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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, and character designs closer to the then-current manga series.
- 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. The characters look even closer to the manga, before starting to get looser and cruder as the show goes on. Except for one movie, the animation style used here is never repeated.
- For most of the 90s, the Lupin III Yearly Specials would have different character designs depending on who directed. At The Turn Of The Millenium, the style settled down into something closer to the "Red Jacket" series, with updated colour palettes and techniques, every year.
- The release of Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine brought the franchise to a new style, one inspired by not only the original manga series, but gothic art, with darker colors, multiple Art Shifts, and a tendency for more lines, as well. The art style returned in Gravestone of Daisuke Jigen and The Bloodspray of Goemon Ishikawa, but without the gothic influence, and a "smoother" look overall.
- Lupin III The Italian Adventure has character designs inspired by the "Green Jacket" series, but with a brighter palette, thinner lines, and a more modern aesthetic overall.
- 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
- The traditionally animated Hungarian film Vuk the Little Fox got a 3D CGI sequel called The Fox's Tale several decades later. The poor animation was one of the many reasons the sequel was universally disliked.
- Similarly, The Swan Princess got several sequels starting with The Swan Princess Christmas, 14 years after the traditionally animated original trilogy in rather low-quality CGI animation.
- Superman/Batman: Public Enemies tried to emulate the art syle of Ed McGuinness, who drew the comic version of PE. Its sequel, Superman/Batman: Apocalypse, has an art style trying to emulate the late Michael Turner, who drew "The Supergirl from Krypton".
- BIT.TRIP. Compared to the 8-Bit Retraux of the first 6 games, the spinoff BIT.TRIP Runner 2 features a contemporary CGI cartoon graphical style.
- The Dragon Age series had a major art overhaul between Dragon Age: Origins—which was pretty standard fare Medieval Fantasy style—to Dragon Age II—whose visuals are highly stylized, particularly in regards to the depiction of elves and the Qunari. The series backpedaled on the stylization a bit with Dragon Age: Inquisition, which tries to find the middle ground between the first two games' styles—this overhaul was also partly a consequence of moving to a different Game Engine.
- Jumper Three features stylized retraux graphics in contrast to MS Paintish graphics of previous installments or 16-bit style of Jumper Redux.
- This trope occurs between Kirby Super Star and Kirby's Dream Land 3, where the artstyle changes from one that resembles more or less an updated version of the older games' artstyle for the former to a crayon-like look for the latter.
- Then came Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, where the game's now in full 3Dnote Then came the remake of Kirby's Adventure, where the artstyle is yet again, changed, not only giving Kirby his modern design outside of both his 3D portrayals and his portrayal in the Anime, but also giving the game a modernized artstyle that involves, amongst other things, smoother animations and bigger minibosses.
- This then became averted with Kirby & the Amazing Mirror, which uses the same artstyle as with the Kirby's Adventure remake.
- Then came Kirby: Canvas Curse, which went with a paint-like artstyle due to the fact that a paint sorcerer being is trying to turn Dreamland into a world of paint. The next game in the series, Kirby: Squeak Squad, then reverted back to the artstyle of the Gameboy Advance games.
- After that, the remake of Kirby Super Star came, which changed to an artstyle that can be described as a combination of both the artstyle of the Gameboy Advance games and that of the original Kirby Super Star.
- Thennote came Kirby's Return to Dream Land, which has a different 3D artstyle to that of Kirby 64: The Crystal Shardsnote .
- Averted in Kirby's Dream Collection's challenge stages and the subsequent traditional platformers which use the same 3D style and models as Kirby's Return to Dream Land.
- Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, being a sequel to Canvas Curse, also features a art shift that's different from standard Kirby games. Unlike the paint-like artstyle of Canvas Curse, however, Rainbow Curse features graphics that emulate claymation.
- The upcoming Nintendo Switch title uses the same 3D models as the other modern games albeit photo-realistic.
- The Legend of Zelda series frequently changes its artstyles in between sequels. Usually switching from realistic anime style to a chibi anime style and back again depending on what sort of mood and the age Link is in the game.
- From Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask and their realistically proportioned (for a N64-era game), angular anime-style graphics, to the Cel Shaded design of Wind Waker.
- Twilight Princess used a grungier version of the Ocarina of Time style.
- Skyward Sword has a semi-Impressionistic look that's basically accross between the Wind Waker and Twilight Princess art styles, featuring the cel-shading and bright colors of the former with the realistic proportions of the latter.
- A Link Between Worlds has an artstyle that resembles A Link To The Past updated to 3D, while Tri Force Heroes, Link himself looks more like the Wind Waker incarnation.
- The switch between Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga and Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time saw a minor increase in sprite size to take advantage of the NDS's bigger screens. Other than that, it's mostly the same artstyle. While Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story averts this by having the same artstyle compared to Partners in Time, Mario & Luigi: Dream Team does not, being the sub series' Video Game 3D Leap with 2˝D elements.note
- Metal Gear Ac!d had a graphical style closely in keeping with that of its parent franchise, whereas Metal Gear Ac!d 2 had stylized, cel-shaded graphics.
- Puyo Puyo. Starting with Puyo Puyo Fever, the art style of the series drastically changed, replacing the old Super-Deformed style with a more modern Animesque style.
- Sonic the Hedgehog:
- The franchise made a permanent shift from the original Felix the Cat-inspired designs by Naoto Oshima using during the Sega Genesis/Sega Saturn era to the noodly/graffiti-art inspired redesigns by Yuji Uekewa with the release of Sonic Adventure. These designs were also used for Sonic the Hedgehog 4, which is billed as a direct sequel to the Genesis games which use the aforementioned Oshima artstyle.
- The series has gone through several art shifts across its life: Both Sonic Adventure games use a more realistic world than the Genesis/Mega Drive games, the style of which Sonic Heroes returns to, only for Shadow the Hedgehog to go back to the Adventure-style setting while making it Darker and Edgier. Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) went for a photorealistic drection with a redesigned cast (most notably Eggman), which Sonic Unleashed scrapped for a more Pixar-esque look. This remained until Sonic Lost World tried to go for a Genesis-styled approach to the setting yet again.
- A minor one between Rayman Origins and Rayman Legends: in the former, the characters had a more cartoony style with flat colors and clearly visible outlines, but in the latter the characters have a artstyle reminiscent of a oil painting.
- Out of all Blizzard Entertainment's strategy games, only the first◊ two◊ WarCraft games look like each other, with Warcraft III having made the jump to 3D◊. Interestingly, StarCraft originally looked◊ a lot more like Warcraft II. This changed after the dev team saw a much better made game using Isometric Projection, giving it this look◊ (and twelve years later, Starcraft II◊).
- Robopon went from this◊ to this◊ in the transition from GBC to GBA.
- OlliOlli has pixel-art graphics, while its sequel, OlliOlli2: Welcome to Olliwood, uses a silkier, rounded look, like a modern Flash game.
- The Mega Man Zero and Mega Man ZX series feature a radically different artstyle from the rest of the Mega Man franchise. You'd be forgiven for thinking thick armor and pupils fell out of fashion in favour of latex and chunky bracelets between the X series and the Legends series, if Zero 3 didn't imply the art shift were retroactive via Zero's old body (used by the Big Bad) being his current one in a different colour, and not his Mega Man X appearance.
- In Theta vs Pi 7 this trope was very evident. The earlier games were built on graphics calculators and as a consequence were black and white (well, really more grey and grey) and low resolution. Character designs as a result tended to be much simpler. King Pi lampshades the change by claiming to have commissioned a painting of their last battle (actually a screenshot from the earlier game) and adding they’ve both “aged well”.
- The third video in the Animator vs. Animation uses a noticeably different art style, subsequent videos return to the original style.
- 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.
- 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◊, though really, this can apply to any character from The Clone Wars that made it into Rebels, even accounting for the Time Skip in-between series.
- Bo-Katan Kryze is an even better example of the differences, as she's barely aged between series.
- While Tangled and its short film sequel Tangled Ever After are 3D animated, the interquel Tangled: The Series is 2D.
- 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.
- Gadget and the Gadgetinis is drawn in the somewhat Animesque DiC "house style" from the early 2000s.
- The Amazing World of Gumball redesigned the majority of its characters for the second seasons, which also came with changing primary animation studio. There's still some Art Evolution after that point, but not nearly as much or as sudden.