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Dub Personality Change

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Japanese Shadow: Friendly Rivalry
American Shadow: Competition Freak
This trope occurs when a translation changes a character's characterization compared to their original personality.

This is usually due to Values Dissonance, cultural differences, or marketing reasons. A character's personality might be more acceptable at home than it is in other cultures, so translators soften them up or otherwise edit their dialogue. Othertimes, it's also a case of Character Exaggeration or an attempt at making characters less cute or goofy. Tropes Are Not Bad as, though most people associate this trope with bowdlerization, it can work and sometimes is even preferred by many fans.

Compare to Adaptation Personality Change, for when adaptations change a character, and Cultural Translation, for when details get changed to fit cultural differences. Can be the result of She's a Man in Japan.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Bakugan: In the Japanese version, Shun's grandfather took the role of his legal guardian after his mother passed away and he has more or less a good relationship with him. In the English dub, Shun's mother is spared by simply falling into a coma. His grandfather still takes care of him, but is much stricter in the dub, forcing his grandson to quit playing Bakugan to become a ninja and distancing Shun from his friends. However, the dub still keeps the episode where Shun shows his grandfather around town intact, showing that their relationship improves over time.
  • The Cardcaptors English dub of Cardcaptor Sakura took several liberties with the characterizations of the cast, largely to make them more palatable to American culture at the time:
    • Sakura was made more tomboyish and plucky, with a greater sense of sarcasm. A lot of her more innocent or vulnerable moments such as scenes of her crying or generally acting like a small child were also cut down to make her more precocious and mature, while in the original she is pretty much The Cutie in-universe.
    • Syaoran's crush on Sakura was heavily trimmed down from Official Couple to mild hints. He held a grudge against Sakura becoming Master of the Cards to improvise against his screen time and awkwardness revolved around this, while in the Japanese edit he had pretty much lost all sense of rivalry towards Sakura by then.
    • Similarly Tomoyo (renamed Madison) had her crush on Sakura written out in favor of her just being a Camera Fiend.
  • Cowboy Bebop: Spike has a pretty different personality in the original Japanese language and similar changes were made with a lot of characters. In the original, Spike was presented much like a typical anime character who uses Obfuscating Stupidity—with a goofy voice and mannerisms much of the time and then a stereotypically gruff and hardboiled voice in action scenes or serious, dramatic moments. In contrast, his English dub voice, Steve Blum, has a gruff-voice, to begin with. He voiced Spike with a more subtle personality and less change in his voice tone/personality between comedic and serious moments, presenting Spike as having an undertone of world-weariness at all times.
  • Digimon
    • Digimon Adventure: Izzy has Insufferable Genius tendencies in the Saban dub but he's much more polite in the original Japanese. Mimi is made into an over the top Girly Girl stereotype and acts like a Spoiled Brat even later into the series. Japanese Mimi on the other hand is more of a Spoiled Sweet Girly Girl with a Tomboy Streak, and her most notable quality is how open-minded she is. That said, she does crack under extreme stress from time to time.
    • It could be said the entire main cast of Digimon Adventure 02 Took a Level in Jerkass in the dub for the sake of Rule of Funny, while in the Japanese version they are possibly the most close-knit group of friends in the entire franchise. Davis in particular is a lot more arrogant in the dub, while Daisuke is very humble, almost to a fault.
    • Digimon Tamers: The Saban dub gives Renamon a more feminine and flirtatious personality, while in the Japanese version she is more aloof, and is more of an androgynous character. Then there's Jeri. While Juri has her quirks, the English dub makes Jeri much more into a Cloud Cuckoolander.
    • Mikey (Kudo Taiki), the lead character from Digimon Fusion, gets his motivations practically inverted from the get go. In the first episode, he's introduced filling in for a friend on a basketball team, and in the original Japanese it's explained he bounces around from club to club filling in because he hates seeing people disappointed by not being able to play (and it's this want to help people that leads him to meet Shoutmon). The dub flips this around so that rather than joining in because he's a nice guy, he keeps leaving the clubs because none of them are particularly exciting to him, and the meeting with Shoutmon is just reduced to essentially 'follow weird voice'.
  • Sue (Shizuka) from Doraemon is a notably ladylike girly girl with Yamato Nadeshiko traits in the original version. In the 2014 English dub, her personality has been partially rewritten as more tomboyish and athletic (although her kind and sweet nature remains) and her official bio for the USA release even states that she is often seen playing sports. Noby's (Nobita) crush on her is also rarely alluded too, aside the occasional Crush Blush here and there.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • For the English dub of Dragon Ball Z, Goku was a great deal nobler and had his more selfish traits toned down, as the earlier English dubs moved towards making Goku into an analogue of Superman. (And it's worth noting that even in the original Japanese version of the anime, Goku's selfish traits had already been toned down in comparison to the manga, which creator Akira Toriyama has criticized). He's also noticeably smarter than his Japanese counterpart, not above using technical words instead of speaking like a country bumpkin with traces of a Tohoku accent. Dragon Ball Super depicts Goku as closer to his original manga characterization, which has led fans who are unfamiliar with the original Japanese version of Goku to accuse Super of making him an Adaptational Jerkass and Adaptational Dumbass.
    • The Ocean and Funimation dubs of Dragon Ball Z made significant changes to Frieza, turning him into an androgynous brute who talked tough and had a Hair-Trigger Temper. They also gave him a fondness for puns and some rather homoerotic dialogue. The Funi dub of Dragon Ball Z Kai, however, kept his Japanese characterization as a sophisticated, regal, and superficially polite tyrant who only expressed anger after being severely provoked or in response to things going pear-shaped for him.
    • In those same dubs, Vegeta in the Saiyan and Namek Sagas, while still clearly evil, is less overtly cruel than his Japanese counterpart; he tries to convince Goku to join his side before their battle on Earth, expresses disgust when Freeza brutalizes a young Gohan, and most notably, tells Goku that Freeza's influence on him as a child was responsible for his personality as an adult. The original version of Vegeta, who didn't undergo a proper Heel–Face Turn until the very end of the series, never showed any obvious redeeming qualities before he started a family with Bulma during the Cell Saga.
    • Much like Goku, his father Bardock from the movies was given a much different personality in the English dubs. The Japanese version of Bardock is an unapologetic space mercenary with no qualms about committing genocide on behalf of Frieza. He was also an abusive father and a typical Saiyan Social Darwinist who shows no interest in his son because he believes Goku is a disappointment due to his low power at birth. While the Japanese version of Bardock does at least come to care about the fate of his son, he turns against Frieza only because his visions of the future show him how Frieza will destroy his entire race. English dub Bardock, on the other hand, was a somewhat conflicted Noble Demon who had a full on Heel Realization after being forcibly gifted psychic powers. He proclaims to Frieza that he's not just rebelling for himself or his people, but on behalf of all the people who have been killed on Frieza's orders, and deeply regrets not having had a chance to be a proper father to Goku.
  • The Gag Dub of Ghost Stories does this to virtually everyone. For example, Momoko is changed from a kind-hearted Team Mom to a Fundamentalist Christian who's constantly saying offensive things about things she rejects.
  • When GoLion was adapted to the West as Voltron, quite a few characters went through this, but Prince Lotor has the most dramatic change: from total scumbag and Stalker with a Crush to honorable Anti-Villain. This was initially due to censorship—the dubbers knew they’d never get away with some of the stuff Lotor does in the original, but the purely original third season went all the way with it. The later Western adaptation decided to split the difference by fusing the two portrayals, depicting Lotor as a charismatic Manipulative Bastard who’s not good, but definitely better than Zarkon.
  • High School D×D: At least in the first season, Koneko's personality is far more indifferent and snarky in the dub. For example, when Issei and Kiba are about to head to a church to save Asia, they ask Koneko if she'll come. In the original, she responds that she'd be too worried to let them go alone. In the dub, she says she's got nothing better to do in a nearly sarcastic tone.
  • For Disney's English dub of Kiki's Delivery Service, Phil Hartman was brought in as the voice of Kiki's black cat Jiji. He was allowed to ad-lib most of his lines, including additional dialogue to fill the silence where the original had none. Jiji's original voice, Rei Sakuma, is childlike and gives him a timid and cautious personality, albeit with the occasional one-liner; Hartman's take on him, owing to his extensive ad-libbing, is a much more sarcastic and sardonic Deadpan Snarker. Even after the 2010 recut of the dub, which removed most of the additional dialogue, the difference in personality between languages is still noticeable.
  • Kirby: Right Back at Ya!, in a similar case to Pokémon: The Series, has several differences between its 4Kids-handled English dub and the original Japanese text.
    • The most obvious difference is in King Dedede, who goes from a parody of obstructive and boneheaded Japanese bureaucrats (i.e., Yoshiro Mori) to a parody of obstructive and boneheaded American bureaucrats (i.e., George W. Bush). He gains a southern accent to match, and his crueler lines of dialogue are often toned down into more comedic alternatives, while still retaining the same general idea. One notable trait of Japanese Dedede (shared with his Beleaguered Assistant Escargoon) is his tendency to threaten others with the death penalty if they do not heed him, which the dub changes to more childish insults.
    • Customer Service / N.M.E. Sales Guy is also notably different. In the original, he's a typically polite Japanese businessman, humble to Dedede to the point of condescending, while in English he's turned into a slick-talking used-car saleman type of character who often openly insults Dedede to his face.
  • My Hero Academia has a minor case with Jiro. During the villain attack on the USJ, after hearing that Kaminari can't control his body's electric discharge, Jiro decides to improvise by shoving Kaminari into the attacking villains. Yaoyorozu scolds the two of them for not taking the situation seriously, prompting Jiro to say, "Sorry, thought it was a good idea at the time." In the dub, she instead says, "I'm sorry. Next time I'll ask before saving our butts."
  • The English dub of Naruto has been known to harden up some of Sasuke's dialogue and making him seem less affectionate towards his wife Sakura in Boruto (and the Boruto-related games).
  • In One Piece:
    • There are a few examples in the 4Kids dub:
      • Arlong is a bit more Faux Affably Evil than he is in the original Japanese, with many of his lines delivered in a more cheerful tone of voice, and with him occasionally making jokes.
      • Mr. 3 is canonically an artist, who, while intelligent, is too arrogant for his own good. In the 4Kids dub, he's a comedian who cracks terrible jokes. This change is largely the result of removing the Little Garden arc, and rewriting the scene in which Mr. 3 arrives in Rain Dinners.
      • At the start of the Drum Island arc, Sanji claims that he gives the freshest food to the ladies of the crew, but gives the stuff that's about to give bad to the men, resulting in Usopp taking umbrage but Luffy saying that he thought the food tasted good. In the 4kids dub, Luffy instead says that Sanji's admission explains why the food tasted bad.
    • In the Danish translation of the manga, Luffy is much wittier and has a much larger vocabulary than in the original Japanese edition where he is known for his simplistic and child-like way of talking. In other words; he sounds significantly more intelligent, and his Idiot Hero qualities only become apparent when he acts without thinking unlike in the Japanese edition where you can tell he's an Idiot Hero from the way he's talking. In the Japanese edition, there are many gags where Luffy doesn't understand a big word or a complex concept and just refers to it as a "mystery [thing]". In the Danish translation, this is usually changed to Luffy understanding it just fine and instead cracking jokes about it.
  • A minor one from Osomatsu-san: when Karamatsu gets kidnapped, original dub Ichimatsu does a dance while sarcastically declaring "Oh no, oh no, oh nooo...". The English dub makes him more of an overt Jerkass, proudly doing the "dead brother dance" with actual glee in his voice.
  • Persona 5: The Animation: In the original Japanese dub, Ren Amamiya's voice actor delivered most lines with barely any emotion, making Ren come off as The Stoic. In the English dub, Ren's VA injects a bit of dry wit into Ren's lines in more comedic situations, causing him to be more of a Deadpan Snarker.
  • Pokémon: The Series:
    • In the Japanese version, Misty was a Proud Beauty who considered herself the World's Most Beautiful Woman. This element was absent in the 4Kids English dub and several other dubs, making her a more humble-seeming character. In fact, the dub made her out to be Hollywood Homely instead. When she reappeared in Alola, the new dubbers (TPCi) kept Misty's comments about her beauty, as did Pokémon Yellow. Misty is also more of a tomboy in the English dub, while the Japanese version portrays her as a Tomboy with a Girly Streak.
    • Gary was a nicer and more respectable character in the Japanese episodes of the original series. He and Ash are friendly rivals (though he does have some bratty and arrogant aspects nevertheless). The English dub made him more similar to his game counterpart, Blue, by making him meaner and having Ash's friends hate him. This was ultimately reversed by the end of the original series, making Gary into a far more subdued character, though by that point, he had already gone through major Break the Haughty moments to justify it. Some of this may be Woolseyism by way of Values Dissonance; because arrogance is viewed as a much less negative trait outside of Japan, international dubs would have to add more openly repugnant aspects to his character to make the Intended Audience Reaction clearer.
    • In the original version, Meowth is largely a philosophical and rather soft-spoken character, while in the English dub, he has more of a Brooklyn tough-guy demeanor (though far from void of some of the Japanese version's wistful moments). His, Jessie, and James' ditziness is also regularly flanderized in the English dub.
    • The dub downplays Lillie's very soft spoken and formal dialect from the original, making her almost a Genki Girl in some scenes. This also causes her to be a case of Adaptation Personality Change as Lillie is timid in her source games.
    • The personalities of Misty's older sisters were changed in the English dub. They're made into mean Valley Girls. In Japan, they're more competent and less mean towards Misty.
    • Erika is slightly less polite in the English dub due to Lost in Translation reasons. Keigo is hard to translate into English, so 4kids had her speak more casually. The dub of Pokémon: I Choose You! ends up being Truer to the Text of her Japanese character and her character in the games.
    • Erika also is somewhat meaner to Ash over his insults about her perfume in the Japanese dub, where she had been the one to tell her subordinates to ban Ash from her gym. In the English version they never mention her and it's unclear if she even knew they had done it.
    • The English dub made Jessie even more mean and bossier than she is in the Japanese version. Most of the scenes where James and Meowth show fear for her were added by the dub.
  • Sailor Moon: The DIC/Cloverway dub mostly flanderized the characters' personalities, i.e. Serena was even dumber than Usagi, Raye, Rini, Amara, and Michelle even meaner than Rei, Chibiusa, Haruka, and Michiru, etc. This was averted with Mamoru/Darien; he was that big of a jerk in Japan, although in the original manga, he was a sweetheart so his case was more of an Adaptational Jerkass.
  • The Italian dub of Sgt. Frog makes Angol Mois less naive than she was in the original version, removing her malapropisms and her "or perhaps should I say..." Verbal Tic. She also refers to Keroro as "Sir Keroro" or "My Prince Charming" rather than "Uncle". The Japanese lines may have been misheard, rather than intentionally changed; compare "ojiisama"/"uncle" vs. "ōjisama"/"prince".
  • The 4Kids Entertainment dub of Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • Seto Kaiba's Jerkassery and refusal to believe in or care about the supernatural were played up, in addition to giving him a lot more sarcastic or bitter quips than he had in the original.
    • Joey is snarkier and more openly Hot-Blooded than the original's Jounouchi.
    • Japanese's Insector Haga expressed interest in the opposite sex, making several flirtatious remarks toward Anzu. 4Kid's Weevil Underwood is never shown as such, which gives off certain vibes.
  • The 4Kids Entertainment dub of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX frequently adds and changes the dialogue in order to add more jokes. As a result, many characters become goofier and sometimes have quirks that were never there in the original:
    • Princess Rose, a one-off duelist, is changed from a gentle Princess Classic into a trash-talking Valley Girl. Pretty much all her dialogue is rewritten to include some sort of vain or bitchy remark.
    • Abidos the Third is a stoic, no-nonsense antagonist in the original version. He always suspected that his servants were losing to him on purpose and seeks a real challenge. In the dub he has no idea of his lack of skill and is a bragging Know-Nothing Know-It-All, setting up the Humble Pie he is eventually forced to eat.
    • "X", another one-off duelist, is changed from another Pro Duelist ranked higher than Aster Phoenix, to Sartorius's lawyer, full name Howard X. Miller (referring to his preferred strategy). His dialogue is rewritten to include lots of courtroom references and puns.
    • Mad Dog, a one off underground duelist. In the Japanese version he is a tough rugged no-nonsense man with a deep gruff voice. In the dub he is a Manchild who has a high pitched whiny voice, somewhat reminiscent of Mike Tyson, and uses childish speech patterns and insults.
    • In the dub, Professor Satou, who's bitter about Judai causing all his students to turn their backs on him, is renamed Professor Stein and reimagined as The Bore who frequently drops historical references to Pharaoh Atem's time, including just before he apparently falls to his death after losing to Jaden. One of his lectures even makes him sound like Ben Stein in Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
  • The Legend of Snow White had its English dub completely recast midway through, and some of the dwarfs' personalities noticeably changed with their new voice actors. In particular, the medicinal herb expert Chamomile changed from a Totally Radical hippie into a nerdy scientist.
  • Downplayed in the case of Yoshikage Kira, the main villain of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable. His Japanese voice actor plays him with a bit of a sophisticated touch (fitting for a man who notes that he lives in an area of town where all the villas are), while his English voice actor plays him as more of an everyman, the kind of guy you could find anywhere (fitting for a serial killer who explicitly wants to live a "quiet life").
  • The narrator of the Japanese version of Kaguya-sama: Love Is War is a Deadpan Snarker who takes things seriously when every character does a funny moment. The English dub made him throw the fourth wall, channels his inner Space☆Dandy and gets in on the fun while giving zero shits given about subtlety.
  • Voltes V: The Philippine-English dub changed Kenichi and Megumi to be more vengeful towards the agents of the Boazanian Empire. For instance, in episode 28, after finding out that his father, Kentaro Go, is actually Boazanian Prince-in-exile Gohl, Kenichi swears to not allow it to bring his morale down. However, this is changed in the Philippine-English dub.
    Original Japanese: "I never knew it before, but after listening to father's path of life, I realize there's Boazanian blood flowing in our veins!"
    Philippine English: "General Watson, your sacrifice will not be in vain! Thank you. Father has a severe and tragic past, we will avenge your death".
    • In episode 31, after Megumi watches her father die at the hands of Daiand, she breaks into tears before vowing to honour his last request - to form the Voltes robot. However, the dub removes this.
    Original Japanese: "Father, please watch me, I will surely beat that armored beast fighter Daiand with my own hands!"
    Philippine English: "Father, I vow to avenge your death, I'll destroy that robot!"

    Films — Animation 
  • In the French dub of Frozen, the lyrics of "Let it Go" changes "Be the good girl you always have to be" to "Pay attention, the secret will survive," which sounds less like Elsa is mocking her responsibilities and her parents than the original line.
  • In The Frog Princess, when the protagonist comes to Baba Yaga's hut and she asks him where he's going, he snaps at her that Sacred Hospitality should come before questions. The English dub instead has him flattering her like a sycophant.
  • The Japanese dub of The Fox and the Hound has Adult Copper portrayed like a dumb country bumpkin with a Simpleton Voice.
  • The "Super Japanese version" of The Super Mario Bros. Movie contains some subtle changes from the English version to the characters through dialogue:
    • Mario is more uncertain of himself, and treats the Bomber Bill as a Worthy Opponent. Also, no one makes fun of his height.
    • When told that he can't be scared all the time, Luigi comments that it depends on the circumstances — a possible nod to him being as brave as Mario in the 2D games but a coward in the Luigi's Mansion games.
    • Peach is made even feistier and less formal than the English version.
    • Toad is excessively polite to everyone he meets.
    • Donkey Kong is less of a braggart and less antagonistic towards Mario, forming a friendly rivalry with him. He's also more hyperactive and enthusiastic, requiring Cranky Kong to keep him restrained.
    • Cranky Kong is less cranky overall, being more weary than aggrevated.
    • Bowser isn't as dark as he is in the English version but is slightly more serious.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Italian dub of The Book of Masters makes Katya sound much less gentle than in the original. In particular, when the Romantic Runner-Up asks her to marry him, in the original version, she sees he is sincere and says "No" slowly and softly, clearly feeling uncomfortable. In the dub, she snaps "No!" in a pretty callous tone.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the French dub of ALF, the titular character (voiced here by Roger Carel) speaks in a gentler and slower tone that makes him sound more mellow and nicer than how he was in the original American writing.

    Video Games 
  • The first entry in the Animal Crossing series had its various overseas localizations seemingly directed at a slightly older audience than the original (and later) all-ages demographic. The villagers use bigger words and make adult jokes from time to time, but more noticeably, the setting is much more cynical and mean-spirited compared to the laid-back Japanese version, bordering on World of Jerkass; villagers can get upset over something as petty as not buying a piece of fruit from them and will often insult you as a result (cranky, peppy and snooty villagers are particularly notorious in this regard). The letters you get from your in-game mother also seem to imply that the two of you aren't particularly close. Later installments in the series are much closer to their Japanese counterparts.
  • EarthBound:
    • Paula, in the Japanese version was weak-willed and passive. In the English version, she was rewritten to be tougher and more forceful to appeal to Western audiences as well as because the localizer, Marcus Lindblom, disliked the Japanese standards for women. A notable demonstration of this change in personality is the scene where Ness rescues Paula. In the English version, Paula says that if Ness hadn't come, she would have had to bust out herself. In the Japanese version, however, Paula instead said that she was going to cry if he hadn't come. Another change made in the localization that would highlight Paula's change in personality would have been changing her weapon from a Frying Pan of Doom to a blowgun, but this had never come to pass and the frying pan was kept.
    • Porky's English version is far less sympathetic than his Japanese counterpart, especially in how he treats Ness. A prime example of his change comes in the aftermath of Carpainter's defeat - in the Japanese version, Porky genuinely wants to make amends with Ness, and takes the latter's silence as an indication of being Reformed, but Rejected - chewing out Ness for not answering him. In the English version however, Porky instead taunts Ness with a "Hah, I lied!", revealing that he's Not Brainwashed and legitimately wanting to help Giygas Take Over the World.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Mog in Final Fantasy VI is a laid-back, friendly, generally Nice Guy in the Japanese script. The game came out in the mid-'90s, however, and Square's American branch was not at all blind to the trends of the era—thus Mog became a slang-spewing, sharp-tongued Mascot with Attitude whose in-game description tries its hardest to paint him as a Totally Radical Kid-Appeal Character. While several other characters in the game saw their personalities or motivations change somewhat due to translation errors (Setzer being the most notorious example), this is the only character change that was clearly intentional and unambiguous in motive. Attitude!Mog didn't catch on due to the relative unpopularity of console RPGs at the time, and the retranslated script used starting with Final Fantasy VI Advance reverts him to his Japanese personality.
    • Final Fantasy VII:
      • In the original Japanese, Cloud's dialogue was riddled with clichés and took a more condescending and mouthy attitude towards AVALACHE during the opening, strengthening the idea that he's an immature poser trying to embody somebody else's personality. See Lost in Translation for more.
      • Aerith's characterization was changed in translations. Despite her cute appearance, Aerith has a somewhat stubborn personality and an informal way of speaking due to her upbringing. This was Lost in Translation which makes her closer to The Ingenue. Her personality from the translations ended up becoming canon in the Complation era due to flanderizing Aerith's sweetness into an Incorruptible Pure Pureness, until Remake brought back her attitude to the forefront.
    • Ultimecia, a Wicked Witch who serves as the main villain of Final Fantasy VIII, had her dialogue changed in the English script in a way that makes her resemble a Card-Carrying Villain, including a bizarre Funetik Aksent. This also meant that her motives in the Japanese version were either muddled or Lost in Translation, and her final speech at the end about childhood seems to come out of nowhere in comparison.
    • Final Fantasy XIV:
      • Haurchefant was very much into the Player Character in the Japanese script to the point where he would openly state that he would like to get together with them, regardless of the player's gender. The English script heavily dialed it back and changed Haurchefant to act more like a close best friend to the player.
      • Alisaie, one of the player character's close allies, was made more combative and fiery in English, aided by a more aggressive voice performance. While she still has a temper in Japanese, it tends to be more subdued.
      • In the Dark Knight job quests, the Warrior of Light is trained by Fray Myste. In the English localization, Fray is a coarse Deadpan Snarker prone to admonishing both the Warrior of Light and everyone around them in equal measure. They hate the Warrior of Light's inability to put their own needs above those of others. In the original Japanese script, Fray is far calmer and more pensive, instead speaking much more like a concerned friend who knows the Warrior better than they know themselves, but is no less passive-aggressive.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • In Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, the Black Knight was a Noble Demon in the Japanese version, but was made far more sadistic and sinister in the localization, presumably to make the character who killed Ike's father more of a Hate Sink. This caused several problems in the sequel, Radiant Dawn, where he reverted to his original Noble Demon personality. Micaiah and Levail both consider him a Knight in Shining Armor, which clashes with his previous portrayal, and much of the foreshadowing towards his true identity (the honorable General Zelgius) is lost.
    • The English localization of Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn heavily re-wrote most scenes involving the infamous Blood Pact in an attempt to make it less of an Ass Pull. As a result, Micaiah underwent a major personality change. In the Japanese version, she was passive and resigned to her fate, making no attempt to fight against it. In English, she's much more proactive, a Hope Bringer, and actively searches for a way to break the curse. This is especially evident at the end of 3-13 and the beginning of 3-E, where the English version changed what was originally a Despair Event Horizon into a "Eureka!" Moment.
    Japanese Micaiah: “There’s no longer anything we can do… There is only one path left for Daein… and that is destruction…”
    English Micaiah: “There is… one person who holds a glimmer of hope for all of us.”
    • Severa in Fire Emblem: Awakening was a textbook Tsundere in the Japanese version, but turned into more of a straight Jerkass and Bratty Teenage Daughter in the English localization. This resulted in her being a lot less popular outside Japan. Her appearance in Fire Emblem Fates as Selena is more in line with her Japanese characterization, making it look like she Took a Level in Kindness in the English version.
    • The English version of Fire Emblem Fates plays up Ryoma, Hinoka and Takumi's Blood Knight tendencies and Fantastic Racism towards Nohrians, to the point of "Nohrian scum!"(a voice clip of Hinoka's) becoming a meme.
    • Fire Emblem: Three Houses:
      • The English version subtly plays up Ingrid as a tomboy, likely because she shows a preference for combat and riding over more feminine pursuits such as baking and needlework and wishes she could become a knight instead of getting married. In the Japanese version, however, her speech patterns are actually extremely feminine, framing her as a more practical, proper, low-maintenance noblewoman, all which stem from her Impoverished Patrician background. Societal differences in femininity is at play, as in Japanese, her politeness and seriousness pegs her as feminine by default, whereas tomboyishness is cited as a mark of immaturity.
      • In contrast to the continuous level of playfulness and sarcasm that Claude has in the English version of the game, in Part II of the game in Japanese, Claude's voice not only audibly deepens, but his propensity for jokes are far less present. He comes off as far darker and more broken overall, with his voice even audibly cracking during more poignant moments such as the aftermath of the battle in Enbarr and Rhea revealing her true history.
  • Genshin Impact: Childe is the biggest example of this of all the playable characters introduced as to how likable his character is and how you take him depends on which language you are playing the game in.
    • The largest departures from his canon Chinese characterization are in the Japanese and Korean dubs of the game, the former in which he is the most light-hearted and playful of all his depictions while in the latter, he goes the exact opposite direction and is by far the most serious. To compare, let us take how he reacts to Zhongli tricking him. In the Japanese dub, he simply laughs it off in a "You got me" kind of way and looks forward to fighting Zhongli one day, while in Korean he is very angry and aggressive. In the English and Chinese versions, Childe is at the very least mildly annoyed while the other is a bit more upset but not as extreme as in Korean.
    • The English dub also radically alters his feelings on awakening Osial in a way that makes him seem extremely egotistical and cruel. In the other languages, he says that he regrets resorting to it because he knows civilians may get harmed, which is less honorable than defeating a worthy opponent in battle. In English however, he cryptically mentions how much he despises working with those who are weaker than he is, which you can read multiple ways...none of which are as flattering as the way the line originally appears. This mistranslation has been fixed as of Version 1.6, and Childe instead expresses regret at how the weak may be "swept away in the process."
    • Downplayed, but Childe's first greeting in English to the female Traveler is a cocky and borderline flirty "Hey girlie, hold still," while his equivalent in other languages merely says "Miss, careful, don't move."
  • Honkai Impact 3rd: English translation occasionally exaggerates some characters, mostly Kiana and Bronya. The first one is made to sound more silly and arrogant, especially in earlier chapters. Bronya on the other hand speaks in an even more robotic way and includes random Russian words.
  • Kirby's Return to Dream Land has a more subtle difference in the way Magolor is written. A major part of Magolor's character in Japanese is his unique style of speech; due to the way his dialogue is written (using katakana instead of hiragana in many places, as well as Gratuitous English catchphrases), he comes across with a distinctly "foreign" dialect, befitting an alien from another dimension. The English localization doesn't attempt to translate this and instead has his dialogue written fairly generically.
  • 2B's English characterization in NieR: Automata is very noticeably different from her original Japanese. The Japanese 2B is The Stoic through and through except for a number of key moments. English 2B also maintains a detached, aloof personality but there is an undercurrent of cocky arrogance underneath it due to her making sarcastic quips and generally having a "seen it all" attitude. One major example is in the beginning of Route C when she gets infected with a logic virus, after her Pod informs her of this, Japanese 2B says "I understand" in a resigned tone while the English 2B says "You don't say" in a somewhat exasperated manner.
  • Octopath Traveler:
    • Therion is much more quiet and reserved in the Japanese version. The English Therion generally is snarkier, and this is reflected in both the script and voice acting.
    • A minor example, but the final moments of Simeon, the Arc Villain of Primrose's story play out differently in the Japanese version. In the English version, he's a Mad Artist to the end who is fine with either killing or being killed by Primrose because he sees it as a Grand Finale to her tragedy. In the Japanese version, his two battles against Primrose make him realise the full extent of the pain he's caused her, whereupon he asks her to kill him for both their sakes. This indicates that Japanese Simeon does have a conscience, albeit an extremely limited one.
  • In The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel, the main protagonist Rean underwent a subtle change to his personality. While he typically has a softer side, bordering on a Team Dad to his friends, the Japanese take on the character speaks in a more formal tone to his companions most of the time. Sean Chiplock voices Rean with a subtly warmer tone with slightly snarky dialogue, either directed at his friends or more often his own shortcomings. It's widely seen as an improvement, helping to take the edge off his status as an Escapist Character. The fact that the English PC release contains twice the number of spoken dialogue with newly dubbed scenes also helps.
  • In Splatoon 2's Japanese translation, Marina is a very soft-spoken character who calls her partner Pearl "sempai", openly admires and is greatly respectful to her, and mainly presents any snarking through thick layers of polite language; she's only revealed to have a relationship with Pearl on more equal grounds in the Octo Expansion DLC. Endearing as it is, leaving this unaltered in English would have likely resulted in people unaware of the nuances behind Japanese honorific language or Senpai/Kohai dynamics to interpret Marina as much more deferential and "pining after" Pearl than she's meant to be portrayed as, so the English translation rewrites Marina's dialogue to be more blunt and portrays their relationship as more on the level of Vitriolic Best Buds. That said, the release version of the game going a bit too far with it and making Marina go all the way into sounding like a Jerkass was controversial enough that later updates toned it down to be closer to the intended nuance.
  • The Japanese version of Star Fox Command has Krystal give Fox the cold shoulder more than once due to a Downtime Downgrade between them but she remains courteous towards the rest of the cast. The English translation on the other hand made Krystal extremely belligerent and rude towards almost everyone, which came at odds with her past characterization as The Soft-Hearted Warrior.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • In the Mega Drive era, Sonic's personality wasn't defined in-game and thus he was marketed differently depending on the region. In Japanese, he had a laidback yet aloof and assertive personality, while elsewhere he was made sassier and given a hammier, Totally Radical demeanor. Sonic Adventure is when his Japanese personality was adopted worldwide. Sonic Colors, which was handled by a Western writing team, made him significantly closer to his Western characterization.
    • Similarly, in Japan Tails was depicted as a Humble Hero and former bully victim who started as a Shrinking Violet and increasingly gained confidence after meeting Sonic and becoming his Kid Sidekick, and could aid him in unique ways thanks to his status as Gadgeteer Genius. The West, however, left out his Gadgeteer Genius trait and his backstory as a bully victim, turning him into a Cheerful Child with a more stereotypical childish personality. As with Sonic, the former characterization would be adopted in the West following the release of Sonic Adventure.
    • Dr. Eggman/Robotnik was depicted as a buffoonish and immature yet still capable villain in Japan, while the West changed him into more serious and humorless, being much closer to Mega Man's Dr. Wily. His Japanese design also emphasized his whimsiness, while the West redesigned him to look more grotesque. Once again, Sonic Adventure would mark the point of his Japanese characterization and design being adopted worldwide.
    • A couple of games like Sonic Adventure and Sonic Forces depicted Sonic with a more laidback and composed personality in Japan, with the English dubs making him more of a hyperactive Jive Turkey. Conversely, other games' localizations would downplay his attitude, particularly in the mid-2000s. Whereas Junichi Kanemaru consistently played Sonic in an energetic way denoting of attitude, Jason Griffith would voice him in a much more deadpan or passive manner. In addition, attitude-denoting traits such as his propensity for Gratuitous English were Lost in Translation.
    • Part of the reason Big the Cat is more tolerated in Japan is that he doesn't have many of the aspects that make him annoying to English-speaking fans (like his exaggerated Simpleton Voice and seeming lack of common sense), instead being a rather quiet Gentle Giant. Later games' English dubs have pushed him back in the direction of the Japanese version, which can particularly be seen in Team Sonic Racing.
    • As seen in the trope picture, Team Sonic Racing has a few examples of this. In the Japanese script, Shadow is The Stoic and rarely emotes more than he needs to, while the English script plays up his more aggressive and competitive nature. Similarly, there's a scene where Sonic attempts some Trash Talk towards Silver, but it goes over the latter's head due to being Sarcasm-Blind, none of which is in the original Japanese script, with Sonic & Silver being completely courteous and friendly towards each other.
  • Many Western Pokémon fans lament the Badass Decay of rivals since Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire and long for the return of Jerkass rivals like Blue and Silver. However, even Blue and Silver were less arrogant in the original Japanese versions than their English depictions, owing to Japanese culture heavily disliking the traits that make Blue and Silver popular Love to Hate rivals in the West.
  • WarioWare:
    • WarioWare: Touched!: Ashley. While her core characteristics are kept intact, the English localization downplays and removes many of her cuter and more innocent traits (most notably her Third-Person Person speech) and puts more emphasis on the aloof and scary side of her character, while making her more of a cold Deadpan Snarker compared to how she's depicted in the Japanese version.
    • WarioWare: Twisted!: The Mona's Pizza song does this with her rival Pizza Dinosaur. They're portrayed as arrogant in both versions, but in the English version, they smugly boast that, "Our crust is tough and our sauce is thin, but we're everywhere, so you've gotta give in." In the Japanese, they simply claim that their product is superior.
  • NEO: The World Ends with You: While Fret's overall personality is largely unchanged between the English and Japanese scripts, his relationship with Kanon changes slightly. It's played straight as a case of Ladykiller in Love in the English version, where in Japanese it is mutually acknowledged as a case of Mistaken for Romance. His subsequent character arc more or less remains intact, however.

    Visual Novels 
  • Ace Attorney
    • Series protagonist Phoenix Wright was intentionally written in the Japanese as The Generic Guy with little in the way of a distinguishable personality for the most part outside of being the Only Sane Man. The localization of the first game would turn him into a major Deadpan Snarker, something which stuck to varying degrees in separate games.
    • Among the entire cast, Trucy is easily the most jarring between the two languages. In the Japanese, Trucy is characterized by being in the persona of a performer at all times, speaking in a very deliberately childish manner written mostly in hiragana and using her own name as a pronoun, only using kanji when discussing magic tricks or the rare occasions she acts serious. She is also extremely formal at all times, using very professional formalities to Apollo despite frequently teasing him. None of this is present in the English for the most part, where she only speaks slightly whimsically and never changes speaking style, and her name for Apollo is a more generally Affectionate Nickname in "Polly", making her come off as more of a straight Expy of Maya.
    • Susato Mikotoba's defining trait in the Japanese version is that she speaks in overly polite Japanese, such as using the extremely formal "-sama" honorific on her friends. While this is typically translated by not using contractions, her actual dialogue and demeanor doesn't always line up in a way that avoiding contractions would make seem polite or professional. Instead, rather than always being polite in the English version, she instead is very professional in court or when speaking with new people, but then becomes very relaxed and friendly as she gets more acquainted with them. In the English, while she uses Japanese honorifics while speaking Japanese, she only uses "-sama" on Kazuma, while she uses "-san" on Ryunosuke and calls Iris, Gina and Rei by their first names without honorifics.
    • Simon Blackquill is perceived by fans as an example of this not because anything actually changes between languages, but simply because the context does. In Japanese, he's simply a Fan of the Past who presents himself as a samurai: he wears traditional clothing, he's mastered falconry, carries a katana, and speaks formally to those he sees as allies and friends. He's quite intimidating and serious, although he does occasionally make a joke, usually at someone else's expense. None of that changes in the English version, except for the major detail of the Thinly-Veiled Dub Country Change. Here, because he's apparently not Japanese, the samurai routine, the katana, and the Japanese Poirot Speak make him look like a stereotypical Occidental Otaku, which turns him into The Comically Serious.

    Western Animation 
  • In the English dub of Once Upon A Time... Space, Maestro sounds more like a mumbling old grump than a wise mentor, though hints of both appear in the character either way.
  • Kaeloo:
    • The original (French) version of the show has Mr. Cat be a super genius who is right about everything; in the English dub he generally switches between being of average intelligence and being stupid. The dub also made him a lot meaner to Kaeloo; despite him being a jerkass in the original, the dub added more insults in scenes where he hadn't insulted her in the original. In addition, the English dub averts the Ambiguous Gender trope by having Kaeloo be confirmed to be a girl, so he often makes misogynistic remarks towards her, which is entirely absent from the French version.
    • In the English dub, Kaeloo has a Hair-Trigger Temper and is annoyed by everything the people around her do, causing her to angrily snap at them, whereas in the French version, she's a little more patient.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: The Japanese dub toned down Rainbow Dash's arrogant behavior because arrogance is viewed especially negatively in Japan.
  • The Simpsons: Bart's rebellious attitude caused complaints in Japan. This caused the Japanese dub to tone down Bart after Season 2.
  • A rare Western Animation to Japanese dub case, the original series of The Transformers conveyed Shockwave as a rather stoic and dutiful Dragon to Megatron, while in the Japanese edit, he is more of an erratic Grumpy Old Man.
  • Winx Club:
    • Riven's Face–Heel Turn in season 1 was temporary but genuine. In the 4Kids dub, it's a product of brainwashing, therefore giving Riven a sort of Adaptational Heroism.
    • Several personalities were changed for the Winx in the 4Kids dub, such as Stella being a hot-headed fashionista, Musa being a Hipster, and Tecna being a smart English whiz. The Winx themselves behaved more like typical teenagers, while the Trix (called the "witches" here) acted like a typical mean girl group.