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Chuck Cunningham Syndrome / Anime & Manga

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  • While most of the characters from Beyblade's first season came back in season 3, a few players didn't. Steve from PPB All Starz is replaced by Rick who took Michael's place, and Ivan/Ian isn't a member of the newly-founded Blitzkrieg Boys (but he's shown in a flashback with the Demolition Boys). Team WHO (the Dark Bladers) was never mentioned, and the Majestics were kicked out by the Barthez Battalion, and only Ralf/Robert and Johnny got the luck to appear at least in one episode. The teams from season 2 also never appeared in season 3.
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  • The main character, Tamotsu, from the first Boku no Pico OVA is never seen or mentioned in the second or third ones.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Launch from the original Dragon Ball disappears after Tien's first death during the Saiyan Saga of Dragon Ball Z. Akira Toriyama admitted he had forgotten about her. She makes a tiny cameo in the anime, during the Kid Buu Saga, almost 300 episodes later. This detail was comedically referenced a few times in the Dragon Ball Z Abridged parody where characters would often ask "I wonder whatever happened to Launch?" in situations that reminded them of her presence.
    • While not a specific character, the various kinds of animal people that were all over the place in the original Dragon Ball nearly vanish without a trace after the Saiyan Saga. They do make the occasional appearance, but the episodes are very few and far between. For example they are remembered in one World Tournament episode in the Buu saga, episode 209, but then they're all gone again the very next episode even though the location didn't change any. The movies Bojack Unbound and Super Android 13 remembered they exist as well. So far, not a single nameless background animal person has been seen in Dragon Ball Super (except for Resurrection 'F', where ONE is seen for exactly 3 seconds during a chase scene). The animal characters that have names, like Oolong and Puar, are mostly spared.
      • Dragon Ball Z Abridged also references this, somewhat. As some of those animal people were sapient dinosaurs (non-sapient ones exist as well), Tien mentions how dinosaurs are still a thing, but they don't talk about them since they drove them from the cities.
      • The video game Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot attempts to explain this by saying all of the animal people were the result of everyone taking a drug called animorphaline that turns you into a beastman. And then when the animorphaline fad died, everyone on the planet stopped taking it. Considering how many holes this has note  this is not a very good explanation. note 
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  • El Hazard: The Alternative World introduced a (seemingly nameless) farmer as a love interest for princess Rune Venus. One episode ended, for him, on a Literal Cliffhanger, about to fall to his doom. However, the cliffhanger was never resolved and the character was never seen (or even mentioned) again. Presumably one of the consequences of the series being half as long as originally planned.
  • Lin's puppy, Pel, from Fist of the North Star disappears sometime during the Souther arc with no explanationnote . It shows up one last time in a later episode, only to never be mentioned again.
  • In From Eroica With Love, the first volume starts out with the main characters established as three psychic powered teens Sugar Plum, Leopard Solid, and Caesar Gabriel. By the end of the first volume, they're nowhere to be seen and never heard from again, in favor of the actual interesting characters, Dorian Red Gloria and Klaus Heinz Von Dem Eberbach.
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  • Kimi Toudou, Kawaiiko and shameless Gold Digger from Fruits Basket. The last scene we see with her is her interrupting a love confession between Yuki Sohma and Machi Kuragi while looking for her missing hair brush. She never appears again. This is somewhat surprising as virtually every other minor character in the series makes some sort of appearance for a Cleaning Up Romantic Loose Ends chapter at the end. (Even Naohito Sakuragi, equal to Kimi in terms of importance, gets paired off with Motoko Minagawa [the Yuki Sohma Fan Club President] at the end.)
  • Sheska from Fullmetal Alchemist: After her initial introduction chapters, she has one more brief moment of plot relevance again after Hughes's death, before completely disappearing from the story afterward. Averted in the original anime, however, where she remains relevant and forms a friendship with Winry.
  • Klaus in Hayate the Combat Butler disappeared for around two hundred chapters with absolutely no explanation. Once or twice, it was helpfully noted that, yes, he's still alive.
  • Shamal from Katekyō Hitman Reborn!. He got a passing mention in the beginning of Future Arc and is never seen or mentioned anymore.
  • Several major characters in Medabots, such as Dr. Aki's niece Karin, never showed up in the second season. The fact that season was made specifically for the US market may have something to do with it.
  • This happens to Yuuno Scrya in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha. He was basically Demoted to Extra in StrikerS, and then he vanished completely by the time of ViVid and FORCE.
  • In Mahou Sensei Negima!, Jack recounts the story of how Nagi saved his love interest, Queen Arika, a few years before Negi was born. No one has mentioned her since, and Negi hasn't asked. This also leads to a touch of Karma Houdini, since Arika has (evidently) never intervened to save her husband or her 10-year-old son from fates worse than death.
  • For a Hentai with so few characters, it's quite noticeable when Io Azuma in Moonlight Lady simply vanishes.
  • Quite a few characters in Oh My Goddess! drop out of the series over the course of forty-eight volumes, though some of them are justifiable. Many of the early characters are people who Keichii interacted with as a college student, so once he graduated, he was no longer anywhere that he'd be likely to run into Sayoko or Aoshima anymore, and the Motor Club similarly diminished in importance, though since Keichii got a job with a former member, they hung around longer.
  • In Onani Master Kurosawa, the unnamed younger sister of the protagonist appears in some boxes trying to talk to Kurosawa, only to be solemnly ignored (even by the author, after some chapters).
  • Pokémon:
    • The anime used to have a Jigglypuff as a reoccurring character who had a running gag of singing its sleep-inducing song. Which would put all those who heard it asleep. It would then get mad and draw on their faces. After the original series, it made one appearance in Advanced Generation before being dropped. It does not show up again until the Alola cast makes a trip to Kanto 14 years after its last appearance. Unfortunately Jigglypuff suffered from the syndrome AGAIN a few episodes after its return.
    • There's an unusual case involving Mewtwo, who hadn't been seen or mentioned since The Mastermind of Mirage Pokemon. Then the sixteenth movie featured Mewtwo as the co-star, except this Mewtwo turned out to be a completely different character.
    • In the Black and White (Best Wishes in Japan) series, Cilan's and Iris's rivals Burgundy and Georgia disappear after the Junior Cup Tournament Arc and never get mentioned again, although they both briefly appear in a flashback in the final episode of the Unova League arc. Luke also dissappears towards Ash's 8th gym battle.
  • Doctor Tofu from Ranma ½, disappeared after the first third of the manga series because his role as Mr. Exposition for weird martial arts was adequately filled by Cologne, one of the Trickster Mentors in the series. Fanfic writers keep using him to provide a second opinion or comedy relief, though there was a joke in the fan community that he had fallen into an open sewer and died. This was only in the manga; he made minor appearances in the anime throughout the series.
  • Sailor Moon started ditching the entire supporting cast of the anime (including Usagi's parents and brother) sometime after the R season. All except Usagi's mother completely disappeared in the Sailor Stars season. Her best friend Naru and classmate Umino, for example, had their final appearances in the short "Ami's First Love" (theatrically released with the SuperS movie), having been relegated to extras by the S season. The manga actually ditches them even earlier.
  • The Steel Saints from Saint Seiya, characters original to the anime's first season, completely disappeared before the 12 Zodiac Temples Arc. A common joke among the fandom was that they took the wrong plane from Japan to the Sanctuary.
  • Happens egregiously in the Slayers novels, more so the Special series. The most notable example is a mercenary named Lantz, who helps with the fight against Copy Rezo in lieu of Amelia in the third novel. He literally runs off, never to be heard of again. The only novel-exclusive character who is returned and remembered is the swordswoman Lemmy, who manages to make it to Amelia's side story and a radio drama. In the anime, similarly, Amelia's uncle, Christopher, doesn't get a single mention again after Slayers Next.
  • Space Battleship Yamato: The Next Generation characters Kitano and Sakamoto are introduced in Yamato The New Voyage. It appears as if they're being groomed for the positions of Navigator and Cosmo Tiger Flight Leader respectively. Sakamoto is replaced by Shiro Kato (brother of the late Saburo Kato) in the next film Be Forever Yamato. Kaoru Shintani, the ship's cook hasn't been seen since the first series. Hajime Hirata represents the ship's cooking division in Yamato III although it's not clear whether he is just veteran kitchen staff or the actual head cook.
  • Rumiko Takahashi's earlier manga Urusei Yatsura does this with Princess Kurama: after some time, she disappears altogether. She continues to get small cameos in the anime because of the crowd scenes.
    • "Lum's Stormtroopers" disappeared from the manga after Shutaro Mendo showed up, as he more or less filled their roles of being the rival to Ataru. The four became more significant in the anime.
    • In her first appearance Benten led a group of biker girls, after their initial appearance they were never seen or mentioned again.
  • This happens a lot in car racing manga. In Wangan Midnight, literally dozens of minor characters, including Rumi Aikawa, Ma, Kochan, Yoshiaki Ishida, Harada, and Makoto Morishita, have been dropped without so much as a footnote.
  • Wolf's Rain: Blue is conspicuously absent in the ending, where all the other wolves are shown reincarnated. The assumed explanation is that she wasn't reincarnated because she is a wolfdog, not a pure wolf.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • In the manga, a character named Hanasaki appears. The characters become friends with him, he's around for some chapters, but after the Death-T arc, he disappears and is never mentioned again.
    • Miho Nosaka. She was a very minor character and Honda's love interest in the manga. She gets promoted as a main character in the first anime series, but is not in the second series Duel Monsters. But she was referenced in GX when she was listed among the missing Domino residents who are sent to the World of Darkness.
    • In Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's has Yusei's friend Rally and the other three guys. Yusei's motivation to escape the satellite is partly to improve all of their lives, and he only agrees to enter the Fortune Cup because Rex takes them prisoner. Once the Dark Signers are defeated, they completely vanish until a brief cameo in the second last episode. You'd think they could at least turn out to support their friends at the WRGP. Subverted as Yusei drives past them during his final in-show duel with Jack.
  • Sonic X has Big the Cat and Froggy, who disappeared after the second season. It's made stranger by the fact that one episode features all the Mobius characters having to go back to their homeworld and Big and Froggy are nowhere to be seen.
  • While One Piece normally averts this, one episode of the 4Kids dub was edited that following Luffy's victory over Arlong, the next scene to show him would be of the crew at sea seeing Luffy's first bounty poster, with no mention of what became of Johnny and Yusako and why Nami suddenly became an official crewmate.
  • The Hugtto! Pretty Cure movie for the fall is one huge Crisis Crossover titled All-Star Memories that will star all the Pretty Cures over the series 15th anniversary, however, deeper analysis of the trailers reveal that Cure Echo (who debuted in New Stage 1) is nowhere to be seen. Until Toei gives out an official explanation, many has assumed that her Original Generation status is the reason behind her exclusion, which made people assume the worse about her appearance.


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