Analysis Why Some Manga Characters Just Cant Level Up


In the world of manga, characters can prove to be a complex mixture of personality traits, abilities, and limitations. Although most characters undergo major developments and characterization throughout the story, some characters just can’t level up. It’s a frustrating experience for both the readers and the players, especially when characters are part of a long-running series. Let’s dive into the reasons why some characters remain stuck at a particular level and why it may be a deliberate choice made the author.

Lack of Training and Proper Guidance

Lack of proper training and guidance is one of the reasons why some characters in manga just can’t level up. In some cases, the character lacks proper guidance, which hinders their progress. They may be working hard and trying their best, but they are not doing it correctly. For example, in the anime and manga series Naruto, Rock Lee is a skilled taijutsu user. Still, he struggles with ninjutsu and genjutsu because he lacks natural talent in those areas, and his mentor Guy Sensei is equally inexperienced.

In contrast, Sasuke Uchiha, who is a genius, has a more capable mentor in the form of Kakashi Hatake, who provides him with proper guidance, training, and resources to help him progress. As a result, Sasuke develops new skills and levels up rapidly. Therefore, lack of proper training and guidance from experienced mentors may cause a character to level up slowly or hinder their progress entirely.

Personality and Mindset

A character’s personality and mindset can also be a limiting factor in their leveling up. However, the author may intentionally write the character as incapable of leveling up due to their personality or mindset. For example, Vash the Stampede from the anime and manga series Trigun is a pacifist and refuses to use lethal force even when fighting dangerous enemies. This personality trait limits his ability to level up, as he has to find unconventional ways to deal with his enemies, which are often weaker and incapable of challenging him.

Another example is Ichigo Kurosaki from the manga and anime series Bleach, who often relies on his raw power in combat rather than strategizing or analyzing his opponent’s weakness. He also acts impulsively and does not fully grasp the scope of his abilities, leading to his inability to master his maximum potential capabilities. Therefore, sometimes a character’s personality and mindset can be a deliberate choice the author as it adds layers of complexity and depth to the character’s development and narrative.

Power Scaling

Power scaling is another factor that can limit a character’s leveling up. This phenomenon happens when a character’s power exceeds the power expectations the author initially set, leaving the character too powerful to make any reasonable and believable progress. The author may deliberately depower the character to maintain the balance of power in the story. For example, during the Cell Saga in Dragon Ball Z, the main character Goku achieves the Super Saiyan 2 form, which is an extremely high level of power that he accesses transforming.

At that point, Goku’s previous forms, including Super Saiyan 1, seemed underwhelming, leading to an increasing power creep in the story. To address this issue, the author introduced villains such as Majin Buu and characters like Vegeta and Gohan, who caught up to Goku’s power level, there bringing back the balance in the story. Therefore, power scaling can limit a character’s leveling up and often necessitates a re-balancing of the story’s power dynamics.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can characters level up beyond the author’s initial plan?

A: No. The author usually has a plan or a goal for each character in the story, and any changes to that plan would disturb the story’s balance and narrative.

Q: Why do some characters lack proper training?

A: Sometimes, the author writes the characters to reflect real-life personalities and experiences, including their past experiences and upbringing, which may hinder their access to proper training.

Q: Is power scaling a common issue in manga?

A: Yes. The phenomenon is known to happen in most shonen manga and anime, and it often leads to re-balancing story power dynamics.


Although some manga characters can’t level up, their limitations are often part of a deliberate plan the author to make the story and the characters more interesting and complex. The character’s lack of proper training or guidance, their mindset and personality traits, and power scaling, are some of the factors that determine how fast a character levels up or if they level up at all. Ultimately, each character’s development is an essential part of the story’s overall narrative and is necessary for a compelling and exciting experience for readers and players alike.

By Manga