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Adaptation Personality Change / Pokémon

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Being a large franchise with loads of adaptations and Loads and Loads of Characters who can be interpreted in various ways by various people, Pokémon adaptations are prone to changing character's personalities.


Anime

  • The English dub changed several characters personalities in early seasons. For example, Gary was made into more of a Jerkass (making him more similar to his game counterpart, Blue) while Misty's cocky tendencies (in Japan she frequently referred to herself as the "most beautiful girl in the world") were toned down.
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  • Elesa goes from The Stoic in the games to a Genki Girl in the anime.
  • Lt. Surge and Clay go from Eagleland Type I to Type II in the anime.
  • Cilan goes from Shrinking Violet in the games to a Large Ham in the anime.
  • Skyla goes from a Nice Girl to an Arrogant Kung Fu Girl with a side of Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
  • Brock doesn't have much of a known personality, but there are no signs of him being a pervert who coos over every mature-enough girl he meets or of him being a Team Mom.
  • Falkner goes from an honorable Nice Guy in the games to a narrow-minded, hypocritical Jerkass before Ash defeats him.
  • Erika is very much an Ojou in all of her incarnations, but her anime version seems more casual, and she lacks her Sleepy Head traits from the games. She also has more of a temper as she bans Ash from her perfume shop just because he dislikes perfume. Her portrayal in Pokémon: I Choose You! is a Truer to the Text portrayal of her game characterization.
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  • Misty doesn't have much dialogue in the games but she seems mild-mannered and nice. Most adaptations use the game's interpretation, but the anime makes her one of the most iconic tsundere characters in anime. Pokémon Gold and Silver made her a bit more angry than in Red and Blue, but she's still not up to par with her anime counterpart.
  • Sabrina in the games is a pacifistic Reluctant Warrior and a Creepy Good person who is not remotely malicious. In the anime she has an evil Split Personality, but her "true" self at the end of her arc seems more in-line with her game self.
  • Lucy goes from the Narcissist to a friendly sugar and ice Nice Girl and possible love interest to Brock!
  • Anabel goes from arrogant and somewhat sadistic to a Nice Girl and possible love interest to Ash. She's nicer in Pokémon Sun and Moon, however that's justified as she has matured and is an adult now.
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  • In the games (and Pokémon Origins), Mewtwo is a Blood Knight that supposedly has the most savage heart among Pokémon due to his genetic makeup. In its animé appearances, it's not so much savage, just very mistrustful to those it doesn't know. Though Mewtwo in Pokémon X and Y is found alone in an area where mistreated Pokemon live, implying it is lonely and has been abused, bringing it closer to the anime version.
  • Jasmine goes from a Shrinking Violet in the games to a confident badass in the anime, at least when it comes to kicking Team Rocket's ass and battling other Trainers aggresively. She keeps her kind demeanor, though, but clearly doesn't hesitate here when speaking. On a side note, when her Ampharos is sick, she's just as fragile and depressed as in the games, but that only lasts one episode before the personality switch.
  • Even some Pokemon get this, on the species level no less—for instance, Spearow in the games is a tiny bird that isn't very good at flying and is as likely to flee from you as it is to fight. The anime opts to portray them as vicious little flying nightmares whose Establishing Character Moment consists of them swarming the protagonist and his partner Pokemon simply because the former threw a rock at one of them. Pokémon Sun and Moon used the anime characterization when a group of Spearow attack a Pokémon at the start.
  • In the games, Lillie has a Dark and Troubled Past, and as such is very shy and reclusive. In the anime, aside from being afraid to touch Pokémon (while her game counterpart instead just hated seeing Pokémon battle), she's more outgoing. She also has a different Dark and Troubled Past.
  • In the games, Lusamine is a cold, controlling, Bitch in Sheep's Clothing. The anime, on the other hand, has her being an overly-affectionate Womanchild, with her daughter Lillie being unafraid to visually and vocally show her exasperation toward her. This might be because the anime combines her with her Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon counterpart, though she's still goofier and less abusive than her game counterpart.
  • Ash in the Alternate Continuity film Pokémon: I Choose You! has slight differences from his mainstream incarnation. He's more of a "normal" everyday kid instead of a Stock Shōnen Hero. He's bighearted but doesn't go around helping people every other day. Ash has some Adaptational Jerkass and Adaptational Intelligence elements as well, being more brash and easily agitated than his main counterpart while also being slightly less of an Idiot Hero, but at the same time he isn't nearly as bratty and stubborn as his Kanto counterpart. Ash also doesn't display shame towards crying like Ash used to in the Original Series.
  • Sophocles in the games is an introverted boy. In the anime he is much more sociable and even a bit cocksure and snarky, leaving his insecure side more a case of an Inferiority Superiority Complex.
  • Olivia is much goofier and more affectionate than in the games, her suaveness brought down by being the perennial victim of Slapstick Knows No Gender.
  • Red in the games is implied to be The Stoic and quiet. Ash is Hot-Blooded and talkative, much like Red was in Gen 1 artwork and promotional material.
  • Unlike her crybaby incarnation from the games, Whitney didn't even shed a tear when she lost to Ash.
  • Gary's post-Kanto Character Development is different than Blue's. Gary is a lot more humble and aloof. This is because Gary uses a earlier version of Blue's Gold and Silver personality.
  • While Hapu retains her formal speech patterns from the games (as a result of not being used to speaking with trainers her own age), her character is initially much more impulsive; presumably as a result of taking the reins of Island Kahuna from her late grandfather Sofu and Tapu-Fini not willing to recognize her in the role; straddling the line between Adaptational Jerkass and Adaptational Angst Upgrade. This contrasts her portrayal in the games as being more friendly and supportive towards challengers, though by the time of the Poni Island Grand Trial; she does become closer to her characterization in the games.
  • In the games, Byron is a very serious and stoic Gym Leader. The anime made him a Giant Ham who constantly declares his love for digging, fossils and his own Pokémon, while large explosions somehow appear behind him. He is also quite the Cloudcuckoolander, to the point it took him a while to notice his fossils were stolen because he was admiring the hole Team Rocket dug. This actually made him quite popular in the fandom.

Pokémon Adventures

  • Blue Oak is cocky, arrogant, flashy, and before Character Development set in in future games, quite a bit of an obnoxious brat, said to have little respect for his Pokémon. Adventures Blue is The Stoic and Wise Beyond His Years, often acting as the Only Sane Man around his peers. He started out cockier and brattie but changed a few chapters in.
  • Silver in the games is an unpleasant, selfish, grade A Jerkass of a kid who hits the protagonist and constantly complains, unashamedly seeing his Pokémon only as a means to an end, having a Never My Fault outlook on everything, always in denial about his losses, making a point of the fact that he doesn't have any friends, and despising the weak with a burning passion, frighteningly obsessed with being a strong trainer and in the original games going as far as to say he wants to exterminate the weak, with his Character Development focusing on him getting rid of all of that and growing up into a better person. Silver in Adventures is a completely different character, lacking all of these qualities, becoming more of an Ineffectual Loner, having a previous friendship in Green, treating his Pokémon with respect even if he doesn't name them, being much calmer and far more mature, and none of his trademark obsession with strength being present.
  • Shauna is a peppy Genki Girl in the games, but does a complete 180 and is a pessimistic Little Miss Snarker in this manga.
  • Some of the normally neutral, or even heroic, Gym Leaders (such as Koga, Lt. Surge, and Sabrina) and Elite Four characters were made into villains and anti-villians; especially in the first and second generation arcs. For example, Lance in the games is a Reasonable Authority Figure who is somewhat hotheaded at worst, but Lance in Adventures is a misanthropic Well-Intentioned Extremist who is basically N if he were a genocidal maniac.
  • In Pokémon Diamond and Pearl (and Platinum), Barry was a hyperactive, silly kid who tended to blunder a lot, and frankly somewhat of a dunce with a horrible case of Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny! and a touch of Cloud Cuckoo Lander, often charging into situations that may be unsafe without thinking, but possessing a heart of gold. He is dead-set on becoming the Pokémon champion and as strong a trainer as his father, seeing you as his rival. His Adventures counterpart, Pearl, while also hyperactive, is actually the Only Sane Man of the Power Trio between him, his extremely mellow, kind, but somewhat stupid childhood friend Diamond, and the highly intelligent but emotionally stunted Ojou with No Social Skills Platinum Berlitz, is a lot more cautious than Barry, and his goal here is forming a Boke and Tsukkomi Routine duo with Diamond, meeting Platinum and being roped into going on a journey around Sinnoh completely by accident.
  • A similar case to Sapphire is the above-mentioned Platinum Berlitz; in-game, the apprentice of Prof. Rowan, in this case the NPC Dawn, would be a friendly, plucky Neutral Female who doesn't do much to affect the plot, but is there as your friend and somewhat of a guide. Platinum on the other hand is an unusually stoic, sheltered girl, and has been promoted to a role closer to the player character, battling and taking on gyms. Meanwhile, Diamond, who would be the player character in the games, has no interest in gym battles or battling in general.
  • Speaking of Sapphire Birch, here she's portrayed as a Tsundere Book Dumb Wild Child who takes on Hoenn's gyms. In the games, when May is Professor Birch's daughter, she is The Rival, but is more of a Nice Girl who focuses on her Pokédex, while the player is the one who puts more effort into the gyms.
  • Similarly, Ruby is exclusively into contests, despite being Norman's child, which would've put him in the protagonist's role in the games. While the player certainly can do contests to their heart's content in-game, they're an optional sidequest instead of the main goal. He's also rather Camp Straight, which is a trait that neither the hero nor rival versions of him have in either the original games or their remakes.
  • Strangely enough, the highly-praised complex Anti-Villain N was actually simplified, with his sympathetic traits being toned down and becoming generally much creepier.
  • Lusamine and her son both have Adaptational Jerkass traits. Lusamine's emotional abuse is more emphasized and Gladion is implied to dislike women in power as a result of his mother. Gladion is also more aggressive than in the games.
  • As a result of Lusamine's Adaptational Jerkass, Lillie is a bit more timid and shell-shocked in the manga.
  • Red is a Hot-Blooded Stock Shōnen Hero, unlike The Stoic that would be canonized in later Pokémon games.
  • In the games one of Erika's main traits is that she's a Sleepyhead. Despite her several appearances in the manga, this never appears in it.
  • Misty uses her original, more even-tempered personality. The Gold and Silver games made her more into a Fiery Redhead to go with her anime portrayal.
  • While not as energetic as her anime counterpart, Adventures doesn't portray Elesa as an Emotionless Girl like in the games. She's much more cheerful.
  • Bianca isn't as shy as she is in the games.
  • Lana is a shy Shrinking Violet, which contrasts heavily with her game personality. Or not. In battle, her more aggressive side comes out.

Pokémon: Diamond and Pearl Adventure!

  • The usually Genki Girl Candice is presented as The Stoic.
  • Cyrus is much more dramatic and excitable than in the games.
  • Hareta is a Hot-Blooded Wild Child whose main goal is to meet Dialga (although he does end up getting badges along the way). The in-game version of Lucas is either a Heroic Mime who's always lived with his mother, or a Nice Guy more focused on his Pokédex.

The Electric Tale of Pikachu:

Pokémon Zensho

  • Sabrina is portrayed as more open and nice than her more stoic Creepy Good game counterpart.

Miscellaneous

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