The fundamental issue I am trying to weed out is complaints that something is not as visually impressive in the adaptation, which has some
bearing on whether or not a character is a badass but is really rather irrelevant to the primary topic. The question should be "Are they no longer badass?" and NOT "Are they weaker?" or "Do they have a different Power Level
?" or "Does it look not quite as cool?"
To be an example there should be a major reference point that proves they are less powerful. While I still think Adaptational Depower
might be a little too restrictive, I think it is much more accurate to the trope than the current name. Look up the TV show Arrow
and its Adaptational Wimp
entries to see genuinely good
examples of how the trope should be used. Those who were mildly superpowered (Deathstroke, Canary) are downplayed to Badass Normal
, and all of it done without sounding like complaining about the person becoming "less cool."
For comparison I took out an example in Adaptational Badass
that listed most of the crew of the new Star Trek
films. The new films are more visually impressive, but plenty of people think Shatner's Kirk is still more badass than Pine's Kirk.
With Dragonball, the problem is that people associate Dragon Ball Z
as being the epitome of the Dragonball saga, while Dragonball Evolution
was adapting a period where the fights were not nearly as Earth shattering. It was more in the Wuxia
genre of Supernatural Martial Arts
(which the movie evoked in a semi-competent manner) instead of the godlike planet-destroying fireballs.
With Loki, his actual power level is constantly in flux in the source material to begin with and, regardless, in the movies he is able to at least go toe to toe with Thor. It's simply NOT an example, just someone wanting to talk about those movies.
With Avatar: The Last Airbender
, I will somewhat concede the change
to firebending in principle (regular people can't generate their own fire), but it's still surrounded by a lot of bad examples. Everything else I said about the examples in the show stands because all of the bending arts are not as impressive in general.