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Adaptation Deviation

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When a work is adapted (whether to another medium, another culture/demographic, or both), you can safely assume that something from the original work will be changed in the process. Maybe characters are added, combined, split up, or omitted; maybe someone lives who originally died or vice versa, or maybe the whole thing is set in a completely different city/country/planet. The reasons for these changes can be as varied as the changes themselves, ranging from Artistic Vision to Executive Meddling to the constraints of the medium. Whatever they may be, expect cries of "That's not right at all!" from devoted fans of the original whenever these crop up. Accumulating enough of these may result in Adaptation Decay, at which point the adaptation starts to lose its resemblance to the original altogether.


Super-Trope to much, but not all, of the Media Adaptation Tropes index.

Please note that faithful adaptations can exist, or at least adaptations that don't directly contradict the source material in any way (e.g., by using Happily Ever Before on a work with a Downer Ending). Also, change is not necessarily a bad thing, and can make a work more accessible to other people or even iron out the kinks in the original work (such as an Adaptation Distillation, which seeks to make a more expansive/convoluted work easier to grasp).

See also the Sliding Scale of Adaptation Modification.



    open/close all folders 

    Changes to the Characters 

    Changes to the Plot 

    Changes to the Setting 
  • Recycled In Space: Taking many if not all elements of the overall plot and replaying them in a more exotic locale like, as the trope name indicates, outer space.
  • Setting Update: Changing the setting to different place and/or time from the original.

    Miscellaneous Subtropes 
  • Adapted Out: The adaptation omits a character or plot element from the original work.
  • Cultural Translation: Replacing a reference in the original with a local equivalent.
  • Dub-Induced Plot Hole: An error in translating a work into a foreign language that affects either or both the story consistency or/and the characters.
  • Ret-Canon: Incorporating elements from a later adaptation into the original canon that it came from.
  • Woolseyism: Replacing a reference in the original with something else that works just as well. A common occurrence in language translation.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Bokurano:
    • In the manga, Waku was a Chick Magnet. The anime changes it so that the only girls who came to his soccer games were the cheerleaders.
    • In the anime, Kirie manages to win his first fight without dying because his opponent committed suicide before Kirie even moved the robot. The manga reveals that not moving the robot doesn't make a difference. Possibly because of this change, neither Seki nor Kana end up having to fight, and so survive the story.
    • While both versions have the characters realize that someone in their group is not in the contract, and the person in question (Machi) is the same in each version, they handle the reveal a bit differently. In the manga, just before Kanji's battle, Ushiro admits that he isn't in the contract to Kanji, who seems to have realized that Machi isn't in the contract, either, and realizes just after his battle that Kana secretly joined the contract. In the anime, Ushiro joins along with everyone else, and Kirie discovers Machi's identity as the uncontracted pilot based on some red flags in her behavior.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Winry is taller in the anime (the first one, which ended before the manga did and has its own plot) than in the Fullmetal Alchemist manga. Edward, in contrast, never hits a growth spurt like in the manga, so he's always short. In Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shamballa, Winry is taller than the eighteen-year old Edward while in the manga he grows several inches taller than her.
  • The anime version of Maken-ki! only adapts parts of the manga's story in its first season and makes many changes to the main cast, in terms of how they're portrayed. Season 2 consists entirely of Filler episodes that focus almost entirely on fanservice.
  • The manga adaptation of Persona 3
    • The manga reveals a detail about the death of Ken's mother that was not hinted at in the game. Instead of Shinjiro losing control of his Persona and accidentally killing Mrs. Amada, the Shadow he killed belonged to Mrs. Amada, and would most likely have killed Ken if Shinjiro hadn't intervened.
    • In the game, the party had to defeat Jin and Takaya before proceeding on to Nyx. In the manga, some members stay behind to fight the Strega members in order to allow the others to advance, resulting in Akihiko, Ken and Koromaru fighting Jin, Mitsuru and Junpei fighting Takaya, and Minato, Yukari, Aigis and Fuuka fighting the Nyx Avatar.
  • The manga adaptation of Persona 4
    • Soji spends a fair amount of time with Adachi in November, now that Dojima and Nanako are in the hospital, leaving Soji home alone. In the game, Adachi's Social Link can't be done after November 5, possibly because it includes Nanako and Dojima.
    • On December 3, Dojima actually does make it to Nanako's side for what appear to be her final moments.
  • Persona 5: The Animation
    • The date in which Haru is set to move in with her abusive fiancé, which serves as the deadline for completing her father's Palace, is changed from October 11 in the game to September 30 in the manga, possibly to allow more time for side plots before midterms begin.
    • According to an interview with Director Masashi Ishihama, the anime will have a twist that will deviate from the game's story. Ultmately, however, the exact nature of the twist is unclear, apart from Ren hearing Akechi's voice as his Confidants cheer him on during the final battle.
  • The manga adaptation of Persona 5 also has a few changes.
    • In the game, the Phantom Thieves make at least five trips into Kamoshida's Palacenote  In the manga, there are only three, since Ryuji's evidence-gathering expedition is cut, and Ann awakens to her Persona just before the fight with Shadow Kamoshida.
    • In the video game, Kamoshida plans on having Ryuji and Ren expelled for threatening him, and Mishima for leaking Ren's criminal record to the rest of the school(on Kamoshida's orders). In the manga, Kamoshida, realizing he'll need a scapegoat for Shiho attempting suicide, claims that Ren and Ryuji, who'd talked to Shiho earlier, had been bullying her.
    • In the manga, the Phantom Thieves come up with their codenames when they officially form their group at the hotel buffet. In the game, Morgana has the group come up with codenames during the third trip to the palace, just before Ann joins.
  • Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Ginji's Rescue Team: In the original game, the protagonist stays a Pokemon. The manga, however, has Ginji wake up in his house as a human after his adventure ends.
  • The ending to the Wandering Son anime implies Takatsuki and Nitori will "grow out" of their gender dysphoria. The manga version of the ending scene is considerably less optimistic and Nitori still identifies as a girl even when she finishes high school. Takatsuki did stop being male identified though.
  • In Hitoribocchi no OO Seikatsu, Bocchi asks her mother for a smartphone but is told that she won't get one until her second year of middle school. In the anime, Bocchi's mother changes her mind and gives Bocchi one at the start of the last episode of the first season, shortly before the end of Bocchi's first year, with Bocchi mentioning that her mother thought it would be cheaper to do so at this point.
  • The Asteroid in Love anime doesn't reveal that Ao will have to move away as a result of her father's transfer until Ao shares the information with Mira in Episode 8, when Chapter 27 is adapted. In the manga, Ao had been told about her father's transfer in Chapter 23, but waited until Chapter 27 to tell Mira.
  • In the Tamagotchi manga Manga de Hakken! Tamagotchi, the Tamagotchis live on planet Earth. In all other Tamagotchi franchise installments, including the original pets, the Tamagotchis instead live on a different planet called Tamagotchi Planet.
  • Shaman King: The anime and manga are fairly close to each other with only slight changes up until the Shaman tournament begins, at which point both stories diverge fairly radically down to the anime getting a much different ending where Hao is defeated, while in the manga The Bad Guy Wins.

  • Michelangelo's painting of Haman's death on the Sistine Chapel ceiling doesn't show him being hanged on his own gallows like in the Book of Esther, but instead shows the genocidal villain being crucified. This may have come about because the Latin Bible which Michelangelo would be familiar with describes the gallows as a "crux," although other parts of the text make it clear he was hanged. The scene is described similarly by Dante in The Divine Comedy.

    Fan Works 
  • Code Geass: Paladins of Voltron: For the sake of allowing the Ashford Student Council (except for Nina) to become the Paladins of Voltron, there are seven lions this time around, instead of five. The original lions are the Purple and Orange ones.
  • Of Gemstones and Watches: The author deviates very much from some of the works based on original episodes of the series.
    • In canon, Secrets featured Vilgax and revealed Max's secret occupation. Here, Vilgax is out of the picture; instead, Ruby and Max reveal their secrets, and the Grimm is the major antagonist.
    • Ben's starting playlist is different than canon.
    • Skurd is named "Doppler" here, and was created to help Kevin when him and the Antitrix start rejecting each other.
  • In the Persona 5 Adult Confidant AU, most of the characters retain the arcana they represent in canon, with two exceptions:
    • Sojiro Sakura goes from representing the Hierophant arcana to the Fool arcana.
    • Sae Niijima goes from representing the Judgement arcana to the Justice arcana.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Bicentennial Man: The court battles where much of the drama comes from in "The Bicentennial Man" are distilled to the very last legal battle; Andrew's campaign to be recognized a human. The courts don't show up until the last twelve minutes before the end of the film, in order to make room for the mandatory Rom Com.
  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: The original story was set in Baltimore, but the film occurs in New Orleans.
  • "Impossible Dreams": In the original short story by Tim Pratt, Pete desperately wants to watch The Magnificent Ambersons from the Alternate Universe video store, but he can't because of the different DVD formats in the two universes. In the short film adaptation, his counterpart Daniel tries in vain to watch the version of A.I.: Artificial Intelligence directed by Stanley Kubrick, a film which is only mentioned in passing in the short story. Whereas Orson Welles recorded a DVD commentary for The Magnificent Ambersons in the short story, the still very much alive Kubrick added new features to the DVD of A.I.: Artificial Intelligence in 2010 in the short film.
  • Iron Man: The character was originally based in New York, but the MCU changed his home to California, where most of the technology industry is (Silicon Valley).
  • The most common complaint fans of It's a Wonderful Life have with the famous, beloved, classic film is the Values Dissonance-laden fate of George's wife. When George wishes he was never born, his wife Mary's alternate fate without him in her life is to be an Old Maid working at the library, which the film depicts as an unbearable, unspeakably awful situation, which George takes even worse than his brother's death and other much more terrible changes (probably for the understated reason of his children not existing in any form, even in Pottersville). Compare her fate in the original short story "The Greatest Gift," where she ended up married to an abusive alcoholic — something viewers in any decade would find horrifyingly tragic.
  • Jaws: The book was set in a Long Island resort, but the movie is set on a New England island.
  • Justice League:
    • The film features a cameo by Crispus Allen—and in an inversion of his comics' counterpart being bald with a goatee, he's depicted with a head full of hair and clean-shaven.
    • Barry Allen is a student and the youngest of the League, whereas his comics counterpart is usually fairly experienced, already with the Central City Police Department, and often leads the team.
    • The Justice League uniting to fight an alien threat is typical, but in both the Silver Age comics/Pre-Crisis continuity and the Post-Crisis continuity, the invaders were the Apelexiansnote . In the New 52, which is what the film is based on, they did battle an invasion from Apokalips, but it was lead by Darkseid, not Steppenwolf (inverted with Zack Snyder's Justice League, in which Uxas - a young Darkseid - does lead the invasion).
  • Night Fall 1941:
  • Superman: The Movie gave Krypton a crystal motif, and also invented the idea of Superman's S being a family coat of arms. Before that, it really was an S.
  • The 1980s Supergirl movie changed Argo from surviving on a chunk of Krypton to surviving in another dimension.
  • One of the X-Men movies, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, infamously depicted Deadpool as not having a mouth. This is not a minor change, either, as one of Deadpool's nicknames in comics is "the merc with the mouth"note .

  • Isaac Asimov's Nine Tomorrows: The 1966 German translation, Unendlichkeit x 5, contains only five of the original nine stories and none of the poems.
  • In The Secret Garden, Colin's father discovers him just as he's winning a footrace with Mary. The 1993 film adaptation changes this to a game of blind man's bluff, resulting in a somewhat more emotional moment.

    Live-Action Television 


    Video Games 
  • Batman: Arkham Knight sees Deacon Blackfire from Batman: The Cult sport a dreadlocked ponytail, a Rasputin the Mad Monk-esque beard, and tattoos on his chest rather than the short-haired, clean-shaven, lacking tattoos look of the comics.
  • Batman: The Telltale Series features a great number of liberties taken with the source material that makes it stand out from other Batman media.
    • Oswald Cobblepot, the Penguin, presents one very early in the series: rather than being old, short, and portly, he is presented as close to Bruce's age, lean, and handsome. While he maintains a bird-themed motif for his villainy, he now does so with a Plague Doctor mask. Also, instead of using a Parasol of Pain, he uses guile and technical expertise.
    • The Joker is introduced as "John Doe", a mysterious Arkham Asylum inmate who, going into the second season, is presented as genuinely friendly towards Bruce Wayne, in contrast to other media, which present him as sociopathic and self-centered. Depending on the player's choices, he may either turn into the Joker or become a Batman-inspired vigilante.
    • Harley Quinn is given quite a makeover, with her and the Joker's roles being reversed: in this game, it is John Doe who is the doting subordinate to Harley, who is now a ruthless (though still quite unhinged) crime boss.
    • One of the biggest changes is with Thomas and Martha Wayne, who are revealed to be not merely philanthropists, but the most influential criminals in Gotham's underworld prior to their murder. Much of the series follows Bruce's efforts to live with this legacy and distance himself from the vile deeds of his parents.
  • Spider-Man (PS4) takes place in a world quite a bit different from other versions of the Spider-Man franchise, including Peter Parker becoming an intern for Otto Octavius after graduating college and leaving the Daily Bugle, Otto himself only becoming Doc Ock eight years into Peter's career as Spider-Man instead of being one of his earliest foes, Norman Osborn is the mayor of New York City, Mary Jane Watson takes her her incarnations in both the Ultimate comics and cartoon in pursing a career as a reporter for the Daily Bugle instead of acting or modelling, there's no sign of Gwen Stacy, Aunt May and Jefferson Morales undergo Death by Adaptation thanks to Mr. Negative's gang and Dr. Octopus respectively, and Harry Osborn is sick and bonded to Venom.

  • Foundation - The Psychohistorians: Jonathon Dalton changes the year of Seldon's death from 1 F.E. to 3 F.E. in order to resolve the contradiction of Seldon dying the same year that Terminus was colonized and Gaal meeting him two years before his death, but six months before Terminus is colonized.note  This adaptation also adds Funetik Aksents to Gaal Dornick and Lars Avakim, intended to imply a more diverse culture.
  • The Hare's Bride: In the original fairy tale, the second time the hare calls out to the girl to open the door, he says the wedding guests are hungry, and the third time he says they are waiting. The comic switches the order of these two around, so that he says "hungry" right as he bares his teeth and goes on the attack, creating some additional implications.
  • While not a strict adaptation, Looking for Group got its start as a parody of World of Warcraft. The name comes from the MMO chat term for a player forming a party to tackle a difficult quest, and each of the original four main characters corresponded to one of the Horde races in the game. But as the series went on, it drew less and less inspiration from Warcraft and eventually just became a comedic fantasy series. We can pinpoint the exact moment the series stopped being a WoW parody: when the team encountered a group of trolls (including recurring character Tim) who looked nothing like Benny, whose appearance is based on the trolls from the game but her background turned out to be completely different.

    Western Animation 
  • Marvel's Spider-Man switches the arm Dr. Connors is missing. Most incarnations are missing the right one, whereas this one is missing his left.

Alternative Title(s): Adaptational Modification, Adaptational Deviation, Adaptation Modification


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