If you thought comic book powers are weird, you probably haven't seen how they do it in anime or manga. By comparison, some of the characters' powers in anime, particularly Shonen characters, are simply too contrived or outlandish. Hence, no matter how many times they try to explain it in a shoehorned exposition on the anime, people can still forget.
There's also the fact that plenty of things get lost in translation when translating Japanese to English. The result is a confusing set of powers whose rules and intricacies will likely be questioned even by fans. So, for the Nth time, we took the monumental task of explaining these weird and confusing powers and abilities. Here are 10 of those characters and for the sake of inclusivity, we only included one character from Jojo's Bizarre Adventure-- otherwise, this list will only be about them.
10 JIRAIYA'S SAGE MODE - NARUTO
Naruto is no stranger to, well, strange powers and abilities but they are often explained well enough. Sometimes whole episodes or arcs are even dedicated to the introduction of certain abilities. Jiraiya's Sage Mode, however, is just strangely complicated and seems like it belongs in One Piece instead of Naruto.
Upon activation, Jiraiya's appearance dramatically changes and he starts looking like a frog. To complete the look, he is also accompanied by two frogs on his shoulders. Apparently, Sage Mode enhances all the physical capabilities of the user and also lets them bend any form of chakra to their will, basically a Super Saiyan mode in Naruto. The catch, however, is that the Sage Mode's user will turn into stone or into the animal which gave them Sage Mode-- in Jiraiya's case, a frog, hence the warts. To negate the effects, Jiraiya had to place the two frogs on his shoulders.
9 YAMI YUGI - YU-GI-OH!
In an anime world where trading cards have inexplicable powers, one powerful anomaly stands out for having the most head-scratching ability himself: Yami Yugi. He's the more mature (around 3000+ years old) yet edgier counterpart of Yugi Muto. He only comes out of the Millennium Puzzle to possess Muto whenever there's a duel or when both their friends are in danger because most of the time the younger Yugi is a cute innocent wimp.
Why do they need to this? Well, honestly, because Yami Yugi's cooler. Also because the older Yugi seems to have more courage and is undefeatable when it comes to trading card games. He's also the spirit of the ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Atem which explains why he's more intelligent than the clueless young Yugi. Years of being a Pharaoh has most likely made him a strategic and tactical genius... and it translates well into modern trading card games.
8 MINORU MINETA'S... STICKY BALLS - MY HERO ACADEMIA
Minorus is My Hero Academia's resident pervert comic relief and he has the looks for his role. Minoru is short and small with an oversized head for someone his stature. Still, his most notable feature is his hair, they look like round purple balls instead of the usual spikes or strands on an anime character's head. Apparently, that's where Minoru's superhero powers come from.
He can detach his hair... balls and they are sticky as hell. Minoru can weaponize them since they tend to stick to whichever surface Minoru throws. How sticky they are is determined by Minoru's overall health but he can't overproduce too many of them; otherwise, his head will bleed. Unfortunately, the anime never goes into detail how they sometimes stick to Minoru when it suits him and how they sometimes don't. You'll just have to suspend your disbelief.
7 WARCRY'S TEARS - FAIRY TAIL
Oh boy, here's another uncanny one. Warcry from Fairy Tail puts on quite a show whenever he uses his powers because they come from his teardrops. Warcry, true to his name, specializes in Tear Magic, where the stronger he cries, the more powerful his magic becomes. Of course, that would mean he'd have to cry profusely or at least make himself cry during a fight.
Despite how ridiculous it sounds, you should never underestimate Warcry. Both his friends and enemies respect him enough to acknowledge his magical prowess, even if it sounds impractical both on paper and in practice. Such a prerequisite for a magical ability has cost Warcry some victories, though; more clever opponents have defeated him before he could even tear up.
6 KOENMA'S PACIFIER - YU YU HAKUSHO
Koenma or King Enma Jr., if you recall, is that annoying yet adorable toddler in Yu Yu Hakusho who sometimes acts as a VIP audience in arena battles. Yeah, he's actually more than 666+ years old, but that didn't stop him from wearing a pacifier. That pacifier is a lot more important than it seems because it's where Koenma stored all his Spirit Energy, meaning he's reliant on it for his powers.
Regardless of how smart a move that is, Koenma's pacifier is immensely powerful. He can use it to revive anyone who died and also to incapacitate or paralyze any human. As expected, Koenma's pretty useless without his very own pacifier and he has lost it at least once in the anime.
5 C.C.'S GEASS - CODE GEASS
Code Geass (both seasons, even the movies) is one of the most convoluted anime ever and analyzing everything in it is ill-advised. However, one must at least understand how C.C., one of the protagonists, works as this is central to the story. Apart from being the bestower of the weird and personalized power of Geass, she's also immortal and apparently has telepathy.
The immortal part was due to her accepting the Code from another Geass-giver, basically switching places with her. The telepathy part was not shown much but C.C. has displayed a certain capacity of communicating telepathically with Marianne vi Britannia, Lelouch's mother. Before she became immortal, C.C. also had a Geass which allowed her to force anyone to love her. Consequently, she lost control of it.
4 CHOPPER'S TRANSFORMATION - ONE PIECE
One Piece is no stranger to weird anime powers. Every one of the protagonists and even the enemies have shown their own special unique trait and ability. Suffice to say, no two are alike. Tony Tony Chopper, however, sticks out from the rest since he's no human, he's actually a reindeer.
Most of the time, we see Chopper as a mini stuffed-toy looking hooved pet. Thanks to the devil fruit he consumed, however, he can transform into a stronger and more imposing human-reindeer hybrid or a full human. Chopper regularly does this to be more useful in combat, essentially making him a reindeer version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, or the Hulk even.
3 MAJIN BUU'S CANDY BEAM - DRAGON BALL Z
People don't usually watch Dragon Ball Z for the plot or for a reasonable story. Heck, some of us don't even pay attention until the fight starts. For that matter, many of us have missed the part where they explain Majin Buu's powers, meaning he tends to look like a weird and evil candyman which everyone is puzzlingly afraid of.
That's because Majin Buu, the fat one at least, has a power called Chocolate Beam which can turn anyone into anything. It just so happens that Majin Buu loves to turn people into sweets and desserts so he can store them inside him, practically assimilating them. He has, on occasion turned other people into something else such as bricks... in order to build his house.
2 BRUNO BUCCIARATI'S ZIPPERS- JOJO'S BIZARRE ADVENTURE
Jojo's Bizarre Adventure characters would probably be enough to fill this list. However, we picked one of the weirdest fabulous dudes, namely Bruno Bucciarati. He's a gangster whose stand (powers) involve creating zippers in whoever he punches or hits. As such, Bruno can dismantle objects (and people) by punching them then unzipping them... and put them back together by zipping them shut. He has done this many times against many opponents.
How lethal these zippers are can be inconsistent throughout the anime. Still, Bruno has full remote control over how and when these zippers open or close, meaning an opponent with a zipper for a wound can't simply zip it shut to stop the bleeding. When not utilizing his stand, Bruno also has the innate ability to see if someone is lying by licking them and tasting their sweat. He can tell by how their sweat tastes whether someone is lying or not.
1 KNUCKLES' APR - HUNTER X HUNTER
One character in Hunter X Hunter will have a lot of people giving up on understanding his powers. His name is Knuckle Bine and his Nen or powers, involve placing a counter on his opponent once Knuckle lands a blow on them. He calls them Amortizing Power Redirector or A.P.R. As soon as this numeric counter is placed, any damage they both do to each other is negated and becomes only a number shown by the APR.
This number increases every time Knuckle attacks his opponent(s) as if he was lending them his power or aura; they can lower that number by attacking Knuckle back, essentially trading aura with each other. However, if the A.P.R. on an opponent accumulates too high a number, then they enter a state of bankruptcy or debt where they can no longer return the power Knuckle gave them; then, the A.P.R. transforms into an Individual Ren Suppressor or I.R.S. (probably intended). This makes the opponent powerless for 30 days or until they pay back the what they owe Knuckle by attacking him. No damage will be done, of course, and any attack will only serve to lower their aura debt.