Making Better OCs the Third: Balancing Weakness and Overpower

I’m the notorious Marcus Wolfe. Well, perhaps I am not notorious, but you’ve probably heard of me. First, I would like to apologize in advance to anyone who feels degraded while reading this. I don’t really mean to hurt anybody’s feelings, but I simply have a very hard time being informative without being condescending. Blame it on the way I was raised. Also, sorry for using masculine terms when I should be using gender-neutral terms. Force of habit.

A very interesting comment was made on the original Making Better OCs article recently:

“One more thing: Though a character may be incredibly powerful in terms of combat, that doesn't automatically qualifies him/her as a Sue. It depends on the focus of the story. If it's an action story, having a protagonist who can beat up whoever shows up is just lame... But making him face a romantic relationship, family's issues or anything else that can't be solved through combat can actually be very interesting.

An example? Souzuke Sagara from Full Metal Panic! He's the perfect soldier. He is proficient with any kind of weapon, explosives, heck, even mechas! But his social skills are just a disgrace, and that's what makes the series so good, at least for me: in the episodes focused on his life disguised as a student, his "war-driven" way to think only creates hilarious situations. Now, when the series turns onto the "serious" part of the story, it's actually weak, because Souzuke is just too perfect for a those situations.”
Sole Storyteller, 06/02/09

Now, I’ve never watched Full Metal Panic, and I know nothing of Souzuke beyond that description, but it really got me thinking. It is perfectly possible for a character to be considered balanced if it is deficient in one area and overpowered in another. This entire guide will simply be an expansion of that thought.