If you are a fan of anime, chances are you have come across stories where the protagonist starts off as a timid and powerless character, only to grow into becoming a powerful hero or an OP (overpowered) character. This character development is one of the exciting aspects of anime and has viewers hooked.
In this article, we bring to you 26 anime where weak MC becomes strong or goes from ‘Weak to OP’. We have included popular titles to underrated gems such. These series offer unique narratives, excellent character growth, and action-packed scenes that will leave you on the edge of your seat.
From fantasy worlds filled with magic to futuristic societies powered by science, our list offers a diverse range of settings for our main characters. For fans seeking power evolutions in their anime main characters this article could be a perfect match for exploring new titles they haven’t watched yet.
So gear up and get ready for some adrenaline-filled moments as we delve into 26 anime that showcase that sometimes all it takes is determination and hard work for even the weakest characters to become overpowered heroes!
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Anime Where Weak MC Becomes Strong
In the anime “Orient,” we follow the journey of Musashi, a young man with exceptional skills in mining. Initially content with a life of labor, Musashi’s perspective changes when he witnesses the injustices plaguing his world. Determined to challenge the 150 years of demon rule, he realizes the weight of his responsibilities and embarks on a path to become stronger.
As the series progresses, Musashi’s character undergoes a remarkable transformation. He evolves from a seemingly weak individual into a resolute force, fueled by his determination to bring about peace and topple the demonic reign. Musashi’s struggles and the consequences of his actions only serve to fortify his resolve and propel him towards his ultimate goal.
Throughout “Orient,” themes of friendship, destiny, and unwavering determination are beautifully explored. Viewers are treated to an engaging narrative that showcases Musashi’s growth, both physically and mentally, as he confronts his fears and faces formidable adversaries. This anime offers an inspiring and captivating storyline for fans who enjoy witnessing the journey of a main character evolving from weakness to strength.
25. Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple
Genres: Action, Comedy
High schooler Kenichi Shirahama leads a life of constant bullying until he crosses paths with the new student, Miu Furinji. After witnessing Miu effortlessly fend off thugs, Kenichi seeks her guidance to become a better fighter. Miu directs him to Ryouzanpaku, a dojo where skilled and eccentric martial arts masters train. Determined to overcome his weaknesses, Kenichi embarks on a journey to become a formidable fighter and protector of the weak. With the looming threat of the criminal martial arts gang “Ragnarok,” Kenichi must not only survive but also unleash his true potential. Join Kenichi as he transforms from a weak high schooler into the mightiest disciple.
24. Rave Master
Rave Master follows the story of Haru Glory, a young boy who sets off on a journey to find missing Rave stones and defeat the Demon Card organization. Along the way, he faces many challenges and enemies but with the help of his friends and allies, he becomes stronger and more skilled. The anime features action, adventure and fantasy elements and it is a perfect example of an anime where the main character becomes strong over time, with key elements of the story including Haru’s journey to find Rave stones, his growth from a weak, ordinary boy to a powerful Rave Master, and the ultimate goal of defeating the Demon Card organization.
23. Tokyo Ravens
Genres: Action, Comedy, Romance, Supernatural
Tokyo Ravens is an anime that tells the narrative of Harutora, a member of an onmyouji branch family (Japanese spiritualists). Despite his lack of skill for onmyoudou, he had promised to defend Natsume, the heir of the Tsuchimikado’s main line and Yakou’s claimed reincarnation, as her familiar. When a famous member of the Onmyou Agency seeks to repeat the same experiment that led to Japan’s demise, Harutora vows to keep his pledge and fight with Natsume.
Tokyo Ravens delves on themes of family, loyalty, and self-discovery as Harutora matures as an onmyouji and learns more about his own ancestors. The anime is packed with action, humour, and passion, making it a must-see for all shounen anime enthusiasts.
22. Spirit Chronicles
Get ready for an exciting adventure in another world with Spirit Chronicles, an anime that tells the story of Haruto Amakawa, a 20-year-old college student who dies in a tragic accident and wakes up in the body of a young boy named Rio in a completely different world. But that’s not all that’s changed – as their memories and personas fuse, Rio discovers that he now possesses magical powers, setting him on a path of discovery and adventure.
Determined to avenge his mother’s murder, Rio finds a kidnapped princess and rescues her, earning him the chance to enroll in the prestigious Bertram Royal Academy. Despite his excitement at starting a new chapter in his life, Rio soon finds that the Academy is not an easy place for a slum-dweller like himself, surrounded by the majestic children of nobles.
But Rio refuses to give up, and with his magical powers, he begins to grow stronger, overcoming the challenges that come his way. Along the way, he makes new friends and allies, but also faces enemies who seek to stop him from achieving his goals.
Tsukimichi: Spirit Chronicles is an anime that explores the classic trope of the weak main character who grows stronger over time. Rio, who starts off as a small and seemingly powerless child, transforms into a formidable force to be reckoned with as he hones his magical abilities and faces greater challenges.
21. Black Clover
Genres: Action, Comedy, Fantasy
An anime called Black Clover tells the tale of two young boys who grew up together in an orphanage. Asta, who was born without the talent to use magic, places more emphasis on physical prowess than Yuno, another orphan prodigy who is skilled in wind magic. The two become friendly rivals as they each strive to become the current Wizard King, who is the second-highest authority in Clover Kingdom.
While both boys obtain potent grimoires, Asta’s five-leaf grimoire stands out since it includes a formless member of the Devil race who uses uncommon anti-magic as well as mystifying elven swords. As our two young protagonists work to fulfill their dreams, it makes for a thrilling anime full of adventure, friendship, and rivalry.
20. My Hero Academia
Genres: Action, Comedy
In a world where the emergence of “quirks,” extraordinary superpowers, has become commonplace, Izuku Midoriya finds himself among the powerless minority. Despite this, Izuku’s unwavering desire to become a hero has never wavered. From a young age, he has idolized heroes, studying their every move and taking meticulous notes.
Fate takes a surprising turn when Izuku crosses paths with his ultimate inspiration and the number one hero, All Might. All Might possesses a unique quirk that can be passed down to a worthy successor, and he chooses Izuku as the recipient of this incredible power.
Driven by his determination, Izuku embarks on a grueling journey of training and self-discovery, ultimately gaining admission to the renowned UA High School. This prestigious institution is renowned for its exceptional hero training program, attracting the most promising young individuals.
Surrounded by his talented and sometimes eccentric classmates, Izuku soon realizes that heroism entails more than just flashy powers. As he navigates the challenges of his high school life, a dark cloud looms overhead—the menacing presence of a villainous organization.
My Hero Academia follows Izuku’s transformative journey as he learns the true meaning of heroism and the sacrifices it entails. With each passing day, he discovers his own strength, both in terms of physical abilities and unwavering spirit. Will Izuku be able to rise above his initial weakness and become the hero he has always aspired to be?
19. Tokyo Ghoul
Genres: Action, Drama, Horror, Mystery, Supernatural
In Tokyo Ghoul, we follow the story of Ken Kaneki, a reserved and ordinary college student who lives in a city plagued by a sinister threat. Flesh-eating creatures known as “ghouls” hide among the population, looking just like humans. Oblivious to the growing crisis, Kaneki prefers to bury himself in books and avoid the disturbing news.
However, everything changes when he encounters a captivating woman named Rize Kamishiro, who boldly asks him out on a date. Little does Kaneki know, Rize is not as kind-hearted as she initially appears. Their date takes a horrifying turn, revealing Rize’s sinister intentions.
After a tragic struggle with Rize, Kaneki miraculously survives but finds himself waking up in a hospital bed. It turns out that his life was saved through an organ transplant using Rize’s deceased body parts. As a result, Kaneki’s life takes a dark and twisted turn as his body undergoes a ghastly transformation, turning him into a hybrid of human and ghoul.
Now trapped in a world of supernatural horrors, Kaneki must navigate his new existence while clinging desperately to his dwindling humanity. In a city torn apart by the conflict between ghouls and the government agents tasked with hunting them down, Kaneki becomes entangled in the violent struggle for survival.
Tokyo Ghoul is a gripping anime that follows the extraordinary journey of a young and ordinary boy thrust into a supernatural world. As Kaneki faces unimaginable challenges and confronts his own inner demons, viewers are taken on a thrilling and blood-soaked adventure, exploring themes of identity, morality, and the blurred lines between humans and monsters.
18. JUJUTSU KAISEN
Genres: Action, Supernatural
In Jujutsu Kaisen, we follow the story of Yuuji Itadori, a seemingly ordinary high school student who leads a carefree life with his friends in the Occult Club. His days consist of indulging in baseless paranormal activities and visiting his bedridden grandfather at the hospital. However, everything changes when Yuuji unwittingly comes across a cursed item that sets off a chain of supernatural events.
Little does Yuuji know, he has stumbled upon a finger belonging to the powerful demon Sukuna Ryoumen, also known as the “King of Curses.” By swallowing this cursed object, Yuuji becomes the host of Sukuna’s powers, plunging himself into the dangerous world of Curses—malevolent entities born from human negativity and malice.
As Yuuji grapples with his newfound abilities, he witnesses firsthand the threat that these Curses pose to society. To protect innocent lives and confront the dark forces lurking in the shadows, he is enrolled in the Tokyo Metropolitan Jujutsu Technical High School. Here, he embarks on an irreversible journey as a Jujutsu sorcerer, training to become a formidable warrior against supernatural threats.
Jujutsu Kaisen follows the transformation of a young, ordinary boy into an extraordinary hero. Faced with unimaginable challenges and armed with the powers of a feared demon, Yuuji must navigate a treacherous path, where the fate of humanity hangs in the balance. Prepare to be captivated by this action-packed anime as Yuuji embraces his destiny, ready to protect the world from the horrors of the Cursed Spirits.
17. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi
Gurren Lagann is a mecha anime series that tells the story of Simon, a young boy who lives in a subterranean village. Simon is a timid and weak boy, but he is also kind and compassionate. One day, Simon discovers a mysterious object that turns out to be the ignition key to an ancient artifact of war, which he dubs Lagann. With the help of his friend Kamina, Simon learns to pilot Lagann and joins the fight against the Beastmen, humanoid creatures that terrorize the surface world.
As Simon grows stronger, he also grows more confident and determined. He learns to believe in himself and his abilities, and he inspires others to do the same. Gurren Lagann is a story about overcoming adversity and achieving your dreams, no matter how impossible they may seem. It is a story about the power of friendship and the strength of the human spirit.
16. Guilty Crown
Genres: Action, Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi
In the anime Guilty Crown, high school student Shu Ouma meets Inori Yuzuriha, the vocalist of the popular internet group Egoist. The GHQ Anti Bodies attack the workshop and arrest her for being involved with the Funeral Parlor. Shu follows Inori’s robot coordinates to a drop zone, where he encounters Funeral Parlor’s boss, Gai Tsutsugami.
As the Anti-Bodies begin invading the Roppongi neighborhood in search of a vial holding a potent genetic weapon known as the Void Genome, it shatters as Shu goes to rescue Inori when she is endangered by GHQ Endlave mechs. Shu, on the other hand, is able to extract Inori.
15. THE HIDDEN DUNGEON ONLY I CAN ENTER
Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Ecchi
Noir Stalgia, despite his noble lineage, finds himself at the bottom rung of society, enduring oppression and mistreatment from his fellow nobles. However, his life takes an unexpected turn when he discovers a unique ability to communicate with the enigmatic Great Sage. The Great Sage possesses unparalleled knowledge and grants Noir the power to obtain answers to any question he seeks.
After a failed attempt at securing a job as a librarian, Noir sets his sights on joining the prestigious Hero Academy. Recognizing the need to become stronger, he heeds the Great Sage’s advice and embarks on a journey into a hidden dungeon nestled deep within the mountains. There, Noir encounters Olivia Servant, a captivating yet imprisoned maiden trapped within the labyrinth’s confines.
In a fateful encounter, Olivia bestows upon Noir an extraordinary set of immensely powerful skills, granting him unprecedented control over reality itself. However, there’s a catch: every time Noir utilizes these abilities, his life points gradually diminish, placing his own life in peril. To replenish his energy, Noir must indulge in worldly pleasures, even resorting to actions like kissing his childhood friend.
Armed with his newfound powers, Noir commences his adventure as a student within the esteemed Hero Academy. Along the way, he forms new bonds and encounters various challenges that require his assistance. As an ordinary young boy unexpectedly transformed into a formidable force, Noir’s journey in the academy intertwines with his mission to aid others in dire situations.
Join Noir as he explores the depths of the hidden dungeon, balances the precarious nature of his powers, and navigates the complexities of academy life in this captivating tale of an ordinary boy turned extraordinary hero.
14. Bottom-Tier Character Tomozaki
Genres: Drama, Romance
Bottom-Tier Character Tomozaki is an anime about Fumiya Tomozaki, a high school student who is the top player in the online game Attack Families. Despite his talent in the game, he falls short in his daily high school life due to a lack of social skills and amiability.
He meets Aoi Hinami, a popular and intelligent classmate who is the polar opposite of him, and she chooses to assist him in what she refers to as the biggest game of all: life. Fumiya begins to move levels in the game of life via the trials of social interactions and relationships.
13. Deadman Wonderland
Genres: Action, Horror, Sci-Fi, Supernatural
In Deadman Wonderland, the story revolves around Ganta Igarashi, a seemingly ordinary and normal high school student. Little did he know that his life was about to take a dark and twisted turn. On what was supposed to be a typical class field trip to the prison amusement park known as Deadman Wonderland, tragedy strikes.
Ganta’s entire class is mercilessly slaughtered by a mysterious man dressed in red. To make matters worse, he is wrongfully accused of the crime and sentenced to death. Instead of being a visitor, Ganta finds himself a prisoner within the very walls of the prison he was meant to explore.
Inside Deadman Wonderland, Ganta is thrust into a brutal and unforgiving world. The prison is populated by sadistic inmates, each possessing enigmatic powers that defy reason. But what truly sets Deadman Wonderland apart is the deadly collar locked around Ganta’s neck. The collar can only be slowed down by participating in and winning the prison’s deadly games, where inmates must wager their lives.
As Ganta fights for his survival in this cutthroat environment, he faces constant danger and is forced to navigate a treacherous landscape where distinguishing friend from foe becomes a challenging task. Amidst the chaos, Ganta clings to the hope of finding the enigmatic “Red Man,” the true culprit behind the massacre, and ultimately clearing his name.
Deadman Wonderland is a gripping tale of a young, ordinary boy thrust into extraordinary circumstances. Will Ganta be able to tap into his hidden potential and rise above his seemingly insurmountable challenges? Only time will tell as he fights for his life and searches for the truth within the twisted confines of Deadman Wonderland.
Genres: Action, Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi
In the anime “Parasyte,” the life of sixteen-year-old high school student Shinichi Izumi takes an unexpected turn when parasitic aliens invade Earth. These extraterrestrial creatures infiltrate human hosts by burrowing into their brains, gaining full control and the ability to transform into various shapes to hunt for prey.
Shinichi becomes a victim of one of these parasites, but an unusual twist of fate prevents it from taking over his brain. Instead, it settles in his right hand and forms a symbiotic relationship with him. Naming the parasite Migi, Shinichi and Migi are thrust into an uneasy partnership, relying on each other for survival in a world now filled with hostile parasites.
As Shinichi navigates his new reality, he undergoes a remarkable transformation from an ordinary teenager to an unexpected hero. Together with Migi, he must confront and defend against other parasitic beings determined to eliminate this new threat to their species.
“Parasyte” explores the growth and development of a young, seemingly ordinary boy who finds himself at the center of an otherworldly conflict. Through his encounters with these parasites and the challenges they bring, Shinichi’s journey from weakness to strength unfolds, ultimately shaping him into a formidable force against the alien menace.
11. Bungo Stray Dogs
Genres: Action, Comedy, Mystery, Supernatural
Bungo Stray Dogs follows the journey of Atsushi Nakajima, an orphan who is suddenly kicked out of the orphanage due to a series of mysterious events that he seems to be unaware of. While wandering the city in hunger, Atsushi rescues a man named Osamu Dazai from drowning, who happens to be a supernatural detective investigating the same mysterious incidents that Atsushi has been experiencing.
As a result of their encounter, Atsushi is roped into joining Dazai’s firm of supernatural investigators, where he teams up with a group of enigmatic co-workers to take on cases that are too bizarre for the police to handle. Along with Dazai’s partner, Doppo Kunikida, the team solves various odd cases, all while Atsushi begins to discover his own supernatural powers and strengths. Bungo Stray Dogs is a thrilling ride that showcases the transformation of a seemingly weak and helpless orphan into a powerful and confident member of a supernatural detective agency.
10. TO YOUR ETERNITY
Genres: Adventure, Drama, Supernatural
Despite being immortal, mc was extremely weak at the start. The mysterious immortal being is called simply “the Orb” was sent to Earth with no emotions, sensations, or sense of self or identity. This creature has the power to take on the form of people who make an indelible impression on it.
It begins as a white orb, then transforms into a rock, and finally into a dying polar wolf. The creature, disguised as the Wolf, encounters a white-haired boy living alone, who misidentifies it as his dead pet, Joan. When the boy dies from a major wound, the wolf adopts his form as its default form from that point forward.
9. Blue Exorcist
Rin Okumura, a seemingly ordinary boy living at the Southern Cross Boys’ Monastery discovers that he is the son of Satan. He joins the True Cross Order as an exorcist and attend the True Cross Academy for special exorcist training. The series follows Rin’s journey as he struggles with his powers and identity as the son of Satan, and becomes stronger over time. This anime is a perfect example of a weak MC who becomes strong as the story progresses. The series is filled with action and fantasy elements and is a thrilling watch for those who enjoy the genre of anime where weak MC becomes strong.
8. Fire Force
Genres: Action, Supernatural
Shinra Kusakabe is a third-generation pyrokinetic youth who gained the nickname “Devil’s Footprints” for his ability to ignite his feet at will and was ostracized as a child for the fire that killed his mother and younger brother Sho 12 years ago.
He joins Special Fire Force Company 8, which features other pyrokinetic who dedicated themselves to ending the Infernal attacks for good while investigating Companies 1 through 7 for potential corruption in their ranks. Shinra begins to learn that the fire that killed his mother was a cover for Sho to be taken by the White Clad, a doomsday cult behind the Infernal attacks with agents within the facets of the Tokyo Empire.
7. Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan
Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan follows the story of Rikuo Nura, a seemingly ordinary boy who transforms into a powerful yokai at night. Living with his yokai grandfather and surrounded by supernatural beings, Rikuo strives to avoid his destiny as a yokai and instead helps humans.
Initially a weak and reluctant protagonist, Rikuo gradually embraces his yokai bloodline and takes on the role of the Third Head of the Nura Clan. As the series progresses, we witness his incredible growth and increasing abilities. From a normal, powerless kid, Rikuo becomes a force to be reckoned with.
This anime excels in world-building and character development, creating a captivating narrative. Despite being underrated, Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan stands out as a prime example of an MC’s transformation from weakness to strength. It’s a must-watch for fans who crave stories where the main character rises above their limitations to become something extraordinary.
6. Big Windup!
Genres: Comedy, Sports
There aren’t many things more satisfying in the world of anime than seeing a weak main character become an unstoppable force. Big Windup!, which follows Ren Mihashi’s transformation from a bullied, insecure teen to a great baseball player, is the ideal example of this kind of story.
Despite being the middle school team’s ace pitcher, Mihashi’s poor performance resulted in repeated losses and jeers from his teammates. As a result, he had low self-esteem and little confidence in his skills. Nevertheless, Mihashi finds a group of friends who accept him for who he is when he moves to Nishiura High School and is hesitantly selected as the starting pitcher for their new baseball team.
With the help of catcher Takaya Abe, Mihashi begins to gain more confidence in his pitching abilities and develops a newfound love for the sport. Abe sees Mihashi’s potential and makes it his mission to help him become the ace pitcher he was meant to be. Through hard work, determination, and a strong support system, Mihashi gradually transforms from a weak player to a valuable asset to the team.
Big Windup! is a heartwarming story about overcoming self-doubt and finding one’s place in a team. It’s a must-watch for anyone who loves sports anime and enjoys seeing characters grow and develop over time.
5. THE HEROIC LEGEND OF ARSLAN
The Heroic Legend of Arslan is a story about a young prince who must find the strength to defend his realm from destruction. The anime follows Arslan’s transformation from a weak and sheltered youngster to a bold and courageous leader. He overcomes numerous hurdles along the road and learns essential lessons about courage, friendship, and tenacity. The Heroic Legend of Arslan is an uplifting story that will captivate audiences of all ages.
4. Attack On Titan
Genres: Action, Drama, Fantasy, Mystery
Eren Yeager, who lives in the town of Shiganshina, on the edge of the Wall of Mary, on the outskirts of three-ring walls that shield mankind from the Titans. In 845, two new forms of Titans, the Colossal Titan, and the Armored Titan broke the wall.
During the incident, Eren’s mother was eaten by the Titan while Eren escaped. He swears vengeance on all the Titans and enlists in the army along with his childhood buddies, Mikasa Ackerman and Armin Arlert.
3. Tsukimichi: Moonlit Fantasy
Tsukimichi: Moonlit Fantasy is an anime that follows Makoto Misumi, a young man who is transported to another planet and becomes the hero. The goddess he was intended to see, however, labels him “hideous” and robs him of his title. Makoto, undaunted, sets out to create a new community where all beings can cohabit happily. Along the way, he must overcome discrimination and battle for his position in this new world.
2. UQ Holder!
UQ Holder! follows the story of Tōta Konoe, who after being mortally wounded by a bounty hunter discovers he has been made into an immortal vampire by his guardian. He joins a secret society of immortals, UQ Holder, and learns to navigate his new immortal life, becoming stronger over time. The anime features action and fantasy elements and is a great watch for those who enjoy anime where the main character becomes strong over time. The key elements of the story include Tōta’s journey to Shin-Tokyo, discovering his new immortal powers, and his training in UQ Holder.
1. Ranking of Kings
Ranking of Kings is an anime that follows the story of a young prince named Bojji who is deaf and, more importantly, naïve. Despite widespread opposition to his succession to the throne, he tries his best and aspires to be the greatest of kings.
One day, he encounters Kage (Shadow), a survivor of a wiped-out assassin clan who hears his words despite Bojji’s inability to speak. The plot follows the duo as they navigate the world, with all of its adventures and darkness.
Friendship, dedication, and overcoming challenges are among the topics explored in this anime. It’s an uplifting story about how even someone who appears to be weak may become strong with the assistance of a friend.