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  • Aggretsuko: Haida is a side character in the original series, but in the Netflix adaptation, he becomes part of the main trio, is significantly nicer to all characters and harbors a crush for Retsuko. He also gets his own sub-plot about his love for Retsuko, which becomes specially important in the later part of the series after Retsuko starts dating Resasuke.
  • Simply because of the nature of the series, this happens a lot in Axis Powers Hetalia. Examples may include the Nordics, micronations or characters that only have a basic design.
    • This is also how the Allies and the more in-the-background-initially nations like Poland, Lithuania, and the Frying Pangle (Austria, Hungary, Prussia) started off.
  • Yuka Hanazawa of Beelzebub was originally just one of two occasional characters in The Red Tails, usually just appearing for a quick background appearance. As of late, she's taken on a more prominent role, frequently seen hanging around Kanzaki.
  • In Black Cat, Mason Ordrosso goes from having a one-page cameo (in the manga), to becoming the second Big Bad in the anime adaptation.
  • In the original OVA for Black★Rock Shooter, Yuu was little more than a side character (she didn't even have a last name), while Black★Gold Saw and Strength appeared without much relevance to the plot. The 2012 anime increased the roles of all three characters particularly Yuu and Strength.
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  • In Bloom Into You, an In-Universe example happens with the School Play, which is about an amnesiac girl(played by Touko) trying to find her "real" self. In the original draft, Yuu's character, the nurse, played a minor role, and the story ultimately ended with the main character "choosing" to become the person her lover, played by Sayaka, saw her as. In the revised version, the nurse convinces the main character to stay true to the person she currently is, resulting in the nurse having much more lines and being far more important to the overall plot.
  • Brigadoon: Marin and Melan was an Anime First series. When the manga came out, Aloma was given a much greater role, including the role of alternative love interest for Marin.
  • Konori Mii from A Certain Scientific Railgun was originally a nameless Judgement character in the manga, but in the anime, she got backstory, character development, her own fair share of moments and voicing from Kana Ueda.
    • Uiharu is a very small character in Index but a main cast member in Railgun.
  • Code Geass:
    • Nina Einstein is arguably a rather uncommon case on how this isn't always a good thing. At first she seemed to be nothing more than a quiet, shy little Meganekko whom is just one of Milly's friends. However, due to her knowledge in science (among other things), her role gradually gets considerably larger. But the bad news is that this is when her reputation of being "an evil insane racist" was starting to grow as well. (Granted, the show tries to redeem her later on in R2, but lets just say not everyone was willing to forgive her.) Though in a way people probably would've liked her more right from the start if she was just one of Milly's little friends and pretty much stayed that way (in fact, the manga adaptation actually does just this.)
    • In a way Lelouch and Nunally's mother Marianne is like this as well; in the beginning she seemed to be a token "Kind Mother whose only purpose is to have died in a flashback just so main characters can have a sad backstory". However later on in R2 let's just say that wasn't quite the case, and it appears that she is just as bad as her dear hubby Charles. Granted it was all a part of their rather convoluted plan for peace that reminded people about a certain other plan lets just say. Not to mention on how the only reason why Lelouch and Nunally were living their lives like they were before the whole story started is that it was all a part of Charles and Marianne's plan. So in short as for later on R2 Marianne went from one of the better mothers in the show to quite possibly the worst mother ever.
    • While some characters were Demoted to Extra's for "Lelouch of The Rebellion" (manga), some such as Euphemia were given far bigger parts.
    • Jeremiah Gottwald also got an expanded role in R2 after some Executive Meddling. Apparently, Jeremiah gained such a fanbase in the first season, that the producer rewrote the script to include him in R2 instead keeping him killed off. It was awesome.
  • The author of D.Gray-Man revealed in her commentary that Miranda Lotto was originally supposed to be an arc character never to be seen again, but as she got into the story she took a liking to her, made her an exorcist and had her join the main cast a couple of arcs later.
  • Detective Conan
    • Takagi was originally an unnamed sidekick under Megure in the anime and Canon Immigrant; later show in the manga and ascended to major character status with his long love story with Satou.
    • Conan's wonderful toys tend to have a lot more prominence in the anime, especially the movies (in the manga, the only ones he uses regularly are the watch and the bow-tie). The turbo-powered skateboard that appears in just about every movie and quite a few of the anime-only Filler episodes? It appeared in a grand total of two storylines in the manga, which were more than seven hundred chapters apart (it was actually smashed to bits at the end of its debut arc, and for a long time it was implied that Dr. Agasa didn't bother fixing it).
  • Digimon Tamers had a few of these. Bridge Bunny Riley/Reika became an Ascended Extra later on in the series, although that might have been because she was dating the not-bad-guy of the series (Yamaki). Takato's friends Jeri, Kazu, and Kenta; as well as Henry's little sister Suzie, also become this trope when all four of them become Sixth Rangers.
  • The Dragon Ball series:
    • Chi-Chi first appeared in the original series as the Ox King's sweet little daughter, and was little more than a running gag; she wanted to marry Goku, while Goku failed to understand that marriage wasn't a type of food. Years later, an angry and considerably skilled Chi-Chi fought Goku in the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament. They end up together as husband and wife, where from Dragon Ball Z onwards, Chi-Chi goes from Action Girl to Mama Bear, while still getting to kick someone's ass occasionally.
    • The "World Tournament" Announcer. Considering he is always featured when an Earthly and official tournament comes up. He even ages alongside the other characters with each appearance.
  • Mosco in EDENS ZERO started out as a one-shot villain who suffered a Multiple Gunshot Death at Weisz's hands, but Mashima took a quick liking to him and brought him into the main characters' crew after fixing him up (since he was an android to begin with).
  • In the Excel Saga manga, Pedro appears only a few panels before dying. He still dies as quickly in the anime, but his story continues, with continuity that the rest of the series lacks.
  • Fairy Tail:
    • Levy started out as one of the guild's many minor members written to give it some extra personality, with her first significant role in the story being to get non-fatally Stuffed into the Fridge by Gajeel. After this, she becomes a major secondary character as Gajeel's Morality Pet and eventual Love Interest after he becomes The Atoner, with their Belligerent Sexual Tension serving as one of the series' more prominent character arcs, and ends with them expecting a child.
    • Mavis, while serving an important role in the series' background as the founder of Fairy Tail, was simply meant to appear in a Big Damn Heroes moment against Acnologia. She quickly became a Breakout Character who supplanted Makarov as the story's Big Good opposite of Zeref, who is also her former lover.
    • Kinana was created as an in-joke character based on one of the author's assistants for bonus content, with the heavy implication that she suffered Baleful Polymorph as Cobra's giant snake companion, Cubellios. She wound up getting a prominent role in a Filler arc, which had her searching for and briefly reuniting with Cobra, who she could only barely remember, and subsequently received a few minor speaking roles in the manga.
  • Shin, Kenshiro's first notable adversary in Fist of the North Star, was killed off rather quickly in the original manga after playing out his role to serve as exposition on Kenshiro's background and motivation, since the future of the serial was still uncertain at the time. In the TV series, Shin's story arc was extended beyond the events of the original manga, with Shin getting much greater development. One episode gives his own moment of glory when he singlehandedly thwarts a rebellion within his own subordinates, displaying a bit of his martial art skills before confronting Kenshiro.
  • The 2003 anime version of Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • Lust's role in the anime was greatly expanded along with getting a personality change. In the original manga she mostly as a sadist who enjoyed manipulating and killing humans in cruel ways and was ultimately killed of fairly early on in the manga (for the record the rest of the Homunculi don't die until the final battle) Compare her anime counterpart who not only lives longer but eventually begins longing for a soul of her own.
    • In the manga, Basque Grand is only mentioned posthumously and seen during the Ishbal flashback arc. He gets more exposure (and a personality change) here and is in fact one of the main recurring antagonists early in the series.
    • Shou Tucker, a minor villain who was quickly dealt with in the manga, becomes a chimera in the first anime and returns to cause trouble a few more times, along with trying to rectify his past mistakes and generally being played more sympathetically.
    • Rosé Thomas, a minor Audience Surrogate from Reole at the beginning of the manga, became important to the story near the end.
    • Greed's chimeras also had greatly expanded roles in the anime, especially Marta. She had a somewhat significant role in the latter half of the anime, even traveling with the Elric brothers for a few episodes.
    • In the manga, Sheska is barely in it after her introduction with the exception of a few cameos. Sheska got a rather significant amount of screen time and basically became a second heroine next to Winry, with whom she also developed a friendship (they didn't even meet each other in the manga).
  • In the third season of Full Metal Panic!, the assassin twin sisters Yu Fan and Yu Lan had a much bigger role than they had in the novel on which the show was based. In said novel, they were male and died rather quickly. It's obvious their expanded roles (and gender-swap) were because the anime staff thought there needed to be more Fanservice.
  • Fushigi Yuugi gave only a brief mention of the Priestess of Genbu, Takiko, and an even shorter mention of the Priestess of Byakko, Suzuno. Genbu Kaiden revolves around Takiko's journey into the Universe of the Four Gods and Byakko Ibun will be doing the same for Suzuno.
  • In Gaiking: Legend of Daiku Maryu, Kain starts out as one of Nouza's subordinates, and is the only one to survive. During the final battle, he even pilots Vulking as a decoy to allow Nouza to sneak into the enemy base. In addition, Daiya's friend Naoto had only featured in the first episode, but makes a reappearance later on, piloting the Daiku Maryu after its regular helmsman is seriously injured.
  • Yuki Ushimaru from Gakuen Babysitters slowly rises from her status as a walking Running Gag when she gets a rival for Ryuuichi's affections, resulting in slightly more frequent and significant appearances afterwards.
  • Gankutsuou:
    • In The Count of Monte Cristo Franz is a minor character who receives exposition in one short section of the story and serves as an easily overcome roadblock to the Official Couple. In the anime he becomes integral to the two main characters' relationship.
    • Early in the novel, Albert is lured into the clutches of bandits by a young woman who turns out to be a young male bandit in disguise. The young bandit doesn't appear again in the novel, but in the anime he goes on to join the Count's household staff (as a maid) and play a supporting role throughout the series.
  • Gundam Build Fighters Try has Yuuma Kousaka, who went from being briefly mentioned as China Kousaka's younger brother in Gundam Build Fighters to being one of the 3 main characters in the sequel.
    • There's also Kaoruko "Gyanko" Suzaku, who only had a brief appearance at the very end of Build Fighters admiring her older brother's newest Gyan Gunpla, only to become a major character in the next season. Time will only tell if her younger brother will show up next series.
  • Sae's sister Chika is arguably important in the Hidamari Sketch anime, but you won't be able to find her in the manga—she is only referenced to and not given a name there.
  • Sumomo in Sgt. Frog was, in the manga, a character from a one-shot side story loosely connected to the main comic. In the anime, she was remade into an alien Idol Singer who was taking an impromptu vacation on Earth in her first appearance, and eventually became a recurring character.
    • Interestingly, the show seems aware of this, as some characters only appear between long stretches of episodes, prompting the narrator to cheerfully jog the viewer's memory.
  • Kaguya-sama: Love Is War does this a lot, and most of the cast made small appearances long before they were properly introduced:
    • Karen and Erika had been present ever since chapter 1 (in fact, Karen is first character the reader sees) but didn't receive names or any real focus until chapter 116, which was a tie-in to their Innocent Bystander Series spin-off.
    • Maki appeared as early as Chapter 6 alongside Kashiwagi and her boyfriend, but only appears sporadically in backgrounds and omakes until she finally received a proper role and character introduction in Chapter 98.
    • Tsubame started off as just another faceless member of the cheer team, but she got a much larger roll starting with the leadup to the culture festival arc when it was revealed that Ishigami had developed a crush on her.
    • The Mass Media Club president only appears once in the main series (though it does leave quite a bit of impact). Spin-Off series We Want to Talk About Kaguya made her a member of the supporting cast, as both Karen and Erika are members of the Mass Media Club.
  • In the manga adaptation for Kingdom Hearts II, Sark was given more scenes and played a major role during the second half of the "Space Paranoids arc", including taking Tron captive and torturing him, and later ambushing the party when the DTD is accessed. Following his defeat, we learn that he once believed in the users like Tron does, but lost faith when it appeared that Ansem betrayed them, and warns Tron to let go of his faith while he still can, which causes Sora to feel sorry for Sark.
  • Renko Kamishakujii and Koyuki Asagiri, while they both had minor roles in the first Kujibiki Unbalance "series" (it's tough to tell with only three episodes), they were major characters in the TV series version. In contrast, Komaki and Izumi, once major characters, were reduced to side roles.
  • Nanoha Takamachi was formerly a very minor character from Triangle Heart 3. Eventually it was decided to create a Magical Girl Spin-Off series starring Nanoha. Adding a few Humongous Mecha-related tropes turned Nanoha and her show into a very successful franchise that has drastically eclipsed the original in popularity.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima! exemplifies this trope. Several characters who barely got any panels per volume to their selves for the first few volumes get entire sub-plots revolving around them. A few examples:
    • Natsumi, Kazumi, Ku Fei and Mana are barely mentioned in the beginning yet became pivotal players in the most recent story arc.
    • The defeat of Rakan revolved partly around Ako trying to work out her feelings for Negi/Nagi.
    • Chao Lingshen had an entire story arc written around her. If that's not ascension of an extra, I don't know what is.
  • Chie Harada was simply one of Those Two Guys in Mai Hime, and a close friend who provided emotional and moral support to the protagonist, but didn't have much plot importance. Her Mai-Otome counterpart, Chie Hallard, is a high-profile supporting character, even getting pictured on a DVD cover with Aoi, That Other One Girl.
    • Not to mention Arika and Nina, the two main characters of Mai-Otome were practically nonexistent in Mai-HiME. They had no lines and minimal screen time—Arika only as a cameo in the finale, Nina as simply a Living Prop in Mai's classroom. Only Nina had a name and it was in Japanese, only revealed in one of the Omake that briefly lists the names of everyone in Mai's class.
  • Madame Taki in Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch. In the manga, she's a nondescript fortune teller from Lucia's palace who only appears twice, and one of those times was in a flashback detailing why Lucia was raised as a Sleeping Beauty. In the anime, she's a weird fortune teller who came to the surface with Lucia, Nikora and Hippo, and she's also Nikora's "guardian creature", like Hippo to Lucia.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin: The manga retells the original MSG story but grants a greater prominence to several characters. The Black Tri-Stars were only in 2 episodes but here they're given major roles in the greater Zeon military, even being some of the first mobile suit pilots. Sleggar Law joins the crew much earlier and helps fight in a number of battles he wasn't originally present for. Job John, a background crew-member, is promoted to a Mauve Shirt and often fights alongside the major characters. Tachi, a one-off member of Ramba Ral's group, is given a much expanded backstory as having an unrequited crush on Hamon and being key to saving the Deikun children. Finally there's Sayla Mass who, while always important, is essentially the secondary protagonist with the manga exploring her past in great detail and even giving her her own mobile suit.
  • My Hero Academia has Eijiro Kirishima, one of the students of Class 1-A, gain a more prominent role in the story as the arcs progress, joining the rotating cast of main characters given focus by the Shie Hassaikai Arc/Season 3 after gaining prominence in the arcs and season prior after his initial debut.
  • Oniyama and his two assistants, Ginko and Momo, in the anime version of Mysterious Joker. This is largely because the anime used the trio as recurring Hero Antagonists, in contrast to the manga, which usually had Joker face off against new detectives in each chapter (though Oniyama and the others did eventually start appearing more frequently as time went on).
  • In one of the Naruto video games, the ANBU organization, specifically members Towa, Komachi and Yugao Uzuki, were given major roles in the storyline. Also, Kakashi wearing an ANBU uniform is playable in the Naruto: Ultimate Ninja games.
    • As if Iruka wasn't already enough of an Ensemble Dark Horse, the Abridged Series gets him into a rivalry with Kakashi.
    • A filler episode of the anime turns one-shot Starter Villain Mizuki into a fully blown Arc Villain in fact had him working for the regular Big Bad).
    • Matsuri, formerly a nameless Fangirl of Gaara's in Part II, appears in the last of the Part 1 filler arcs as the first student to accept him as her teacher, and who gets kidnapped by the villains of the arc to lure him out. She also gets some lines of dialogue in the anime version of the "Kazekage Rescue Mission" and "Fourth Shinobi World War" arcs. And then she proceeded to get her very own entry into the official databook under that name.
    • Chiriku, one of Asuma's old friends and one of the 12 Guardian Ninjas, gets more of a role in the filler "Temple of Fire" arc.
    • Rock Lee, despite his relatively sparse screentime post-Time Skip, did get his own spinoff in the form of Rock Lee's Springtime of Youth, which also prominently featured his teammates Neji and Tenten.
    • Lee's sensei Might Guy, who doesn't get to do much for most of the manga, ends up becoming pretty prominent during the final set of arcs; he single-handedly takes down one of the more dangerous villains left, and gets a decent amount of spotlight in the battle against the Big Bads (in fact, Guy almost single-handedly beats the crap out of Madara despite the latter's Story Breaker Powers). He even gets his own flashback chapter.
    • Hinata. Not including the fair amount of filler that feature her prominently, she gradually became more relevant in the actual manga, particular with regards to her appearances in the "Pain's Assault" and "Fourth Shinobi World War" arcs. That said, she was still relegated to the background with most of the other cast before the final arc, as the main four characters all took center stage once again. That said, The Last, the Grand Finale movie to the original manga, elevated her status to Naruto's main love interest, culminating in the two becoming an Official Couple.
    • In the Spin-Off Naruto Gaiden, Sarada Uchiha has become quite the prominent character.
  • From the Nasuverse, there's Magical Ruby the Troll Magic Wand from Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA☆ILLYA. Despite being a major character in that series, Ruby made her debut in Fate/hollow ataraxia, as a very minor one-off joke character who had all of one appearance, although that appearance did end up being one of the funniest moments in a game filled with funny moments.
  • Kaworu from Neon Genesis Evangelion gets this treatment in the Rebuild of Evangelion films, where he has a greater presence throughout the actual storyline. It sometimes takes fans a bit of time to realize that outside of the movies, he only appeared in one episode and had the approximate screentime of Jet Alone. That said, he was important to the plot, but most of the character attributes were retconned since they couldn't actually be displayed in what little screentime he had. He also gets an expanded role in the manga, though his characterization is very different.
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas: Zero's Journey, a sequel made by Tokyopop, stars Zero, Jack's ghost dog, who gets lost in Christmas Town. The B-plot also gives Lock, Shock, and Barrel some limelight as they go to Christmas Town to find him.
  • One Piece:
    • Michael and Hoichael, two delinquents in Water 7, are once suspected as being responsible for the assassination attempt on Water 7, and later try to mug Zoro, only to get beaten up and forced to lead him back to the rest of the crew. In the Post-Enies Lobby arc, they appear in a filler episode as part of a makeshift family consisting of a woman and her "children," who are not blood-related, and Zoro helps defeat the collectors after they hire Mikazaki of the Crescent Moon (another Ascended Extra, a pirate with a 38 million bounty who got Worfed by the Galley-La company).
    • Silvers Rayleigh first appeared in a single panel at the beginning of the series. Fast forward almost 500 chapters later, and not only is he revealed to be Gold Roger's first mate, but he also helps train Luffy during the timeskip.
    • Boa Hancock. She's the second character after Luffy from One Piece who is included to the J-Stars Victory VS character roster. What makes it really impressive is the fact that not even the other Straw Hats—yes, not even Zoro—are in the game. And not only that, Hancock is the second fighting female character despite not even a main character like Rukia or Kagura or Lala who are just supporting characters in the game.
    • A more recent example is Trafalgar Law, who appeared during the Sabaody Archipelago Arc as a minor character. He later shows up at the end of the Marineford War to aid an out-of-commission Luffy, then after a few arcs, reappears again as a major ally in the Punk Hazard Arc and Dressrosa Arc. Granted, it was hinted that the Eleven Supernovas would have bigger roles to play in future story events, but he practically becomes the Deuteragonist for a while.
  • Ouran High School Host Club's Renge Houshakuji was introduced early on with her own chapter, and then she faded to the background. She does still make occasional cameo appearances, though. Bisco Hatori had mentioned Renge was intended to be a recurring character, but for whatever reason it never happened. Her role in the anime is expanded quite a bit as an As You Know Fangirl, and she does a few of the tasks Tamaki had initially done in the manga (such as helping Nekozawa with his photophobia). Hatori was happy to see Renge given more screentime in the anime, even if her appearances became less frequent toward the finale.
  • PandoraHearts: Poor, poor Elliot and Leo get this in the worst possible way with the former finally seeing the Tomato in the Mirror and realizing that he is the one who has been offing his family members all along, a revelation that leads to his Heroic Sacrifice, and the latter blaming himself for his best friend's death and eventually pulling a Face–Heel Turn because he can't handle the guilt, joining the Baskervilles and reawakening Glen Baskerville's soul inside him, thus becoming an antagonist to Oz, who had grown to see him as a friend.
  • Ignacio Axis in the animated adaptation of The Pilot's Love Song. The anime seems to be treating him as one of four protagonists, if promotional material is anything to go by. In the novels, however, Ignacio is considered a supporting character only, with the original story focusing on Kal-el, Claire and Ariel.
  • In Puella Magi Madoka Magica, the witch Charlotte was just the enemy of one episode...albeit one that had a major impact on the plot. In Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: Rebellion Charlotte reappears in an expanded role.
  • Sentaro Daimonji in Ranma ½ was a minor character who appeared in a brief three-chapter-storyline early on in the manga. In the anime, he was made into a recurring character that generally popped up Once a Season.
  • Nanami from Revolutionary Girl Utena. She only appears in a photo in the manga, but becomes a regular secondary character and a duelist in the anime.
  • General Gunther Reindardt of Robotech: Originally, the animation for the final series made many fans assume that the returning Expeditionary fleet was destroyed by the Invids' transcendence to a higher plane. The Jack McKinney novels assumed this, and it was probably true in the original Japanese version of Genesis Climber MOSPEADA. At that time, the General didn't yet have a name and his connection to Admiral Hunter was Just Following Orders. He was named in the novels and was established as one of Rick Hunter's close friends. After 20 years of debating what was seen in the animation, the 2007 movie Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles not only made Reinhardt one of the lead characters, but showed that the Invids' transcendence destroyed only the Neutron-S missiles and not any manned Expeditionary ships, ensuring that Reinhardt and his crew survive to be in sequels.
  • The entire Montague family in the Romeo X Juliet anime. In the original play, the Capulets had more focus, partially due to Juliet's Arranged Marriage to Paris; in contrast, Romeo's mother, Lady Montague, has one spoken line and dies from sadness by the end of the play. In the anime, it's reversed: save Juliet, all of the Capulets are dead, Lord Montague is the Big Bad, Romeo's the one with an arranged suitor, and Tybalt is secretly related to Romeo as a cousin, whereas he was Juliet's in the play. For individual characters, there's Romeo's relative Benvolio, and Juliet's nurse, who is actually given a name, Cornelia.
  • Enforced in the first anime of Sailor Moon. The manga was monthly, but the anime weekly so filler was required so something could air. This is most obvious with the various Quirky Mini Boss Squads who, due to their larger screen time, were allowed to have more fleshed out personalities then their manga counterparts who tended to be Flat Characters who were killed off after one battle. Many of them were even redeemed and given a second chance at life or at the very least given sympathetic deaths.
  • Sailor Moon Crystal: The Shitennou were given minor expanded roles in the first arc. Unlike in the manga were all but Kunzite were killed of not long after their introductions all four Generals survive until near the end of the arc before being vaporised by Queen Metalia after being freed from their brainwashing. Crystal also reveals that, in this adaptation, the Four Generals were involved with Princess Serenity's Four Guardian Goddesses in their past lives which was hinted at by a picture Takeuchi made at the manga's conclusion but never made explicit.
  • In the School-Live! Taroumaru was a puppy who died in the chapter he appeared in. In the anime he is the Team Pet.
  • When Slayers was novelized, Lina and Gourry were actually the only real protagonists; their companions in the first arc of novels, Zelgadis and Amelia, were only their allies for that period of time (and even then, Amelia did not appear during the battle with Copy Rezo as she did in the anime). They were replaced with Luke and Milina in the second arc of novels. When the anime was becoming popular, however, Zel and Amelia became popular enough to appear in more places than they did, and upon expansion, the "Slayers" became a four-man party instead; just about all of the video games and manga that came followed suit with this. By contrast, Luke and Milina only appeared outside the novels in the Hourglass of Falces manga, and even there, the group is a Six-Man Band instead.
  • Shiro Sanada in Space Battleship Yamato: Originally, he was just the ships Smart Guy. And due to the fact that he was a little older than the mostly young crew, it was expected that he would die as is common for mature characters in an ensemble cast of mostly youngsters (so that the young characters can grow and develop). Sanada shares with Kodai the distinction of being the Yamato Sagas two most longeval characters. He reunites with Kodai in the 2010 Yamato Ressurection in which Sanada now outranks captian Kodai. His character is even more developed in Space Battleship Yamato 2199 where he is now the Captain's true first officer as is appropriate for his age and experience. He also has an ongoing romantic interest, something that was totally ignored in the original series.
  • Star Ocean: Till the End of Time: Tynave and Farleen are given more screentime and are shown to be far more capable in the manga adaptation. They even get their very own Big Damn Heroes moment, where they save Fayt and Maria from Biwig's trap, at the Shrine of Kadan. Plus, Tynave gets ship teased with Cliff - from staying behind to help him fight Albel, to tending to his wounds afterward.
  • Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie: Despite being a main character in the game itself, Ken's role is minor. The movie changed this by fleshing out his backstoty with Ryu, revealing that his iconic red headband used to be Ken's hair ribbon. Which was retroactively made part of the series canon in Street Fighter Alpha 2. Ken was also given plot relevance by having M. Bison target him as a means to get to Ryu, and made him jointly responsible for Bison's defeat during the film's climaxnote .
  • Kazuhiko Amagasaki from Tenchi Muyo! only showed up in a brief scene of episode 1, but managed to gain enough popularity to get a bigger role in Tenchi in Tokyo.
  • Tokyo Ghoul uses this as a particular stunning twist in the sequel, :Re. Remember Seidou Takizawa, the Plucky Comic Relief from the CCG that was brutally killed off during the finale? Turns out he was Not Quite Dead, and ended up Reforged into a Minion by Aogiri. He quickly establishes himself as an Evil Counterpart to Sasaki, and the main villain of the arc with nearly 11 chapters of carnage to his credit. Since he got away, it's clearly not the last we'll see of him. Unlike most examples, subtle Foreshadowing hints that this twist was intended from the very beginning.
  • To Love-Ru
    • Following a certain point in the first manga, Yui was given increasingly greater exposure even as Haruna (principal Love Interest of the male protagonist) appeared less and less.
    • Kyoko was born as fictonial character of her Show Within a Show (a parody of the Magical Girl). After, she appears as real character and became Run's best friend. In "Darkness" she is also promoted to new potential harem member of Rito.
  • "Lum's Stormtroopers" in Urusei Yatsura. In the manga, they were minor characters who didn't even have nicknames given, weren't really distinguished from each other (to the point that it's not consistent about whether there are four of five of them), and stop appearing fairly early on in the series. In the anime, they're given the nicknames "Megane", "Chibi", "Kakugari", and "Perm", Megane is a supporting character about as important as (for example) Mendo or Ten, and Perm is sort of a composite of two characters from the manga: minor character Kosuke Shirai, and the nameless permed-hair guy. (Kosuke Shirai himself eventually appeared in the anime in the 2008 OVA.)
  • Variable Geo: In the Advanced V.G. series, Satomi had no involvement in the game's plot, despite her association with Yuka. Whereas the OVA adaptation elevated Satomi to the role of deuteragonist, by expanding on her rivalry with Yuka and made Satomi the target of The Jahana Group, who were after her for her immense spirit energy.
  • Despite being one of the lesser-known characters of the franchise, Armor was a main character in Marvel Anime: X-Men. This lead to her getting some more spotlight in the comics, such as her major role in the Alpha and Omega mini-series.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • Miho Nosaka only appeared in one chapter of the manga, but was made a main character in the Toei anime version (the lost "season zero"). Her personality was drastically altered, too; in the manga, she was a gentle, bookish girl, but in the anime she is sweet, kind, innocent, outgoing, and a Kawaiiko.
    • In the Toei Animation series, Jounouchi's/Joey's Ill Girl sister Shizuka/Serenity only appeared in one episode. The second series gives her a more extended role and two Moments Of Awesome.
    • Gozaburo Kaiba only appeared briefly in a flashback in the manga. In the anime, not only were the flashbacks expanded, he was the Big Bad of the Virtual Nightmare Arc. (Which was not in the manga.)
    • Ryuji Otogi (Duke Devlin in the English version). In the manga, his father sent him to defeat Yugi because his loss to Yugi's grandfather Sugoroku when they played the Devil's Board Game, which aged him 50 years overnight. But Otogi isn't that cold-hearted and won't let his dad make him hate Yugi. As for the anime, he was first shown wanting revenge on Yugi for defeating Pegasus at Duelist Kingdom. After being beaten at his own game, Dungeon Dice Monsters, he softens up completely and appears throughout the rest of the anime as a supporting character.
    • Remember Tetsu Ushio, that bully who was Dark Yugi's first victim? He's back as a policeman in a supporting role in 5Ds, and even gets to act heroic.
    • Kaiba himself becomes one in the anime version of the Memory World Arc. In the manga after Battle City he's Put on a Bus (or in his case, a jet) and only makes a brief cameo in the very last chapter. On the other hand, in the anime he'd already been upgraded from a major supporting character as he was in the manga into the deuteragonist on the show next to Yugi (or tritagonist if you count Yugi and Yami as two characters) and was already greatly involved in just about every filler arc in the series, so the writers probably felt it would be weird if he missed out on the finale. Thus, not only does he wind up dueling Bakura at the beginning of the storyline but eventually he winds up following Yugi and the others into the past as well, ultimately helping Atem take on Zorc and getting a Big Damn Heroes moment by the end.
    • In Yu-Gi-Oh!: Capsule Monsters, while they're always present in the main series, Anzu and Honda actually get to contribute to events. Sugoroku is a straight example.
    • Insector Haga and Dinosaur Ryuzaki (Weevil Underwood and Rex Raptor in the English version) were minor duelists in the original manga; Haga lost to Yugi and Jonouchi respectively during the two tournament arcs while Ryuzaki lost to Jonouchi in the first and was defeated off-panel in the second. The anime meanwhile upgraded their status to Those Two Bad Guys and made them recurring rivals to Yugi and Jonouchi respectively long after the point they'd been written out of the manga, appearing all the way up to the anime's final episode as part of its "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue during the credits.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX: Jun Manjoume in the anime is mostly a joke character and getting more and more forgotten as time goes on. However, in the manga, his role is increased significantly and he is a lot more badass.
  • Hiei from Yu Yu Hakusho was originally only meant to be a Starter Villain, going (supposedly) One-Winged Angel early and clutching the Villain Ball hard and with pride. But being an Ensemble Dark Horse lead to the creator putting him back into the series as a main character, instead fighting alongside Yusuke after being released on parole.


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