Art Shifted Sequel

Whether it's because of some significant change in the series (like being released on a new console, or in an Alternate Universe), or just the designers wanting something different, occasionally the art style of a series may change for a sequel. Then, in some cases, the new art style may become the default art style.

This trope is for when the previously used art style in a series is switched in a sequel. This can invoke They Changed It, Now It Sucks, if the change of style is unwelcome by fans of the original work. Note, that if a series continues to use one style for too long, some fans might complain that It's the Same, Now It Sucks.

A Sister Trope of Art Shift, which is a change of visual style within a work. Compare Video Game 3D Leap, when a franchise's visuals change from 2D to 3D.

Video game sequels and remakes being made for games on older console generations would most likely get an Art Shift to take advantage of the new hardware, although there are exceptions.


    open/close all folders 

     Anime and Manga 
  • The first season of Beyblade was animated by Madhouse, while the next two and the movie were done by Nihon Animedia in a style closer to the manga. The franchise would retain this style into Metal Fight Beyblade, where animation was handed off to Tatsunoko and SynergySP, along with the Nelvana-commissioned BeyWarriors series.
  • Lupin III: With four series to date, and dozens of TV specials, it is inevitable that this work would become an example of this trope.
    • Lupin III (Green Jacket) has thick lines, and a dark colour palette with high saturation.
    • Lupin III (Red Jacket) used thinner lines, and rounder shapes. The colour palette was much lighter this time, with lower saturation.
    • Lupin III (Pink Jacket) was somewhere between the two in terms of saturation, using a mix of bright and medium colours. The shapes were often very curvy, especially in the first few episodes. Except for one movie, the animation style used here is never repeated.
    • For several decades, the Lupin III Yearly Specials would draw elements mostly from the "Red Jacket" series, with updated colour palettes and techniques, every year. This style is still in use.
    • The release of Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine brought the franchise to a new style, one inspired by the original "Green Jacket" series, with darker lines, multiple Art Shifts, and a tendency for more lines, as well. This style is still in use.
  • Sailor Moon Crystal sees a shift from its 1992 predecessor not only due to improvements in technology allowing better animation than 1992, but as a result of deliberate effort to more closely resemble the manga. All the characters look taller and thinner than their 1990s anime versions.
  • Megazone 23 Part II replaced the previous film's character designer Toshiki Hirano with Yasuomi Umetsu, who redesigned all the returning characters with more realistic appearances.
  • The first season of the anime adaptation of My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU was originally animated by the studio Brain's Base, whose animations were, while not bad, were mediocre at best. Come second season, the reins of adapting the rest of the light novel were given to Studio Feel, whose designs for the characters were closer to the original light novel's artwork. There was a huge improvement in the animations too.
  • Iron Man: Rise of Technovore was followed up by Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher, yet many of the male characters have more lines on their faces. One of the special features even points out the Punisher, wanting a more comic-accurate version for the latter film, hence the burly design with mostly slicked-back hair compared to the thinner design with messy hair in Technovore.

     Film - Animated 

    Video Games 

    Western Animation 
  • The second season of American Dragon: Jake Long saw a number of character redesigns. The overall style was much more sketchy and the designs of several reoccurring characters had them thinner with more cartoony embellishments. To the point many of them would be unrecognizable if they hadn't been mentioned by name on screen. Sliver the Mermaid goes from being able to pass a brunette human from the waste up to being completely green. The Oracle Twins go from being identical besides their clothing style and level of perkiness to having different faces and hair colors. Even the title character's dragon form changes from a Western style dragon his friends could easily ride on, to an Eastern style dragon that was skinnier and more mobile in the air.
  • The New Batman Adventures saw a number of changes in art style from Batman: The Animated Series in order for the art to more closely fit with the art style of Superman: The Animated Series to allow for crossovers (and the eventual Justice League show). The color scheme was inked darker, but the former film noir influenced style was completely done away with. The lines became much more streamlined and everyone had a character redesign.
  • Many of the first Cartoon Network series were redesigned considerably after their original show runners left. Dexter's Laboratory probably had the most radical redesign, followed by the second season of Johnny Bravo (the third season returned to the original designs). The Powerpuff Girls remained mostly the same after its fifth season, with the biggest change being a redesign of Mojo Jojo. However, the 2014 special "Dance Pantsed" had a CGI redesign.
  • Every Animated Adaptation of a live action movie or TV-show may technically count, at least if it is supposed to be in the same continuity instead of "just" an adaption.
  • The second season of Jonny Quest: The Real Adventures, as part of its Re Tool to make it closer to the original shows, heavily changed the art style to make it brighter and less grittier as well as made all the characters look a little younger in appearance.
  • Compared to Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the art of Star Wars Rebels is -while similar- more cartoony, "Disney-fied", with smoother, rounder edges. Also the paintbrush-style coloring of The Clone Wars is gone, and a more vibrant palette is used. The differences are probably best shown on the respective models of Tarkin.
  • Transformers: Robots in Disguise: The lively, cel-shaded look of the show that combined 3d-rendered and 2D animation with even more stylized character designs are a far cry from Transformers Prime's usual color work.