- Getter Robo
- The original manga team generally alternate between the Sociopathic Hero characterization of the original manga and most of the more recent animated productions and the more conventionally heroic 1970s anime version.
- Played with to amusing effect in Super Robot Wars Z where, due to Super Dimension Century Orguss's dimension hopping shenanigans the two versions meet. The cartoon Getter Team are understandably horrified by their Darker and Edgier counterparts.
- The depictions in the Pokémon anime often alter, especially according to each new region arc:
- Ash totters around the territory of Idiot Hero, though in some episodes he is just Book Dumb and otherwise lucid and competent, while in others he is an absurdly oblivious Butt-Monkey and prone to arrogance and hotheadedness.
- The closeness of Musashi/Jessie and Kojiro/James varies with each writer.
- The Team Rocket trio as a whole vary on the villain scale. Their most iconic depiction is that of goofy Ineffectual Sympathetic Villains, though they have on multiple occasions acted out rather menacing or downright sinister plans. They can also either be Anti Villains with a huge moral compass, or Faux Affably Evil Jerkasses who enjoy being as despicable and cruel as possible.
- Are legendary Pokémon one of a kind or not? Many times (often in their debut), much will be made of a legendary Pokémon being a unique creature, yet that same Pokémon will reappear years later with the implication that it's a totally different one (this tends to happen a lot with the legendary birds).
- Mewtwo has had multiple interpretations. In the main games, Mewtwo is a compassionless Blood Knight whose heart is stated to be the most savage of any Pokémon. Pokémon: The First Movie made Mewtwo a Tragic Villain who plotted to wipe out all life on the planet (though he got over it by the end). Pokémon: Genesect and the Legend Awakened featured a second Mewtwo (itself a vast divergence from all other continuities, where it's a one of a kind Pokémon) that was feminine and more heroic, though still distrustful of humans. Pokémon Origins, being more accurate to the games, depicts Mewtwo as a powerful, feral and vicious wild animal.
- Sailor Moon:
- Minako/Sailor Venus' maturity varies wildly; sometimes she's the more mature, experienced one, and other times she's an overbearing, proverb-confusing oddball. Some of it can be chalked up to the fact that Minako is something of a Stepford Smiler who deliberately chooses to act silly and cheerful to hide her feelings but gets very serious when it's necessary. However, especially in the first anime adaptation, there are points where her ditziness is played to extremes and her more serious side seems to be forgotten.
- The dynamic between Usagi and Rei/Sailor Mars in the '90s anime casts the two of them overall as Vitriolic Best Buds who squabble frequently but nevertheless care about one another. The specific tone of their interactions, however, varies from episode to episode; sometimes they are quite friendly, while in some episodes their bickering is so fierce that they seem more like archrivals who are barely friends at all.
- Chibi-Usa's main dynamic with Usagi was (ostensibly) being smarter and more mature. This was especially noticeable all-throughout Super S...with the exception of any episode directed by Junichi Sato, who kept them on the same level of maturity, so that they resembled a pair of squabbling sisters.
- Depending on the episode in the S season, Michiru Kaiō/Sailor Neptune can be more contemplative or merciful than Sailor Uranus, or just as extremist and rude like her.
- The title character of Cardcaptor Sakura can range between being something of a fairly normal Naïve Everygirl with visible cynicism and neuroses, or an incorruptibly sweet and cheery Cloud Cuckoo Lander. This usually plays into the characters she interacts with (against Kero or Tomoyo for example, Sakura is something of an exasperated Straight Man, when paired with Syaoran however, her obliviousness and affectionate qualities are exaggerated to unbearable levels for the poor guy).
- It's hard for those who have only seen Mamoru Oshii's Ghost in the Shell movies to imagine the introverted and philosophical Major Motoko Kusanagi getting drunk off her ass or engaging in a drug-fueled cyberspace lesbian sex orgy but that's just the way Masamune Shirow rolls. The TV series, meanwhile, strikes a comfortable balance. While the Major's less of a party animal she does retain some of the manga version's sarcastic sense of humor, and her vices are hinted at, but kept mostly off-screen.
- Area 88
- In the manga and OVA, Mickey is cheerful and friendly without being overbearing, and his angst is mostly internalized. In the 2004 TV anime, he's loud, overbearing, and has serious anger issues.
- In the manga and OVA, Shin is sociable and develops warm relationships with others at Area 88. In the TV anime, he speaks only when necessary and is aloof from the other pilots, only developing shallow ties to Mickey and Kim.
- Goku from Dragon Ball suffers a mild case of this. Toei, the people who write and make the anime adaptation of the series, tend to portrayal Goku as more heroic than his manga counterpart. Goku is still a good person in all media, but Toriyama's version of the character is more selfish, self-centered, and prone to overconfidence. His level of childishness also varies. The dub tends to play down Goku's immaturity and just make him fun-loving and somewhat clueless, while Toei sometimes play up his childishness and naivety for comedy. The manga version of Goku can be childish and very laid-back, but is mostly serious. Creator Akira Toriyama famously complained about this in an interview in The New '10s, and subsequently Dragon Ball Super (which has Toriyama's involvement) portrayed Goku closer to the manga version; one scene in particular has him openly admitting "I'm Not a Hero, I'm... just a guy looking for a good fight", but he still battles evil people and protects the innocent because it's the right thing to do.
- Lupin III can vary wildly in tone, ranging from fairly innocent PG affairs (especially when Hayao Miyazaki is involved) to hard R-rated stuff, and from wacky comedy to serious drama. As such, the characters can be pretty different depending on who's writing. The difference between the anime adaptations and the original manga are the most jarring.
- Lupin III himself is consistently the world's greatest thief, but other aspects of his personality can vary wildly. Most adaptations have him as a Chivalrous Pervert with a special place in his heart for Fujiko. He's also a more playful thief who only kills in self defense (and NEVER kills anyone who doesn't already have it coming) and helps people in need along the way. The original manga, however, depicted him an outright lecherous rapist who was much more willing to kill.
- Inspector Zenigata, Lupin's foil, ranges from completely goofy to completely serious. Most of the time, he's a Large Ham determinator who is constantly chasing Lupin while also being on the receiving end of numerous Amusing Injuries. However, there are times where he's not a victim of slapstick and is treated as a completely serious threat to Lupin, even willing to shoot him dead.
- Whether Lupin and his gang are the heroes of the story or the villains, and whether the series is a case of Black and Gray Morality, Black And Black Morality, or Grey and Gray Morality also depends.
- Puella Magi Madoka Magica: The Overarching Villain Kyubey's characterization varies somewhat across the different series he's appeared in. In the original anime, he is a Starfish Alien with Blue and Orange Morality, but still a Well-Intentioned Extremist. The spinoff mangas mostly adhere to this interpretation, but in Puella Magi Tart Magica he has a sense of honor and doesn't cause Jeanne to turn into a witch, because she did what he asked, destroying La Crepscule de la Reine even though her victory came at the cost of fully dirtying her Soul Gem (although it is implied that this Kyubey goes on to separate from the Hive Mind). In Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: Rebellion and Homura's Revenge, however, he is actively malevolent; in the former, he traps Homura in the her own labyrinth and unleashes her Superpowered Evil Side just so he can reinstate the Witch system, while in the latter he manipulates the main cast into trying to kill Homura several times.
Depending On The Writer / Anime & Manga