History PaperThinDisguise / AnimeAndManga

26th Dec '17 2:33:42 PM MBG159
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** ''Anime/YuGiOhVRAINS'' flirts with this frequently. Yusaku's VirtualReality avatar, Playmaker, looks basically the same as him but with somewhat different hair and FutureSpandex, and Emma's avatar, Ghost Girl, is basically Emma with inverted-color hair and [[MsFanservice bare legs and arms]]. This is simultaneously justified and made sillier by the fact that the avatars appear to be completely customizable, and many characters have avatars that look nothing like them (or aren't even human). Justified, in that it means Yusaku and Playmaker looking similar proves nothing to other characters in terms of them being linked, and made sillier, in that this means Yusaku could have made himself unrecognizable but ''chooses'' to look like himself but with blonde hair.
6th Dec '17 7:29:37 AM MsCC93
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!!Pokemon

* ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'':
** This is one of the defining characteristics of [[TerribleTrio Team Rocket]]. The "twerps" don't know it's them until one of the trio starts the motto (or ''accidentally'' starts it upon hearing the motto's words out of context), even when it's painfully obvious to a casual observer who they are. To be fair, sometimes they really do put on some good disguises (including [[WholesomeCrossdresser of the other gender]]). However, more often they simply don't, and in any case they very rarely disguise their voices and distinctive hairstyles. Given that they show up OncePerEpisode, you'd think the heroes would be intimately familiar with them.
*** James' disguises are usually good, especially when he crossdresses. The problem with Jessie's is that she almost always keeps her long red hair. But Meowth is easily the greatest user of this trope, all he needs is a baseball cap, t-shirt and shorts and suddenly he is a human student. What about the feet? The whiskers? The paws? THE TAIL?! Ash must have some serious vision problems...[[http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/List_of_Team_Rocket%27s_disguises Here the list of all of them.]]
** Since Jessalina is Jessie (props for switching Contest disguises when they got to Sinnoh), ''she actually beat Dawn in a contest!''
*** Played with in an episode which has James dressing up in Jessie's contest disguise to take her place when she is sick. Everyone is still fooled. [[spoiler:He even wins!]]
** Subverted in "Holy Matrimony!", when Jessie and Meowth wear all black to become "invisible"; James' family pretends to be fooled by it.
*** Not so much pretending as following custom - the black outfits are based on the assistants in traditional Japanese theater, whom are considered to be "invisible" by the cultural rules of the theater. Of course, this is something a Japanese viewer would understand natively, but gets LostInTranslation when exported.
** Subverted in another episode where Team Rocket decides to ''help'' the protagonists. They don their usual style of disguise, help them and then go on their merry way believing they fooled them...then Misty says goodbye by shouting "Thanks, Team Rocket!" Ironically, [[EarlyInstallmentWeirdness that was their first attempt]]. Ironically they were disguised fairly well there.
*** It didn't help that they started their motto before [[DopeSlap Meowth whacked them.]]
** Subverted in the Johto episode "The Heartbreak of Brock"; Misty is immediately suspicious when she sees the disguised Team Rocket, even taking off Jessie's disguise glasses to prove her suspicions.
** Played with interestingly where Meowth dresses up as a Shiftry. While it initially works (despite the 3 foot difference between the two Pokémon species), having never seen one before, Dawn scans the "Shiftry" with her Pokédex which then proceeds to give her the entry for Meowth.
*** In a Hoenn episode, Meowth and Jessie attempt to disguise themselves as Kirlia and Gardevoir, respectively, in an attempt to grab a Ralts that Ash and friends were taking care of. Ash proves that the Pokédex is disguise-proof by scanning the "Kirlia" and getting the data for Meowth instead. So much for that disguise.
*** In several episodes Meowth disguises himself as a Sunflora by taping his eyes shut and holding cardboard leaves.
** The worst offender was an early ''Diamond and Pearl'' episode in which they pretended to be traveling salesmen...by putting on green jackets over their uniforms...and not even zipping them up! Ash and co. somehow fail to spot the enormous red "R"s on their chests, even though they couldn't be more obvious.
** An episode had Team Rocket dress Meowth up as a Croagunk in order to win a contest revolving around them. This is an ''entire town'', a freaking ''Gym Leader'' among them, all of which are obsessed with this particular Pokémon to an almost creepy level (and in the case of Brock, actually ''owns'' one), and they are not only fooled ''down to the last person'', '''''[[EpicFail they actually consider him the best looking one of the bunch]]'''''.
** Subverted in ''Fire and Ice'' by [[LovableSexManiac Brock]] when Jessie pretends to be Nurse Joy. "My beloved Nurse Joy's lips actually move when she talks!" Brock is known to have the unique ability to tell all of [[InexplicablyIdenticalIndividuals the apparently identical Nurse Joys]] apart at a single glance, which is probably why he wasn't fooled.
** Lampshaded at the beginning of "Pursuing a Lofty Goal", when James, in a suit and dark sunglasses, curls up in a ball when he first sees the twerps. When they ask if something's wrong, he remarks in an aside, "I forgot, the twerps wouldn't recognize me if I paid them!"
** In two Hoenn episodes, Team Rocket disguised themselves as May's family. In one episode, it was just James disguised as Norman, whereas in the other even WOBBUFFET played along. James was Norman in the second episode, while Jessie was Caroline, Meowth was May, and Wobbuffet was Max.
** Possible the most blatantly disguise was when they dressed up as VIKINGS in the first movie. The fact that A. vikings haven't been around for about 1,000 years and B. they never were in Japan, barely crossed their minds ("I didn't know the Vikings were still around!" / "They mostly live in [[UsefulNotes/AmericanFootball Minnesota!]]")
** Played with in [=XY012=] -- in an attempt to trick a Vivillon seller to leading the kids and Officer Jenny to his hideout, three characters try on a Spewpa disguise for bait. Ash is this trope and admits he wouldn't fit in the cage anyway. Dedenne fares a bit better, but is more Scatterbug-sized than Spewpa. Chespin is the most accurate aside from the pupil eyeholes and saying its name.
** Played with to a bizarre degree in the penultimate episode of ''Best Wishes": While Jessie attacks, James disguises as a recurring character named Porter, in order to trick the twerps and take their Pokemon. His disguise is actually good. But in order to avoid suspicion in Jessie attacking them alone, she disguises the left half of her body as James. She'll turn her body one side to say her lines, hiding her James side from the twerps, and doing the reverse for James' lines. It's downright absurd.
** In one episode Serena disguises herself as Ash because a one shot character of the day is demanding a challenge when Ash is feverish and won't go away. The disguise consists entirely of wearing his clothes and attempting to hide Serena's hair under his hat (which works, but mostly because of her newer shorter hairstyle, the early season Serena could never have pulled this off). It still somehow fools the character of the day, even though he'd literally been talking to Serena a minute prior so he failed to recognize the same girl who left and came back a minute later in different clothing, and even Team Rocket is initially fooled, but they eventually figure it out. Clemont and Bonnie however, instantly can tell it's her, although she quickly gets them to keep up the ruse. To be fair though, a big part of the disguise is simply the demure Serena pulling off a pretty spot on impression of Ash's louder dynamic personality.

!!Other Examples



* ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'':
** This is one of the defining characteristics of [[TerribleTrio Team Rocket]]. The "twerps" don't know it's them until one of the trio starts the motto (or ''accidentally'' starts it upon hearing the motto's words out of context), even when it's painfully obvious to a casual observer who they are. To be fair, sometimes they really do put on some good disguises (including [[WholesomeCrossdresser of the other gender]]). However, more often they simply don't, and in any case they very rarely disguise their voices and distinctive hairstyles. Given that they show up OncePerEpisode, you'd think the heroes would be intimately familiar with them.
*** James' disguises are usually good, especially when he crossdresses. The problem with Jessie's is that she almost always keeps her long red hair. But Meowth is easily the greatest user of this trope, all he needs is a baseball cap, t-shirt and shorts and suddenly he is a human student. What about the feet? The whiskers? The paws? THE TAIL?! Ash must have some serious vision problems...[[http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/List_of_Team_Rocket%27s_disguises Here the list of all of them.]]
** Since Jessalina is Jessie (props for switching Contest disguises when they got to Sinnoh), ''she actually beat Dawn in a contest!''
*** Played with in an episode which has James dressing up in Jessie's contest disguise to take her place when she is sick. Everyone is still fooled. [[spoiler:He even wins!]]
** Subverted in "Holy Matrimony!", when Jessie and Meowth wear all black to become "invisible"; James' family pretends to be fooled by it.
*** Not so much pretending as following custom - the black outfits are based on the assistants in traditional Japanese theater, whom are considered to be "invisible" by the cultural rules of the theater. Of course, this is something a Japanese viewer would understand natively, but gets LostInTranslation when exported.
** Subverted in another episode where Team Rocket decides to ''help'' the protagonists. They don their usual style of disguise, help them and then go on their merry way believing they fooled them...then Misty says goodbye by shouting "Thanks, Team Rocket!" Ironically, [[EarlyInstallmentWeirdness that was their first attempt]]. Ironically they were disguised fairly well there.
*** It didn't help that they started their motto before [[DopeSlap Meowth whacked them.]]
** Subverted in the Johto episode "The Heartbreak of Brock"; Misty is immediately suspicious when she sees the disguised Team Rocket, even taking off Jessie's disguise glasses to prove her suspicions.
** Played with interestingly where Meowth dresses up as a Shiftry. While it initially works (despite the 3 foot difference between the two Pokémon species), having never seen one before, Dawn scans the "Shiftry" with her Pokédex which then proceeds to give her the entry for Meowth.
*** In a Hoenn episode, Meowth and Jessie attempt to disguise themselves as Kirlia and Gardevoir, respectively, in an attempt to grab a Ralts that Ash and friends were taking care of. Ash proves that the Pokédex is disguise-proof by scanning the "Kirlia" and getting the data for Meowth instead. So much for that disguise.
*** In several episodes Meowth disguises himself as a Sunflora by taping his eyes shut and holding cardboard leaves.
** The worst offender was an early ''Diamond and Pearl'' episode in which they pretended to be traveling salesmen...by putting on green jackets over their uniforms...and not even zipping them up! Ash and co. somehow fail to spot the enormous red "R"s on their chests, even though they couldn't be more obvious.
** An episode had Team Rocket dress Meowth up as a Croagunk in order to win a contest revolving around them. This is an ''entire town'', a freaking ''Gym Leader'' among them, all of which are obsessed with this particular Pokémon to an almost creepy level (and in the case of Brock, actually ''owns'' one), and they are not only fooled ''down to the last person'', '''''[[EpicFail they actually consider him the best looking one of the bunch]]'''''.
** Subverted in ''Fire and Ice'' by [[LovableSexManiac Brock]] when Jessie pretends to be Nurse Joy. "My beloved Nurse Joy's lips actually move when she talks!" Brock is known to have the unique ability to tell all of [[InexplicablyIdenticalIndividuals the apparently identical Nurse Joys]] apart at a single glance, which is probably why he wasn't fooled.
** Lampshaded at the beginning of "Pursuing a Lofty Goal", when James, in a suit and dark sunglasses, curls up in a ball when he first sees the twerps. When they ask if something's wrong, he remarks in an aside, "I forgot, the twerps wouldn't recognize me if I paid them!"
** In two Hoenn episodes, Team Rocket disguised themselves as May's family. In one episode, it was just James disguised as Norman, whereas in the other even WOBBUFFET played along. James was Norman in the second episode, while Jessie was Caroline, Meowth was May, and Wobbuffet was Max.
** Possible the most blatantly disguise was when they dressed up as VIKINGS in the first movie. The fact that A. vikings haven't been around for about 1,000 years and B. they never were in Japan, barely crossed their minds ("I didn't know the Vikings were still around!" / "They mostly live in [[UsefulNotes/AmericanFootball Minnesota!]]")
** Played with in [=XY012=] -- in an attempt to trick a Vivillon seller to leading the kids and Officer Jenny to his hideout, three characters try on a Spewpa disguise for bait. Ash is this trope and admits he wouldn't fit in the cage anyway. Dedenne fares a bit better, but is more Scatterbug-sized than Spewpa. Chespin is the most accurate aside from the pupil eyeholes and saying its name.
** Played with to a bizarre degree in the penultimate episode of ''Best Wishes": While Jessie attacks, James disguises as a recurring character named Porter, in order to trick the twerps and take their Pokemon. His disguise is actually good. But in order to avoid suspicion in Jessie attacking them alone, she disguises the left half of her body as James. She'll turn her body one side to say her lines, hiding her James side from the twerps, and doing the reverse for James' lines. It's downright absurd.
** In one episode Serena disguises herself as Ash because a one shot character of the day is demanding a challenge when Ash is feverish and won't go away. The disguise consists entirely of wearing his clothes and attempting to hide Serena's hair under his hat (which works, but mostly because of her newer shorter hairstyle, the early season Serena could never have pulled this off). It still somehow fools the character of the day, even though he'd literally been talking to Serena a minute prior so he failed to recognize the same girl who left and came back a minute later in different clothing, and even Team Rocket is initially fooled, but they eventually figure it out. Clemont and Bonnie however, instantly can tell it's her, although she quickly gets them to keep up the ruse. To be fair though, a big part of the disguise is simply the demure Serena pulling off a pretty spot on impression of Ash's louder dynamic personality.
18th Oct '17 11:30:24 AM Gamermaster
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** Subverted by Natsumi, who is able to tell her adoptive brother Kotaro right off the bat simply by his personality and hairstyle.

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** Subverted by Natsumi, who is able to tell her adoptive brother identify Kotaro right off the bat simply by his personality and hairstyle.
13th Oct '17 5:43:56 PM NegiSpongie
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** Although it's implied in one episode that their costumes have some sort of power that protects their secret identity since when the Professor was trying on Bubbles's outfit, his son, Ken, walks in on him and asks "Bubbles" if she's seen the Professor.

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** Although it's implied in one episode that their costumes have some sort of power that protects their secret identity keep people from recognizing them since when the Professor was trying on Bubbles's outfit, his son, Ken, walks in on him and asks "Bubbles" if she's seen the Professor.
12th Oct '17 9:51:53 PM NegiSpongie
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* ''Anime/DemashitaPowerpuffGirlsZ'':
** Similar to the Sailor Moon example below, nobody ever seems to figure out that the three middle school girls are actually the Powerpuff Girls, who unlike the [[Series/PowerpuffGirls original series]] actually have secret identities and change into [[MagicalGirl Magical Girls]] (made even more jarring in the dub since they even have the same names in their super hero and civilian form).
** Although it's implied in one episode that their costumes have some sort of power that protects their secret identity since when the Professor was trying on Bubbles's outfit, his son, Ken, walks in on him and asks "Bubbles" if she's seen the Professor.
23rd Aug '17 6:53:47 AM TokoWH
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*** The above post may be forgetting the episode in which Team Rocket dresses Meowth up as a Croagunk in order to win a contest revolving around them. This is an ''entire town'', a freaking ''Gym Leader'' among them, all of which are obsessed with this particular Pokémon to an almost creepy level (and in the case of Brock, actually ''owns'' one), and they are not only fooled ''down to the last person'', '''''[[EpicFail they actually consider him the best looking one of the bunch]]'''''.

to:

*** The above post may be forgetting the ** An episode in which had Team Rocket dresses dress Meowth up as a Croagunk in order to win a contest revolving around them. This is an ''entire town'', a freaking ''Gym Leader'' among them, all of which are obsessed with this particular Pokémon to an almost creepy level (and in the case of Brock, actually ''owns'' one), and they are not only fooled ''down to the last person'', '''''[[EpicFail they actually consider him the best looking one of the bunch]]'''''.
23rd Jun '17 2:02:42 PM Mullon
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** The AlternateContinuity manga ''Gundam: The Origin'' tries to explain how Casval rem Deikun could pass as Char Aznable without being identified as the son of a famous leader. To that end it introduces a ''real'' Char Aznable, who is [[IdenticalStranger identical to Casval in every way except eye color]]. When Casval learns that the Zabis are trying to kill him, he rather cold-bloodedly swaps places with Char, taking his identity and letting Char get killed in his place. He then invents a medical reason why he always had to wear tinted lenses in the form of glasses or his CoolMask to ensure that nobody ever sees his real eye color.

to:

** The AlternateContinuity manga ''Gundam: The Origin'' ''Manga/MobileSuitGundamTheOrigin'' tries to explain how Casval rem Deikun could pass as Char Aznable without being identified as the son of a famous leader. To that end it introduces a ''real'' Char Aznable, who is [[IdenticalStranger identical to Casval in every way except eye color]]. When Casval learns that the Zabis are trying to kill him, he rather cold-bloodedly swaps places with Char, taking his identity and letting Char get killed in his place. He then invents a medical reason why he always had to wear tinted lenses in the form of glasses or his CoolMask to ensure that nobody ever sees his real eye color.
9th Jun '17 11:19:54 AM TheTropper
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*** The same pirates all failed to recognize [[spoiler: the real Luffy]] when he shoed up right in front of them wearing a "disguise" that was nothing but an obviously fake moustache. The majority of his face however was covered by a hood, so it was somewhat [[JustifiedTrope Justified]].

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*** The same pirates all failed to recognize [[spoiler: the real Luffy]] when he shoed showed up right in front of them wearing a "disguise" that was nothing but an obviously fake moustache. The majority of his face however was covered by a hood, so it was somewhat [[JustifiedTrope Justified]].
4th May '17 7:48:19 PM ComicX6
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** On Whole Cake Island [[spoiler:Caesar Clown]] tries to pass himself off as "Gangster Gastino" of the Firetank Pirates. While he has a completely different outfit and hairstyle, absolutely no one, not even [[IdiotHero Luffy]] buys it. It's even lampshaded by his BossSubtitles!
** The Straw Hats' attempt to sneak into a Navy base during the anime-only Navy Supernova arc features a lot of this. Of the four infiltrators, Nami's the only one who wears a thorough disguise, and even that fails because she does nothing to hide her face. Chopper's disguise as a burly marine gunner would be convincing if it weren't for the fact that he's still clearly an animal person, Carrot doesn't do anything to hide her rabbit ears or tail, but Luffy's by far the worst of the bunch; he wears the Navy's CoatCape and that's it.
7th Mar '17 8:06:48 PM rjd1922
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* During the physical exam episode of ''Manga/OuranHighSchoolHostClub'', Tamaki disguises himself as Haruhi, so nobody finds out he's really a she. His disguise consists of...putting on a wig. Everyone see's through it immediately.

to:

* During the physical exam episode of ''Manga/OuranHighSchoolHostClub'', Tamaki disguises himself as Haruhi, so nobody finds out he's really a she. His disguise consists of...putting on a wig. Everyone see's sees through it immediately.
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