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Adaptational Late Appearance

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It appears as if a character has been Adapted Out. They're nowhere to be seen, despite the fact they should have appeared by now according to the source material. All of a sudden, the character appears in the adaptation!

Maybe they're in a Demoted to Extra role, maybe they're given a completely different role, or maybe they're just mysteriously late. Either way, they appear much later in the adaptation than they do in the original source.

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Adaptational Early Appearance is the inversion. This can lead to an Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole or an Adaptation Relationship Overhaul. Can sometimes result in Remember the New Guy? when a character omitted from the adaptation of their debut appearance is present for a later one and the story acts as if they've always been there.


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Kurenai and Asuma's daughter Mirai appeared in Naruto as an infant and a toddler. Her adult design, on the other hand, had this treatment. She appeared in chapter 700 of the manga in the Distant Epilogue. That chapter wasn't in the anime (with the last episode adapting a book about Naruto's marriage instead) but was later loosely adapted in episode 24 of Boruto. Mirai wasn't present in episode 24 either. As Mirai is several years older than the other Next Generation kids, she has no reason to hang around anyone except maybe Shikadai. Mirai was thus mysteriously absent until she appeared at the end of the Academy arc in episode 38.
  • Pokémon:
    • The rival of Pokémon Gold and Silver is absent in the anime except for a cameo in the Japanese intro of The Legend of Thunder! special. As a Mythology Gag, he's shown defeating Jimmy, a counterpart character to the games' male protagonist.
    • Wallace is the eighth Gym Leader in Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire and the Champion in Emerald. He was passed over during the Hoenn arc, as the anime chose to use Juan, the eighth Gym Leader of Emerald for Ash's final Gym battle in the region as part of promoting Emerald. Wallace ended up appearing in the next region, Sinnoh, as a famous coordinator (despite not even being in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl).
    • Barry is the rival of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl. He was given an expy in Dawn's Childhood Friend Kenny. Kenny has a similar design to Barry and has his same basic role as him. However, Barry himself eventually turned up later in Diamond & Pearl, making Kenny redundant.
    • N and Team Plasma of Pokémon Black and White and its sequels, didn't appear until after Ash was done competing in the Unova League. In this case, it wasn't the original plans of the anime staff, as Team Plasma was supposed to be introduced coming to conflict with Team Rocket in an early episode, but Japan was hit with an Earthquake just when the episodes were to about to air, causing the episodes to be pulled and the plotline dropped.
    • Team Flare didn't appear until the start of the third year of the "X & Y" series, at which point Ash had just gotten his 7th Badge. The earlier plots at the Power Plant, the Pokeball Factory, and the Frost Cavernnote  are all handled by Team Rocket instead.
    • Hau of Pokémon Sun and Moon appears at the start of the game and is your second best friend besides Lillie, as well as your rival. In the anime, Hau doesn't appear until over 90 episodes in, long after the anime has already finished the game's climax.
    • Guzma, one of the main villains of Sun and Moon, took until 115 episodes into the arc to appear in the anime, by which time the show had not just dealt with the Motherbeast plot, but Necrozma as well.
  • Tokyo Mew Mew: Minto, Retasu, Bu-ling and Zakuro appear at the beginning of the manga before passing through the Debut Queue, but are removed from the beginning of the anime.
  • The School-Live! manga reveals that Megu-nee is Dead All Along in the first few chapters. The 12-Episode Anime takes several episodes to do its reveal. Thus all moments where Miki is confrontational towards Yuuri and Yuki towards the latter's mental illness were removed, making Miki come off as overall softer. Several scenes had to be reworked to avoid spoilers as well.
  • Yu Yu Hakusho: Shizuru, Kuwabara's sister, made her first appearance after Yusuke's house was burned down (and was also the one that cut Keiko's hair after it got singed, which was unexplained in the anime). However, in the anime, she didn't appear until the beginning of the Rescue Yukina arc.
  • The first season of the Ace Attorney anime is an adaptation of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney and the sequel Justice for All. However, one of the cases it skips over is "The Lost Turnabout" the tutorial case of Justice for All. "The Lost Turnabout" is later adapted as the first episode of the second season, which otherwise is an adaptation of the third game, Trials and Tribulations. It works because the defendant of "The Lost Turnabout" returns as the defendant of "Recipe for Turnabout", the third case of Trials and Tribulations. And on the subject third game, the second and third cases of the game are adapted first, followed by the first case "Turnabout Memories", due to it being a flashback and heavily connected to the last two cases.
  • Sailor Moon: Diana had made her first appearance in the manga during the Black Moon arc, which was the second arc of the series. In the anime, however, she does not appear until the fourth season, Sailor Moon SuperS.
  • The Kaguya-sama: Love Is War anime cut out the principal's first appearance where he confiscates Karen's magazine, so he doesn't show up until the French School visit.
  • Due to its first season being a loose adaptation, the second season picking up from a specific point in the manga while being a very faithful adaptation, and nothing but OVAs to try to fill in holes in the the continuity, the anime adaptation of To Love-Ru ended up introducing Celine's plant form very late in an OVA, followed by her humanlike form shortly afterward with no explanation. In the manga, her plant form was introduced very early and it took 101 chapters for her to turn into her humanlike form.
  • In Trigun manga, Vash meets Legato before he meets Wolfwood. In the anime, he meets Wolfwood first, and Legato is introduced several episodes later.
  • In Ranma ½, Hikaru Gosunkugi originally appears in volume 5 of the manga, establishing him as a classmate of Ranma and Akane, and already crushing on Akane for a while. He's absent in the early anime, however, most of his role taken instead by Canon Foreigner Sasuke Sarugakure (minus the Akane crush). Hikaru does finally join the cast in the anime, but only by episode 96 of the second season, as a New Transfer Student. Afterward, he retakes his role for the later stories that involved him in the manga.
  • Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid: The first season of the anime picked various chapters of the manga to mix into the anime from different points in the manga's story line. This results in Ilulu, both before her reforming and later when she moves in with Kobayashi being absent despite the chapters that were adapted into the episodes had this character in them. This is referenced at the end of volume 8 of the manga, where the character asks the author's avatar if she will appear (he tries to avoid the question but eventually confirms it).
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: In the game, Link first meets Malon upon arriving in Castle Town. In the manga, this role is given to given to a disguised Princess Zelda instead. Malon doesn't appear until chapter 5 when Link arrives at Lon Lon Ranch.

    Comic Books 
  • In the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer show, Angel was introduced in the very first episode. In Boom! Studios' comic reboot, he doesn't show up until the fourth issue.
  • In the Jem cartoon Jerrica has known Eric for years and The Misfits met him just before the series began. In the Jem and the Holograms comic reboot The Misfits meet Eric several issues in and Jerrica has yet to meet him.
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    Fan Works 
  • Date A Re:Live: In canon, the AST appeared in the first arc. Here(renamed from the Anti-Spirit Team to Advanced Security Team due to Adaptational Heroism) they've made their first appearance in the second arc.
  • In the For Want of a Nail fanvid From the Ashes, Edward doesn't encounter Sloth and Envy until the tail-end of the series. This is done to make Sloth's reveal more surprising and make Envy stabbing Ed come as a surprise.
  • Pokémon Reset Bloodlines: Sabrina in the Pokémon anime was the fourth Gym Leader Ash challenged during his Kanto journey. In this story, Ash faces her for the sixth badge, and even then he does so forcibly.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
  • Divergent: Uriah was a supporting character in the first book, but his role got expanded in the sequels. However, possibly because of his minimal role, he was cut from the first movie and introduced in the sequel.
  • The Harry Potter film franchise does this with many of the side characters, making them appearing only when they become relevant to the plot.
    • Arabella Figg, who got introduced as early as the second chapter of the first book, only appears in the fifth film.
    • Professor Sprout, introduced as Harry's teacher in the first book, appears the first time in the second film.
    • Mundungus Fletcher, who was introduced as a prominent member of the Order of the Phoenix in the fifth book (and mentioned even earlier) only makes an appearance in the seventh film.
    • Bill Weasley appeared in person for the first time in the fourth book and continued to be a Recurring Character onwards. He only appears in the last two films.
    • Narcissa Malfoy was very briefly introduced in the fourth book and had been mentioned a couple of times before and after then. She's neither seen nor mentioned until the sixth movie.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Game of Thronesnote :
    • Catelyn's father Hoster, uncle Brynden ("Blackfish"), and brother Edmure all first appear in A Game of Thrones, but aren't introduced until the third season of the show.
    • Meera and Jojen Reed and Ramsay Snow are part of the Winterfell story in A Clash of Kings. All three first appear in the third season, after Winterfell is abandoned; Ramsay isn't identified until the end of the season.
    • Euron Greyjoy's presence is first felt in A Storm of Swords when he kills he brother, and he appears in A Feast for Crows. All of these events are held until the sixth season.
    • Randyll Tarly is among Renly's bannermen in A Clash of Kings, and shows up as part of Brienne's story in A Feast for Crows. He doesn't appear until the sixth season, in an adaptation of a different story (Sam's) from A Feast for Crows.
  • Power Rangers:

    Video Games 
  • In Spider-Man (PS4), Doctor Octopus shows up a good eight years into the Webslinger's career despite usually being one of the first villains he faces both in the comics and many other adaptations.

    Western Animation 
  • Hilda: In the graphic novels, the black hound (or Jellybean) makes his debut in the same story where Hilda joins the Sparrow Scouts. This story was split over three episodes, with multiple new stories in between, for the animated series. As such, Hilda joins the scouts in episode 4, but Jellybean isn't properly introduced till episode 12.
  • The Batman:
    • Robin doesn't make his debut until season four (of five), with Batgirl actually becoming Batman's first sidekick in season three. This was due to a "Bat-Embargo" that DC had put in place at the time which prevented many Batman characters from appearing in multiple shows airing at the same time, and Robin was a main character in Teen Titans for most of The Batman's run.
    • Harley Quinn was introduced in an early episode of Batman: The Animated Series called "Joker's Favor", but also wasn't introduced until season 4 of The Batman. Unlike Robin, however, this late appearance wasn't caused by the Bat-Embargo as Harley's final appearance in the DC Animated Universe was in 2003, a full year before The Batman premiered.
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