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Adaptational Modesty
Crafting a quality adaptation can be a tricky process, one that often brings with it many things to consider. Between media, there are not only different techniques, but also different standards about what is acceptable for certain audiences, especially when it comes to nudity or otherwise sexual content.

This is where Adaptational Modesty comes into play. It can involve things like making the revealing outfits of the resident Ms. Fanservice slightly less revealing, or reducing what was a lengthy and detailed sex scene in the original work to a Sexy Discretion Shot. Other times, it can be something as simple as putting clothes on a character in scenes where the character was actually naked in the original material.

This trope often comes into play with film or television adaptations of literature or comic books, since ideas about what is generally acceptable tends to differ among these media. This usually overlaps with Pragmatic Adaptation, seeing as the human body cannot usually replicate the impossibly perfect shapes of a drawing and physically wearing some outfits either are wildly impractical or would look silly if replicated exactly.

Also expect this trope to be invoked when working with child actors, because of laws regarding minors in show business, and producers will want to take extra care to avoid landing in a sea of (legal) trouble.

Compare Bowdlerization, which is usually applied to the same product in a different market, and Bleached Underpants. Related to Lighter and Softer. Contrast Hotter and Sexier.

Examples:

Anime & Manga
  • The anime adaptation of Basilisk censors some of the scenes where the manga which it was based on featured bare breasts. The most prominent example being a scene in which female ninja Akeginu covers her breasts with a scarf whereas she was topless in the manga. Strangely, a later OP, and a couple of scenes featuring a character naked are redesigned so that we see slightly less of them than was shown in the manga.
  • The anime version of Bleach removed Harribel's Underboobs and made Nelliel's torn-up rags a little bit less torn up so that her breasts and undersides weren't as exposed as they are in the manga. Likewise, Yoruichi and Soi-Fon's Shunko outfits are given an undershirt so they don't show off sideboob, and a couple of scenes featuring a character naked are redesigned so that we see slightly less of them than was shown in the manga.
  • Lupin Family All Stars: A 10-minute animation based on a story in the second Manga volumes.
    • Goemon just slices Lupin's chair apart; in the original, he did both the chair and the sexy puppet show Lupin puts on.
    • There was more Fanservice in the original manga story, especially on Fujiko and Goemon's part; Fujiko wasn't wearing any underwear when Jigen shot her disguise apart, and Goemon spent most of the story in his Fundoshi.
  • In the Sgt. Frog manga, the platoon invents a gun to zap Natsumi with that leads to her wearing a skimpy oni-girl outfit. In the anime, the outfit is still skimpy but the bottom is changed from bikini briefs to a pair of shorts.
    • An episode of the anime from season 1 shows Koyuki hanging upside-down, where the skirt part of her ninja uniform flips over and we see her wearing a black pair of shorts. Had this happened in the manga we would have had a view of her panties.
    • In the manga chapter where Keroro gets ill, Angol Mois transforms into a different, more revealing outfit in order to destroy the Earth. In the anime version of this episode, she stays in her regular outfit.
  • The Soul Eater manga gives main character Maka Albarn many, many panty shots, all of which were removed for the anime. Although by the time the anime was made, the manga had basically stopped doing this.
  • The first anime adaptation of Mahou Sensei Negima!, added clothes (usually swimsuits) to nude scenes and reduced all the Clothing Damage the series is known for to almost nothing.

Comic Books
  • The New 52 reboot did this for a number of female superheroes with normally skimpy outfits:
    • Zatanna briefly ditched her trademark fishnets for a pair of leather pants. This new design was quickly ditched for one closer to her classic look, fishnets and all.
    • Black Canary kept her stockings but was given a more segmented, armored top meant to seem more practical than her usual leotard.
    • Power Girl was given a new costume that not only gave her pants, but also removed her iconic Cleavage Window. Like Zatanna, fan outcry resulted in the new costume being done away with in favor of a return to her classic look.
    • Poison Ivy, who used to sport little more than a bikini made of foliage, now wears a full body stocking.
    • Carol Ferris, one of the Star Sapphires, now wears a fully clothed uniform with black cloth where her exposed skin used to be.
  • Prior to this, Wonder Woman had been given a complete overhaul in J. Michael Straczynski's short-lived Continuity Reboot. The new Wonder Woman outfit featured a leather jacket and a pair of pants to make her seem more "modern", but both of these elements were ditched for the New 52 relaunch of the series.
  • Perhaps to better sync up with her more modest film counterpart (see below), Gamora from the Guardians of the Galaxy was redesigned to sport a suit of black and white body armor after the Marvel NOW! relaunch. Prior to that, she was well known for her Stripperific outfits.

Films - Live Action
  • Amongst the changes to the Gor series for the films, the Beautiful Slave Girls go from naked (or very revealing clothes) to wearing bikinis.
  • In the X-Men films the main team wear black leather costumes that, while maybe tight, are generally covering the entire body. Other mutants tend to wear either casual street clothes or punk attire. This is all in comtrast to the spandex, leotards and/or stripperiffic outfits that many characters use in the comics. The exception is Mystique, who is actually less modest as they made her technically nude (naughty bits covered by her mutation) under the concept that she couldn't shapeshift her clothes, while her comic/cartoon counterparts typically wear something skimpy. (Interestingly, in the comics, her clothes even in her true form are also just made by her shapeshifting.) Storm is especially notable since most of her costumes either resemble leotards or bikinis, while her movie costumes rarely show any skin.
  • In the Guardians of the Galaxy comics, Gamora is a Green-Skinned Space Babe who usually wears what could best be described as the space equivalent of Red Sonja's gear. In the Guardians of the Galaxy movie, her costume was heavily redesigned to incorporate a pair of pants and more covering on her torso.
  • In Sin City, exotic dancer Nancy Callahan does not dance topless as she does in the graphic novel, at the request of Jessica Alba, who plays her.
  • In the John Carter of Mars novels, Mars has a nice climate and the inhabitants don't bother with clothes much; visual adaptations (including John Carter and The Asylum's Princess of Mars) always give them at least enough clothing to avoid trouble with the censors.
    • In John Carter, Deja even feels the need to state that she feels that the skimpy wedding outfit she wears wasn't her idea and that she considers it vulgar.
  • The cinema adaptation of Ian Fleming's James Bond story, Dr. No, had this problem in filming the iconic scene where Honey Ryder comes up out of the sea and walks up the beach. As generations of short-changed Bond fans have pointed out, in the novel she is stark buff naked. In the film, Ursula Andress has to wear a bikini to meet the social conventions of early 1960's movies.
  • In 300, plenty of people found something to joke about with the Spartans wearing leather speedos, but that was a step up from the original graphic novel where often they were completely nude (reflecting Greek art in depicting warfare).
  • The 1968 Planet of the Apes movie had the wild humans wearing loincloths, while they were nude in the book.
  • The Big Sleep has Phillip Marlowe interrupting a porn shoot and finding a naked girl. Obviously this wouldn't fly on film in the 1940s, so the movie gets as daring as it could by putting her in a nightgown.
  • In the book Enderís Game, the kids are frequently casually naked, though it's devoid of any sexual context. This includes Ender's introduction to Petra (who he doesn't notice is a girl), meeting the slobby Rose De Nose, and Ender's fight with Bonzo (who specifically strips because Ender is naked from showering, so Bonso will make the fight even.) In the film of the book, all the nudity was cut out, along with the kids being made older.
  • Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away has the Water Bowl segment from Zumanity, an adults-only show, which is made safe for a PG movie via 1) dropping the nudity and 2) changing it to a turn for a solo female performer, whereas onstage it's performed by a female duo.

Live-Action TV
  • Game of Thrones is no stranger to nudity; however, this has occurred several times.
    • Scenes in Qarth do not depict the custom of women wearing gowns that expose one breast, as described in the books, mainly because this would have been way too distracting.
    • They also mention that several scenes in the first season, such as a clear case at Daenerys' wedding where a man is having sex with a woman Right Through His Pants, was done because they were worried that they might violate public decency laws in Malta, the filming location.
    • The scene where Bran witnesses Cersei and Jaime having sex in the first episode of the series is changed from both characters being naked to them being covered up, presumably out of consideration for Bran's underage actor.
    • A scene where Catelyn and Ned Stark are naked and Talking in Bed is changed to them both being clothed.
    • Due to laws about child nudity, a scene where Sansa Stark is stripped naked is changed to just having her dress ripped (with the implication that it would have gone further had Tyrion not intervened). Tyrion also spares her from having to undress on their wedding night; in the book, he doesn't back off from consummating the marriage until everyone's naked.
  • In Arrow, Black Canary's trademark fishnet stockings are replaced with a pair of leather pants.
  • In Power Rangers, though they're People in Rubber Suits and not very sexy to begin with, characters like Jellica from Power Rangers Jungle Fury often have more boob-coverage than their Super Sentai counterparts. Necrolai from Power Rangers Mystic Force almost always has her arm in front of her chest. However, human villain Nadira from Power Rangers Time Force has a more revealing outfit; mostly the same but with midriff bared, and bare legs instead of stockings, whereas her counterpart, Mirai Sentai Timeranger's Lila, was designed with an eye toward not being as Stripperific as recent past villainesses.
  • The failed Wonder Woman pilot for NBC originally had the heroine wearing a pair of rubbery blue pants, but outrage from the fanbase led to the inclusion of a more comic-accurate version of the iconic costume.
  • The live-action Witchblade series did away with the Clothing Damage aspect of the titular Instant Armor.
  • in Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon The skirts of the Sailor Senshi are much longer than the ridiculously short mini skirts the Sailors wear in the manga.

Other
  • Zigzagged on the Three Graces, on how they were portrayed over time. For instance, they were initially nude during the Classical Era, then they were covered with sheets in The Middle Ages, then Botticelli's Primavera portrayed them with transparent underwear, and finally nude again by the 17th century.
  • Poked at with the mock Saturday Morning Cartoon of Watchmen, where Dr. Manhattan (typically nude in the graphic novel and movie) is given some briefs to wear. It's all part of the absurdity of trying to make a famously dark story Lighter and Softer.
  • It's commonly believed among biblical scholars that Jesus was naked on the cross. But just try to find a painting that depicts him that way, even from the permissive Renaissance period that gave us Michaelangelo's David.

Western Animation
Adaptational IntelligenceMedia Adaptation TropesAdaptational Sexuality
Teen TitansImageSource/Comic BooksBed Trick
Teen TitansImageSource/Western AnimationAlphabet Architecture

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