight where he used the same hand to attack multiple times he's told by the school nurse that it likely will never fully heal. Spending time with All Might's old master Gran Torino helps him adjust, creating the "One for All Full Cowl" to envelop the power over his entire body in small measures (at most, he can reach 20% with straining) and develops a "Shoot Style" to battle with his stronger legs over his arms.
    • Denki Kaminari's electrification Quirk. While this ability is very powerful, he was incapable of aiming his blasts up until he got his aiming gear from Mei Hatsume, resulting in it firing in all directions. When paired up with teammates that he needs to avoid hurting, this is a bad thing, as during the attack on the USJ, he was completely useless until Momo created an insulation sheet that would protect them from his electric shocks. To make matters worse, if he uses too much voltage, he short circuits his brain and renders himself completely defenseless. He later receives Support Gear that allows him to aim and direct his charges.
    • Mt. Lady's gigantification Quirk. She grows to the size of a large building and can do a lot of damage. In an open setting, this quirk would be both awesome and practical. But being the Attention Whore that she is, she uses it in a city, where it causes large amounts of damage. This makes her something of a Destructive Savior whose collateral damage tends to burn out her hero insurance. Additionally, her Quirk averts Giant Equals Invincible and a sufficiently powerful enemy can take her down with no problem as All For One does in the Hideout Raid Arc. Not helped by the fact that her outfit — made out of a soft, stretchy material that grows with her — offers her no protection and her large size makes her an easy target.
    • Yuga Aoyama's Navel Laser Quirk. It lets him shoot a laser out of his navel which is very powerful and flashy, but overusing it can hurt Aoyama and due to a birth defect, the laser energy can uncontrollably "leak" out, requiring him to wear a special belt at all times. Plus, it sometimes causes him to embarrassingly lose control over his bowels.
    • Toru Hakagure's Invisibility Quirk is simply being invisible. Just her. Her body. Nothing else. This means that her only costume is a pair of gloves and boots, so she's running around naked as a hero. Even worse is trying to hero in the winter, where she can't even bundle up to stay warm!
  • Impractical techniques in Naruto include:
    • The power to steal souls (or portions of them) at the cost of your own. The Third Hokage had to resort to using this technique against Orochimaru, an opponent he couldn't normally defeat, after Orochimaru resurrected his two predecessors, but only managed to take Orochimaru's arms.
    • Gaara's Armor of Sand that coats him in a skin-tight, impenetrable armor capable of blocking high-speed taijutsu, but drains his chakra much faster than his active defenses and significantly limits his movement.
    • The signature jutsu of the Yamanaka Clan, the Mind Body Switch Technique. How can a jutsu that can swap your body with an enemy allowing you to do absolutely anything to them not be awesome? By creating a technique that leaves your original body defenseless, doesn't allow you to physically injure your opponent in any way because it would injure you too, only moves in a straight line and is slow enough to be dodged by first year Genin, and uses so much chakra it can't be used immediately afterward forcing you to wait whilst your enemy uses their less stupid and useless jutsu on you. Yeah, awesome technique that. Which is why the Yamanakas have a more advanced jutsu that lets them take control of an enemy's body without losing control of their own. It's just that Ino hadn't mastered it in Part 1.
    • Naruto's incomplete version of Rasenshuriken. Causes damage on a cellular level and one-shots most of his foes, but it deals extensive damage to Naruto's own arm to the point that he can't use that arm to eat temporarily. If it weren't for his Healing Factor, he would've lost use of the arm permanently, and the rapid cell division required to heal the damage shortens his lifespan.
    • Madara Uchiha can summon a freaking asteroid, and yet the size of the intergalactic projectile makes it impossible for Madara himself to dodge its impact.
    • Sasuke's ultimate attack until he got the Mangekyo Sharingan, Kirin. Powerful enough to destroy a mountain, it takes an ungodly amount of preparation to use. First he needs to generate enough heat via flame jutsus to heat the atmosphere and form a thunderstorm. Then, he shoots even larger fireballs directly into said thunderstorm to generate a massive potential in the cloud. Finally, he needs to shape the lightning and guide it to his target. And in the end, it didn't work. It's awesome in that it's instantaneous and undodgeable even by extremely skilled and fast ninja... Impractical because it can be blocked just fine.
    • The Mangekyo Sharingan causes its user to goes blind from overuse. And for some people "overuse" can happen rather quickly. And for Glass Cannon Uchiha Itachi (unless in Edo Tensei form where he has unlimited stamina and chakra). It's much worse. Itachi is one of the strongest ninjas in the whole world, gifted with three incredibly haxxed techniques. But Itachi...has genin level stamina. He has only three uses of it before he exhausts his normal supplies of chakra, more than that kills him. Using the MS five times during his battle with Sasuke is what partially killed him-accelerating his disease AND adding chakra exhaustion to boot.
    • Hidan's curse jutsu is a highly complex technique to follow: first, Hidan must ingest the blood of an opponent, from which he must then undergo that skeleton man transformation and then draw a large Jashin marking (an upside down triangle within a circle) on the ground. So long as he's within the circle, the jutsu is active, whereas if he moves out of it the jutsu is cancelled out; which means he's now stationary. That doesn't sound so bad, right? Well, then there's the real clincher: it can only be used on one opponent at a time. That's right, after all that setup, Hidan can only inflict damage on one target, all the while remaining vulnerable to said target's teammates, who can more or less work to force him out of the circle. Oh yeah, and due to the nature of the jutsu, whatever damage Hidan wishes to inflict on the target he has to inflict on himself first; in other words, if it weren't for his immortality, he would have to kill himself just to take out one guy. Overall, the jutsu seems to only work for sadomasochists (which Hidan happens to be); otherwise there are far more efficient and effective techniques in the Naruto universe. It wouldn't be so bad if Hidan just slit his throat or had Kakuzu taking care of the other enemies the moment the ritual is complete, but it being part of his religious process and his inherent sadism make him take his time.
    • Kakashi's Chidori was this when he first developed it. The extra speed and power the technique grants its user also cause tunnel vision, making it impossible to avoid counterattacks. His teacher Minato (the future Fourth Hokage) warned him not to use it again since it was an incomplete technique. A Sharingan can remove the tunnel vision, making the Chidori more practical in the hands of a Sharingan-user.
    • Early in the series we got Water Dragon Jutsu which shapes a large amount of water into a dragon which then attacks the opponent. However it takes forty-four Hand Seals in order to perform it. For comparison, most Jutsu only require three or four. Its purpose was more to demonstrate the ability of Kakashi's sharingan to track and copy movements of his opponent. Notably, later on other uses of it have a slightly less ludicrous use of hand seals to perform it.
    • Most of the Forbidden Techniques — at least two of which are mentioned above — fall under this, usually due to the risk they pose to the user. Naruto's Signature Move of throwing dozens or hundreds of shadow clones at the problem of the day is this for everyone but him, as the energy requirement to make an effective number of clones is lethal to most people, and even then his clones pop in one hit.
    • Edo Tensei. Sure, you can raise someone from the dead, with all their knowledge, abilities, and skills intact and a bonus of unlimited stamina and a Healing Factor. But you have to have a sample of their DNA, bringing them back requires sacrificing someone else, and unless you use a separate technique to bind them to your will, you may have just raised an immortal superpowered zombie that wants you dead.
  • Jet Alone from Neon Genesis Evangelion. A nuclear-powered giant robot that doesn't need a pilot...whose main reactor is governed by an easily-hacked central computer. In short, an A-bomb on stilts, and NERV takes immense pleasure in showing the world exactly how unreliable and dangerous it is. By causing it to go on a rampage. Also the designers hadn't figured out how to actually replicate an AT Field, meaning that it would be absolutely useless compared to the Evas. The man in charge of the Jet Alone project pitches his robot to the government by trying to sell the Evangelions as this — one of the biggest sore points being not they need pilots, but that they have a borderline-inhumane age limit to who they will allow to pilot them (people born after Second Impact — meaning kids that are fifteen years old at the absolute oldest). The only real defense Misato can provide is that the damn mecha are the only things that can kill an Angel, and even then she doesn't feel fine about this detail at any point in the series.
  • One Piece:
    • Luffy's Gear Third, as soon it has been used, will reduce Luffy's size, turning him into a midget or toddler. His power is also limited, and he loses the ability to use his Devil Fruit powers. This requires Luffy to run and hide until the effects wear off. This lasts for the same amount of time that was needed to use Gear Third. However, after the Time Skip, he seems to be now able to use it without shrinking at all, and can use the Color of Armarments Haki to make it even stronger.
    • Similarly, all of Franky's attacks can be considered this as he uses up his cola using normal attacks, more so when he uses his charged attacks. This causes him to seek more cola. Until then, his strength is severely reduced, also causing him to employ his teammates' help. Any edible liquid other than cola can be used as a power source; however, doing so can and will alter his personality, to a degree which causes him to not want to attack. Therefore it is imperative that his only power source be cola.
      • And related to Franky is the Gaol Cannon which Franky built into the Straw Hats' ship the Thousand Sunny. Capable of obliterating a small town in one shot, it left Luffy absolutely star-struck. However, it also uses up a whopping five barrels of cola, three for firing the cannon itself, and two more to fire a stabilizing burst out of the rear of the ship. Needless to say, the weapon is powerful, but it can only be used once or twice in a long while.
    • King Elizabello's King Punch can punch hard enough to destroy fortresses and (allegedly) could at a minimum severely injure one of the Four Emperors. The catch? He has to warm up for an hour to throw a single punch. When he throws the punch during Doflamingo's tournament, it takes down all the other combatants except for Bartolomeo, who used his Devil Fruit to create a barrier to protect himself. Bartolomeo then makes short work of Elizabello, thereby winning the match.
  • Panzer World Galient: Galient's Flight Form makes quick travel to other places convenient, but since it has no weapons to speak of, it's completely vulnerable to aerial attacks. Luckily, this is eventually fixed via the Assault Galient upgrade.
  • In Project A-ko, Mad Scientist babe B-Ko unleashes her killer mecha the Max 5000. It combines from several shape-changing vehicles in a drawn-out Transformation Sequence, she boasts of all its amazing killer powers and exotic weaponry, it's even referred to as "The Blue God of Death". But its gadgets and elaborate transformations don't leave any room for the pilot to control the thing, so it just stands there inert until the Heroic Schoolgirl A-Ko casually kicks it and it falls down.
  • This trope covers the special "Invisible 9" units in Pumpkin Scissors in a nutshell, which feature soldiers transformed into supersoldiers in order to counteract design and equipment failures, or to accomplish things that could otherwise be done cheaper with technology improvements. The 908 High Temperature Troopers, for example, use souped-up flame-throwers that are so powerful they cook the users alive. Their "protective suits", rather than actually shielding them from the heat and dispersing it, are instead filled with special chemicals that keep them pain-free and able to function, though they die quickly and in hideous pain if they take the suit off.
  • Rebuild of Evangelion:
    • Evangelion Provisional Unit-05, one of the new EVA-Units. Since it's more mechanical than most Evangelions, and it serves as a prison-guard for an Angel, it is practically useless, since only few people can pilot an EVA. The only upsides is that the pilot is there and the EVA has the power to keep the Angel from causing too much trouble. The downside, however, is that it only gets power while it's running on the rail-tracks running throughout the prison, and the EVA isn't designed to fight Angels, only keep them away from Tokyo-3. As a result, the only way it can defeat the Angel is by self-destructing, and the self-destruct mechanism itself gives the pilot enough time to escape unharmed.
      • Unit-02' is a partially mechanical version of the original Unit-02, only it can replace its mechanical arm with various awesome weapons. However, the arm can also easily be destroyed, making it slightly less awesome.
      • Unit-08 is the only EVA in 3.33 that actually subverts this, since it's a Combat Deployment Type just like Unit-02, which means it is designed for combat. All its weapons are Anti-AT-Field Weapons, making it specialized in killing things with an AT-Field (humans, Angels, other Evas).
  • The Red Ranger Becomes an Adventurer in Another World: The Maximum Kizuna Kaiser is perfect for taking on a huge monster after a Make My Monster Grow sequence... not so great against anything else. It's too big to use anywhere except a wide open field and its size makes it cumbersome to use against a small opponent of equal strength. On top of that, it can't run at full power because Tougo doesn't have the rest of the Kizuna Five with him to keep it charged, limiting the amount of time he can use it and leaving him exhausted powering it all by himself.
  • Rurouni Kenshin:
    • Sanosuke's zanbato. Sure, it looks cool, but it's also so big and cumbersome that it can only be swung over-head or from the side, making it incredibly easy to predict and allowing all but the slowest of opponents to evade it with barely any effort.
    • Hiten Mitsurugi is a swift and powerful style that's practically unbeatable, but is meant to be used by people with a strong and durable body type. When used by the small and slender Kenshin, it degrades his muscles at an accelerated rate. Roughly 20 years after he first started learning the style, he's lost the ability to use its fabled techniques, and will soon be unable to use a sword at all.
  • Sailor Moon: Sailor Saturn, otherwise known as the Senshi of Ruin, has power that far eclipses the other senshi (save for Usagi herself.) In the anime, she states that she can destroy an entire planet by herself. The downside is that using it kills her; she takes out one season's Big Bad (she gets better) and then, against all the others after that, never gets to use it again.
  • In The Seven Deadly Sins, Princess Veronica asks Guila to train her in sword fighting, so they spar with wooden swords. When Veronica attempts an overhead swing, Guila nails her in the gut mid-swing. Guila says that overhead swings may look cool, but they should only be used if you have Super Speed as they leave you wide open.
  • In the Shaman King anime, the main characters develop giant weapons referred to as Giant Oversoul (Giant Spirit Control in the dub) that drain their spiritual energy. Due to the excessive use of energy, the main character Yoh reduces his Oversoul-Spirit of Sword/Grand Halo Blade so that it will not use too much energy, secretly making it stronger since the energy is controlled and stabilized. In the manga, the characters instead learn the third, improved version of the Oversoul, Armor-type Oversouls, that is less tiring, stronger, and maintains furyoku.
  • Giga Slave from Slayers. Sure, you can destroy any enemy/mazoku with it, but chances are you're going to bring on an Assimilation Plot or worse, be possessed by the (dark) creator of the Universe and most likely die from that mere fact (as happened to Lina in Next, only surviving when the Lord of Nightmares saw Gourry's Undying Loyalty to her) and if/when you manage to dodge all the above, you still lose your magical powers for a few days and your hair might turn white until you recover. The original novels also have the Blast Blade, a sword that can cut through anything... including any possible material you might try to make a sheath out of. Because of this, it's incredibly difficult to carry the thing around without damaging things (including possibly yourself) by accident. Gourry has to have it magically dulled to make it usable.
  • Soul Eater:
    • Excalibur is a variation on this trope. First off, he is quite literally the most powerful weapon to have ever existed, having enough power to let an average student defeat three of the top meisters in the school in only a few seconds. Second, despite having so much amazing power and invincibility, he also has a perfect soul wavelength, allowing anyone to wield him. His powers are pretty amazing too: although other weapons are very unique, he gives his meister abilities that one would usually have to either resonate or become a death scythe to obtain, without even trying. These include making the air vibrate by simply turning into a weapon, giving his meister "wings of light", allowing him/her to fly, not to mention the ability to move so fast that it appears as though they are teleporting. With just one swing, he and his meister can travel through space! What could the downside possibly be? Well, it isn't that his powers are double-edged. It isn't that he consumes energy. It isn't that he overtakes his meister. What could it be? It's his PERSONALITY!!! Excalibur is perhaps the most annoying, arrogant, pompous narcissist to ever exist, and when people call you that while BLACK☆STAR is in the room, then that's a serious issue. On top of that, whoever wants to wield him has to obey one thousand rules, including entries like sitting through his daily 5-hour storytelling time. It's even acknowledged in-universe when the same three meisters all try to wield Excalibur after reading about how legendary his power is in the library, but they all decide it's not worth it.
      • Only two people were ever even capable of withstanding Excalibur's personality. One being King Arthur (cause even Merlin couldn't stand the Holy Sword), and the second being Hero, who did wield Excalibur for a while, before backing out due to his excessive sneezing fit (which is ridiculous, since sneezing is a thing anyone could expect from anybody). Excalibur himself claims that he partnered with Sherlock Holmes as well, but it's unknown if this is true or not. A lot of Excalibur's stories are clearly nonsense after all.
    • Crona and Ragnarok's partnership. The good: first they have scream resonance. It's a unique resonance that greatly uplifts their already amazing powers. Second, Ragnarok's black blood hardens within Crona's body to make even the strongest of attacks barely faze him/her. In the rare occasions that Crona does bleed, the black blood will become another offense for Ragnarok to control while Crona attacks. Plus, the more souls Ragnarok eats, like with most weapons, the more powerful he becomes, only the fact that he eats the souls of those who aren't on death's list ends up making him even MORE powerful, and causes him to change form; going from a small creature, to a huge muscle god, to an even more muscular dragon. The bad: The more of these illegal souls Ragnarok consumes, the more insane he and Crona become. And they weren't exactly pillars of sanity to begin with. Also, when their souls are disrupted, it may cause them to go through soul rejection, as two beings aren't truly meant to share a single body. It is unknown if this can kill them, however. There's also the fact that consuming so many illegal souls may also result in Ragnarok losing his mind and consuming Crona's soul. Later on in the series, Crona and Ragnarok return to Medusa and descend even further into madness, causing them to gain an evolved version of Black Blood called Mad Blood, which is so powerful it can flood entire cities with black blood, and if anyone tries to break hardened mad blood, they will go insane, the problem is, as stated above, to have such a power, Crona has to be so dangerously close to madness, that even standing near him/her is a total danger.
  • Subverted in the "Phantom Bullet" arc of Sword Art Online: Photon Swords in Gun Gale Online possessed incredible attack power, but were considered this trope due to their limited range, meaning that by the time anyone got close enough to attack with one, they'd be riddled with bullets. Kirito, however, manages to transform the Photon Sword into a Lethal Joke Weapon, using his personal experience in VRMMO games that emphasized swordfighting to not only dodge bullets, but deflect them using his Photon Sword before going in for the kill. Later on, other players start attempting to replicate his feats with limited success.
    • Played straight with Behemoth's minigun. While it's a powerful gun that allowed him to turn the tables on Sinon's squad when they ambushed the monster hunter group he was guarding, the gun and the ammo are extremely heavy, meaning that as powerful as he was, he couldn't run. Since Sinon, a sniper, was able to defeat Behemoth once her squadmates took down his backup, Shinkawa realizes that Behemoth wouldn't stand a chance against her in the Bullet of Bullets tournament, where players compete individually.
  • Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle has the Bahamut itself, Lux Arcadia's Divine Drag-Ride. It has a lot of destructive firepower, can easily defeat at least a thousand men, and is a Lightning Bruiser. Its problems? It's such a huge energy hog that it can literally drain anyone who uses it, and the first time the protagonist uses it, it rendered him into a coma for weeks. Its techniques and firepower are so precise that the protagonist has to use an Ace Custom that heavily weighs him down and force himself to be a Stone Wall just to perfectly utilize Bahamut.
  • Yatterman examples:
    • The heroes ride most of their mecha on the outside. On the awesome part, it's magnificent to see. On the impractical part... Well, The Movie showed it very well...
    • The Yattermen mecha have artificial intelligence, allowing them to fight autonomously. Problem is, Yatter-Pelican is such a braggard that it got itself almost destroyed more than once, and Yatter-Yokozuna just can't help but charge at the enemy no matter what. They also need to eat a mecha-tonic battery to be at full power, battery the enemy can try to intercept and destroy (and in the movie they actually succeed in the first battle-before losing for a completely unrelated screw-up), but once they do, they're almost invincible and unleash a swarm of small demolition robots, and there's only two occasion they got defeated after eating the tonic (Yatter-Pelican was reduced to its skeleton when his robots were overpowered by the ones unleashed by the Doronjo mecha and, due its personality, didn't fly out of the way, and Yatter-Wan was caught in the explosion of an enemy mecha).
    • After being destroyed, Yatter-Wan is repaired and turned into Yatter-King. Yatterking is far more powerful than Yatter-Wan (it is in fact the mightiest mecha of the Yattermen), is, alongside Yatter-Angler and Yatter-Phant, one of the three mecha that can be ridden from inside, and is large enough to carry a few normal-sized mecha inside. It's also so large it cannot pass from the normal gate, its mecha-tonic is so large and heavy that the Yattermen have trouble giving it to him, and its hypersonic travel speed puts enough g-forces on the Yattermen that riding it is even worse than riding the normal mecha, as shown once again in the movie.
  • The very first episode of Yu-Gi-Oh! (Duel Monsters anyway) has Yami Yugi winning the match by summoning a monster named Exodia, whose power is defined as... well, winning the match. Obviously it's as powerful as you can logically get, but the caveat is that you need to gather all five parts of Exodia in your hand, which is roughly equivalent to drawing a royal flush of a specific suit, one card at a time, while your opponent tries to kill you, after managing to collect five extremely expensive and rare cards, and then adding them to your deck despite the fact that they're rather underwhelming on their own. When confronted with it, his opponent is suitably shocked and claims that nobody had ever managed to win this way before, which is pretty believable. Later in the series, we're introduced to a character whose entire deck is built around Exodia and cards to stall the game or draw cards, as well as a character who uses Exodia Necross, which is basically Plan B for an Exodia deck.
    • There's also the anime-exclusive card "Ragnarok", which Yugi uses to finally get rid of Marik's Winged Dragon of Ra in the Battle City finals. It removes all of the cards on your opponent's field from play, which is good, but under what conditions? First, you need to have two "Dark Magician" family cards in play, which isn't hard to manage. Second, you need to remove every other monster in your hand, deck, and graveyard from play. Presumably, you could smack the opponent for 4,000+ damage with the Dark Magicians afterwards, which is more than the player starts out with, but there are easier ways than THAT. Even then, Yugi still could have lost. The real point of the move was to weaken Marik's Superpowered Evil Side which had fused itself to the Winged Dragon of Ra to power it up. Destroying the dragon freed Marik from his evil side's control. His evil side tried to convince Marik to continue the duel, but Marik, grateful to Yugi for freeing him and abandoning his lifelong grudge, forfeits the duel.
    • One example outside of Duel Monster cards is Maximillion Pegasus' Millenium Eye, which allows him to read minds. It more or less guarantees victory against an unprepared opponent, but it can be sidestepped if an opponent genuinely doesn't know what cards they'll get (whether by just not looking at their cards or, in the case of Yugi, allowing themselves to be possessed by a spirit that has a strategy of their own). And of course, there's the fact that the Eye is useless unless someone has one of their natural eyes gouged out and replaced with it.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX has several Duel Disks that certainly qualify. There's one that spins like a buzzsaw, one that appears to be made of three razor blades, and one that fires cards like bullets out of a gun. A type similar to the latter shows up in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's, which also features some very impractical motorcycles.
    • Adrian Gecko plays a few cards in his Cloudian deck that kill him if he doesn't win that turn. Big Summon Cloud sends all the cards in his Deck to the Graveyard just to Special Summon a Cloudian from his hand. He wins anyway.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's has Sleeping Giant Thud, a monster that can't be beaten in battle, or spells and traps, and can destroy any monster it battles. Only problem? You can summon it only if you have a LV 1 Monster on the field for 20 TURNS. In an anime where duels rarely get past 7 turns , this is nearly impossible. It's never been summoned past Team Taiyou.
  • The titular character of Zatch Bell! has the spell "Jikerdor", which magnetizes and immobilizes enemies. Seems awesome, until you realize you need a large amount of metal for the spell to make contact with, and very rarely do the opponents conveniently fight in a location like that. In fact, a filler arc where the Mooks consisted of iron-suited baddies was the only time the spell became truly important.
  • Zoids: New Century Zero - Bit Cloud gets the Panzer unit upgrade for his Liger Zero, giving it incredible defensive and ranged offensive capabilities. The cost of this immense power and durability, though, is that he cannot move (in the anime; in the manga, he can move slowly), and the Liger Zero's systems were at risk of being damaged by the strain and heat from carrying around so much weight. On the rare occasion that Bit would actually use the Panzer armor, he would fire the Panzer's weapons once, then immediately eject the unit before it roasted him alive in the cockpit.


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