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  • In the first five or so volumes of Ah! My Goddess, Keiichi wasn't as shy around women (though he was still squeamish), seemed like more of a plain Unlucky Everydude than a mistreated Nice Guy, and Belldandy seemed to know more about Earth than her anime adaptations, was quick-witted, and dressed in an elaborate Oriental-style robe. The series began as basically a college-student drama with a goddess in it (later two, when Urd showed up, and three, when Skuld appeared). After the Lord of Terror Arc, it began to resemble more of a cross between a Dom Com and a Fantastic Comedy. Also, there were various implications that Belldandy was a bit of a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing and was subtly tormenting Keiichi in revenge for his getting her stuck on Earth. This was obviously dropped in favor of her being Incorruptible Pure Pureness incarnate (to the point that shackling a demon to her turned the demon into an angel). Urd was also much more heavily implied to be an Anything That Moves vamp at the start, which settled down into her being just sensual. About the only one whose characterization isn't hit with this is Skuld, who showed up after the series began to really gel.
  • Area 88: The first few issues of the manga fell victim to this.
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    • In the first issue, Mickey is much more boisterous and older-looking than in later issues.
    • McCoy is indifferent to the mercenary pilots' safety in early issues (such as when he sold defective Sidewinders to Boris), but shows warmth and concern for them as the series progresses.
    • When Hoover is first introduced in the Wolf Pack storyline, he is just as greedy and amoral as the other mercenaries (such as when he was among pilots trying to get free fuel and maintenance from Saki), in sharp contrast to his maturity later on.
    • Greg is an idiot ball holder in the incident with Gold's documents, but is depicted as competent and insightful later in the manga.
  • Assassination Classroom has been very consistent over its run — with one glaring exception in the first chapter. Knowing Koro-sensei like we do now, it's unthinkable that he would ever threaten his students' families.
    • Then again, considering that it was only his first day of teaching, that must've been his original personality shining through. It might even count as Foreshadowing.
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    • Terasaka was also much more of a sadistic Jerkass, as he happily coerced Nagisa into acting as a suicide bomber. It's a stark contrast to the Jerk with a Heart of Gold who had a huge My God, What Have I Done? moment when his deal with Shiro nearly killed his classmates not long later.
  • Azumanga Daioh was actually quite tame in the beginning, especially Osaka, who absolutely hated the nickname and pretty much played up the Osakan stereotype just to get people to shut up. Chiyo's pigtails were also drawn more realistically before gradually becoming more football-shaped.
  • Berserk: The very first page introduces protagonist Guts having sex with a woman who turns out to be an Apostle... at which point he explodes her head with his Arm Cannon mid-coitus. The problem with this scene is that Guts is later revealed to be a rape victim who Hates Being Touched and has a rather severe aversion to sexuality of any kind (with the exception of his girlfriend Casca). While there are a few theories as to why Guts would do that despite his characterization (the real answer is simply that Guts's character hadn't been properly conceived of yet), most fans tend to simply ignore the scene in question as having not happened. It also helps that this scene - beyond the female apostle's appearance during the Eclipse - has never been referenced again, neither in the manga or any animated adaptation.
  • Beyblade:
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    • In a case of dub-specific related weirdness, the Bakuten Shoot Beyblade series used DubNameChanges for everyone. Starting with Metal Fight Beyblade, the English dubs mostly kept the Japanese names. This was largely due to the practice of dub name changes falling out of fashion with anime by the time of Metal Fight.
    • Takao is the only protagonist not to have spiky Anime Hair. He instead wears a baseball hat like many other late 90s, early 2000s characters. Takao's hair is still on the Anime Hair spectrum but it's not as pronounced as later heroes and mainly points downwards rather than upwards.
    • The first season of the original anime used a distinct art-style where everyone has chubby faces and many characters have whisker-like marks on their faces. Afterwards it changed to a more "common" anime art style and all other series have used something similar.
    • Because Beyblade still had to find its audience during Bakuten Shoot Beyblade, there are quite a few experimental manga that fall under that banner, like one where Blader DJ is the protagonist, another where girls are the main bladers, and one that presents beyblading realistically.
    • And then there's the video games, of which Jisedai Beigoma Battle Beyblade stands out as the source of Bakuten Shoot Beyblade, but with some cast differences and a Gotta Catch Them All approach to bit-beasts.
  • Black Butler starts out in some sort of alternate world that's a very close, but not complete, copy of Victorian England, complete with video games, modern suits and television somewhere around 1888. This quickly changes to simply taking place in Victorian England.
  • Black Cat had Train killing an assassin. His vow not to kill would become a center piece of his life view for the rest of the manga.
  • The first few volumes (and episodes) of Bleach were primarily a Monster of the Week storyline. Then the Soul Reapers got introduced, and the plot shifted gears, eventually leading to an all-out war.
  • While the Knightmares still regularly appear in early episodes of Code Geass, they are portrayed much more as elite units of the Britannian Army to be used sparingly, rather than the norm. Conventional weapons are used far more often than in later episodes, by both sides. In contrast particularly to Season 2, where new models of Knightmares seem to develop every other episode and numerous characters have their own personal unique models, early episodes feature only a few fairly generic models. Indeed, Lloyd's obsession with creating the unique Lancelot is viewed as a potentially unreliable unknown by the Britannian leadership, rather than a trump card. It doesn't help that season 2 was subjected to a serious Power Creep.
  • Cyborg009:
    • The original manga may be odd to read, as rather than starting things off with Joe's arrival to the team, the manga quickly goes through the origins of the other cyborgs first. Albert/004, while still a dark-natured character, is also rather louder and hammier early on, and spends as much time smirking as he does with laying on the snark.
    • The team members (save for 003 and 009) are also given nicknames early on, which aren't referred back to: 001 is "The Brain", 002 is "The Jet", 004 is "The God of Death"/"The Reaper" (both valid translations of "shinigami"), 005 is "The Iron Man", 006 is "The Mole", 007 is "The Chameleon", and 008 is "The Merman".
    • On at least two different occasions in the early manga, 004 was shown to be able to fire off his fingers like darts/missiles. This did not come up again in the later stories. 004 also originally used his knee missile by rolling up a pant leg and pushing a button on his knee to split his leg in two, while later appearances had him able to automatically split his leg to fire the missile.
    • 007 originally had to manually take off his clothing to be able to pull off a convincing transformation (such as transforming into a dolphin).
    • 002 had a much milder, easy-going personality compared to the brash and louder attitude viewers would associate with him from modern incarnations. However, he did become a bit more hot-tempered and negative in the later stories in the manga, with it being a plot point that at least 20 years had passed since their original adventures and that he was feeling the strain of being a cyborg.
    • Dr. Gilmore had his eyes shadowed out early on, to mark him as a shady character. 005's pupils also tended to appear and vanish in the early arcs, and 006's height and weight weren't as consistent (with him sometimes not appearing as plump as he would in most media, and sometimes not appearing as drastically short).
    • The earliest colored artwork for the series depicted the 00 cyborgs as wearing green uniforms (as opposed to red), and Joe/009 had blue eyes in some of the early covers. Other color schemes were also not settled early on; 004 sometimes appeared with strawberry blond hair (as opposed to silver), 003 alternated between being a blonde or brunette, and 001 sometimes had blond or brown hair as well.
    • 003 had longer hair in her very first appearance in the "Birth" arc, and Ishinomori wasn't as consistent on whether or not she wore a headband. Her hair style was altered over the course of the manga, and she was consistently depicted as wearing a headband.
    • 004 had a pointier face, bowl-cut hair, and a pointy nose (sometimes almost rivaling 002's). His facial features and hair cut gradually changed, to where he had a more chiseled face and aquiline nose, as well as less of a bowl cut.
    • At one point in the early serialization, Joe's surname was "Muramatsu" instead of "Shimamura". This was corrected in tankoban releases of the manga. 003 was also called "Francois" (a masculine spelling) instead of "Francoise", which was also corrected.
  • Death Note:
    • When the manga first introduced L, he actually stood up straight, but he was then given his slouch when he revealed himself to the Kira Task Force. L was also depicted with eyebrows after revealing himself, but they quickly disappeared over the course of the manga. Pre-revelation, his hair was more on the curly side of messy and longer, instead of his memorable spiked style. And prior to his official introduction, L was also seen repeatedly standing or sitting with crossed legs, meditating, compared to the iconic squatting pose that most people associate with him.
    • In a case of Art Evolution, Matsuda looked closer to Raye Penber when first introduced. Mogi's face was also more on the cartoonish side, with his eyes being much wider and bulging. Matsuda was also more serious when he was introduced. Characterization Marches On when he became more of a Plucky Comic Relief after L revealed himself to the KTF.
    • In the early manga, Light was shown to have two friends from school. The anime adaptation excluded the characters to depict him as more of a loner.
    • While Mello is memorable for his black outfit and baring his midriff, his initial manga appearance depicted him with white pants and his vest covered his abdomen.
    • The very first color image to feature Mello and Near (pre-timeskip) had both boys depicted with pure white hair. This was due to Ohba and Obata still struggling with ideas for the two at the time, with one idea for them to be twins (or at least resemble a pair). After their personalities and designs were finalized, Mello's hair became blond in all later color images.
    • Light's morality was a little more grey in the early chapters. While he did express his desire to be viewed as a god, he did seem to legitimately want to punish criminals and he viewed his sister, Sayu, as a Morality Pet. After the L challenged him, he became undebatably evil by killing anybody who dares contest Kira and he was perfectly willing to kill Sayu (and only decided against it because it would cause more problems for him).
  • In early volumes of Detective Conan, characters had some very unfashionable choice of clothing, but necessarily to reinforce a stereotypically English tone of detective stories set in modern Japan. Conan himself got some clothing choices more sensible than his early outfits as the series went on. Inspector Megure on the other hand, has continued to don his trench coats, along with his silly hat (which was retroactively explained away in a chapter as a means to cover an old wound on his head that reminds him of a terrible incident that happened to his wife).
  • The original Di Gi Charat anime was primarily an advertisement for Gamers. Not only that, but while there was still some focus on cuteness (finger-puppet people, Puchiko's leitmotif), it was generally more funny than cute, and the opening theme was rather ethereal in nature, focusing on the girls' aspirations as idols. The people being mostly literal finger puppets was also phased out in the very next series, Panyo Panyo Di Gi Charat, where most characters were human, with Di Gi Charat Nyo in turn featuring an even more diverse population that included anthropomorphic animals and objects.
  • In the very first Digimon Adventure the Monster of the Week for the first few episodes - Kuwagamon, Shellmon and Seadramon - aren't tainted by any sort of evil magic or science, and don't speak, which is very unlike most antagonist Digimon from the rest of the show.
    • This was particularly a problem for the English dub, which was being produced at almost the same time as the original, which led to mentions in the early episodes of Mimi's non-existent brother, Taichi and Hikari's non-existent puppy, and Yamato and Takeru. being half-brothers despite having the same mother and father.
    • In the very first episode, Taichi and Kōshirō are taken to a 'hiding tree' by their Digimon to hide from Kuwagamon. These are never seen or mentioned again.
    • This extended to the second season too. In the first episode the dub made Miyako seem like the intelligent gadgeteer of the group, likely because of her glasses. She later turned out to be the Genki Girl archetype, receiving Digi-Eggs that had Sora's crest of love and Mimi's crest of Sincerity.
  • Digimon in general. In the earliest adaptations, including their first ever appearance in C'mon Digimon, human partners could not make their monsters evolve at will, evolutionary levels were a lot less important over all, quite a few Digimon characters actually had names and monsters rarely called attacks. And monster was the preferred short hand human characters used for Digital Monsters rather than Digimon. The art style has shifted too, though that is not as noticeable since designs have rarely been upgraded after C-mon.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • For its first story arc, Dragon Ball was a very loose pastiche of Journey to the West with a few science-fiction elements for an interesting and often humourous contrast to the traditional chinese elements. When it came to the Tenkaichi Budokai arc immediately thereafter, it jumped feet-first into martial arts action, and when the Red Ribbon Army was introduced immediately after THAT, the world became openly, and proudly, Fantasy Kitchen Sink for the rest of the series's run.
    • Dragon Ball featured more sexual humor and nudity early on that wouldn't seem out of place in an Ecchi series as part of focusing on the comedy. While this kind of thing didn't completely go away, thanks in part to the presence of Master Roshi, it's nowhere near as frequent, especially since the series begins focusing more on action by the 22nd Tournament.
    • Goku wore a blue gi in the very first story arc, and it wasn't until the second one that he began wearing the trademark orange gi that would be considered his signature attire for the franchise.
    • The main ensemble in Dragon Ball is made up of Goku, Bulma, Oolong, Yamcha and Puar, with the later additions of Roshi, Launch, Tien and Chiaotzu. While Bulma and Yamcha remain major characters after this arc they are never as prominent as they are here. Puar and Oolong quickly fade into the background and to people who only saw Z they were merely Those Two Guys. Most Z fans would tell you that the main cast is Goku, Gohan, Vegeta, Piccolo, Krillin, Trunks and Goten. The show itself is aware of this change; each opening and ending sequence tends to have a shot of the main cast together, and they get adjusted every few arcs.
    • On the subject of story length, the first DBZ arc counts for Early Installment Weirdness for those who choose to start there. The "Saiyan" arc was much shorter than the other three story lines that followed, being around the length of the previous Dragon Ball arcs at the time, roughly 4 volumes and 30 episodes total, which was about the same length of other arcs such as the "Red Ribbon Army" or "Piccolo" ones. It isn't until the "Namek", or "Frieza" arc that the series starts reaching its multi-volume, 80-90 episode length runs that it's best known, and sometimes infamous, for.
    • Earlier chapters featured several moments with characters breaking the fourth wall, which by the time of the Red Ribbon Army arc was completely done away with. Then it was brought back again in the Buu arc.note 
    • One element early on in the series that really sees some head-scratching is the conclusion of the Boss Rabbit storyline. Considering it ends with Goku actually going into outer space with no space suit and dropping the villains of it onto the moon (thus pulling off a Rabbit in the Moon joke), it always feels weird seeing climax of the Frieza Saga where Goku has to escape the dying Namek in time, since if the explosion doesn't kill him then the vacuum of outer space will. And Master Roshi blows up the moon later on, presumably with the Boss Rabbit still on it, which is strange purely because the story hadn't ramped up to it in the same way it did for, say, characters being able to blow up mountains.
    • Up until the end of Dragon Ball, anthropomorphic animals and dinosaurs were common sights, even sometimes being minor named characters. However, once Dragon Ball Z started, they all essentially vanished both as characters and in background shots, outside of the dinosaurs in Gohan's Saiyan Arc training and a cameo by the dog-like king in the Cell saga. This is made more blatant in Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods when Beerus claimed that he was the one to have killed off the dinosaurs millions of years ago, despite their presence earlier in the series.
    • If one considers the entirety of the continuum, Dragon Ball acts as an almost series-long weirdness to Dragon Ball Z. While Dragon Ball focuses much more on adventure and rivals, Dragon Ball Z is more focused around lengthy Villain Arcs building up towards a climactic showdown. Z also has elements of sons in Gohan, Trunks and Goten, and the Namek Arc focuses heavily on space and the Saiyan legacy. That said, the idea of a Villain Arc actually started with the Daimao Arc, which has many other classic DBZ elements that most Z fans focus on over the city-destroying explosions and gruelling battles that are also there.
    • In an English-only sense, Piccolo begins the Saiyan Arc (frequently the first part of the manga to be released in a new run) speaking in a very antiquitated fashion, using phrases such as "thou" and "do you not know to whom" and so on.note  This disappears by the time Piccolo has kidnapped Gohan to train him, and because the earlier Chapters were translated last, his appearances in the Daimao and 23rd Tournament arcs don't have this either.
    • A more minor example revolves around Piccolo's blood: prior to the Namek Arc, they were depicted with red blood, just like every other character in the series up to that point. After it was established that Piccolo and Kami are slug-like aliens from the planet Namek, all Namekians in the show, Piccolo included, were given purple blood.
    • When Future Trunks first appeared, he had a more cocky personality when he fought Frieza and King Cold, possibly as the first indicator that he was Vegeta's son. After that battle, he became much more polite and knew not to take his enemies lightly, such as the Androids and Cell. This is explained by Trunks already knowing that they're chumps compared to the Androids, but that doesn't make it bizarre when he switches.
  • The Evillious Chronicles has some of this, not helped the franchise lacking both an established canon and actual official artist that wasn't a guest until 2010. The PV for "Servant of Evil" refers to the characters by their Vocaloid names instead of their official ones (Rin and Len instead of Rilliane and Allen), the designs aren't finalised (Rilliane's hair is illustrated as much shorter and Allen lacks his signature coat. Likewise, the Venom Sword is rendered as a rapier and not a katana as it is always referred to later) and the songs are in general far less interconnected. The most amusing one though is the opening monologue of "Judgement of Corruption" which stated that Gallerian would be remembered as a collector by future generations, which becomes a significant contradiction when, years later, it was established that Nemesis caused the apocalypse via mass nuking less then 20 years after Gallerian's death.
  • In Fairy Tail, Levy's early appearances actually illustrate her having decently sized breasts before she was established to be suffering from A-Cup Angst.
  • In Food Wars! there are a few early oddities. One of the most obvious is the weird lesbian subtext between Erina and her assistant/only friend Hisako, which never comes up again and is very out of character for both of them: Erina isn't much of a tease and is definitely not a flirt and while Hisako almost hero worships Erina, the two of them are actually less close than you'd think as a result of that.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • The first chapter or two of Fullmetal Alchemist depict the Elric brothers as much more cynical characters, with the first volume even describing them as ruthless. This clashes quite a bit with how they act later; if anything, they're some of the least cynical characters and their angst is caused by having their idealistic beliefs yanked out from under them (for example, Ed being upset at what Shou Tucker does to his daughter expressly because it makes him feel guilty that there was nothing he could have done).
    • In their backstory episode, Edward and Alphonse are sparring when Ed kicks his brother into the water. A much later episode shows that both had previously thought that getting Al's blood seal wet would kill him, and are surprised when it doesn't.
    • The 2003 anime originally had some leftovers from the manga that were later dropped. For example, early episodes clearly show an attraction between Edward and Winry like in the manga. Later they're instead depicted as more platonic (though official and promotional art still depicted them as love interests). One scene in the beginning episodes clearly shows Ed pushing Alphonse into a body of water while a later episode had the fact that Al's seal didn't erase in water come as a complete surprise to Ed.
  • Fushigi Yuugi: In his debut chapter, Nuriko was pretty much a male version of an Alpha Bitch who acted like a complete Jerkass toward Miaka and even attempted to drown her due to his jealousy because she was getting close to Hotohori. However, after Miaka slapped him some sense, he begins to become less bitchy; and after his Gender Reveal, he starts to shape up his character even more until he's become a fun, lovable and sensible character that is extremely popular in the fandom. The most glaring difference between his two selves is that, while the Nuriko of the first few chapters is practically defined for his crossdressing tendencies, Nuriko from volume 8 onward ditches behaving like that and even falls in love with Miaka, the girl he used to hate.
  • An early chapter of Fruits Basket has Hanajima show up to Tohru's sleepover wearing a light-coloured dress. This was before the manga established she only wears black after nearly killing a classmate with her psychic powers.
  • The first couple chapters of the original Ghost in the Shell are way more lighthearted and comedic than the series usually is, being more of a Black Comedy action story that just happens to be set in a Cyberpunk world. The main cast's personalities and dynamics are also really off from what would become the norm; Motoko is much more emotive and goofy, Batou is a bit of an idiot, Togusa is The Friend Nobody Likes, and Aramaki is a Pointy-Haired Boss who hates his employees almost as much as they hate him. Perhaps not coincidentally, everybody's characterizations start settling down into their familiar shape around the same time the plot begins to get more serious.
  • Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun has a few differences from its early chapters compared to later chapters and the anime adaptation:
    • Early colored art of the manga showed Sakura's hair as pinkish and her ribbons didn't have the iconic polka-dots. Later colored manga art has her color scheme closer to the anime's.
    • Hori was, in his first few appearances, inconsistently drawn with his sleeves unrolled, even while he was working (and sometimes they would switch from being rolled to unrolled from one panel to the next). His sleeves have become consistent and are basically never drawn unrolled except in chapter cover or color artwork.
    • Mikoshiba's first appearance in Chapter 3 actually has him wearing his uniform mostly properly (a buttoned shirt with the tie), only missing the blazer or sweater most of the other students wear. Afterwards he dresses like he normally does in the anime, with his shirt unbuttoned over a t-shirt.
  • In the earlier stories Golgo 13 was much chattier, even cracking some jokes in comparison to his later characterization as The Stoic.
  • The Hellsing manga started with more of a Black Comedy feel, with Alucard being as much an eccentric as an Eldritch Abomination. The comedy faded quickly.
  • In How Heavy Are the Dumbbells You Lift?, Machio's physique when unclothed was originally muscular but not cartoonishly exaggerated, and he remained the same body proportions whether he was clothed or not. It wasn't until the fifteenth chapter or so that he started transforming into a giant every time he disrobed.
  • Same happens in Trigun, though it still has a comic side throughout the series. After a few episodes the comedy fades and the drama takes over most of the time.
  • The first English dubbed episode of Inuyasha involved a fair amount of Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe from villagers and Kaede. By the following episode, it was entirely absent aside from Kaede's "ye".
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure.
    • The Stands didn't show up until Stardust Crusaders, despite Stands being the best known feature of the series. Instead, the first two Parts focused on the Ripple, a.k.a. Hamon, a martial art used to hunt vampires. Stands were introduced in Stardust Crusaders for a change of pace — Hirohiko Araki says that he wanted to represent Psychic Powers with more interesting visuals — and things started getting really weird from there.
    • In the first appearance of Stands, it was stated that they came from breath control, similar to how Hamon worked. This was dropped very quickly, and it seems to have just been a way to ease readers into the idea by introducing it as a new form of Hamon rather than something completely different. By a similar count, the idea of Stands requiring a certain level of "fighting spirit" (the explanation for why Holy's Stand was killing her) didn't last very long either, with plenty of later characters being weak-willed cowards who still had one. It is also stated at the start of part three that how "visible" and "distinct" a stand is shows its power. This is almost immediately dropped, and for the rest of the series, even the weakest Stands don't look any less distinct than the powerful ones.
    • At one point in Stardust Crusaders, Kakyoin and Polnareff shrink their Stands down to micro-size in order to enter Joseph's brain and fight and enemy Stand inside it. This is handwaved as Stands being merely energy projections, hence their size should depend on the User's will. After this one battle, it's never done again, even in situations where it could have been very convenient, and Stands can only be as big (or small) as we see them, except in some rare and justified circumstances (such as an enemy's specific power to shrink down other people and their Stands).
    • Since Phantom Blood, several characters have been named after Western musicians, bands, songs, and albums. In the case of Stands, this didn't apply for them until the start of Diamond Is Unbreakable. Cream from Stardust Crusaders was the first Stand to follow that theme, but the other Stands from the same Part weren't. 22 of them are named after the Major Arcana Tarot cards, 9 were named after the Ennead... and then, there's Tenore Sax, the only Stand named after a musical instrument. The first few Stands with Tarot names also had a color theme, such as Hermit Purple, Hierophant Green, and Yellow Temperance, until Araki dropped that idea not too long after.
      • The names of the Stands also had a minor importance in Stardust Crusaders, where the character's personalities, role, or Stand abilities were related to their name (albeit very loosely), and the Crusaders being caught off-guard with there being more Stand Users after they were running out of tarot cards. Afterwards, Stands were named whatever Araki felt like.
    • Additionally, characters in earlier Parts tended to at least somewhat modify the names of whatever they were based on: Zeppeli's name invokes Led Zeppelin, but he isn't just straight-up named Led Zeppelin, for instance. The Pillar Men also have slightly misspelled versions of the bands that inspired them in both the original Japanese and the official translation. Later parts tended to just straight-up call characters things like "Funny Valentine" or "Vanilla Ice."
    • Diamond Is Unbreakable starts out with the detailed buff look that Araki used for the first three parts, before shifting more into the slimmer bishonen look, by case the most drastic case of Art Shift.
    • Phantom Blood and Battle Tendency are short in length compared to future parts. Phantom Blood went on for 44 chapters in the manga, while Battle Tendency had 69 chapters. Parts 3-6 went on for a little more than 150 chapters each, and Steel Ball Run had 95note . Anime-wise, Phantom Blood had only 9 episodes and Battle Tendency had 17. They were both combined into one season of 26 episodes. Compare that to Stardust Crusaders' anime adaptation, which was made up of 2 seasons, each consisting of 24 episodes. That's an impressive total of 48. Both Diamond is Unbreakable and Golden Wind (AKA Vento Aureo) have a total of 39 episodes each. Considering the length of Parts 3-5 and their manga to anime transitions, fans already have an idea that Stone Ocean will gain a similar treatment.
    • Interestingly, Stand abilities suffer from this in that early ones weren't as weird as later ones would be. Stardust Crusaders' Stands had comparatively mundane abilities, such as Magician's Red's fire manipulation, Yellow Temperance's all-dissolving shapeshifting goo, and Star Platinum's Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs. In later Parts, the Stand abilities get progressively weirder and weirder. Later Parts have positively surreal Stands like Highway Star (a humanoid Stand that breaks down into a collection of feet that breaks out of a room manifesting inside a tunnel, chasing down a target at 60 km/h, and sucking out the target's nutrients when it catches them), Baby Face (a computer that impregnates a woman to gestate a search-and-destroy homunculus that can break matter into cubes), or Weather Report's Heavy Weather (rainbows that turn you into snails). Conversely, early Stands also often demonstrated instances of New Powers as the Plot Demands without much ceremony (most famously, Star Platinum being able to inhale large quantities of air or extend its fingers), while later Parts tended to give Stands rather concrete limits established right off the bat.
    • It's not unusual for Stands early in a series to display traits that they never display again. For example, in Stardust Crusaders, Kakyoin's Hierophant Green can possess people by entering their bodies. After his initial fight, Kakyoin uses this ability only once in the Death 13 fight and then never again. A similar issue occurs with Polnareff's Silver Chariot, which had the ability to shed its armor in exchange for being able to move faster. After his initial fight, this ability is only used during the fight against Hol Horse and is never used again. In Vento Aureo, it's established that the lifeforms created by Giorno's Gold Experience are impervious to damage and return any damage dealt onto to them. This ability, similarly, is rapidly abandoned, presumably as it'd be both too powerful (allowing Giorno to sic unkillable predators against his foes who likely would attack them and end up killing themselves), and because Araki would decide to give Giorno the ability to heal people (by creating body parts instead of whole beings) and this would raise the question of if he should render those he heals invincible.
    • On a related note, Stands in Stardust Crusaders, especially in the earlier chapters, often had their own attacks and battle techniques, often with distinct names, such as Star Platinum's Star Finger, Hierophant Green's Emerald Splash, and Magician's Red's Crossfire Hurricane. As the series went on, this was phased out in favor of Stands generally having a single ability with multiple applications thereof.
  • Kaguya-sama: Love Is War:
    • The cover for volume 1 was drawn in a style more reminiscent of a horror series than what is found on the other covers. A special edition released to celebrate the series selling 3 million copies included a dust jacket that redrew the artwork to be more in line with later volumes.
    • During Tsubasa's first appearance when he comes to Shirogane for help in asking out Kashiwagi, he refers to her as a "a girl in my class". But later chapters establish that they're Shirogane's classmates, so it would have made more sense for him to either say "a girl in our class" or just refer to her by name.
  • Kill la Kill: Although the series often has some level of violence, the show generally has a very low body count because people are either dispatched in vague, non-graphic fashion or by having their clothing, and thus much of their power, destroyed. However, the first episode has the Absurdly Powerful Student Council flat-out executing one of the students for stealing a one-star Goku Uniform, and Mako's apathetic reaction implies it was a regular occurrence. It ended up being the only explicit death during the course of the show until the Big Bad, The Dragon, and Senketsu die in the very last episode. This example is so extreme that viewers have to ignore or rationalize it in order to accept the council being Good All Along later on.
  • Kinnikuman was originally an Affectionate Parody of superheroes before it started focusing exclusively on wrestling.
  • In Komi Can't Communicate when Najimi Osana is introduced s/he is drawn in a stylized but more realistic form matching that of the other characters, Najimi is also at times shown to be unsure of herself, scared and even apologetic. As the chapters went on the character was drawn more minimalistically, became a Cloudcuckoolander and an amoral trickster with many moments of It Amused Me guiding his actions.
  • Little Witch Academia:
    • The first episode of Little Witch Academia (2017) has Avery (the blue-haired witch) as part of a trio with Hannah and Barbara, and speak a few lines. She became a silent background character since then. The episode also has some unnamed teachers that either never appear again or make extremely brief cameos in later episodes.
    • The original OVAs — Little Witch Academia (2013) — had some adult characters involved in the plot, and the teachers seemed reasonably competent. The TV series, however, goes deep into Adults Are Useless territory. Other than Ursula and Croix, who are sort of honorary children thanks to flashbacks, the teachers seem less talented than their students—especially Diana, who in one episode resolves a conflict through knowledge of an ancient language the professors couldn't understand. Diana herself also used to be rather hostile to Akko before moving onto The Stoic who would belittle but never openly bully Akko in the series proper.
  • Lucky Star: The first episode had a scene with Kagami berating Miyuki, someone she is since shown to respect a lot more than Tsukasa or Konata.
  • The original manga of Lupin III is much more violent and sexual than the animated adaptations that most people would be familiar with. The manga also includes several oddities that are not present in the anime versions, such as Lupin having a pet dog, and Zenigata being a foul-mouthed Dirty Cop.
    • Lupin was more of a straight up Villain Protagonist than the lovable Anti-Hero most people are familiar with. In contrast to most anime depictions, where Lupin primarily kills in self defense (and almost always against other, worse criminals), the manga Lupin was quite murderous, as demonstrated in an early chapter where he stabbed a number of guards to death while infiltrating a military compound. He was also an unrepentant rapist, with these scenes often being played for laughs or showing that his victims enjoyed it. Monkey Punch would famously claim that the plot of The Castle of Cagliostro, where Lupin goes out of his way to rescue a young girl in danger, would've been completely Out of Character for his original conception of the character.
    • Rather than being a main character, "Fujiko Mine" was basically a generic name given to the Girl of the Week in the original manga. This meant that in any given chapter, Fujiko could be a rival thief, someone's girlfriend, an escaped convict, a secretary, a Bounty Hunter, a private detective, an undercover policewoman and even an assassin with nearly 1000 kills. At least two of these appearances also gave Fujiko a sister/partner-in-crime named Michi, who was eventually dropped from the manga and never appeared in any of the anime adaptations.
    • Jigen had no qualms with betraying Lupin to serve his own interests, something that would seem unthinkable to fans who know his iconic status as Lupin's True Companion.
    • Despite nowadays being known as a Stoic warrior with little interest in sex, Goemon sometimes tried to pick up women in the manga and was generally angrier and more impetuous than in later depictions.
    • A comment by Lupin in an early manga chapter seemed to suggest he couldn't impersonate women, something he would eventually be shown to be quite adept at.
    • Certain early stories also depicted Lupin as employing a vast network of criminals to assist in his crimes, with one story suggesting he had nearly two thousand operatives who were currently imprisoned (and who knows how many others running free). Eventually, the series settled on him mostly just working with Jigen, Goemon and Fujiko, a set-up that was retained for nearly all subsequent adaptations.
    • Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine, and to an extent The Mystery of Mamo, have a much closer similarity to the manga in tone and art style, however the former lacks the slapstick humour present in the source material.
    • The early episodes of Lupin III (Green Jacket) are also notably darker and more adult in tone than the subsequent seasons, though they still lack the manic slapstick comedy of the manga. The season underwent a significant tonal shift after Isao Takahata and Hayao Miyazaki took over, with Miyazaki in particular striving to make Lupin and his gang more likable and heroic by giving them Pet the Dog moments.
  • Early volumes of Magic Kaito was much more comical than its current, somewhat more mature tone. Before becoming the cool legendary phantom thief, Kaito Kid was involved in several cartoony mishaps with Inspector Nakamori and his unwitting daughter Aoko, and there were stories about funny peeping robots, childlike heads of state, a detective in a cheesy deerstalker's costume (to top it off, Hakuba the detective actually grew up in Britain), illusionistic magic as well as actual magic. Although the manga is set in the same universe as the more logic/science-bound Detective Conan, and it has adapted a more realistic tone (Hakuba has since lost that ridiculous outfit), Akako the witch who practices real magic is still a recurring character in the manga.
  • On the first season of Magic Knight Rayearth chibi versions of the characters were used occasionally for comic relief; that basically disappeared by Season 2.
  • The first season of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, particularly its first episodes. Even ignoring the constant Genre Shift of the franchise, there are several elements that are out of place now that the series has several rules set. For example, Devices apparently needed a long incantation to unlock (Nanoha being able to do it with a simple "Please" was shown to be special) and they were apparently shapeshifting weapons that could become whatever its owner imagined them to be. These two features were quietly discarded after the first three episodes and never mentioned again.
    • Heck, Yuuno's mere existence is one, being a mage who isn't a familiar that became a ferret when his Mana was low, a trait unique to him in the setting after four/five seasons. The latest explanation at the start of Sequence 1-1 (i.e. Chapter 5) of The Movie Manga was that the Earth's magical field was incompatible with him, turning him into a ferret after he ran out of energy.
    • The series title is a leftover of this trope. Early on, an episode revealed that "Lyrical" was supposed to be Nanoha's special magic word that gave her more power. It's never mentioned again.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi was originally a Harem Series... for all of two volumes. After that, more and more shounen elements were added, to the point that other than having some of the same characters, some of the most recent chapters look like they're from a completely different series. Pretty much everything from volume 10 or so onward is a straight action manga with comedic and harem elements. If you compare Negi's early flaws (timid, gets scared and runs away) with his later ones (aggressive, too solitary) the contrast is very sharp and can't entirely be chalked up to character development. This was actually done intentionally by the author, interestingly enough, as the shift was a sneaky method of getting past some Executive Meddling: Ken Akamatsu wanted to do a straight-up Shōnen fighting series, whereas his editors wanted him to do another Harem comedy due to the success of his previous manga, Love Hina. The shift at first is subtle enough to work.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam to not only the rest of the franchise, but to the Real Robot genre in general.
    • While Gundam was the start of the "Real Robot" genre, there were a number of Super Robot elements still attached to the anime, among those being the Gundam Hammer, the Mecha Expansion Pack G-Armor, and the various Monster of the Week Mobile Suits and Mobile Armors like the Gyan and Zakurello. In general, the design aesthetic of the Principality of Zeon made them look a lot like alien invaders(just look at their jet fighters, tanks and space cruisers). However, a lot of these elements were added at the behest of the toy companies, so when the movie trilogy came around Tomino dumped many of the goofier elements in favor of more realistic ones, such as replacing the G-Armor with the Core Booster and cutting out the Gyan and many of the mobile armors.
    • The series is notable for being one of the precious few entries in the franchise where the protagonist doesn't receive a Mid-Season Upgrade. This was later Retconned in Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket, which reveals that the Federation was making a brand-new Gundam for Amuro, only for it to get wrecked beyond repair before they could send it to White Base.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ is vastly different in the beginning than it is in the end as Yoshiyuki Tomino intentionally made it Lighter and Softer to contrast with the darkness of its predecessor Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam. When Tomino got the greenlight to resolve Amuro and Char's rivalry with a movie, things took a turn for the bleak in order to set the stage. Look for that to happen about when the action moves to the Earth's surface around the halfway point.
  • A couple of early episodes of Mobile Suit Gundam Wing have Heero Yuy laughing maniacally as he slaughters enemy soldiers; this doesn't really gel with his normal portrayal as a Stoic Hitman with a Heart — or The Movie's revelation that he's an Atoner. It's vaguely implied that the laughter was his way of coping with Dekim Barton's attempts to turn him into an emotionless killer.
  • Early in Gundam Build Fighters, it was claimed that Plavsky Particles were only conductive towards the types of plastic used on Gunpla, which made Tatsuya's Zaku Amazing unique as its armor came from a tank model, which apparently wasn't made from that plastic. This plot point never comes up again in any other series.
  • Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun:
    • Early colored art of the manga showed Sakura's hair as pinkish and her ribbons didn't have polka-dots. Later colored manga art has her color scheme closer to the anime's.
    • Hori was, in his first few appearances, inconsistently drawn with his sleeves unrolled, even while he was working (and sometimes they would switch from being rolled to unrolled from one panel to the next). Nowadays his sleeves are basically never drawn unrolled except in chapter cover or color artwork.
    • Mikoshiba's first appearance in Chapter 3 actually has him wearing his uniform mostly properly (a buttoned shirt with the tie), only missing the blazer or sweater most of the other students wear. Afterwards he dresses like he normally does in the anime, with his shirt unbuttoned over a t-shirt.
  • My Hero Academia:
    • Bakugou had a group of delinquent friends in the first chapter. However, after getting admitted into U.A. Academy, they're never seen again. He was also considerably more mean, even (infamously) telling Midoriya to go kill himself; he never goes to this level again later on and by Horikoshi's own admittance he looks back on this interpretation of Bakugou as an Old Shame.
    • At the end of the first volume, the page where Horikoshi credits all his assistants features caricatures of them as Heroes. The ones found in later volumes instead feature regular characters from the series, each drawn by a different assistant.
    • There were more elements about the series being set Twenty Minutes In The Future at the beginning of the manga. Later in the manga, the show never again uses any sort of highly advanced technology elements aside from Mei Hatsume's much more grounded inventions, whereas the beginning of the series had holograms and giant robots being used.
  • The first couple of chapters of Mysterious Girlfriend X are way more direct about sex than the rest of the series. Among other things, Tsubaki actually dreams about having sex with Urabe. Later in the series, dreaming of mere contact is enough to blow his mind.
  • My Monster Secret: The first few chapters are markedly different from the rest of the series in several ways:
    • There's a much greater emphasis on the protagonist's inability to lie and keep a secret, with most of the conflict in the early chapters coming from his efforts to keep anyone from finding out that Youko is a vampire. While keeping her secret remains a plot point throughout the manga, the plotlines of the individual chapters quickly became more character-driven, with the task of keeping the secrets taking a backseat.
    • The comedy style is slightly different, with none of the Identical Panel Gag jokes that would become extremely common in later chapters.
    • The overall art style isn't fully developed, and many characters look quite different then they do throughout most of the manga.
    • Many characters are subject to Characterization Marches On; Asahi starts out as a Bad Liar and but ultimately becomes the Only Sane Man, Mikan is a straight up Jerkass, Youko is (slightly) more self aware and sarcastic, and Akane, arguably one of the most important characters in defining the tone of the story, isn't introduced until over a dozen chapters in.
    • Many of Aizawa's chapters involve her recollections of training with her brother and trying to apply his advice to her current situations. Once said brother is actually introduced into the story, the flashbacks promptly stop happening.
  • Naruto:
    • The Land of Waves Arc has much more realistic and 'gritty' feel than the main plot, the Non-Action Big Bad being a sharp suited shipping magnate trying to prevent a bridge being built to an island village so he can continue exploiting its inhabitants and the ninjas being mercenaries doing a job - in fact, it is the only storyline focusing on the ninjas' role as assassins. The technology base also seems to be closer to our world - there is a caterpillar-tracked crane shown in the building scenes, and one panel even shows a gun behind a shop counter. This level of technology returns for the World War arc, which suddenly has groups using long range radios to transmit information.
    • In the same arc, Sasuke seems unaware of who killed his clan, as he suspects Kakashi due to the latter's Sharingan. Sasuke would later be shown to have known exactly who did it because he saw it himself.
    • Early in the series, Naruto was also a minor case of Eyes Always Shut to play into his fox-like appearance. This trait gets dropped over time.
    • When the Rookie 9 teams first meet up at the Chunin Exam, Chouji thinks to himself that Akamaru looks tasty, which is a very weird thought for someone who was in the same class as Kiba. Plus, Kiba's clan's ninja dogs are famous in the village, and Akamaru is generally treated like a person thereafter. On a related note, none of Team 8's or Team 10's members are in the same class as Team 7 in the first few chapters of the manga, and none of the students who do show up there show up at any later point in either adaptation. In fact, the anime went into the trouble to replace those random students with Team 8 and 10, just so it wouldn't feel awkward to have them suddenly participating in the Chunin Exams.
      • Temari and Tenten both expressed attraction towards Sasuke in their first appearances, but neither have been referenced since. It's even later implied that Tenten had a crush on Neji.
    • Might Guy summons Ningame, a ninja turtle, in his first appearance. This is odd because Guy would pretty quickly establish he fights purely with taijutsu, and nothing else outside the databooks would indicate he was even capable of either ninjutsu or genjutsu. Ningame does get summoned once again years later in a rather funny scene that lampshades the whole bit. Guy specializes in taijutsu, but is capable of the other two. The reason we never see him do otherwise is because he continues to only use taijutsu to inspire Lee, who is quite literally incapable of performing the other types.
    • In a case of dub specific Early Installment Weirdness, the English dub originally used an Alternative Foreign Theme Song instead of the first Japanese theme "ROCKS". Starting with "Haruka Kanata" they began using the Japanese themes. Even that though involved some Early Installment Weirdness as, even though it used the Japanese song, the actual intro animation was a combination of anime scenes and scenes from the Japanese intro and third intro mixed together, and played during the episodes when the third opening would have been shown.
    • Pre-Time Skip, the idea of there being more tailed beasts than the Kyuubi is never brought up and Shukaku is heavily indicated to be something a little different. This helps explain Naruto's treatment by the village who don't know what to do with a human containing a demon. Post-time skip, however, it is suddenly revealed that there are eight other tailed beasts (including Shukaku) who have been sealed in people since the time of the First Hokage, with the Nine Tails being held by two other people in Konoha's history—the First Hokage's wife and Naruto's mother. The treatment of hosts is seen to vary widely between the nations that have them as well. Shukaku is explained as not being recognized as a tailed beast because a previous host of his got so confused with him that people thought he was the host's angry spirit. The Eight Tails burned through hosts fairly quickly until Killer B, who was seen as a hero by his village. Naruto's treatment is especially unusual since the first host already knew, and told others in the village, that the way to control the demon was love. Treatment like Naruto and Gaara received is quite literally the worst way to go about things.
      • Incidentally, this also explains why Shukaku is for the longest time the only Tailed Beast with a proper name. The gap between the revelations of his name and the next one (the Four Tails, Son Goku), is more than 400 chapters apart.
    • The Hyuga Clan being an important high house is mentioned sometime during the Chunin Exams, with the implication that there are other high houses in the village, something confirmed in the fanbook, and it factors into why the jonin anticipate the Neji vs Hinata fight much more than Naruto's or Sasuke's fights. This is never mentioned again (though the Hyuga do own a large residence and there are some scattered comments about them being rich, implying their highborn status) and the Hyuga more or less act like other clans in the village.
      • In fact, the Hyuga being important at all. Kakashi comments during the Neji vs Hinata fight, upon seeing the two activate their Byakugan, that there is a rumor the Sharingan was evolved from the Byakugan. While Neji and Hinata continue to serve as recurring characters in the series, the clan's importance essentially disappears in its entirety after the Invasion of Konoha arc, with the focus being put in place more and more into the Uchiha and their Sharingan, the Rinnegan, the Senju and their Wood Release, and the Uzumaki. The Hyuga wasn't even part of the group of clans who founded Konohagakure, as shown in Hashirama's flashbacks, making their supposed "noble clan" claim even more bizarre.
    • At the start of the Chunin Exam arc, there are bunch of intimidating adult ninja taking the exam. This fits the early idea that being a genin was just a type of ninja. Later on, however, being a genin is treated as being a "beginner" ninja. It's highly embarrassing to be a genin as an adult. The plot where Orochimaru and Kabuto manage to sneak into the village as chunin candidates would therefore not work.
    • It's mentioned early on that Naruto failed the Graduation Exam more than once. This doesn't match up with what is known about the Ninja Academy later on. Naruto is the same age as his graduating class and is actually a few months younger than the others, and he doesn't recognize Lee, Neji, or Tenten despite the fact that they were in the class immediately preceding the one of the main cast. This is especially noticeable when Boruto introduces another boy, Iwabe, who has been Held Back in School but is noticeably older than his class. Naruto failing the exam is an important part of his characterization, so it couldn't be retconned away.
    • The Distant Finale, chapter 700, has a lot of this compared to Boruto. Boruto and the rest of his classmates look younger, which implies that the Ninja Academy took in students at 6-8 like in Naruto, not 10-13 like in Boruto. Almost all of the outfits are also different than in the Boruto anime and Hinata has long hair. Sarada's chapter 700 outfit was reused in the Boruto anime for her younger design in flashbacks. More subtly, chapter 700 implies that Sasuke is around in Sarada's life, while Naruto Gaiden specifies that he's been absent for several years due to a mission.
  • One Piece:
    • The manga was strange in that it wasn't as outlandish as it would be in the future. While yes, the villains in the Grand Line are far more realistic and dangerous than the cartoony ones of East Blue, the way the Grand Line absolutely destroys the laws of physics is nothing short of astounding, making East Blue rather tame in comparison.
    • In particular is Buggy, who was treated as a legitimate threat in his first appearance (even being a Bad Boss to his crew), but gradually became goofier as the series progressed.
    • One Piece, in its earlier days, was also known among those who read it to be noticeably devoid of the Male Gaze compared to its brethren in Weekly Shonen Jump. Then, the author fell in love and got married, and now beautiful women are everywhere and have since become a distinctive part of the series.
    • Early in the East Blue Saga, several characters were outright astonished that Devil Fruits even existed. Buggy became the first real threat to Luffy by virtue of being his first Devil Fruit using opponent, and there are only two other Devil Fruit users in the East Blue saga- Smoker and Alvida, the latter of whom had recently acquired hers as of the Loguetown arc. While Devil Fruits are rather scarce outside the Grand Line (especially in East Blue, the weakest sea in the world), you'd think that people would notice that the most wanted pirates and the most powerful Marines almost all have Devil Fruit powers.
    • Related to the above, at the end of Luffy's fight with Don Krieg, Sanji is shocked to hear that Luffy's Devil Fruit powers make him unable to swim, and dives into the ocean to save him. In the Thriller Bark arc, he claims that he read a book about Devil Fruits when he was young, and decided that only the Clear-Clear Fruit's Invisibility power was worth losing the ability to swim.
    • When a type of power called “Haki” got introduced in the series, said power presented itself as more of a concept with little to no visual cues whenever a character used it, as the series progressed Haki became a standard ability for any self-respecting strong individual in the New World and more visible effects started being attributed to the several forms on Haki usage: Color of Armament (makes the person physically stronger) has the user coating their bodies with a black metallic second skin, Color of Observation (makes the person very agile, with great perception and great sight) shows the user’s eyes often glowing upon activation, Color of the Conqueror (mysterious form with several unknown properties, albeit an obvious one is overpowering will) shows a monochrome blast being activated and when users of the same ability clash, a black lightning shock will surge.
    • Ace being shocked when Teach was able to physically touch him despite Ace's intangibility and Teach even commenting that Ace wouldn't be used to an opponent who can actually hit him. With Haki later being established as a very common power among New World pirates it comes across as strange that a New World pirate like Ace would be caught off guard by a New World veteran like Teach being able to bypass his intangibility. While Teach's ability allowing him to deactivate his opponent's devil fruit while in physical contact is shocking Ace being grabbed by Teach should not be shocking and Teach's comments about Ace not being used to fighting opponents who can bypass Logia intangibility seem bizarre.
  • In One-Punch Man early chapters had the artist, Yusuke Murata, at his most artistically free ways, some chapters were very experimental, like one chapter devoted to a single fluid fight sequence as if the manga pages were animation cells, and another fully colored chapter just about Metal Knight taking flight; while these chapters had an unique feel to them, in the end those chapters proved to be a problem for the published volume releases, forcing a different numbering of chapters and some sequences had to redrawn to fit properly in the volumes; later on Murata is found being more contained to traditional manga panels, reserving his artistic signature to some double spread pages, thus never being troubled by the volume releases again.
  • PandoraHearts:
    • Jun Mochizuki's art style isn't the best near the beginning of the series, with strange proportions and minimal detail (for manga standards). The manga undergoes massive Art Evolution in record time, which makes looking at the first few volumes weird for people who have read past volume five.
    • For a little while, the atmosphere of the manga was distinctly...Shonen-y, in that 1) the plot was dark...-ish, but 2) the protagonist was oddly optimistic and minimally disturbed by the intimidating things that were happening, and 3) the manga randomly switched from serious to funny. There were other things contributing to the stereotypical Shōnen atmosphere, too. People who have read farther into PandoraHearts are pretty weirded out by this when they look back, because they know the true atmosphere of the manga is viciously dark, sad, and rife with psychology and philosophy.
  • Pop Team Epic:
    • Earlier strips titled the series Poptepipic Hard Core or Pop Teen Epic.
    • In a few early strips, Pipimi and Popuko's mouths actually opened when speaking.
    • The first episode of the anime adaptation had the male voice actors in the first half and the female voice actors in the second half. Every other episode does the opposite. Also, in the first episode Popuko is voiced by a male in both halves.
  • Pretty Cure:
  • The first episode of Princess Tutu has a few oddities. There's some weird shadowy animation the likes of which is never seen again in the series (although it is awfully similar to the animation in the promo), and it also includes the only instance of Calling Your Attacks.
  • Ranma ½:
    • Kuno, being a Starter Villain, was actually a legitimate challenge towards Ranma. After Ryoga was introduced, he was pretty much reduced to Joke Character.
    • Ranma in any least the first chapter/episode while a bit short-tempered was considerably more polite than the Jerk with a Heart of Gold fans know him as. His teasing of Akane seemed to come more from his lack of social skills, than any dickishness. Kasumi was a lot more mischievous than the virtual saint of the series - not to mention her flash of anger calling Genma out on training Ranma in a dangerous area. Nabiki while focused on money, didn't quite have a Money Fetish and was more interested in boys.
    • The first chapter established all three Tendo sisters as potential fiances for Ranma, and Nabiki even expressed attraction towards Ranma, implying that Kasumi and Nabiki were going to be part of Ranma's harem. However, the second chapter immediately drops this concept with Akane being Ranma's sole fiance. The only time this is ever brought up again is during an arc where Ranma decides to take Nabiki as his fiance to spite Akane after another argument, only for Nabiki to exploit him for financial gain.
    • Akane was also willing to get violent Ryoga when he and Ranma accidentally caused her Traumatic Haircut. Since then, Akane had been pretty nice to Ryoga and would even scold Ranma for being mean to him.
  • The first chapter of the first season of Rosario + Vampire has this effect. Saizo Komiya hulks out into a massive, veiny, humanoid thing with a snake tongue, and neither he nor Moka gets an entry in the Bite-Sized Monster Encyclopedia that everything else does. In addition, Inner Moka isn't nearly as harsh as the rest of the series, almost flirting with Tsukune. The encyclopedia problem is remedied later on; the bonus chapter to conclude that season provided an Encyclopedia entry for vampires, and it can be assumed that Saizo is a monstrel like the rest of the Anti-Schoolers.
  • Reborn 2004 for a good chunk of its run was a comedy based series with the slight dip into drama now and then as Tsuna tried to just survive Reborn's teachings. The fact it jumped straight into a shonen fighting series was indeed a bit jarring since there wasn't really any indication it would go that route.
  • Rurouni Kenshin: In the chapter after Sanosuke is introduced, Kenshin is shown to have the ability to sense people's chi, and chi is later used to explain Udo Jin-e's paralysis power. After that Chi, and the ability to read it, doesn't turn up as a plot point until Stepford Smiler Soujirou is introduced, and it disappears again until Kid Samurai Yahiko faces off against a Giant Mook and he displays a Battle Aura for the first time.
  • Sailor Moon:
    • Sailor Moon anime:
      • The first season of the anime had a large supporting cast comprising Usagi's family and friends from school, most notably her little brother Shingo, best friend Naru, and school nerd Umino, who receive several Day in the Limelight episodes. All three of them got Demoted to Extra in R, while some characters, such as Usagi's father Kenji and homeroom teacher Miss Haruna, disappeared from the series altogether. Furthermore, while Mamoru/Tuxedo Mask stayed as a regular for most of the series, his importance to the plot severely diminished after R, and he too would get Put on a Bus for Sailor Stars.
      • Sailor Moon used several attacks and items in the first season that were rarely or never used again, the most infamous being a variation of her tiara attack, which she used to heal a group of kids who had been turned into monsters (she would later acquire a new item that would do the exact same thing). The first episode also had her weaponizing her screams with her hair pieces, which was used one other time, three seasons later. Also, while the Disguise Pen saw frequent use in the first half of season one, it was used less and less until it was almost completely forgotten about early on in R.
      • The overall tone was also quite different, being more like a standard superhero show while the later seasons deviated more towards Slice of Life. The enemies faced by the Guardians were also much scarier and much more threatening. Contrast with later seasons, in which the Quirky Miniboss Squads become hilariously incompetent and the Monsters of the Week become goofy-looking jokes who rarely pose any serious threat.
      • The first episode has the Monster of the Week operating by replacing an actual person (Naru's mom) in order to infiltrate the human world. For whatever reason, this M.O. was rarely used by the subsequent youma Beryl sent. The Monsters of the Week also had a heavier involvement with their episode's plot in the first series and R, often being left fully in charge of whatever the villains' Evil Plan was for that day. But around halfway through S and onward, they are merely used as cannon fodder so the Sailor Guardians can have an excuse to fight something before the episode ended.
      • In the very earliest episodes of the anime, Luna acted more like a normal cat—for example, she would play with cat toys, scratch people when she got upset, and show affection to Usagi by licking her. This was soon dropped, and Luna began acting much more human-like.
    • Sailor Moon manga:
      • In the manga, Usagi started out with a pair of goggles resembling what Sailor V wore. She would discard them after the first few appearances and after she gets her first Mid-Season Upgrade, is never seen again with them. Both the original anime and Sailor Moon Crystal flat out never used them (which is particularly odd with Crystal as it's supposed to be more in line with the manga.)
      • The manga also had the concept of Sailor Moon getting a new, different tiara whenever it was destroyed or during climatic moments in the Dark Kingdom arc. This never happens again in any subsequent arc.
  • Saint Seiya
    • In the original series the first episodes showed the main characters doing other things besides fighting, by the time they went to Sanctuary and the Gold Saints arc started it was all fight after fight, even most supporting characters (like Miho, Seiya's childhood friend) stopped appearing, only showing up in non-canon movies and the last episodes of the Hades saga.
    • On Saint Seiya Omega, season 1 featured prominently a Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors that by season 2 was completely forgotten. Also, Cloths looked more and more like armors as season 2 went on.
  • Most of the weirdness in Slayers is two-fold: It began as a self-aware parody of fantasy series, albeit with its own dogma. As soon as the story began to emerge some time in the middle, the self-awareness angle was dropped. Also, earlier, the characters were far more cooperative with one another, and whatever new magic showed up garnered an explanation for the viewers. Newer seasons had a lot more friction (to the point that Zelgadis would continually try to run away) and dropped explanations.
    • In the first anime season, the four Filler episodes that were meant for comedy actually are a part of the plot - and mixed in a way that was done very well (all four episodes involve a humorous incident occurring during what is basically a bounty hunter chasing the protagonists). The second season fillers were only marginally related to the plot, and then by the third, they became more like the standard trope.
    • This happens in the novels as well; the first story arc is one long narrative, the second is more episodic.
  • Shaman King started out as a bit of a comedy series at first with chapters centered on Yoh and Manta trying to find a partner ghost for him, though there were hints it was going to go to action eventually. When it did, the initial power up involved being possessed by the ghost and the two spirits working together to fight opponents. This was later dropped for the Oversoul concept which the author found to be more interesting, and the possession technique is never mentioned again.
  • Tenchi Muyo!:
    • The first OVA series was much more attached to its harem roots and was easily more sexualized and "mature" (Noboyuki was The Peeping Tom, Katsuhito was shown groping Ryoko's breasts in one early episode, Washu flipping off Kagato, Ryoko and Ayeka's attempts to win Tenchi flat out) and a few characters' personalities were vastly different (Sasami was shown to be a mischievous Bratty Half-Pint, Ayeka was shown to be a little more haughty and antagonistic towards others, Mihoshi was surprisingly competent especially compared than she is now).
    • This can also be seen in the manga based on the OVA — the OVA rarely had the group leaving the house except for trouble, where the manga had them going all over the place, especially in the later comics where Sasami's seen going to school.
    • The English dub also took a couple episodes to find its footing, and originally referred to Ryo-Ohki as a male before correctly switching to female. A couple actors also changed how they voiced their characters (notably Nobuyuki sounds more higher-pitched and nasal in his first episode before Jay Hopper switched to a lower doofus-sounding voice).
  • The very first scene of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is clearly supposed to be foreshadowing a scene from later in the series... except that scene never ends up happening. Even to a long-time viewer of the show, it makes very little sense and doesn't gel that well with how the story lays out. It's clear that at this point, only a loose version of the complete story was ready. Fans were eventually handed an explanation when one fan asked if it was an alternate continuity where the Spiral Nemesis happened. The response? "Sure, let's go with that."
  • To Love-Ru: The first few chapters have a lot more emphasis on relatively tame physical comedy and slapstick than the Ecchi-driven content of the original manga's later chapters and Darkness became known for. The Fanservice is still there, but it's not nearly as pervasive or explicit; Censor Steam is way more common, and some of the early chapters don't even contain any nudity at all.
  • Early in the manga version of Urusei Yatsura, Ataru was the only main character, rather than sharing that status with Lum (chapter 2 didn't feature Lum at all)note 
    • The "Ataru is supposed to be the only main character" and Lum's growing role were later lampshaded in a later storyline: when Ataru tried to resign from the post of class president and give it to Mendo, everyone assumed he was resigning from being the main character, with Lum being the exception because she was convinced the main character was herself.
    • Shinobu was less hot-tempered in early installments and didn't yet have her super-strength. One chapter showing a possible future even hints at her and Ataru getting married and having a child together. As the anime took more cues from the retooled plot and increased focus on Lum and Ataru as a pairing, this chapter was one of the stories that were skipped over.
    • Benten's first appearance doesn't really show any indication that she and Lum like one another, let alone that they're supposed to be close childhood friends. If anything, she initially seems like another one-off rival/antagonist, who really only serves to drive a wedge between Lum and Ataru.
    • Mendo was not Ataru's rival in the first volume, but instead his role was taken by four (sometimes five) nameless classmates who would wind up dragged into the strange adventures. Oddly, while Takahashi phased these characters out in favor of Mendo, the anime gave them more roles.
  • In the first volume of Vampire Hunter D (and the movie adaptation based on it) D is killed in battle with Rei-Ginsei when Rei uses time-bewitching incense (which can convince the senses that day is night or vice-versa when lit) to throw off D's vampire senses. Fortunately for him he's revived by his parasitic left hand. In pretty much every volume of the series after this D is basically an Invincible Hero who no other antagonist can do more than slow down, with the only opponent who might be able to seriously threaten him being his father. (This is downplayed in the 2nd movie, Bloodlust, where D's vulnerability to sunlight is played up somewhat to make him less invincible.)
  • A lot of the changes in Wandering Son have to do with Character Development - such as why Maho and Saori Took A Level In Jerk Ass or how sensitive Nitori originally was - but some stand as examples. Nitori's baking abilities don't pop up after elementary and the series took a noticeable dive in terms of how fluffy it was around the same time. Takatsuki and Kanako were not childhood friends in the first volume which causes their interactions to differ, and Kanako wasn't The Cutie so she acts uncharacteristic. There were a few kids who hanged around the gang in early chapters but Kanako was the only one who stayed.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! was originally a manga where every issue contained a new type of game, but the card game episode was so popular it quickly took over as a major draw. There's also the fact that the card game didn't exist in real life until partway through the series, so the earlier episodes don't necessarily follow the real world card game's rules, thus the large amount of New Rules as the Plot Demands.
    • Dark Yugi's appearance came off extremely sinister in early chapters of the manga. Gradually his appearance shifted so that he just looks like a more confident version of Yugi by the end of the first volume. The first couple of chapters, however, he looked downright psychotic. He also regularly made people go insane with Penalty Games and even (most infamously) set a man on fire, something that only the antagonists would do later on in the manga, after his Character Development kicks in.
      • Dark Yugi was implied to be Yugi's Super-Powered Evil Side, due him sharing Yugi's knowledge of the modern world and games. He was later retconned into a separate being we all know today as the Pharaoh.
    • The English Dub is infamous for cutting out all references to or hints of death or violence, but surprisingly was a bit more lenient on it in the earlier episodes. During Yami Yugi's duel with Panik, Panik's attempting to light Yugi on fire if Yugi loses is left intact.
    • In the original series, the cards are mostly inclined towards the horror genre, religion and mythology note  which doesn't help their uncanny designs. Later series since GX have a more "science-fantasy" theme for the cards, with monsters that often look futuristic and mechanical. While there are still some cards that look scary, they're nowhere near as common as they used to be. This may be partly due to the backlash the franchise received from Moral Guardians when it first became popular in the West. The Ancient Egyptian motif that defined the original series is also almost completely gone, save for a few occasional references.
    • Even when the series becomes about card games, the first season, Duelist Kingdom, was completely full of notoriously bizarre interpretations of the actual rules of the Yu-Gi-Oh trading card game. Very frequently, the anime duels would sharply deviate from how the cards actually worked, to include one memorable instancenote  that was once the Trope Namer for Screw the Rules, I Have Plot!, and without a whole lot of continuity in how they were applied. This is partially because the actual card game itself was going through the height of its own Early Installment Weirdness. Once the action shifts to Battle City, the anime does a better job of following the rules of the card game, with a few exceptions.
  • Yu Yu Hakusho had early chapters (as well as early episodes) involve Yusuke solving cases involving demons from the Spirit World (the manga even more so as a good chunk of the early chapters were nothing but Yusuke floating around the afterlife trying to do some good deeds; in the making of the anime, they even skipped whole volumes of this. Impressive, considering the near lack of filler). By the time the Toguro brothers were introduced, it became more focused on his combat abilities and strengths fighting demons rather than solving cases.


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