Works are often adapted from one medium to another. Books become movies, comic books or manga become cartoons or anime, films spawn NewMedia, and so on, in every possible permutation.

While such DerivativeWorks generally try to follow the original material with some degree of accuracy, sometimes an adaptation writer will [[DeathByAdaptation kill someone off]] for drama, or [[SparedByTheAdaptation keep them alive]] out of sympathy, or just give a clear "alive" or "dead" to somebody whose fate wasn't really specified in the original work.

Normally, this isn't a major issue. But sometimes, the original work is ongoing (or gets a sequel), and at the time, it looked like killing that character or letting them live wasn't a major change -- but now it turns out that the character's fate is an important part of the ongoing story. Or the details surrounding it, which the adaptation changed, are critical because there's a RetCon and the character turns out to have been OnlyMostlyDead, but the adaptation made that impossible.

When this sort of thing happens, the adaptation (or, rarely, the ''original work'') must either do some gymnastics to get things back into sync, ignore it and [[GeckoEnding create an entirely different story]], or just {{handwave}} the entire thing away.

Like UsefulNotes/SchrodingersCat, the famous thought experiment in which a cat in a box can be thought of as both alive and dead until the box is opened, the character's fate is put into an indeterminate state until the adaptation figures out what they're going to do about the situation.

Compare OvertookTheManga and PostscriptSeason.

When the original author intentionally leaves story elements indeterminate so he can figure out what he really wants to do with them at a later date, see SchrodingersGun.



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* Franchise/{{Nasuverse}} visual novels have this trope virtually built in when sequels come about, without even being adapted to another medium. Their visual novels can have as many as a dozen possible endings, with different endings having different characters live or die, so making a sequel gets very tricky. This is usually {{handwave|d}} with some mumbling about alternate universes. (There is no ending of ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'' where ''everyone'' lives, which could have acted as a canonical ending for sequels to build from -- but it's okay, it's a crazy-anything-can-happen singularity universe!)
* The ''VideoGame/GalaxyAngel'' gameverse killed off [[spoiler:Eonia]] at the end of the first game. However, the manga kept him around and eventually made him [[spoiler:the BigBad of the next arc]], possibly to [[GeckoEnding avoid dedicating any more plot space]] to the ever-expanding conspiracy that unfolded in the games.
* In ''The Day of Sigma'', the tie-in {{O|riginalVideoAnimation}}VA prequel to ''VideoGame/MegaManMaverickHunterX'' (the ''VideoGame/MegaManX1'' remake for the PSP), Dr. Cain is killed during an explosion. However, in the original SNES games, Dr. Cain was still alive as of ''VideoGame/MegaManX2''. Apparently there were plans to remake the whole SNES series on the PSP to conform with the new continuity, but the low sales of ''Maverick Hunter X'' prevented that from happening.
* ''[[VideoGame/{{Xenosaga}} Xenosaga: The Animation]]'' kept Lieutenant Virgil alive through most of the series, while he had died in the first segment of the game. Oddly, the manner of his death was unchanged, just the ''timing'' of it.
* ''Franchise/SailorMoon''
** The Death Busters group of villains from the third arc is quite different in the [[Anime/SailorMoon anime]] than they are in the [[Manga/SailorMoon manga]]. Especially Professor Tomoe, who was originally a straightforward MadScientist. In the television series, he [[AscendedExtra was filled out]] and became a quirky and nuanced looney with a sympathetic reason for his actions. However, the later arc of both versions requires Hotaru's presence with the Outers. Since he wasn't killed off as in the original version, Sailor Pluto simply "borrows" Hotaru from him in a flashback, and he [[ChuckCunninghamSyndrome disappears from the face of the Earth]].
** Sailor Pluto's own death occurs at a very different time in the two versions, partly because the plot arcs for Chibiusa were also modified. This was, for simplicity, [[CanonDiscontinuity outright ignored]] in TheMovie adapation.
** Queen Nehelenia is probably the biggest example, as her original manga incarnation was directly tied with Sailor Moon's origin, her mother, and the series' BiggerBad, whereas the anime version is a [[DemotedToExtra less important]] but more [[WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds human]] [[VainSorceress kind of evil.]]
* ''Manga/MagicKnightRayearth''
** The character of TheBlacksmith Presea was [[DeathByAdaptation killed off for drama]] in the first season of the anime, but wasn't in the manga. Unfortunately, she was a required participant in the second season. At first they tried to explain that she was resurrected, but this broke a [[AnAesop cardinal rule]] that Creator/{{CLAMP}} has for their worlds. So the person who the Magic Knights thought was Presea was ''really'' [[SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute her twin sister Sierra]], also TheBlacksmith (though her abilities were slightly different), who just happens to know everything that Presea did and can imitate her precisely, including her mannerisms, and everyone who knew went along with it so that the Magic Knights wouldn't feel bad.
** Inverted with [[AnIcePerson Ice Sorceress]] Alcyone, who is [[YouHaveFailedMe killed off]] by Zagato, after begging him for her life, [[PoseOfSupplication on her knees]], while also telling him how much she [[AnguishedDeclarationOfLove loved him]]; given what we learn of [[TheReveal his true intentions]], he pretty much wasted her for [[ForTheEvulz nothing]] . In the anime, she hangs around Emeraude's castle till the end of the first season, disappears mysteriously, and comes back as TheDragon for the BigBad Debonair (who ultimately does kill her).
* In the ''Manga/CardcaptorSakura'' anime, Mei Ling was an added character who followed Syaoran as his self-declared fiancée. Her major problem is, since Syaoran ends up with Sakura, their relationship is doomed and the plot can't accommodate her. She was PutOnABus, with the [[RetCon insinuation]] that their engagement wasn't entirely official, making fans wonder why a Muggle like her was allowed to follow him to another country in the first place.
* The last episode of the first season of ''Manga/TsubasaReservoirChronicle'' was a {{filler}} episode where Sakura made a wish from a god to bring a number of people BackFromTheDead. Unfortunately, this became a ''major'' conflict with the {{Aesop}} that Creator/{{CLAMP}} made in the part of the manga that would become the second season -- Gods and wishes ''cannot'' bring people BackFromTheDead as they were. Bee Train, the anime production company, had to make an AuthorsSavingThrow and had the characters return to the world where the events happened, to explain that the wish had resulted not in true resurrections, but in "physical ghosts" that would vanish after a month.
* The second season of ''Manga/RozenMaiden'' veers away from the manga quite a bit... however, near the end, numerous rapid-fire deaths and resurrections occur in order to synchronize with the end of the manga.
* ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf''
** Voodoo-obsessed Hikaru Gosunkugi from the manga was eliminated when the series was animated. However, several plots in the second season required someone to serve in the same role; thus Sasuke, the ninja houseservant to the Kuno clan, was introduced as a replacement. Eventually, Gosunkugi ''did'' appear in the anime, several seasons along, but as a somewhat more sympathetic character who even got his own brief romantic StoryArc -- with a ghost.
** A bizarre example that doesn't involve a character's life and death revolves around public knowledge of Ranma's curse. In the manga, the whole school found out relatively early on that Ranma can change into a girl. In the anime, however, his classmates never found out about it until near the end of the series, when Genma entered the scene out of nowhere and proceeded to pretty much spell it out to them ''for no apparent reason''.
* In the manga version of ''Manga/YuGiOh'', Bakura kills Pegasus in the process of stealing his Millennium Eye, while in the anime version Pegasus loses his eye but survives, and appears later as a secondary character in Filler arcs. This event seems to separate the anime and manga into separate continuities, as Pegasus appears in the anime version of ''Anime/YuGiOhGX'', but his death is an important part of the manga ''Manga/YuGiOhR''.
* The anime of ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' introduced the three Modsouls in its Bount {{filler}} arc. This led to a problem when they returned to the manga storyline, since those characters don't exist in that plot. The solution seems to be only including the Modsouls in scenes that contain Kon; as he's already a comic relief character with little impact on the plot, it doesn't really affect anything to make it an [[QuirkyMinibossSquad ensemble of comic relief characters]].
** The Modsouls show up in a larger role, including their formidable combat abilities, during the short segments of filler used to pad out actual arcs, such as during the begining of the Hueco Mundo arc.
** The Bount filler arc was based on manuscripts by the original author that he ultimately chose not to use in the manga continuity. However, the author borrowed some of the ideas from his unused (at the time) writing later in the manga. This resulted in some {{Narm}} when, in the anime, Ishida loses and recovers his Quincy powers ''for the second time.'' It's hard to take his angst seriously, especially since he was even more over-the-top with it the first time. This was {{lampshade|Hanging}}d with a WhatTheHellHero moment in the fillers.
* Similarly, the ''Anime/MaiOtomeZwei'' manga ignores the preceding ''Anime/MaiOtome'' manga, instead being a sequel to the anime. This is presumably because the ''Franchise/MaiHime'' franchise is one big example of AnimeFirst.
* In the [[Anime/FullmetalAlchemist 2003 anime adaptation]] of ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'', Shou Tucker and Tim Marcoh swapped roles, more or less. In the 2003 anime, Marcoh only has one major appearance before [[BusCrash being killed off screen]], but in the manga he survives and shows up later in the story as an important character. Conversely, in the manga, Shou Tucker is killed by Scar after one appearance, but in the anime he comes back later to more-or-less fill Marcoh's role, except where Marcoh's story is full of self-loathing {{Angst}} and [[TheAtoner atonement]], Tucker's is full of insanity, weirdness, and [[ItMakesSenseInContext an upside down head]]. By that time, though, the anime is deep in GeckoEnding territory and is paying no attention to the original manga.
* In the last episode of the first season of ''Manga/GunslingerGirl'', Angelica is implied to have died, which does not happen in the manga which the show is based on. Since the second season largely follows the manga, Angelica is up and about again, apparently indicating that she ''[[OnlyMostlyDead got better]]''.
* The first season of the ''Manga/DetectiveConan'' anime was so determined to remove [[TheSyndicate the Black Organization]] that a few gratuitous example happened when the anime was ''forced'' to line up with the manga.
** In episode 12, the animators changed the villains from TheSyndicate to some generically bad guys who, among other things, attempted to murder their employee, Akemi Miyano. However, later on, it turned out that Akemi's death at the hands of the Black Organization was an important motivation for another character. As a result, the anime wrote a filler episode that had her KilledOffForReal, this time by TheSyndicate. Ran hung a {{lampshade|Hanging}} on this by asking Conan, in a confused voice, if they'd seen the victim somewhere before.
** Episode 4 was meant to introduce ThoseTwoBadGuys, and in manga Conan overheard their name: Gin and Vodka. Again, in anime it was changed to some other BadassLongCoat, which makes it hard to have Conan know who those two are when they show up later. In the original anime, Conan [[AssPull just knows their names without any given explanation]] in episode 54. In the English dub they tried to fix it by having Heiji telling Shinichi, in episode 49, that while Baigar is bad, "Gin and Vodka are real killers."
* Buttatake Joe of ''Manga/SoulEater'' survives in the anime, but because [[spoiler: Justin Law]] was his murderer and they couldn't do TheReveal, the anime had to take another route. BJ's survival effectively marks the point where the anime diverges into a GeckoEnding. Sadly, BJ doesn't even get his dream girl back in the anime.
* [[WideEyedIdealist Abberline]] of ''Manga/BlackButler'' gives a tragic, Ciel-traumatizing HeroicSacrifice in the anime... only to drop in to say hello in the manga chapter that came out the month of his death. Oops. The anime fixed this by having his [[BackupTwin hereto unmentioned twin brother]] appear in season 2 and take his place. Also happens to Ciel himself. The first season of the anime ends with [[spoiler:Ciel being taken into the afterlife by Sebastian to have his soul harvested, with the final shot being Sebastian moving in to take it.]] Cue season 2 and he's a [[GirlInABox Boy In A Box]], and it's not until several episodes later that we find out exactly what happened to cause this.
* In the original ''Anime/CuteyHoney'' manga, during [[spoiler:[[DoomedHometown Panther Claw's attack on Honey's school]]]], Alphonne and Miharu are explicitly killed [[spoiler:along with most or perhaps all of the student body]] and their deaths are PlayedForLaughs. In the anime version, Alphonne and Miharu explicitly survive [[spoiler:along with most of the student body]]. This is probably a good thing, since the anime version filled them out more as comic relief characters and gave the audience time to develop affection for them, so killing them off so unceremoniously would have felt inappropriate. The anime deals with their presence by just making sure they don't really impact the plot. They can just lurk in the background.
* For ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}'' fans, there's been a debate that's raged since the late 80s: did [[spoiler:Amuro Ray and Char Aznable]] die in ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamCharsCounterattack Char's Counterattack]]''? YoshiyukiTomino's WordOfGod is that, in his mind, they are dead -- unless Creator/{{Sunrise}} puts them in a new story set post-''CCA''!
** This wound up happening and was answered somewhat in the ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamUnicorn'' OVA series, which seems to establish that at least [[spoiler:Amuro]] really did die, since he appears as a SpiritAdvisor to the main character. With [[spoiler:Char]] the jury's still out.
** ''Gundam'' has another rather famous example: In Tomino's novelization of the original series, Amuro gets killed during the final battle; rather than his trademark KillEmAll nature, Tomino has said he did it because he didn't think there would be any sequels and wouldn have had Amuro live if he'd known otherwise. When ''[[Anime/MobileSuitZetaGundam Zeta Gundam]]'' rolled around and Amuro has an important role, Tomino's novels simply reflected the anime continuity where he was still alive and well.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Comicbook/MsMarvel was ([[DeathIsCheap temporarily]]) killed in her own title when her [[SuperpowerMeltdown powers overloaded]]. Apparently there was some internal confusion on this point, however, because she continued to appear in the ''Comicbook/NewAvengers'' title ''as if nothing had happened!''
* In the ''Film/{{Transformers}}'' series, Ravage appears and dies in the second movie. However, the post-movie comics were already planned before that plot point was finalized. So ''yet again'', Ravage comes BackFromTheDead in the comic continuation of a screen story where he was intended to truly be dead. This is one cat who always lands on his feet! However, Soundwave can't sense him, and he can sense all the ''rest'' of his underlings, which suggests that Ravage CameBackWrong.
* The ''Franchise/{{Aliens}}'' comic series by Creator/DarkHorse originally started as a sequel to the events of the [[Film/{{Aliens}} second movie]]. Since Ripley couldn't be used due to stipulations from the movie executives, the writers decide to focus the comic around Hicks and Newt. When ''Film/{{Alien 3}}'' unceremoniously killed off Hicks and Newt (and ultimately Ripley herself), the comics were reprinted with the characters renamed.

* Ian Malcolm survived in ''Film/JurassicPark'', while in [[Literature/JurassicPark the book]] he died. Then as Michael Crichton was told to write a follow-up, ''Literature/TheLostWorld1995'' has Malcolm showing up alive, attributing his not-being-dead to several accounts of the events; evidently the first book was one of them, being either incomplete or inaccurate. Fortunately, it wasn't much of a retcon; his death in the book happened off-screen when he succumbed to his wounds at the very end. On a lesser note, John Hammond was still dead in the book, even if his SparedByTheAdaptation status led to an appearance in ''Film/TheLostWorldJurassicPark''.
* ''Film/WhoFramedRogerRabbit'' is very different from the book ''Literature/WhoCensoredRogerRabbit'', in which the titular character dies at the beginning and is represented for the remainder of the story by a "temporary stunt copy". The second Roger Rabbit book ignores the first book's events entirely, instead acting as a sequel to the movie. The first book is rather unfortunately {{handwave}}d as being Jessica Rabbit's [[AllJustADream dream]].
* Creator/RobertCrumb killed off his ''ComicBook/FritzTheCat'' character after he was disappointed with Creator/RalphBakshi's [[WesternAnimation/FritzTheCat movie version]]. Steve Krantz, the producer of the first film, made a sequel ''anyway'', without Bakshi, titling it ''WesternAnimation/TheNineLivesOfFritzTheCat''.
* In both the original novel and film of ''Film/LayerCake'', the protagonist gets shot at the end of the work. In the former, he survives. In the latter, he is ''implied'' to die, but it's deliberately ambiguous. If the novel's sequel is ever filmed, then he'll obviously be alive in both works -- but until then, the film version is left unclear.
* Christine's father Richard Bravo is alive and well in the play and movie of ''Literature/TheBadSeed'', but had died before Rhoda was born in the book.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''KnotsLanding'' was a spin-off of ''Series/{{Dallas}}''; the main character of the spinoff was Gary Ewing, the black sheep of the Ewing family. Gary fathered a pair of twins right as his brother Bobby died on the parent show, and so he named his son after his dead brother. A year later, Bobby was brought BackFromTheDead as the ''entire previous season'' was {{retcon}}ned away into [[AllJustADream a dream]]. On ''KnotsLanding'', Bobby Ewing ''stayed dead''. (Which, [[EpilepticTrees weirdly]], implies that the spinoff show takes place entirely in a [[ComicBook/TheSandman dream-world]]...)
* The ''Series/HouseOfCardsUK'' trilogy continually [[KarmaHoudini foiled]] novelist Michael Dobbs' attempts to give VillainProtagonist Francis Urquhart his comeuppance, notably at the end of the first series when, instead of plummeting to his death, he commits casual murder and evades justice. Dobbs went with the flow and each novel in the trilogy follows on from the TV adaptations rather than the other novels.
* ''LargoWinch'' was adapted from novels and comics to live-action, which led to a number of composite characters, canon foreigners, and so on. By necessity, the TV program is assumed to just be an unrelated alternate universe. It does get a little weird when a traitorous CorruptCorporateExecutive from the comics shows up as an [[JerkAss obnoxious]] but honest guy in the TV version.
* In the original ''Series/KamenRider'' TV series, Takeshi Hongo (the original Rider himself) was [[PutOnABus written off]] and replaced with Hayato Ichimonji (Kamen Rider No. 2) after Hongo's actor Creator/HiroshiFujioka broke his leg while performing a stunt. Since Fujioka's return to the TV series was uncertain at the time, his manga counterpart was killed off for dramatic purposes. When Fujioka returned to the show completely fine, Hongo returned to the manga as well by revealing that his brain was extracted from his corpse and implanted into a robot body.
* ''Series/TheWalkingDead'' follows the [[Comic/TheWalkingDead comic's]] storyline in BroadStrokes, but frequently switches around character deaths to preserve it's AnyoneCanDie status and maintain an element of surprise for comic readers. In later seasons the show's cast only vaguely resembles the comic's, as many important comic characters died early on while originally minor characters (and a few [[CanonForeigner Canon Foreigners]]) went on to become members of the core cast. While the show tries to include all of the character arcs from the comics, many of them are given to different characters and sometimes edited to account for new circumstances, or just to keep things fresh.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Geese Howard in ''VideoGame/FatalFury'' and ''VideoGame/TheKingOfFighters''. In ''Real Bout Fatal Fury'', Geese unquestionably dies in a fall from Geese Tower, setting up his son Rock's storyline in ''Mark of the Wolves''. In ''The King of Fighters'', Geese is alive and a playable character in a few titles. Then there's the ''Maximum Impact'' series, a third continuity that has Geese ''dead'' -- Billy Kane appears in the second game, and his storyline revolves around avenging Geese's death by defeating Terry Bogard. Geese is playable as well, but in his "Nightmare Geese" form, which only appears in games where he is canonically dead.
* Notably averted in ''VideoGame/TalesOfDestiny'', in the case of [[EnsembleDarkhorse fan-favorite]] Leon Magnus, who dies in ''every'' adaptation of the game, whether it's the Drama CD, the manga, [[VideoGame/NamcoXCapcom a part in a crossover game]], [[VideoGameRemake the remake]] or even the UpdatedRerelease of the remake that features [[AnotherSideAnotherStory his own story mode.]] He ends up dying without fail ''every single time'', though often under different circumstances. In ''Tales of Heroes: Twin Braves'', another crossover, Stahn's scenario ''also'' involve Leon dying in a HeroicSacrifice like in the remake. But [[spoiler:then it's suddenly revealed, in the very next scenario, that he avoided death thanks to [[VideoGame/TalesOfVesperia Yuri Lowell]] [[BigDamnHeroes saving him in the nick of time]]. He rejoins Stahn to finally get a [[SavedByTheFans happy end]], making it a long-desired aversion.]]
* The arcade version of ''VideoGame/DoubleDragonIITheRevenge'' revolves around the Lee brothers going off to avenge the death of Marian, who is gunned down by the Black Warriors in retaliation of their defeat in the original game. The plot is similar in the NES version, except the ending was changed so that the game ends with Marian being restored to life. When the third game was later released for the NES under the title of ''Double Dragon III: The Sacred Stones'', the English localizers took advantage of Marian's survival in the previous NES game and changed the identity of the final boss from a resurrected Cleopatra to a possessed Marian.
* In ''VideoGame/FireEmblemFates'', the survival of different characters affect certain aspects of the story, up to and including [[PermanentlyMissableContent the survival of certain recruitable units]]. Most character deaths are unavoidable on specific routes, but some can be prevented.