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  • In Bokurano, Takami "Komo" Komoda is this in the anime. In the manga, she's shown to be somewhat more emotionally fragile than her anime counterpart, who's one of the few mature enough to have some idea of what they're getting into when they signed up to pilot Zearth, and refuses to be demoralized by her father's death or the fact that she'll join him soon when her turn comes to fight. The same goes for her ability to pilot Zearth. In the manga, she fared poorly against her opponent, who was on the brink of winning when he apparently noticed she was similar to his dead daughter, and after listening to her perform on the piano, let her father kill him. In the anime, Zearth falls into a pit trap, but Komo refuses to let that stop her, and knocks the enemy robot down with a Wave-Motion Gun before easily performing the coup de grace.
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  • Syaoran Li to an extent in the Cardcaptor Sakura anime. While still under the same inability to catch cards himself, stipulations allow him to earn several cards of his own, most of which he is rather adept with. This allows him to act as a far more effective rival for Sakura, even earning his own trial in the Final Judgement. Even after losing all his cards to Sakura, his acts in assisting and protecting her often prove astonishing, with him suggested to still be at a similar or higher level of magical power than her by the closing movie (albeit partly due to lacking a plot point of the manga that rendered Sakura unmatchable in power).
  • Cat's Eye: Lupin's Bride. In the manga, the girls find out her plan rather easily (since she doesn't resemble the woman she's impersonating at all), and Hitomi casually dispatches her with a single blow before stealing her identity and eventually turning her over to the police. The TV adaptation portrays her as more cunning and capable, and fixes the identity theft problem by having her actually use a lifelike mask to impersonate the art expert, with Hitomi only finding out the truth because of a coincidence the impostor hadn't foreseen. She even manages to turn the tables on the sisters after her men capture Ai, and is about to kill the three until she learns who their father is. And most importantly, she manages to evade capture this time.
  • Cardfight!! Vanguard (V Series): As V is a Continuity Reboot of the main series, several characters change a bit.
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    • Aichi is far more competent than his main counterpart. While in the original he was known in the first season for loosing frequently (as expected from a total beginner), here, with the same amount of experience, has a never-ending winning streak and is able to go up against members of the very vicious and experienced Foo Fighters and defeat them with ease.
    • Morikawa is a zigzagged example. In the original, he had an unhealthy obsession with Grade 3 units, leading him to make extremely unbalanced decks. However, whenever he was tricked into using a proper deck he was exceptionally skilled, able to pull feats like mastering Kai's deck without looking at it, and giving even the most powerful fighters a really hard time. In the V Series, Morikawa is reasonable about deck building, and therefore he has a far better winning ratio, but he lacks the fighting skill of his main counterpart and cannot touch the weight class of the more experienced fighters.
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    • In V Series, Ibuki runs a Deletor deck instead of a Star-Vader one, with the former's "Delete" skill being far more powerful than the "Lock" the latter has. In addition, he has PSYQualia, which is basically a superpower.
    • Not a spoiler for those familiar with the manga, but Kai possesses both PSYQualia AND the Grade 4 Dragonic Nouvelle Vague. Even better, neither of those is mentioned ever again, because according to him he doesn't need them. This is in contrast to the original, where Kai felt like he was left behind because he didn't have that edge.
    • Shinemon was a badass cardfighter in the original too, but here he has a Grade 5 unit. That was UNHEARD-OF.
  • In the original Cutey Honey series, Natsuko was mostly a Distressed Damsel and Honey's friend/potential lesbian lover. In the 2004 live-action movie, the Re: Cutie Honey OVA series, and the Cutey Honey A Go-Go manga, she's a badass adult policewoman with a talent for using firearms (and still is Honey's potential lesbian lover).
  • Barda in the Deltora Quest books was a pretty competent warrior able to hold his ground against a Vraal which is a born and bred killing machine and get a sneak attack on a Ol among other things. The Deltora Quest anime however turns Barda into an outright superhuman Master Swordsmen capable of single handedly killing an Ak-Baba which is a beast that can kill Dragons in the books, and in the manga version Barda even lifts a huge boulder in another display of Super Strength something he couldn't do in the books. The Hero Lief is also more combat-wise in the anime than he was in the books killing multiple monsters and villains whereas in the orignal series he only really killed one big monster (Gellick). Jasmine on the otherhand gets Adaptational Wimp being more girly in the contrast to the books where she is an unabashed Action Girl.
  • The Digimon franchise has Gotsumon. Several series, which are AU to each other, have the little guy as a Recurrer with the same or similar personality and voice portrayal. Each version tends to be badder than the last. Digimon Adventure? A cute little guy who'd rather party than fight, his death (along with that of his partner, Pumpkinmon) was used to show how much of a Bad Boss the arc's villain was. Digimon Frontier? His tiny little pebble attack has grown into the ability to create giant boulders and he is able to hold off enemy enforcers who, according to their stats (type, level, element, etc.), should stomp him like a bug without even knowing they'd done so. He can now become Meteormon, a Palette Swap who surprises everyone by being ultra-powerful. Digimon Savers/Digimon Data Squad? let's make him bad again, but good at it! He bedevils the team for the entirety of their first extended stay in the digital world, then becomes Meteormon. They laugh at his dramatic, Large Ham-moment-prefaced transformation into himself, but with lighter coloring for all of two seconds before he starts wiping the floor with them.
    • Wargreymon began its life as a Power-Up Letdown for Metalgreymon, and was widely reviled for being relatively weak for it's level, having the lowest possible lifespan and even having an abnormally high after battle injury rate. Overtime, as a result of animated adaptations, his flaws tend to be glossed over, lending him a needed air of competence.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Piccolo developed Can't Catch Up and was regulated to The Smart Guy in the manga and later parts of the anime, but in the DBZ movies Piccolo has the some of the most epic entrances, fights and lines of any character. Thankfully Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’ remembered this trend with Piccolo (especially compared to the anime version where he gets killed).
    • While Vegito was already a Story-Breaker Power in the Dragon Ball manga, the Dragon Ball Z anime made him even more so. In the manga, he immediately turns Super Saiyan when fighting Majin Buu, and flattens him. In the anime, he spends an episode fighting Buu without turning Super Saiyan, which as one-sided as the fight after he transforms, he still dominates the fight to the point it's clear he didn't actually need to transform to overpower Buu, he just did to humiliate him.
    • Gogeta from Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn gets this and makes the entire Fusion Dance into Adaptational Badass. In the original manga when Goku suggested he fuse with Vegeta to beat Buu, Old Kai shoots it down citing aforementioned Porta Fuison as much stronger. Yet in Fusion Reborn Gogeta utterly obliterates Janemba a Humanoid Abomination who overpowered SS3 Goku and Pikkon effortlessly, displaying far greater power than Vegito. Indeed Gogeta is only the Fusion to this date that actually succeeds in defeating the villain. If that wasn't enough Budokai 3 suggests by it's opening that Gogeta can match Broly, oh wait, it's canon now.
    • Speaking of Broly while he has always been The Berserker since his original movie where he was undeniably super powerful, he did suffer a lot of Villain Decay in other Dragon Ball media afterwards and was killed in his second appearance by a Combined Energy Attack from Gohan, Goten and ghost Goku. Dragon Ball Super: Broly amps him up to the point where he can overpower Goku and Vegeta in their Physical God transformations with just his base form and when he transforms into his Super Mode not even a Combined Energy Attack from Goku and Vegeta can faze him this time. This forces Goku and Vegeta to fuse into the aforementioned Gogeta to turn the tide of battle.
    • A downplayed example, but Frieza put up a much better fight with Super Saiyan Goku in the anime compared to the manga. In the manga, although Frieza did decently, it was clear from the outset that he never had a chance of winning and that was before his power started to fail him. In the anime, Frieza got several good hits in and gave Goku the fight of his life (although he still had no real chance of winning) before his stamina gave and was reduced to a non-threat by the end of the battle.
    • Frieza 's return as Mecha Frieza. In the manga Trunks takes Frieza out while he was distracted, not giving him the chance to power-up. It was hinted that Trunks was only as strong as Super Saiyan Goku on Namek. In the anime, Trunks took Frieza apart even when he dropped a Death Ball on Trunks' head, trying to destroy the planet.
    • Gohan's Bad Future counterpart gets this treatment as well. In the manga story of Trunks' timeline, Gohan is killed by Android 17, who claimed to have not even used half of his full power to do so. In the anime adaptation of Dragon Ball Z: The History of Trunks, Gohan is actually stronger than both 17 and 18 individually, only losing because the two ganged up on him.
    • Adult Gohan from the present timeline is robbed of his hero status in the manga thanks to lack of training and Akira Toriyama changing The Hero role back to Goku before the end. But Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn on the other hand gives Gohan back some cred as he goes One-Man Army on the entire resurrected Rogues Gallery then explodes Frieza (Final Form) with one punch. To make it better the whole time Gohan actually makes the Great Saiyaman poses and goofy attitude actually cool (even JoJo-esque) for once in the movie.
    • Yamcha, Tenshinhan and Chiaotzu got the chance to defeat the Ginyu Force in two filler episodes, Yamcha defeating Recoome, the one who just beat the crap out of Vegeta, Gohan and Krillin not long before. In another filler scene, Yamcha defeated Ulibu, a character who is probably stronger than Freeza. That's right, the Memetic Loser defeated a guy who is stronger than Freeza.
    • Can't forget the bit in the anime where Krillin holds his own and successfully damages goddamn imperfect Cell who at this point is strong as base Goku at least, none of which was remotely capable for manga Krillin to do. The scene still stands as one of Krillin's biggest Big Damn Heroes-moments and actually enjoyable Filler.
    • In a similar vein to Krillin, Tien gets a good showing in Dragon Ball Z: Bojack Unbound being able to knock around Future Trunks to extent that Trunks has to go Super Saiyan to actually win the fight which in of itself is a complement to Tien's fighting ability. In the manga Tien gets one cool moment holding back Semi Perfect Cell then is Put on a Bus for years.
    • In the anime during Gohan and Cell’s Kamehameha Beam-O-War, Piccolo, Krillin, Tien and Yamcha all help Gohan out by shooting Cell in the back with Ki blasts. While it doesn’t break Cell’s hold, it does bother him enough that he has to divert his attention away from Gohan to knock the Z-Fighters down with his aura, but they all get back up and keep at it. In manga only Vegeta aided Gohan, while the rest of Z-Fighters just spectated.
    • Mr. Satan, the iconic Fake Ultimate Hero, is generally portrayed as a near-complete Miles Gloriosus in the manga—pretty much the only fight he gets involved in where he isn't a joke is his brief bout with the gunman Van Zant, where he punches the guy for a few panels but doesn't knock him out. In the anime, there are a number of scenes added that suggests he's more of an Overshadowed by Awesome Badass Normal, including a flashback Curb-Stomp Battle against Spopovitch where he displays the ability to Flash Step and doesn't take a single hit.
    • In the manga, Dabura's skills and abilities are extremely lacking in comparison to his anime counterpart. He mostly uses sneak attacks and in fact he never once throws a single physical punch in the entire manga. He's unable to overpower a rusty SSJ Gohan and is quickly dealt with by Buu before he can even throw a single attack. The anime, however, amps him up, allowing him to hold his own against Gohan and even standing up to Buu for quite some time.
    • While Goku is never a wimp in any media, The Path to Power amps him up even more especially for how it deals with Kid Goku. Case in point: in the original manga and anime, his first attempt at the Kamehameha Wave only results in a small energy beam that's only strong enough to destroy Bulma's car, while in The Path to Power, said first attempt results in a Wave-Motion Gun that completely obliterates a good chunk of the Red Ribbon Army's armada.
      • Android 8 is quite powerful in the series proper (stronger than Goku at the point they met), but his strength is Up to Eleven in the movie The Path to Power. He is able to fly, dash, and nearly kills Goku, who is also made stronger. He also fights a mecha that knocked Goku unconscious for several minutes and pushes it back.
      • Also from that movie there's Yamcha, who at the point in the early manga only got one over Goku thanks to Goku being starved at the time. The Path to Power on the other hand not only makes Yamcha ridiculously badass but turns his fight with Kid Goku into a outright Curb-Stomp Battle thanks to Wolf Fang Fist, which blows Goku a mile away. Something that did not happen in the original version.
    • Goku in general tends to made even more badass in the movies than he was in the original manga and anime, some of his feats include: Absorbing energy from the sun Superman-style in Lord Slug, pushing back Cooler's Supernova (the same attack which destroyed Planet Vegeta) with a Kamehameha that blows Cooler into the sun, absorbing the Spirit Bomb and one shotting Super Android 13 and then in the next movie taking out Broly with the combined energy of The Z-Fighters.
    • The Super Saiyan God form gets this treatment in Dragon Ball Super. In Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, Super Saiyan God was the definition of Awesome, but Impractical: it gave Goku the power to battle Beerus on more or less equal grounds, but it only lasted for a few minutes — short enough that Goku lost the transformation in the middle of the fight, and actually performed better fighting as a normal Super Saiyan, since he absorbed the power of godhood. Here, while the end result is pretty much the same, Super Saiyan God lasts much longer and overall has a better showing, including slowly destroying the universe just by fighting Beerus. Much later on, it's also revealed Goku can transform into the form at will, making for a weaker and slower but less stamina-consuming alternative for Super Saiyan Blue. However, the form never really pushes Beerus anywhere close to his full power, wheras in the movie, by comparison, Beerus used almost 70% of his power.
    • Beerus: Generally speaking, the gap between Beerus, Whis, and the rest of the cast is made to be much wider than it was in the original movie.
    • Tagoma, one of Frieza's soldiers. In Resurrection 'F', he's unceremoniously killed off by Frieza within the first few minutes of the film. In Dragon Ball Super, he's only knee-capped by Frieza and then becomes Frieza's training dummy for four months. As a result, he becomes the strongest member of Frieza's army, becoming just as strong as, if not stronger than Piccolo, though his beatings at Frieza's hands cause him to become just as ruthless and brutal as Frieza himself.
    • Frieza himself also gets this treatment in Dragon Ball Super. In the original Resurrection 'F', Final Form Frieza is completely dominated by Base Goku and, as Golden Frieza, he runs out of energy too fast to really give the impression he could have beaten Goku. In Super, Final Form Frieza matches Base Goku in terms of speed and power, and Golden Frieza beats SSGSS Goku around like a ragdoll, with Goku nearly losing consciousness as a result.
    • Botamo in both the manga and anime versions of Super is such a Stone Wall that not even Goku can harm him. However, in the manga, Goku's attacks could send him flying, while in the anime, Goku's attacks couldn't even budge him.
    • This trope is invoked for Yamcha in the Dragon Ball side manga, Dragon Ball: That Time I Got Reincarnated as Yamcha!. As the title suggests, the main character is an ordinary teenager who dies and gets reincarnated as Yamcha. Being well aware of what happens to Yamcha, he decides to train hard and change that. And he succeeds. By the time the Saiyans arrive, his power level is over 10,000, letting him easily wipe out all the Saibamen singlehanded and defeat Nappa on his own. Even though he's not quite as strong as Vegeta, he's still powerful enough to team up with Goku to defeat him.
    • While the Dragon Ball Super Manga does give Adaptational Wimp to several characters (e.g Hit and Goku Black), it does give Adaptational Badass to other characters, especially during the Tournament of Power. Firstly there's Master Roshi, whom in the anime did well for his age and took out many opponents but still tired himself out fighting and was told to retire by Vegeta, which Roshi agreed to and eliminated himself before he died of exhaustion. In the manga telling Roshi lasts for much longer, being one of the final fighters participating and even fights freaking Jiren! Using his own incomplete form of Ultra Instinct to dodge Jiren's strikes before being eliminated. The second is the Gohan, who did well in the anime but didn't make it to the finals, instead performing a Heroic Sacrifice trapping Dyspo so that Freiza could eliminate both of them. In the manga Gohan makes it to the finals and soundly equals the fused Kefla (whom Goku needed Ultra Instinct to beat), resulting in both him and Kefla getting a double elimination.
      • The Galactic Patrol arc does this to the characters whom didn't get to shine at the end of the anime. First there's Majin Buu who in the anime didn't get to fight in either the Universe 6 Saga or Tournament of Power, has a Big Damn Heroes moments saving the powerless Goku and Vegeta from new villain Moro by kicking the latter's ass and forcing him to retreat. And there's Yamcha who in the anime wasn't even invited to partake in the Tournament of Power due to being too weak, fights and defeats three escaped alien prisoners whom Moro had powered up with Goku and Vegeta's Ki.
  • Fate/stay night [Unlimited Blade Works] does this to Berserker. In the original Fate/stay night, he fights like, well, a mindless berserker. In Unlimited Blade Works, he demonstrates swordsmanship skill and awareness of his surroundings, like when Saber traps his sword and attempts to decapitate him, only for him to let go of his sword and backflip out of the way.
  • In the Mitsuki Oosawa manga adaptation of Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War, White Magician Girl Deirdre moves quite closer to the Competence Zone. Especially when she takes King Clement's castle with only back up from Raquesis and Aya, without killing anyone and relaying in trickery and magic than brute force, the expanded version of her confrontation with Manfroy in which she does get kidnapped to follow the melodramatic Downer Ending of the first generation but still attempts to fight him in self-defense and to protect little Shanan (plus she may have been captured but succeeds in protecting the castle and everyone else in it); and the rendition of her own death, where she had already guessed that Julius would go Enfante Terrible on her so she sends Julia away earlier and protects Arvis from Julius.
  • Envy from Fullmetal Alchemist. In the manga and Brotherhood, Envy is The Brute and Unskilled, but Strong, relying on either its shapeshifting to trick an enemy into submission, or if it must fight, the raw power it can put behind each blow. This usually results in Envy going Clipped-Wing Angel and getting its ass handed to it. The Envy in the first anime adaptation (which went off in a very different direction after it Overtook the Manga) is a Dance Battler and Hero Killer who serves as The Dragon and manages to kill Ed during their final confrontation (although Ed's death doesn't stick).
    • Zig-Zagged by the anime version of Pride, who is the same character as the manga version of Wrath and has the overlapping power set of Combat Precognition and Implausible Fencing Powers. Anime pride has a From a Single Cell Healing Factor on top of this and hence is a lot more powerful on paper, but anime homunculi also have a Kryptonite Factor their manga equivalents don't. Manga Wrath, as a result, gets to show off a lot more before he's eventually defeated while anime Pride gets exposed to his Kryptonite and defeated shortly after his reveal.
  • Happens occasionally in the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure anime compared to the manga e.g in the Battle Tendency anime Joseph is blown into the sky alongside Kars and survives falling back to earth laying on a rock.
  • Lyrical Nanoha:
    • Nanoha was originally conceived as the Token Mini-Moe of Triangle Heart 3: Sweet Songs Forever whose only role was to be the cute and innocent little sister of main protagonist Kyouya. Even in the mini-scenario where she became a Magical Girl, she was more adorable than threatening with her heart-shaped wand with little wings. Then when The Anime of the Game came, Nanoha's wand was replaced with a Swiss Army Weapon Wave-Motion Gun as she was re-imagined into a Little Miss Badass savior of The Multiverse who have been called a "(White) Devil" by foes and fans alike due to her ferocity and destructive powers which she does not hesitate to use on even her friends. Befriending, you know? The movie adaptations make her even more badass! In her first movie battle, she obliterate three monsters down at once with one attack. (she didn't learn Divine Buster until episode 3). Her Starlight Breaker can nuke a city now and her A.C.S. Driver can smash Reinforce through several skyscraper sized rocks!
    • Subverted in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha INNOCENT. Nanoha starts off far more powerful than her main series counterpart did since she actually has swordsmanship training, but the lack of magic in that continuity means that she is weaker in the long run.
    • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's Portable also does this. Squishy Wizard Hayate, only capable of long-charging bombardment spells in the series proper, is an able close quarters combatant, while Stone Wall Barrier Warrior Yuuno holds his own or closely loses to several opponents who by all rights should have him beat.
    • Shamal's Mirror of Travels spell gets a major boost in the Reflection/Detonation duology. While it was already fairly dangerous in canon (considering the fact she was able to neutralize Nanoha from half a mile away), it lacks significant combat application due to only being able to target a single stationary target at a time. In the movies, it has the ability to summon a massive version of her hand, which she uses at multiple points to crush Humongous Mecha.
    • Speaking of the movie duology, Yuri has complete control over her powers and keeps them past the end credits. Her game counterpart had a Superpowered Evil Side and ended up suffering a Redemption Demotion.
  • In Mai Hime and Mai-Otome, a few characters' power levels vary based on which series and media they appear in.
    • Shizuru typically has the superpowers associated with the series in all versions except the Mai Hime manga.
    • Haruka is a Badass Normal in the Mai-HiME anime who can't win any fights but lives long enough after Yukino's child is killed to headbutt Shizuru and toss Yukino her armband, but is a Hime in the manga. The opposite is true in Mai-Otome; she is a powerful Otome in the anime, endowed with Super Strength and second in her class after Shizuru, but an ordinary police officer in the manga.
    • Both of Yukino's Mai-HiME incarnations are Himes, but play supporting roles (in the anime, she primarily uses her powers for surveillance, while in the manga, she uses hers to support Haruka). In Mai-Otome, she has no powers, and is the president of Airies in the anime(complete with a more assertive and confident personality) and a Windbloom police officer in the manga (albeit skilled enough with a sniper rifle to arguably be more effective in battle than her Hime incarnations)
  • Mazinger Z: Boss was the Butt-Monkey and Plucky Comic Relief character in the original manga and anime series. In the Super Robot Wars games he slowly got upgraded from Joke Character to midly useful to pretty good character.
  • Muhyo and Roji
    • The rain dog in the Arcanum. In the manga, it's a relatively weak haunt, and Muhyo says that Fujiwara (an assistant judge) must have been incompetent if a haunt like that killed him, but insists on using his magical law to sentence it. In the anime, it achieves this by virtue of being a Composite Character with the Mad Planter, and ends up being the one that poisons Biko.
    • A double case happens in the last episode of the first season. In the manga, Teeki unleashes multiple ghosts from the Arcanum, which fuse together, but Muhyo dispatches them relatively easily despite being exhausted. In the anime, the fusion of ghosts is strong enough to swallow and almost kill Muhyo and Roji, before the latter manages to activate a magical circle, enabling the former to sentence it. As a result, one line in a later arc in which Roji mentions being unable to use circles is changed to reflect the one time he did use a circle.
  • Several characters who suffer from a bad case of What Measure Is a Non-Badass? in the Naruto manga finally get to catch a break in the anime for example:
    • The most glaring one is Hinata, who got to learn a powerful technique the anime team just made up for her, defeat menacing Filler Villains on her own and actually land a hit during what was in the manga a Curb-Stomp Battle (in the process extrapolating what her Gentle Step Twin Lion Fists actually does, since in the manga she was knocked out before getting a chance to do more than activate it).
    • Rock Lee is given far more love in the movies than he is in the manga, case in point Movie 3
  • Demitri Maxmioff in Night Warriors: Darkstalker's Revenge despite being already super strong in the games, in the OVA he is capable of overpowering Morrigan unlike the games and other media where's she either equal or stronger than Demitri. Then in the Final Battle Demitri does better than everybody else when he fights Pyron.
    • Donavan Baine is also much more powerful than he's depicted in the games, capable of destroying Pyron with the help of Anita and riding his BFS into space like the Silver Surfer.
  • Sometimes happens to characters in One Piece. While most of the heroes are super badass in the manga, the anime and movies takes it Up to Eleven.
    • Luffy for example, has his strength taken up many notches like in Movie 7 where he buzzsaws through an entire castle with his rubber body. In One Piece Film: Z Luffy manages to defeat Zephyr the man who trained the Admirals (Aolkiji, Kizaru and Akainu) and countless other marines in a fist fight during the Final Battle.
    • Zoro sometimes gets this in the anime and movies compared to the manga (where he's already super strong) but the most blatant example is Movie 5 where Zoro is made absurdly badass. The whole plot revolves him, he defeats Sanji and then at the end Zoro is the one to defeat the Big Bad not Luffy whose pretty much turned into a Decoy Protagonist as a result. Also in the anime (i.e Filler) Zoro can cut steel and iron early on (in the Warship Island arc) while in the manga it took until Zoro’s fight with Mr 1 in Alabasta for him to learn to do so.
    • Sanji also gets this in the anime and movies despite being a well-established badsss in the manga, but the Soccer featurette in particular has Sanji kick a ball around the freaking globe to get the winning goal... a feat Sanji isn't capable of in the canon. Also in the anime of Whole Cake Island Sanji not only fights Charlotte Daifuku and Oven simultaneously, but he visibly uses Armament Haki in the finale, most of which was not present in the manga.
    • Chopper while incredibly strong in his own right is never strong enough to get a lick at the Big Bad in the manga, in One Piece Film: Strong World however he's the first Straw Hat to successfully damage Shiki the Golden Lion while Luffy, Zoro and Sanji (The Monster Trio) couldn't even touch him the whole fight.
    • Small moment but in the Enies Lobby anime Usopp is shown taking out Shu the dude who rusted Zoro's Yubashiri Katana. In essence, Usopp the weak Lovable Coward literally rescued Zoro the badass in that moment. Sadly the scene does not exists in the manga.
    • In the One Piece Film: Gold short special, Franky equals Luffy in a sumo match despite Luffy's strength far exceeding Franky's own in the canon. Luffy was even forced to use Gear 3 on Franky, before Nami stopped both of them.
    • Speaking of which Nami herself gets a moment like this in One Piece Film: Z where she briefly holds her own against Ain a trained Ex-Marine who fights Zoro twice later in the movie. This makes Nami more of an Action Girl than a Damsel in Distress like she is more than often than not depicted as in previous movies and the manga.
    • Brook gets a massive example of this in Whole Cake Island, in the manga when he fights Big Mom he is completely overwhelmed but in the anime Brook lasts longer against her than Gear 4 Luffy does.
    • One Piece Stampede does this to loads of chracters besides the Straw Hats with: Smoker equaling Sabo in a fight, Urouge managing to briefly overpower Luffy, Buggy helping taking down the Big Bad Douglas Bullet and Jewerly Bonnie almost doing the same earlier with her power. Among the crew Luffy defeats Douglas Bullet whose as strong as Rayleigh (albeit with help), Zoro cuts one of Fujitora's meteroites in half, Sanji equals Rob Lucci in a fight (even making him use his Super Mode), Nami takes out Sentomaru and dozen other Marines with Zeus and even Usopp cripples Bullet's Humongous Mecha with one of his Pop Greens.
    • The villains sometimes get this compared to the manga.
      • Akainu was able to bring Whitebeard down to one knee in the anime, this is counterproductive as while Akainu might be a Hero Killer, the idea in the manga was that even at his weakest Whitebeard never gave in. Though admittedly the scene is still amazing in the anime with Whitebeard's Heroic Second Wind (remembering Ace) and Akainu's Oh, Crap! face when Whitebeard suddenly grabs him.
      • Hordy Jones in the Final Battle of Fishman Island puts up a much greater fight against Luffy pulling off a Flash Step and giving Luffy more of a challenge, in manga Hordy only manages to bite Luffy once and is one-shot by Luffy's Red Hawk. The Worf Effect for Hordy was intentional in the manga to show how strong Luffy and crew had become.
      • Caesar Clown everybody's favorite Mad Scientist is able to stalemate Luffy's Grizzly Magnum in the anime, in the manga he gets wrecked instantly.
      • Charlotte Cracker, in the manga he just used his infinite biscuit creating powers to counter and overwhelm Gear 4 Luffy, in the anime Cracker is strong enough to fight Gear 4 Luffy with just his sword.
      • In Wano, Batman (no not that Batman) like most Gifters is a ridiculous looking, glorified Mook whose knock off Devil fruit power is a complete joke compared to heroes. In the manga he failed to touch Luffy, Zoro and Tsuru with his bow and arrow skills. In the anime Batman actually successfully fights Luffy, blocking the latter’s Haki-coated punch with his own Haki and forces Luffy back which is very impressive.
      • Also in the Wano anime there’s Page One, in the manga we really didn’t get to see much of his Spinosaurus abilities he just got kicked around by Sanji and only landed one good hit in before the fight was off-paneled. In the anime he’s a hell of a match for Sanji even with the Raid Suit, tough enough to recover from a mighty kick that put him in a crater.
  • Persona 4: The Animation gives has Izanagi. In the game, Izanagi's just a cool-looking Persona with low-tier stat growth/elemental affinities/skills that most players will have gotten rid of by the second dungeon; but in the anime he comes off as the biggest badass of the entire bunch, regularly being the go to Persona when Yu needs to wipe out a particularly dangerous Shadow. Then again, it is possible to fuse a really badass Izanagi with skills like Primal Force, Angelic Grace, and Power Charge. Much later in the game, that is.
    • Similarly, Beelzebub is a good, late-game Persona, but far from the best. In the anime, Yu fuses him during the battle with Shadow Naoto, uses Megidolaon, and turns the entire dungeon into a smoking crater.
    • Adachi. In the game he was kind of a pushover, however in the anime he manages to thrash Yu quite a bit, and is in control of three Reapers to kick the crap out of the rest of the protagonists (The Reaper being a fairly powerful optional Boss in the game).
    • Persona 4 Golden: The Animation takes this to ridiculous levels, with Izanagi going One-Man Army on thousands of shadows the first time it's summoned; using late game moves such as Null Physical and Maziodyne. Magatsu Izanagi is, likewise, much more powerful. Adachi uses it to defeat every persona that Yu summons (all of them really powerful, late-game personas) before it's finally stopped with a Suicide Charge by Izanagi, forcing Yu to resort to his bare hands to finish the fight. and afterwards, under Yu's control, it takes out Ameno-Sagiri with one slice.
  • Pokémon:
    • Pokémon anime.
      • In most of the video games, a Mewtwo is vastly superior to a Mew of the same Level in practically all areasnote ; however, in Pokémon: The First Movie, Mew was powerful enough to fight Mewtwo to a standstill.
      • Mewtwo (at least the one from Mewtwo Strikes Back) is this trope in his own right, despite already being a powerful Olympus Mon in the original games. He gets upgraded from "merely" being really strong to being capable of wiping out all life on Earth outside of his island stronghold. And the heroes (with Mew's help) didn't stop Mewtwo, they just persuaded him that it was wrong.
      • Roxie in Pokémon Black 2 and White 2: The second gym leader who isn't too hard to beat if you plan ahead. Roxie in the anime: The last Unova gym leader (well for Ash) who has Pokemon that are so strong, Ash has to use 6 Pokemon to defeat only 3 Pokemon.
      • In Pokémon Black and White, N, while still wanting to free Pokémon from their trainers, is a relatively tame person that releases the Pokémon he uses between battles with the player character. In Pokémon Best Wishes 2 Episode N, N is a much more active character that manages to fight off Team Rocket without using any Pokémon, only summoning some to heal Ash's Pikachu after the ordeal in his introductory episode.
      • Ash's Pikachu is extremely powerful, well beyond any average Pikachu (a fact that is pointed out early in the series). It can even knock out Ground-type Pokémon, when in the games Ground-types are immune to electric attacks.
      • The iconic red-and-white Poké Ball. In the games they're only really used very early into the game as they have a low catch rate. They're mostly only useful for very low-level Pokemon and even then it's not unheard of an under level 10 Pokemon to break out the Pokeball if their HP isn't down enough. In the animé, however, all the other Poké Balls (such as the Ultra Ball and Dusk Ball) are basically nonexistent and are little more than cameos most of the time. Basic Poké Balls are used to catch any Pokémon, no matter how powerful. It's extremely rare to see Pokemon not being caught in the basic model.
      • The legendary birds in the games aren't said to be anything more than very rare and exceptionally powerful bird Pokémon. Pokémon 2000 makes them Physical Gods whose very existence controls the weather and are more than capable of ending it entirely. The three of them are even a match for Lugia, who's meant to quell their fighting.
      • Genesect isn't a slow Pokémon in the games by any means, but the Red Genesect in Pokémon: Genesect and the Legend Awakened is able to fly at incredible speeds that only Mega Mewtwo Y can match.
      • Greninja is already among the most powerful starter Pokémon (especially if it has Protean), but Ash's Greninja outright gets a Super Mode exclusive to it that makes it even more powerful.
      • In the games, while Kyurem can be powerful in its own right, it pales compared to Zekrom and Reshiram, and it needs to fuse with either of them to become the far stronger Black/White Kyurem. In Pokémon: Kyurem vs. The Sword of Justice, not only is Kyurem a dangerous and feared Pokémon by itself, but it can also transform without needing to absorb either of the two dragons.
      • Lillie. In her home game, she's an Actual Pacifist who hates Pokemon fighting and is only inspired to become a trainer because of how brave and strong the Player Character is. In the anime, she has a fear of Pokemon, but overcomes it and gets her first Pokemon, the Alolan Vulpix, who easily defeats Team Rocket.
      • Perhaps the king of this trope in the anime is Unown. In Pokémon 3, the species is depicted as a Lovecraft Lite race that can teleport people to other dimensions, allow a child to create an illusionary Entei as powerful and dangerous as the real thing, and even manipulate reality at will. In the games? It has low stats, never evolves, and only ever learns Hidden Power.
      • Ash Ketchum himself tends 10x more heroic and badass in the movies than he is in the show. One of the best examples of this trope for Ash is in Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea where he saves the day, becomes literal King of the Sea and gets a Golden Super Mode to boot.
      • All Legendary Pokémon is this in the anime.
    • Pokémon Adventures:
      • Most of the Gym Leaders. In the games and anime, their job is to, well, job to the main characters. In this manga, they're so strong that it's generally accepted that only an extreme badass can beat them all note . Furthermore, being a Gym Leader also means that your side job is to protect your region from things such as, you know, various terrorist groups. So yeah, expect to see a lot more ass-whooping coming from these guys.
      • In the games, Professor Oak is simply a Pokemon researcher, and in the anime, while he did some battling from time to time, his skills weren't anything to write home about. Here, he's a former champion of the Pokemon League and is capable of curb stomping Green, and later on, Gold.
      • In the games, Delibird is considered to be one of the weakest Pokémon as its overall stats are rather low, it cannot evolve and it only learns Present via Level Up. The Big Bad of the Gold, Silver, and Crystal arc uses one as his main Pokémon, being so well trained it can hold its own against a Ho-Oh.
    • Pokémon Origins: In the games, while Giovanni is the Big Bad and a powerful opponent, his Pokemon for the Gym Battle (the strongest team he fields) are either inferior or on par with Lorelei's, the weakest of the Elite Four. Here he's far stronger, on par or stronger than even Blue's final team, using two Pokemon to Red's six in the Gym Battle and his Rhyhorn alone beating five of Red's before suffering a Double KO (and could have outright won had it not suffered recoil damage from two Take Downs) and Charizard barely winning against Rhydon.
  • In Ranma ½ a number of characters put up much better fights in the anime compared to the manga:
    • In his first fight with Mousse, Ranma in the manga is helpless while stuck in girl form due the difference in arms and legs lenght, and can only beat him when doctor Tofu temporarily restores his ability to return to male form. The anime however switches around the fight and Ranma learning the Kachu Tenshin Amaguriken, so Ranma makes short work of him the moment Mousse moves into punching range for an instant.
    • In the manga, the unnamed Dojo Destroyer is only a little stronger than Akane, who would have actually defeated him had she not injured her right hand before the fight, and Ranma can manhandle him with ease even in girl form before eventually punting him into low orbit. In the anime he's actually strong enough to fend off Ranma as a boy, and is only defeated when Ranma and Akane join forces,
  • Rune Soldier Louie: Jeanie's fighting ability changes drastically between whether you're reading the manga, or watching the anime. In the manga version, Louie lays her out with one punch, when they first meet in chapter 1. Whereas in the anime, she's a much better fighter. When she and Louie fight in episode 12, not only does she outlast him, she knocks him out (seen from 13:23-16:57).
  • In RWBY: The Official Manga, a manga adaptation of RWBY, Roman is one of the most wanted criminals in the world. He's considered the most dangerous man in Vale. Yang gets excited at Ruby not because she's a Teen Genius who got into Beacon early, but because she went toe-to-toe with the Roman Torchwick. In the original show, Roman is a known criminal but he's not put on a pedestal and isn't a household name.
  • Shimoneta: Despite being the manga's main antagonist, White Peak ends up being a pushover when SOX confronts him at the end of chapter 12. Ayame and Anna drop him with a single kick that knocks him unconscious. The anime changes things by giving him a full-length fight scene, in which, it takes Ayame, Anna, Tanukichi, and Oboro to finally bring him down.
  • In the 2005 anime of The Snow Queen, the title character is a full Lady of War and she fights the Devil and prevails over him many times.
  • The Sonic X anime did this with Shadow the Hedgehog. He's already incredibly powerful in the video game series, but not terribly so. In the anime? He's practically The Juggernaut in that very few characters are even capable of slowing him down, even Sonic himself. He also spends most of the third season as a One-Man Army against the mooks of that season's Big Bad.
  • Analyser from Space Battleship Yamato. 3-foot-tall Lovable Sex Maniac in the anime, over 20-foot-tall Humongous Mecha in the 2010 movie.
  • Variable Geo: In the Advanced V.G. fighting game series, Satomi's role is minor and her fighting ability is secondary to Yuka, Reimi, and Tamao. The OVA adaptation elevates Satomi to being the deuteragonist and her spirit energy is said to surpass all others, including Yuka's. She's also given an ultimate attack that's near-identical to Kyo Kusanagi's "121 Shiki Ama no Murakumo" HDM.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • In the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime, Kisara fights Akunadin with the Blue Eyes White Dragon and dies protecting Seto. In the manga, she just gets attacked and dies.
    • In the Yu-Gi-Oh! GX manga, Manjoume - the Butt-Monkey and heavily subjected to The Worf Effect - becomes a certified Stoic badass, beating Invincible Hero Judai in a tournament. Sure, he gets curbstomped by Kaiser Ryo in his next duel, but he certainly gets much more respect than his anime counterpart.

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