* The title character of ''LyricalNanoha''. She was originally conceived as the TokenMiniMoe of ''TriangleHeart3SweetSongsForever'' whose only role was to be the cute and innocent little sister of main protagonist Kyouya. Even in the mini-scenario where she became a MagicalGirl, she was more adorable than threatening with her heart-shaped wand with little wings. Then when TheAnimeOfTheGame came, Nanoha's wand was replaced with a SwissArmyWeapon WaveMotionGun as she was re-imagined into a LittleMissBadass savior of TheMultiverse who have been called a "(White) Devil" by foes and fans alike due to her ferocity and destructive powers which she does not hesitate to use on even her friends. [[DefeatMeansFriendship Befriending]], you know?
** ''VideoGame/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaAsPortable'' also does this. SquishyWizard Hayate, only capable of long-charging bombardment spells in the series proper, is an able close quarters combatant, while StoneWall BarrierWarrior Yuuno holds his own or closely loses to several opponents who by all rights should have him beat.
* ''Anime/MazingerZ'': Boss was the ButtMonkey and PluckyComicRelief character in the original manga and anime series. In the ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars'' games he slowly got upgraded from JokeCharacter to midly useful to pretty good character.
* In the ''Manga/YuGiOhGX'' manga, Manjoume - the ButtMonkey and heavily subjected to TheWorfEffect - becomes a certified [[TheStoic Stoic]] {{Badass}}, beating InvincibleHero ''Judai'' in a tournament. Sure, he gets curbstomped by [[{{Badass}} Kaiser]] [[AlwaysSomeoneBetter Ryo]] in his next duel, but he certainly gets ''much'' more respect than his anime counterpart.
* In the Anime/YuGiOh anime, Kisara fights Akunadin with the Blue Eyes White Dragon and [[spoiler: dies protecting Seto. In the manga, she just gets attacked and dies.]]
* ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'':
** In most of the video games, a Mewtwo is vastly superior to a Mew of the same Level in practically all areas; however, in ''Anime/PokemonTheFirstMovie'', Mew was powerful enough to fight Mewtwo to a standstill. (This was also the case with Mons like Celebi and Jirachi in their anime appearances, much tougher than they were in the games.)
** Most of the Gym Leaders in ''Manga/PokemonSpecial''. They're so strong that it's generally accepted that only an extreme BadAss can beat them all[[note]] In this 'verse, you don't need any badges to actually compete in the League, but having all 8 badges mean you can skip the preliminaries. This incentive guarantees plenty of challengers[[/note]]. Furthermore, being a Gym Leader also means that your side job is to protect your region from things such as, you know, various terrorist groups. So yeah, expect to see a lot more ass-whooping coming from these guys.
** Delibird is one of the weakest Pokémon stat-wise, and is considered a joke to be used in competitive battle. The BigBad of the Gold, Silver, and Crystal arc uses it as his main Pokémon, being so well trained it can hold it's own against '''Ho-Oh'''.
** [[PoisonousPerson Roxie]] in ''VideoGame/PokemonBlack2AndWhite2'': The second gym leader who isn't too hard to beat if you plan ahead. Roxie in the anime: The last Unova gym leader (well for Ash) who has Pokemon that are so strong, Ash has to use 6 Pokemon to defeat only 3 Pokemon.
** In ''VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite'', N, while still wanting to free Pokémon from their trainers, is a relatively tame person that releases the Pokémon he uses between battles with the player character. In ''Pokémon Best Wishes 2 Episode N'', N is a much more active character that manages to fight off Team Rocket without using any Pokémon, only summoning some to heal Ash's Pikachu after the ordeal in his introductory episode.
* In the Mitsuki Oosawa manga adaptation of ''[[FireEmblemJugdral Fire Emblem Seisen no Keifu]]'', WhiteMagicianGirl Diadora moves closer to the Competence Zone. Especially when she [[spoiler: takes King Clement's castle with only back up from Lachesis and Aira, ''without killing anyone'' and relaying in trickery and magic than brute force]], and the expanded version of her confrontation with [[spoiler: Manfroy, in which she ''does'' get kidnapped to follow the melodramatic DownerEnding of the first generation but still attempts to fight him in self-defense and to protect little Shanan.]]
* Several characters who suffer from a bad case of WhatMeasureIsANonBadass in the ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' manga finally get to catch a break in the anime. By far the most glaring example is Hinata, who got to learn a powerful technique the anime team just made up for her, defeat menacing {{Filler Villain}}s on her own and actually land a hit during what was in the manga a CurbStompBattle.
* Analyser from ''UchuuSenkanYamato''. 3-foot-tall LoveableSexManiac in the anime, ''over 20-foot-tall HumongousMecha'' in the 2010 movie.
* Syaoran Li to an extent in the ''Manga/CardcaptorSakura'' anime. While still under the same inability to catch cards himself, stipulations allow him to earn several cards of his own, most of which he is rather apt with. This allows him to act as a far more effective rival for Sakura, even earning his own trial in the Final Judgement. Even after losing all his cards to Sakura his acts in assisting and protecting her often prove astonishing, with him suggested to still be at a similar or higher level of magical power than her by the closing movie (albeit partly due to lacking a plot point of the manga that rendered Sakura unmatchable in power).
* Envy from ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist''. In the manga and ''Brotherhood'', Envy is TheBrute and UnskilledButStrong, relying on either its shapeshifting to trick an enemy into submission, or if it must fight, the raw power it can put behind each blow. This usually results in Envy going ClippedWingAngel and getting its ass handed to it. The Envy in the [[Anime/FullmetalAlchemist first anime adaptation]] (which went off in a very different direction after it OvertookTheManga) is a DanceBattler and HeroKiller who serves as TheDragon and manages to [[spoiler:kill Ed during their final confrontation]].
* In Anime/{{Mai-Hime}} and Anime/{{Mai-Otome}} a few characters' power levels vary based on which series and media they appear in.
** Shizuru typically has the superpowers associated with the series in all versions except the Mai-Hime manga.
** Haruka is a BadassNormal in the Mai-Hime anime who can't win any fights but [[spoiler:lives long enough after Yukino's child is killed to headbutt Shizuru and toss Yukino her armband]], but is a Hime in the manga. The opposite is true in Mai-Otome; she is a powerful Otome in the anime, endowed with SuperStrength and second in her class after Shizuru, but an ordinary police officer in the manga.
** Both of Yukino's Mai-Hime incarnations are Himes, but play supporting roles (in the anime, she primarily uses her powers for surveillance, while in the manga, she uses hers to support Haruka). In Mai-Otome, she has no powers, and is the president of Airies in the anime and a Windbloom police officer in the manga (albeit skilled enough with a sniper rifle to arguably be more effective in battle than her Hime incarnations)
* ''Anime/Persona4TheAnimation'' gives us Izanagi. In [[VideoGame/{{Persona 4}} the game]], Izanagi's just a cool-looking Persona with low-tier stat growth/elemental affinities/skills that most players will have gotten rid of by the second dungeon; but in the anime he comes off as the biggest badass of the entire bunch, regularly being the go to Persona when Yu needs to wipe out a particularly dangerous Shadow. Then again, it is possible to fuse a really badass Izanagi with skills like Primal Force, Angelic Grace, and Power Charge. ''Much'' later in the game, that is.
** Similarly, Beelzebub is a good, late-game Persona, but far from the best. In the anime, [[spoiler: Yu fuses him during the battle with Shadow Naoto, uses Megidolaon, and ''turns the entire dungeon into a smoking crater.'']]
** Adachi. In the game he was kind of a pushover, however in the anime he manages to thrash Yu quite a bit, and is in control of ''three'' Reapers to kick the crap out of the rest of the protagonists (The Reaper being a fairly powerful optional Boss in the game).
* The ''Franchise/{{Digimon}}'' franchise has Gotsumon. Several series, which are AU to each other, have the little guy as a {{Recurrer}} with the same or similar personality and voice portrayal. Each version tends to be badder than the last. ''Anime/DigimonAdventure''? A cute little guy who'd rather party than fight, his death (along with that of his partner, Pumpkinmon) was used to show how much of a BadBoss the arc's villain was. ''Anime/DigimonFrontier''? His tiny little pebble attack has grown into the ability to create ''giant boulders'' and he is able to hold off enemy enforcers who, according to their stats (type, level, element, etc.), should stomp him like a bug without even knowing they'd done so. He can now become Meteormon, a PaletteSwap who surprises everyone by being ultra-powerful. ''Anime/DigimonSavers''[=/=]''[[Anime/DigimonSavers Digimon Data Squad]]''? let's make him bad again, but ''good'' at it! He bedevils the team for the entirety of their first extended stay in the digital world, then becomes Meteormon. They laugh at his dramatic, LargeHam-moment-prefaced transformation into ''himself, but with lighter coloring'' for all of two seconds before he starts wiping the floor with them.
** Wargreymon began its life as a PowerupLetdown for Metalgreymon, and was widely reviled for being relatively weak for it's level, having the lowest possible lifespan and even having an abnormally high after battle injury rate. Overtime, as a result of animated adaptations, his flaws tend to be glossed over, lending him a needed air of competence.
* ''Anime/RuneSoldierLouie'': [[AmazonianBeauty Jeanie's]] fighting ability changes drastically between whether you're reading the manga, or watching the anime. In the manga version, Louie [[OneHitKO lays her out]] [[http://www.kivmanga.com/Rune_Soldier_Louie_-_Req_by_Valdimir/001.005/11/ with one punch]], when they first meet in chapter 1. Whereas in the anime, she's a much better fighter. When she and Louie fight in episode 12, not only does she outlast him, ''she'' knocks ''him'' out (seen [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eh5Ex0SOf0E from 13:23-16:57).]]
* In the [[Anime/TheSnowQueen animated]] version of ''Literature/TheSnowQueen'', the titular character is a full LadyOfWar and she fights the Devil and prevails over him many times.
* While [[ShowyInvincibleHero Vegito]] was already a StoryBreakerPower in the ''DragonBall'' manga, the ''DragonBallZ'' anime [[UpToEleven made him even more so.]] In the manga, he immediately turn [[SuperMode Super Saiyan]] when fighting [[BigBad Majin Buu]], and flattens him. In the anime, he spends an episode fighting Buu without turning Super Saiyan, which as onesided as the fight after he transforms, he still dominates the fight to the point it's clear he didn't actually NEED to transform to overpower Buu, he just did to humiliate him.
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