Examples, sorted by the original medium:
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Anime and Manga
- Fullmetal Alchemist:
- Hiromu Arakawa, creator of the manga, was consulted heavily for the 2003 anime version, which eventually developed a completely different plot from the source material.
- The second anime, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, was a faithful adaptation of the manga—more or less. Its first episode concerned Isaac McDougall, the Freezing Alchemist—a character created specifically for that episode. He was designed by Arakawa.
- Inuyasha in its anime form has Ayame, the love interest for Koga, who is absent from the manga. Series creator Rumiko Takahashi is so fond of Ayame, however, that she reportedly considered incorporating the character into the manga anyway. She never did, though.
- Ashido and the Forest of Menos were designed by Kubo, with the full intention of having Rukia encounter him in the manga. However, Executive Meddling meant he didn't have the time to insert the character or storyline into the manga, so the anime went ahead and put the storyline into the anime at the point Kubo had wanted it to appear in the manga.
- The 3rd Phantom story can be considered semi-canon because it's written by Tite Kubo himself.
- The "Zanpakutō Unknown Tales" arc features the zanpakutou spirits all of which were designed by Kubo. In an interview, he stated that he would have liked to add the Zanpakutō spirits into the manga and that he'd retained control over the designs just in case he inserted them at a later date. Kazeshini has already appeared in the manga, but in a volume omake rather than the story proper. Kubo had also already drawn a slice of life comedy segment for the supplemental data books that featured Renji letting Mayuri modify his zanpakutou spirit from the original baboon/snake into a hot woman. It's the female form that appears in the filler arc.
- Katen Kyōkotsu's spirit forms are seen in the Thousand-Year Blood War arc when Shunsui squares off against Lille Barro.
- The Zatch Bell! manga began with Kiyo discovering Zatch's powers; they didn't meet a "mamodo" team until the next chapter. The anime stuffed what many fans believed to be a non-canonical mamodo team in the first episode, Hyde and Eido. This was reinforced by the plot point that everyone's spellbooks would tell its owners how many mamodo were left in the battle, something not shown in the anime. However, at the end of the manga when all the defeated mamodo show up to lend their powers to Zatch, Hyde is among the mamodo that appear. Apparently in the manga he was defeated by someone else offscreen.
- The first season of the Magic Knight Rayearth anime adds Innouva as The Dragon for Zagato. He's also used in the Sega Saturn game. The second season features two villains not found in the manga, Nova and Lady Debonair, who were designed by CLAMP for the anime. Lady Debonair even makes an appearance (under a different name) in the Tsubasa manga.
- In the first animated adaptation of Guyver, Oswald Lisker — Guyver 2 — was replaced by a female version, Inspector Valcuria, designed by the original author. She showed up in the manga as a new Guyver looking just like her animated incarnation.
- Eiichiro Oda is behind the writing and character design of the tenth One Piece movie One Piece Film: Strong World, which features as its antagonist the "Gold Lion" Shiki. Shiki was referred to in the manga as the only person in recent history to ever escape One Piece's Alcatraz Impel Down. In the art book for the movie Oda actually does state that Strong World is canon for both the anime and manga.
- Other characters include Musshuru (9th movie), Don Achino (Ice Hunters filler arc), and Daddy Masterson (Loguetown filler). The latter was actually supposed to appear in the manga, but was cut because Oda wanted to reach the Grand Line on the 100th issue.
- Likewise for Z and the Neo-Marines of One Piece Film: Z. Oda originally wanted to make it canon but just couldn't find anywhere to fit it into the manga timeline without creating plot holes.
- Rebuild of Evangelion is being made by almost the same team that created the classic series. So it's not surprising that newcomer Mari Makinami was designed by the original character designer on behalf of the original director. The director has described her as the only main character who, unlike the main characters from the original series, doesn't have any aspects of his personality in her. She was later brought over to the epilogue of the original series' manga adaptation.
- Sakura's parents from Naruto were created by Masashi Kishimoto for Naruto the Movie: Road to Ninja. Kishimoto has stated that he always intended to introduce the pair in the manga, but never found the correct time to do so.
- A dating sim game based on the Revolutionary Girl Utena anime was released on the Sega Saturn some time after the anime's release, and it is set between the first and second story arcs. Both the scenario and the game's Big Bad, Chigusa, were respectively written and conceptualized by Kunihiko Ikuhara, the director of the anime, and he himself stated that the game is, in fact, canon. Those who watch the game's scenario will find that Chigusa was an apparition created by Souji Mikage, the Big Bad of the second anime arc, and Akio is aware of her existence. If for nothing else, Ikuhara's flavor is woven into the script, such as the humor and Chigusa's view on women: the innocent princess Snow White versus the Evil Queen.
- Hajime Kanzaka, the writer of the novel series, wrote out some scenarios for the Slayers anime and also wrote the story for the Alternate Continuity Hourglass of Falces manga. The third anime season in particular is original material that he was involved with; in this case, he didn't care for the end result.
- However, a character poll in Japan had the third-season/anime exclusive villain Valgaav in the top 10, and Kanzaka more or less acknowledges his existence along with a few others.
- Wataru Yoshizumi designed several anime-only characters for both Marmalade Boy and Ultra Maniac, the latter of which was an adaption In Name and Character Design Only. She included her designs in the Free Talk columns of both volumes, noting that she did still feel an attachment to the characters she designed herself, and pointing out some corners cut in the designs of characters she didn't provide. (Namely, the fact that Ryouko Momoi had the same eyes as Meiko Akizuki.) She also talked about how she was asked to design a grandfather for Nina in Ultra Maniac, but her original design was seen as too serious for what was intended to be a comedic character, and was redone... only for this to be overruled, the showrunner declaring that since the original author went to the trouble of designing the character, that was the design they were using.
- Several Dragon Ball anime filler characters were designed by Akira Toriyama, most notably Grand Kai (Dai Kaio), the hipster overseer of the four Kais who appears in the "Otherworld Tournament" arc. Though not heavily involved in the anime-only sequel Dragon Ball GT, he also did a few character designs for it, such as GT-era Pan and the Robot Buddy Gill. He also designed Towa, the female demon antagonist of Dragon Ball Online and the Dragonball Xenoverse games.
- Hiro Mashima is responsible for designing the characters and story planning of Fairy Tail's filler and film. He even acknowledges the "Key of the Starry Heavens" filler arc as canon in the manga.
- Lyrical Nanoha creator Masaki Tsuzuki was the one who created the story for the Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's Portable fighting game adaptations. The original characters from the game have since started showing up in other Nanoha continuities written by the author, and there have been hintsnote in one of the A's Portable Sound Stages that there's a chance that they may be written into the main continuity sometime in the future.
- Homura and his minions, who were introduced in the anime version of Gensomaden Saiyuki were created by Minekura herself, but had never showed up in any of the manga series.
- Sgt. Frog: Katoyama Kiko, a human mecha designer who joined the Keron Army for a while, and also Mois' friends, girls with similar missions to judge and destroy planets, like Maya, Luz and New, who appear in one story of the last season of the original anime, were all created by Mine Yoshizaki but have made no appearances in the manga at all, not even in small cameos.
- Princess Sailor Moon and Sailor Luna were both created by Takeuchi for Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon.
- Akaii Ringo of the Tokyo Mew Mew Playstation game was designed by Ikumi Mia to fulfill the RPG convention of a healer, which helped cement her in the fandom. Unfortunately, many non-players ended up using her as a Possession Sue.
- Several characters developed for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987), such as Bebop and Rocksteady, were originally designed by Turtles creators Eastman and Laird. Ironically, this was not enough to grant the characters Canon Immigrant status, and Peter Laird, in particular, was adamant about not including them in adaptations he was involved in.
- Merle and Daryl Dixon were both created for The Walking Dead with both blessing and input from Robert Kirkman. The trope gets take to its Logical Extreme in Fear the Walking Dead, with Kirkman creating an entire new cast of characters for use in the sister series.
- An odd example occurs in Star Wars. The character of Darth Bane was created by George Lucas as part of the backstory for the Sith — and was mentioned in The Phantom Menace novelization — but wasn't integrated fully into the current canon until his one episode appearance in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Under the old pre-Disney canon, Bane was canon simply because Lucas said so, but when he sold the franchise to Disney the rules changed and it was only by making an on-screen appearance that Bane was restored to canon.
- J. K. Rowling wrote two defictionalised books from the Harry Potter series; Quidditch Through The Ages and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them for Comic Relief. She stated that they consisted of stuff from her own notes that she would never have space to use in the books/wrote for her own amusement.
- In Kim Newman's Anno Dracula series, one of the major recurring characters, journalist Kate Reed, is a character originally created by Bram Stoker in early drafts of Dracula but removed from the published version.
- Wybie was created by Neil Gaiman for the movie of Coraline. In the book, Coraline spends a lot of time on her own and most of the exposition is her internal monologue. This doesn't really work all that well in movies, so they had to give her someone to talk to, and Wybie was born.
- Channel 4's 1998 Setting Update of Through The Looking Glass includes Ian Richardson as the Wasp in the Wig, a character Lewis Carroll removed when John Tenniel protested it was impossible to draw.
- Joyeuse makes an appearance in the 2008 adaptation of La Dame de Monsoreau. He is one of Henri III's favorites in Les Quarante Cinq, a novel that takes place seven years after.
- Honorverse's Victor Cachat initially was just an original character created by David Weber's friend and collaborator Eric Flint for a spin-off short story (which also gave the Weber's own one-shot character Anton Zilwicky a much expanded role). Soon, though, as Flint effectively became a Weber's equal co-author, Cachat joined the main cast in earnest.
- While Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse have been clear regarding the fact that the Lost video game, "Via Domus," is non-canon, some elements of the game were created by the pair and were originally intended to be in the show before being thrown into the game instead. However, despite this claim, some of these "official" elements have ended up conflicting with the show's later seasons. The biggest example is the "Incident Room," the room behind the concrete wall in the hatch. The room was intended to be shown in the series but wasn't, and the design was given to the developers to be used in the game.
- However, this room ended up conflicting with the show's portrayal of the actual "Incident." In the game, the room contains a large, busted generator with electricity flowing through it, implying the "Incident" was some sort of electromagnetic generator failure. However, the show's portrayal of the "Incident" was much different: it occurred while the hatch was still under construction, involved a drill hitting a pocket of electromagnetic energy, and possibly Juliet detonating a hydrogen bomb over that pocket. No room or generator was involved.
- Douglas Adams always added things and changed continuities in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Since the basic work has seen light in eight media — radio drama (which came first), LPs, novels (which added Hotblack Desiato and the Disaster Area stunt ship), stage productions (which introduced the dish of the day), TV series (which added the food on the Vogon ship, and the important detail that Arthur had been wearing his bathrobe the whole time), video games (which added lots of backstory and the Catch Phrase "Show No Tea to the door"), a comic, and a film — this example is particularly famous. Although the film was made after his death, most of the plot-altering elements added to the film (the character Humma Kavula, the Point-of-View gun, the little things that pop up whenever you have an idea on the Vogon homeworld, etc.) were thought up by Adams himself.
- In Transformers fandom, this manages to mix with the Merchandise-Driven nature of the franchise to form an extreme case... even if a character doesn't have so much as a cameo anywhere in the Expanded Universe, if a toy is made, it's implied that that character is out there somewhere. Not that Doom-Lock or Hardtop will ever drop us a line or anything, but we know they're somewhere doing their thing.
- For instance, in 2006, seven years after Beast Wars ended, a comic came out showing what all the characters who were in the Beast Wars toy line but never showed up in the show were doing.
- Also, with the number of Promoted Fanboys involved with TF production, never count out any of them when it comes to getting their day in the sun. Doom-Lock was scheduled to appear in the Transformers Energon comic, but Dreamwave went kaput before he could. Hardtop has since appeared in some comics and one text story. The IDW Comics series, on the other hand, has a gazillion characters of varying importance who have been toy-only - since 1985.
- Speaking of Hasbro toylines, there are over 50 Generation 4 My Little Pony characters who have yet to be included in Friendship is Magic or its Expanded Universe. Only ten times have such characters gone on to appear in one or more actual works: Blossomforth in the show, Sweetcream Scoops, Sugar Grape, Cherry Spices, Barber Groomsby, Tealove, Bumblesweet, and Diamond Rose in IDW Publishing's Friendship is Magic and in one case Micro-series comics, and Lovestruck and Forsythia in Gameloft's My Little Pony game.
- Katawa Shoujo has Saki Enomoto and Rika Katayama, two "DLC love interests" announced as an April Fools' prank by the development team, with mock screenshots and personality profiles. Ultimately, they were never even mentioned in the final game, but they became Ensemble Dark Horses anyway.
- The most extreme example is perhaps Alodi, introduced in the manga as the very first Guardian, he wasn't even mentioned in World of Warcraft until he got an Artifact named after him in Legion, and he (or rather she) was the one who reveals that Medivh brought the orcs into Azeroth.
- Similarly, Durotan and Draka's first canon appearance was in the novel Lord of the Clans, which came out just before Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos.
- Orgrim is an interesting example. In the Orc Campaign (which was the canon ending for the first Warcraft) the player character becomes the Warchief. In the second game and onwards the orc that did this was named Orgrim Doomhammer. Depending on your interpretation of canon, he's either the player character of Orcs and Humans (which would disqualify him from this trope), or was retconned in.