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Power Incontinence / Anime & Manga

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Power Incontinence in anime and manga.


  • In one story from the Miles Edgeworth Case Book manga for the Ace Attorney series, Maya's spiritual powers have developed to the point at which she can unconsciously channel the spirit of her dead older sister Mia merely by thinking about her in her sleep. At the end of the same story, Pearl shows the same ability.
  • AKIRA
    • Tetsuo starts losing control of his powers following the battle with Kaneda, which manifests as his body starting to mutate around the metal arm he built with them after losing the original to SOL. Eventually, his body starts mutating out of control, leading to the most horrific scene of the movie.
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    • In the movie, Akira himself seems to have this, as he has reached such a power level that when resurrected, his powers automatically destroy the city of Neo-Tokyo, and then he disappears into a dimension of his own creation, sucking down everything within a few miles' radius with him.
  • In Attack on Titan, it turns out that Eren's Titan transformation the second time around was quite uncontrollable, even attacking Mikasa, his sister. As it turns out, he's in some kind of dream state, where things are as they were before the Titans breached the Wall. The last time, when he killed the Titans, was also apparently a dream-like state to him. In other words, his subconscious might exert some influence on his Titan form.
  • Both Muroga Hyouma and Oboro and in Basilisk have two different, but powerful eye magics. Unfortunately they are unable to turn off their abilities, so their powers activate every time they make eye contact with anyone.
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  • Black Clover has Noelle Silva. Being royalty she has immense magical power. However, she has difficulty controlling it, causing her attacks to miss and accidentally trapping herself in a giant sphere of water. Her lack of magic control caused her to be ridiculed and called a defect by her own family and led to Noelle developing an inferiority complex. Throughout the story she gains better control and learns to restrain her power at will.
  • Bleach
    • Coyote Starrk is so powerful that his reiatsu inadvertently killed anything that came near him, leaving him incapable of socialising or forming any emotional ties to others. He was so desperately lonely that he joined Aizen's cause solely because Aizen was the first person he'd ever met who could withstand his reiatsu without dying.
    • Initially, Ichigo has no idea how to control his enormous reiatsu, and when his reiatsu explodes out of him when fighting his very first Menos Grande, he would have died if Uryuu hadn't taken control of his reiatsu for him and calmed it down. Although he gets better at it, he does not have finesse of control and his power output is so great even when in a calm state that he's incapable of sealing his zanpakutou, causing it to exist in a constantly released shikai state by default. His enormous leaking reiatsu also affected several of his classmates, allowing them to become spiritually aware. He possesses a Substitute Shinigami badge that, among other things, acts as a damage limitation device for his reiatsu.
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    • Kenpachi cannot properly control his reiatsu output. As a result, he cannot seal his zanpakutou or control how much reiatsu he's suppressing or releasing, so he wears a special eyepatch that acts as an artificial Power Limiter. He wears it when he wants to suppress his power and he takes it off when he wants to increase the amount he's using in battle. It's connected to a traumatic childhood experience. His meaningless life gained meaning when he met and almost defeated his first Worthy Opponent. He was so terrified of being left alone that he subconsciously suppressed his power to spare her life and it's been suppressed ever since.
  • Yoshiki, a high school student in Boogiepop Phantom, gains an incontinent ability to hear peoples' thoughts in episode nine, "You'll Never Be Young Twice". He promptly discovers that all of his friends dislike him, only sticking around to leech his money. He then gives his mind away to a bad guy out of desperation.
  • In Busou Renkin, the character Victor is constantly displaying a life-draining ability that he can't turn off, even if he wanted to... and so is protagonist Kazuki, who, in the later part of the series, begins to turn into a being just like Victor. Justified in that it is a vital life function; Victor compares it to breathing.
  • Clow Reed of Cardcaptor Sakura, Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE-, and ×××HOLiC, reportedly the most powerful magician to ever exist until the coming of his successor, caused the plots of all three series with his power incontinence. He caused the first two by needing to run a Gambit Roulette to get rid of his ability to predict the future (he couldn't turn it off), and he caused the latter two by accidentally turning someone into a zombie simply because while she was dying he wished for her to open her eyes again. The entire multiverse gets fucked up and screwed over several times in trying to fix that boo-boo.
  • Several people in A Certain Magical Index. Touma can't turn his right arm off, so he constantly cancels his own luck and interferes with any magic in the vicinity. Aisa Himegame constantly draws in vampires and kills them en masse. Accelerator suspects that he has such an abnormal appearance because his power deflects sunlight off him, but isn't really sure. Index has no control over her John's Pen mode. Aureolus Izzard needs intense focus to control his alchemist abilities and appears to rely on some type of acupuncture for it, and it still turns on him. As the final major example, the angel that gets sucked down from Heaven really can't help the fact that it has to return and that in doing so it will cause a major catastrophe. It doesn't seem very thrilled about the idea.
  • Joshua Christopher from Chrono Crusade has the power to read minds after he's given the horns of a powerful demon. However, he can't control the power, so it quickly drives him insane.
  • Code Geass
    • Mao has a Geass that allows him to read the mind of anyone within 500 meters. Over time, he loses the ability to control it and as a result hears the surface thoughts of everyone within range.
    • Late in the first season, the same fate befalls Lelouch's Compelling Voice Geass; he suffers a brief, debilitating headache, and doesn't realise that he's lost control over his power. He later makes a joke to Euphemia about killing all Japanese people, and realises a moment too late that he's Geassed her into doing it. In the beginning of R2, C.C. gives him a special contact lens to block it when needed. C.C. claims that the contacts will eventually stop working, leaving it active all the time.
    • And speaking of C.C., she herself suffered this fate back when she had her own geass.
    • In general, anyone who receives a Geass power will eventually lose control of it.
  • In Darker Than Black, the superpowered "Contractors" must pay for using their powers by performing a pointless action specific to that individual shortly afterwards. Those who don't have to make such a payment are called "Moratoria", suffering from Power Incontinence. Moratoria are stated to be extremely rare, the only one shown in the series having been changed from a normal Contractor as a side effect of a contract-suppressing plant. The same person reverted back into a normal Contractor in the end, something stated to have a near-zero likelihood, but not before going on several uncontrolled rampages wherein she incinerated several people. Sometimes the pointless action makes their powers very much not worth it, like having to drink the blood of children. Or being forced to smoke.
  • Saiki of The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. has numerous psychic powers, but does not have full control of several of them.
    • His Telepathy causes him to have to constantly hear others' thoughts within a 200 meter range, although this can be turned off by touching the element germanium, so before he discovered this he couldn't enjoy going to movie theatres because he would hear spoilers from the people around him.
    • He cannot turn off his X-Ray Vision, so he constantly sees people's insides.
    • His eyes turn people to stone if he isn't wearing his glasses.
    • His ability to mind control people into believing abnormal things are normal causes an uncontrollable chain reaction that results in reality changing so that the changed beliefs become true. That is why he rarely uses that power.
    • He does not have full control of his Super Strength, which makes it difficult for him to do things like throw a ball at somebody without killing them if he puts any effort into it.
    • His Psychometry also can't be turned off so he wears transparent gloves at all times so he doesn't have to see the past of everything he touches.
    • If either of the devices on his head are removed his powers become fully unleashed. The first time in the series that one of them was removed he nearly destroyed the earth and after it was put back in his strength started fluctuating between weak and strong uncontrollably for the rest of the day. He has to wear them even while sleeping to avoid blowing up his house. When one of them was broken he had to remain in a wheelchair completely motionless so he wouldn't destroy anything he touched. When one of the devices malfunctioned he sent himself back in time in his sleep and even after it was fixed he started randomly trapping himself in Groundhog Day Loops which he can only escape from by emptying his mind.
    • When he sneezes he causes a random object near him to explode.
    • Reita cannot turn off his ability to see and hear ghosts, and this can be a problem for him because he has trouble telling the difference between ghosts and living humans. Saiki also is able to see just one ghost whom he can't stop seeing and hearing either.
  • Dragon Ball Z
    • At the start of Z, Gohan has great power that far surpasses his father. However, he has no control of it. It only awakens when he's mad. Even after training with Piccolo, Gohan's true power is tied to his emotional state. He doesn't gain control of it until he becomes a Super Saiyan 2 during the Cell Games.
    • During the lead up to the Cell Games Goku and Gohan opt for perfecting their control of the Super Saiyan form rather than pushing to achieve a next level the way Vegeta and Trunks do. They do this by maintaining the form indefinitely while going about their daily lives, which proves to be supremely destructive to their environment when they can't tone down their strength enough to pick up a glass without shattering it. The idea returned in Dragon Ball Super when Vegeta in is base form is shown to be too strong to be able to pick up and egg and crack it on a bowl without crushing it with just his fingertips.
    • In Dragon Ball Super, Goku takes some time to get used to being a Super Saiyan God. He flies past Beerus and nearly harms his friends with a stray Kamehameha. He gets the hang of it by the end of the episode.
    • After recklessly combining the Kaio-ken with the Super Saiyan God state, Goku loses control of his ki for several days. Apparently it's a reaction to his body having been overstressed. He has to force himself to stop training and relax during this time, since whenever he tried using his ki, he did things like teleport uncontrollably and blow up his house.
    • In his "100% Power" state on Namek, Frieza cannot control his power completely. Not only does it cause him to lose stamina at a rapid pace, it also causes Frieza to become far more furious and strained compared to his usual sophisticated behaviour.
      • Freeza's new Golden Super Mode from Resurrection F has the same problem; as powerful as it is, it practically bleeds stamina and ends up wearing off before he can do anything. Goku and Vegeta tell Freeza that he could easily have recognized the problem and corrected it with further training, but he rushed to Earth the moment he achieved the form because he was that obsessed with revenge and ended up screwing himself over. When he's brought back for the Tournament of Power, Freeza has indeed overcome the stamina problem via image training...in other words, he spent his time in Hell focusing on the many ways he planned on torturing and killing Goku once he got free.
    • In the eighth Non-Serial Movie, Broly's Legendary Super Saiyan form causes his power to constantly rise whether he wants to or not, forcing him to release his energy at regular intervals. In fact, Goku defeats him by punching an old wound so hard his body ruptures under his own Ki reserves.
  • Fairy Tail
    • Black Mage Zeref cannot control his magic if he cares for the lives of others. This is very bad since he has Death magic, and Power Incontinence turns him into an Enemy to All Living Things.
    • At first, Juvia couldn't control her water magic, meaning it rains wherever she is. After her fight with Gray tires her out, the rain finally stops and she sees the sun for the first time in her life. After the second Time Skip, it's hinted that this is tied to her emotional state. When she meets Lucy and Natsu one year later, they find her depressed in Gray's old home, six months after he left her all alone, and it's raining all over the village.
    • Bixlow and Evergreen both have powerful eye magic, which neither of them can fully shut off. (Soul stealing and turning others to stone, respectively.) In order to make sure they don't hurt the people around them, Bixlow covers the upper half of his face with a knight's visor and Evergreen just uses a pair of eyeglasses.
    • In Wendy Marvell's fight with Chelia Blendy, Wendy uses healing magic on Chelia, powering her up. Everybody wonders what Wendy was thinking, but when Chelia attempts a blast, the attack misfires and misses by a mile. Everybody then realizes that Wendy had been aiming to increase Chelia's powers to the point that she has difficulty controlling them.
  • Kyo from Fruits Basket has to keep his prayer beads on whenever he's in human form to prevent him from instantly reverting to his demon form.
    • Also a major problem for Saki Hanajima. When she was younger, she couldn't block out people's feelings, causing her to become quiet and withdrawn. Because of her refusal to interact with people, she starts getting bullied, until she finally snaps, suddenly discovering her Psychic Powers and using them to put one of the bullies in the hospital.
  • Hell Teacher Nube:
  • The protagonists from the Hoshi no Umi no Amuri OVA, where their abilities are treated like allergies. Amuri's Reflect, causes her to repel physical objects that she touches suddenly, Suzu's Escape causes her to be moving continuously, and Perriere's Infiltrate causes her to pass through most solid objects.
  • InuYasha
    • Miroku has the Wind Tunnel, a black hole-like void in his hand that pulls in everything in front of him unless he has it covered up using his prayer beads. What's worse, eventually the void will be big enough to pull in him (and anything that happens to be around him) unless Naraku is destroyed. It's one of the reasons he keeps asking random women to have his children, so that he'll have a descendant to continue the fight if he fails. The other is that he's a Handsome Lech.
    • Inu-Yasha also has a genetic predisposition to this problem, which his father made a magic sword to fix. After it breaks the first time, the chances of him getting extra power in a way that makes him kind of evil increase dramatically, especially if he doesn't have the sword on him. Luckily, it's an awesome BFS which gets continuously upgraded to an Infinity +1 Sword, so he's not missing much, even if a compulsion to kill things didn't bother him.
  • In Is This a Zombie?, it's revealed that Eucliwood Hellscythe's magic is extremely powerful and unstable to the point that she has to constantly remain emotionless, never speak, and wear magic-suppressing armor in order to control it. Even worse, whenever the words she says become magical, she experiences something equivalent to Mind Rape. Even more worse, provoking her enough for her to lose control of her emotions for one moment will have very disastrous results.
  • Josuke's Stand ability in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is initially presented as the ability to restore anything and everything (except himself) to a previous state. Then it's quickly revealed that they're actually restored to what Josuke thinks was its previous state. If he's too distracted or angry to concentrate, the things he restores can be a little... off (at best).
  • The power that flows from Karasumori in Kekkaishi is revealed to be a form of power incontinence, it simply flows out and infuses everything, partly due to a lack of control and partly due to a lack of ability to consider consequences. Chushinmaru's power is simply out of control, he needed to be sealed because only Hazama could touch him safely (he accidentally siphoned away the lives of an entire village at one point) and so was too dangerous to roam the world. Chushinmaru is incredibly powerful even while sealed; if he was completely free, then he would be a true menace, even accidentally.
  • Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple has a variant with Apachai, as his past of fighting in a lot of life-and-death matches (not by his own choice) has left him psychologically incapable of holding back when he fights. As such, he undergoes special training so that he won't accidentally kill Kenichi during training.
  • Haruka Kotoura in Kotoura-san can't shut off her mind reading powers, nor can she differentiate between speech and thoughts. She has some limited control over focusing on individual minds to read in all the noise, but if she can't see them, she may end up reading any nearby mind. Although she has a few friends now, she's still socially shunned by most because of this.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima!
    • Negi Springfield's Sneezes of Doom are accidental discharges of magic caused by ordinary sneezes.
    • His Black Magic ability is also acting up; it's slowly turning him into a demon and causing poisoning-like symptoms in the process, and as the poison and transformation progress, he increasingly goes into Super Mode involuntarily.
    • The World Tree leaks magical energy all over Mahora's campus for a few days every year. Every 20 years or so, it becomes incredibly powerful, which can lead to some serious problems. Such as a request for a kiss turning Negi into a Determinator or The Big Bad using the energy to power her magic robot army.
  • Likewise, Rumiko Takahashi's Maris the Chojo wears "strength restraints" since she's a Thanatosian — she has six times the normal strength of a human being. Even with the restraints she still ends up accidentally destroying much of what she touches.
  • In Medaka Box, the Minus Mukae Emukae has the power "Raff Lafresia", which makes whatever she touches rot. It doesn't have an "off" switch; at best, she can set it from "high" to "low". During the Student Council Battle Arc, Kumagawa uses his All Fiction to alter Raff Lafresia, giving Mukae the ability to shut it off.
    • There's a downplayed version with Medaka's Abnormality, which allows her to copy and perfect other peoples' powers. When the Student Council comes up against an opponent whose "power" is higher-than-normal killing intent, Medaka's brother Maguro intervenes and keeps her from fighting, saying that she would end up copying his killing intent and turn into an unstoppable psychopath.
  • My Hero Academia:
    • Ochako Uraraka's Zero Gravity is activated by touching an object (or person) with the pads of all five of her fingers, regardless of whether she wants it to or not. She has to sleep wearing mittens.
    • Tomura Shigaraki, leader of the Villain Association, has the same activation parameters for his quirk, but considering that his quirk disintegrates whatever it's applied to, he has to be especially careful.
    • The main character of the story, Izuku Midoriya, has a version of this problem. He can turn his Super Strength on and off at will, but he initially has no control at all over how strong it is, so it is only either turned off, or on at maximum power, which severely damages whatever part of his body he used his Super Strength with. Eventually, though, he gains a degree of control over his power, learning to spread it over his entire body instead of concentrating it on one limb. This is something every inheritor of One-For-All has to learn, including Izuku's predecessor All Might.
      • When he first activates Black Whip, the tendrils run riot and attack everyone around him. Black Whip's original user (a previous One for All wielder) eventually tells him that he needs to control his emotions to control the Quirk.
    • Tooru Hagakure has the power of Invisibility. She can't turn off her powers at all so she is always invisible. The only way she can make herself seen is via her clothes.
    • Fumikage Tokoyami has an extremely powerful Living Shadow that grows stronger in darkness but also becomes harder for him to control.
    • Chapter 168 reveals that Yuga Aoyama's Navel Laser can leak out if there's not a lens to keep it under control. In addition, his body is ill-suited to his Quirk, and when his stomach is crushed by the laser... let's just say that the "incontinence" part of this trope is quite literal.
    • Jin Bubaigawara, aka Twice, is capable of making clones of himself and other people, but he has no control over their actions and starts to involuntarily clone himself if he's not wearing a mask of some kind. He used to have an army of clones of himself until they all rebelled and killed each other, thinking they were the original.
  • Naruto
    • Kakashi was offered a special eye from his dying friend, but can't turn its power off, so he covers it with his headband in order not to waste energy.
    • If Naruto reaches four-tails or above, then he needs an outside source or the Fourth Hokage to calm him down, because he can't on his own, and if given enough incentive or time, more tails will come out.
    • This is actually a very real concern for most jinchuuriki. If too much of the beast's will escapes with the chakra, they'll be overwhelmed and the beast will break out of the seal.
      • Note, these all change over time. Jinchuriki can learn to tame and control the entirety of their Beast's power. Naruto, for example tamed Kurama, the Kyubi, and can use all of the Fox's power and can overwhelm five Biju at the same time. Not only that, he could hold his own against Madara Uchiha, the Ten-Tails, and even Juubi Jinchuriki Obito!
  • The eponymous creations in Neon Genesis Evangelion might count. True, Evas are Empathic Weapons of the Humongous Mecha variant, but still, if they go berserk, the only thing you can do is run away until they run out of power. If, however, the Eva in question is Unit 01, chances are it may not stop even without power, so just keep running.
  • One Piece
    • Coby develops the ability to use Haki (specifically, the Color of Observation) during the war at Marineford. However, his ability to hear voices gradually disappears as people die around him, it can't seem to be controlled, and it takes a toll on him during said war. However, after the Time Skip, he has mastered it to the point it borders on Telepathy.
    • Luffy had the same problem when he developed the Colors of the Supreme King Haki. He ended up knocking out everyone in the general vicinity whenever he lost his temper. After the Time Skip, he has full control over it.
    • Oda notes it to be typical for most Devil Fruits that the users have trouble controlling their powers after first eating their fruits. Examples include Luffy after eating the Gum-Gum Fruit being unable to control his stretching, Kaku after eating the Ox-Ox Fruit, Model: Giraffe having trouble controlling which form he transforms into, Blackbeard stealing Whitebeard's Gura Gura Fruit powers and accidentally sending a tsunami at Sabaody Archipelago, and Sabo eating the Flame-Flame Fruit, as he has trouble turning the power off.
  • A-Ko from Project A-ko wears bracelets to keep her Super Strength from crushing everything she touches (which tends to happen anyway as she's kind of spazzy). Also, every morning her Late for School Super Speed run causes damaging sonic booms, yet the damage is always repaired by the next morning.

    A-ko does not wear her wrist bands to bed, and in at least one movie was able to throw a pillow to silence an alarm clock without destroying anything. Maybe her powers don't work unless she's fully awake?
  • Ageha, Frederica, and Shao from Psyren all have this as a result of their PSI powers being fueled by emotion instead of focus of thought.
  • Oriko, of Puella Magi Oriko Magica, is a powerful Seer with the ability to instantly make predictions of the future. Unfortunately, when she started her career in Symmetry Diamond, she had no control over when it activated and what the subject of the prediction would be. Considering that her magic is Cast from Hit Points... yeah, that was a problem.
  • Goku in Saiyuki. When his power limiter breaks or is taken off and he reverts to his true form, he will try to kill anything that moves, including his friends. He'll probably be reasonably successful, as he's immensely powerful in this form. When it breaks, the limiter can only be recreated by the gods or Sanzo. Hakkai also has to wear his power limiters, although the risk of him losing himself and going berserk when he removes them is only because of the minus wave, and when he has been shown to remove them, he remains in sane(ish) mind and can put them back on to revert to human form. But he's currently at risk when taking them off, probably.
  • Shaman King: both Hao and Anna have an uncontrollable ability to read minds. This leads to Hao's Start of Darkness and causing further Power Incontinence for Anna in the form of her spontaneously summoning demons.
  • Asa Shigure from SHUFFLE!, as the demonic powers that she inherited from her mom Ama start awakening. She refuses to use them, however, to not break Ama's already damaged heart, and they start to flow so strongly that her life comes to risk. Rin has to force her to use them so Asa won't die due to this trope, taking a knife and slitting his wrists open so Asa will have to heal his nearly fatal injuries.
  • Sket Dance introduces Koma-chan, a ladylike and desperately shy Huge Schoolgirl who is not able to control her enormous strength whenever she's embarrassed.
  • The magical girls in Il Sole penetra le illusioni constantly leak some of their magic. This doesn't seem to be particularly dangerous; Akari causes plants to grow quickly, while Luna attracts dogs.
  • Simon from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann sports the rare inversion of this trope (Power... Constipation?) following Kamina's death. For the next few missions, whenever Simon tries to use Lagann, it begins vomiting energy and refuses to respond to his commands. This is due to Lagann being powered by "spiral energy" (literally being fueled by awesome), meaning Simon's defeatist attitude was basically like pouring diesel fuel into a gas tank designed for unleaded gasoline.
  • Happens in various points in Thou Shalt Not Die with the tone varying depending on the situation. First time it is played for laughs at the bowling rink where Mashiro is so busy focusing on trying to shot straight that she forgets to keep her immense strength in check leading to her causing some pretty impressive destruction as a result. Played more for drama with Kikyo who, during a sexual intercourse, ended up losing control of her pyrokinetic powers causing the man she was having sex with to get burned to death.
    • Eventually, this forms a core plot point for Mashiro as her strength starts to go completely nuts where she can't even do the most basic of things without causing everything around her to break, from the handles on doors, to other people. This leads her to further and further isolate herself from others due to a growing fear that she might hurt or even kill them purely by accident.
  • Tiger & Bunny
    • Kotetsu starts showing the first signs of Power Incontinence when his powers starts going haywire in episode 14 — increasing in strength dramatically (jumping manages to cause a sonic boom), but also shutting on and off seemingly at random. It's revealed that he is slowly losing his power, a very rare thing among NEXT, and that his powers going haywire is like a candle flickering brightly before it goes out.
    • Also the case for his daughter Kaede when she starts to develop her NEXT power. Her power is to copy the ability of the last Next she touches. She can't easily control the first couple of powers she copies, but when Kaede gets Karina's ability, she can use it in a variety of ways, probably because she knew what she was dealing with by that point.
  • Translucent is a gentle Slice of Life manga about a girl who's slowly turning invisible. This is presented as a documented medical syndrome, not a special power; at least one adult she knows is permanently invisible. The girl appears more solid when she's feeling self-confident, but will eventually have to learn to find a happy life and accept her condition.
  • Takahashi also used this with Asuka Mizunokuji in Urusei Yatsura. Not only she has massive Super Strength, but she's a very shy Shrinking Violet with a powerful phobia of almost all men — this leads her to accidentally harm people even with hugs, i.e, so she has to wear a sort-of Power Armor as a Power Limiter.
  • In Witch Craft Works, some witches don't have full control over their powers.
    • Touko spontaneously freezes things when she feels threatened (or trips). One bonus strip has Kagari bullying her into becoming a living AC unit.
    • Kagari spontaneously sets things on fire when angry or excited. The most common reason is someone bringing up Takamiya in a romantic way.
  • Aki Izayoi, from Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's. To make things worse, her Evil Mentor Divine was purposely training her so that her Psychic Powers would be more destructive, as part of his plans to form an army of psychic assassins. After Divine's death, Aki made a Heel–Face Turn that resulted in a slow process that eventually resulted in her being able to control her powers fully... But it wasn't automatic.


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