Anime has always been known for its diverse and unique characters, and some of the most intriguing protagonists are the ones who hide their true power.
From schoolyard bullies to supernatural beings, these characters often keep their abilities hidden to protect themselves or simply blend in with society. But when the time comes, their true strength is unleashed in explosive fashion.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at 18 must-see anime featuring main characters who hide their power, exploring the reasons why they choose to do so and what happens when they finally reveal their true selves.
Whether you’re a die-hard anime fan or a newcomer to the genre, this list is sure to provide hours of thrilling entertainment.
Anime Where The Main Character is OP But Hides it
MOB PSYCHO 100
Genres: Action, Comedy, Supernatural
In “Mob Psycho 100,” the main character, Shigeo “Mob” Kageyama, is an eighth-grader who possesses incredible psychic abilities. However, he chooses to keep his powers hidden because he’s afraid of the danger they might pose. The only time he uses his abilities is to impress his crush, Tsubomi, but he quickly realizes that this won’t get him very far. In order to control his powers, he enlists the help of a con artist named Arataka Reigen, who poses as a psychic and uses Mob’s abilities for personal gain.
Mob spends his days exorcising evil spirits, but his true potential is much greater than what he shows on the surface. If his emotions run wild and he loses control, he could trigger a catastrophic event that would reveal the full extent of his powers. As the danger of Mob’s explosion grows, he and his friends try to prevent it from happening. “Mob Psycho 100” is an exciting anime that features a powerful protagonist who struggles to keep his abilities hidden, making for a thrilling viewing experience.
The Irregular at Magic High School
Genres: Action, Romance, Sci-Fi, Supernatural
In The Irregular at Magic High School, Tatsuya Shiba is a student at First High School who is considered to be magically incompetent and is assigned to the Second Course. Despite this, Tatsuya possesses exceptional technical knowledge, combat abilities, and unique magic techniques, making him an outlier in the school’s standardized ranks. He keeps his true power hidden, living a seemingly normal life as a lowly “Weed” student. However, as the story progresses, it becomes clear that Tatsuya’s true abilities are far beyond what anyone could have imagined. As he navigates the complex world of magic, politics, and intrigue, Tatsuya must use all of his skills to protect himself, his sister, and those he cares about. With stunning visuals, intense action, and a compelling story, The Irregular at Magic High School is a must-watch for fans of overpowered MCs who keep their true power hidden.
The Devil Is a Part-Timer
Genres: Comedy, Fantasy
Premiered: Spring 2013
Our Demon Lord Satan intends to conquer Ente Isla by colonising its four continents with the help of his demon generals Alciel, Lucifer, Malacoda, and Adramelech. After being faced by the hero Emilia and her allies, and after killing Malacoda and Adramelech, Satan and Alciel flee Ente Isla through a gate to modern Tokyo, Japan.
However, because to the lack of magic in the modern world, both Satan and Alciel transform into shapes that resemble what they would seem like if they were human. To make ends meet, Satan works part-time at MgRonald’s fast-food restaurant, while Alciel acts as his housekeeper.
Strike the Blood
Genres: Action, Fantasy, Supernatural, Ecchi
The story follows our MC Kojo Akatsuki, who is suspected of being the Fourth Progenitor, a strong vampire who has the ability to upset the world’s three governing progenitors’ balance of power.
Kojo was a regular high school student before becoming a vampire, and he is hesitant to use the powers that he barely controls. Yukina Himeragi is a new Sword Shaman, and his first duty is to ‘observe’ him.
Kojo quickly becomes the focus of many people who are concerned about the risks he represents. Kojo and Yukina befriend a variety of students and others, some of whom are drawn to Kojo and whose circumstances fuel his libido, which is the source of much of his power.
Nanatsu no Taizai
Genres: Fantasy, Ecchi
In Nanatsu no Taizai, the main character Meliodas is an overpowered demon who is also the captain of the Seven Deadly Sins. Despite his immense strength and abilities, he chooses to hide his true power and appear as an ordinary tavern owner. Alongside Elizabeth, he sets out on a journey to find his former comrades and overthrow the tyrannical rule of the Holy Knights.
Throughout the series, Meliodas keeps his true abilities hidden, often pretending to be weak or incompetent in order to avoid drawing attention to himself. However, when his friends and allies are in danger, he reveals his incredible strength and unleashes devastating attacks on his enemies.
Nanatsu no Taizai is a thrilling and action-packed anime that will keep you on the edge of your seat. With its epic battles, complex characters, and gripping storyline, it’s a must-watch for fans of the overpowered MC trope.
Ao no Exorcist
Genres: Action, Fantasy
The story centres around Rin Okumura, who was raised by an Exorcist, Father Shiro Fujimoto, along with his younger twin Yukio Okumura. Rin discovers one day that he and Yukio are Satan’s sons.
When Rin sees Shiro die to protect him, he draws the demon-slaying sword Kurikara, which controls his demonic powers. Rin obtains demonic traits such as fangs and a tail at that point, as well as the ability to ignite into blue flames that destroy practically anything he touches.
Akashic Record of Bastard Magic Instructor
Genres: Action, Fantasy
In Akashic Record of Bastard Magic Instructor, the protagonist Glenn Radars is a powerful magician, but he keeps his abilities hidden behind a facade of laziness and indifference. This anime is a perfect example of the “overpowered MC but hides it” trope that the article explores.
The story revolves around Glenn taking on the role of a teacher at the prestigious Alzano Imperial Magic Academy, where he clashes with his students, particularly Sistine Fibel and Rumia Tingel. Despite his lack of interest in teaching, Glenn proves to be a skilled and knowledgeable instructor who uses his powers to protect his students from the dangers lurking within the empire.
As the story progresses, Glenn’s true abilities are revealed, and he becomes embroiled in a conspiracy that threatens the safety of the empire. With the help of his students, he must use his powers to uncover the truth and put an end to the plot.
Akashic Record of Bastard Magic Instructor is a thrilling and action-packed anime that showcases the “overpowered but hides it” trope in an engaging way. It’s a great choice for fans of the genre and anyone looking for a fast-paced, exciting story with strong characters and plenty of magic.
One punch man
Genres: Action, Comedy
The Story follows our super op mc Saitama, Saitama, an unassociated hero, hails from City Z and performs heroic deeds for his enjoyment. He has trained himself to the point of being able to defeat any enemy with a single punch, but his unmatched strength has left him with an overwhelming sense of boredom.
Saitama later becomes a reluctant mentor to Genos, a cyborg out for vengeance on another cyborg who murdered his family and ruined his hometown. Saitama and Genos join the Hero Association, but due to a low written entry exam score, Saitama is assigned a low entry rank, and his accomplishments go unacknowledged and unloved by the public.
By the Grace of the god
Genres: Fantasy, Slice of Life
The plot revolves around Ryoma Takebayashi, a lonely guy who lived a hard life until he died in a terrible event while sleeping. He is visited in the afterlife by three gods who got fond of him and sent him to another world as a child, where he uses his innate knowledge and abilities, paired with the gods’ blessings, to live a new existence full with obstacles and joyous meetings.
Classroom Of The Elite
Classroom of the Elite is an anime that perfectly fits the theme of “MC is overpowered but hides it.” Kiyotaka Ayanokōji, the protagonist, may seem unassuming and unremarkable, but underneath his unimpressive exterior lies a sharp mind and impressive abilities. Despite being placed in the lowest-ranked class in Koudo Ikusei Senior High School, Kiyotaka is anything but a failure.
Alongside Suzune Horikita and Kikyō Kushida, two other students in his class, Kiyotaka begins to reveal his true abilities as he navigates the cutthroat school environment. While the school’s surface appears to be a utopia, the reality is much harsher, with only the top-ranked classes receiving favorable treatment.
Kiyotaka’s hidden powers become increasingly apparent as he uses his intelligence and cunning to rise through the ranks and prove his worth. With his calculated approach to school life and his ability to think on his feet, Kiyotaka is a truly overpowered character who hides his true abilities from those around him. Classroom of the Elite is a must-watch anime for fans of the genre who enjoy seeing the MC gradually reveal their true strength.
Densetsu no Yuusha no Densetsu
Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
The story is as follows: Ryner Lute is a slacker at the Roland Empire Royal Magician’s Academy. The Roland Empire declares war on their neighboring country Estabul, and Ryner loses his peers in the fighting. Following the conflict, Ryner sets out on a trip to collect the relics of a “Legendary Hero” at King Sion Astal’s command, only to discover that a fatal plague is spreading across the continent.
Kyoukai no Kanata
Genres: Action, Fantasy
Akihito Kanbara, a high school student, goes to stop his classmate Mirai Kuriyama from committing suicide one day. Following his appeals, Mirai unexpectedly stabs Akihito with a sword made of her blood, and is astonished to learn that Akihito is an immortal “half-youmu”—the offspring of a mythical creature known as a youmu and a human.
Their lives get entwined after Akihito learns that Mirai is a Spirit World Warrior specialist who protects humans from being influenced by youmu and the last surviving member of her spirit hunting clan.
Genres: Action, Fantasy, Romance, Ecchi
Set in a post-apocalyptic society driven by numbers, each human being’s worth is determined by a unique “Count” imprinted someplace on their body, which determines any number connected to a significant part of their lives. If this Count falls below zero, the person is dragged down into “the abyss” and is considered to be dead for all eternity.
Hina’s Count corresponds to the number of hundreds of kilometers she has walked. Since her mother was dragged into the abyss, she has spent the last five years hunting for the Legendary Ace from her mother’s final desire. Hina’s arduous trip takes an unexpected turn when she meets Licht Bach, a mysterious masked knight with a negative-numbered Count.
The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.
Genres: Comedy, Supernatural
In “The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.”, Kusuo Saiki is a high school student who is born with supernatural abilities such as psychokinesis and teleportation. However, instead of embracing his powers, he tries his best to hide them from everyone at school. He wants nothing more than to lead a normal life without being bothered by the constant inconveniences caused by his powers.
Despite his efforts, Kusuo inadvertently attracts the attention of several odd characters at his school, including the empty-headed Riki Nendou and the delusional Shun Kaidou. As a result, he finds himself dealing with the craziness of those around him, all while trying to keep his powers a secret.
The series is a humorous take on the overpowered protagonist trope, as Kusuo tries to navigate through his daily life while keeping his supernatural abilities hidden. Viewers can expect to be entertained by the various scenarios Kusuo finds himself in, as he tries to maintain his low-key lifestyle while dealing with the antics of his classmates.
NURA: RISE OF THE YOKAI CLAN
Genres: Action, Supernatural
This anime is one of my favorites; the story follows Rikuo Nura, a half-youkai, half-human boy who grew up to become the Nura Clan’s young master. Rikuo considered the clan, which included youkai of various forms and sizes, like family; nevertheless, he soon discovered that he was the only one among his peers who saw them in this light. To most, they were terrible folkloric animals who ate children and reveled in violence. Taking this to heart, he vowed to live his life like a regular human being.
Normalcy, on the other hand, is difficult to come by for little Rikuo. His youkai attendant, Tsurara Oikawa, who attends school with him; the young onmyouji Yura Keikain; and his close buddy Kiyotsugu, who idolizes youkai and wishes to prove their existence, all complicate his quest. To make matters worse, competing youkai and other creatures threaten Rikuo’s loved ones.
Suppose a Kid from the Last Dungeon Boonies Moved to a Starter Town
Genres: Adventure, Fantasy
Long ago, the ancient saviors of humanity established a town as a safe haven, and their descendants are claimed to aid humanity in times of terrible calamity. Kunlun is located right next to the notorious “Last Dungeon,” which houses monsters of unbelievable strength and serves as a hunting field for Kunlun people.
Despite having grown up beating formidable foes, Lloyd Belladonna considers himself to be the village’s weakest point in terms of magic, strength, and intelligence. Nonetheless, in order to satisfy his goal to become a soldier, he travels to the Kingdom of Azami and enrolls in its military college. However, as someone whose upbringing defies logic, Lloyd’s intrinsic power may well be the key to resolving the kingdom’s troubles!
CHIVALRY OF A FAILED KNIGHT
Genres: Action, Fantasy, Romance, Ecchi
Few humans in this world have the ability to convert their souls into formidable weapons. These people, dubbed “Blazers,” study and train at the prestigious Hagun Academy to become Mage-Knights; among them is so-called failure Ikki Kurogane, the only F-rated Blazer.
When the academy’s worst student finds Stella Vermillion, an A-ranked Blazer who also happens to be a princess, naked, she challenges him to a duel with severe consequences—the loser becomes the winner’s slave. Stella couldn’t possibly lose, right?
THE ASTERISK WAR
Genres: Action, Comedy, Fantasy, Romance, Sci-Fi, Ecchi
The story revolves around Ayato Amagiri, a scholarship transfer student at the prestigious Seidoukan Academy, which has recently suffered from deteriorating performance. Through a series of events, he unexpectedly meets Julis-Alexia von Riessfeld, the popular Witch of Resplendent Flames, half-dressed! Julis, enraged, challenges him to a duel for invading her privacy. After the student council president cancels the duel, Ayato explains that he has no interest in Festas.
Rather, he has enlisted in the academy in order to find his lost elder sister. When a more nefarious plot emerges, Ayato sets out to win despite being surrounded by some of the most talented Genestella on the globe.