Kurz: What's up with her hair color? Kalinin: Since when is black hair out of the ordinary? Especially for Japanese people? Kurz: Uh, you mean blue hair? Kalinin: No, I mean black hair! See? It says here right in the book!
So you've just watched The Movie of your favorite series. And it was good. There was one detail, however, that they missed. The main character's hair, blond in the original, was brown, and the wacky sidekick's hair was a darker shade of yellow than usual. And why was the villain's jacket orange?
At least that's the most common version of this trope. For some reason as a work moves from one medium to another characters' hair colors will be changed, costumes will be toned down, color schemes will be swapped about or adjusted. While occasionally there may be a justification for this (as may be the case for works which were originally in Black and White or monochromatic), more often than not it is just a random change made as a work is adapted.
One particularly common adaptation dye job for costumes is that more often than not, in a movie adaptation, everyone now wears black. (This is mainly due to Rule of Cool and the actors wanting to look slimmer.) Conversely, in animated adaptations, colors are often brightened, diversified, or flattened, to make things easier on the character artists and for maximum visual clarity on a small screen.
It is unclear why matters of color are one of the things executives target first, but it can cause problems down the line if any of the original color choices had symbolic meaning.
This is usually excused in the case of Legacy Characters. Usually. It's also generally justified when casting for a live-action version of a work, as most casting directors favor, you know... acting ability over resemblance to the original character. And as shown in the examples, live-action also has different aesthetic considerations to animation, meaning different choices must be made for things to look good. But some fans bring it up regardless.
Related to Spell My Name with an "S". Can be related to Race Lift, if the skin color changed with the hair. Though the visual effect can be similar, this is not related to Palette Swap. For when the character is changed so much as to be an entirely different character, that's In Name Only, and this can end up as a Sub-Trope.
Dyeing for Your Art can Avert this, though it won't always. See also Hair Color Dissonance, Suddenly Blonde.
Tesshin aka Chibi was different shades of brown in the aforementioned anime, but colored images from the manga as well as the anime of the sequel revealed him to be gray and white in color.
Riki was red and white in the manga, but was colored brown and tan in the anime.
Retsuga was originally colored brown and white. Years later, another colored image of him was made, and this time he was blue and white.
Seras Victoria from Hellsing received this treatment for the TV series. On the cover of volume two of the manga, she is shown with blonde hair, a yellow-ish uniform, and blue eyes. In the anime, she has strawberry-blonde hair, a blue uniform, and red eyes after she was turned. However, the Ultimate OVA series uses the manga coloration, save for the uniform being a darker yellow-brown shade. Made even more confusing in that the original serialized covers couldn't decide on her coloring at all, and would alternate randomly.
Maxwell and Pip have blond hair in the manga, but it was changed to silver and brown respectively in the anime.
Doc and Major have metallic silver hair and clothing in the manga, but have white outfits and blonde hair in Ultimate.
Rip Van's eye color went from red to piercing blue.
Integra's hair is closer to being white-blonde in the TV series.
Anderson's hair is silver in the manga, but blond in the anime and OVA.
In the Super Robot Wars Original Generation anime, several characters (Bian Zoldark especially) got more realistic hair colors (black instead of blue in his case), and Tenzan Nakajima's hair was muted from bright green to a neutral brown. In the OVA, the colors went back to normal, even Bian's is blue in a flashback.
Bian is an odd case anyway, as even the games can't agree on what his hair colour is. The NES Super Robot Wars 2 had him as a redhead, changed to black in Complete Box (a PSX remake of SRW 2, 3, and EX), then to blue in the GBA Original Generation games and Alpha 3. Then they changed it back to black for Divine Wars and the PS2 remake Original Generations.
Another one from The Inspectors: Ratsel's shades were hexagonal in the anime compared to the oblong ones in the games.
Utena started in the manga as a blonde, but was given pink hair in the anime and later manga volume covers and illustrations. Utena's eyes also vary between being brown or blue in the illustrations of her as a blonde, while the anime and later illustrations settle on blue eyes to go with her pink hair.
A few other characters had some different colors as well, albeit not as extreme. Touga's hair was black (aside from his front locks, which were colored red), as well as Anthy and Akio's (though Anthy sometimes seemed to have brown hair). Juri also appeared as a blonde, and the blue-haired Miki began as a brunet before Chiho Saito promptly tweaked his colors to match the anime. Meanwhile, in the movie adaptation, Miki's sister Kozue's hair becomes a light teal, whereas in the anime, it was indigo. Finally Kanae's hair in concept art is a dinghy yellow-green color, while in the anime itself, it often is rendered as a very light blonde.
Anthy also originally had brown eyes in the manga, but they became green in the anime. Miki and Juri had brown eyes in Saito's early color illustrations, while both have blue eyes in the anime and later illustrations.
The manga makes it a point to state that Utena's school uniform is pink (though she insists it's "rose"), which it does appear as in early color illustrations. She later receives a black uniform, after the original is damaged in battle. In the anime, her uniform is always a black/navy color.
Anthy's Rose Bride dress was white in the original manga color illustrations, but Saito would also later change it (to red) to match with the anime color choices.
There was even an Omake that Saito made in the manga where she's afraid when Ikuhara approached her seriously. She thought that he was going to say the anime wasn't going to be made after all, but he was just asking her about colors (He picked the color she didn't choose anyway.).
Almost no one has just one hair color in the manga and accompanying artbooks, merely a most frequently depicted hue. Usagi has blonde, silver-white and occasionally even pink hair. Chibiusa is most often pink, but rarely silver-white. Rei switches from purple to black to the occasional red. Ami is always blue, but it differs in shades (and is heavily implied to be a stylized black). Makoto switches from pink/strawberry red to brown and the occasional green (and in one piece where each girl has brown or blonde hair, blonde). Haruka switches from white to dirty blonde. Michiru is usually green or blue or something in between. Luna is either black, blue, or purple (likewise, Diana switches from light purple to gray). Mamoru goes from dark green to dark blue to dark purple to black, and rarely lavender. Ikuko goes from pink to light brown (in color illustrations for the first chapter) to purple and blue. Hotaru is black or purple ranging from a medium shade to almost black, and rarely brown.
In the manga, Usagi/Sailor Moon's hair is most often pale blonde and changes to silver-white as her past incarnation Princess Serenity and future self Neo-Queen Serenity. (Naoko Takeuchi had wanted Moon silver-haired in all forms, to be distinct from blonde Sailor Venus, but after her editor nixed the idea, Takeuchi used the silver/white for Moon's Serenity forms) In The Ninetiesanime, it's always golden blonde.
Haruka/Sailor Uranus' hair in the manga is most often white-blonde, but dark, sandy blonde in the nineties anime.
Makoto/Sailor Jupiter had pink/strawberry red hair in early manga art, but in both the nineties anime, (and, recursively, latter manga art) it's brown.
Usagi's brother Shingo and the school nerd Umino are either blond or brown-haired in Takeuchi's art, with the nineties anime settling on the latter hair color for both. Motoki's girlfriend Reika is either blonde or pink/strawberry red-haired in the manga, but has dark auburn hair in the nineties anime.
Chibiusa's school friend Momoko is an intercontinuity example. Manga illustrations show her with pinkish or purple hair. In early 90's anime appearances, her hair was brown, but in the fourth season it became purple with no explanation, yet didn't match the manga. Her eyes also changed from a light blue to bright purple.
Everyone except Mars has a hair color change from normal black as civilians to the vibrant hair colors from The NinetiesSailor Moon anime (depicted using wigs) when they transform to their Magical Girl identities. Mars simply has longer hair, but it's still black.
Usagi/Sailor Moon has recursive shifts, (in lieu of the manga's switch from blonde to silver white) It's naturally black as Usagi, golden blonde as Sailor Moon, black again as Princess Serenity, and golden blonde again as Princess Sailor Moon.
PGSM also changed the hair color of most of the Dark Generals from the manga: Kunzite went from white to black, Nephrite from brown to red, Zoisite from blond to white. Jadeite is the only one who retained the same look.
Canon Foreigner Sailor Luna's appearance also differs in execution from Naoko Takeuchi's series' specificoriginal concept art While most of the basics carried over, the costume designer opted to give Luna bright blue hair to match the in-series blue Luna plushie instead of the deep purple/black Takeuchi depicted. Her petticoat was also brightened from deep purple to magenta.
Generally Downplayed, as secondary and tertiary characters have had their hair and eye colors mildly to moderately desaturated as compared to the 90's anime, (and sometimes Naoko Takeuchi's colorized manga and artbook art) in keeping with the series tendency towards a pastel, watercolor-influenced palette.
While she hasn't officially appeared in the reboot anime yet, Princess Serenity retains the blond hair she had in the old anime, despite it being silver-white in the manga, as shown in the anime's Ending Gekkou (despite not seeing the face) and the full Sailor Moon MV of the opening song.
In Ranma ˝, female Ranma has red hair in the anime, but there once was an enormous Internet Backdraft over whether or not this applied to the mostly black-and-white manga. Fanciful multicolored-covers and art work aside, fans in favor of the idea rationalized that since curses copy their original victims, it was reasonable that Ranma's curse had just involved a redheadnote which is disproved by the fact that Herb changes into a girl but has the same hair. Fans against the idea rationalized it occurred for the same reason other Takahashi characters got palette changes: to simply to make both versions of Ranma immediately distinguishable to the viewing audience.
Traditionally, the Yin Yang is represented not as White and Black, but RED and Black. Yang, the Black, is the masculine, while Yin, the Red, is the Feminine. This was probably one reason why Red was chosen over any color for female Ranma.
The other girls also had a case of this. Akane's hair was portrayed as merely black or brown in color art, while the anime gave her dark blue hair. Likewise, Shampoo and Ukyou's hair were both originally just a straight black on the covers. Though this eventually shifted with some cover artwork, all hair within the manga was portrayed as a straight black throughout.
In the first anime opening, Shampoo was shown with deep green hair and blue eyes. When she actually appeared in the anime however, her hair alternated between being blue and violet, while her eyes were red. Later OVAs would settle on her hair being violet.
While the anime settled on giving Ukyou dark brown hair, the colorists were unable to settle on blue or brown for her eyes. The 2008 Shonen Sunday OVA complicates this further by giving her green eyes.
Kodachi Kuno was initially shown to have teal hair and eyes in the first opening sequence. When she actually appeared, her hair was changed to be black and her eyes were gray.
Her leotard was also depicted as black in the manga, but was green in the TV series, and purple in the OVA series. The aforementioned opening sequence had it colored orange in one shot, while a pale blue in all other scenes.
Hinako Ninomiya was given black hair and brown eyes in the manga, though her hair was sometimes colored blue in other illustrations. Her anime counterpart has brown hair and blue eyes.
In the original manga, Bulma, her father, and her two children all have purple hair (although Bulma did also appear in some color illustrations with blue-green hair). In the anime, Bulma's father and son still have purple hair, but Bulma and her daughter have blue-green hair. Weirdly, the 10th anniversary movie gives Bulma back her purple hair, but has Goku wearing his anime-only Dragon Ball GT clothes. Bulma is also shown to have violet eyes in some of Toriyama's color illustrations, while the anime goes with blue.
Dragonball Evolution gives Bulma blonde hair with blue streaks and makes Yamcha blonde. Bulma was to initially have her blue hair (and also was considered to have pink hair), but the director and her actress hated how the wig looked and it was discarded after a costume test.
The manga has Karin colored white, brown, or blue. The anime keeps him white.
When Vegeta and Nappa appear for the first time in Dragon Ball Z they are shown in completely different color. Nappa has brown armor instead of yellow, but Vegeta had red/brown hair and orange and green armor.
Their colors are corrected later on, and Vegeta's colors are fixed during his first appearance in Dragon Ball Kai. Nappa was ignored for some reason, despite being easier to fix.
Kaioshin and Kibito switched skin colors when transitioning from manga to anime. Their costumes are also completely different colors.
Piccolo's non-green skin patches are yellow in the manga and a pinkish color in the anime.
Goku's gi is a pale yellow color in the manga but orange in the anime.
Cell is a dark green color in the manga and a bright neon green in the anime.
Most of the auras of the manga, even those of Super Saiyans, are white or a pale blue (if you are to believe the Kanzenban cover art).
Kaioken is a darkish red/magenta color in the anime, but it's pure red in the manga. This is fixed for a few episodes in Kai, but it's back to being the dark red/magenta color when they got to Namek.
Uub has a green sash, white belt, and orange pants in the manga, but it's all brown in the anime.
Pilaf's robots at the Red Ribbon arc's end are different colors in the anime (Blue for Pilaf, pink for Mai and green for Shuu) but they're all orange in the manga.
Interestingly, many of the "original manga colors" can be chosen as Palette Swaps in the Budokai Tenkaichi games.
The full-color re-release of the manga alternates between showing young Goku's first gi as either a pale orange or deep blue.
Minor character Ranfan (who appears in the first tournament) is a redhead in the manga, but has violet hair in the anime. Her clothing color scheme also changed from her wearing a pink top and gray pants, to a navy blue top and green pants.
Lum also originally had gold eyes in the manga, but the anime (and later Takahashi art) changed them to be blue.
Her former fiance Rei had rainbow-colored hair in some early manga artwork, but it's dark green in the anime.
Ten has green hair in the anime and most art, but it appears blond or a much lighter green in some other early manga illustrations.
All four of "Lum's Stormtroopers" had black hair on the artwork for the second volume on the manga. In the anime, Chibi wound up having light brown hair while the other three were given dark brown.
Shinobu's hair shifts between being a fiery red or brown in the manga color images, while the anime settled on giving her dark brown.
In Neon Genesis Evangelion, Asuka's hair is red; in the manga adaptation it is strawberry blonde, while her Rebuild of Evangelion counterpart is depicted with auburn hair. Also, Shinji's eyes go from blue (anime) to brown (manga).
Evangelion isn't the only Gainax work here; the summary episode of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann has concept art that depicts Nia with strawberry blonde hair.
Almost all the Gold Saints in Saint Seiya were blond-haired in the manga. For the sake of variety, the anime changed most of them, albeit half of them got blue hair for some reason, thus not helping any. Thanks, Toei.
Some of the main characters. Everybody had normal hair colors in the manga, but some of them got crazy 80's rainbow-hair when the anime adaption came. The most dramatic were brothers Pheonix Ikki and Andromeda Shun, both of whom had brown hair in the manga. In the anime, Ikki's hair is blue and Shun's is kelly green. One could say that their overall color change may be based on a famous pair of brothers. Looking at the latter duo nowadays, this may be true.
Ichigo's reiatsu is yellow in the manga but blue in the anime, his Bankai reiatsu is jet-black in the manga but given a blue/red outline in the anime, and the stripes on his Hollow mask are red in the manga, but changed to reddish-black in the anime.
Rangiku Matsumoto went from bright blonde in the manga to strawberry-blonde in the anime. Oddly, she gets her original hair color back for one filler episode, 304.
Nelliel's hair is green in the manga, but changed to teal in the anime.
Gin's eyes were made red by the anime. Once the manga revealed they were actually Icy Blue Eyes, the anime changed them to match the manga.
Yoruichi and Mila Rose both have jet-black hair in the manga. Their anime counterparts have purple and dark brown hair, respectively.
Orihime has grey-brown eyes in the manga, while in the anime they are just grey.
Yumichika's feathers consist of one pair of solid red feathers and one pair of solid yellow feathers in the anime. In the manga, the feathers are actually multihued and iridescent, appropriate for a metaphorical "peacock". Also, his zanpakutou is purple in the anime but official artwork by Kubo reveals his zanpakutou is actually blue (albeith a shade of blue that leans towards the purple end of the spectrum).
In the manga, Byakuya's Senbonzakura forms are all white. However, the anime changes this to pink for all forms, except for Hakuteikan which is left white.
The anime gave Ryuuken dark brown hair in Uryuu's flashbacks, making his white hair age-related. However, in the manga, Ryuuken's had white hair since at least early childhood.
Sasame of Prétear is blond in the manga, but a White Hair, Black Heart in the anime. Since in the anime he ends up betraying the Knights and siding with the Dark Magical Girl, they might have changed his hair to fit the trope. Interestingly, his eye color also went from brown to purple, which may have to do with the above spoiler as well. A lesser instance is Hayate's hair going from black to dark blue (coupled with hairstyle change); the new color probably could still count as "stylized black", but then there's a much obviously black-haired character (Mikage) present in the show...
In the Elfen Lied manga, Nana and Mariko have purple and blonde hair, respectively. In the anime, their hair is pink.
A subtle example, but Lucy's hair was very pink in the manga, while it was a more reddish in the anime.
In the Full Metal Panic! manga, Sōsuke is usually depicted as having purple hair. For the anime, this was changed to a more typical black. Ironically, Kaname's black hair in the original books was made blue.
Tokyo Mew Mew is a complicated case. In the original manga, the girls' hair always matches their "signature color", transformed or not. In the anime, the colors were changed slightly towards the darker and less outrageous shades for the girls' regular forms, changing to their much brighter "signature colors" as they transform into their Mew Mew forms. The most noticeable case is Ichigo: pink-haired in both forms in the manga, but has dark red hair and Brown Eyes in her regular form in the anime, which only changes to pink when she becomes Mew Ichigo. Go figure.
Aoyama's original design had blue hair and eyes, but his anime design has black hair and dark brown eyes.
In the Kinnikuman anime, Robin Mask goes from silver to blue, Ashuraman from blue to a normal skintone, etc. A rather unfortunate example is the Kinnikuman Great disguise, which is dark red in the manga, but black in the anime, giving the wearer a distinct Kentucky Minstrel look, which is probably why the Kinnikuman Nisei anime went with the manga colours (though amusingly, Robin's son Kevin uses Robin's old anime colours).
Robin Mask also wore dark blue tights under his armor in the anime, making his skin appear blue. Kinnikuman almost always wore red trunks and boots in the anime, while in the manga they were usually white. Brocken Jr. had whitish skin and a dark green/black outfit in the anime but normal skin and green in the manga. A majority of the characters had different outfit and/or skin coloring in the anime.
The original Chrome Shelled Regios light novels say Leerin has blonde hair, compared to her auburn-red hair in the anime. Curiously, the cover art for said novels depict her exactly as she appears in the anime.
Ga-Rei Zero- takes a lot of artistic license with Kagura: the original Ga-Rei manga depicts her with blue-black hair and dark-brown eyes, Zero gives her short brown hair and clear blue eyes. The difference is immediately noticeable, especially when the anime uses certain scenes from the manga.
Several characters' hair colors in Excel♥Saga changed when it was turned into an anime. Excel's hair changed from blonde to orange, Hyatt's went from brown to dark blue, Il Palazzo's went from pale green to pale violet, and Dr. Kabapu's went from green to blond.
Canon Immigrant Ryo Akiyama of the Digimon franchise's first appearances in color, in the Anode and Cathode Tamer games for the Wonderswan and in Digimon Adventure 02, have him with brown eyes. By the time he reaches Digimon Tamers, his later games, and the rerelease of his first games, his eyes are blue.
Seto Kaiba of Yu-Gi-Oh! fame had green hair in the original Toei anime, which was then changed to brown for Yu-Gi-Oh Duel Monsters as it was in the manga. His eyes also changed from yellow to blue.
Perhaps as an homage to this, the anime's filler villain, Noah looks very much like a younger version of Kaiba's old design.
Likewise, Anzu's/Tea's eyes change from brown (first series anime) to blue (second series anime) as it was in the manga.
And Bakura has white hair and blue eyes in the manga, but the Toei anime gave him blue hair and green eyes, and the succeeding anime gave him brown eyes.
The red parts of Yugi's hair and his eyes in the manga are more of a magenta color in the second series anime. Though Yugi's eye color sometimes changes in the colored manga illustartions, it's red most of the time.
The Black Magician wore a dark blue, somewhat blackish suit in the manga, had pale skin, and yellow hair, but his suit and hair were changed to purple in the second series anime, for some odd reason. The Toei movie gets the manga color scheme somewhat right. Likewise, the second series anime makes the Blue-Eyes White Dragon BLUE when it's supposed to be white, and another rare moment where the Toei anime actually gets the color right.
In the Gravitation manga, Shuichi's hair is black (except for when he temporarily dyes it blond in later volumes), and it's safe to assume that his eyes are a normal black or brown. The OVA gives him dark red-brown hair and green eyes, and the later anime adaptation tops it by giving him bright pink hair and purple eyes more representative of his hyper personality.
Some of the covers for the manga volumes however, give him various different hair colors, including pink and violet.
In the live-action Death Note movies, Misa Amane has the brown hair natural to her actress, instead of the blonde she had in the anime and manga. Other characters were given relatively normal Japanese hair, but hers stood out the most. Also in the anime Misa gets symbolic light blue hair in one episode when everyone goes into "thinking mode", and a brief shot in the first opening shows her with deep blue hair and golden eyes.
The Shinigami eyes' color scheme changed between adaptations. In manga color artwork, they're shown to consist of pale yellow sclerae, golden irises, and red pupils. In the live-action films, the users' irises simply turn gold and demonic-looking. In the anime, their irises glow red.
Matt was never given a canon hair color in Obata's artwork, but his hair was an odd brownish-green in the anime. Doujinshi and fanfic often have Matt's hair be a lovely shade of auburn or maroon or pink. The second DS game gave him blue hair, while trading card artwork depicts his hair as an emerald green color.
Mello had hair that ranged from light to golden blond in manga illustrations, while the anime gave him more of a darker shade. His eyes also changed from black to blue, and his black vest became brown. Yet in the first color image of Mello, Obata had given him white hair, as he initially intended for L's successors to resemble a pair of twins.
Depending on the anime episode Light's hair appears to be dark brown, light brown, or auburn, and like how L's hair flashes blue Light's hair sometimes flashes a bright candy red, again for purely symbolic purposes. On the manga cover art Light's hair changes from brown to red to blonde.
Mikami who normally has black hair has blonde hair on one of the covers of the manga. Also, like Light and L, Mikami gets a symbolic "thinking mode" hair dye job in the anime that turns his hair purple. Others get the symbolic thinking mode hair too: Near's white hair turns teal. Matsuda, Aizawa, Namikawa, and Naomi all have black hair but they get the symbolic thinking mode hair dye too—Matsuda's turns yellow, Aizawa is green, Namikawa is purple, and Naomi is dark blue.
The anime Princess Princess has a bad case of this. In the anime the originally black-haired main character Tooru has blue hair, brown-haired Mikoto and Akira have respectively pink and green hair. The only character in the main quartet untouched is the blond-haired Yujiro.
A clothing example can be found in Naruto with Tenten, whose one shirt was blue in the manga but pink in the anime.
Kiba sported a red jacket in the early manga too.
In a non-human example, the Three-Tailed Beast went from sea green to gray in the anime.
When Gaara is first introduced in the manga, his hair looks and is described as being brown, but it later changes to red. Konan has grayish blue eyes with a gold tint in the manga, but her hologram in the Shippuden anime has deep amber eyes. Also, in part 1 of the manga, on the coloured manga covers, Sakura's headband, shorts, and shoes are green, and she sometimes wears green nail-polish and eye-liner. In the anime, her headband, shorts, and shoes are blue.
Sakura actually wore several different shorts in the manga, varying in both color and length. The anime had her constantly wear the same black slightly-above-the-knees shorts all the time.
The Rinnegan suffered this for a long time in the anime, though this was due to a lack of colored manga pages for it rather than any sort of intentional choice. Once it was shown in the manga all anime appearances after that were changed to match it. The lack of colored manga pages for the Rinnegan also meant it took a very long time before it was clear that it looked different from Kurenai's unusual but non-powered eyes.
A partial example is the Rasengan: Word of God is that he's never decided upon one color for it to be (artbooks and colored covers have shown it to be red and yellow) but in the anime the basic one's color is a bright, glowing blue and the Rasenshuriken is bright glowing white.
Naruto's chakra has been described as orange and a lot of colored art shows Rasengan as orange under most circumstances (it changes red but that's due to the technique he's using).
Relatively early in the manga, when he first began to train with Jiraiya, when describing his own chakra Naruto stated that he felt that it was Yellow, or at least that was the colour he associated with it. This was changed to blue in the anime. However, when describing the Kyuubi's chakra, he stated that it felt red, which was shown consistently in both manga and anime.
Kushina's maternity dress and overall color scheme is drastically different than the manga version. Although, it was understandable as it was in a similar case with the Rinnegan. No manga colors. Kushina's hair in the manga is bright red. The anime darkens it. Her dress is green with a white shirt. The anime changes it completely to a white dress and blue shirt. Although, why the anime changed it that way when it was obvious that Kushina's shirt was left white and the manga gives her dress a completely black shade (meaning it should have a darker color) will never be known....
A mild example but, at least pre-timeskip, Sakura is always shown with makeup in the manga. In the anime she wears no makeup.
Sakon was given deep blue hair in one early color illustration by Kishimoto, but has greyish hair in the anime and other illustrations.
Axis Powers Hetalia had an official chart of the different hair and eye colors on the author's blog. The anime slightly lightened or darkened the hair of almost every character.
Examples of this include Sweden being changed from a light blond to a sandy brown (before switching back to blond in his later animated appearances), Italy's hair changing from brown to auburn (sometimes a saturated red), Belarus going from platinum blonde to dark blonde, China's black hair changing to brown, and the other blond characters either having their hair darkened or changed to a more saturated yellow shade.
Himaruya himself has also been inconsistent when it comes to hair and eye colors: Prussia originally had dark blond hair and blue eyes, but now his hair varies from being platinum blond to outright white or grey, while his eyes are now either red, "red-violet", or pink. Russia, Finland, Latvia, and Iceland originally had blue eyes, but appear with violet ones in later illustrations. Belarus and France also occasionally receive violet eyes instead of their usual blue. UK's shade of blond varies throughout all colored illustrations, Canada's hair was originally two-toned, and Hungary is either a blonde or brunette. Monaco was also originally a brunette with brown eyes, but was quickly changed to a blue-eyed blonde (and even then, her shade of blonde can vary).
The anime furthers the eye color confusion by giving Finland brown eyes (he had blue/violet in the manga), while changing Lithuania and Estonia's green eyes to blue, Latvia's violet eyes to an aqua blue, and the Italy brothers' brown (Veneziano) and green eyes (Romano) to gold. Sweden's eyes were also initially changed from green/blue to brown, but were reverted in his later appearances.
Germany wears a green uniform in the manga, but the first four seasons of the anime changed it to teal (unless his jacket was undone), possibly to downplay the SS connection. His Iron Cross was also removed. The fifth season reverted his uniform back to its manga coloring.
Hetalia: The Beautiful World (the fifth series) undoes some of the previous anime dye jobs, with Belarus back to being a platinum blonde, and Romano having green/hazel eyes. But it again plays this trope straight with giving Iceland blond hair to match the other Nordics, when his previously established hair color was silver in the manga. France is also given platinum blond hair, as well as a very pale complexion, when his hair in the manga is a darker shade of blond. Belgium's hair also suddenly goes from being golden blonde to a mousy brown.
Kurama of YuYu Hakusho had dark hair in the manga (usually a stylized black with blue highlights, sometimes a blatant violet), but bright red hair in the anime.
Genkai originally had strawberry-blonde hair in colored illustrations, while the anime gave her pink hair. Yusuke and his mother's hair also shifted between being black and brown in the original manga, while Kuwabara's hair changed from black to brown to an orange-ish shade (while orange-red in the anime). Botan's hair was alternatively blonde or blue in the manga, but the anime settled on the latter.
The Ame-Warashi has blue hair in the ×××HOLiC manga, but it was changed into red for the anime. Particularly disconcerting since she's the spirit of the rain and all. On a subtler note, Watanuki and Domeki have the exact same skin tone in the manga, but the anime made them much paler and darker respectively.
Al and Hohenheim have dark blond hair in the 2003 anime adaptation. Al's eyes are also brown instead of the gold they are meant to be.
In the 2003 anime, Kimbley has gold eyes. In the manga and Brotherhood, they are blue.
Envy's hair is shown to be black in the manga, but is green in the first anime. In Brotherhood it is almost black, but appears to have a greenish tint.
Winry's bandanna is red in the first anime and green in the manga and Brotherhood. She gets a green bandanna in the very last episodes of the first anime though.
In the manga and Brotherhood all Ishvalans have white hair and red eyes. In the 2003 anime almost all Ishvalans have brown or black hair, with the exception of Scar and elders.
Winry's parents both have blond hair in the manga. In the 2003 anime Winry's mom is a brunette and her dad's hair is hard to tell, since we only see his corpse briefly, but is either a dark blond or a light brown.
In Toei's anime version of Fist of the North Star many of the characters have their hair colors changed from the manga, with Yuria's hair being changed from black to red (violet during the Shin arc), Raoh's from blond to black, and Rei's from black to light green. Justified with Amiba, whose hair was changed from black to white since Toki (the man he is supposed to be impersonating) is supposed to have white hair due to his radiation exposure (this fact was only revealed in the manga after the Amiba arc was over). The later anime versions by North Stars Pictures reverted back to their manga colors.
Most of the video game adaptations tend to stick with the manga colors for the characters. Even Amiba has his manga colors in the Dynasty Warriors spinoff Hokuto Musou.
An exception was made with Yuria and Mamiya, who both use their anime hair colors in Hokuto Musou (purple and red respectively, although Yuria's hair was only violet during the Southern Cross arc).
Touko Aozaki of Kara no Kyoukai originally had short blue hair in the novels, but when the series was adapted to film, her hair was changed to red and long to make her resemble her sister Aoko, and subsequent artwork has always shown Touko with red hair. Her original character design was then used for Natalia Kaminski in Fate/Zero as a Mythology Gag.
The three Mortar Headds used by Juba & his goons at the end of The Five Star Stories film had their paintjobs inexplcably changed in the anime movie based on the manga. In colour illustrations, the Hellmine was depicted as white with blue highlights, while the film version is dark pink (this may be because the white version looks extremely similar to Zeta Gundam's Qubeley, which is not surprising, considering they're both designed by Mamoru Nagano). The Barunja & Devoncha, meanwhile, went from gunmetal grey to two different, similarly loud colour schemes, probably because they thought the originals looked too boring.
In the first anime special based on the Fatal Fury games, Andy Bogard is represented with silver hair instead of the blond that he has in the games. In later anime, Mai also gets red hair, while in most games she appears in her hair is brown.
Bartholomew Kuma was originally introduced in the manga wearing an orange outfit. In the anime, he wears black. The next time Kuma showed up in a color page in the manga, the color of his outfit had been changed to be closer to the anime version.
Doflamingo was initially depicted with a darker red and black clothing scheme in the anime, but later it was changed to the manga's orange and white coloring.
Crocodile's new outfit in the anime is depicted as consisting of a brown suit, indigo scarf, and a dark green overcoat, while in the manga his scarf is green and both his suit and overcoat appear to be black.
A less noticeable example in the anime involves characters' eye colors, as Oda very rarely, if ever, colors them in. Some examples include Robin having blue eyes in the anime (brown in the manga), Mihawk having yellow eyes to reinforce the Animal Theme Naming, and Hancock having navy blue ones.
Milly from Trigun was originally a blondeditz in the manga, but was changed to a brunette in the anime. She's still a ditz though.
In the anime Legato has blue hair and gold eyes and in the manga has deep purple hair and bronze colored eyes.
There's a variation for Vash—in the manga, his hair starts to turn black as his power drains. This is absent from the anime.
In the Gungrave anime, Brandon has grey/silver hair after being exposed to necrolyzation. In the games he's depicted as having black hair even after his revival, along with a darker skin tone. Both versions have yellow/amber eyes though.
Tons in InuYasha. For example, Sesshomaru's kimono has a pale purple pattern in the manga, which the anime changes to red. A similar change happened to Kagura's kimono.
They also changed Kagome's eyes from green to brown.
Tohru from Fruits Basket has brown eyes in the manga and blue eyes in the anime.
Also, everyone had some change made: Yuki went from silver hair and eyes to dark gray hair and dark purple eyes, Kyo went from orange eyes to dark brown eyes, Kagura went from dark brown eyes to grey eyes, Momiji's and Hiro's eyes switched to a slightly darker shade of brown, Haru's eyes went from grey to dark brown, Ayame's eyes went from light grey to yellow-green, and Kisa went from yellow-orange hair and eyes to strawberry-blondish-orange-ish hair and dark brown eyes.
In the Video Girl Ai manga, Ai's hair is blond (as seen in the covers). In the OVA, they changed it to grey. And not grey like silver, grey like lead.
The anime version of Ouran High School Host Club changed Tamaki's light brown hair to blond, probably to emphasize his French heritage. The manga later followed suit.
The twins' hair also changed from brown to light red.
Tenjho Tenge's Aya had her hair go from being very dark brown in the manga, to a light ginger-blonde in the anime.
Emi Isuzu started out with deep red hair and eyes in the manga, but has bright pink hair and eyes in the anime.
Kiddy Phenil of Silent Möbius has green hair in the manga and movies, but turns into a redhead for the TV series.
In the light novels of Suzumiya Haruhi, Haruhi's hair is black, Yuki's is gray, and Mikuru is a brunette. In the anime, Yuki's hair is grayish-purple, and Mikuru is a redhead. Both ofthese are close enough to the ones they are supposed to have that it could be seen as a simple stylistic choice. Haruhi's hair, however, just full on changed from black to dark brown.
In the Miracle Girls manga, Toni and Mika have dirty/sandy blond hair, while in the anime it's brown. Chris also has pink hair in the manga, but brown in the anime.
In the Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch anime, transformed Rina has medium-green hair, and Seira and reformed Sara always have orange. In the manga, mermaid Rina's hair is practically neon, and the orange ladies have dusty brown hair as humans.
Ai Haibara of Detective Conan has very light strawberry blonde hair in the manga and light brown or auburn hair in the anime. Shinichi Kudo's mother also goes from blonde to brunette, as does Ran's friend Sonoko.
In the original Science Ninja Team Gatchaman, Jun had hair that shifted from being a deep green to a more blackish or brownish color at times, to where some fans assumed that it was simply meant to be so black that it only SEEMED green. In the sequels and later official artwork, it was brightened to an emerald shade. The OVA version made in the '90s opted to give her mousy brown hair, while in the animated NTT ads, it was practically chartreuse.
The concept art for the OVA version also shows that they initially considered giving her blue hair before settling on the brown, along with blue eyes.
Joe's hair has varied between being a dark, dirty blond/light brown shade, medium brown, auburn, and a very deep brown through the series and related materials.
Ryu had dark brown hair in the original anime series, but the '90s OVA gave him two-toned dyed hair, with it being purple on top and blond on the sides.
In the 2013 live-action film by Nikkatsu, Jun's hair is short and brown, while Ken and Joe have the dark hair natural to their actors. Ryu meanwhile, displays dyed red hair.
The OVA seemed to decide that hair which blended into the main character's hat was about the extent of weirdness that the main cast would have, so supporting character Noriyaki Kakyoin had his hair recolored from hot pink to natural brown. At least he kept his side hair.
The manga never seems to make up its mind as to the 'true' hair and clothing colors of the characters, however. Giorno can be wearing bright pink in one illustration, and black in another.
Meanwhile, most of the main characters have a listed canon eye color which doesn't always show up in color. Jotaro, for example, has "slightly green" eyes, but the OVA and video games have them as either blue or brown.
Jonathan's hair color revolves between bright blue (anime), green (manga cover) or black (games).
It's been established that there are no canon color schemes except for the golden hair of Dio and Giorno (and in some illustrations it's white). The new TV anime even switches color schemes mid-episode.
Araki sometimes give blond characters(like Dio and Giorno) green hair in some of his newer artworks.
In Cardcaptor Sakura Sakura has blonde hair (sometimes with reddish tones) in the manga, but the anime gave her brown hair instead (which people sometimes interpret as "auburn" for whatever strange reason). Syaoran is also given brown hair, but this is more excusable since one color card in the original manga arc depicts him with brown hair (although in the artbooks, his hair is always blond as well). Tomoyo's eyes are purple in the manga and blue in the anime, but they switch to dark brown on the Clamp in Wonderland 2 music video.
Sakura's mother, Nadeshiko, has light brown hair in the anime; one color drawing in the manga has her with dark violet hair.
In the manga, Eriol’s robes are black, and the rim on the collar of the cape and the ends of the sleeves is red, but in the anime, the robes are dark blue, and the rims are light blue.
The color of Zatch's/Gash's mantle in the manga version of Gash Bell is green or sometimes yellow. In the Anime, it's always blue.
Chii from Chobits has been shown with white, gray, and various shades of blonde in the manga, and her eyes were amber colored. The anime gave her yellow hair and brown eyes.
Zelgadis Graywords of the Slayers anime has light blue skin (as he is a chimera), lilac-colored hair, and navy blue eyes; in the original novels that the show was adapted from, his skin is said to be more blue-green, his hair is silvery, and his eyes are purple. The Non-Serial MovieSlayers Premium featured the novel-designed version of him. There is also a small bridge of stone that is stuck between his left eyelids in his novel design that isn't seen in the anime. Interestingly, he's an odd case of Art Evolution where current art of him matches his anime design.
Lina the protagonist began as a brunette in the Light Novel series; for the older anime series and later books, it became a coppery color, and currently, it's a very bright red.
Xellos the demonic priest and Princess Amelia have black hair in the novels with stylized purple highlights, while anime adaptations make their hair straight-up purple.
In the Wedding Peach manga, Yuri (Angel Lily) had blonde/dirty blonde hair, but it was changed to brown in the anime. Hinaguki (Angel Daisy) also seemed to have blonde hair, which became green in the anime. Potamos's blonde hair was changed to purple, too.
In the first season of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, Precia Testarossa's hair was a sort of violet-tinted grey. In several pieces of official movie art but not the movie itself, it's very much pure, dark violet.
Bobobo Bo Bobobo: Softon's ice-cream swirl-esque head is brown in the manga (denoting it as poop, hence the jokes), and pink in the anime (denoting it as ice cream, subbing out the "poop jokes" for the sake of censorship). Beauty's hair is also a deeper shade of pink in the anime than in the manga.
Saburo from Sgt. Frog made his TV debut as a minor character in Seven of Seven. As DJ 623 (Mutsumi), his hair is bright blue, but in the Sgt. Frog anime, his hair is whitish-grey.
Wandering Son has eye variations. Everyone has either black eyes or brown eyes in the manga, as the series prefers to be realistic. However for the anime the eye colors were changed for a majority of the cast. This includes gold eyes, purple eyes, and other Technicolor Eyes (even red eyes for one character).
Misao from Lucky Star has black hair in the manga, compared to her iconic brown appearance in the anime.
In Full Moon o Sagashite, Mitsuki has black hair and gold/blue eyes in the manga but the anime changed them both to dark brown. Her mother and grandmother went from blonde to brunettes, Takuto's hair went from black to grey, Madoka went from purple to dark red, and Aoi went from green-haired to black-haired. Meroko's shinigami outfit also changed from black to red but this change was chosen by Arina herself. Only Takuto, Meroko, and Izumi were able to keep their original eye colors. Everyone else's were changed.
In Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne, Maron has light brown hair in the manga but darker brown in the anime and Chiaki goes from light blue hair to a darker shade. (Arina has also drawn him with blond hair for some manga images but it seems his true color is light blue.)
In both Ai no Kusabi OVA adaptations, Riki has brown eyes instead of his distinct black eyes from the novel.
In Devil Hunter Yohko's first illustrations (and manga) Yohko is portrayed with black (or very dark brown) hair and green eyes; the anime changes them both to a dull brown.(Again, ugh) Haruka had lavender/pink hair with a blue bow and white outfit and the anime gives her dark green hair, a pink bow, and a red outfit. Azusa's colors are completely changed as well.
The OVA of Angel Sanctuary gave Kurai periwinkle hair, while it is silver in the manga.
In the original Soul Eater manga, Liz is a blonde. In the anime adaptation, her hair is changed to a light brown.
Medaka Box seems to be going in this direction, at least for the more minor characters - in the very first episode, Moji's hair went from being brown to bright blue.
Not a complete adaptation dye job, but the Kodomo No Jikan mangaka can't seem to make up her mind on the hair colors of Rin and Mimi. Both have had orange-red, sandy brown, strawberry blonde, and light blonde as a hair color at some point. The anime manages to settle on blonde for Rin, but Mimi's hair still fluxes from light brown to orange-brown to some sort of pinkish brown.
Houin-sensei changed from blonde in the manga to a redhead in the anime.
In later colored manga chapters, Houin-sensei's hair is a more orange color, between the original and anime colouration.
In the adaptation of Fushigi Yuugi from a manga to anime, many of the characters' hair and eye colours changed from realistic to... well, not. In the colour arts the characters generally either had dark brown hair (shaded in the manga) or ginger (not shaded) with the odd blond thrown in for good measure. They also all, apart from Nakago, had dark eyes. In the anime, these were changed to various shades of blue, red, brown, purple and green. They generally had matching eyes too.
In fact, it's easier to list the characters whose hair/eyes haven't changed than those on which it has!
Manami and Hatori from Life both have blonde hair, which isn't exactly common for Japanese girls. The Dorama gives both of them dark brown hair.
The anime for Prince of Tennis had a couple cases of this, notably Atobe Keigo. He was (stereotypically?) blond-haired and blue-eyed in the manga, made to draw attention to the fact he was raised in England. This was changed to inexplicable purple hair and grey eyes in the anime.
Development of the Armored Trooper VOTOMS anime predated the childrens' manga tie-in by Minoru Nonaka, who inexplicably changed some characters' color schemes (and overall appearances) in his adaptation:
Fyana went from having brown hair and eyes to her hair being jet black and her eyes being green.
Ru Shako's hair goes from gray to black, while his skin is also lightened several shades.
Pol Potaria is a brunet in the anime, but a blond in Nonaka's version, while his green jumpsuit is changed to be blue.
In the Dr. Slump manga, the Gatchans had orange hair. Their hair is bright green in the '80s anime adaptation, while blond in the '90s series. The second series changed up other characters' colors as well:
Arale has purple hair in both the manga and first anime, but was given brown hair.
Midori went from being a curly blonde haired woman in the manga and original anime, to having straight brown hair.
Akane's hair shifts between being a dark gold and a light orange shade in the first anime, while she has dark auburn hair in the later series. Her sister Aoi also went from having deep red hair, to it being brown.
In the recent full-color rerelease of the Dragon Ball manga, the chapters featuring the Penguin Village case give a few different color schemes. The Gatchans become blond like in the second anime, while Arale's hair becomes a lighter purple (almost magenta), and Akane also becomes a blonde. Meanwhile, Midori takes on Akane's former orangey hair color.
Lupin III's jacket color is famously inconsistent. It's red in the original manga, second TV series, and most films and television specials, but green in the first and fourth series and a few OVAs and pink in the third series. This becomes a plot point in Lupin III: Red vs. Green.
Neko Musume from GeGeGe no Kitaro has changed colors at least three times. She was originally depicted with black hair, then switched to a dark brown in the 80s, a purple in the 90s, and was a redhead in the 2007 version.
For whatever reason Angelica from Gunslinger Girl has brown hair and green eyes in Teatrino. While it does make her look more different from Claes, her manga version has black hair and dark eyes like the BONE's version.
Cyborg009 has had many examples of this trope throughout its different adaptations:
009's hair was initially undecided in color illustrations by Ishinomori, who vacillated between depicting it as blond and as a light reddish-brown. Officially, it's stated to be "chestnut brown", and appears that way in the 1980 "Legend of the Super Galaxy" film and in the 2001 TV series. In the mid-1960s films by Toei, his hair was depicted as jet black and he lost his Peek-a-Bangs (which he gained back in the subsequent 1968 series). The 1979 series by Toei gave him blond hair, while the 2012 film 009 RE: CYBORG gave his hair more of a gingery orange shade. The 1960s films also gave 009 a white uniform and red scarf, as opposed to a red uniform and yellow scarf.
001's hair color varied between being silver and blond in Ishinomori's color artwork, while the 1960s films and "Legend of the Super Galaxy" gave him brown hair. All other adaptations have depicted his hair silver, although the 2001 series also gives it a slight Hair Color Dissonance and sometimes depicts it as a light teal.
002 has reddish-orange hair in Ishinomori's colored artwork and in both the 1979 series, "Legend of the Super Galaxy", and the 2001 series. However, the 1960s films give him brown hair, and 009 RE: CYBORG and the recent American comic book adaptation depict him as a blond (as well as giving his appearance a complete overhaul). His eyes are also blue in the 1979 series, while the 2001 series depicts them as brown. The two 1960s films also give him a lavender uniform, as opposed to red, and removed his scarf.
003 is generally a blonde in the manga artwork, while the early Toei films gave her dark brown hair, "Legend of the Super Galaxy" gave her light brown hair, and 009 RE: CYBORG changed it to be a light orange shade. While her uniform is red in every other adaptation, the two Toei films depicted her uniform as a bright magenta with blue accents.
004 is nearly always silver-haired, with the exception of the two Toei films that gave him dark brown hair (and changed his uniform from red to lavender).
008 had black hair in the manga artwork and the early anime adaptations, but was changed to be a Dark-Skinned Blond in the 2001 series and the American comic adaptation.
In the live-action Cromartie High School film, Hayashida's trademark purple mohawk is replaced with a full head of black hair. Curiously, Maeda keeps his blond hair.
In the light novels for Kagerou Project Ayano's hair is said on multiple occasions to be black, but in the anime it's a medium brown color.
Momo's eyes are also changed from orange to black, possibly to give her more resemblance to her brother.
In the Magi-Nation game (video and card), Kid Hero Tony Jones was a blond. In the cartoon show, he inexplicably went black-haired.
Lana Lang and Lois Lane change hair colors for Smallville. Kristin Kreuk has dark brown hair instead of red, Erica Durance has brownish blond hair instead of black.
Also, for the record, Kristin Kreuk is part-Asian. This is ignored on the show.
The eye colours of most main characters in Smallville are different. Lex Luthor has grey instead of green, Clark Kent has green instead of blue, Lana Lang has brown instead of green, Lois Lane has brown instead of blue/violet.
Has there ever been a live action Jimmy Olsen with red hair? Ever?
Batman usually has a lighter shade of hair when he's played by a real actor.
Likewise, in The Dark Knight, Harvey Dent, who is a brunet in the comics, is played by blond Aaron Eckhart.
Vicki Vale is normally shown as a redhead in the comics, but was played by the very blond Kim Basinger in the original Batman.
While Catwoman is traditionally depicted as having dark black hair, the extremely blonde Michelle Pfeiffer played her in Batman Returns. This appearance was originally used for Batman: The Animated Series since the series was intended to tie-in with Batman Returns. However, when the show switched networks and art styles, Catwoman returned to her black hair color and the change was even explained away as a result of a dye job because her original hair product had been derived from animal testing.
Another canon explanation in the 'Contagion' series showed that as a criminal, Selina Kyle constantly cuts, dyes and restyles her hair to try and hide her identity.
An odd example within one medium: The second Robin, Jason Todd. Pre-Crisis, he had red hair (kind of strawberry blond), permanently dyed black. Post-Crisis, he had naturally black hair. After coming back from the dead, he started out with black hair with a white streak, but now has dark red hair with a white streak, since the dye has apparently grown out. Now with the reboot, he's back to black again.
Matt and Hay Lin's grandmother from W.I.T.C.H. both got black hair in the cartoon adaption of the comics (whereas they usually have brown and grey hair respectively).
Felicity Smoake has black hair in the Firestorm comics, but is played by a blonde actress in Arrow.
Barry Allen, a blue-eyed blonde, is played by brown-haired, green-eyed Grant Gustin in Arrow and The Flash. He was also played by the dark haired John Wesley Shipp on the 90's Flash series.
Viper also has blond hair rather than green or black.
The Hellboy franchise did this to Liz Sherman: Red hair in the comics, black in the live action movies, and some shade of brown in the animated movies.
Abe Sapien also received a color change, going from green-skinned in the comics to blue-skinned in the movies.
Highly likely changed to allow the Green Screen process to work.
Hawk originally had blond hair in the G.I. Joe comics, but was given black hair in the animated series to distinguish him from Duke, the other blond-haired G.I. Joe leader (who actually appeared before Hawk in the animated series). The toyline followed suit by giving every Hawk action figure released afterward black or brown hair.
Storm's eyes are blue, but in the X-Men movie, they're brown because Halle Berry refused to wear contacts. Notably she's the only exception. Sabretooth's Tyler Mane wore contacts, Nightcrawler's Alan Cummings wore them, and so did Mystique's Rebecca Romijin.
In the comics, Magneto has been shown to have had white hair for the vast majority of his adult life, presumably as a side-effect of his mutation. In the films, he's introduced with grey hair (though only because, lacking Comic Book Time, the screenwriters had to make him the realistic age of a Holocaust survivor) and he has dark brown hair as a younger man in theprequels.
Professor X in the comics was blond before he lost his hair, but his movie counterpart is a brunet.
Dazzler was a redhead rather than a blonde in the 90's X-Men animated series.
Dean Cain has brown eyes and brown hair; Tom Welling has green eyes (if fan sites are to be trusted) and brown hair; bothplayedSuperman, whose piercing blue eyes and black hair have been part of the standard character description for decades. At least Christopher Reeve was right.
Of course he had to get a real dye job to go from his natural blond...
Peter Parker has brown eyes in the comics; in the movies, Tobey Maguire plays him, who has blue eyes.
Although in the comics, they flip-flop between brown and blue so much eventually Marvel officially stated they were hazel as compromise.
Wonder Woman has black hair... except when portrayed by the blonde Cathy Lee Crosby.
The early Mirage comics depicted April O'Neil with dark hair, which was changed to be a lighter auburn in the '80s cartoon. Her blue jumpsuit was also changed to be yellow, and she underwent a possible Race Lift (which has stuck to her modern incarnations).
Scott Pilgrim's ex-girlfriend Envy, lead singer of The Clash At Demonhead, was a redhead in the comic but a blonde in the film.
According to the back cover of Vol. 2, Todd Ingram is a brunette, but he is blond in the movie, and has orange hair in the game.
Gideon Graves has black hair in the comics, dark brown hair in the movie, and purple hair in the game.
Several of the characters who had black hair in the comics appear with purple hair in the game.
The Guardian is portrayed as a blond in the comics, but is given red hair in Young Justice in order to highlight his relation to Roy Harper.
Wendy Watson from The Middleman has orange hair in the original comic series, and was played by black-haired Natalie Morales in the TV series. The comic, which is actually set in the TV continuity, uses Morales' appearance.
There was a story progression dye job for Beast Boy of Teen Titans fame. Back when he was in the Doom Patrol, in his original origin story he was shown to have brown hair. After 12 issues he was given blond hair and it's stayed that way. His hair became red in the cartoon Young Justice. All of these are origin stories given little screen time compared to the green hair he is more well known for, which the color (whatever it is naturally) always changes to after his Superhero Origin.
Except in the New 52, where he turns red (blood-red, not red-hair-red), to fit better with the idea that characters with animal powers are all linked to The Red and characters with plant powers to The Green.
In the New 52 reboot, Terra originally appeared with (and was intended by the artists to have) brown hair, as opposed to her classic blonde. Later colorists have changed her hair back to being blonde, probably to have her look more recognizable.
While Raven has black hair in the comics, the 2003 animated series depicted her with violet hair. Her mother Arella received a similar dye job. Raven's eyes were also depicted as blue in the comics up until her resurrection, where they officially became "indigo" and vacillated between being a deep blue or violet. The animated incarnations of Raven and Arella both sport violet eyes. In the Teen Titans Go! cartoon, Raven's hair becomes a much deeper violet, almost black.
The Teen Titans GO! version of Starfire has hot pink hair, rather than the usual red hair she sported in the original animated series and DC Nation spin-off shorts.
Kole Weathers was a redhead in her short-lived comics existence, while her animated counterpart had bright pink hair.
The original Aquagirl (Tula) from Aquaman was a brunette in all of her comic appearances, from Aquaman to Teen Titans. She was changed to be a redhead in the Young Justice cartoon and the Flashpoint DTV movie (which used her Young Justice design as a nod to the cartoon). Her eyes were also changed from blue to green. Earlier on, the Teen Titans Go! comic book featured Tula in a brief cameo in issue 50 and a chibi gag. She was significantly changed up, with her brown hair becoming green, her eyes going from blue to gold, and receiving a sort of "Species Lift" from going from being a more humanoid Caucasian Atlantean girl to having pale blue skin, webbed hands and feet, and gills.
Sabrina herself traditionally has pale platinum blonde hair in the comics, but the live action TV show gave her golden blonde hair, which later carried over to the animated series.
The comics' versions of Hilda and Zelda have red and green hair, respectively, but the live action show made them both blonde, while the animated series made Zelda the redhead and Hilda a brunette.
Sabrina's boyfriend Harvey has black hair in the comics, but light brown in both the sitcom and the cartoon.
Princess Sally of Sonic the Hedgehog is quite the odd one. In Sally's first appearance, she was red-furred and blonde-haired. The very next issue, she was pink-furred and black-haired to match her Sonic Sat AM counterpart. However, that look was only used for the pilot episode. Then the cartoon settled on a brown-furred and auburn-haired combination and it would take about two years for the comic to catch up.
In the 2004 BIONICLE comics, Vakama's lime green and Onewa's dark blue eyes are replaced with bright blue and orange visors respectively. Nidhiki's green eyes becomes red. The black and red Turaga Dume also turns black and gray, though that may be due to oddly placed shadows.
The Black Smurfs from The Smurfs story of the same name were changed to purple in the Animated Adaptation and the Papercutz English translation of the original story, probably to avoid Unfortunate Implications. For the same reasons, the orange-skinned Swoofs from "The Astro Smurf" were changed to green in the cartoon show and the Papercutz English translation, and Grandpa Swoof's black hair was changed to white.
The nameless lord that the Smurfs meet in "The Hunger Of The Smurfs" had black hair, but when he became Mr. Poppery in the cartoon show adaptation "Haunted Smurfs", his hair was changed to gray.
Harold Ramis' brown upright Eraserhead-esque hairdo was replaced with a blond pompadour and rat-tail when Egon Spengler was translated from movie (Ghostbusters) to cartoon form (The Real Ghostbusters). Likewise Ray's hair went from Dan Aykroyd's brown to red. In case this wasn't enough to distinguish the main characters, they all got different colored uniforms as well. Janine Melnitz became a spiky-mulleted '80s fashion plate. Her later-seasons look, somewhat more subdued, was then ported to the second live-action movie (although it meant Annie Potts now wore a bright red wig rather than her natural brown hair being shown).
Agent L was a brunette in Men In Black, but in the cartoon, she was blonde. The show seems to be in an alternate continuity of some sort (K is still active), but still. The official explanation is that Men In Black is a movie in the reality of the animated series as well.
Magda, the maid, was blonde in the movie but has red hair in the German, Austrian and Japanese productions of the musical. (She's still blonde in Poland and Hungary).
Alfred is an interesting case- brunette in the film, but onstage has whatever hair the actor has. This leads to the need for the costume department to make a wig that looks like the actor's hair for his dance double in the Act II Dream Ballet.
Except for in the Hungarian version, where for some reason Alfred's dream ballet double has a freaking buzz cut.
Likewise in George of the Jungle, also starring Brendan Fraser, George's hair is brown instead of black and the originally redheaded Ursula becomes a blonde.
In the film adaptation of the first book in the book series Percy Jackson and the Olympians, the main female character Annabeth, who in the book is stated often to be a blonde, is played by a brunette. Of course, this is only one of the vast number of changes they made to the plot, not least changing who the Big Bad is, but the Annabeth hair change is the only one that fits in this trope.
Grandmother in Flowers in the Attic has grey hair in the books (and it turns out to be a wig) but is red-haired in the film.
Later Disney films change the characters' hair/eye color either for the marketing or film sequels.
Cinderella originally had something like a strawberry blonde/red hair color going on, but the merchandise sells Cinderella dolls with clean blonde hair.
The Lion King definitely had something weird going on with Nala in the sequels. Her original eye color was teal, but she has blue in the sequel and green in the prequel.
Even though Rapunzel is revealed to be a brunette towards the end, all of the dolls sell her with blonde hair. Granted, they tend to depict her the way she looks in the film before she becomes a brunette.
In an inversion of the way this trope usually plays out, the novelization of Pacific Rim turned brown haired Hermann Gottlieb into a blond (it also gave him a German accent as opposed to the stuffy English one he uses in the film, and made no mention of the fact that he walks with a cane). This is justified by the fact that the novelization was based on an earlier draft of the script rather than the film itself.
In the original novel The Bonfire of the Vanities, Maria Ruskin is a mysterious, willowy brunette. In the movie, she's played by the very blonde and voluptuous Melanie Griffith.
The Picture of Dorian Gray: Dorian Gray is an angelic-looking blond in the novel, but its seems to be much more common for films to portray him as a brunette. The classic 1945 film version starred the dark-haired Hurd Hatfield, and subsequent dark-haired Dorians are probably due to directors going off of that film (and/or assuming that Dorian must look like a Byronic Hero) rather than actually reading Wilde's novel.
In the book Lord of the Flies, Simon's hair is black. In the 1960's film adaption the character has bleached blond hair.
In the adaptation of the E.M Forster story Maurice by James Ivory, Maurice is blond rather than dark-haired, even though (as David Leavitt wrote in his introduction to the 2005 Penguin Classics edition of the book) "Forster makes so much of Maurice's hair being black. For Forster, black hair connotes virility."
In one of the games, Betrayal at Krondor, the magician Pug - who in the books is described as having dark brown hair and a beard and usually wearing a black robe - has shoulder-length blond hair, is clean-shaven, and wears a white robe. Similarly, Locklear is described as having wavy blond locks in the book, but in the game his hair is chestnut brown. This is even Lampshaded when he meets an old friend.
In the graphic novels, the elf queen Aglaranna - who is described as having reddish-gold hair that contributes to her overall soft and angelic appearance - is given bright scarlet hair.
Armand is described as having auburn hair. In The Film of the BookInterview with the Vampire, he has exceptionally dark brown or black hair. The idea of costuming Antonio Banderas as a "Botticelli angel" would have been patently ridiculous.
Lestat, who in the novels has very long and blond hair gets a dark pseudo-pageboy cut in the Queen of the Damned movie. And Marius who likewise was supposed to be long-haired blond gets short, slick black hair in the same movie.
In the original book version, Murphy is a tiny blonde. In the TV adaptation, she's a tall brunette. She was Irish-heritaged in the novels and described as the cheerleader's younger sister or some such nonsense. In the series, she was Mexican-heritaged and not at all as cute as the book version was.
Susan and Murphy look like each other's book counterparts because the actresses were determined to be much better for each other's roles than the roles they were initially cast for.
Coraline: Not much is said about Coraline's appearance in the book, except that she has hazel colored eyes, is short for her age, and has brown hair. In the movie her eyes are the same as in the book, she has freckles on her face, and is rather tall for her age, her hair is short and blue and she always wears blue nail polish. There's a blink and you'll miss it shot of a photo showing Coraline with brown hair, implying she dyed it.
Carrie White is described as having mousy hair that was blonde when she was a child. Brian DePalma cast redhead Sissy Spacek. The 2002 film cast brunette Angela Bettis - and her child self was a brunette too. Chloe Moretz in Kimberley Pierce's 2013 film is closer to the original book.
Chris Hargensen is an olive-skinned brunette in the books. Presumably due to the influence of the Blondes are Evil trope (and being the Alpha Bitch), Chris is played by blondes Nancy Allen and Emilie de Ravin. However the 2013 had the naturally blonde Portia Doubleday dye her hair brown for the role.
Sue Snell is blonde in the books. In the 1976 film she's played by redhead Amy Irving. The 2002 film also gave the character a Race Lift and had her played by mixed race Kandyse McClure. She's blonde in the 2013 film.
Tina Blake is described as a redhead in the book. She's a brunette in both the 2002 and 2013 films.
Norma Watson is blonde and is played by blonde PJ Soles in the '76 film. However the 2002 film casts the brunette Meghan Black.
Harry Potter's eye colour changes from green in the books to blue in the films (blue being Radcliffe's natural eye colour and green contacts being extremely uncomfortable) and in the film his hair is somewhat lighter depending on how the reader interpreted "jet black hair". This is particularly egregious because people are constantly mentioning that Harry has his mother's (green) eyes and otherwise, looks like the spitting image of his father.
Young Lily's eyes are brown in The Prince's Tale, despite the adult actress having blue eyes. In other words, Lily and Harry have both had an Adaptation Dye Job.
Luna Lovegood's hair is described as "dirty-blonde". In the movie it is platinum blonde.
Dudley Dursley went from blond in the books to dark-brown/black in the films
Aunt Petunia's hair is also changed from blonde to dark brown.
James has brown hair in the fifth movie.
Firenze the centaur, described in the book as blond with a palomino body (i.e. quite light overall) becomes pitch-black in the movie. This is probably because blond hair is harder to animate with computer graphics.
Neville is supposed to be blond according to Word of God, but this was never mentioned in the books. Thus he was cast as a brunet in the movies, which seems to be the dominant mental image fans all have of him. He was also supposed to be short and chubby - then Matthew Lewis shed his puppy fat and made like a beanstalk....
While Lord Voldemort's eyes are mentioned to be red in the books, Ralph Fiennes' natural blue eyes are used in the films.
In the Harry Potter games for Game Boy Color, Professor Sprout is a redhead and her hairstyle is different from other adaptations.
There is some confusion about Tycho Celchu's hair color. In the comics, it's almost always blond. In the novels, by the three authors who will include him, sometimes it's blond, sometimes it's pale brown. It's never been directly addressed, but fans generally speculate that since these discrepancies never take place very soon after each other, it's because he has had time to either dye it or allow it to be bleached by sunlight.
The Pauline Baynes illustrations, which were commissioned specially by Lewis himself and have been used in many editions of the text, portray Lucy with black hair and Susan with lighter hair, despite that Lucy is stated to be blonde, and Susan is black-haired.
The '80s BBC adaptation also has a blondish-haired Peter and brunette Lucy. It's version of Susan is blonde too.
Zaphod is blond and Ford is redheaded. In the TV series, they both have dark hair, and in the movie, Zaphod is blond again but Ford is played by Mos Def. (In the original radio serial, hair colours aren't mentioned, being rather irrelevant on radio.) Mark Wing-Davey, who played Zaphod on radio and TV, is quoted as saying that he said he thought Zaph was "a blond beach bum" (with the implication that he'd have been quite happy to wear a wig), but the producer/director (Alan Bell) wasn't listening to anyone involved in the radio show.
The illustrated book also has a dark-haired actor playing Zaphod. This gets lampshaded: the description of him as blond has a footnote added to it saying that anyone perceiving him as otherwise is probably suffering from Mad Human Disease.
In the book series, Trillian was described with dark hair. When the series came to television, she was played by blonde American Sandra Dickinson. This was done on advice of Douglas Adams himself, who liked Dickinson on the role.
In the Sword of Truth book series, Darken Rahl is described as having distinctly blond hair, but has black hair in Legend of the Seeker. Flashbacks of his father Panis Rahl have him be with entirely white hair.
The main character in the Deltora series is blond in the anime adaptation but not blond in the original book.
Boromir and Faramir are described as having dark hair. For the movies they were given light brown hair, bordering on blond. This is purely because they needed a way to make Boromir and the dark-haired Aragorn instantly visually distinguishable, and putting Boromir in a Viking helmet had been ruled out. But Boromir and Faramir are somewhat egregious examples of this, because their black hair and gray eyes are important as a mark of their Númenórean ancestry, which in Faramir was notably pure.
Legolas has dark hair in the books, depending on your interpretation.
Sam and Merry both have fairly blond hair in the films, whereas in the books blond Hobbits are a rarity.
Kíli in The Hobbit film trilogy has dark hair in contrast to the blond hair he originally shares with his brother Fíli in the book.
Tauriel's counterpart in the book is unlikely to have had red hair, going by Tolkien's lore.
In the Howl's Moving Castle book, Sophie has "reddish straw-colored" hair. In the animated movie, she has brown hair. Also, in the scene where Howl throws a fit because Sophie messed up all his hair potions, his hair was supposed to go from "mud" to the "reddish straw" thing (but pinker), but ended up getting from a yellow-blond to... wet-colored yellow-blond. Then to black because he throws a fit.
Arya has black hair. In the movie, she inexplicably has blonde hair. This, when combined with her human features, makes it impossible to tell she is an elf (except for the fact that early in the film it is directly mentioned she is, which just reinforces the idea that otherwise, nobody would work that out). The changes of hair and ears were reportedly because the director feared a confusion with Lord of the Rings' Arwen. Which is especially funny in the latter case, as Tolkien never said his elves had pointed ears in the published texts (the only hint comes from a tiny note in an etymological dictionary about his ConLangs).
Eragon. The books described him having brown hair and eyes, but in the movies, he is blond-haired and blue-eyed.
Murtagh is supposed to have brown hair in book 1. In the movie they gave him black hair. In book 3, his description backs up the movies.
Princess Ozma's hair is described specifically: "tresses of ruddy gold, with a slender jeweled circlet confining them at the brow." However, in John R. Neill's illustrations, her hair is either colored brown or black. Whether this is intentional (to distinguish Ozma from the blond Dorothy Gale) or simply a printer error is debatable, but most modern Oz fans, authors and illustrators portray her with brown hair or, rarely, black. The "slender circlet" became much thicker in the illos, and was attached to a crown on top of her head. Ozma's hair was only described once, on her original (re)appearance. After that, well, maybe The Wizard Did It. Ozma was blonde in Return to Oz.
Dorothy may or may not count as an example in the classic 1939 film. Her hair color is never mentioned in the books: the original illustrator, W.W. Denslow, gave her light brown hair, but John R. Neill, as mentioned above, made her blonde. Onscreen, she's played by brunette Judy Garland with her hair dyed auburn.
The slippers were silver in the original book; they were changed to red to take advantage of the new colour technology.
In The Worst Witch, Enid Nightshade went from being blonde in the books to having brown hair in the tv series. In the earlier television movie, Mildred (black hair) and Maud (blonde) both turned brunette.
Elena was blonde. In the TV show, she is played by the dark-haired Nina Dobrev.
This extends to Caroline, who was a brunette in the books
Alba from The Time Traveler's Wife is specifically and repeatedly described as having curly black hair. That's important because she is supposed to take after her father physically. Nevertheless, her movie version has straight blonde-ish hair.
The "perfect" May in The Age of Innocence is a blonde (as well as blue-eyed), while family reprobate Ellen is dark-haired. But when the book was adapted for the screen, May was played by the brunette Winona Ryder, while Ellen was played by the blonde Michelle Pfeiffer.
The casting of Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara—despite the numerous references to Scarlett's black hair, a number of blonde and redheaded actresses were considered for the role. They went for a dark-haired woman. Leigh's eyes were blue, whereas O'Hara's were green. The filmmakers made some bad attempts to disguise this, though.
Meggie's golden-red hair is referred to countless times throughout the novel "The Thorn Birds", but in the TV miniseries adaptation, she is played by the brunette Sydney Penny (as a child) and Rachel Ward (as an adult). Her daughter Justine is also a red-head, but played by the brown-haired Mare Winningham.
In Dracula the brides are described as one blonde and two brunettes. Many adaptations change one of the brunettes to a redhead to enforce the Blonde, Brunette, Redhead trope.
In Deltora Quest, Jasmine was described as having black hair, but have green hair in the Anime. Similarly, Lief was assumed to be a brunette, but became blond-haired in the anime.
The eponymous character of Artemis Fowl has blue eyes initially. An eye swap with Holly in The Lost Colony gave him a hazel eye. In the (admittedly black and white) graphic novels his eyes are black.
In the first book of The Princess Diaries series, Mia is described as being "dishwater blonde" and after a makeover her hair is trimmed short. In the movies, she's played by brunette Anne Hathaway.
In Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Annabeth was described as having curly blonde hair. In the movies, she's brunette. She also has gray eyes in the book. Movie Annabeth has bright blue eyes. All demigod children of Athena were supposed to be blondes with gray eyes.
Percy was supposed to have black hair and green eyes, but he also turned into a blue-eyed brunet.
The TV series Jeeves and Wooster had a few instances of this. During the first season, the blonde Madeline Bassett was portrayed by a brunette. Both actresses who were cast as the platinum blonde Florence Craye were also brunettes. Finally, the hair of the actress who portrayed Bobbie Wickham during the first season could hardly be described as a vivid shade of red (or any shade of red unless you squinted really hard).
Sharpe had black hair in the books and was from London, but blonde YorkshiremanSean Bean was cast in the title role for the TV adaptation. Bernard Cornwell was sufficiently taken with Bean's portrayal that later books retconned Sharpe's accent and backstory, but there wasn't much he could do about the hair.
In the The Prisoner of Zenda, King Rudolf, Rudolf Rassendyll, and Princess Flavia, like all the Elphbergs, have red hair; in the 1939 film, both Rudolfs are (probably) brunets (or at least one brunet, Ronald Colman) and Flavia has become "golden-haired goddess" Madeleine Carroll.
In Lloyd Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain, Princess Eilonwy is a redhead and Fflewddur Fflam was described as having "straw-colored hair." The execrable Disney version made her blonde in all sense of the word while ageing him thirty years and giving him white hair.
Tobias from Animorphs is described as blond at the beginning of the series. Then the model they hired to pose as him on the book cover turned up with brown hair, and the author started writing he has dirty-blond hair to make up for it. In the TV series adaptation, he has very dark brown hair.
Gossip Girl: Jenny was originally a brunette in the books. In the tv series, she is blonde.
Angelina Ballerina has white fur in the original books and first cartoon, but has pink fur in the CGI cartoon.
Blond-haired Chloe Steele and Nicolae Carpathia from the Left Behind book series got darker hair in the films.
Vanity Fair: The redheaded Becky Sharpe becomes a blonde in the 2004 film version.
Fantine is changed from blonde to brunette in the above adaptation, while the brunette Cosette becomes a blonde.
Eponine is dark-haired in most stage productions and the 2012 film, although Victor Hugo alternated between describing her hair color as "chestnut" or as "blonde" note Specifically, the child Eponine is referred to as having chestnut-colored hair, but her teenage self later in the story is described as being a blonde. Though to be fair to Hugo, the specific phrase is that she has a "blonde pallor" and may refer to her sallow complexion, not her hair.
It's not mentioned often in the novel, but in The Devil Wears Prada Andrea is blonde. In the movie she is played by the dark-haired Anne Hathaway.
In The Kite Runner, Assef is mixed race (Afghan and white German) and is stated to be blond. In the movie he has black hair. Him being blond is a minor plot point in the novel, since he is said to be a Nazi who thinks that he is superior. His Nazism is downplayed in the movie, however.
The Mr. Men Show: In the original books, Mr. Quiet and Miss Magic were light brown and Mr. Lazy was light pink; in the show, Mr. Quiet is light blue, Mr. Lazy is green, and Miss Magic is orange.
In the movie version of Going Postal, Vetinari is blond. This is a strange example though; his hair color isn't mentioned specifically in the books but the general assumption is that he has dark hair and the illustrations certainly show that. So even if it wasn't actually a contradiction, it was still weird for many readers to see a blond Vetinari. (Especially as he was dark haired in the previous movie.)
In most film versions of The Great Gatsby, Daisy will be blonde and Jordan will be brunette. It's the other way around in the book. Although Daisy's hair is described in contrasting terms in the book, either as fair or dark. She may dye hard, or it may symbolize her elusiveness.
In the Warrior Cats books, Millie is a silver tabby. On the manga covers, she's pinkish-brown colored. The illustrator explained that when he got the character outlines, she was only described as a tabby, so he pictured her as rosy brown, didn't find out her real color until he had already colored the cover of the second volume. He discussed with his editor whether to change it, but they decided that it would be dull to have two gray cats next to each other.
Blanche Ingram is described as a dark beauty in Jane Eyre with black raven hair and olive skin. Several adaptations portray her as a blonde instead, presumably to contrast more with the brunette Jane.
Donald and Douglas arrived on Sodor painted black in the books, then were painted blue when the Fat Controller decided to keep both of them. They remained black in the TV series.
The Skarloey Railway engines were all (apart from Rusty the Diesel) painted red with blue stripes in the books. To help younger fans tell them apart, the TV series gave them different colours. Skarloey and Rheneas kept their original colours, but Sir Handel was blue, Peter Sam green, Rusty orange and Duncan yellow.
Guinever in The Once and Future King is stated to have jet-black hair, even though the narrator admits that she is blond in almost all other versions of the Arthurian legends, including the author's source materials.
Live Action TV
Between the miniseries of the reimagined Battlestar Galactica and Season 1 of the series proper, President Roslin's hair goes from dark brown to a more obviously dyed-looking auburn. This is almost certainly simply a failure to match the earlier colour, since more than a year elapsed between the filming of the two, but since the series follows on immediately from the events of the miniseries, it gives the impression that the President somehow found time to do a new dye job despite being extremely busy and having other things on her mind...
In A Song of Ice and Fire, Arya Stark and Jon Snow have brown hair like their father Ned Stark, while Sansa, Bran, Robb and Rickon have auburn hair like their mother Catelyn. In the HBO adaption however, Bran and Rickon have brown hair like their father, and Jon Snow has black hair. Sansa's hair is also lighter than her book counterpart.
Robb is also has brown hair rather than auburn hair—Richard Madden's natural colour. Same thing happened with his uncle Edmure Tully, who has black hair in the series, which is unusual because the Tully family mostly have red-brown in the books. Of course, since red-heads are uncommon in Real Life (less than 1% of all people in the world have it), the producers seemed to feel it would be better to cast with practicality and availability, and so made more of the Starks and Tullys dark. Notably, Michelle Fairley and Sophie Turner (Catelyn and Sansa) are both Dyeing for Your Art rather than natural red-heads. As for the males, it can be argued that such an option is impractical, particularly since this would require dying their beards as well in regards to Robb and Edmure—a harder feat than hair. Alternately, the showrunners might have felt it was better to have Robb, Bran and Rickon reflect their father more closely rather than resembling their mother (red hair is a recessive gene, so to non-book viewers it looks quite natural).
In the novels, the Baratheons have black hair, but it has been changed to dark brown on the show. Renly Baratheon also has dark eyes instead of light eyes.
Instead of using the normal black-stag-on-a-yellow-field sigil of his book counterpart, King Renly Baratheon on the series creates a new banner which features a golden stag on a green background—the King in Highgarden, indeed. This change reflects the different personality of the TV character, who is essentially a male version of Margaery Tyrell instead of an inferior copy of his brother Robert like he is in the novels. HBO's Renly is ashamed and embarrassed by Robert's neglect and mismanagement of the kingdom, so when the young man decides to claim the Iron Throne, he wants to separate himself as much as possible from his brother's drunken, sloppy image. The new sigil hints to the wealth and power of House Tyrell, and it's analogous to Joffrey's stag-and-lion emblem. Renly is more intelligent on the show than in the books, so he would recognize that it's a smart political move to symbolically acknowledge the importance of his wife's family. The new banner is also a very romantic gesture on Renly's part; he is fulfilling as best as he can Ser Loras Tyrell's (his boyfriend) long-standing wish to see Renly as his "bride" in "green and gold brocade." A male Baratheon can never take on the Tyrell name, but Renly has officially "adorned" himself in his lover's colours.
Ser Loras Tyrell and his sister Margaery from the novels have brown eyes, but their TV counterparts are blue-eyed. Loras' hair is also dark blonde instead of brown. Moreover, the forest green of the Tyrells' clothing has been replaced with teal on the show. The teal colour gives the characters a softer, gentler look onscreen, emphasizing the "silk" part of the family's Silk Hiding Steel philosophy. Michele Clapton elaborates on this chromatic change in the March 28, 2014 issue of Entertainment Weekly.
"Usually I would use the sigil colours as a base palette," she says (which for a Tyrell would mean gold and green). But Clapton was careful not to give away the family's motives. "To be too overt would have shown their hand."
The one major exception is Loras' green-and-gold sparring outfit◊ in "Kissed by Fire." As he is simply practicing his swordplay, there isn't a need for him to disguise the fact that he is a formidable Tyrell warrior.
Viserion, one of Dany's dragons is described as cream colored in the books, where as on screen, he is a more brownish-yellow color.
Elena and Katherine were both originally blondes in the books. They are brunettes on the show.
Caroline is a red head in the book series, but is blonde on the show.
Bonnie is originally a pale-skinned, redhead in the books, but she is African-American with black hair and darker skin on the show.
in The Tudors, Henry and Catherine of Aragon (both with reddish hair in Real Life) were played by brunettes. On the other hand, while Natalie Dormer (a blonde) was cast to play the famously dark-haired Anne Boleyn, she convinced producers to let her play Anne as a brunette.
The former caused some consternation among the producers and investors of the series when an English PR flack, asked why Henry was to be played by a brown-haired actor, replied with melodramatic insincerity that it was "just so sad" but Henry had to be played by a handsome actor - implying that it was obviously impossible for a redheaded actor to be handsome! Officials at Showtime and the CBC were not impressed, especially given the common North American belief that the English dislike of red hair is nothing but plausibly deniable anti-Irish prejudice.
An all-Asian production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street who thought a blonde wig would look odd on a clearly Asian actress steered around the problem of Johanna's frequently invoked blonde hair by simply changing all references to her "yellow hair" to "raven hair" and removed the Wigmaker's Song (which lists several different shades of blondness, so Anthony will know how to refer to Johanna's particular hue) entirely.
A production with a redheaded Johanna similarly removed the Wigmaker's Song and changed "yellow" to "fiery".
Another production had a Johanna that was clearly a brunette, yet kept the Wigmaker's Song and all references to yellow hair, much to the audience's confusion.
Vanities originally portrayed Joanne and Mary as blondes and Kathy as a redhead. The 2000's musical version made Joanne a brunette, resulting in a Blonde, Brunette, Redhead trio. In turn, the ACT Theatre production in Seattle switched Joanne and Kathy's hair colors to better correspond with their personalities. Oddly, a promotional shot of the finale from the Pasadena Playhouse version has Joanne and Mary's hair colors switched, as they were supposed to change their hair colors in-story, but they ditched the wigs and kept the actresses' normal hair colors for the actual production.
In Animal Crackers, the Professor (Harpo) makes his entrance with balloons in his mouth, which he proceeds to inflate. Spaulding (Groucho) asks him, "You haven't got strawberry, have you?", and he produces a red one. The 1930 movie version, being filmed in black and white, changed "strawberry" to "chocolate".
In Grease, all five Burger Palace Boys had dark hair. In the film adaptation, Kenickie and Roger (who was renamed "Putzie") are blond.
While Sandy was intended to be a blonde, the first actress cast for her on Broadway was a brunette, as well as the first actress to play her in the 2007 revival. However, the popularity of the film (and the creators' intent) usually means that blonde women will be cast in this part.
In the libretto of Puccini's Madame Butterfly, the title character's son is described as having blond hair and blue eyes, despite being half-Japanese. Frédéric Mitterand's 1995 film version and many recent stage productions have more realistically given him dark hair and dark eyes instead, with the text changed accordingly.
For the movie adaption of AChorusLine, at least three female characters who are usually known as brunette or redheaded were switched to bleach blonde.
Pewku the Ussal crab went from being blue and yellow to a more realistic brown and gray. These colors were carried over into her tie-in toy as well.
The eye colors of Tahu and Turaga Vakama (pink), Gali (yellow), Lewa (lime green), Turaga Nuju (blue) and Turaga Whenua (dark green) were all changed to a reddish orange.
The mostly metallic-gray, silver, black and bright red armor of Makuta became dark red with prominent green corrosion-spots.
Takanuva's dark-gold and white color scheme was replaced with all-gold.
Hahli's yellow eyes turned blue.
Toa Lhikan's and Toa Vakama's lime eyes, as well as Onewa's dark blue eyes and Turaga Dume's dark orange eyes turned bright yellowish orange.
However Vakama's original green eyes were later used to represent his Face-Heel Turn.
Nokama's orange eyes became blue.
Nuju's and Kopaka's blue eye color was replaced with orange or red for their telescopic eye-piece.
The transparent bright lime "cheek" colors of the Rorzakh became solid black, and the bright blue on the Zadakh was replaced with solid yellowish-brown. The latter's blue eyes also became lime green.
Nivawk may be the most egregious case, as the originally black and silver colored creature became striking red, purple, yellow and bright blue for his movie appearance.
Krekka's dark blue armor was recolored dark green.
Nidhiki's green eyes were replaced with red and yellowish orange for the pupils.
Roodaka's orange eyes were changed to blue, although the turned red when she got angry.
Keetongu's red eye became blue.
The Mata Nui robot's lime green eyes became yellow.
And in a non-human example, the Transformers fandom gives us the never-ending FIRRIB debate. The characters Rumble and Frenzy from The Transformers cartoon were identical except for being blue and red, respectively. Their original toys, on the other hand, are red and blue, respectively - and the comics went with that. Which version is correct? Don't answer that if you value your life. (FIRRIB stands for "Frenzy is red, Rumble is blue." It also comes in FIBRIR, for... well, you get the idea.)
In the Japanese dub of the G1 cartoon, the error was corrected by reversing the characters' identities, which worked well since they were depicted as interchangeable anyway.
The Generation One Sweeps (and Scourge) toys have beards the same color as the face (white or very light grey). In the cartoon, they shift between dark greyish blue, blue, dark grey, and black.
And from Transformers Zone, there's Kain/Cain, the Human AlienBishōnen known primarily for his Ho Yay with the TFs' other human(oid) sidekick, Akira Serikawa. In the OVA, his hair is blue. In a scan from the art book "Transformers Visualworks," it's blond, becoming more orange near the tips. In the story pages, it's green. No two versions of this guy have the same hair color! (Also, his animated clothing is blue. Everywhere else, it's red.)
In a rare instance of a release-related dye job, Pizzazz of Jem was always depicted in doll and animated form with bright green hair. The R1 Rhino masters inexplicably changed her hair color to a dull olive blond - and also redid the green parts of her costume to match this.
In a doll-related change, the title character is known for her pink hair, but the dolls were always blond. Promotional art for the show (such as this◊) that showed up on places such as doll boxes and VHS covers depicted a realistic art style gave Jem predominantly pink hair, but added blonde bangs. All of the characters also had more "realistic" hair styles for the period, but were still reasonably close to their animated and doll line styles.
Happened a lot with old Nintendo cartoons, and adaptations of Nintendo stuff in general: Peach, Link, and Zelda all got light brown hair for their cartoons.
In Peach's case, it looks like she was based on her NES sprite, not any official art of her which has always depicted her as being blond.
Peach's hair was only brown/red in the games since the NES could only display three colors (plus a transparent color) per sprite. In SMB2, Peach's gown is already pink while her skin is white. If they have used blond for her hair, it would've make her sprite look weird since the outline would be yellow too. Once the developers were capable of using more colors in the SNES games, they gave Peach's sprite her proper hair color
Link and Zelda have touched upon all possible natural hair colors throughout the series. Zelda has been pinned as blond, dirty-blond, brown, strawberry-blond, platinum blond and redheaded in one game or another, while Link has had blond, strawberry-blond, dirty-blond, brown, and (thanks to a coloring error) pink hair. The current trend seems to be towards some variety of blond for the both of them. At least there's a ready excuse, since there are many different versions of the characters.
A manga adaptation to the first game has Link with blond hair, when he is a brunette in said game. An adaptation of the second game by the same mangaka has him with pink hair, despite him being the same Link.
In Super Mario Bros. 2 and beyond, Mario wore red overalls with a blue shirt, while Luigi wore green overalls and a blue shirt. In the The Super Mario Bros. Super Show and subsequent series, however, the colors of the overalls and shirts were switched, giving both brothers blue shirts with overalls of their respective colors.
And in Super Mario Bros. 1, Mario wore a red hat and overalls and a brown shirt, while Luigi wore a white hat and overalls and a green shirt. Interestingly enough, Luigi's SMB colors are actually that of his current fiery form as his original fiery form depicted him as having the exact same sprite as fiery Mario (white hat and overalls and red shirt).
Mario's original appearance in Donkey Kong had a blue shirt, red overalls, and red hat. In Mario Bros., he had a red shirt, blue overalls, and blue hat, whereas Luigi had a very dark red (#210000) shirt, green overalls, and green hat.
And then there's Samus. While the first game had her with brown hair (and second was unclear as the Game Boy was monochrome and the manual only had her inside the suit), she has been blonde since Super Metroid. However, the Justin Bailey cheat in Metroid gave her green hair besides a unitard (as it represented the Varia Suit upgrade - another code was discovered which starts with no items and brown hair), leading many people to come up with alternate hair colors for her - and some cosplaysstill use green◊. When adapted into a short comic for Nintendo Power to promote Super Metroid, her hair was purple for some reason - especially unusual considering that Super Metroid was the first game to consistently portray her blond.
Pauline was originally depicted as a blonde in illustrations for the arcade and Famicom versions of Donkey Kong, but became a brunette in Donkey Kong '94, presumably to distinguish her from Peach (who at that point was already a more popular character than Pauline).
The first protagonist, Red, had black hair in the original Pokémon games. Come the remakes and he has brown hair, to more resemble his Distaff Counterpart Leaf. One of his manga counterparts, Shu, had green hair (though he looks vastly different from Red).
Dawn's and Lucas' hair colors are brighter in the anime then in the games.
Volkner's hair is a more dirty blond in the anime, probably to avoid legal issues with Naruto like they did with another character.
Giovanni's jacket is orange in the anime instead of black like his standard Rocket grunts.
Byron's hair is purple in the games. In the anime, it's brown.
Morty - In old promo art of Gold, Silver, and Crystal, he has blond hair. In the games proper, he has white hair due to palette limitations. In the anime, he has orange hair and is later shown with blond hair during a flashback in a Lyra episode. In Pokemon Stadium 2, he has brown hair. In the remakes, it's back to blond.
Flannery in her debut game has orange hair while other appearances including the official art give her reddish pink hair.
May in the games and anime has brown hair. Her Pokémon Special counterpart appears to have grey hair at a lot of times.
Erika has black hair in the games, but blue hair in the anime.
Brendan has apparently black hair, with a white knit hat; it's unknown what his hair is like under the cap, but most people think it's just normal black hair. His Pocket Monsters counterpart apparently has black-and-white hair.
Eye variations appear often in all media. The protagonists of the games always have Brown Eyes or blue eyes, but their Special counterparts have eyes that often match their names, Gary has Green Eyes while Blue has Brown Eyes, Isamu from Pocket Monsters has Green Eyes when Red has Brown Eyes, Misty has blue eyes in the games when in the anime it keeps on switching between that and Green Eyes, etc.
Bill has brown hair in the games. This is consistent with all adaptations other than the anime, where he has green hair.
Happened in the early installments of the Final Fantasy series, where many characters (most notably Terra) who were blond in Amano's concept art had a different hair color so the sprites would be distinct.
A straighter example is Dissidia: Final Fantasy, where characters from the first six games are redesigned from their sprites to appear more similar to Amano's original designs. Terra, for example, has her hair change from a greenish teal to blond. Cecil and Firion both have hair that goes from blue to white. Oddly Bartz remains fairly faithful to his sprite, as his hair is still brown. In most cases, you can obtain different outfits that make them appear closer to their original looks.
Montblanc from the Ivalice games, seems to have orange hair and yellow fur in his game sprites. In the artworks and portrait sprites, he has blond hair and brown-peach fur. This also happened to Hurdy's hair, but averted.
Also, the enemies in the game Super Mario All-Stars. For example, the gray Cheep-Cheeps in SMB were changed to green, and the Bloopers from white to for some reason, pink; and the pink Shy Guys from SMB 2 were changed to blue. Also, the Piranha Plants will all either be colored green or red depending on which game they are in.note Both varieties show up in The Lost Levels; the green ones are normal while the red ones are faster and won't hide in pipes while you're on them.
And the Koopalings' shell colors. In Super Mario Bros. 3, all of them wore green shells, except Morton, who wore a gray shell, and both Roy and Wendy, who both wore pink shells. In Super Mario World, Morton's shell is now colored green like everyone else's, and Roy's shell is now colored gray, while Wendy still wears a pink shell and everyone else still wear green ones (although Ludwig's sprite for some reason had him wear a yellow shell). In an early draft of Super Princess Peach, Roy's shell is now colored green like everyone else's, with the only Koopaling that has a differently-colored shell still being Wendy, who is still wearing pink, but from New Super Mario Bros. Wii onwards, all of the Koopalings are given individually colored shells, with the only Koopas sharing the same color shell being Bowser and Bowser Jr.
Phoenix Wright ends up with blue eyes in the English version, but his other features (including hair color) stayed the same.
The English version of Persona says hi. This caused some scratching of heads when Persona 2 got a more faithful localization as some players wondered how Ellen went from blonde (in the North American version of the first game) to brunette (the color of her hair in Japan).
The Japanese fans probably just wondered how she went from purple to brunette.
The illusory Pierce Boy also gained back his wild blue hair (Again, You Gotta Have Blue Hair), and the earring he didn't actually have in the US version of Persona.
Bizarrely, the GUN Commander, usually grey-haired, had purple hair in Sonic Chronicles. What makes this odder is that humans in Sonic tend to have realistic hair colors. What makes it even odder is that the game was produced by American developers, so you wouldn't expect them to be the ones to introduce anime-like hair colors into the series.
In the original arcade version of Double Dragon, Billy (the Lee brother in blue) has blond hair while Jimmy (the one in red) has brown hair. When the game was adapted to the NES, their hair colors switched: Billy was given brown hair (although, depicted red in-game) and Jimmy has blond hair instead. The arcade sequels (including the Neo-Geo version) would retain the original hair colors for the most part (the only exception being the ending picture in the second arcade game), while most of the later console games (including the ones for the SNES, PC Engine, and GBA) would use the switched style from the NES games, eventually changing their hairstyles as well.
The Master System version had Jimmy with blue hair instead of blond. Most likely the developers of the SMS port used the opening of the NES version for reference, which depicted Jimmy with blue hair instead of his usual blond.
Simon Belmont's hair has been brown, blue, pink, black, blond and red thanks to the various depictions of him in cover arts. Eventually Konami settled on red when Ayami Kojima redesigned the character in Castlevania Chronicles.
The Japanese version of Pokémon Battle Revolution only let you create characters of one skin tone, but the American version lets you choose from three skin tones. With this new feature, boss character Rosie is also changed to be darker skinned than she was.
Space Quest: Roger Wilco changed hair color from brown to blond in the fourth game.
In Escape from Monkey Island, her hair was usually light brown, except in the cutscenes where usage of a different model changed it back to red several times. Guybrush himself has also had this, appearing brown-haired in the first two games, and in the close-ups in the first being black-haired with brown highlights in the original 16 colours. The 32-colour update changed the close-ups to the blond of the cover, a change which carried over from Curse onwards.
Every Metal Gear game has depicted Solid Snake with brown hair. However . . .
In the first Metal Gear Solid, his clone-brother Liquid has blond hair, and in the briefings, Campbell says "Except for the skin tone, he looks exactly like you." The briefings are monotone, so it's hard to see, but Snake looks fair-haired. It seems possible that when he cuts his hair to look less like Liquid, he dyes it too for good measure, and decides to keep the look for MGS2 . . .
But in the GC remake of MGS, The Twin Snakes, his hair is clearly already dark in the briefings. Also, he and Liquid are clones of Big Boss (Naked Snake), and MGS3 and Portable Ops depict him with brown hair.
It could be that Liquid is the one who dyed his hair to be less like Snake.
Or it's the fact that blonde hair is caused by recessive genes, and brown hair by dominant genes, which Liquid and Solid received respectively.
In that same remake, the normally red-headed Meryl becomes a brunette, while Sniper Wolf's odd, slightly greenish hair becomes straight-up blonde.
Syphon Filter: Mara Aramov was a brunette in the first game, but blonde in all subsequent games, even in the flashbacks in the third game.
Duke Nukem has always had blond hair, however his skin colour has changed twice. In his original trilogy, he had red skin (due to EGA pallete limitations). In Duke Nukem II, with a jump to 16-colour VGA, it was changed to a light brown. Duke Nukem 3D finalised his appearance with his characteristic tanned skintone.
In the opening animation for Wild ARMs 3, the anime style changes 3 times. So does the girl's hair color.
In Perfect Dark for the Nintendo 64 title character Joanna Dark had brown hair, in the sequel Perfect Dark Zero for Xbox 360 she had red hair with a blonde patch. The developers claimed that the Nintendo 64 didn't have the technological capabilities for red hair - ignoring the many red objects in the game. Fans thought the developers were just liars who didn't want to admit to a character redesign.
The majority of the promotional artwork for Joanna Dark depicted her with a burnt red colour. This was changed again in the Xbox 360 remake, turning her into a brunette.
Glass Joe in the Punch-Out!! series has different hair in each appearance. It's dark brown in the arcade, blond in the NES, and reddish-brown on the Wii.
Chris Redfield's eyes have been at least blue, brown, green and hazel. Also, while he's a brunette in all of his games, the actor who played him in the live-action opening/endings of Resident Evil was a redhead.
Claire Redfield is a brunette as well, but in the Resident Evil: Degeneration movie, her hair almost looks as if it's dyed deep red, bordering on magenta.
The Touhou fighting games change some of the colours. Mostly eye colours, which aren't always consistent even in the shmups, but Remilia went from pale blue hair to dark purple.
Mai from the Makeruna! Makendou series (or "Josephine" if you've played the first game's American release "Kendo Rage", which was the only installment to reach North America) always had brown hair throughout the four-part franchise, except for in said first game, in which her hair was red. That was only in that game, though, and it was still brown in the Japanese box art.
Word of God for the Myst series is that Atrus has the characteristic D'ni eyes, which are consistently described as "pale". This requires anyone playing the games to ignore Rand Miller's dark-hazel eyes.
Betrayal at Krondor has two examples: Locklear's hair colour change from blond to brown gets Lampshaded when he and Jimmy meet. Also, Pug - having dark brown hair and a beard in the books, and usually wearing his Great One's black robe - gets shoulder-length blond hair, a clean-shaven face and a white robe.
The Hero in Sierra's Quest for Glory series sported very bright blond hair in the EGA version of Quest for Glory I (partially due to the technology limitations of the 16-color EGA graphics). When the game received its 256-color VGA remake, the Hero's hair became more of a sandy color. This particularly stands out since the other titles in the series kept a brighter yellow, though somewhat toned down through more realistic and detailed shading, hair color.
Disgaea: In the games, Etna's hair is bright red, while in the anime adaptation, her hair is a much darker maroon-ish color.
In the iOS / Android Joe Dever's Lone Wolf, Lone Wolf is depicted with black hair unlike the cover of the Rune War book shows him with blond hair.
The Eleventh Doctor is depicted with odd blondish hair in his earlier outfits in Doctor Who Legacy. This may have been an attempt to distinguish him visually more from the Tenth.
In the Higurashi no Naku Koro ni sound novels and manga, Keiichi has blue eyes, the exact same shade as Rena's in the manga, but darker (and with a slight purple shade; mostly in the remakes), in the sound novels. In the anime however, they're full-on purple.
A larger example is in the live action movie adaptations. All the oddly colored characters have "natural" colored hair. Cue Internet Backdraft here. Which is ironic since they would have looked like oddly dressed cosplayers.
The backdraft is because you can't tell the girls apart. Rika has short hair, Satoko has longish hair, and the teens look similar if they aren't in their Higurashi costumes, which they usually aren't.
Umineko: When They Cry's anime adaptation changed everyones eye color, which didn't work well since it was plot related.
In There Will Be Brawl, Ike is given black hair, likely to differentiate him more from Marth.
The Nostalgia Chick pointed out that the real life John Smith from Pocahontas was short, portly and brown-haired, unlike the tall, blond Adonis we get in the Disney adaptation.
The Comic Book Adaptation of Noob (that has its own page) has varying degrees of that, but the most visble is Gaea's dress and hair becoming lighter. The reason is that the comic is supposed to look more like a video game than the webseries whith generally brighter colors. Another more techincal on is that both dark brown an black exist among the actors and the dark browns were probably made lighter to not have too many dark-haired characters.
A similar justification is given for the relatively muted costumes in the X-Men films.
Really noticeable change in character design is present in Wakfu and its Noxmillen special. The eldest (judging height-wise) child and Nox's wife had black hair in the series, while being blonde in the special in addition to the wife's massive character redesign.
The Dinoco logo's appearance and design actually varies depending on which film it appears in. In the Toy Story series films, it's colored red and features an Apatosaurus (just like the logo of the now-defunct Sinclair Oil company, which looks similar), but in the Cars series films, it's instead colored blue and featues a Tyrannosaurus rex (the name Dinoco comes from the Sunoco Oil company, the official fuel of NASCAR, which is also colored blue).
In the Double Dragons cartoon, Billy was black-haired and dressed in blue, while Jimmy was blond and red clad, adding to the above complications.
In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, most white ponies are actually an off-shade (such as Rarity being a very faint grey), but Celestia was one of the few ponies whose coat was literally perfect white. The comics tend to give her coat a more muted pink shade.
Many dinosaur picture books will actually have the dinosaurs colored differently in each book depending on the illustrator. This is because, apart from a handful of feathered species, no one really knows what color dinosaurs really are, so it's up to the illustrator's imagination to determine what they really look like.
Similarly, many astronomy picture books and clip art will often portray Mercury as being bright orange and Pluto being steel-blue despite both being gray in real life.
Though Pluto is mostly orange on its southern hemisphere. Its largest moon, Charon, however, is completely gray like Mercury.