The List
7 Useless Magic Attacks

by Lynzee Loveridge,

In a creative medium where more shows than average are full of magic users, it's hard to come up with unique abilities that haven't been done before. The classic elements and standard psychic abilities like telekinesis are done to death. The alternatives become super-specialized magic that has little to no practical use, or the creators throw the script in the air and just go for comedy. What we're left with are characters whose abilities are laughably bad.






7. Flute of Tension (Mahōjin Guru Guru) This Dragon Quest-esque gag comedy sends its heroes Nike and Kukuri on a classic mission to defeat the ruler of darkness. Unfortunately for both parties, many of their spells and magical items are useless. One of these in particular is the "Flute of Tension." You'd expect a magical flute to lull enemies to sleep or put them into a trance-like state and follow the heroes around. The Flute of Tension does neither of these, and instead just creates an ominous feeling. Essentially, its music is creepy.




6. Miroku's Wind Tunnel Hand (InuYasha) Miroku's cursed ability sounds useful in theory. His hand possesses a curse known as Kazaana, or Wind Tunnel, and his passed down through the male line of his family. It's capable of sucking up objects weight as much as 1500lbs like a black hole. This would be extremely useful for defeating any enemies he and the rest of InuYasha's crew come across if many weren't Saimyōshō and thus poisonous. This is compounded by the ability slowly growing, threatening to consume Miroku as well.




5. Pink Sugar Heart Attack (Sailor Moon) In the manga, Chibi Moon's attack was capable of some destruction despite sounding like a fancy cookie. In the anime it's reduced to comic relief and a mere annoyance. It rarely lands on its mark so Chibi Moon has to move closer to the enemy so the tiny hearts can smack them in the face. In the end Pink Sugar Heart Attack really serves as eating up screen time until Sailor Moon delivers the killing blow.




4. Ferrous Bleed (The Slayers) Lina Inverse has plenty of powerful spells at her disposal. Gigaslave calls power from the Lord of Nightmares himself. When the group is trapped in a pocket universe, Lina casts "Ferious Breed," a spell that summons doves. In this one case, the dove manages to break a hole in the ceiling and that's about the limit of the incantation's usefulness.




3. Kazari Uiharu's Thermal Hand (A Certain Scientific Railgun) In a world full of supernatural powers, Uiharu got the shortest end of the stick. Her friends Mikoto and Kuroko can generate electricity and teleport while Uihara's ability is really only good for keeping her food warm. Thermal Hand allows her to maintain the temperature of anything she's touching, so long as said temperature is one she can tolerate on her own. So, her ice cream will never melt, for example. That's about it.




2. Conjuring Sweets (D.C. ~Da Capo~) Junichi has two special powers: the ability to see other people's dreams and to conjure up candy at will. The former is something he can't control, and only makes him experience really mundane visions when he'd rather be sleeping. The latter only works in that this show is based on a dating sim, so being able to give the girl-of-the-week some mochi really helps win her over. Junichi seems cheated, though, given that he's descended from a much more powerful witch and these are the only abilities he was gifted.




1. Dear Baby (Shugo Chara!) Yaya Yuiki is childish compared to her friends, a trait hammered home by her Guardian Character Pepe, who looks like a baby. Her love of cutesy, baby things even translated to her magical girl costume which resembles wearing a giant diaper under her bloomers. To make matters worse, her powers center around ducks. Not aggressive, give-me-the-bread ducks but the yellow duckies that float in a bathtub. They're mostly used for defensive abilities or distraction when she faces a fearsome enemy, like a dog.






The new poll: Which Summer 2015 anime are you most looking forward to watching?

The old poll: Last week we asked what middle-aged "oji-san" anime character is the coolest. Here's the top results!

  1. Kaburagi T. Kotetsu (TIGER & BUNNY) 9.6%
  2. Joseph Joestar (JoJo's Bizarre Adventure) 8.4%
  3. Jet (Cowboy Bebop) 8.2%
  4. Batou (Ghost in the Shell) 6.8%
  5. Akio Furukawa (Clannad) 5.9%
  6. Jiraiya (Naruto) 5.5%
  7. Shanks (One Piece) 4.1%
  8. Gildarts "Ace of Fairy Tail" Clive (Fairy Tail) 3.9%
  9. Kiritsugu Emiya (Fate/Zero) 3.9%
  10. Daisuke Jigen (Lupin III) 3.5%
  11. Whitebeard (One Piece) 3.3%
  12. Nyanta (Log Horizon) 3.3%
  13. Lord Yupa (Nausicaä) 2.7%
  14. Kaiki Deishū (Monogatari series) 2.7%
  15. Tomomi Masaoka (Psycho Pass) 2.5%
  16. Silver Rayleigh (One Piece) 2.5%
  17. Kiichi Gotō (Patlabor) 2.5%
  18. Master Asia (G-Gundam) 1.4%
  19. Sven Vollfied (Black Cat) 1.4%
  20. Klaus Von Reinhertz (Blood Blockade Battlefront) 1.4%
  21. Ramba Ral (Mobile Suit Gundam) 1.2%
  22. Yosho/Katsuhito Masaki (Tenchi Muyo!) 1.2%
  23. Katakuriko Matsudaira (Gintama) 1.0%
  24. Taizō Hasegawa (Gintama) 1.0%
  25. Fu (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood) 1.0%
  26. Kogoro Mōri (Detective Conan) 1.0%
  27. Van Hohenheim (Fullmetal Alchemist/Brotherhood) 1.0%


When she isn't compiling lists of tropes, topics, and characters, Lynzee works as the Interest Editor for Anime News Network and posts pictures of her son on Twitter @ANN_Lynzee.

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