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Adaptation Personality Change / Anime & Manga

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  • In Attack on Titan: Junior High, not only are characters exaggerated, due to the series being a Denser and Wackier High School A.U. story of Attack on Titan, but the titans are even given personalities (those that aren't already titan shifters), so they can cry, love, and be selfish (the main plot involves them constantly stealing lunches from humans).
  • Black Butler: Anime Grell is portrayed as a clumsy, demented, masochistic stalker in love with Sebastian; compare to Manga Grell, who while still having feelings for the eponymous butler, is a mostly serious, significantly less romantic stone cold sadist. The disparity stems from Grell's increased roll in the multiple anime adaptations; with little material for the anime production team to work off of at the time, what characterization there was had to be stretched.
  • Bokurano:
    • The anime version of Takami "Komo" Komoda is more emotionally resilient and mature than her manga counterpart. In the manga, she faints after hearing that the pilots are doomed to die, has trouble in her battle when things start going awry, and has a brief Heroic BSoD during her final piano recital. In the anime, she immediately tells the authorities about Zearth after Waku's death, and in her battle, remains focused and defeats her enemy with relative ease in spite of the fact that her father just died, and she knows she'll be joining him soon.
    • The anime version of Aiko "Anko" Tokosumi is somewhat less ditzy and shorter tempered than her manga counterpart.
    • Seki ends up undergoing this due to becoming a Composite Character with Shouji. In the manga, Shouji points a gun at Koyemshi to force him to let the Self-Defense Forces investigate Zearth, resulting in him losing some of his fingers. After Shouji's taken away for medical attention, Seki orders his men to calm down, and tries to reason with Koyemshi. In the anime, Seki's the one who points the gun at Koyemshi, showing that he's a bit more impetuous than his manga counterpart.
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    • The anime version of Komo's father not only has his name changed from Tomoe to Kouichi, and is a Diet member rather than a Self-Defense Force officer, but is also significantly warmer and more emotionally open than his manga counterpart.
  • Classi9 is a manga setting the most renown European composers in a private school, so there will be some of this. The worst offender is Beethoven, who went from being a grumpy old man to a soft and occasionally cheerful teenager. Tchaikovsky has also changed a lot, becoming a charming if not sometimes slightly disturbing, bisexual young man.
  • King Dedede of the Kirby games series is usually an Anti-Villain, committing petty acts of villainy at worst and often teaming up with Kirby. In the Kirby: Right Back at Ya! anime, Dedede is a more actively antagonistic and callous tyrant (if still ineffectual) and his redeeming moments are more few and in-between. Meanwhile Meta Knight, more a Hero Antagonist in the games, is Kirby's ally and mentor from the beginning of the anime.
  • Cyborg 009:
    • 002/Jet was an easygoing sort of Big Brother Mentor to 009/Joe in the manga, and rather lighthearted when considering that his backstory involved him being on the run after accidentally killing a man. In the 1979 anime, he kept some of his chill personality but would also fly off handle if you insulted his former gang or pissed him off. In the 2001 anime, he became a hot-blooded Jerk with a Heart of Gold presented as a rival and foil to Joe, as well as one to 004/Albert.
    • Albert himself was a lot more of a grim, sarcastic Deadpan Snarker in the manga, but was increasingly softened with adaptations, with his 2001 self having a more pragmatic, gentle Sugar-and-Ice Personality and being the calmer one to balance out Jet's (adaptational) cynicism.
  • Misa Amane from Death Note suffered this when the manga was turned into an anime. Her big moments from the manga were downplayed in the anime, she became more of The Ditz character because she appeared dumb when compared to L and Light, who also got the main focus of the show (which switched more towards Light and Near in the second season), and her Yandere trait toward Light was up-played before she was shoved aside.
  • Sailor Moon:
    • Rei Hino/Sailor Mars was hit the hardest with this out of all the main characters in the transition to the 90's anime; while most of them keep their basic traits from the manga intact, Rei's personality is almost her manga counterpart's polar opposite. She goes from a calm Aloof Dark-Haired Girl who Does Not Like Men in the manga to a Hot-Blooded, boy-crazy Tsundere in the 90s anime. Her characterization in Sailor Moon Crystal more closely resembles her manga incarnation, albeit shyer.
    • The Four Generals of the Dark Kingdom get very little characterization in the manga, being mostly one-off villains who are quickly dispatched by the Sailor Senshi. They are, however, shown to care about one another and express grief and anger over the deaths of their comrades. Not so in the '90s anime adaptation, which aside from Kunzite and Zoisite depicts them as rivals for Beryl's favor. Nephrite and Zoisite in particular have a vicious rivalry full of one-upsmanship and backstabbing which ultimately leads Zoisite to arrange Nephrite's death. The manga's backstory for the characters, which depicts them as noble members of Prince Endymion's court who were misled and corrupted by Beryl and Metaria, is also removed from the anime adaptation.
    • Minako has a much darker personality in Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon than she did in the anime or the manga.
    • In the manga, most story arcs introduce a new character working towards their own mysterious ends whose motivations are unclear because of a combo of wrong first impressions, misunderstandings, and limited direct pagetime, made more plausible by the quick pace of the story. Meanwhile the anime versions have slower-paced, longer filler arcs and new characters promoted heavily and almost immediately; to maintain the same mystery, it's common for said characters to simply be less helpful (e.g.,Helios changing from forthcoming but weakened to hypersecretive) or even outright antagonistic (e.g., the friction between the main cast and the newer soldier groups in season 3 and 5.)
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! (first anime series):
    • Hiroto Honda ws a completely different character compared to his manga counterpart. In the manga, he was a tough guy who was Vitriolic Best Buds with Jonouchi, while the original anime series portrayed him as a dorky hall monitor who was obsessed with playing by the rules.
    • The character of Bobassa is heavily different in both versions of the Millennium World arc. In the manga he is intelligent and very serious as well as an alternate form of Shadi, while in the anime he is primarily a comic relief character who is very simple-minded and spends most of his time thinking of his appetite.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX: The manga adaptation of Jun is far different from his anime counter part. In the anime, he was a hot-headed narcissist who often served as comic relief. In the manga, he's reclusive, calm, and far less egotistical.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V brought back characters from the previous series, Edo/Aster and Asuka/Alexis from Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, Jack and Crow from Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's and Kaito/Kite from Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL. However, most of their personalities are different as they are alternate versions of the characters:
    • This version of Edo is much more hot-headed and has a short temper, while the original was cool, collected and a Deadpan Snarker.
    • This Jack Atlas is much more serious and is not surprised easily. Also he hasn't shown his love for cup-ramen.
    • Crow is much more cynical than his original counterpart.
    • Kaito is much more vengeful and aggressive. His ace monster "Galaxy-Eyes Cipher Dragon" is described as a god of vengeance, while his original ace, "Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon" was called the embodiment of light.
  • In the Devil May Cry games, Dante is a wisecracking wild man, who always fights like he's having the time of his life. The anime made him far more laid-back, and took away most of his personality quirks in the process. He also gripes more about not getting paid for his work, whereas several lines in the first game indicate that he's not that concerned about money.
    • Similarly, the Devil May Cry 3 manga also depicts Dante as caring about getting paid, if largely for pragmatic reasons like rent and food.
    • Dante's characterization in the series is fairly variable from game to game already, with only his core personality (that of a flippant but compassionate fun lover) seeing little change. The Animated Series merely continues the trend note  and, in some ways, does mirror the Dante of the original DMC, who was debonair and prone to cheeky remarks at his enemies' expense, but knew when to buckle down and focus on the mission. Some fans have theorized that either a) Dante is in a temporary funk as some kind of delayed reaction to the events of the original DMC spoiler  or b) Dante is more mellow here because TAS is the closest you'll get to a Slice of Life series for the devil hunter, what with the relatively mundane but still supernaturally-related assignments, Dante's dynamics with Patty, and his financial issues (as opposed to the big-time jobs he takes on in the games where he can really cut loose). A further derivative of the first interpretation paints Dante as suffering from an actual depressive episode.
  • The first Fullmetal Alchemist anime adaptation changed quite a few things from the manga:
    • In the first anime adaptation Hohenheim's past is changed from a pawn of Father's who became immortal after he unwittingly helped sacrifice his country, to a selfish man who intentionally sacrificed countless innocent people to make a Philosopher's Stone just so he could be immortal. The reason he abandoned his family is also much more personal than in the manga where he left to try to stop the Big Bad's plan; this time he leaves in order to find a way to become mortal again so he could live a normal life with his family.
    • Zolf J. Kimblee, while a Mad Bomber in both incarnations, is genuinely Affably Evil in the manga and has very real respect and admiration for people who hold steadfast to their convictions. In the first anime however, he's a Misanthrope Supreme who relishes killing people because he believes everyone is worthless trash deep down. The reason for this was because the manga was still ongoing when the first anime was made, and at that point, his personality hadn't been fleshed out enough in the source material so the adaptation was simply working with what they had.
    • Barry the Chopper is a Laughably Evil villain in the manga, but a serious Ax-Crazy one in the anime.
    • Fuhrer Bradley is a much more arrogant dick in the 2003 anime than his more Affably Evil self in the manga. Possibly because he's Pride in the 2003 anime, rather than Wrath.
    • Basque Grand in the manga is a Reasonable Authority Figure and A Father to His Men who shot his own commanding officer to save his men from dying needlessly, and even granted the high priest of Ishval an audience with Fuhrer Bradley in an effort to stop the war. In the 2003 anime, he's a Blood Knight who relished in massacring Ishbalans.
    • Lust in the manga was a cruel, sociopathic seductress who saw humans as inferior to homunculi and enjoyed killing people, especially men, in many different painful ways. Compare that to her anime counterpart, who is an Affably Evil Anti-Villain who desires to be a human greatly and later pulls a Heel–Face Turn.
  • In the Monster Rancher anime, Colt, the assistant from Monster Rancher 2, appears as an explorer in one episode. Since her game personality was nearly identical to Holly's, the anime made her a snarky, short-tempered explorer.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
  • Henrietta in the first Gunslinger Girl anime is far more subdued and stoic than she is in the manga. In the manga she can barely go a page without smiling or blushing. Teatrino returns her to her original personality.
  • Several characters in Bubblegum Crisis from the OVA to Tokyo 2040. For a few examples:
    • In the OVA, Sylia is calm and collected, and more often, leading the Knight Sabers into battle herself. Her 2040 counterpart rarely went into the field herself, acting more as Mission Control, and was more volatile and prone to outbursts. Being a test subject for her father may be the cause of 2040!Sylia's instability.
    • In the OVA, Leon was a fan of the Knight Sabers, whereas while in 2040 counterpart warmed up to them, he started off disliking them.
    • Daley went from not-full-on Camp Gay to Straight Gay.
    • OVA!Priss wasn't shy about expressing her emotions, 2040!Priss was The Stoic, though still prone to shooting off her mouth while angry.
  • Kouta from Midori Days is an all too serious boy with a crush on Midori. His closeted homosexuality in the comic is never mentioned.
  • In the original visual novel Fate/stay night, Gilgamesh was essentially an Axe-Crazy narcissist who did everything For the Evulz. In Fate/stay night [Unlimited Blade Works], he is saner with more understandable motives. This was likely a change to make his personality more consistent with the one he had in Fate/Zero.
    • Also from Fate/stay night, Illyasveil von Einzbern was an evil Creepy Child. In Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA☆ILLYA, she is a Cheerful Child who until the first chapter/episode was living a normal life, and as a consequence is everything the original wasn't, like actually being much more heroic and much nicer. Becomes a plot point later, when Illya's original memories/personality were actually sealed by Irisveil, which later breaks free and manifests as Chloe von Einzbern.
  • Keiichi Maebara in Higurashi: When They Cry is notably more Hot-Blooded and a pretty big pervert in the anime adaptation. In the original sound novels, he's more of a rather generic, but good-natured Nice Guy who only occasionally acts hot-blooded (typically only during club games) and perverted, and often even chastises some of the girls (like Mion) for acting like a pervert. He's also much less subtle and introspective in the anime, however this can easily be justified in that it's hard to get across an introspective internal monologue in an animated format, as opposed to a sound novel format.
  • Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days:
    • Xion is a lot more peppy and expressive than her game counterpart, who is somewhat solemn.
    • In the game, Xaldin is composed, intelligent, and always completely serious. In the manga, he's comically boisterous and a fool that can't understand how to operate a computer.
  • In the movie based off of Uzumaki, Kirie Goshima goes from being a strong-willed character who is willing to risk her life to protect her family and significant other from the Spiral to being much more submissive and ineffectual. Likewise, her boyfriend Shuichi Saito stops being a tormented Waif Prophet with good intentions and becomes a Bespectacled Bastard Boyfriend.
  • The boys of Sands of Destruction remain mostly the same in the anime and manga, but the girls differ wildly depending on the adaptation.
    • In the game, Morte was a rather energetic Mad Bomber who wanted to destroy the world because it was already ending and she was bored of it taking its time. The animenote  changes her to be rather grim and serious, and gives her a different reason for wanting to destroy the world: her family was wiped out by fighting with the beastmen, and so she saw no reason to continue living - but wanted to exact revenge on the ferals first. There are a few hints in the gamenote  that Morte may have been somber in the first drafts of the script (on which the anime would have been based), but her final personality is definitely upbeat. The manga takes her game personality and runs with it, pushing her well over the boundary of Ax-Crazy when she bombs a town of innocent people just so they can't be used as slaves. It also changes her motive for wanting to destroy the world again: this time, it's actually her fault the world ended up so broken in the first place - a thousand years prior, she had wished for a world with talking animals, but forgot to wish they would also be friends with humans. Wiping the whole thing clean and starting over is the only way she knows to fix things, but unfortunately, reincarnating messed with her memories and she's forgotten the part about fixing the world; all she remembers is that she wants it destroyed. The manga also turns her into Ms. Fanservice, whereas in the anime she was rather defensive of her modesty.
    • Rhi'a is calm, collected, and rather mysterious in the game. She does show the occasional bout of playful, even trollish humor (particularly in regards to Agan), but it's obvious she's intelligent even if she's a little odd. The anime drops all of this in favor of making her Trigger Happy and very sharp, whereas the manga robs her of practically all good sense and turns her into Plucky Comic Relief, as well as removing her guns entirely.
  • Dragon Ball
    • In the original Japanese version of Dragon Ball Z, Frieza is a sophisticated, regal, and superficially polite tyrant who only got angry after extreme provocation or when things were clearly not going his way, much like how he was in the manga. In the Ocean and Funimation dubs, he was an androgynous, tough-talking, brutish Smug Super with a Hair-Trigger Temper, a fondness for puns, and plenty of homoerotic undertones. It wasn't until Funimation's Kai dub that North American audiences got an English Frieza who had his original Japanese personality.
    • Goku himself is also characterized quite differently in Funimation's first dub. In Japanese, Goku is someone who cares deeply for his friends and family, but at the same time, he doesn't really care about the moral high ground or what's considered justice, and he admits that he often acts rather selfishly. Funimation's dub makes it so that while Goku still enjoys a good fight, he is a paragon of virtue who is ready to risk his life to defend the innocent and stand up for what is right. This has often drawn comparisons to most depictions of Superman.
    • Chi-Chi in the manga was an intentionally unpleasant and stereotypical Education Mama with a Berserk Button for Goku’s idiocy. Toriyama himself dislikes her as he has Chi-Chi be little more than a gag character who gets in the way of her husband and sons’s heroics. In the anime however we get to see much more of Chi-Chi’s loving side as she repeatedly shows how much she genuinely loves Goku as seen when he recovers from Heart Virus running into his arms crying with happiness.
    • Even though Goku Black appears in both the anime and manga adaptation of Dragon Ball Super, the two characters are so completely different towards each other that listing it will lead to a Wall of Text that is elaborated in his character page but to sum it up, Anime Black acts gracefully and is always shown to be calm even when losing a battle. Manga Black on the other hand, is a lot more hot-headed and acts like more of a Smug Snake bully who tends to beat up opponents like a brute and completely breaks down upon losing.
    • When reimagined by creator Akira Toriyama, Broly's personality basically did a complete 180°. In his original appearance, Broly was little more than a psychopathic berserker who hated Goku because when they were infants, he cried a lot; by the end of his debut Broly killed his own father, and as the movies progressed he lost what little personality he had and was little more than rage incarnate. In Dragon Ball Super: Broly, Broly is a soft-spoken and kind-hearted man who grew up on an isolated alien planet and doesn't even like fighting. However, he's being used as a tool of Revenge by his father Paragus, something Broly plainly realizes, but he admits that he still can't lift a hand against the man who raised him. Perhaps most tellingly of all, the movie ends with Goku trying to befriend Broly, and him seemingly accepting.
    • In the same movie Bardock is depicted differently from his original characterization due using his Dragon Ball Minus version. In his debut Bardock was a ruthless Anti-Hero fitting his warrior race, he didn’t particularly care about his second son Goku (dismissing him after reading his low power level), only caring for his son when he learns that he will one day avenge their race by beating Frezia. In Minus and Broly Bardock explicitly cares greatly for Goku (whom he personally sends off planet Vegeta) as well as his wife Gine though it is still noted In-Universe Bardock’s behavior is rare for Saiyans.
  • In the Ghost in the Shell anime movie, Major Motoko Kusanagi goes from a Really Gets Around Genki Girl to an introspective stoic who's Married to the Job. Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex combines both takes, keeping the Major's driven and professional nature from the movie, while also reintroducing the more playfully sarcastic and tomboyish aspects of her personality from the manga.
  • Di Gi Charat:
    • Dejiko is a spoiled Bratty Half-Pint in the original series and Nyo, but the All-Loving Hero in Panyo Panyo, which came in-between.
    • Rabi en Rose is a Jerkass rival idol to Dejiko originally, but came back as Dejiko's Butt-Monkey in Nyo after a mere cameo in Panyo Panyo, subject to her and Puchiko's antics when she's minding her own business, staring when they first meet her.
      • And then there's Winter Garden, in which Dejiko and Puchiko are both ten years older and much more mature than their previous incarnations.
  • Lyrical Nanoha:
  • In the manga adaptation of Cooking With Wild Game, Asuta is more perverted and constantly talks as if he's going to make a move on Ai Fa. In canon he's more concerned with the fact that he's just been thrown into a strange world, and so introverted that Ai Fa worries if he returns her feelings at all.
  • The characters in Lupin III vary a lot in adaptations, but probably the most striking reinvention is Inspector Zenigata in Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine and its sequels, who goes from being a buffoon to a manipulative, professional cop who has sex with Fujiko (while being smart enough to know it isn't a good idea) and tries to burn her breasts with his cigarette.
  • In One Piece, a minor case happens with a young Zoro upon hearing of Kuina's death. In the manga, he bursts into Kuina's wake, angrily insisting that she can't die without fulfilling the promise they made together. In the anime, which expands on his backstory, his response is more subdued. He's stunned to hear the news, then throws himself into his training, only truly breaking down when meeting with his teacher (Kuina's father) and asking for her sword.
  • Persona 5 has a few cases, whether in the manga adaptation or Persona 5: The Animation.
    • In the anime, Haru's a bit more suspicious of the other Phantom Thieves after her father's death. In the anime, after she mentions that a calling card was found in the office of the Shujin Academy principal during the investigation of the principal's death, Ryuji denies sending it, prompting Haru to angrily demand to know who did. In the game, she seems to believe Ryuji, and says in a later IM conversation that while she had doubted the other Phantom Thieves, she's sorry for that.
    • A minor case in the anime, but near the end of "Dark Sun", Makoto doesn't join the other girls in their Anger Born of Worry moment toward Ryuji, who'd nonchalantly come back after his Heroic Sacrifice; she nonchalantly stands back with the protagonist, Yusuke and Morgana.
    • In the manga adaptation, Kamoshida's Faux Affably Evil nature is played up. In the game, when he happens upon Ryuji and the protagonist asking Mishima about Mishima's injuries, Kamoshida bluntly dismisses Mishima as untalented, and threatens to expel the protagonist and Ryuji if they keep sticking their noses into his business. In the manga, however, he offers to help Ryuji and the protagonist shape up by giving them the same tough love he gives his team- i.e. Training from Hell. An additional scene has him calling Shiho into the office, mentioning that her performance is declining and offering to give her a way to keep her starting spot, before he sexually assaults her.
  • El-Hazard: The Magnificent World does this to some of the characters who stayed on in the transition between the OVA and TV series. One of the most notable of these is Ifurita: from a no-nonsense Person of Mass Destruction, she turns into a kooky and airheaded Apocalypse Maiden. Also, her hair color goes from silver to raven.
    • Princess Rune Venus is an older and more aloof character in the OVA; in the TV series, she's about the same age as Makoto and infatuated with him.
  • The Case Files of Jeweler Richard does this to the titular character in the transition from novel to anime. Richard goes from a snarky, anxious, awkward, childish tsundere who has to leave the room to take out his embarrassed frustration on some poor cushions in the back room when Seigi over-compliments him, to an eternally calm, unflappable man who never makes a mistake.
  • Out of the main Powerpuff Girls Z characters, Momoko resembles her counterpart from The Powerpuff Girls the least. Blossom is studious and mature for her age while Momoko is ditzy and her knowledge is mostly about magical girl and super sentai shows. She's also a Love Freak while Blossom never had a crush, though the fact Momoko is a middle schooler while Blossom was a five year old could be the reason for the difference.

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