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    Bleach 
  • Link to the manga:
    • Yasutora "Chad" Sado, who despite being one of Ichigo's longtime friends, a member of Ichigo's main team, and the fact that he had kept fighting longer than other examples here, ended up losing to Kyoraku from within their short fight, and just when it seemed that things were finally looking bright and up for him later on, he got cut short by Nnoitra, and again in the last arc, when it seems that he's gonna finally do something in order to help Ichigo and his friends out, the manga was rushed and nothing had truly came out of it.
    • Tatsuki Arisawa is a close childhood friend of Ichigo and Orihime, having been Ichigo's sparring rival in Karate classes and protecting Orihime from bullies who didn't like her hair colour. Although she initially began developing spiritual awareness along with the other characters, she never developed beyond spiritual awareness and was sidelined for most of the story, even after Ichigo eventually let her know about the spiritual wars and societies he and Orihime had become involved with. In response to fan frustrations about Tatsuki's lack of development, Tite Kubo explained that her role was reduced because Shueisha wanted to focus on the Shinigami.
    • Kon's introductory arc paints him as a considerably more serious character, refusing to take life as a result of having lived in fear of being discarded. After this, though, he's mostly portrayed as perverted comic relief and occupies Ichigo's body whenever he goes out as a Soul Reaper. Although he's used in a lot of supplementary material, some people feel that Kon could be used for so much more.
    • Many of the Arrancars were unexpectedly popular with readers both domestic and abroad, so Kubo was pushed by his editors to give each one A Day in the Limelight to please the fans. Unfortunately, since the Arrancar were villains meeting the inevitable shonen defeats, this also meant many fans were disappointed by how quickly most of them were killed off after receiving the required amount of backstory.
    • Rudbornn Chelute, the head of the Exequias, is the only Arrancar with a fully intact mask. The point of being an Arrancar is that they have broken masks, so he's quite the enigma. He's the leader of the Exequias, a group of Faceless Goons who have the same type of skull; they're spawned by Rudbornn himself, making him a non-video game version of a Mook Maker. He apparently kills off a few minor antagonists once they've outlived their usefulness and sort of disappears for a little while. Toward the end of the Hueco Mundo arc, he has a brief fight with Rukia in the manga, a full-episode fight against Rukia, Renji, and Chad in the anime... until he's smashed to pieces by Yammy before we find out anything really significant about him.
    • The Privarons are former Espada who were demoted in favor of the newer, more "enhanced" ones that everyone knows about now. They consisted of Dordoni Alessandro del Socaccio, Cirucci Sanderwicci and Gantenbainne Mosqueda, each with their own distinct designs, abilities and personalities, with Dordoni and especially Cirucci being the ones that fans latched onto. Gantenbainne disappeared after his fight while the other two were killed by Rudbornn and experimented on by Szayelaporro and later Mayuri. Then in the Blood War arc, it turns out that Mayuri revived Dordoni and Cirucci as zombie-like beings, with their personalities and memories intact. Not only is it never revealed how this was possible with characters who were technically already ghosts to begin with, nothing is actually done with them and thus their return was fairly pointless.
    • A lot of fans felt that the Fullbringers' arc was little more than filler, meant to restore Ichigo's powers, although most got a backstory and even some Character Development before they left the map. Three of them were revealed to be alive and training under Kukaku Shiba, but that plot thread was never mentioned again. Their arc was widely seen as a sub-par sidetrack to the main plot, which may explain why they've been Put on a Bus.
    • Retsu Unohana was a calm woman with a gentle smile that terrified others. Supplementary books listed her as one of the strongest and oldest captains, and a master swordsman. However, she remains on the sidelines throughout the story as a medic until it is eventually revealed that she was an atoning criminal, the first Eleventh Division's first Kenpachi and the reason Zaraki loves fighting so much. To counter the final Big Bad, she sacrifices her life to unlock Zaraki's full potential, leaving fans to feel like the motherly healer image was ruined, and that her death was based on faulty in-universe logic and real life sexism in Shonen manga to empower a character fans felt was already too powerful.
    • Gremmy Thoumeaux and his pawn, Guenael Lee. Guenael had a very interesting power that was used solely to show off Yachiru's shikai before Gremmy killed him and took over the fight. Gremmy was an extremely powerful Reality Warper whom other Sternritter seemed to fear. He was introduced creating Guenael from his imagination and then killing Rose and Kensei just by imagining them dead. All he ends up doing is fighting Kenpachi where he doesn't use the creative possibilities of his power, has a straight battle of power and kills himself in a way that's so stupid even Kenpachi lampshades the ridiculous nature of it.
    • Robert Accutrone demonstrates himself to be the equal of Captain Kyoraku, the second strongest Shinigami after Yamamoto. After taking Kyoraku's eye, he disappears from the story for a while before being easily defeated to show off Byakuya's Shonen Upgrade. When he next appears, it's simply to show how Yhwach kills suing his special Auswahlen Life Drain ability. Despite the build up given to Auswahlen, including it being the reason Ichigo and Uryuu's mothers died when they were children, Robert is the only Quincy who is ever instantaneously killed by it, and his Schrift ability is never revealed.
    Digimon 
  • Link to the franchise:
    • Digimon Adventure 02:
      • The series had numerous examples of wasted plots, but two infamous ones were the aborted Dagomon arc and later the Demon Corps. Both characters could also count as wasted.
      • BlackWarGreymon. His overall story and search for purpose is one of the few genuinely interesting plots, but it's also largely unconnected and its resolution is a Senseless Sacrifice.
    • Digimon Tamers:
      • Tamers introduces Alice, a Mysterious Waif who, along with Dobermon, appears with virtually no foreshadowing or explanation, and never appears again, giving a lot of speculation.
      • Mostly averted for Beelzemon, who keeps up with the main cast in terms of importance and plot relevance... until his near-fatal injury at the hands of the D-Reaper. After that, he's completely side-lined, and Ryo reprises his spot in the final battle, which for some is just rubbing salt in the wound.
    • Digimon Frontier
      • This season dropped the concept of Mons in favor of a Henshin Hero gimmick cutting the main cast by half in the process. This makes the episode where the group meets four children (Katsuhito, Teppei, Teruo, Chiaki) who remained behind in the Digital World under the care of an Angemon when all the other non Digidestined children returned to Earth and who happen to correspond with the unused warrior spirits of (wood, earth, water, and steel) that were recently obtained by the heroes all the more baffling. They seemed like they were going to be sixth rangers but instead the main cast just tells them to go home, claiming that the Digital World isn't safe.
      • There are also some minor characters with potential, such as the Gotsumon who befriends Kouji early on, the Oryxmon who lives in Cherubimon's castle despite being a loyal ally of the Legendary Warriors, and a Gallantmon - a Royal Knight who was the most powerful hero in the previous anime - who only appeared in a cameo.
      • Every Legendary Warrior's fusion forms except Takuya's and Kouji's, the only two fusion forms to actually appear in the show. The other children end up giving up their Spirits so Takuya and Kouji could reach fusion level and then just stand around for most of the rest of the show. In the previous series the protagonists that didn't reach Mega were able to at least still fight and thus try to contribute.
      • The Royal Knights. The group is far larger than the two Lucemon sent out to claim data. Baromon hints that they were well known, but this is never brought up again.
      • Lucemon. Unlike the villains of many previous incarnations, he's never given any sort of backstory or explanation as to where'd he comes from or how he'd become evil, outside of an admittedly fitting sense of pride.
    • This can also apply to ANY Digimon (without a default level) that has debuted in Digimon Xros Wars, considering how they could've fit into and complete any digivolution line that certain fans would consider a complete mess.
    • Digimon Xros Wars: The Young Hunters Leaping Through Time:
      • Yuu and Damemon are Ascended Extras who are somehow simultaneously Demoted to Extra. While there are a couple of episodes that focus on Yuu, Damemon gets even less attention to the point where he's practically a Living Prop in some episodes.
      • All three rival hunters. We never get any background information on them (what their family lives are, what motivated them to become what they are now, how Airu and Ren met their partner digimon), nor are they all that developed personality wise save for Airu (and Ryouma in the last few episodes). For many, this was disappointing due to their initial potential.
      • This series could have been a new opportunity to work out Dagomon as a powerful antagonist like a true lovecraftian digimon deserves, unlike his aborted role in 02. However, he only appears as a curiosity and is fastly forgotten.
    • Digimon Adventure tri.:
      • You'd think that the Final Boss of Determination would've left a stronger emotional impact upon appearing, given how powerfully his appearance on the advertising posters threw the audience for a loop. Instead, he's little more than a Monster of the Week.
      • Seraphimon's first appearance is kind of a let-down. Where Vikemon, Rosemon, and Phoenixmon all appear as part of an epic moment of Taking a Level in Badass, or at the very least after their Rookie form being in focus for that movie, Seraphimon just digivolves after a short moment of conflict resolution.
      • Ophanimon Falldown Mode seemed like it'd be a horrifying moment like SkullGreymon, Megidramon, and ShineGreymon Ruin Mode in the past. She literally only has about a minute most of screentime before merging with Meicoomon's final form and doesn't do anything outside of that, despite being featured heavily in promotional materials.
      • The original Digidestined can feel like this, as many agree, even those who hate Tri, that they're some of best parts about the entire thing... but they're not really utilized at all and Maki is relegated to a side antagonist at best. Some feel a prequel focused on them would've been a much better use of the concept or Maki should've been the outright Big Bad rather than a side antagonist, as her motivations are far more interesting than Yggdrasil desiring to destroy humanity. What's worse is that Daigo gets killed off in the finale while Maki faces an Uncertain Doom.
      • Yggdrasil, the God of the Digital World who wants to Kill All Humans...exists and wants to kill all humans. He never appears onscreen and is defeated by Homeostasis without even having one line of dialog. Especially after his much more compelling and sympathetic portrayal in Savers, many feel he could've been used either much more creatively and interestingly, or replaced by another villain, of which the Adventure continuity had no shortage of.
    • Digimon Universe Applimonsters:
      • Sateramon was a pretty entertaining villain before he was finally defeated by Shutmon, but at least his chip was retrieved by Unryūji Knight, so he could have returned in the future. Sadly, he was basically forgotten afterwards. Same with Sakushimon.
      • Rei and Hackmon are rarely ever involved in the plot, something that is especially notable in the first season.
      • Coachmon used to be Leviathan's henchman before becoming Dokamon's Appligattai partner, so he could have been more involved such as giving the team some inside info on Leviathan.
      • Mienumon in general spent most of the first season working behind the shadows and constantly spewing cryptic comments about experiments on humans, and her potential was ultimately fairly underused as she rarely ever directly fought the Applidrivers despite of being a Super Grade herself.
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    Dragon Ball 
  • Dragon Ball Z:
    • Yamcha was a hero with a unique fighting style and endearing personality of a cocky yet clumsy and kindhearted character, yet is reduced to a Living Prop after a certain point (namely his infamously humiliating death during the Saiyan Saga), whose lines by the point of Dragon Ball GT and Dragon Ball Super can be counted on one hand, never even getting any conclusions to his storyline. Eiichiro Oda, a friend of the author of Dragon Ball, lamented how the character was left behind in an art piece for the 30th anniversary of the series.
    • Raditz is Goku's older brother. Not only could this idea alone easily lend itself to an interesting character dynamic with Goku, but there is also the fact that Raditz essentially represents how Goku could have turned out if a stray accident hadn't caused him to forget his original mission and turned him into the lovable super-strong Manchild he ended up as, setting him up as a potential foil and rival to Goku. But the bottom line is that he is ultimately defeated and killed a mere few chapters after his introduction, and after this he's rarely if ever brought up ever again. Dragon Ball Z Abridged lampoons this, with Krillin asking Raditz "You'll be involved in many future events, right?", to which Raditz responds by an annoyed silence before attacking Krillin. The games make this worse, as it is revealed in Dragon Ball Heroes that he shares his brother's very rare ability to learn any attack after seeing it performed, retroactively making him the poster boy of the series for Brilliant, but Lazy. Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 attempts to rectify this via making Raditz one of the many villains the Player Character can recruit to be their Evil Mentor and giving him depth via dialogues with the player and occasionally other characters.
    • King Cold, like Raditz above, has a very impressive pedigree as the father of Frieza who is arguably the single most prominent villain of the entire series, yet all he does is get beaten to build up Future Trunks. While he does appear again, unlike Raditz who completely vanishes, all he does after that is show up for bit villain roles in filler arcs. A villain with a distinctive aristocratic personality in spite of his limited screen time, he could have and arguably should have been used for bigger things. Note that unlike other examples detailed here, this has remained a constant: Frieza passes on a chance to resurrect him in Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’ and even Xenoverse 2, which gave depth and complexity to many other neglected villains such as Raditz, Turles and even Bojack, ignored him completely.
    • The World Tournament arc is a glorified Saga-long Breather Episode that does little plot-wise except introduce the otherworldly Piccolo Expy Pikkon, which is a shame as quite a few of the filler fighters are more interesting than him and could have had more promise if properly developed. Olibu in particular seems to be the DBZ equivalent of Hercules, with King Kai stating that most of Earth's heroic legends are based on him, yet he plays a very minor role and has only made a single video game appearance. Torby also shows promise in his limited appearances, being stated to be the strongest fighter in the South Galaxy and having an appearance remarkably like a red, good guy Cell. Like Olibu, he only makes a handful of minor appearances and his potential is never explored at all.
    • Dabura, initially The Dragon in the Buu Saga. He has an elaborate character design, is stated to be ruler of an alternate universe where he is the strongest person, and his power is said to be in the same league as Cell, the previous Big Bad. His existence opens up many questions about The 'Verse which are never elaborated on, and his ultimate plot role is to temporarily take out Krillin and Piccolo, have an inconclusive fight with Gohan, and finally get owned to hype up Buu himself. The games, which are known for expanding upon many other characters of this type, disappointingly also squander his potential, introducing a much less interesting sister for him named Towa and then shoving her into the limelight instead. The franchise finally makes an attempt to rectify this by having Dabura become the new Big Bad in Xenoverse 2 DLC after Towa's defeat in the main story (completely independent of Babidi now) and allowing him to Take a Level in Badass via plot contrivance. It's a small thing, but it's a start.
    • From a story prospective, Broly of all people counts as this. He is introduced in the eighth movie alongside his father as a new Saiyan survivor and at first seems to have a very polite, even meek, personality. Midway through the film it is revealed that he is actually an Ax-Crazy madman and the meek Broly we first see is the result of decades of brainwashing at the hands of his own father Paragus. While the crazed madman Broly has since become a popular, if base-breaking, character, it must be said that the meek Broly we first see is arguably more interesting, and had promise for an Incredible Hulk-style case of Jekyll & Hyde if he had been explored at all. Instead he got hit with Flanderization in his next appearance, as well as in most of the games and adaptations he has appeared in since. Thanks to his enduring popularity, however, Akira Toriyama himself stepped in to rectify this, first by inventing an Alternate Universe Distaff Counterpart of Broly for Dragon Ball Super and then, after that measure proved controversial, making Broly a Canon Immigrant outright with the 2018 film Dragon Ball Super: Broly which will reboot the character's backstory.
    • Bojack from the ninth movie is infamous as one of the most Generic Doomsday Villain Big Bads across all 13 of the original films, which says something as a good chunk of them have Generic Doomsday Villain traits, yet had he been properly developed he could have been as well-regarded as Turles and Coola. A galactic tyrant who rampaged across the universe thousands of years ago, Bojack is notable for forcing the four Kais to unite and make him a Sealed Evil in a Can, a measure they didn't even take for the much more menacing Frieza. We're never given any specifics on Bojack's rampage, whether he was a conquering type like Frieza or just a rampaging beast like Broly, though his very limited dialogue implies he was something closer to Frieza. We're also never told why he homes in on Earth after being released from his imprisonment, what exactly he wants from the world ("Nice planet you got here, kid" is about the only explanation we get in-universe), or, most frustratingly, why he seems to have a grudge against Goku despite never meeting him (at least that we know of). With more lines, more motivation and some filling in of the gaps, he could have been a very interesting villain indeed. Instead he's down there with Lord Slug on the movie villain scale.
    • An entire species gets hit by this. The Giras, save Giran, never play an important role and are rarely mentioned. Giran only plays a major role in Goku's first tournament, and is subsequently seen only in minor roles, such as helping Goku's Genki-Dama. The species itself is only seen as bosses or mooks in certain video games, with only a single episode in the original Dragon Ball focusing on them.
    • Outside of one joke, Vegeta's younger brother Tarble from Dragon Ball: Yo! Son Goku and His Friends Return!! is not really fleshed out as a character, remaining rather flat and only working as the one who starts the plot. He doesn't even appear in the last scene with everybody eating together. His relationship with Vegeta could have been expanded, or heck, with the introduction of the Galactic Patrol he could have found more of a purpose franchise-wise, but he remains as an afterthought. Toriyama probably noticed this, but rather than giving Tarble himself more focus or depth he simply tried again by creating a Suspiciously Similar Substitute in Cabba from Dragon Ball Super.
  • Sequel series Dragon Ball Super has its own page.
    Gundam 
  • Link to the franchise:
    • Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam: Gates Capa is the last named character introduced in the series, showing up in Episode 42 as Rosamia's new partner in the Titans, and immediately distinguishes himself by being both one of the few male Cyber-Newtypes and one of the few sane Cyber-Newtypes. During his initial appearance he acquits himself well, managing to survive a duel and shootout with Kamille before escaping, but he only appears one more time and dies in a very abrupt way, screaming after his partner Rosamia dies in some sort of Newtype psychic feedback experience and apparently dying from it, though his Mobile Suit is never seen destroyed. Notable is the fact that he he was planned for some sort of return in early drafts of sequel series Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ but was ultimately cut, while in the original Tomino manga he and Rosamia went Ax-Crazy at once and killed each other.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ: The Hero Judau Ashta originally had a much more different, and arguably more interesting, personality than the one he ultimately wound up with. In the final product he is a fairly stock All-Loving Hero, basically a rougher-around-the-edges Amuro without the No Social Skills element of his character. In the original draft however he exhibited a personality much closer to that of Shotaro Kaneda, being much more prone to violence and much more interested in his own self-interests (and to a lesser degree those of his gang) than saving the universe from Haman Kahn or Glemy Toto. While this personality is arguably more fitting for a street child surviving by their wits like Judau, it didn't mesh well with the comedic and lighthearted tone ZZ was originally slated to take. Ironically the series took a Darker and Edgier turn midway through when it became clear the comedic style wasn't working out.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack: This movie is somewhat infamous for the last-minute replacement of Beltorchika Irma, Amuro's Love Interest from Zeta who would have (and in the original Tomino manga, did) graduate to the mother of his child, a significant presence on the plot despite not even being born yet. Feeling that carrying over a love interest from the previous series would make Amuro less cool and preferring him to have "Bond Girls" instead, Executive Meddling forced Tomino to create a new love interest for him in the anime instead. This new character, Chan Agi, was written in a very halfhearted manner by Tomino and had minimal impact on the plot. Clearly letting him keep Beltorchika would have been the better call, but hindsight is of course 20/20.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: A They Wasted a Perfectly Good Gundam case is Gundam Aquarius, a Mobile Suit that didn't make it into the anime but was included in the later SD Gundam G Generation games. A sister unit to the Gundam Epyon also designed by Treize Khushrenada, the Aquarius was designed to be the ultimate weapon against Mobile Dolls, and like Epyon had a minimalist armament loadout focused on close combat. With the prevalence of Mobile Dolls in the second half of the season, the Aquarius would have been an interesting addition to the anime, in addition to completing the set OZ Theme Naming-named mobile weapons. But because the writers wanted to focus on the Wing ZERO as the thematic rival to the Epyon, Aquarius was cut.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny: Stella Loussier. She's the most child-like member of the three Biological CPUs, almost bordering on Obliviously Evil. When she accidentally fell off a cliff and was saved by Shinn, she first learned the concept of "protecting" something. This later led to her going out on her own in an attempt to protect her teammate Auel's "mother" from harm. Is this a sign of her growth as a character? Nope! She ends up captured, gets sent right back to Phantom Pain, has her memories wiped, is forced to pilot a city-destroying giant mech, and dies. Just so her death can be used to motivate Shinn to take down Kira and the Freedom Gundam. Even though it would be far more interesting to see her survive the rampage of the aforementioned giant mech, face the consequences of her actions, and mature as a person. It really didn't help that the second opening implies she's going to be a major character, yet she ends up dying half way through the series without doing anything important (other than dying).
    • Mobile Suit Gundam 00: Nena Trinity. She's introduced, like her brothers, as an unsettling figure and later crosses the Moral Event Horizon by killing all of Louise's family. Then Ali Al-Saachez unknowingly gives her a taste of her own medicine by killing her brothers and leaving her all alone. Now in season 2, this seems to have affected her and she's slightly less batshit insane and more thoughtful. She also has to work with an even bigger spoiled, sociopathic villainess, giving her someone to reflect on. She later helps out the cause of good, not due to a Heel–Face Turn, but because her side isn't living up to her standards. All the while, Louise is becoming a Dark Action Girl and out for revenge against Nena. This would be a great plot: have Louise face Nena now that Nena has somewhat redeemed herself and is beginning to change for the better. It would be a fascinating conflict of Grey and Gray Morality. So what happens? A Time Skip occurs, Nena is suddenly as much of a psychotic bitch as before, she discards her standards, and, though she does awesomely get rid of Wang Lui Mei, nothing really happens to even out the conflict between her and Louise. Which leaves the question: What was the POINT of trying to develop Nena's character if the staff was just going to end her THIS way?!
    • Mobile Suit Gundam AGE
      • Yurin L'Ciel is established to be an X-Rounder, this series' equivalent of a Newtype. She's conscripted by the Unknown Enemy for this ability. So of course you immediately hand her over to a seven-year-old psychotic brat who's already proven himself too capricious to be a commander and who gets her killed in the first battle she's used in by his carelessness. Why? To motivate Flit, because just killing his mom and exclusively targeting civilian colonies isn't enough to make him hate the Unknown Enemy forever. But mostly, it's because in a Gundam show, the Newtype girlfriend dies, and by gum the whole franchise will end if we break that rule.
      • In the third generation, Clanche pilot Shanalua Mullen coaches Kio in how to be a better pilot, pulling him away from the dangerous habits he developed from his simulations and reminding him that even enemy pilots have families, so he should not be so gleeful about defeating them, and generally being a Cool Big Sis. It turns out she's The Mole so she can pay for her sister's hospitalization and she dies in a Heroic Sacrifice shortly after being found out. Which is maybe four episodes into Kio's arc. But don't worry, Derek and Jonothan are okay! You know, those two guys who barely even meet the significance requirement to be Those Two Guys.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans:
      • Hush initially wanted to become a better pilot than Mikazuki. You’d think he would be The Rival and challenge his status as Tekkadan’s Ace Pilot. Instead, Mikazuki saves his life and he becomes his number #1 fanboy and follows him everywhere, to the point Mikazuki finds it annoying. He's started to pull his own weight with the Hekija, though. Then, he got killed off in episode 49 which made a lot of people disappointed that he was supposed to be the next ace pilot if Mikazuki kicks the bucket.
      • Gaelio/Vidar in Season 2. There are a lot of expectations on him once he made his appearance, most especially his connection toward McGillis. However, he usually sits out on the first half only just to observe McGillis's true motives. It's only in the second half where he revealed his true identity that he got his ass moving. And yet, his last conversation with McGillis in episode 49 hinted that he might take up his role in reforming Gjallarhorn. However, it's Rustal doing the reforming which made a lot of viewers disappointed. In fact, many believe that Gaelio should be the one doing the reforms instead.
      • In a case of They Wasted a Perfectly Good Gundam, Gundam Flauros was barely featured at all, and only participated in three battles before getting destroyed. Another example is Gundam Bael, which is continually played up to be the most powerful Gundam in the series but is hardly ever used in battle and is defeated relatively easily by Gaelio's Kimaris.
      • Though his actions in the finale do make sense, many fans agreed Rustal Elion is severely underdeveloped as a character and doesn't seem to have any defining personality asides from being a ruthless tactician which is why some had a hard time accepting him as the one who reforms Gjallarhorn. In fact, there's a lot of backstory potential in him such as his connection to Galan Mossa, his mentor-protege relationship with Julieta which can be similar to Crank and Ein's relationship and his rescue on Gaelio after his defeat from McGillis. Sadly, these were never played well in the show.
    Jojo's Bizarre Adventure 
  • Link to the manga:
    • Phantom Blood introduced Dire, Straizo and Tonpetty, who were fellow Hamon warriors that Zeppeli had called for as back-up. They all had a good dynamic; Dire was the best friend of Zeppeli during their training and the latter had just been killed by Dio's reanimated minion Tarkus, Straizo was mysterious and roguish, and Tonpetty was Zeppeli's teacher who predicted the latter's death and could have taken over as Jonathan's mentor. None of them were particularly important during the final battle against Dio; Dire gets killed by Dio in an Idiot Ball moment to demonstrate Dio's strength, while Straizo and Tonpetty just gets to beat up some minor mooks with Jonathan being the one to actually fight Dio. Tonpetty later retires off-screen in the interim between Phantom Blood and Battle Tendency and is never heard from again, wasting a potential mentor figure.
    • Battle Tendency has Straizo raise Lisa Lisa off-screen in the interim, then undergo a sudden Face–Heel Turn in the present day and become a vampire simply so Joseph could fight him and show off his abilities to the audience, despite the fact that Straizo had now inherited Tonpetty's position and could've easily joined with Joseph to fight against the threat of the Pillar Men.
      • Santana also suffers from this. Despite being the first of the Pillar Men and a great adversary to Joseph on their first meeting, he gets turned to stone by the sun and is subsequently kept for research purposes by the Speedwagon Foundation. Aside from a minor mention later on, he never appears again and his fellow Pillar Men don't even bother rescuing him.
    • Stardust Crusaders has three examples — and they're all part of the main cast.
      • While Noriaki Kakyoin was a major ally for a good chunk of the story, he was hit hard with this during the Egypt section of Part 3, being Put on a Bus to recover until the Crusaders were heading into DIO's place. He gets set up to have a cool fight against Terence, but ends up losing and generally doing nothing more of significance except for leaving a Dying Clue in the final battle. The anime gives him some Adaptation Expansion in the form of flashbacks and extra scenes.
      • Muhammad Avdol gets it even worse. After recruiting Polnareff, he was Put on a Bus when the Crusaders reached India (fairly early in the story) and only returned by the end of the Judgment arc. He doesn't do much of significance upon his return, and he only has two fights afterwards; one shared with Joseph and the other is barely even a fight since he ended up being killed by Vanilla Ice in one shot. All in all, it's pretty clear that Araki had no clue what else to do with the poor guy.
      • Iggy has the excuse of being brought to the main cast later on, but still gets only one fight for himself and little to no backstory.
      • Hol Horse, who had signs of strongly considering a Heel–Face Turn, and even would have had Avdol not returned, and is generally one of the more popular minor villains in the series. Instead, he suffers heavily from (admittedly hilarious) Badass Decay.
      • Enya and J. Geil. The former was Dio's Dragon, and the latter was Polnareff's motivation for joining Jotaro. However, they both die relatively early in the story. It would have been interesting for Enya have been the penultimate boss before the battle with DIO, but her role instead gets taken by Vanilla Ice.
      • DIO himself. Despite being the Overarching Villain of the entire series, he spends most of this part as an Orcus on His Throne, and dies an Undignified Death not long after he finally reveals his Stand.
    • Diamond Is Unbreakable. Overall the most aversions of any part, with several supporting cast members managing to log A Day in the Limelight even after their introductory arcs, but there are a few examples:
      • Nothing is done with Okuyasu's father after The Reveal of his nature.
      • Tonio has absolutely no role in the story after his initial short story arc.
      • Hazamada, pretty much the only true scumbag among the friends of the main cast, only briefly has a role at the start of Rohan's introductory arc before dropping out after him and Koichi's first visit.
      • Akira got dispatched much sooner than he should have. He could have had a role as Kira's Dragon and act as Okuyasu's personal rival, in a similar vain to Vanilla Ice in the previous part.
      • Tomoko Higashikata, Josuke's mother, shows signs of an interesting personality and dynamic with her son (and is said to still not be over Joseph), but barely ever appears and is explicitly kept away from him for her own sake.
      • Shizuka Joestar, the invisible baby stand-user, never reappears after the conclusion of Part 4. While not a Joestar by blood, mention of her would've provided interesting insight on what Joseph and the others were up to in the time after Part 4, and an older Shizuka with more control over her invisibility powers would've made a very useful ally to Jotaro and Jolyne. Shizuka's untapped potential makes her a prime source of Fanfic Fuel.
    • JoJolion has its most emblematic example in Kyo Nijimura. She was introduced early on as Holly Joestar-Kira's daughter, therefore Josuke's "sister", and looked like she was going to be a key ally to him... but then her existence was completely ignored. Plot Device much?
    Naruto 
  • Link to the manga:
    • The Jinchuuriki, since all of them except Naruto, Killer Bee and Gaara were killed and captured off-screen. However, Utakata was given his own filler arc in the anime.
    • Some fans feel this way about various Akatsuki members who were killed off, at least before those who were resurrected by Kabuto's Edo Tensei spell returned. Notable examples include Hidan and Kakuzu, the latter especially since his backstory is only ever mentioned in supplementary material, plus even after he's resurrected, how he's beaten is never shown.
    • Hanabi Hyuga, who disappeared for nearly 500 chapters. She is mentioned in passing implying that she has at least become a Genin by the Pain Invasion Arc, which is impressive since she's 10-11, whereas the quite proficient Teams 7, 8 and 10 were all 12 by the time they made Genin. Another question is how she fits into the Hyuga line of succession- Hiashi says in a flashback around the time Hinata became a Genin that Hinata is worth less than Hanabi is, although since Hinata Took a Level in Badass, this may no longer be true. She eventually resurfaces in the final stretch of the anime, where she is the subject of an anime-only story about her relationship with her sister.
    • Another prime example is Anko Mitarashi. Despite her connection to one of the main villains and consequently to the plot, she remains almost completely out of focus, and serves only the sad function of a plot device. She hasn't even been seen or mentioned since said kidnapping leaving many to wonder her fate, which is then revealed in the epilogue final chapter: she got fat and currently seems to spend her time eating with Chouji and Karui's daughter.
    • While we're speaking of characters related to one of the main villains, Yamato is left Out of Focus way too much for someone who was with Team 7. He basically ends up existing to control the Kyuubi, and then to get kidnapped as soon as Naruto learns to control his transformations. He is later found out to have been the host body for Tobi Zetsu, which allowed the latter to summon a thousand-handed gigantic statue.
    • Kabuto is also this to some, after revealing his mastery of Edo Tensei, obtaining Sage Mode and creating an army from some of the greatest ninjas ever he looked to be in a prime position be a potential Big Bad and his background made you feel for the guy. But he gets worfed by Itachi easily and all he's done is reversed, like Anko he hasn't been seen ever since what he did was reversed, which irritates some as a Medic who was revealed to be friends with him growing up at the orphanage was shown during the war wondering if he was still alive.
      • Averted as he ends showing up during the final battle to heal Sasuke when he is mortally wounded and was one the many people trapped in the Infinite Tsukuyomi. After the war Kabuto and his friend Urushi end up running the orphanage they grew up in, just like there foster mom.
    • Yuugao Uzuki was introduced as Hayate's fiance and one of the people to find his body. Her likely grudge against Suna in general and Baki in particular never comes up.
    • Rock Lee, though arguably this isn't so bad if you count the fillers in Part I & II. However, he starts recovering from his flu, starting with his kicking Madara Uchiha in half. Later down the line, he commands a crew of Eight Gates users that are strong enough to break apart village-sized meteors with sheer physical force.
    • An interesting case is Shino Aburame, who is one of the more prominently featured of the Konoha 12 and clearly built up as one of the biggest players of the Chunin Exams, on par with the likes of Shikamaru, his prominence abruptly dropped off with his exclusion from the Sasuke Retrieval Arc, and he is almost entirely Out of Focus for the rest of the series.
    • Tenten, being a weapons master, was a promising character back in the early days of the series... only to be knocked down to utter worthlessness by high-level ninjutsu.
    • Arguably downplayed with Shikamaru who is probably one of the most frequently seen side characters, and gets a couple of truly stand-out moments in the limelight, but these moments really only make the audience feel like they're missing out even more on his development as a character.
    • Dosu Kinuta of the Sound Genin counts, especially for his die-hard fans. He had been built up as a promising character, since he was one of the strongest applicants in the exam and had the potential to be a wild card after uncovering Orochimaru's full plan. Instead, Kishimoto abruptly killed him off with an Out-of-Character Moment.
    Pokémon 
  • Link to the anime:
    • Ash's Primeape, which he caught in one episode, didn't use until a few episodes later, at the end of which he gave it away, and it hasn't been heard from since.
    • Ash's Glalie hadn't really been used after he left it at Prof. Oak's ranch, even if its main purpose was more than likely to help Ash in the Hoenn League. Ash's Torterra is another egregious example. When it was a Turtwig, it did rather well, winning Ash his first badge and helping out in other major battles. As soon as Ash got Chimchar, however, Turtwig may as well not have even been around. When it became a Torterra, it became subject to The Worf Effect, and never got any notable wins.
    • The very first appearance of Teams Magma/Aqua and the last are less than 100 episodes apart. So how much screen time did the Teams get? Only 6 for Magma (not counting a two-shot member with a Ditto, who served no major role at all), and 7 for Aqua - and out of these, their leaders only appeared in the two-parter which ended their arc, with very little character development as the writers chose to focus - again - on Ash and Pikachu as opposed to developing the conflict better. And most of these episodes had both teams so there's even less development. Given how they were loads more competent as adversaries than Team Rocket and have interesting motivations, scrapping the opportunity to use them feels like a complete waste.
    • Team Galactic fares a little better, but still only get 10 episodes out of well over 100.
    • Steven Stone, Hoenn League Champion in Ruby and Sapphire, and most powerful NPC in Emerald, was reduced to a Character of the Day in his one Hoenn appearance. Even worse, said portrayal of him was shown to be hypocritical, berating Team Rocket for digging a hole in the cave while he sends them flying through the cave roof with his Aggron. Oddly enough, his role in the Team Aqua/Magma plot is filled in by Lance. He does later return during the Kalos saga in a more substantial role as part of the Team Flare arc.
    • The two trainers who left alongside Ash and Gary in the first episode. They're never seen and only mentioned in passing a few times, the last occurrence of which has Oak stating that they simply gave up on their journey. note  Gary Oak himself takes the cake for a wasted character, as he barely appeared in the first series.
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    Sailor Moon 
  • Link to the franchise:
    • Titus/Thetis, perhaps the only MotW to show something like human emotion, and hints of a backstory connecting her with Jedite/Jadeite. None of this ever gets developed, as she's only in one episode. And Jadeite himself, who also got some hints of character in that episode, is done away with in the very next one.
    • Two particular Monsters of the Week qualify for killing major characters. Zoisite's Youma Housenka stabs Nephrite to death, and Mr. Magic Pierrot, the Lemures who serves Palla Palla, kills Hawk's Eye and indirectly causes the deaths of Tiger's Eye and Fish Eye as well (although unlike Nephrite, the trio are revived). Like Thetis, both MotWs are killed in their first and only episode.
    • Rui Saionji, Naru's "sister", had potential in her own right and could have been used to develop Naru's character and history. Also only appears in one episode.
    • Shingo's girlfriend Mika and Ami's boyfriend Ryou get two episodes each. Makoto's best friend Shinozaki gets only one.
    • Whenever someone from Minako's past shows up, like her crush Asai or her London friends Alan and Katarina, they only get one episode. With Minako's interesting backstory, there's a lot of wasted potential there.
    • Although she has a much bigger role than the above examples, Naru herself qualifies. After two seasons of being just Usagi's "normal" friend, it seems for a moment she's going to discover (or reveal that she knows) the truth about the Sailor Soldiers and so transition into a new role. Instead, from this moment on she disappears from the plot almost completely.
    • Pretty much all of Sailor Galaxia's minions qualify as wasted, especially compared to past Quirky Miniboss Squad members. Also, three out of five of the Witches 5 from Sailor Moon S, who only got one episode each to themselves whereas the first two had at least around fifteen each.
    • Motoki qualifies - he runs the arcade the Senshi spend much of their free time at, is pretty much the only friend Mamoru seems to have, both his sister and his girlfriend are targeted by the bad guys (twice for both of them), and yet somehow, he himself is never targeted, seeming to just hang around in the background. In the manga, he learned the identities of the Sailor Senshi, but in the anime, he didn't even get that.
    • Shingo as well. He's only sibling of any Sailor Senshi, has a lot of Hidden Depths and, with his strong but conflicting views of Usagi and Sailor Moon, it could make for an interesting story if he found out the truth. But he never does, doesn't appear much, and when he actually does show up, he's often just treated as a minor nuisance. Right after they hint a relationship with Ami, he's dropped from the cast. It's even worse in the manga and Crystal where he makes a few brief appearances, then kind of vanishes after Chibiusa comes along.
    • Michiru in the Manga is practically a non-entity. We know next to nothing about her apart from being able to play the violin. Even her relationship with Haruka is barely acknowledged, as the latter spends more time interacting with Usagi. Word of God reveals that Naoko Takeuchi found Michiru hard to write for because she's so unlike her.
    • Minako. Her being the most formidable of the Inners tends to be forgotten, even falling for attacks she should outright be immune to due them taking advantage of personality weaknesses she got over before the series. In the Black Moon arc, despite being spared capture, she does little more then play third wheel to Usagi and Mamoru for the rest of the storyline. In the original anime, she's often reduced to a goofy comic relief, even though she's supposed to be the leader, battle expert and most experienced of the princess' guardians. And Crystal reassigns some of her few manga awesome moments to other characters.
    • Hotaru. She's probably the biggest Woobie in the franchise, as well as one of the most powerful characters, but she makes the fewest appearances of the Senshi. She didn't even get a transformation sequence in the original anime.
    • Arguably, most of the Senshi in the main storyline of the manga are grossly underutilized compared to say, Usagi. Naoko seemed to have a lot of trouble handling large casts. Crystal is especially guilty when it comes to the Inner Senshi, who get precious little development or focus after their debut episodes. Not to mention the show's glaring habit of reducing them to little more then ineffectual punching bags just to make newer characters look better.

    Other Anime and Manga 
  • Angel Beats!: Only a select few of the many characters were expanded on. This leaves fans wondering about the many gag characters and one-offs. Even with some of the characters that were expanded on, like Hinata or even Yuri, we never learn how they died or much of their backstory. This is the fault of Executive Meddling. The anime was originally going to be 26 episodes long, but was suddenly cut down to 13, leaving little time to properly focus on these characters.
  • Bakuman。: Ogawa. He's incredibly knowledgeable about manga, from his prediction that Detective Trap wouldn't last long in Jump to knowing how to set up an office and manage assistants. Despite his talent, he doesn't try to become an mangaka, not even trying to pair up with a writer to offset his weaknesses as a storyteller, and is never seen again after Trap gets canceled. He does make a return as one of Ashirogi Muto's assistants once they start on Reversi.
  • Black Butler: Despite an impressive cast, most characters who aren't Sebastian or Ciel become dead weight pretty quickly. Not to say that many aren't Flat, but many others showed serious promise before being unceremoniously killed or forgotten. It's especially problematic when two such characters are the season's Big Bads.
  • Blood-C:
    • Though most of the characters are hired by Fumito to act as Saya's "friends", Tadayoshi Kisaragi is the only character who has been under Fumito for a long time and he's a half-human, half-Elder Bairn. It would be interesting how much he has been under Fumito before the events of the TV series. Only those who have read Blood-C: Izayoi Kitan would know what he is before he worked with Fumito and sadly, that manga hasn't been licensed or scanlated yet.
    • Yuka, who is one of Saya's classmate and happens to be 28 years old who participated in the experiment so she can be the governor of Tokyo and doesn't really care about the gruesome events in Ukishima. She even appears in the movie as being one of the survivors from the TV series except that she only has two scenes where she eventually got her wish in the end. It would have been interesting on what kind of role did she contributed to Fumito's organization and possibly, her interaction with Saya if only these two ever meet again.
    • In the movie also, asides from Mana and Kuroto, the rest of the SIRRUT members have some interesting personalities but they don't have much background which makes you doubt about them being resistance fighters against an organization with a private army and the capability of creating and controlling human-eating monsters.
  • Code Geass:
    • Prince Clovis, despite being a prejudiced sibling of Lelouch, who killed him for his racist views on Elevens/Japanese, actually cared for his sister, painted a portrait of Lelouch's mother and children and actually made some good contributions to Area 11. He was killed off to show that Lelouch was ruthless and to show that even Zero had guilt for his actions. He could've been a nice Recurring Boss that would eventually get Character Development to actually get over his bigot pride and do some good for the Japanese.
    • The House of Kyoto, the heads of the major industries in Japan, who later assist the Black Knights by supplying them with technology after one of them, Kirihara, recognizes Zero as Lelouch who he met as a child. It would've been nice if all the members and not just Kaguya were elaborated in character or if Kirihara's past relationship with Lelouch was explored more, rather than executing them off-screen between seasons for being the Black Knights' supporters.
    • After R2, the list could include: Ohgi, Diethard, Toudou and the Four Holy Swords, Tamaki or even V.V.
    • Shirley and Euphemia at least had more development than the others before dying, but even more could have been done by keeping them alive. In fact, the producers seem to agree; several AU spin-offs end up keeping one or both of these characters alive.
    • Several of the Knights Of Round, who could've been an elite Quirky Mini Boss Squad, but most of them ultimately became cannon fodder to show how skilled Suzaku and Kallen are.
  • Daily Life with Monster Girl: Okayado, the author, treats the characters in a fairly realistic way, according to the real-life or mythical creatures they are based on, however when he introduces characters that are more openly supernatural in nature it seems that he doesn't know what to do with them. Lilith the devil and Lala the dullahan could have opened up lots of new possibilities, but outside of the usual ecchi antics they have a very minimal role. Lilith only appeared in one chapter without any introduction or real purpose, and Lala (despite being a member of the MC's harem) after her introduction is mostly a background figure that doesn't really impact the plot in a big way.
    • Later on Lala stars in a chapter centered on her, where her role as an alleged agent of death is expanded upon a little more; Lilith reappears as well, but she remains a Karma Houdini masochistic mischief maker with no characterization other than "Rachnera's former love slave".
    • The extraspecies idol group ANM48 (a parody of AKB48 composed of Little Bit Beastly girls) could have been an interesting way to discuss Fantastic Racism issues, as well as to parody Japan's obsession with idol groups, but they don't appear again after the very first chapter aside of some very rare mention.
  • Death Note:
    • Naomi Misora. Competent FBI agent. Developed and multidimensional. Has a very good reason and more than enough skill to bring Kira down. Dies less than three episodes after being introduced, crushed by a massive Idiot Ball. According to Word of God, she was meant to last a while longer and have a lasting impact on the plot, but she was far too clever and would have figured Light out before long (particularly, she had already pieced together that Kira can kill by means other than just heart attack, something that it was way too soon for L to know about), bringing the story to a quick end. Perhaps in compensation, the live action movie sees her role expanded from the manga, although she still does die.
    • Matt. There is a reason why he is the Ensemble Dark Horse despite only having four lines before he becomes roadkill. Not only does he have a cool character design is he L's third prodigy and he and Mello's close but ambiguous relationship is the closest there is to variety amongst the relationships of its genius characters when all others (L and Light, L and B, Near and Mello, Light and Near, Light and Mello and presumably L and the other detectives) are very similar with them all having admiration/respect for the other but ultimately being unable to work with them and being rivals.
  • Fairy Tail has its biggest example in ironically its most mysterious member. Mystogan was built up to be one of the strongest in the guild who no one had even seen, operating solo but always coming to their aid when they needed it. Then it turned out he was Jellal from a parallel world and had no innate magic. Which could have been an amazing development as it would have shown a regular person could achieve such a high status while lacking natural magic. But instead he gets made king of Edolas and never gets seen again. He never once had a complete, on screen fight. His relationships with Wendy and Pantherlily don't get further seen. He's just gone forever and the series lost a very unique character.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist has an annoying tendency to do this to its female characters. Paninya and Sheska disappear entirely soon after they're introduced, Lan Fan gets Put on a Bus (though The Bus Came Back), Lust gets killed off while the other Homunculi last until the finale, and while May and Olivier have plenty of moments to shine they get nowhere near the pagetime/screentime that the male characters in similar situations get. Even Winry, supposedly a main character alongside the Elric brothers, constantly gets shoved to the side and forgotten about, though she's at least understandable as she's not an alchemist, soldier, or combatant of any kind.
  • Ginga: Nagareboshi Gin: Cross. She is one of the best hunters and fighters in her pack, but she is rarely shown fighting, and she becomes pregnant. Because of this, she is absent from the final battle, denying her the revenge against Akakabuto that she so longed for.
  • Ginga Densetsu Weed:
    • At one point, a female warrior (Ryō) appears. Until that point, the only female fighter in both anime was Cross, and she was rarely shown fighting. Ryō has a very good design, and it would have been interesting to see a female that can actually fight in a cast full of males, but instead of doing anything useful, she very easily is captured, becoming a Damsel in Distress, and is not head from again afterward.
    • Cross again, as she's not shown fighting even once.
  • Kagerou Project:
    • Kosuke Seto, despite being part of the original founding trio of the Mekakushi-dan/Blindfold Gang and his connections to resident gorgon-girl Marry, not much of his character or past is explored aside from how he was raised in the same household by Ayano and a song detailing his first encounters with his powers (which was a bonus track, mind you). Mekakucity Actors tries to rectify this by giving him more screentime, but even then his character is not explored much.
    • Similarly, Kuroha during his time in the anime. He is briefly seen in the opening and episode 11, and during The Stinger of episode 11, he is hyped up as a main source of conflict in the next episode. Come episode 12, he appears for all of five minutes before Shintaro and Ayano step in to thwart his plan. He dies in the Daze not long after.
  • Kill la Kill: Tsumugu Kinagase. In his first appearances he was portrayed as some sort of badass secret agent, being able to subdue Ryuko without any powers but only through superior tactics. It was implied that he fought against the Kamui because one of them absorbed his sister. Later on, after the reveal of Nudist Beach, who he was a prominent member of with Aikuro, all of his badassery was removed bit by bit until he became little more than a grunt in a different outfit who sometimes didn't even have lines. To top it off, the backstory of his sister being absorbed by a Kamui was Left Hanging, and it was never explained who he was or what the deal of his pact with Aikuro was (not that Aikuro's backstory was all that fleshed out).
  • Kirby: Right Back At Ya! has Yamikage, a ninja who was once a member of the Galaxy Soldier Army before defecting to Nightmare. As such, Meta Knight considers him a traitor and indeed, Yamikage not only detests Meta Knight, but he also tries to kill Kirby. Once overpowered, he retreats promising revenge on both Kirby and Meta Knight. Yet apart from a very small cameo as a mini-figure, he never reappears in the series again.
  • Lyrical Nanoha has Yuuno Scrya. In a series so focused on how the ancient civilizations and technologies of the past are constantly unearthing themselves to cause major trouble in the present day, having an archeologist, scholar and librarian of ancient knowledge in the cast was a great idea. But despite his many virtues and all of the potential left to explore with his background and career, the writers seemed to only care about him as a romantic possibility for the eponymous heroine. So when they decided not to do that any more, they took him completely out of the action and plot without a word of explanation, even when the rest of the cast should have been still looking to rely on his support in battle (while in terms of offense he's mediocre at best, his defense is almost perfect, he's the only person in the entire history of the franchise who can forcibly teleport an unwilling target, and he doesn't even have a device to help himnote ), or at least asking him what the heck they're dealing with this time. Yuuno even teaches magic to Nanoha's adoptive daughter, Vivio, according to the side-materials, but we never actually see or hear them interact, even when she visits his library to do what was originally his role in the story.
  • Martian Successor Nadesico: Gai Daigoji, the perfect lancer, a goofball character that was never really seen before (Super Robot Wars would later base Ryusei Date off of him). He's quickly killed off to show that real war isn't fun and games, a theme the series kinda flip-flopped on.
  • Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch uses Noel to develop Rina's and Caren's characters and Coco to develop Sara, but once they're rescued, they (and Caren, who had previously been an Aloof Ally with a decent character arc) do basically nothing unless the plot absolutely requires everyone to be there for an arc's final confrontation. Caren is the most glaring example as she'd been important to the plot before, but all of Coco's character development was cut from the anime adaptation, so she was basically a cardboard cutout throughout the whole thing, only getting one filler episode to herself.
  • Leiji Matsumoto shows are prone to this:
    • Planet Robo Danguard Ace: Captain Dan/Ichimonji Dantetsu is the best pilot in the whole series, drop dead gorgeous, tormented beyond the dreams of even the most ardent Condor Joe wannabe, with a deep, tragic and heart-rending backstory (mind-controlled, forced to kill his fellow test pilots, mind-wiped and tortured/enslaved for 10 years, missing out on his son's growing up, forced to hide the return of his memories and enduring several potentially career-ending injuries). To top THAT he's a determinator and all round bad-ass who could put Captain Harlock to shame - none of which is fully realised given the times and the demographic.
    • Queen Millennia: The TV series gives us the Man in the Trenchcoat. No name, no backstory, but this guy is so cool HE WEARS SUNGLASSES TO PILOT A SPACESHIP. Obviously has a great deal of history with the other wasted opportunity, Selene - and frankly both of them are way more interesting than the eponymous heroine and her pint sized sidekick.
      • In the non-Macekre'd version of the series, Selene is a very important person and her motivations are explained.
    • Ozuma: back to amnesiac men in masks again. Several viewers were more interested in the horrific implications of Dick/Guido's backstory than in the rather lame ecological message.
    • The Galaxy Railways: Wattaru Yuuki. It's possible the entire pre-series crew of Sirius Squad are way more interesting than the cast we got, but the brief glimpses we get of Captain Yuuki (all-round good-egg, wonderful father, caring husband, heroic role-model...) leave the viewer begging for more. He's used to COMPLETELY deconstruct Harlock's lone-man heroics but given so little screen time to do it in you have to be a major Matsumoto buff to catch it - if you do, you'll need an entire box of kleenex by the end of season 2.
  • One Piece: While it's usually better about this than the other two "big three" shonen, an example that still comes to mind are the General Zombies from the Thriller Bark arc. The Elite Mooks of the island, they have hints of interesting pasts as they'd all apparently been a notable person in life, and several looked like they'd be good opponents for the Straw Hats (one had a physique similar to Franky's, another was a sniper like Usopp). Instead, they're unceremoniously pummeled into submission to show off the super-zombie Oars (the pummeling also takes place on a bridge, which proceeds to literally fall on top of them) The last two standing, hosting the shadows of Zoro and Sanji, don't even get a full fight, as Robin tricks them into taking each other out by exploiting their mortal counterparts' rivalry.
  • Pretty Cure:
    • Smile Pretty Cure! has Miyuki's grandmother, a woman who proves that she has Kaoruko-levels of awesomeness by standing up to a Bad End effect and not having her energy drained and doing so flanked by an army of forest animals. Nothing is mentioned of her ever again.
    • While everyone not named Mana Aida can easily be classified as this in DokiDoki! PreCure, Alice Yotsuba/Cure Rosetta gets this the worse out of all of them. Very early on, she rejects the offer of being a Cure simply because she had a very nasty temper as a child and was afraid of accidentally releasing her rage while on the field. However, aside from one episode where a Rich Bitch tried to exploit this to win a contest, this trait is never brought up ever again, and instead, Alice is regulated to whipping out the Rosetta Reflection and nothing else. Hell, even her Mid-Season Upgrade reflects this. While everyone else gets a badass new finisher, Cure Rosetta is stuck with a dinky little party balloon containing whatever was needed to save the day that was only used twice.
  • Re:CREATORS: Pretty much everyone that is not Meteora, Magane or Altair. For starters, there are Loads and Loads of Characters since almost every fictional character has their creator (hence the title of the show), but the latter are under-developed more often than not. The supposed main character is somewhat of an Audience Surrogate and, as such, has not much of a personality. And even among the Creations, most of them either get killed before accomplishing anything, or survive and still don't amount to much. Turns out that there was no reason for them to be more developed, since the whole show slowly becomes a "Shaggy Dog" Story with an Esoteric Happy Ending.
  • Sekirei loves promptly throwing away cute character designs. Mitsuha, Katsuragi, Yomi, Kujou, etc.
  • Space Patrol Luluco has Midori Save-The-World. She seems to be part of the main characters along with Luluco and Nova, and her illegal black hole app kickstarts the plot, however when the story turns into Luluco and Nova's relationship she doesn't even become a third wheel, she just stays mostly in the background. Studio Trigger wasted her great visual design, Mayumi Shintani's iconic raspy voice, and her backstory as a half-alien hybrid never amounts to anything.
  • YuYu Hakusho: Early on, we are introduced to Rando, a very sadistic demon who steals other peoples' fighting techniques and then kills them so that he can be the only one who knows said techniques. He is the main antagonist of the series' first arc and nearly kills both Yusuke and Kuwabara. However, he is defeated when one of his techniques backfires, and he is never seen again, even though he is not killed or permanently incapacitated. Rando could've been a recurring villain who had new techniques every time he was seen, always itching to torture and kill Yusuke for humiliating him and handing him his first defeat, but he never came back.
  • Kolulu from Zatch Bell! could've learned on how to control her powers and be an additional ally for Zatch, as well as a potential love interest for him as well. However, Kiyo had Zatch burn her spell book and send her back to the Mamodo World early on. She still returned by the finale, and her inherent pacifism was the reason for not actually fighting like so because she hated it too much to ever hurt anyone.

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