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.

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!!Examples:

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[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* {{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 HandWaved with some mumbling about alternate universes. (There is no ending of [[VisualNovel/FateStayNight Fate/Stay Night]] 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 {{OVA}} 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.
* The Death Busters group of villains from the third arc of ''Franchise/SailorMoon'' 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...just a VainSorceress.
* ''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 ''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 ''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.
* Voodoo-obsessed Hikaru Gosunkugi from the manga of ''[[RanmaOneHalf Ranma 1/2]]'' 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 [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] with a WhatTheHellHero moment in the fillers.
* Similarly, the ''Anime/{{Mai-Otome Zwei}}'' manga ignores the preceding ''Anime/{{Mai-Otome}}'' 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 ''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 ''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}} 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 ''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 ''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.
* In ''PokemonSpecial'', Pryce is forever lost in the time stream. Back then the mangaka couldn't have anticipated that there would eventually be remakes, so now in the HGSS arc (which is about five years later in-story), the fate of the Mahogany Gym is unknown even though the rest of the Johto Gym Leaders have appeared.
** The answer turned out to be simple: [[spoiler: Pryce is "forever lost" no longer.]]
** No death involved, but the Viridian Gym is in a similar limbo status in the anime, since the new gym leader in the games and ''Special'' is Green, yet his counterpart in the anime is a scientist.
* 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 {{Sunrise}} puts them in a new story set post-''CCA''!
** This wound up happening and was answered somewhat in the ''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.
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[[folder:Comic Books]]
* MsMarvel was ([[BackFromTheDead 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 New Avengers title ''as if nothing had happened!''
* In the TransformersFilmSeries, 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.
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[[folder:Film]]
* Ian Malcolm survived in the film version of ''JurassicPark'', while in the book he died. However, since the character would be returning to star in the sequel film, the second book has him unaccountably alive with no explanation ever given for this fact. Essentially, ''TheLostWorld1995'' is a book that is the sequel to the movie, and the original ''JurassicPark'' novel has no sequels.
** In the novelization of ''TheLostWorld1995'', he attributes his not-being-dead to several accounts of the events, evidently the first book was one of them, being either incomplete or inaccurate.
* ''Film/WhoFramedRogerRabbit'' is very different from the book ''Who Censored Roger Rabbit?'', 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 {{Handwaved}} as being Jessica Rabbit's [[AllJustADream dream]].
* 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''; fans of the feline choose to either [[FanonDiscontinuity ignore the sequel]]... or ignore [[HesJustHiding Crumb's own final story]].
* In both the original novel and film of ''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 ''TheBadSeed'', but had died before Rhoda was born in the book.
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[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''KnotsLanding'' was a spin-off of ''{{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}}ed 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 ''HouseOfCards'' 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 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.
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[[folder:Video Games]]
* Geese Howard in ''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.]]

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