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Rumiko Takahashi

  • In Urusei Yatsura, Ataru Moroboshi considers his Accidental Marriage to Lum Invader an example of this, while the other guys at his school consider him Cursed With Awesome. A reader/viewer could swing either way; it's undeniable that, particularly in the early stories where she was supposed to be a villain until fan popularity prompted a redirection of focus, she is a Tsundere, possessive, and something of Psycho Electro (particularly her tendency to shock him as a sign of affection)... but, on the other hand, much of her angry reactions are prompted by Ataru's constant attempts to bluntly ditch her and/or chase other women, and Ataru's biggest objections are rooted in "being married to her means I can't go trying to pick up other girls"... even though Lum is beautiful, genuinely affectionate and more than willing to go to bed with him. His dreams of his own personal harem were undermined by reality: The only other girl in the series who didn't see him as a pest or a means to an end was Shinobu... who dumped him once it was clear the choice in his mind was "Lum" or "Lum and everyone else".
  • Jusenkyo, the famous Valley of Cursed Springs from Ranma ½, is capable of bestowing either Cursed With Awesome or Blessed with Suck upon those who receive its magical touch- it all depends on what spring, specifically, a person falls into. Some springs provide definite superpowers, but these often have a drawback. Ones that give you a cursed form that may have some advantages go under Cursed With Awesome.
    • Anime-only Villain of the Week Kin'nee is a hulking brute of a fighter, but his Spring of Drowned Priest not only makes him a skinny little weakling barely half his true size, but also messes with his mind, making him timid, cowardly, and a devout pacifist.
    • Ranma accidentally ate Dragon Whisker Porridge while in China. This causes his hair to grow and grow, making it a genuine and perfect cure for baldness. As Ranma already has hair, however, if he doesn't keep it under control by using another Dragon's Whisker to tie it up, his hair will keep growing until he uses it up. A lifetime's supply of hair, burnt through in about a week, tops. His self-centered father couldn't care less when he finds out, immediately trying to steal the Whisker so he can cure his own baldness.
    • Ryoga's Shi Shi Hokodan is one of the most powerful attacks in the series. The downside? It's so powerful because it's powered by his depression... then again, with the aforementioned curse, the fact he has No Sense of Direction, his inability to confess his romantic feelings, the obliviousness of his desired one to said feelings, and the fact he has never been able to beat Ranma Saotome, it's no wonder that he's so depressed.
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    • A story arc centers on Ryoga getting a special mark on his stomach that made him unbeatable in battle. Unfortunately, not only does the mark look ridiculous, but the only way to remove it was to defeat him in battle. Worse yet is that the mark shows up on his piglet form too, compromising his identity. He only got out of it by flexing his stomach muscles so the mark distorted and Ranma could defeat him.
    • Rouge hovers between this and Cursed With Awesome. As an Ashura, she can fly, has multiple arms, several faces, can breathe fire and hurl lightning... but, all those arms means she gets horrific backache. How bad is it? When Pantyhose Taro steals her magnetic backpain relievers, she goes on a rampage and chases him all the way from China to Japan to get them back, it hurts that much.
    • Happosai's old parter Lucky, drank from the Spring of Drowned Youth to try to reclaim his old strength, but the youth is actually a toddler, meaning he's just as weak in his new form.
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  • The immortals in Rumiko Takahashi's Mermaid Saga are neither indestructible nor immune to pain. In Mermaid's Scar, Mana is tied up with barbed wire by the main villain, who gleefully informs her that it's too bad there's nothing in mermaid flesh to counteract pain. At the end, Yuta informs Mana that the villain will die if the fire from the car crash he was in burns through his neck all the way. Squick.
  • Wasted Minds from Rumic World features a main character with the useful ability of teleportation... between anywhere garbage is, be it a trashcan or landfill.

General examples

  • Subverted in Ah! My Goddess: Keiichi Morisato is granted a wish by a goddess, which promptly gets him kicked out of his dorm, and leaves him with said goddess and her sisters as dependents and being harassed by everyone except the goddess and his sister. Despite all this, he is still happy with his wish, and makes this clear at several points.
  • Titan powers in Attack on Titan. The power grants the user a Healing Factor and the ability to generate a powerful Titan form to "pilot", with various special powers unique to each particular Titan. But there's just one catch: their powers will burn out in 13 years, killing them. In order to properly transfer the power to another, they must allow themselves to be Eaten Alive.
  • A few of the ninjas in Basilisk have powers that adversely affect their lives. If Kagerou ever has sex with some one, they will die. Hyouma has a doujutsu that can kill people by looking at them, but he is unable to turn it off. Being ninjas, they will use these same abilities to kill their enemies.
  • Otono-Tachibana Makie from Blade of the Immortal is subject to much Reality Ensues related deconstruction and general misery in relation to her curse of being the jaw-droppingly gorgeous mothereffin' absolute pinnacle of natural talent in the world. To elaborate: When she was no more than ten years old she, without having taken so much as a single lesson in how to hold a sword, much less use one, defeated her five years older brother, the Heir to the Dojo, in a sparring match. This drove her brother to commit seppuku out of shame; dishonoured the dojo and left it heirless as she, being a woman, was not allowed to become its heir and made her father disown her and her mother, the circumstances forcing them to join a whorehouse. Which, according to her mother, wasn't so bad because it's better to spend one's life comforting others rather than taking lives. Around this time Makie also saved the life of her second cousin, the aspiring Big Bad of the series, Anotsu Kagehisa. Love was born at first sight. Only, to Makie it was the birth of true love of Anotsu, but to Anotsu it was nothing but love of Makie's unbelievable skill with the sword. Many years later this leads him to attempt to recruit her for his dojo of Combat Pragmatism, putting her wish to be loved (or at least be with the man she loved) and have a handful of happiness in her life in direct conflict with what her mother had taught her about being a decent human being... So Makie's nigh-superhuman battle prowess lead to the complete destruction of her entire family as well as making the love of her life want her as nothing more than a sword in his army, her beauty lead her to a "successful" life in prostitution and her blessing of suckage filled her life with nothing but self-loathing and more pain than any human should ever have to go through.
  • Bleach:
    • Ichigo initially felt his ability to see (but not be able to help) ghosts was this, especially as he felt it contributed to the death of his mother when he was nine years old. Once he obtained shinigami powers, he felt he was Cursed With Awesome instead. This is only resolved after he's Brought Down to Badass whereupon he accepts his power as a part of himself.
    • Hollowfication provides a vast boost to a shinigami's normal power by giving them hollow power as well. The price of this for the Vaizards was exile under threat of execution and an inner monster they had to fight to control. They eventually come to accept their new powers and are eventually reconciled with the society that had once cast them out.
    • Soi Fon feels this way about her bankai, as her fighting style relies either on killing the foe in two precise hits, or just beating the crap out of them at high speed (shunko), then she gets a giant missile, which she has to take the time to anchor herself in order to fire, and can only fire it once in a while or she won't have the energy for the missile to really work.
    • Askin Nakk Le Vaar refers to his Vandenreich powers as this, since they allow him to survive practically anything... but to have them kick in, he first has to be on the brink of death to start with.
  • Buso Renkin: Becoming a Victor, the third type of being above both human and homunculus, may bring a person back to life and grant them incredible strength, durability and virtual immortality, but it also makes them a Walking Wasteland that could eventually wipe out all life on earth.
  • In Castle Town Dandelion, this is how Aoi views Absolute Order, her Royalty Superpower, because she's smart enough to see the Fridge Horror and there is too much dissonance between her ability to subconsciously control minds and her genuinely sweet nature causes a lot of distress. Ever since she discovered it, she became unsure of whether the kindness others show to her comes from their own volition or her compulsion. The possibility of the latter made her reluctant to become the monarch.
  • A Certain Magical Index: Touma has what he calls "Imagine Breaker", a right hand that can absolutely cancel any esper/magic power it touches (even, according to him, miracles from the gods), which is useful considering the extremely powerful trouble he attracts starting with the first episode. However, it doesn't protect the rest of his body, isn't of any use in mundane situations, interferes with beneficial powers (e.g. healing), can't be turned off, and also cancels his luck, making every day a bad day and probably causing most of the deadly trouble in the first place. Without an inhumanly-skilled doctor on hand, he'd likely have died several times over by now—he's actually ecstatic when he survives an arc without getting sent to the hospital for heavy injuries.
  • Nishijou Takumi the real one from Chaos;Head awakened unparalleled Gigalomaniac powers at age 10, which allow him to alter reality to match his thoughts. However, using his powers also gives him progeria (rapid aging); the more power he uses the older and sicker he gets, and he can't use his powers to fix the problem. When the series opens, the real Takumi is close to death, having used a great deal of power to create the protagonist.
  • Almost every ability in Charlotte has its drawbacks or limitations. Yu can possess anyone in his line of sight for only 5 seconds. Nao can become invisible to only one person at a time. Joujirou's Super Speed only works in short bursts and he has very little control over it, leading to a lot of wounds and collateral damage. Yusa can channel the spirit of her dead sister in what's essentially a form of dissociative identity disorder, with no memory of when it happens. Ayumi can collapse an entire building but only when under intense emotional stress.
  • In Chrono Crusade, it's implied that all of the Apostles have side-effects that go along with their holy powers. For Joshua, he has the ability to heal, but along with it comes an Incurable Cough of Death and seizures, which his powers can't heal. Azmaria also has the ability to heal others, but she believes it brings misfortune since many of the people she was close to in the past died, often because of people wanting to use her powers. Mary Magdalene can see the future (and various other things), but she's seen so many visions of other people's lives that she's lost her own memories in the shuffle. The anime also has Rosette, who is blessed with stigmata, but that only brings her constant pain, makes her a target for Aion to brainwash and control, and she later ends up using her powers to wound Chrono, which kills him in the end.
  • Practically every Geass power granted in Code Geass starts off sounding pretty cool... until it becomes uncontrollable and makes its user's life hell (unless it already had a terrible drawback to begin with). Examples:
    • Lelouch has the power to issue absolute orders, but it only works once and those orders can't be taken back. Once his Geass becomes permanently active near the end of the first season, he accidentally triggers a genocide. How... unfortunate. For the most part, though, his power is portrayed as positive, since he gets a contact to deal with the Power Incontinence in the following season.
    • Mao can read the thoughts of anyone within 500 meters. To be more precise, Mao reads the thoughts of everyone in 500 meters. This was bad enough when he could turn it on and off. Once it becomes permanently active, he has to read the thoughts of everyone within 500 meters. Unlike Lelouch, there's no easy way to fix the problem, isolating him and eventually driving him insane from being bombarded by random thoughts. He's obviously in so much pain, in fact, that it's hard to see how his power was ever a blessing in the first place!
    • Rolo has the power to stop perception of time. However, his heart stops along with everything else, putting the time limit at a few seconds and making it risky to use in quick succession. This is what eventually kills him, when he consciously overuses his Geass to save Lelouch.
    • Pre-immortality C.C. had a Geass which acted as a love-magnet, which was nice until she couldn't turn it off and people got increasingly obsessed with pleasing her. This made it impossible to tell where people's true feelings ended and the Geass-generated love-brainwashing began, causing C.C. to become jaded and cynical about love.
    • Suzaku may not have a Geass, but he does get a command from Lelouch to "live", forcing Suzaku to survive by whatever means necessary. For a Death Seeker like Suzaku, this is bad enough as it is. But it goes From Bad to Worse. Thanks to the "Live" Geass, he ends up nuking Tokyo and causing thirty-five million deaths when using the nuke was the only thing left to keep Kallen from killing him. Then it becomes Cursed With Awesome as he turns the command into a quasi-SEED mode. In the Grand Finale... well, let's say that he was given a Fate Worse than Death. God, it sucks to be Suzaku!
    • Lelouch's mother, Marianne, is also a case. Her Geass apparently never activates... until she's shot to death, locking her in the body of a young girl she was training... and on time share to boot. However, she mentions that she could have gone back at some point if she had wanted.
    • Elite Mook and Knight Of One, Bismarck Waldstien, has the power to see the future. It's permanently active, so that eye, while still usable, sees the future constantly. He has it clamped shut with some easy to remove clips.
    • In a subversion, practically the only person in the series who never seems to have a problem with his Geass is Emperor Charles, who has the ability to erase and re-write memories.
  • The cyborgs of Cyborg 009 cannot age normally. Doesn't seem so bad, but Cyborg 001 (and the most powerful one of them all, having telepathic abilities), Ivan Whiskey, is an infant, so it's highly likely that he'll spend the rest of his life never learning to walk, talk, eat solid food, and he'll never be potty trained. (Mind you, in some continuities if it weren't for being turned into a cyborg he would have died.)
  • Izuru Kamukura in Danganronpa 3 was a Transhuman genius who was granted every talent known to man in order to make him the ultimate hope for humanity. The downside is that the project to create him stripped away every thought, emotion, sense, hobby, and memory that interfered with acquiring those talents. With a vast intelligence allowed him to predict everything and the physical inability to enjoy anything, including his many talents, Izuru became painfully bored with the world and longed for something interesting to happen. Enter Junko Enoshima.
  • Death Note: Light Yagami is given a supernatural artifact capable of killing anyone, anywhere, using any method physically possible, (provided he knows their name and face.) Sounds awesome. But in the first volume we are told that the Death Note is a curse to all mortals who have ever owned one. Light is not an exception. His sense of morality, once so important to him, vanishes within days of receiving the Death Note, he has to take part in the killing of his own father who was once the man Light admired above all others, and oh, yeah, he gets the crap shot out of him.
    • Interestingly, a straighter example of this trope is given by the false rules. If you don't write any name in the Death Note 13 days after you already wrote one, you die. If the Death Note is burned or destroyed, all who have touched it will die. There's more. Misa is one of the people who didn't get a happy ending, probably because of the Death Note. She died without anyone to love her on Valentine's Day, after giving up her lifespan for a pair of eyes only to be used by the person she loved. Also, Mikami dies knowing that he failed his "God". Anyone who uses the Death Note seems to have what they value most taken away from them - for Light, that was his morality; for Misa, that was someone to love and someone who could love her back; for Mikami, that was approval from "God"/Kira. No matter who uses the Death Note, they will never be truly able to achieve happiness. It's a terrible curse that comes with the power to kill.
    • Minoru suffers from this curse as well in Death Note Special Chapter: after enacting a brilliant plan to improve the prosperity of Japan by auctioning off the Death Note in a way that prevents it from being traced to him, he is unable to enjoy the benefits of his new money because an Obvious Rule Patch causes him to die as punishment for selling it, even though he made himself forget he had brokered the sale to begin with.
    • Humans with less than 12 minutes of life remaining to them cannot be killed by a Death Note. On the downside, that's because they're going to die within 12 minutes.
  • Descendants of Darkness has sixteen-year-old Hisoka Kurosaki, who has powerful empathy which is helpful in his line of work as a shinigami and allows him to feel emotions, see memories, and pick up imprints of clairvoyance off inanimate objects. His power also keeps him from physical contact with most people, brings him large amounts of both mental and physical pain and was the reason his parents despised his very existence and locked him in a cell for most of his life up until he was raped and murdered by a psychotic doctor.
  • In Detective School Q, Megumi "Megu" Minami has photographic memory, which aids the team immensely. On the other hand, if she sees a particularly gruesome crime scene, the por girl will keep that sight in her memory for the rest of her life. Her teacher has kept her away from crime scenes just to avoid traumatising her for life.
  • The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. is about a boy with a seemingly endless array of psychic powers, from telepathy and being a seer to superhuman speed and strength to weather control and shapeshifting. Unfortunately, he has enormous difficulty controlling his powers and they cause him all kinds of trouble; for example, Kusuo can't turn off his telepathy unless he's touching germanium, so he has to wear a special ring to go to the movies without overhearing spoilers.
  • In the Dragon Ball special, Bardock, Father of Goku, Bardock is "blessed" with the gift of prophecy by the natives of his most recently conquered planet. Not because the alien felt it would help, but because he wanted Bardock to feel the same helplessness in the face of his own species' demise. Sure enough, the only vision he gets is of Frieza destroying Planet Vegeta, and nobody will believe him. Do not tick off psychic aliens. It's not all bad, though: he also gets to see that his son will grow up to be a good warrior, and will fight Frieza one day...
  • Anri Sonohara from Durarara!! is the not-so-proud owner of an ancient, unnatural sword that makes her a fearsome warrior, with superhuman strength, speed, and combat abilities, as well as the extremely useful power of taking over the mind of anyone she's ever cut with it (and anyone they cut in turn, essentially turning her into the Hive Queen). The only reason she's able to control the sword's power? Her childhood was so mind-bogglingly traumatic (it'd be easier to count the adults in her life who didn't somehow abuse her) that her personality is almost completely disassociated from her mind, and she literally cannot fathom the sensation of love. (the demonic sword is driven by a twisted form of "love", expressed by killing humans, since being a sword that's the only form of affection it knows). And should she ever get over her trauma or learn to feel love again? She'll be dominated by her sword abd turn into an extremely dangerous serial killer.
    • Shizuo Heiwajima grew up with Super Strength but not the necessary invulnerability to properly utilize it, causing him to have a childhood filled with broken bones until he built up the necessary resilience. He also has a severe rage disorder, in which nearly anything can piss him off (most of all Izaya), causing his predilection to violence and getting him fired from several jobs when he was older. The incredible irony in all this is that Shizuo hates violence, the hypocrisy of this being fully aware to him, which has shot his self-esteem straight to hell.
  • Eden of the East is a series about twelve people from different walks of life who are all given 10 billion Yen (about $100 million) and a special phone with a number to a woman name Juiz who can arrange for seemingly anything they ask no matter how impossible or absurd the request may be, from having the Prime Minister of Japan assassinated to making him cry uncle during a live press conference. There's only one catch: they have to use this money to "save Japan". If they spend the money on themselves, they'll be killednote , and they'll also be killed if they deplete their money or try to abdicate. This "blessing" negatively affects almost all their lives.
  • Fujisawa-sensei from El-Hazard: The Magnificent World is firmly of the opinion that he falls into this category. Immense super-strength, almost enough to turn him into a one man army, with one tiny little catch. It only works when he's sober and he is very much The Alcoholic. In the OAV continuity he also gets even stronger when his smokes run out. Extra awesome but with extra suck.
  • One of the abilities of Dragon Slayers in Fairy Tail is having the Super Senses of a dragon. However, as explained very late into the series, the enhanced senses of dragons does not mix with human semicircular canals, which gives them extreme motion sickness on most transportation as well as when they are carried by most people (Exceeds like Happy are an exception since it's similar to dragon flight). Not even Acnologia, the most feared being in the setting, is immune to this weakness.
  • In both Genesis of Aquarion and Aquarion Evol, the main characters are known as "Elements", or humans who have been born with a supernatural ability. Some of these are awesome. Others are... not. For instance, Genesis has Reika, whose Element power is causing misfortune (usually to herself) and Tsugumi, whose Element power is causing uncontrolled explosions around her whenever her heart beats too fast. Evol has main character Amata, whose power causes him to fly when his heartrate increases... but he can't really control it too well, and he was bullied for it in the past, so he hates it. Shrade's power revolves around manipulating human emotions through music, but unintentional use of this power as a child lead to his parents killing each other and massacres regularly breaking out whenever he played. He seems to have gained control over it by the time of the series, but the psychological scars from his past remain.
  • The titular heroines from Gunslinger Girl get saved from death and gain enormous strength and agility through cybernetic implants. Alas, this comes with severe mental conditioning (including enormous emotional dependence on their "Handlers") and an immensely shortened lifespan, so the girls will likely die before reaching adulthood.
  • Russia from Hetalia: Axis Powers hates General Winter for tormenting him with the constant cold. However, in war time, the weather is effective on his enemies.
  • This is basically the reaction of both Sheltis and Ymy in Hyouketsu Kyoukai no Eden about their mateki and shinryouku energy respectively. Sheltis has one of the most powerful mateki in him which is perfect for killing Yuugenshu. Meanwhile, Ymy's overwhelming shinryouku is perfect for repelling Yuugenshu. When the two of them make contact, an Elbert Resonance occurs which means both parties will give off sparks that would harm the both of them. It causes angst for the both of them.
  • Souma in How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom; he's transported to a fantasy world, but his magical ability to manipulate objects is mostly just useful for doing paperwork more efficiently. Even when he gets to control a dragon-shaped mecha, it's so limited in its capabilities that it's only useful in very specific siuations.
  • I'm Standing on a Million Lives has the entire main cast blessed with suck. They are sent to a game-like world given jobs via roulette, and even if the jobs do match up with their talents and personalities, they are completely unable to deal with whatever Quest the GM puts them on, and the main cast can't do anything at all aside from the abilities their jobs give them. The protagonist has to go hunt goblins an entire day before he gets a new job that's even situationally useful.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • Stands are a reflection of the Stand User's fighting spirit. If the User doesn't have enough fighting spirit when their Stand is awakened, the Stand is weakened, and in the worst cases the Stand becomes downright detrimental to the User, like Holly Kujo's Stand slowly killing her because she lacks the strength to use it, or Cheap Trick having no abilities save killing the User if someone looks at their back. And even if you do get a useful Stand, or one you can wrangle into usefulness with sufficient creativity, Stand Users are drawn by fate to other Stand Users, meaning you'll probably have to fight people whether you want to or not.
    • Boingo from Stardust Crusaders has the Stand Thoth, a comic book that can see into the future, with its predictions always being 100% accurate. Sounds incredibly useful, right? And it is! The problem is that its predictions are usually incredibly vague, don't show the long term consequences of the events, and has the tendency to undergo Prophecy Twist. As a result, Boingo, his brother Oingo, and later Hol Horse tend to end up harming themselves more than they do the heroes. For example, Thoth predicts that the brothers will get a man's wallet after they beat him up, but doesn't say that he will eventually come back with his buddies to take revenge, and it predicts that Jotaro will be blown up by a bomb disguised as an orange, but the "Jotaro" who gets blown up is actually Oingo using his Stand Khnum to disguise himself as Jotaro.
    • Diamond is Unbreakable has several examples of Stands that are more trouble than they're worth, not including the aforementioned Cheap Trick (which doesn't count as this trope since it doesn't have any upsides; it's more a disability than anything):
      • Shizuka's Stand, Achtung Baby, has the power to make her invisible. That sounds like an useful power, except that she's just a baby and can't control her Stand, which makes taking care of her nearly impossible (as Joseph found out when she fell into a lake and nearly drowned).
      • Superfly, the Stand of Toyohiro Kanedaichi, takes the form of an electric pylon with the power to reflect any attack inflicted upon it. The downside is that its user must stay within its perimeter, otherwise he gets turned into a metal statue. The upside is that if you can trick someone else into going inside, they become its new owner, but at least one person has to be stuck inside of it at all times, whether they want to or not.
    • From Vento Aureo:
      • Giorno can actually inflict this on his enemies. By hitting them with Gold Experience, he fills them with life energy, enhancing their senses to the point where everything seems to be moving in slow-motion. Unfortunately for them, their body doesn't move any faster than usual, and their enhanced senses only makes it that much more painful when they get punched in the face for what feels like several minutes due to their slowed-down perception of time.
      • Carne's Stand, Notorious B.I.G, is one of the most powerful Stands in the series, being extremely strong and fast, as well as near invincible (The heroes were only able to defeat it by dropping it into the ocean, where it still resides). So what causes it to be this trope? Well, there's just one tiny problem with it that makes it go from extremely useful to practically useless: Carne has to die in order for it to activate.
      • Scolippi has the Stand Rolling Stones, a rock that rolls after people who are fated to die soon. If the person avoids Rolling Stones for long enough, they will be fated to die horrible deaths. The only particularly useful thing about it is that by touching it, the person will instantly die in a painless manner.
    • The Stand Survivor from Stone Ocean can stimulate people's limbic system with electric current, making them angrier to the point that two people can beat each other to the death with little reason. While this can prove useful if used in the correct situation, it mostly just causes harm to everyone around it, including the user. Its original owner often used it inadvertently on those close to him. As a result people around him constantly got into fights, his parents divorced and his siblings stopped living with family.
    • Milagro Man in JoJolion makes the user constantly earn money whenever they try and spend it. Shopkeepers refuse payment, and give more money back. Vending machines spit it out and give even more in change. Gambling it away results in always winning the highest payout. This means that you can't actually buy anything (since you'll always get your cash back instead of the product- and nobody who knows about Milagro Man will deal with you in the first place), and the cash cannot be stowed away or destroyed. The eventual fate of all 'users' of Milagro Man is to either pass it on to someone else (by having another person steal money from them) or to be crushed to death by the piles of money. Milagro Man's existence is attributed to the Dying Curse of a war profiteer who lost all his money and killed himself and his family by burning their house down.
  • Notoriously played straight on Haruka Kotoura in Kotoura-san during the first half of the first episode. Haruka's telepathic powers left her friendless, socially stigmatized and severely traumatized.
  • Kurau in Kurau Phantom Memory benefits greatly from her Rynax-powers in her job as an agent, but it causes her some trouble too. She gets separated from her father at a young age and goes through years of loneliness, because she has to hide her powers and the Rynax she merged with has to miss its "pair". Once her pair appears, she has to run from the authorities, while being more vulnerable as she has to defend her "little sister" as well. Still, flying, being able to phase through walls and disintegrate massive objects is pretty cool.
  • In The Law of Ueki, kids are granted powers by candidates gunning for the position of God, who must then fight in a tournament. One power in particular seems unbeatable (The power to turn ideals in to reality), until you find out that it takes away a year of your life to use it. An even worse example is the kid who can turn his forehead into a diamond, but only when his hands are in his pockets. This trope is the focus of the series.
    • Ueki Kosuke, who has the power to turn trash into trees. Although he does find some extremely interesting and practical uses for this power in battle, he is helpless without any rubbish.
    • Seiichiro Sano, who can turn his towels into iron, but only as long as he can hold his breath.
    • Ai Mori, who can later on make her opponent really, really love glasses. The effect is immensely powerful, but before it can be activated the opponent must strike a rather specific girly "Squeee!" pose, making the power practically useless.
    • Robert Haydn, who has the aforementioned power of making ideal objects (for example, a cup that will never spill a drop even if turned upside-down) at the cost of one year of his lifespan.
    • Marco Maldini, who can change tomatoes into magma. I'm sure by now you get the point.
    • If any of them hit a non-powered person with their power they lose one of their innate talents, and losing all your talents causes you to be struck out of existence. Welcome to the suck.
      • If they win a fight with another empowered kid, they permanently acquire one of their opponent's innate talents as their prize, which is the main motivation for the kids to fight each other. Sounds like a good deal, but the talent they get is completely random- the talent you could get from that difficult battle you just won might be your opponent's talent for judo or understanding math, which would be extremely useful... Or you could get their talent for memorizing song lyrics or doing the moonwalk, which are pretty useless.
  • Law of Ueki Plus, sequel to the above series brings back Kosuke, having lost all his cool heavenly powerups and his original powers. He's sent to a new world full of naturally born power users and is forced to choose a new power to survive. By chance he accidentally picks the power to wield a mop. Things get more interesting when he learns how to make it grab stuff and hit people with its end. In the end turns out that the mop is actually a powerup that allows Ueki's new friend to reach its final form
  • In Mahou Shoujo Nante Mou Ii Desu Kara, the main character Yuzuka is a Magical Girl... whose outfit is a two-piece swimsuit. It does serve a practical purpose - her powers are water-themed and a normal magical girl outfit would end up getting wet - but she's still highly embarrassed by it. The fact that her Mentor Mascot is a bit of a pervert doesn't help.
  • Shouta's relationship with Lucoa in Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid. Having a hot goddess who walks around in skimpy clothing and wants nothing more than to shower you with love as a familiar would be a dream come true for most men. Unfortunately, Shouta is too young to enjoy such things (but is old enough to recognize the implications), so all of Lucoa's displays of affection leave him both embarrassed and traumatized. This is not helped by the fact that he thinks she's a succubus.
  • Several people in Mushishi appear to be genuinely blessed after being infected with mushi that gives them special powers (prophetic dreams, the ability to see while blind, etc.) Unfortunately, mushi has a nasty tendency to grow in power and get beyond its user's control, which usually results in disaster for the infected individual and the people around them.
  • Due to having one of the Queen of Terror sealed in his right testicle, Kouta of My Balls has hot demons throwing themselves at him in droves for sex. Unfortunately, doing so would bring about the end of the world. On the plus side, he's a masochist.
  • In My Hero Academia, some Quirks are this. Yuga Aoyoma's Navel Laser hurts his stomach and bowels to use, and if he doesn't wear his special belt at all times, it can leak out on accident. Mirio Togata's Intangibility Quirk sounds awesome at first glance, but he can't see, breathe, or feel anything when using it and has to wear special clothing to avoid a Full-Frontal Assault. A minor villain has Super Strength powered by shame, so he needs to humiliate himself to fight. The one who has it the worst is probably a minor villain from the spin-off who has the power to be a suicide bomb. And he can't even control what sets him off- anything that would ignite his fuse could do it.
    • One could consider Midoriya’s use of One For All as this. Sure, he hits like a truck when he uses it, but it causes physical damage to his body, often causing his entire arm to become bruised or breaking bones. He’s still trying to find a way around it, and so far has only been able to safely use about 8% of his full strength (he's gotten to 20% under duress, but he notes it causes his joints to start locking up).
  • Urabe, the mysterious girlfriend of Mysterious Girlfriend X, has some pretty amazing psychic powers... which work exclusively through saliva-drinking. She can drink someone else's or someone else can drink hers, but spit has to be involved. (That's right, folks, she's blessed with suck-based powers...) As a result, this trope applies equally well to the manga/show itself — its unique and clever concept is the same thing that keeps many potential readers/viewers away.
  • Naruto:
    • Gaara had sand-related powers given to him at birth which, by automatically blocking any attacks, make him virtually unkillable. Unfortunately, this power has also made everyone around him want him dead. He was deprived of any sort of love as a child, which brought him great depression. Once, he even tried to slit his wrist in an attempt to commit suicide.
    • Jinchuriki in general get enormous chakra reserves, access to a super powered mode and extra powers related to their Biju. But they're seen as a ticking time-bomb at best, and if they use their super-powered mode they could lose control, which can release the beast inside them, which kills them and only makes their reputation worse. And even if they live their whole lives without an accident, their home village will still remove the Biju, killing them, and reseal it in another kid, continuing the cycle.
  • Negima!:
    • The pactio cards in Negima!? have suck written all over them. When the pactio is activated it randomly triggers one of three cards - the null card, the cosplay card or the armour card. The armour card is for maximum offense, the cosplay card is a powerup but it isn't as strong and the null card turns the recipient into a chibi animal which can't actually fight. So that's a 1 in 3 chance of being useless in a fight. To top it off, regardless of which card is activated, when it wears off (after a very short time) the person is both tired and very hungry. So if it runs out before the fight is over you are in even more trouble.
    • In the original manga Negima! Magister Negi Magi, Chisame kinda got shafted in the Pactio department. Her artifact, a Magical Girl staff that gives her super hacking powers, is theoretically incredibly useful...except that it requires electronics to function, and the next arc features the cast getting Trapped in Another World, where there aren't any electronic computers, rendering her artifact more or less useless. Apparently, it also works well on magical computer, as Kurt Godel's tech can attest.
  • Borderline in Neon Genesis Evangelion. Shinji Ikari always believes that his job as an Eva pilot causes him nothing but pain, but many of the characters, most notably Kensuke Aida, believe that being a pilot of an Evangelion is really amazing, and can't understand how he gets so upset about piloting. Those who do understand what's going on know otherwise.
  • Marshall D. Teach of One Piece has a two-fer; first, he ate the Dark-Dark Fruit, which gives him the power to control shadows and absorb incoming attacks, and he's stated to be able to survive without sleep (some comments noting he physically can't sleep). Unfortunately the Dark-Dark Fruit has some noticeable drawbacks- it turns any attack coming towards Teach into a Homing Projectile, and unlike other Logia fruits it doesn't augment Teach's physical abilities or durability. In fact, Teach claims that it makes pain feel even worse than if he were a regular human, which has made him unique among those bearing the initial "D" in their name that he's a Dirty Coward instead of a Fearless Fool. And not having to sleep? No good if you have to spend a full half of your life completely and utterly alone while everyone else is resting, with even a tough pirate like Teach breaking down into a sobbing mess from the isolation.
  • As a Deconstruction of the action hero genre, in One-Punch Man, Saitama is the strongest hero of all: he has the power to defeat any enemy with a single punch. But this causes him frustration and ennui, since none of his fights are challenging or satisfying.
  • Gene and Jim of Outlaw Star inherit one of the most advanced ships in the galaxy after one of their clients kicks the bucket. This would seem like a good thing, until the two realize that it's going to cost them an arm and a leg to dock, maintain, and arm the damn thing. It effectively paints a big fat target on Gene's head for the Kei pirates to strike at. Gene puts it best when he says, "We sure inherited a big pain in the ass."
  • In Puella Magi Madoka Magica, being a magical girl sounds great! Not only do they get superpowers, they get a wish for anything they want when they become a magical girl. Sure, they have to fight Witches, but that's par for the course. Except there are a few things Kyubey neglected to mention, like that their souls have been removed from their bodies and placed in their very appropriately named Soul Gems, so magical girls are basically liches. Furthermore, magical girls will eventually turn into Witches when they reach their Despair Event Horizon, and they will. There's also the fact that the wishes the girls make typically don't make them happy for long, backfiring horribly or turning out to not be what the wisher really wanted - though that doesn't seem to be something Kyubey has control over.
  • In Read or Die, being a Paper Master is a pretty sweet deal, if you're inventive enough. The downside? Biblophilia on a massive scale. A love of books and reading that progresses beyond "love" into "life-destroying obsession". The protagonists of both the original OVAs and the TV series adaptation are shown as being so crazy about books they can hardly live normal lives; beyond making themselves unemployable because they are constantly forgetting about their tasks, or even showing up at work, for the sake of reading, they drive themselves bankrupt in pursuit of more books to add to their personal libraries and even endanger their health through a combination of spending money that should be used for clothing, bills, food, etcetera on yet more books and getting so caught up in reading that they forget to eat, sleep and bathe.
  • Nanos in Red Ash: Gearworld are called as such because their human being with nanomachines in their genes. The nanomachines grant them some pretty amazing powers, but they eventually "error out". The worst part is they never know exactly when it's gonna happen.
  • Chise in Saikano is turned into the ultimate weapon, which makes her invincible and she becomes absurdly strong as well. Comes at a very steep price: Using her powers hurts her directly, and is slowly taking away her humanity. Oh, and she can't control her powers very well, leading to her destroying several cities.
  • Being able to turn everything around you to sand sounds cool, if not particularly useful. Tell that to Kyrie of Sands of Destruction. He just wants to be normal and doesn't enjoy the fact that his Power Incontinence makes him a danger to the entire world.
  • Yakumo of School Rumble is an empath who hears the thoughts regarding her from any guy who has any interest in her. Her being a Yamato Nadeshiko, that usually means all guys — it comes as a surprise when she can't hear anything from the male lead (because he's purely in love with someone else, her older sister) — and people don't help her because she looks too perfect to need it. The blaring thoughts of the Stalker with a Crush don't help her situation, either.
  • The Ashikabi from Sekirei, who are blessed with a Magical Girlfriend via a Magic Contract Romance. Unfortunately, There Can Be Only One and all Sekirei are required to battle to the death until only one of them remains. That means out of 108 Sekirei and 80+ Ashikabi, only one of each gets to have a happy ending.....while all the rest will have to watch their soulmates die in battle.
  • Zelgadis Graywords from Slayers wants to become strong, so his great-grandfather makes him strong. By turning him into a 1/3 rock golem, 1/3 blow demon chimera with blue skin and wire hair. He then devotes his life to finding a cure for this condition.
    • Most of the time we see him he's hanging around the rest of the cast or has himself covered in clothes head to foot. Also showing the effects of his appearance beyond it being funny is not particularly on the show's agenda. There's also been rumored a solo story about Zelgadis on his own that got scrapped because it was too dark and serious for the usual Slayers tone. But put in some imagination (given how most people react to someone who looks weird) and the fact he sinks in water, his hair can get stuck in wood etc and there's plenty there that sucks.
      • In Slayers Evolution-R it's shown in a flashback how children Zelgadis used to play with start to consider him a monster after his change - oddly, considering that they also used to play with wolfman Dilgear and fishman Noonsa with no reaction to their monstrous appearances. It seems that Zelgadis only became serious about finding the cure after it became clear to him that Rezo was only using him as a tool, and didn't change him because he cared about him, as he claimed.
  • The tekigousha from Snow White and Seven Dwarfs are quickly revealed to be this. Specific examples include:
    • Takeru, whose powers involve Playing with Fire. In return, his ability heats up his own body, meaning that overusing his powers could burn and kill him, if his body weren't smart enough to shut his power off for him.
    • Fujimaru, whose powers would directly attack his brain if he didn't wear a Power Limiter, resulting in a case of I'm Having Soul Pains. Furthermore, the strain could kill him within a few hours.
    • Ken, who possesses an Arm Cannon and forms bullets out of his own blood—resulting in Power Degeneration.
    • Souichi and Souji, due to their body's issues with their powers, are respectively de-aging/rapidly aging and so don't have left long to live.
    • Amagiya, thanks to the fact that The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body, and so as he uses his powers, he further loses himself to his animalistic instincts.
    • Shirayuki has Complete Immortality... except she's kept locked up, and combined with her ability to constantly regenerate and mass-produce the source of everyone's powers, she's forced to watch as her abilities are used to ruin everyone's lives, knowing that this might never end.
  • In Soul Eater, Crona's blood is a sentient being named Ragnarok which offers very strong capabilities in offense, defense, and manoeuvrability. He does this by hardening to stop attacks or turning into a sword, needles, or wings. Unfortunately, the process of getting said powers as a child was stressful enough that Crona is hardly ever in a state of mind that isn't depression or insanity. Also, Ragnarok likes to bully Crona constantly and, being initially huge and musclebound, is able to easily overpower his partner. Factor in the fact that Ragnarok appears by violently and painfully ripping out of Crona's back and you have a very undesirable (but still fun to watch) power.
  • Saiga in Speed Grapher can make anything he takes a picture of with his camera explode violently. While this sounds cool, his job is photography (and since the powers in Speed Grapher are based on your fetishes, it also implies he gets off on it) and he can't turn his powers off. So he can no longer do what he loves without destroying it.
  • Ixpellia from StrikerS Sound Stage X has the ability to cause the Mariages to arise, whereupon they would immediately sally forth into battle. Great when you have to fight in a war. Not so great when you neither need nor want to fight anymore and your undead warriors with one track minds won't stop no matter how much you beg them to.
  • A major twist in Tokyo Ghoul deals with this. The vast majority of Half-Human Hybrids do not inherit their ghoul parent's powers, instead being born with superhuman physical abilities. Their lifespans are significantly shorter than either parent species, essentially breaking down internally by the time they reach their early 30s. To make matters worse, they are purposefully bred by the CCG as an army of Tyke Bombs, and sent out to work as Investigators from the time they are 15 years old, knowing that they will either die in combat or break down within 20 years. The oldest known case, 32-year old Kishou Arima, eventually chooses to commit suicide rather than continue to break down from old age.
  • Wangan Midnight has the Devil Z, a heavily tuned Nissan Fairlady Z (S30, which was sold as the Datsun 240Z in North America). For a car from the 1970s, you'll be amazed at how fast this badass mother can go. The trade-off? It's extremely hard to control, and thus has a long history of accidents involving the deaths of its past owners. In fact, it's believed to be possessed; one chapter has the protagonist Akio exclaiming that his foot is stuck on the pedal as if it was being pushed down.
  • Princess Hinoto of X/1999 has the ability to predict the future through dreams. Her ability to predict is so powerful that she resides beneath Tokyo's Diet building and helps the politicians there determine Japan's future course. Not only that, but she also has many other Psychic Powers like Deflector Shields, dream walking, telepathy, Psychic Links, etc. The downside is that her powers are so immense that her body can barely handle them, and thus she's permanently crippled, blind, deaf, and mute.
  • Yo-kai Watch Jam - Yo-kai Academy Y: Close Encounters of the N Kind: Clock Lady is able to generate a force field that slows down the movement of anything within it... including herself. If that was not bad enough, she is also able to create smaller clones of herself that are able to move normally within the field, but they are too weak to deal any damage to the enemy.
  • Poor Shin-ah of Yona of the Dawn. As the Seiryuu, he has the power of the Dragon's Eyes that can see in the dark and for great distances. They can even be used to paralyze death. They also have a backfire function that paralyzes their user if used too much, which caused the people who inherited it to consider it a curse. And the people who lived around the Seiryuu were so scared of those powers they shunned each Seiryuu generation after generation. By the time Yona comes looking for her Seiryuu, she finds a lonely young man terrified of his own power who rarely speaks and doesn't even have a name.
    • And then there's Zeno, the Ouryuu. He can heal from any wound, awesome! It still hurts. His body can become an unbreakable shield! It has to get massively busted up to activate. Nothing can kill him, even time! He gets to watch everyone die, and because the other dragons get reincarnated, he gets to watch them die over and over and over again. Dragon powers, yay?
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, Manjyome prides himself as a tough guy, which is usually a good thing. However, in one episode, his two snobbish brothers insist a duel with him, on the condition he only uses Monster Cards with 500 ATK or less. This leaves Manjyome unable to comply, literally. With the exception of his Ojama Yellow, every monster he has is just too powerful. To help him build a deck that complies, Daitokuji-Sensei directs him to a well where several cards deemed weak and useless were thrown away.
  • The five Signers of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's consider their power to range from a mere inconvenience to a dire curse.
  • Maine in Ascendance of a Bookworm has a truly phenomenal amount of magical power coursing through her body, but only nobles receive the tools and education needed to make use of those abilities. As such, the power builds up inside her and is threatening to kill her because she has no way to release it.


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