Expy / Anime and Manga

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    Gundam 

  • Garrod Ran is something of an expy of Judau Ashita, since both were war orphans who couldn't help but get caught up in the events of the world around them and both grew into real badass (or in the case of Garrod Badass Normal) pilots, and even though they both had reason to neither one of them succumbed to their Heroic B.S.O.D. for very long. Both also specialize in stealing mobile suits at the start of their respective series.
  • Setsuna F. Seiei from Gundam 00 is pretty much a dead ringer for Sosuke. Pilot of a physics-defying Super Prototype Mecha? Check. Child Soldier in a wartorn Islamic country? Check. Ax-Crazy rivals with unhealthy obsessions? You got it. Need I go on? Makes you think their creators were trying to one-up each other.
  • It goes much further with Lockon Stratos and Kurz Weber who are both cool snipers who excel at in giant robot sniping, who can get almost any girl they want, though this might have a bit to do with their shared voice. They also both die in combat sniping. Lockon turns out to have a Backup Twin, while Kurz ends up having been Not Quite Dead.


Others
  • .hack: Justified example (as similar player-characters in actual games often have the same base model), but it doesn't stop the trope from being lampshaded and played with; for example, BlackRose and Mimiru actually argue over this in a SIGN omake episode, accusing the other of being a copycat; in the same episode, Bear is killed by Orca but everyone assumes one is the other. A similar incident occurs in Roots and the G.U. games, where Haseo finds himself being befriended by a character who's nearly identical to a close friend of his, who was PKed and put into a coma. Mistral and Mirelle are an interesting example as Mistral and Mirelle are the same The World character, but Mirelle is played by Mistral's player's four year-old daughter. (She changed the character's name to Mirelle at an event.)
  • Area 88: Kitori in the TV series is an expy of Sela Bernard from manga issues that did not make it stateside. Both have long black hair, perform the role of squadette, and serve as Kim's best friend.
  • The Big O's creators previously worked on Batman: The Animated Series, and many characters have clear counterparts in the Batman franchise, but most are changed enough by the change in setting to avoid being true expies. The exception is Norman, the main character's Deadpan Snarker Battle Butler sidekick, who basically is Alfred Pennyworth with the serial numbers filed off.
  • Bleach: Orihime Inoue resemblances Ushio and Tora's Mayuko in many ways. Shy and naive behavior? Check. Second female lead? Check. Amazing supernatural barrier-creating and healing powers? Check. They even share the same freaking surname.
  • Marika from Bokura no Hentai is a clear expy of Nitori from Wandering Son. They're both (for most of the story in the latters case) middle school aged transgender girls with bob haircuts who wear gakuran school uniforms, and are very sensitive and prone to Tender Tears. At one point Marika even cuts her hair similarly to Nitori's most common style, though she lets it grow out later. Marika is played far more darker than Nitori and she transitioned in middle school while Nitori waited until post-high school. Marika is also attracted to boys while Nitori only showed clear attraction to girls (Takatsuki aside).
  • Nobuhiro Watsuki freely admits in the chapter notes to Busou Renkin that the series protagonist, Kazuki Muto, is a gender-swapped expy of Misao Makimachi from Rurouni Kenshin. In addition, he notes (to his apparent surprise) that one of the minor villains is a thinly recast Enishi, and theorizes that he wanted to give Enishi a happier ending through his expy.
  • Captain Earth introduced a character named Eiji Arashi in episode 5, who seemed pretty familiar to Studio Bones regulars: With his purple hair and eyes, voiced by Akira Ishida and being one of the main characters' father, he's quite a dead ringer for Head, the Big Bad of Takuya Igarashi, Youji Enokido and Studio Bones's previous work, Star Driver. Heck, even his first name (Eiji) sounds similar to the penname Head has (Reiji) and his criminal record sounds much like what one could have put Head to court for (not that it actually happened...) after the end of Star Driver.
  • Sharnid Elipton from Chrome Shelled Regios is a pretty much a copy of Full Metal Panic!'s Kurz Weber: a sniper, whose skill is matched only by his laid-backness, with long blond hair and a propensity for womanizing.
  • Ryou and Kyou from CLANNAD are expies of Kagami and Tsukasa from Lucky Star. Both pairs are twins, both have purple hair, the elder twin is a tsundere, the younger twin is quiet and reserved, they sport Tsurime and Tareme respectively, both twins' hairstyles resemble their counterpart's... Seriously.
  • Continuing on from the Gundam listing above, Code Geass has plenty of its own.
    • Lelouch is a main character version of Char, what with both being exiled members of (more or less) royalty, suffering from having their beloved parent murdered, having a sister, planning for revenge, and not allowing that sister to be part of it, or even knowing about it. And when she does find out, they have a showdown, and she gets in his way, etc, etc. They also fight an internal battle between revenge, wanting to join with the "nice guys" and be a real hero, and mass genocide.
    • Suzaku does fairly regularly get compared to Kira Yamato (enough to get a Fan Nickname out of it, anyway). He's a brunet with a super mecha, opposed to violence, has a best friend for a Rival, a romance with a pink-haired pacifist princess...
  • According to Word of God, Hayashida from Cromartie High School is a teenage version of one of the characters from Kachou Baka Ichidachi, an earlier work by Eiji Nonaka.
  • Cross Ange's protagonist Ange is what happens when Kamille Bidan from Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam becomes a woman. Both of their parents are in government jobs, Vilkiss and Zeta Gundam having similar weapons like the Michael Mode Vilkiss to Biosensor Mode, Michael Mode's beam saber being as long as the Hyper Beam Saber, both have a Waverider Crash, both of them are always struck by their superiors for their behavior, and both are players which do help them in their piloting skills (Ange being an Iaria player while Kamille's a champion in Mobile Suits). Design-wise, Ange is based on Cagalli Yula Athha and Stella Loussier.
  • Max Taylor of the anime series Dinosaur King is very much an Expy of Ash Ketchum. The similarities include their weird hair, both being comical protagonists, yet serious about their fighting, having a pet with lighting attacks and both having the same (English) voice. The connection is helped in that Veronica Taylor uses the exact same voice she used for Ash.
  • Dragon Ball Z:
    • Future Trunks is the unborn future son of the female lead, and he travels back in time to stop a group of robots from taking over the world in the future. Sounds familiar...
    • Android 16 to Android 8 from earlier in the series. Both androids are fully mechanical creations that are incredibly strong but considered failures in spite of it due to their well-meaning, caring personalities. 16 is even a multiple of 8.
  • Fairy Tail:
    • Jellal. Not only does he look exactly like another mage, Sieg Hart from Mashima Hiro's previous manga Rave Master, he goes under the alias Siegrain for a long time and has some spells with the same name.
  • Future GPX Cyber Formula: Osamu Sugo/Knight Shoemach. Let's see, he has a Secret Identity, he's a really fast driver, he has a little sister who's in love with the main character, also being the long lost brother of said little sister, he's The Rival of the hero, he has a cool accessory covering his face (his sunglasses), he's really popular with the fans and he drives a white and red machine (in his case a race car)...does this remind you of somebody?
  • While being an In-Name-Only adaptation with little to tie it back to Science Ninja Team Gatchaman, Gatchaman Crowds has an androgynous villain named "Berg Katse" as the original series had. Both Katses are masters of disguise, although the original was a Gender Bender who otherwise wore elaborate disguises to mimic others, while the newer Katse shapeshifts into his targets by using bodily contact (mostly a kiss) to assume their form. The original Katse was also not an alien, although his newer counterpart is stated to be one (as well as a former Gatchaman gone bad).
    • The teams in both series have a "bad boy" type member named Joe. Joe Asakuranote  is a jaded and hot-blooded race car driver who wants revenge on Galactor for killing his parents (who were revealed to be members that wanted to defect), and that uses feather shuriken as his signature weapon. Crowds has Joe Hibiki, a jaded government employee who has a nihilistic view of the world, acts as a "bad boy" when night falls, and that uses feather darts in a similar manner to the original Joe. He also smokes, as the '90s OVA version of Joe Asakura had. Both Joes have a friend named Alan, and both wear racing gloves (even though the modern one isn't a racer). However, one notable difference is that the original Joe is Sicilian (and the only non-Asian member of the Science Ninja Team), while the one in Crowds is clearly Japanese.
  • Ghost Hunt - Naru's assistant, Lin Koujo has the same hairstyle and pretty much the same stoic mannerisms as Fruits Basket's Hatori Sohma.
  • GUN×SWORD: Michael Garrett looks a lot like Kira Yamato, they both dislike violence, and they both have sex with a love interest who is a part of an organization they joined in an unorthodox way. When the two meet in a Super Robot Wars game, this tends to be Lampshaded. "Stop Fighting!" "No, you stop fighting!"
  • Goldie from Gunsmith Cats is an Expy of Semmerling, one of the villains from the earlier Riding Bean OVA. Both women are Psycho Lesbians with unhealthy predilections for young girls, and even have similar designs.
  • Lost+Brain has Rei Hiyama, a top student, bored with the world who comes upon a power of some kind and uses it to control and kill people in order to create what he considers an Utopia, where his will is the law. Also ends up playing Xanatos Speed Chess against an opposing Chessmaster who is leading the effort to catch him. Very similar to Death Note's Light Yagami.
  • Ozma Lee in Macross Frontier is pretty clearly meant to be the Roy Fokker expy. Older ace pilot, leader of "Skull Squadron" and pilots a Valkyrie with a black and yellow color scheme? He even mentions pineapples before being injured, just as Roy did before he was killed (Though Ozma does not die) This even happens in episode 17 of the series, while Roy Fokker died in episode 18 of the original.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: Asuka is a Distaff Counterpart of Tetsuya Tsurugi from Great Mazinger, sharing a lot of his traits. Ace Pilot? Check. Hot-Blooded? Check. Arrogant? Check. Tsundere? Check. Conveniently an Orphan? Check. Huge abandonment and self-assuredness issues and a need to stand out due to this? Check. Huge amounts of Inferiority Superiority Complex? Check. Breakdown due to their psychological trauma and personality issues? Definitely check. Fight against nine Mass Produced models of their own Mecha? Check. Ironically this makes her an Expy of the character who codified -and deconstructed long ago- the trope that she tried to deconstruct.
  • In the first movie, Dr. Fuji lost his daughter when she was still a child. Devastated by this, he tried to bring her back to life via cloning, exactly like Dr. Tenma from Astro Boy. It's made even more obvious because of Fuji's resemblance to Tenma.
  • James' Victreebel was well-known for its painful shows of affection by biting down on his head. His Cacnea and later Carnivine continued the tradition of James having a Grass-type Pokémon who show affection in a painful manner (Cacnea always hugs James, and it's a cactus Pokémon, and Carnivine is even more of an expy as it is a carnivorous plant Pokémon who bites down on James' head).
  • Jessie's Seviper was an expy of her Arbok, being a Poison-type snake Pokémon and her main battler.
  • In Diamond and Pearl, Ash's Torterra, as a Turtwig, was an expy of his Bulbasaur. They had similar builds and were both introduced as somewhat gruff, but likeable, peacekeepers and protectors of a Pokémon community. Like Bulbasaur, Turtwig also agreed to join Ash if he battled it first.
  • Jessie's Dustox ended up being an expy of Ash's Butterfree, being released to breed with a different-colored member of its species after a tearful goodbye. Jesse's Dustox was female while Ash's Butterfree was male.
  • Dawn's Mamoswine ended up being an expy of Ash's Charizard with its character development. It started out as a happy, obedient Swinub, but once it evolved into Piloswine it suddenly stopped listening to Dawn. It evolved again into Mamoswine only a couple episodes after its first evolution, and continued to be disobedient until getting injured in a later episode where Dawn nursed it back to health and it regained its respect for her.
  • Bianca (in the anime) was easily a girl version of Barry from Diamond and Pearl'', in that they are both hyperactive, impatient blondes who serve as recurring rivals to Ash.
  • Trip was kind of a failed expy for Paul due to their similar appearances, obsessions with strength, and abrasive personalities. The difference is, Trip ultimately had about a fraction of Paul's skills and while he wasn't cruel to his Pokémon the way Paul was, the condescending, obnoxious part of his personality made him unlikeable as a character.
  • Iris was somewhat of an expy for Misty. She had a tendency to tease Ash, specialized in a certain Pokémon type, Dragon-types to Misty's Water-types, and was terrified of another type, Ice-types to Misty and Bug-types.
  • Ash's Pignite had a similar backstory to Ash's Charizard, being abandoned by a trainer that it initially thought still cared for it until finding out to its horror that said old trainer dumped it the first chance he got because he thought it was too weak. The old trainer then tried to take it back after seeing how strong it was with fake kindness, but got a Flamethrower to the face in response.
  • In XY, Clemont's Chespin is this of Ash's Oshawott. They are both gluttonous troublemakers who occasionally pop out of their PokéBalls on their own and sometimes get a little bit lecherous. They even have similar builds.
  • Despite the fact that they share little in appearance, Shampoo in Ranma ˝ was a deliberate attempt by Rumiko Takahashi to do a better job with the character of Lum from Urusei Yatsura.
    • Ranma himslef is this of Ryuunosuke, again from Urusei Yatsura. Both are strong teenager that often fight with their abusive father and have problem of sexual identity.
    • Akemi from Maison Ikkoku is suspiciously similar to Nabiki Tendo, in their eyes and their seductive, jovial natures. Also, she has minor traits of Ranma (face-making, selfish but nice, off-the hook). She could be practically be the offspring of Ranma and Nabiki... Except that Maison Ikkoku is considerably older than Ranma 1/2.
    • Shun Mitaka of Maison is suave, rich, and has a silly uncontrollable phobia. Just like Shutaro Mendou of Urusei Yatsura (they even have the same voice actor).
    • Kuno Tatewaki is also comparable to Shutaro Mendou. Both are absurdly rich (although Mendou shows it a lot more,) both always carry a sword, which Ranma/Ataru catches, they also want to kill/defeat the main character, for "stealing' their love.
  • Suigintou from Rozen Maiden has a couple now:
    • Kyouran Kazoku Nikki gives us Himemiya Senka who when first introduced shared Suigintou's white hair (intended to resemble silver), unnatural eye color, and creases under the eyes showing her disturbed mentality, and even remarkably reminiscent dress as well as obsessive jealousy and hatred towards a main character. She's even referred to as a "Solitary Doll," though in this case it refers to her replacement role as her family's shared abuse victim. Like Gin, though, you eventually learn to empathize with her a bit once you know her background.
    • The Daughter of Twenty Faces gives us a character known only as "the white-haired demon" so far. She shares Suigintou's long white hair, purple eyes, and psychotic creases under the eyes as well as a jealous, obsessive cruelty towards the main character. While she looks human most of the time, her body is actually some kind of animated marionette, complete with Rozen Maiden-like doll joints.
  • All over the place in Rurouni Kenshin:
    • The Shinsengumi: (Watsuki is a huge Shinsengumi fan) get them in Aoshi (Hijikata Toshizou), Sanosuke (Harada Sanosuke), Soujirou (Okita Souji), Kanryuu (Kanryuusai Takeda), and to some extent Shishio (Serizawa Kamo). Saito Hajime is just right out there.
    • Tomoe and Kamatari are based on Rei Ayanami and Yui Ikari from Neon Genesis Evangelion.
    • Watsuki is a huge fan of Stan Lee, so there are several Expies of Marvel Comics characters: Jin-E and Shinomori Aoshi are both based on Gambit, Kujiranami Hyōgo on Apocalypse, Yatsume Mumyōi on Venom, Arundo Akamatsu on Omega Red and Sadojima Hōji on Forge.
    • Tsubame Sanjō is based on Hotaru Tomoe/Sailor Saturn from Sailor Moon.
    • Misao is a partial Expy of Kaoru, as Watsuki felt he needed a Genki Girl to lighten the Darker and Edgier Kyoto Arc.
    • In the past before he got burned, Shishio was an Expy of Genjuro Kibagami from Samurai Shodown. You could tell was quite handsome and even had a dressing style similar to him.
    • Watsuki is a big Samurai Shodown fan, frequently writing about it in his manga notes. Kenshin himself even resembles Shizumaru from the same series as well.
  • Sailor Moon's Usagi Tsukino is an odd example of an Expy appearing with the original character. Usagi is actually an Expy of her own teammate Minako Aino, since the manga Codename: Sailor V, in which Minako first appears, predates the series. This results in strange similarities with hair color, both having a magical talking cat, and both having a Magitek disguise device. They also have identical-looking parents (both based on the author's), although this was never alluded to in the later series. Oddly enough, Takeuchi stated, that she originally wanted to give Usagi SILVER hair, to make her less of an Expy. Her publisher, however, told her not to, since a mysterious, calm colour like that would have interfered with her being a Loser Protagonist.
  • Sally the Witch: Sally is a mix of Samantha from Bewitched and Sabrina from Sabrina the Teenage Witch. She has a hairstyle similar to Sabrina's and is a quirky young Cute Witch interested in humans. She gets into trouble like Samantha (and somewhat like Sabrina) and does magic when she blinks her eye (Samantha twitches her nose).
  • Mutsumi Saburo/Mutsumi Hojo from Sgt. Frog is kind of a sendup to Kaworu Nagisa from Neon Genesis Evangelion, to the point of having (decorative) wings on his back for his first appearance in the manga, and his "introduction" scene in the anime mirroring Kaworu's reveal as an angel, complete with Beethoven's Ninth Symphony playing in the background.
  • Utau Hoshina from Shugo Chara! and Fate Testarossa from the Lyrical Nanoha series share many traits. They are both Dark Magic Girls who aren't actually evil and are doing it for the sake of someone (Precia and Ikuto), both of them have long blonde pigtails, they refuse any peaceful or friendly attempt from the main character and both of them receive a Heel–Face Turn undergoing Defeat Means Friendship. A rather long list of shared traits right? They are also voice by the same voice actress!.
  • Sonic X: Dr. Eggman's robotic henchman, Decoe and Bocoe, are almost identical to Epsilon and Omega—the lackeys of Dr. Bug from the obscure 1991 series Kinkyu Hasshin Saver Kids. Both shows were animated by Tokyo Movie Shinsha, and Decoe is even voiced by the same voice actor (Ken Yamaguchi) as Epsilon, so this is almost certainly intentional.note 
  • The unnamed husband and his wife in Spotted Flower were created as alternate universe versions of Harunobu Madarame and Saki Kasukabe from Genshiken. Besides having similar appearances, the wife has an ex-boyfriend who is a friend of her husband's, just like Kousaka from Genshiken. The husband also mentions throwing away some S&M DVDs because he could not get into them, which Madarame also does. Since the setting is also similar, fans speculate that they are the same characters at different times.
  • Masataka Takayanagi from Tenjho Tenge and Kazu from Air Gear. Both are Oh! Great creations, and both are shy and reserved with untapped potential. Also, they both play second fiddle to hot headed leads Soichiro Nagi and Ikki, respectively.
  • To Love-Ru:
    • Kentaro Yabuki reused both the appearance and the powers of both Kyoko and Eve from Black Cat when designing Magical Flame Kyoko and Golden Darkness.
    • Train Heartnet, the Black Cat, also gets an Expy in the form of a gun wielding killer called Black. He even has a gun that looks very much like Train's gun, Hades. he also seems to be based on Eraser!Train rather than Sweeper!Train. Heck, there is even black cat wandering around in that arc (and it's implied that it actually is Black the assassin)...you know, in case you missed the reference
    • Lala is inspired from Lum of Urusei Yatsura. Both are beautiful alien princesses in love with a human boy. Both have all sorts of inventions that hardly work right or do not work at all. And they both love to cook food that is way too spicy or inedible for humans to eat.
  • Berkastel from Umineko: When They Cry is an expy of Rika Furude of sister-series Higurashi: When They Cry. It's hinted and later confirmed by Word of God that they're essentially the same people, but Bernkastel is the totality of all of Rika's past lives that never made it past June of 1983.
  • A teenage boy who attract ghost like bees to honey, who mades a magic contract with a mysterious person to get rip of the ghosts but instead he turns into that person's assistant. Are we talking about Hayato from Undertaker Riddle or Watanuki of Xxx HO Li C?
  • UQ Holder!:
    • Chapter 3 introduces a shy girl with short hair named Shinobu, an obvious expy of the character with the same name of Love Hina.
    • And then there is Mahou Sensei Negima!'s Setsuna Sakurazaki expy, Kuroumaru, an easily flustered but overly serious shinmeiryuu master who is ashamed to be less than human and hunts his own kind, has been cast off from his family, and has an androgynous build with a black side ponytail. He even has Ship Tease with a cheerful, careless Konoe, for god's sake!
  • L-Elf from Valvrave the Liberator is like Lelouch from Code Geass. Both are once part of The Empire which they are cast off, joined a rebellion group to take down that group, great strategists, and having a love life who dies from The Empire's plans.
  • Zero from Vampire Knight is like Dante from Devil May Cry. Hunts down other species because of his hatred on them for the loss of his relatives? Check. White-haired? Check. Betrayed by the female lead? Check. Kills the mastermind behind the killing of his relatives? Check. Reconciles with the female lead? Check.
  • Nitori from Wandering Son looks near identical to the protagonist of the mangaka's earlier manga, Inhabitants of the Threshold. You probably won't notice at first due to the very different art styles, but she lampshaded it when she drew them in the first omake of Wandering Son. The difference ends there, as their personalities are polar opposites.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX:
  • Fujiwara Yuusuke is very much akin to Bakura Ryou, having lost his family (impiled in both cases to be by an accident, possibly a car crash), and having a definite affinity for the supernatural, along with making some level of a bargain with the final Big Bad.
  • Michiru Kita from Zombie Loan is very similar to Lettuce Midorikawa from Tokyo Mew Mew. Both have glasses and shy personalities, and in the beginning of Zombie Loan, Michiru even has Lettuce's twin braids. Until she chops them off, of course.
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