History Main / EvolutionaryLevels

15th Jun '18 2:20:07 PM Theriocephalus
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[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

to:

[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]Manga]]



[[folder: Comic Books ]]
* Creator/MarvelComics
** ''Comicbook/XMen'' All mutants comics dub mutants "homo superior", the "next step" in human evolution. A long-established but seldom-mentioned trait of Marvel's mutants is that they're a little tougher than a normal human of the same frame. E.g., In her solo comic, Dazzler mentions that one of the advantages of being a mutant is that she doesn't get tired as quickly as normal people, and the old Marvel-based RolePlayingGame gave all mutants + 1 level in the Endurance stat.

to:

[[folder: Comic Books ]]
Books]]
* Creator/MarvelComics
Creator/MarvelComics:
** ''Comicbook/XMen'' ''Comicbook/XMen'': All mutants comics dub mutants "homo superior", the "next step" in human evolution. A long-established but seldom-mentioned trait of Marvel's mutants is that they're a little tougher than a normal human of the same frame. E.g., In her solo comic, Dazzler mentions that one of the advantages of being a mutant is that she doesn't get tired as quickly as normal people, and the old Marvel-based RolePlayingGame gave all mutants + 1 level in the Endurance stat.



[[folder: Film ]]
* ''Film/XMenFilmSeries''
** Despite insistence from Magneto that they are "homo superior," it's established that mutant powers are actually the result of a simple genetic carrier, "the mutant gene".

to:

[[folder: Film ]]
Film]]
* ''Film/XMenFilmSeries''
''Film/XMenFilmSeries'':
** Despite insistence from Magneto that they are "homo superior," "''Homo superior''", it's established that mutant powers are actually the result of a simple genetic carrier, "the mutant gene".



* ''Literature/{{She}}'' by Creator/HRiderHaggard: The climax has [[spoiler:the title character take another bath in the life-giving flame, which takes away her youth. Her dying form is described as being like a monkey]]. Darwin's theories had only recently entered the public consciousness when the book was written and the whole story is about the ''fear'' of "devolving" since people were scared that it ''might'' work backwards at the time.

to:

* ''Literature/{{She}}'' ''Literature/{{She}}'', by Creator/HRiderHaggard: The climax has [[spoiler:the title character take another bath in the life-giving flame, which takes away her youth. Her dying form is described as being like a monkey]]. Darwin's theories had only recently entered the public consciousness when the book was written and the whole story is about the ''fear'' of "devolving" since people were scared that it ''might'' work backwards at the time.



[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

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[[folder: Live Action [[folder:Live-Action TV ]]



* When discussing "How Did the Hutts Rise to Power?" in ''Podcast/PlumbingTheDeathStar'', Jackson mentions that they may have been a more monstrous and athletic species before years of wealth and luxury devolved them into the immobile, slug creatures that grace the ''Star Wars'' universe today.

to:

* ''Podcast/PlumbingTheDeathStar'': When discussing "How Did the Hutts Rise to Power?" in ''Podcast/PlumbingTheDeathStar'', Power?", Jackson mentions that they may have been a more monstrous and athletic species before years of wealth and luxury devolved them into the immobile, slug creatures that grace the ''Star Wars'' universe today.



* [[Wrestling/MissingLink The Missing Link]], who hailed from PartsUnknown, had a green and blue painted face and a few unconnected tufts of hair. He never spoke beyond an occasional grunt or roar.

to:

* [[Wrestling/MissingLink The Missing Link]], Wrestling/MissingLink, who hailed from PartsUnknown, had a green and blue painted face and a few unconnected tufts of hair. He never spoke beyond an occasional grunt or roar.



* ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'': The Slivers seem to be an insectile species that have evolved the ability to evolve faster and share genetics through some sort of [[HiveMind psionic link]], resulting in not just momentary changes to genotype but also phenotype when two different varieties are in proximity. In addition, some flavor text references Evolutionary Levels. The Ghostflame Sliver, for example, seems to be a reference to the common misunderstanding of the punctuated equilibrium theory, as they are "on the cusp of evolution", but it's most notable in the Sliver Overlord, which declares it the ''end'' of evolution. Then again, the Slivers evolve so quickly partially by devouring other life forms and adapting their advantageous genes to their offspring, grow rapidly to adulthood, are semi-sentient, act in concert, and are almost virus-like in their ability to infest, consume, and spread rapidly, so it might just be an intimation that [[HordeOfAlienLocusts the Slivers will kill everything on the planet,]] halting evolution permanently.

to:

* ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'': The Slivers seem to be an insectile species that have has evolved the ability to evolve faster and share genetics through some sort of [[HiveMind psionic link]], resulting in not just momentary changes to genotype but also phenotype when two different varieties are in proximity. In addition, some flavor text references Evolutionary Levels. The Ghostflame Sliver, for example, seems to be a reference to the common misunderstanding of the punctuated equilibrium theory, as they are "on the cusp of evolution", but it's most notable in the Sliver Overlord, which declares it the ''end'' of evolution. Then again, the Slivers evolve so quickly partially by devouring other life forms and adapting their advantageous genes to their offspring, grow rapidly to adulthood, are semi-sentient, act in concert, and are almost virus-like in their ability to infest, consume, and spread rapidly, so it might just be an intimation that [[HordeOfAlienLocusts the Slivers will kill everything on the planet,]] planet]], halting evolution permanently.



* PlayedWith in the TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms game ''Pages from the Mages'': The spell "Evolve" changes a normal animal into an intelligent and more or less human-like form. [[DontExplainTheJoke The punchline]] is that glorified name aside, the spell just permanently transforms the target halfway to its caster (presumed to be a human smart enough to use a 8-level spell), using his own blood sample(!) as a component.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'': The Tyranids avert this. While they "evolve" at a hyper-accelerated rate (accomplished by [[HordeOfAlienLocusts devouring entire biospheres]], then using the material to spawn custom-creatures) most of these creatures are short-lived, and allow their superiors to devour them once they've served their purpose. It's bizarre and science-fictiony, but the sheer fact that it's portrayed as being generational makes it closer to RealLife evolution than most of the examples on this page.

to:

* PlayedWith in the TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms ''TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms'' game ''Pages from the Mages'': The spell "Evolve" changes a normal animal into an intelligent and more or less human-like form. [[DontExplainTheJoke The punchline]] is that glorified name aside, the spell just permanently transforms the target halfway to its caster (presumed to be a human smart enough to use a 8-level spell), using his own blood sample(!) as a component.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'': ''TabletopGame/Warhammer40000'': The Tyranids avert this. While they "evolve" at a hyper-accelerated rate (accomplished by [[HordeOfAlienLocusts devouring entire biospheres]], then using the material to spawn custom-creatures) most of these creatures are short-lived, and allow their superiors to devour them once they've served their purpose. It's bizarre and science-fictiony, but the sheer fact that it's portrayed as being generational makes it closer to RealLife evolution than most of the examples on this page.



* ''RolePlay/PokemonDigimonMonWars'': While the two {{Mons}}, Franchise/{{Pokemon}} and Franchise/{{Digimon}} have had their stages of evolution, the former is revealed to be able to evolve further than the highest known forms!

to:

* ''RolePlay/PokemonDigimonMonWars'': While the two {{Mons}}, Franchise/{{Pokemon}} and Franchise/{{Digimon}} Franchise/{{Digimon}}, have had their stages of evolution, the former is revealed to be able to evolve further than the highest known forms!



--> "For my particular investigation, it means that, by ''sapiens'' standards, mutant women seem both younger and more beautiful, on average. Mutant men are also more striking. Itís not necessarily body-builder muscular, though that is a possibility. But even the skinny geeks often have a Ö presence, that makes them striking and compelling."\\

to:

--> "For -->"For my particular investigation, it means that, by ''sapiens'' standards, mutant women seem both younger and more beautiful, on average. Mutant men are also more striking. Itís It's not necessarily body-builder muscular, though that is a possibility. But even the skinny geeks often have a Ö a... presence, that makes them striking and compelling."\\



I havenít investigated, but anecdotal evidence is that mutants, as a group, are healthier, smarter, and more graceful. To scientifically prove that theyíre more beautiful as well? Sounds like a recipe for hatred to me."

to:

I havenít haven't investigated, but anecdotal evidence is that mutants, as a group, are healthier, smarter, and more graceful. To scientifically prove that theyíre they're more beautiful as well? Sounds like a recipe for hatred to me."



* WesternAnimation/TheTransformers are said to have slowly evolved over the eons (as stated in part two of ''Desertion of the Dinobots''). Apparently Giant Robots can do that.
** Which is from the G1 continuity. In other continuities they were created by Primus, their god. Meaning that even Transfomers can argue about creationism vs. evolution....

to:

* WesternAnimation/TheTransformers WesternAnimation/TheTransformers, in the G1 continuity, are said to have slowly evolved over the eons (as stated in part two of ''Desertion of the Dinobots''). Apparently Giant Robots giant 5obots can do that.
** Which is from the G1 continuity.
that. In other continuities they were created by Primus, their god. Meaning god, meaning that even Transfomers can argue about creationism vs. evolution....evolution...



* ''LooneyTunes'' short "Mad as a Mars Hare" ends with Marvin getting fed up and blasting Bugs with his "Space Time Gun", to "project you into the future, where you will be my obedient slave". Only it was in reverse and Bugs instead became a ''Neanderthal rabbit''. So rabbits evolved from hulking muscular troglodytes and are destined to evolve into docile slaves?

to:

* ''LooneyTunes'' ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'' short "Mad as a Mars Hare" ends with Marvin getting fed up and blasting Bugs with his "Space Time Gun", to "project you into the future, where you will be my obedient slave". Only it was in reverse and Bugs instead became a ''Neanderthal rabbit''. So rabbits evolved from hulking muscular troglodytes and are destined to evolve into docile slaves?



19th May '18 6:53:40 PM Rodrigokun
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* ''{{Franchise/Pokemon}}'' has over 700 different creatures in it, and the number of Pokémon without an "evolved" form decreases with every generation. Some Pokémon even have a forked path of evolution, most notably Eevee, which, as of Generation VI, has 8 choices for evolution.

to:

* ''{{Franchise/Pokemon}}'' has over 700 800 different creatures in it, and the number of Pokémon without an "evolved" form decreases with every generation. Some Pokémon even have a forked path of evolution, most notably Eevee, which, as of Generation VI, has 8 choices for evolution.
16th Apr '18 7:09:24 AM DoctorDetective
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* In ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' series, there are several known varieties of Clannfear, a form of [[OurDemonsAreDifferent lesser Daedra]] with animalistic intelligence and the general appearance of [[EverythingsBetterWithDinosaurs raptors]] with frills and beaks. They range from "Runts" at the bottom, to the standard Clannfear, to the larger Dread Clannfear and Clannfear Matrons at the top.
16th Apr '18 7:05:56 AM DoctorDetective
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* ''Film/SuperMarioBros'': The entire plot is based on the idea of evolutionary levels. The brothers stumble on another dimension in which humans exist, but they evolved from dinosaurs instead of apes. When hit with a "de-evolution" gun, humans from our world turn into chimpanzees and the humans of the alternate world turn in to large, human-like dinosaurs. The rightful king of the other realm had been "de-evolved" into a fungus and is re-evolved into a human at the end. Also, Koopa uses a machine to "evolve" Spike and Iggy, which makes them extremely intelligent.

to:

* ''Film/SuperMarioBros'': The entire plot is based on the idea of evolutionary levels. The brothers stumble on another dimension in which humans exist, but they evolved from dinosaurs instead of apes. When hit with a "de-evolution" gun, humans from our world turn into chimpanzees and the humans of the alternate world turn in to large, human-like dinosaurs. The rightful king of the other realm had been "de-evolved" into a fungus and is re-evolved into a human at the end. Also, Koopa uses a machine to "evolve" Spike and Iggy, which makes them extremely intelligent.intelligent, or at least, improves their vocabulary.
16th Apr '18 7:00:25 AM DoctorDetective
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This has a ''grain'' of truth with ''technological'' evolution (which is arguably where the idea comes from), with modern tools and techniques outperforming earlier ones in the same tasks. But more advanced tools also rely on the presence of modern materials, manufacturing technologies and related infrastructure -- which all ultimately boil down to the entire pool of required knowledge (including that of the users) and resources -- so they technically fit into a ''different'' environment than their predecessors. In verity, this can lead to [[BreakOutTheMuseumPiece older tools stealing spotlight]] when those requirements are suddenly to longer met.

to:

This has a ''grain'' of truth with ''technological'' evolution (which is arguably where the idea comes from), with modern tools and techniques outperforming earlier ones in the same tasks. But more advanced tools also rely on the presence of modern materials, manufacturing technologies and related infrastructure -- which all ultimately boil down to the entire pool of required knowledge (including that of the users) and resources -- so they technically fit into a ''different'' environment than their predecessors. In verity, this This can lead to [[BreakOutTheMuseumPiece older tools stealing spotlight]] when those requirements are suddenly to longer met.
19th Mar '18 11:45:23 AM DarkHunter
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* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'': First, you have a regular cannibal ghost. Then, that Hollow gets strong enough (usually by eating and/or merging with other Hollows) to become a Gillian, the first level in what's called the "Menos Grande" class. If that Gillian keeps a mind intact, it can keep eating to become a smaller but stronger Adjuchas. In extremely rare cases, this development can continue and result in the human-sized, insanely-powerful Vasto Lorde.

to:

* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'': ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'': As a form of GoalOrientedEvolution, the humanoid shape is considered the best for using "spiral energy" making humans themselves the top level.
* ''Manga/BlackJack'': A mid 90s movie featured groups of people who had developed incredible and highly advanced abilities in a variety of fields, including athletics and art, used the "next stage" terminology. [[spoiler:They developed extremely dangerous side-effects also, and it was eventually revealed that, apparently, limited exposure to chemicals found only in a remote desert migrated across the world and advanced certain individuals by accentuating their natural and pre-existing talents.]]
* ''Manga/DevilmanLady'' by Go Nagai: The reasoning behind humans suddenly transforming into monsters in the anime adaptation is that they are flukes in the first stages of humanity's next evolution and based on the transformee's [[PersonalityPowers talents and personality]] (e.g. a talented swimmer grows gills and scales, someone with severe AGodAmI might become an angel, etc.) The main character is a frail young model that represses all 'inappropriate' feelings, thoughts, and urges. She transforms into a violent, muscular demon with no inhibitions.
* ''Manga/HunterXHunter'': The chimera ant queen transfers the "most worthy" DNA of [[LegoGenetics whatever she eats to her progeny]], resulting in every batch of eggs giving more powerful (and human-like, since humans are the best food) ants than the last, culminating in the King being the supreme being.
* ''Manga/GetterRobo'': A major theme, since the energy that powers their HumongousMecha is the spirit of evolution itself, or taken another way, the embodiment of life/survival itself.
* ''Manga/ElfenLied'': The Diclonius. Well, probably. Maybe. [[spoiler: The conspicuously nameless government agency claims they're our evolutionary superiors, genetically programmed to take over the earth in cold-hearted genocide. The protagonists quickly find out that, at least, they're not cold-hearted at all.]]
* One of the ideas in ''Stardust Memories'' is that evolutionary levels are contagious on a mass scale--if a world has primitive life, and it's visited by humans, that primitive life will rapidly evolve to fill all evolutionary niches required in order to produce human-like creatures. Unfortunately, [[BodyHorror it may hit an evolutionary dead end during the attempt]]...
* Extended Definition in ''Anime/ThisUglyYetBeautifulWorld'' basically rockets the organism in question to UltimateLifeForm status in an extreme form of survival instinct.
* ''Anime/DragonballZ'' of all things has a possible aversion, although it's likely just coincidence. When Majin Buu first appears, and hasn't yet revealed his true power, Vegeta mistakenly believes it's a case of CantCatchUp, in which he was previously the strongest in the universe, but has fallen behind since his long hibernation. He states that Saiyans have "evolved" since Buu's time. By sheer dumb luck this happens to be correct, because Freeza did indeed eliminate the vast majority of the Saiyan gene pool, leaving only a few who were capable of becoming Super Saiyans.
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' has those pesky Hollows that evolve as they get stronger by eating other spirits.
First, you have a regular cannibal ghost. Then, that Hollow gets strong enough (usually by eating and/or merging with other Hollows) to become a Gillian, the first level in what's called the "Menos Grande" class. If that Gillian keeps a mind intact, it can keep eating to become a smaller but stronger Adjuchas. In extremely rare cases, this development can continue and result in the human-sized, insanely-powerful Vasto Lorde.
19th Mar '18 11:39:24 AM DarkHunter
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* Franchise/{{Gundam}}
** ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam'': Newtypes were originally written as the next stage of human evolution.

to:

* Franchise/{{Gundam}}
Franchise/{{Gundam}}:
** ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam'': Newtypes were originally written as the next stage of human evolution. evolution, but later series distance themselves from this concept. The finale of ''[[Anime/AfterWarGundamX Gundam X]]'' explicitly debunks the notion; it is, however, set in an alternate universe to the majority of the series featuring newtypes, and doesn't use the term "newtype" in the same fashion as them, so whether this holds for the other series or not is questionable.
*** This trope is humorously subverted in ''Manga/MobileSuitCrossboneGundam'': when several people that believed rather heavily in newtypes being the next stage of human evolution are shown newtype ''[[EverythingsBetterWithMonkeys monkeys]]'', they don't take it well.
** ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam00'': The Innovators[[note]]''not'' the Innovades (who rather confusingly called themselves Innovators during the second season), a bunch of people that possess psychic powers (as much as any other gundam series)[[/note]] appear to play the trope straight, with the minor difference that the "evolution" was not entirely natural: [[spoiler:it requires the person to be exposed to GN Particles, which do not occur naturally on Earth. By the series' DistantFinale, set 50 years after the conclusion, it is stated that fully 25% of humanity have become Innovators, with the implication that eventually the entire human race will have metamorphosed.]]
** ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamAGE'': The X-Rounders are said to be an inversion of the concept. Rather than being more ''advanced'', their powers come from tapping into more bestial, instinctive areas of the brain that modern humans no longer use.
10th Mar '18 4:35:44 PM TheAmazingBlachman
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Note that there *is* a legitimate evolutionary theory termed "punctuated equilibrium" which says that a species may remain unchanged, in an unchanging environment, for many generations, then experience a sudden, sometimes dramatic, change, triggered by a change in the environment. (For example, a species of deer may be perfectly suited to the island it has lived on for centuries, but when a volcano erupts next island over and the less hardy plants die off, those deer best able to switch to the remaining plants will be the ones to survive and reproduce, becoming a new species in a relatively short time.) The resulting new species are not "better" or "more advanced," only more adapted to the new environment than the previous species was. And it's still a gradual process that takes many generations, with no clear-cut division between where the older species ends and the new one begins.

to:

Note that there *is* ''is'' a legitimate evolutionary theory termed "punctuated equilibrium" which says that a species may remain unchanged, in an unchanging environment, for many generations, then experience a sudden, sometimes dramatic, change, triggered by a change in the environment. (For example, a species of deer may be perfectly suited to the island it has lived on for centuries, but when a volcano erupts next island over and the less hardy plants die off, those deer best able to switch to the remaining plants will be the ones to survive and reproduce, becoming a new species in a relatively short time.) The resulting new species are not "better" or "more advanced," only more adapted to the new environment than the previous species was. And it's still a gradual process that takes many generations, with no clear-cut division between where the older species ends and the new one begins.
12th Feb '18 6:31:57 PM ultimomant
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** ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam'': Newtypes were originally written as the next stage of human evolution, but later series distance thpirits. First, you have a regular cannibal ghost. Then, that Hollow gets strong enough (usually by eating and/or merging with other Hollows) to become a Gillian, the first level in what's called the "Menos Grande" class. If that Gillian keeps a mind intact, it can keep eating to become a smaller but stronger Adjuchas. In extremely rare cases, this development can continue and result in the human-sized, insanely-powerful Vasto Lorde.

to:

** ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam'': Newtypes were originally written as the next stage of human evolution, but later series distance thpirits. evolution.
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'':
First, you have a regular cannibal ghost. Then, that Hollow gets strong enough (usually by eating and/or merging with other Hollows) to become a Gillian, the first level in what's called the "Menos Grande" class. If that Gillian keeps a mind intact, it can keep eating to become a smaller but stronger Adjuchas. In extremely rare cases, this development can continue and result in the human-sized, insanely-powerful Vasto Lorde.
4th Feb '18 1:38:45 AM WillBGood
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** ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam'': Newtypes were originally written as the next stage of human evolution, but later series distance themselves from this concept. The finale of ''[[Anime/AfterWarGundamX Gundam X]]'' explicitly debunks the notion; it is, however, set in an alternate universe to the majority of the series featuring newtypes, and doesn't use the term "newtype" in the same fashion as them, so whether this holds for the other series or not is questionable.
*** This trope is humorously subverted in ''Manga/MobileSuitCrossboneGundam'': when several people that believed rather heavily in newtypes being the next stage of human evolution are shown newtype ''[[EverythingsBetterWithMonkeys monkeys]]'', they don't take it well.
** ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam00'': The Innovators[[note]]''not'' the Innovades (who rather confusingly called themselves Innovators during the second season), a bunch of people that possess psychic powers (as much as any other gundam series)[[/note]] appear to play the trope straight, with the minor difference that the "evolution" was not entirely natural: [[spoiler:it requires the person to be exposed to GN Particles, which do not occur naturally on Earth. By the series' DistantFinale, set 50 years after the conclusion, it is stated that fully 25% of humanity have become Innovators, with the implication that eventually the entire human race will have metamorphosed.]]
** ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamAGE'': The X-Rounders are said to be an inversion of the concept. Rather than being more ''advanced'', their powers come from tapping into more bestial, instinctive areas of the brain that modern humans no longer use.
* ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'': As a form of GoalOrientedEvolution, the humanoid shape is considered the best for using "spiral energy" making humans themselves the top level.
* ''Manga/BlackJack'': A mid 90s movie featured groups of people who had developed incredible and highly advanced abilities in a variety of fields, including athletics and art, used the "next stage" terminology. [[spoiler:They developed extremely dangerous side-effects also, and it was eventually revealed that, apparently, limited exposure to chemicals found only in a remote desert migrated across the world and advanced certain individuals by accentuating their natural and pre-existing talents.]]
* ''Manga/DevilmanLady'' by Go Nagai: The reasoning behind humans suddenly transforming into monsters in the anime adaptation is that they are flukes in the first stages of humanity's next evolution and based on the transformee's [[PersonalityPowers talents and personality]] (e.g. a talented swimmer grows gills and scales, someone with severe AGodAmI might become an angel, etc.) The main character is a frail young model that represses all 'inappropriate' feelings, thoughts, and urges. She transforms into a violent, muscular demon with no inhibitions.
* ''Manga/HunterXHunter'': The chimera ant queen transfers the "most worthy" DNA of [[LegoGenetics whatever she eats to her progeny]], resulting in every batch of eggs giving more powerful (and human-like, since humans are the best food) ants than the last, culminating in the King being the supreme being.
* ''Manga/GetterRobo'': A major theme, since the energy that powers their HumongousMecha is the spirit of evolution itself, or taken another way, the embodiment of life/survival itself.
* ''Manga/ElfenLied'': The Diclonius. Well, probably. Maybe. [[spoiler: The conspicuously nameless government agency claims they're our evolutionary superiors, genetically programmed to take over the earth in cold-hearted genocide. The protagonists quickly find out that, at least, they're not cold-hearted at all.]]
* One of the ideas in ''Stardust Memories'' is that evolutionary levels are contagious on a mass scale--if a world has primitive life, and it's visited by humans, that primitive life will rapidly evolve to fill all evolutionary niches required in order to produce human-like creatures. Unfortunately, [[BodyHorror it may hit an evolutionary dead end during the attempt]]...
* Extended Definition in ''Anime/ThisUglyYetBeautifulWorld'' basically rockets the organism in question to UltimateLifeForm status in an extreme form of survival instinct.
* ''Anime/DragonballZ'' of all things has a possible aversion, although it's likely just coincidence. When Majin Buu first appears, and hasn't yet revealed his true power, Vegeta mistakenly believes it's a case of CantCatchUp, in which he was previously the strongest in the universe, but has fallen behind since his long hibernation. He states that Saiyans have "evolved" since Buu's time. By sheer dumb luck this happens to be correct, because Freeza did indeed eliminate the vast majority of the Saiyan gene pool, leaving only a few who were capable of becoming Super Saiyans.
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' has those pesky Hollows that evolve as they get stronger by eating other spirits. First, you have a regular cannibal ghost. Then, that Hollow gets strong enough (usually by eating and/or merging with other Hollows) to become a Gillian, the first level in what's called the "Menos Grande" class. If that Gillian keeps a mind intact, it can keep eating to become a smaller but stronger Adjuchas. In extremely rare cases, this development can continue and result in the human-sized, insanely-powerful Vasto Lorde.

to:

** ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam'': Newtypes were originally written as the next stage of human evolution, but later series distance themselves from this concept. The finale of ''[[Anime/AfterWarGundamX Gundam X]]'' explicitly debunks the notion; it is, however, set in an alternate universe to the majority of the series featuring newtypes, and doesn't use the term "newtype" in the same fashion as them, so whether this holds for the other series or not is questionable.
*** This trope is humorously subverted in ''Manga/MobileSuitCrossboneGundam'': when several people that believed rather heavily in newtypes being the next stage of human evolution are shown newtype ''[[EverythingsBetterWithMonkeys monkeys]]'', they don't take it well.
** ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam00'': The Innovators[[note]]''not'' the Innovades (who rather confusingly called themselves Innovators during the second season), a bunch of people that possess psychic powers (as much as any other gundam series)[[/note]] appear to play the trope straight, with the minor difference that the "evolution" was not entirely natural: [[spoiler:it requires the person to be exposed to GN Particles, which do not occur naturally on Earth. By the series' DistantFinale, set 50 years after the conclusion, it is stated that fully 25% of humanity have become Innovators, with the implication that eventually the entire human race will have metamorphosed.]]
** ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamAGE'': The X-Rounders are said to be an inversion of the concept. Rather than being more ''advanced'', their powers come from tapping into more bestial, instinctive areas of the brain that modern humans no longer use.
* ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'': As a form of GoalOrientedEvolution, the humanoid shape is considered the best for using "spiral energy" making humans themselves the top level.
* ''Manga/BlackJack'': A mid 90s movie featured groups of people who had developed incredible and highly advanced abilities in a variety of fields, including athletics and art, used the "next stage" terminology. [[spoiler:They developed extremely dangerous side-effects also, and it was eventually revealed that, apparently, limited exposure to chemicals found only in a remote desert migrated across the world and advanced certain individuals by accentuating their natural and pre-existing talents.]]
* ''Manga/DevilmanLady'' by Go Nagai: The reasoning behind humans suddenly transforming into monsters in the anime adaptation is that they are flukes in the first stages of humanity's next evolution and based on the transformee's [[PersonalityPowers talents and personality]] (e.g. a talented swimmer grows gills and scales, someone with severe AGodAmI might become an angel, etc.) The main character is a frail young model that represses all 'inappropriate' feelings, thoughts, and urges. She transforms into a violent, muscular demon with no inhibitions.
* ''Manga/HunterXHunter'': The chimera ant queen transfers the "most worthy" DNA of [[LegoGenetics whatever she eats to her progeny]], resulting in every batch of eggs giving more powerful (and human-like, since humans are the best food) ants than the last, culminating in the King being the supreme being.
* ''Manga/GetterRobo'': A major theme, since the energy that powers their HumongousMecha is the spirit of evolution itself, or taken another way, the embodiment of life/survival itself.
* ''Manga/ElfenLied'': The Diclonius. Well, probably. Maybe. [[spoiler: The conspicuously nameless government agency claims they're our evolutionary superiors, genetically programmed to take over the earth in cold-hearted genocide. The protagonists quickly find out that, at least, they're not cold-hearted at all.]]
* One of the ideas in ''Stardust Memories'' is that evolutionary levels are contagious on a mass scale--if a world has primitive life, and it's visited by humans, that primitive life will rapidly evolve to fill all evolutionary niches required in order to produce human-like creatures. Unfortunately, [[BodyHorror it may hit an evolutionary dead end during the attempt]]...
* Extended Definition in ''Anime/ThisUglyYetBeautifulWorld'' basically rockets the organism in question to UltimateLifeForm status in an extreme form of survival instinct.
* ''Anime/DragonballZ'' of all things has a possible aversion, although it's likely just coincidence. When Majin Buu first appears, and hasn't yet revealed his true power, Vegeta mistakenly believes it's a case of CantCatchUp, in which he was previously the strongest in the universe, but has fallen behind since his long hibernation. He states that Saiyans have "evolved" since Buu's time. By sheer dumb luck this happens to be correct, because Freeza did indeed eliminate the vast majority of the Saiyan gene pool, leaving only a few who were capable of becoming Super Saiyans.
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' has those pesky Hollows that evolve as they get stronger by eating other spirits.
thpirits. First, you have a regular cannibal ghost. Then, that Hollow gets strong enough (usually by eating and/or merging with other Hollows) to become a Gillian, the first level in what's called the "Menos Grande" class. If that Gillian keeps a mind intact, it can keep eating to become a smaller but stronger Adjuchas. In extremely rare cases, this development can continue and result in the human-sized, insanely-powerful Vasto Lorde.



* ''Odd John'' by Olaf Stapledon: The titular character is one of a new species of supermen who happen to be born here and there around the world at roughly the same time. This story is apparently the origin of the term "Homo Superior" for such beings.

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* ''Odd John'' ''Literature/OddJohn'' by Olaf Stapledon: The titular character is one of a new species of supermen who happen to be born here and there around the world at roughly the same time. This story is apparently the origin of the term "Homo Superior" for such beings.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.EvolutionaryLevels