One of the most enjoyable aspects of a great anime is watching the main character start out weak, then grow and develop into a better version of himself, eventually becoming overpowered as hell.
This development can be quite dramatic at times, with the character becoming an entirely different person by the end of the series.
My Hero Academia is an anime in which the main character, Izuku Midoriya, grows from a helpless, weak middle schooler to a formidable, unbeatable, and awesome hero.
If you’re looking for anime where the main character grows from a weakling to an invincible overpowered monster, this list is for you.
Best Anime Where MC Is Weak But Becomes Strong
15. Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash
Fear, survival, and instinct They can only feel these three emotions deep within their souls after being thrown into a foreign land with only hazy memories and the knowledge of their name. A group of strangers is forced to take on the only paying job available in this game-like environment, that of a Reserve Army soldier, and to destroy everything that threatens the peace in their new world, Grimgar.
When all of the stronger candidates band together, the survivors must form a party: Manato, a charismatic leader and priest; Haruhiro, a nervous thief; Yume, a happy hunter; Shihoru, a shy wizard; Moguzo, a kind warrior; and Ranta, a rowdy dark knight. Despite the similarities, this isn’t a game; there are no redos or respawns; it’s kill or be killed.
It is now up to this motley crew of unlikely fighters to remain united in a world where life and death are separated by a razor’s edge.
When Hajime Nagumo and his classmates are summoned to a magical world and given the task of saving humanity, their normal lives are turned upside down. While his peers have superior combat abilities, Hajime is mocked for obtaining a subpar transmutation skill with no genuine attacking power.
Hajime is duped by one of his classmates during an expedition in the Great Orcus Labyrinth, sending him to the bottom of an abyss. Despite surviving the fall, Hajime is plagued by terrifying monsters and natural disasters that drive him insane. He decides to fight for his life, desperate to survive and return home one day, only to run into Yue, an imprisoned vampire also attempting to escape the labyrinth. Yue and a few others accompany Hajime on his journey home, gradually evolving from commonplace to the world’s strongest.
13. Chivalry of a Failed Knight
Few beings in this world have the ability to transform their souls into powerful weapons. These people, dubbed “Blazers,” study and train to become Mage-Knights at the prestigious Hagun Academy; among them is the only F-rated Blazer, so-called failure Ikki Kurogane. When the academy’s worst student discovers Stella Vermillion, an A-ranked Blazer who also happens to be a princess, naked, she challenges him to a duel with dire consequences—the loser becomes the winner’s slave. Stella couldn’t go wrong, could she?
Chivalry of a Failed Knight follows Ikki as he attempts to prove his strength to a world that believes he is the weakest, all while meeting new people, learning new skills, and gaining experience.
12. My Hero Academia
Over time, the emergence of “quirks,” or newly discovered superpowers, has been gradual, with 80 percent of humanity possessing abilities ranging from element manipulation to shapeshifting. This renders the rest of the world powerless, including Izuku Midoriya.
Since he was a toddler, the aspiring middle schooler has wished to be a hero. Izuku admires heroes and takes notes on them whenever he can because of his unfortunate fate. But his persistence appears to have paid off: Izuku meets All Might, the number one hero and his personal idol. Might’s eccentricity is an inherited talent, and he has chosen Izuku as his heir!
Izuku enrols in UA High, a prestigious high school known for its exceptional hero training program, after months of arduous training, and this year’s freshmen look especially promising. Izuku will quickly learn what it means to be a hero, thanks to his odd but bright peers and the looming threat of a malevolent organization.
11. The Rising of the Shield Hero
The Four Cardinal Heroes are a group of ordinary Japanese men who have been summoned to Melromarc to save it. Melromarc is a country besieged by Catastrophe Waves, which have wreaked havoc on the land and brought misery to generations of people. To help them defeat the Waves, the four heroes are given a sword, spear, bow, and shield. Naofumi Iwatani, an otaku, is cursed with the role of “Shield Hero.” Naofumi is mocked and belittled by his fellow heroes and the people of the kingdom due to his mediocre offensive abilities and personality.
When the heroes are given training materials and training partners, Naofumi goes out with Malty Melromarc, the only person eager to train with him. He is quickly betrayed by her and falsely accused of exploiting her. Melromarc’s inhabitants begin to judge and despise Naofumi for something he did not accomplish. Naofumi sets out on his path of self-improvement and reputation-building with a raging storm of hurt and mistrust in his heart. Later on, however, the difficulty of being alone sets in, so Naofumi purchases Raphtalia, a dying demi-human slave, to accompany him on his journey.
10. Demon Slayer
Tanjirou Kamado has been responsible for providing for his family since his father’s death. Despite living in poverty on a lonely mountain, the Kamado family lives a relatively peaceful and happy life. Tanjirou decides to sell charcoal in the local village one day. On his way back, Tanjirou is forced to seek refuge in the home of a strange man, who warns him of the presence of flesh-eating demons in the woods at night.
The next day, when he returns home, he discovers that his entire family has been murdered. Worse, his sister Nezuko has been transformed into a ferocious monster and is the only survivor. Tanjirou, enraged and enraged, vows vengeance on his family and rallies around his lone remaining sibling. Tanjirou will go to any length to fight the demons and protect the last vestiges of humanity in his beloved sister, working alongside the enigmatic Demon Slayer Corps.
9. Hajime no Ippo
Ippo Makunouchi, a teenager, works hard to help his mother run her fishing boat rental business while his father is away. Bullies batter and abuse Ippo on a daily basis because of his shy personality, lack of sleep, and the odour of the sea. Mamoru Takamura, a rising boxer, saves Ippo from a violent after-school incident and transports him to the Kamogawa Boxing Gym for treatment. Takamura and his fellow boxers, Masaru Aoki and Tatsuya Kimura, are surprised by Ippo’s massive fists, the result of years of physically demanding family business service.
Ippo impresses the other boxers in a practise match against prodigy Ichirou Miyata after a brief training session with Takamura. He hires a competitor, Miyata, and a coach, Genji Kamogawa, the gym’s owner and a former boxer himself. As he begins his professional boxing career, Ippo will face a series of formidable opponents, each more powerful than the last. Ippo will face victory, defeat, and a cycle of dedicated training on his quest for greatness. The gentle young man wishes to take on the world with his muscular body and unyielding fighting spirit.
8. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
Simon and Kamina grew up in a remote underground town beneath the famous surface of the world. Kamina is a free-spirited loose cannon determined to make a name for himself, whereas Simon is a shy young child with few ambitions. One day while mining the dirt, Simon discovers a strange object that turns out to be the ignition key to an ancient war artefact named Lagann by the team. Simon and Kamina use their new weapon to repel a surprise attack from the surface with the help of Yoko Littner, a hot-blooded redhead with a big gun who roams the world above.
As a result of the conflict, the sky is now visible, forcing Simon and Kamina to embark on a journey with Yoko to explore the surface wastelands. They quickly become involved in the fight against the “Beastmen,” humanoid beings who torment the remaining humans in powerful robots known as “Gunmen.” Despite numerous failures and setbacks, the group fights heroically alongside other survivors to reclaim the surface while gradually revealing a galaxy-sized secret.
7. Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?
Life is never dull in the bustling city of Orario, especially for Bell Cranel, a naive young man who aspires to be the best adventurer in the region. His dreams become a little more real after a chance meeting with the lonely goddess Hestia. Bell and her companions embark on a fantastic adventure deep beneath the city’s monster-infested dungeons known only as the “Dungeon.” In the vast depths of this terrifying labyrinth, death lurks around every corner, and a mysterious power glides among the shadows.
Surviving is a hard-won privilege, even on the surface. Nothing is ever guaranteed in a world where gods and humans coexist, especially when they frequently clash. But one thing is certain: the story’s fearlessly optimistic protagonist will face a slew of failures, successes, and friendships.
6. Yona of the Dawn
Kouka’s kingdom has a lovely princess whose childish innocence enchants everyone who meets her. Yona, as she is affectionately known, grew up safe in the royal palace. All good things, however, must come to an end.
Yona’s idyllic life is shattered when a heinous act of betrayal threatens to destroy everything she cherishes, including her rightful place as Princess of Kouka. She is forced to flee the palace because she has no one but her childhood friend and devoted bodyguard Son Hak to rely on. Yona discovers that her country is no longer the safe haven it once was, as she faces the dangers of surviving in the wild with a target on her back.
Yona swears she will do everything she can to overcome her ignorance and become powerful enough to crush her adversaries. She must piece together the shattered shards of ancient mythology that may hold the key to reclaiming her homeland from those who plotted to steal it, with Hak by her side.
The greedy samurai lordland, Daigo Kagemitsu, is dying, and he will do anything for power, even renounce Buddha and make a pact with demons. His prayers are answered by 12 demons, who grant him the power he seeks by assisting his prefecture’s growth, but at a cost. Kagemitsu’s first son is born without limbs, a nose, eyes, ears, or even skin, but he lives.
This baby is abandoned and dumped in a river. However, he is saved by a medicine man who gives him prosthetics and weapons, allowing him to survive and fend for himself. Despite his inability to see, hear, or feel anything, the boy grows and lives, and he must defeat the demons who kidnapped him as a sacrifice. With each death, he reclaims a piece of himself that is rightfully his. He walks alone for several years until he meets Dororo, an orphan boy. On an unforgiving, demon-infested planet, the unlikely couple of castaways must now fight for their lives and humanity.
4. Black Clover
Asta and Yuno were abandoned at the same church on the same day. They learned about the “Wizard King,” a title bestowed on the strongest mage in the realm, as children and vowed to compete for the position of future Wizard King. As they grew older, however, the stark difference between them became clear. While Yuno can use magic with incredible force and control, Asta cannot and is desperate to awaken his powers through physical training.
When they reach the age of 15, Yuno is given a magnificent Grimoire adorned with a four-leaf clover, but Asta receives nothing. Yuno, on the other hand, is ambushed by a man named Lebuty, who is primarily interested in stealing Yuno’s Grimoire. Asta takes on Lebuty, but he is outmatched. Even though he is hopeless and on the verge of defeat, he finds the strength to persevere when he hears Yuno’s voice. In a fit of rage, Asta unleashes his inner emotions and acquires a five-leaf clover Grimoire, a “Black Clover” capable of defeating Lebuty. A few days later, the two friends set out on an adventure with one goal in mind: to become the Wizard King!
3. Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion
Beginning with the conquest of Japan in 2010, the Holy Empire of Britannia is establishing itself as a dominant military power. Japan was renamed Area 11 after its swift defeat, and it has seen significant resistance against these dictators in its quest to reclaim freedom.
Lelouch Lamperouge, a Britannian student, is caught in the crossfire between the Britannian and Area 11 rebel armed forces. However, he escapes thanks to the timely appearance of a mysterious girl named C.C., who bestows Geass, the “Power of Kings,” on him. Recognizing the immense power of his newly discovered “power of total obedience,” Lelouch sets out on a perilous journey as the masked vigilante Zero, launching a brutal offensive against Britannia to exact final vengeance.
2. Tokyo Ghoul
Tokyo is being invaded by a sinister threat: flesh-eating “ghouls” who look and act exactly like humans. To avoid hearing about the escalating disaster, Ken Kaneki, a shy college student, hides his face in his books. When a lovely woman named Rize Kamishiro approaches him and asks him out on a date, his loneliness is broken.
While driving Rize home, Kaneki realises she isn’t as sweet as she appears and that she has duped him. He awakens in a hospital after a heartbreaking struggle to learn that his life was saved by transplanting the now-deceased Rize’s organs into his own body.
Kaneki’s body begins to deteriorate, transforming him into a human-ghoul hybrid. Kaneki clings to his humanity as he embarks on his new horrific journey in the escalating brutal war between society’s new monsters and the government agents tasked with tracking them down.
1. Vinland Saga
Thorfinn grew up hearing stories about elderly sailors who had crossed the seas and arrived in the legendary realm of Vinland. It’s said to be warm and productive, with no need for fighting—a far cry from his birthplace in Iceland, and even further from his current life as a mercenary. His new home is war. Despite his father’s assurance that “no one can accuse you of having enemies,” he still has enemies. “There is no one to whom causing harm is acceptable,” Thorfinn realised as he grew.
With each passing year, the conflict between England and Denmark worsens. The Viking mercenaries are thrilled that death has become the norm. The Vikings are content to make a name for themselves and take whatever prizes they can by allying with either side. Thorfinn must exact his revenge on Askeladd, the man who murdered his father, in the midst of the chaos. The only nirvana for the Vikings appears to be the ongoing era of war and death.
BONUS: Tsukimichi: Moonlit Fantasy
Makoto Misumi is sent to another planet to meet the goddess and become the hero as part of a strange contract made years ago by a goddess and his parents. Makoto, on the other hand, is considered “hideous” by the deity, who refuses to even look at him and revokes his heroic title. In exchange for the ability to understand all languages except human, the goddess sends Makoto to the farthest reaches of the wasteland, far from human civilization.
Makoto’s latent physical and magical abilities awaken as a result of the disparity between Earth and this new universe, making him enormously powerful. He meets other demihumans and legendary beings who are drawn to him and join Makoto in establishing a new community where they can all coexist.
Despite his achievements, Makoto yearns to meet new people. Makoto and his companions must fulfil Makoto’s longing in a world where the goddess herself forbids him from mixing with his kind—and possibly transform society in the process.
This list is now complete; please share your favourite anime where the main character starts out weak but quickly becomes powerful in the comments section!