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Adaptational Modesty
Revealing outfits, nudity or sexually explicit scenes are censored or outright omitted in an adaptation.


(permanent link) added: 2013-02-23 12:30:28 sponsor: Uriel1988 (last reply: 2013-03-21 21:52:30)

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Crafting a quality adaptation can be a tricky process, one that often brings with it many things to consider. Between mediums, there are not only different techniques, but also different standards about what is acceptable for certain audiences, especially when it comes to nudity or otherwise sexual content.

This is where Adaptational Modesty comes into play. It can involve things like making the revealing outfits of the resident Ms. Fanservice slightly less revealing, or reducing what was a lenghty and detailed sex scene in the original work to a Sexy Discretion Shot. Other times, it can be something as simple as putting clothes on a character in scenes where the character was actually naked in the original material.

This Trope often comes into play with film or television adaptations of literature or comic books, since ideas about what is generally acceptable tends to differ between these mediums. This usually overlaps with Pragmatic Adaptation, seeing as the human body cannot usually replicate the impossibly perfect shapes of a drawing and physically wearing some outfits are either wildly impractical or would look silly if replicated exactly.

Also expect this Trope to be invoked when working with child actors, seeing as there are laws in place when working with minors and producers will want to take extra care to avoid landing in a sea of (legal) trouble.

Compare Bowdlerization, which is usually applied to the same product in a different market, and Bleached Underpants. Related to Lighter and Softer. Contrast Hotter and Sexier.

Anime & Manga
  • The sex scenes in the Visual Novel Fate/stay night were replaced with abstract animal scenes in both anime series and the Unlimited Blade Works movie.
  • The anime adaptation of Basilisk censors some of the scenes where the manga which it was based on featured bare breasts. The most prominent example being a scene in which female ninja Akeginu covers her breasts with a scarf whereas she was topless in the manga. Strangely, a later scene that featured one exposed breast was kept as it was in the anime adaptation.
  • The Soul Eater manga gives main character Maka Albarn many, many panty shots, all of which were removed for the anime.
  • The anime version of Bleach removed Harribel's Underboobs and made Nelliel's torn-up rags a little bit less torn up so that her breasts and undersides weren't as exposed as they are in the manga.
  • In Sgt Frog, the platoon invents a gun to zap Natsumi with that leads to her wearing a skimpy outfit (it was some kind of thunder goddess outfit). In the anime, the outfit is still skimpy but the underpants part of the outfit is changed to shorts.
    • An episode of the anime from season 1 shows Koyuki hanging upside-down, where the skirt part of her ninja uniform flips over and we see her wearing a black pair of shorts. Had this happened in the manga we would have had a view of her panties.
    • In the manga chapter where Keroro believes he is dying, Angol Mois transforms into a different, more revealing outfit in order to destroy the Earth. In the anime, she stays in her regular outfit.

Films - Live Action
  • Amongst the changes to the Gor series for the films, the Beautiful Slave Girls go from naked (or very revealing clothes) to wearing bikinis.
  • In the X Men films the main team wear black leather costumes that, while maybe tight, are generally covering the entire body. Other mutants tend to wear either casual street clothes or punk attire. This is all in comparison to the spandex, leotards and/or stripperiffic outfits that many characters use. The exception is Mystique, who is actually less modest as they made her technically nude (naughty bits covered by her mutation) under the concept that she couldn't shapeshift her clothes, while her comic/cartoon counterparts typically wear something skimpy.
  • In Sin City, exotic dancer Nancy Callahan does not dance topless as she does in the graphic novel.
  • In the John Carter of Mars novels, Mars has a nice climate and the inhabitants don't bother with clothes much; visual adaptations (including John Carter and The Asylum's Princess of Mars) always give them at least enough clothing to avoid trouble with the censors.
  • When the novel Lolita came out in 1955, a film adaptation of the book seemed impossible, considering that the book is about an adult man who has a paedophilic relationship with his stepdaughter. However, Stanley Kubrick managed to adapt the book to a movie, which came out in 1962. Due to MPAA's regulations of the time, many of the more explicit scenes in the novel were omitted from the movie, or left to the viewers' imagination, though the movie still makes it clear that Humbert Humbert, the protagonist, has an incestuous relationship with Lolita. One rather unfortunate result of the MPAA restrictions was that Kubrick had to get an actress who had already reached puberty to play Lolita. The movie Lolita is thus older than Lolita of the novel, where she is explicitly described as prepubescent, making the movie Humbert more of an ephebophile than a paedophile.
  • The cinema adaptation of Ian Fleming's James Bond story, Dr No, had this problem in filming the iconic scene where Honey Ryder comes up out of the sea and walks up the beach. As generations of short-changed Bond fans have pointed out, in the novel she is stark buff naked. In the film, Ursula Andress has to wear a bikini to meet the social conventions of early 1960's movies.
  • In 300 plenty of people found something to joke about with the Spartans wearing leather speedos, but that was a step up from the original graphic novel where often they were completely nude (reflecting Greek art in depicting warfare).

Live Action TV
  • Game of Thrones has instances of this trope. One of the most prominent examples being the scene in which Bran catches Jaime and Cersei while climbing. In the novel, he catches them in the middle of fornication, in the TV series he climbs in on them in the middle of a passionate kissing session, while both of them are nonetheless still wearing clothes.

Other
  • Zigzagged on the The Three Graces on how they were portrayed over time. For instance, they were initially nude during the Classical Era, then they were covered with sheets in The Middle Ages, then Botticelli's Primavera portayed them with transparent underwear, and finally nude again by the 17th century.
  • Poked at with the mock Saturday Morning Cartoon of Watchmen, where Dr. Manhattan (typically nude in the novel and movie) is given some briefs to wear. It's all part of the absurdity of trying to make a famously dark story Lighter and Softer.

Western Animation
  • Starfire's outfit in Teen Titans shows her midriff as well as some Zettai Ryouiki, which is fairly tame compared to the Stripperific outfits of her comic book counterpart.
  • Poison Ivy in the comics is entirely nude with leaves or other types of plants covering her private parts while any cartoon adaptation will usually have her wearing a one piece.
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