Trent, Tome 2 : Le kid PDF need to login to do this. Okay, look, the city is flying, we’re fighting an army of robots, and I have a bow and arrow.
Similar to Badass Normal, except they rarely get a chance to actually be badass and they are not always considered « normal » in the first place. Of course, this makes sense for human characters playing second-fiddle to someone superhuman, or even a god. See also Muggle Power, Tough Act to Follow, and In the End, You Are on Your Own. As the seasons pass Moon levels up and passes over everyone else.
The Outers then overshadow the Inners, and everyone overshadows Chibi Moon. Bamboo Blade’s Yuji Nakata qualifies for this. Yamcha is probably the one who suffers the most from this trope, despite being an experienced martial artist evidenced by each one of the Tenkaichi Budokai in which he took part. Tenshinhan was once on par with Goku, only to be completely outshined in a matter of days.
Then again at the next tournament Goku defeated him without breathing hard or even using a Kamehameha. By the time everyone starts achieving the Super Saiyan state, the author almost completely forgot about Tenshinhan, giving him one scene for him to prove of some use. Martial Arts World Champion fair and square. Pretty much anyone who isn’t at least part Saiyan hits a wall sooner or later and is never able to catch up again. Android 18, who along with her brother was strong enough to kill Super Saiyan Gohan and DESTROY THE WORLD in an alternate future, is never given a real chance to distinguish herself as a fighter once she becomes a good guy. Despite the fact that her alternate future version is stated to be weaker than her present self. Gohan was actually stronger than those two, both at the end of the Cell arc and during the battle with Buu when he gets his upgrade from Elder Kai, but when there are no threats to the world, he stops training and goes back to focus on his studies.
So even disregarding GT, Goku and Vegeta must have surpassed him by the Budokai at the end of the series. Taken to absurd levels in the 2013 Dragon Ball Z movie, Battle Of Gods, where Goku falls victim to the trope. Pan in GT deserves a mention. She must be at least as strong as Android 20 as she defeats him easily, which means that her base form is more powerful than Goku and Trunks were when they defeated Frieza. And yet even before the Super Saiyan 4’s rendered the whole cast obsolete she had been overshadowed by the entire front line team as for some reason she never achieves the standard Super Saiyan transformation, which as Goten and Trunks prove she is more than capable of doing at her age. The Uncrowned Kings in Kuroko no Basuke. They are genius basket-ball players who were almost at the level of the Generation of Miracles.
However, their individual skills were completely overshadowed by the team-play of Teiko. Ironically, Kenshin’s fighting partner Sanosuke is given the reverse treatment in the anime. He’s mainly used to show how strong the villain of the week is before Kenshin saves the day. Once opponents that are at Kenshin’s level are introduced, the gap between Kenshin and Sanosuke, Yahiko, and Kaoru become much more apparent. Even Kenshin is overpowered by his master Hiko, who is so ridiculously powerful that the author stated he can’t use him to deal with threats in the story because it would be too easy for him.
In Naruto, Hatake Kakashi was originally made up to be one of the most elite ninjas of Konoha, in part due to his Sharingan’s ability to copy any technique, earning him the nickname « Copy Ninja Kakashi ». That was until other Uchihas turned up with two Sharingans, with much more advanced abilities. Kakashi still played an important role in the plot and in every battle his side was involved in due to his intelligence, experience and his Sharingan’s unique ability. During the Sasuke Retrieval Arc, Choji and Neji defeat jonin-level Sound ninja in one-on-one battles, but post-timeskip they get overshadowed by Naruto, Sasuke, Akatsuki members and other antagonists. Post-timeskip, all characters except a handful of main characters and the antagonists get little or no screen-time and hardly contribute anything significant to the plot. Poor girlshe truly can’t catch up despite all her efforts. Rock Lee, though lacking the flashy powers, becomes strong through sheer training and effort, and is very super-humanly fast by real world standards, but he gets overshadowed due to The Worf Effect.