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Captain Ersatz / Anime & Manga

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  • 500 Manga Creatures, a book that purported to provide manga clipart, might as well have been named "300 Manga Creatures Plus 200 Potential Lawsuits from Game Freak" thanks to its inclusion of somewhat obvious examples of this trope applied to the Pokémon franchise. Kyogre, Dratini, Dragonair, Zapdos, Shuckle, Metang, Metagross, Shroomish, Swablu, and Bagon are just the most blatantly obvious ones.
    • Actually acknowledged in the book's description, where it claims that the characters include "Digimor (sic) and Pokémon-style creatures", among others.
  • Angel Blade:
    • This H-series has a few characters that may be pretty familiar to some people, but the most-definitely-not-Kekko Kamen heroine is the most obvious example. AB is basically a parody of Kekko Kamen.
    • At least two characters are ersatz versions of Mai Shiranui (the director apparently includes one in every project he works on as a Shout-Out), two more are basically the lead females of Gowcaizer renamed, and one more is Mizuki from Gravion given the same treatment.
  • In the 1960s Batman manga:
    • Go Go the Magician is Flash villain Weather Wizard, just with a different name. This is probably due to the fact that the artist had been given some Batman comics and been told to adapt them into a Japanese style - evidently one of the issues was Detective Comics #353, where Weather Wizard bedeviled Batman for a change. The reason for the name change is a little fuzzy, though. Maybe Weather Wizard's stylin' outfit gave the impression of him being one hip swinger, Clyde?
    • Similarly "Professor Gorilla" is fellow Flash villain Gorilla Grodd.
  • The basic story of Burst Angel takes place 20 Minutes into the Future, in a Crapsack World, where the main character (a Rei Ayanami Expy no less) pilots a Humongous Mecha. Here are the three leads...who they're based on anyway, many elements are lifted straight from Evangelion.
  • Cells at Work! & Spinoffs:
    • Cells at Work: Platelets!: Some of the Platelets — namely, Leader and Backwards Hat — in this spinoff are identical to those in the parent series, but it isn't made clear that they are intended to be the same characters.
    • Cells at Work: Baby!: Both Red Blood Cell and White Blood Cell's designs are strikingly similar to Super-Deformed versions of their characters from the original series.
    • Cells at Work and Friends!: The protagonist Killer T-Cell in Friends looks almost identical to his counterpart in the parent series, despite the art style making him look somewhat more youthful and less severe. While their outward behaviors are also similar, they couldn't be much more different in terms of their inner life.
  • Since the distinction between copyright free monsters and Dungeons & Dragons originals would remain obscure to laymen for several more years, Bastard!!'s manga originally featured a Beholder. After getting complaints from TSR's Japanese division the comic's supervisor Mr. Suzuki profusely apologized. The monster was slightly altered with comical arms and legs and renamed the "Suzuki Dogezaemon" for the collected volume. Dogeza meaning "apologizing on hands and knees," the incident gained some entertaining notoriety.
    • Konami would reference this in their Castlevania games with their own mock-Beholder, the Dogether.
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    • Dragon's Crown has its own stand-in, the Gazer. It may be yet another phonetic nod to the joke.
  • Early translations of Lupin III had to change the main character into an Ersatz because the original author had never asked permission to create a character based on Arsène Lupin. He would be called "Rupan" or "Wolf" or, in the French version, "Edgar of Burglary."
  • Glen, a one-shot anime-only villain from Fist of the North Star is an ersatz of the Terminator. He even showed up in Episode 84, which is related to the year of release of The Terminator.
  • Gintama featured a large number of Captain Ersatzes throughout the series, most used for short parody scenes, like the intergalactic emperor Breeza, obviously a parody of Freeza from Dragon Ball Z or the old man from the lake, the spirit of Gintoki's sword, who looked pretty much like a red version of the human form of the sword of Bleach's protagonist, Ichigo.
  • Kino's Journey's "coliseum" episode. In that story, Kino fights knockoffs of the Batman, Clint Eastwood, and Luke Skywalker.
  • In Yatterman, other than the main characters all being Expy of their Time Bokan counterparts, many one-shot characters in the show are either this for real-life people (like The Beatles or Bruce Lee) or for fictional characters from certain stories (like Heidi or Les Misérables) .
  • Kamisama Minarai: Himitsu no Cocotama's main protagonist, Kokoro, is Tanpopo from the Tamagotchi movie with a different eye and jacket color.
  • Non Manaka from PriPara is very similar to Onpu Segawa from Ojamajo Doremi. Both have purple hair and eyes, a small ponytail on the right side of their hair with a green hairtie, and seemed mysterious to the other characters in their respective series when they were introduced.
  • Fafnir's human form in Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid is based on Sebastian from Black Butler — Tohru sent him a manga about a "handsome, but devilish butler" with instructions to base his human form off the character. The comparison is taken even further in the anime, where he ends up having the same voice actor as Sebastian.
  • In the Snow White episodes of Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics one of the seven dwarfs bares a strong resemblance to Fred Flintstone from The Flintstones.


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