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Expy Cleanup Thread

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An expy is an unambiguous and deliberate copy of another, older character."

Note the word "another" and the words "unambiguous", "deliberate", and "copy". Those are the important words.

Here's your checklist:

  • "Unambiguous": There is no doubt, there is no room for arguing that they aren't.
    • If a plausible or convincing argument can be made that they aren't an expy, they aren't.
    • If the reasons for saying they are one are not convincing, they also aren't.
    • A character is not an expy only sometimes but not other times. They either are, completely, or they aren't, completely.

  • "Deliberate": Done with intent.
    • The resemblance is not accidental or coincidental. (For instance, being played by the same voice actor/actress is not sufficient to make an expy. Neither is a similar art style when they're both drawn by the same artist.)
    • Word of God helps a lot with this point, but if the other points are present strongly enough, Word of God is not absolutely required.

  • "Copy": A duplicate, an item made in imitation of another one.
    • The expy came after the character they're an expy of. If they both were created at about the same time, it probably isn't an expy.
    • The older character is never the expy, even if the other, later character is better known.
    • Superficial traits (like a hairstyle, choice in clothing, preferred fighting method) are not sufficient to make an expy; the copy needs to also fill the same role in the work and serve the same purpose within the story.
    • Major traits or characteristics being very different between the two characters is enough to make a character not an expy (for instance, the original is a demure Girl Next Door, the proposed Expy is a FemmeFatale — not an expy)

  • "Another": One other. Note the singular. It doesn't say "several". If the proposed expy combines traits, characteristics, or features of two or more other characters, they are not an expy of any of them.

If an entry fails to meet even one of those criteria, it is not an expy and should be removed.. Actual expies are nowhere near as common as many editors think.

If you want to link to this post in your edit reason, please do.

Here's the link to copy and paste:

edited 27th Mar '15 6:53:01 AM by Madrugada

sgamer82 from Meridian, ID
Aug 2nd 2019 at 11:09:51 AM

[up][up] I mean, it's been a while, but I'm pretty sure Johnny Cage is also a yellow dinosaur. Give me a second: just to humor you, I'm going to look it up.

Five Minutes Later

Well, !@#$ me running, it turns out you were right and I was wrong. Johnny Cage is not, in fact, a yellow dinosaur, but a human being who is mostly kind of pink-ish. I'm really glad I Googled this before making an ass out of myself. Live and learn I guess.

Cut away with extreme prejudice.

Already done. I just wanted something to point to on the off chance anyone kicked up a fuss some I was deleting several things at once.

Edited by sgamer82 on Aug 2nd 2019 at 12:10:33 PM

Plus, remember how in Eragon everyone cries "a single tear"? Yeah, just try that with One Piece and see if it works
Aug 2nd 2019 at 12:34:28 PM

Sure. I'm just being a goof. (-:

Aug 9th 2019 at 8:30:07 AM

Anyone with a more objective/non-biased eye want to help me take a look at the Azur Lane subpages for Expy misuse?

I've been watching them for a while and some of the reasonable Expy conjectures are starting to get too far (I just deleted an Expy example featuring 3 different art influences on The Eagle Union subpage).

An example of something that I thought seemed valid would be Massachusetts on that same page:

  • Expy: Of Attila but with a few more cup sizes. Even her outfit was taken from an Attila fanart.

and the ones mentioning the Irisviel von Einzbern, since I'm familiar with the Fate series, but there might be too little context for anyone who doesn't watch the series to perceive them as valid examples. I have no idea about some of the other expy examples like for Ranger, if it still counts when "they look identical, then they don't":

  • Expy: In her default skin, she looks a hell of a lot like Chelsea. Not so much post-retrofit. And obviously, she has much larger assets.

Aug 9th 2019 at 8:50:45 AM

[up] Those are Zero Context Examples if nothing else; Expy is more than just "these two characters have similar designs." They also need to have identical personalities and roles in the story.

Aug 10th 2019 at 8:49:29 AM


Okay, so a lot more context per example at minimum — it looks like I'll cut pretty much every Expy example on the subpages in the next few days since they pretty much never mention role.

How about this pair on: Characters.Azur Lane Royal Navy


  • Expy: Looks very similar to Saber and Violet, and is voiced by Darkness. Takes more after Violet in regards to love.

King George V:

  • Expy: She's basically Saber everywhere but her looks (that would be Renown's territory), including cribbing Saber's "Are you my master?" line (though substituting commander for master). She's even voiced by Ayako Kawasumi!

The role thing is going to be tricky to judge; I *think* they have similar roles, in the sense of subordinate and master, but in the grand scheme of the plot neither character is nearly as important as Violet Evergarden nor Saber who are (some of) the main female protagonists in their respective series. Would just appearing similarly be a Shout-Out at best?

Aug 10th 2019 at 8:54:22 AM

[up] Renown is being compared to multiple characters at the same time, a character can only be the Expy of one character. That example should definitely be deleted.

King George V is a bit of a Zero-Context Example, it doesn't explain what the similarities are between her and Saber (except for one quote, which might be a Shout-Out but not enough to establish a character as an Expy on its own). As someone who doesn't play Azur Lane or watch Fate/Stay Night, I have no idea in what way she's an Expy of Saber from reading the example.

Aug 15th 2019 at 10:08:25 AM

Okay, here's the list of Expy tropes that are on the Characters.Azur Lane subpages:

     Azur Lane Eagle Union 
  • Expy: Pre-retrofit, she bears more than a passing resemblance to Yang Xiao Long, but post-retrofit, any resemblance is greatly downplayed. // ZCE on personality etc
  • Expy: Oddly enough, to Shoukaku, or her abyssal counterpart. // ZCE
  • Expy: Of Attila but with a few more cup sizes. Even her outfit was taken from an Attila fanart. // ZCE on personality etc
  • Expy: In her default skin, she looks a hell of a lot like Chelsea. Not so much post-retrofit. And obviously, she has much larger assets. // ZCE on personality etc
Yorktown Enterprise San Juan

     Azur Lane Royal Navy 
  • Shana Clone: In case it's not obvious from appearance and mannerisms alone, her defeat line is a Rapid-Fire "Shut Up!". // I added this myself. I think I need to flesh it out, should I just copy the crosswick I also wrote from the Shana Clone page itself?
    • Amazon of Azur Lane. She's superficially a young, flat-chested teenager, but she's the second-oldest Royal Navy ship in the game and hates being treated as young. She wears her blonde hair in nearly waist-length Girlish Pigtails, wears an old-timey, musketeer-esque military outfit with a skirt, and always carries either her sword or a finger pointer stick when she shows up in tutorials. She's an extreme Tsundere denying affection for the Commander, even up to her lines for marriage, but she's not particularly violent or demeaning besides calling him a pervert. If she gets defeated in battle, she unleashes a Rapid-Fire "Shut Up!".
  • Expy: Looks very similar to Saber and Violet, and is voiced by Darkness. Takes more after Violet in regards to love. // Multiple influences, not an expy.
  • Expy: To Frankenstein and her Halloween skin highly resembles Fran's swimsuit. // She has a dissimilar personality to Frankenstein. Fran is anything but the Shrinking Violet that Terror is.
King George V:
  • Expy: She's basically Saber everywhere but her looks (that would be Renown's territory), including cribbing Saber's "Are you my master?" line (though substituting commander for master). She's even voiced by Ayako Kawasumi! // ZCE on how they both act alike
  • Expy: If she reminds you of a Shining Series character, it's because the artist of the modern games, Tony Taka, is her artist. // By definition of Expy, not enough for a shared artist.

     Azur Lane Sakura Empire 
  • Expy: Of her Kantai Collection namesake; her default outfit resembles the limited time summer outfit from Kantai Collection, in particular hers is closer to Murasame's rather than Shigure's. In personality they're very different. // By definition not an expy re: personality.
Yuudachi: Kawakaze:
  • Expy: Particularly blatant one of the artist's original character. // ZCE, sounds like just an artist similarity coincidence.
  • Expy: Her turret familiar bears a rather strong resemblance to what Kancolle's Shimakaze (and other Yoshinori ships) have. // ZCE
  • Expy: Oddly enough, like Shigure, but as a catgirl and white hair. It doesn't help she's also designed by Saru. // ZCE
  • Expy: A red-and-white Miko outfit with a huge hair bow, detached sleeves, geta with white socks, and long brown hair? That doesn't sound familiar, no sir. // Reading the trope below ("Unlike her inspiration, she's actually a very dedicated miko"), this disqualifies her as an expy
  • Expy: Takao and Atago's breast size and personalities are pretty much imported wholesale from their Kantai Collection counterparts. // ZCE
  • Expy: She looks very much like a younger sister of QBZ-95 of Girls' Frontline (done by the same artist). // ZCE, artist similarity
  • Expy: She looks surprisingly like a teenaged Shuten-douji, while her high school girl design skirts her very close to her Kantai Collection counterpart, who has the same design motif along with Kumano. // Two influences, one of which is artist similarity, also a ZCE
  • Expy: Looks rather similar to her Kantai Collection counterpart especially for a certain episode in the anime where she sneaks into the command room like a ninja, with her extra skin hammering this further with different colour scheme. Her School skin does that as well due to wearing glasses in it. // Just looks, doesn't mention personality etc.
  • Expy: They look too much like their Kantai Collection counterparts to be a mere coincidence. // Looks only, ZCE
  • Expy: Some of her expressions mixed with Saru's artstyle are reminiscent of Lucky Star's Konata. This is most notable if you give her a headpat with Live2D on in her base skin. // Pretty sure they have completely different personalities and that this is just artist similarity.

    Azur Lane Ironblood 
  • Expy: Mildy so to Uzuki Shimamura from THE iDOLM@STER: Cinderella Girls and getting the same voice actress only strengthens the similarities. // Not enough info to fit an expy per definition
  • Expy: She's basically Rikka Takanashi in shipgirl form, eyepatch included. // ZCE on how; I think this one might actually fit from the little I know of that series if this was actually fleshed out
Z46: Admiral Hipper:
  • Expy: Basically, what if Asuka was a boat. Yes, that includes saying "Baka!" a lot. Somewhat fitting, considering the fact that Asuka was named for two WW2 warshipsnote . // I think this is also valid but ZCE on how she's like Asuka in this description.
  • Expy: Looks almost exactly like her Kantai Collection counterpart, but with a much more formal navy uniform based more heavily on a Kriegsmarine officer's uniform rather than the much snugger, form-fitting attire of her KC predecessor. // Might be ZCE?
Friedrich der Grosse: Graf Zeppelin:
  • Expy: Graf Zeppelin bears more than a passing resemblance to Jeanne Alter in both personality and appearance (especially when looking at Jeanne Alter's later ascensions) and even have a shared attribute of being people who shouldn't really exist, with Zeppelin being an aircraft carrier that was never finished, and Jeanne Alter is a fabrication created by Gilles de Rais and the Holy Grail // I think this is valid as-is?
  • Expy: Definitely does not look like Jack The Ripper. // Just appearance, definitely not in personality or role.

     Azur Lane Iris Libre 
Le Téméraire:
  • Expy: Is nearly a dead ringer for the Fate/stay night version of Joan d'Arc as done by her artist, Riichu, with the main differences having two semi-braided pigtails and having more a mage motif. She also seems to have gotten some of her personality quirks as well. // Seems valid?
Jeanne d'Arc:
  • Expy: Has a number of traits of Fate/stay night heroines: An hairstyle akin to Arturia, Her outfit brings to mind Saber Lily's, Nero's green eyes and shares the name with its version of Jeanne D'Arc. (commented out) // Multiple influences

     Azur Lane Sirens 
  • Expy: of some Kantai Collection Abyssal bosses // ZCE

So basically the most popular subpages have rampant misuse and the less popular ones are more well-thought out. I'm going to remove most of the more obvious misuses/ ZCEs later today / tomorrow but I'd like feedback on:

EDIT: Wipe done, decided to port the entire Shana Clone description to Amazon (and accidentally copy-pasted this as an edit reason, whoops). Still looking for feedback on Z46, Graf Zeppelin, Admiral Hipper, Bismarck, and Le Temeraire.

Edit 2: Removed Bismarck too since it doesn't mention personality at all, commented out Admiral Hipper since I'm leaning towards it being valid but it's merely based on Fanon art that I've seen with no canon stuff cited yet. Still leaves Z46, Graf Zeppelin, and Le Temeraire as maybe-probably valid Expies.

Edited by Darkaros on Aug 16th 2019 at 12:42:28 PM

Aug 15th 2019 at 10:50:00 AM

I found this entry in Fire Emblem: Three Houses under the Death Knight's folder:

The Death Knight is essentially Three Houses' version of the Black Knight. They're both powerful opponents who must be avoided rather than fought as they can cut down your units with ease, they both develop a fixation on the child of a legendary mercenary as a worthy opponent, and they're both protectors to a white-haired female lord. Oh, and the name of their personal class is also identical to their name as a unit.

I'm a little doubtful about this entry, because while the two characters have a lot of similarities, there are also some key differences:

  • The Death Knight is a lot more bloodthirsty than the Black Knight
  • The Death Knight doesn't possess blessed armor or weaponry
  • The Death Knight does not kill the protagonist's father

Also, no evidence that the writers intentionally made him similar to the Black Knight.

Edited by dragonfire5000 on Aug 15th 2019 at 10:52:57 AM

Aug 16th 2019 at 9:39:28 AM

Question, is there a trope that we can use for those who are on used to be on AL expy pages, since expy trope is getting cleared up, and we want to use those examples on a proper trope.

I just want to have those examples placed in a proper way

Aug 18th 2019 at 9:37:50 PM

Need more input on Characters.Azur Lane Eagle Union:

A troper readded Massachusett's entry like this:

  • Expy: Clearly heavily inspired by Altera of the Fate series (like the lines on her body and forehead mark) and the jacket she wears is based off Altera fanarts like this.

Don't want to just remove again for an edit war; does it fit an Expy now? I feel like it doesn't since their personalities don't match at all, Altera is a borderline Emotionless Girl and Mass's intro quote asks to be friends.

EDIT: Actually this was one of the original entries I asked about, all that's been updated is that they look identical. So I should be safe to remove? PM the editor?

Edited by Darkaros on Aug 18th 2019 at 11:39:39 AM

Aug 19th 2019 at 3:26:50 AM

By the rules of this in order to really post anything in mobage games, we'd have to track down the artists and ask as the people running things don't go into such details usually (That and doing a high copy % has its risks). As for Massachusetts, the inspiration is pretty clear as is Z35's, Jeanne D'arc's and Hipper's. Others I'm willing to concede (that and most are real stretches and not added by me)

Also seiyuu choices in AL are rarely incidental; there's usually a reason for it, particularly these days and until they find the right one, they're willing to have her be silent

I do think Kagerou's familiar was too close to KC's as in the other Kagerou class designs by the same artist, they don't have it.

As is there something for "incidental yet highly similar in design" (Senran Kagura's Hikage/Touhou's Yuuka or Kancolle's Suzuya/Touhou's Sanae) and/or "Heavily inspired by" (what may be more accurate for a number of AL examples)? That would reduce the "misuse" of expy in places.

I'm going to wait and see how this unfolds before thinking about making any more such edits. I'll undo that last Mamie edit if it hasn't been done already as I realized that it's more a visual inspiration and not exceptionally exact at that.

With Amazon one might say personality as she doesn't have long black hair

I consider Graf Zepplin a stretch (maybe faint inspiration at best) while with Z46, I think her inspiration (yuki nagato/Rei) was noticeable but not expy-grade. Not sure about being a true Rei type.

Hipper's hair pieces are placed to remind one of Asuka's and in some fanarts she does have blonde hair, but she's more a rather heavy inspiration than 100% expy.

And thinking on it, I don't think there's quite enough to determine if Riichu really did Le Teme in the exact same spirit.

As far as what you listed:

Eagle union, besides Mammie (which I went into), all those are major stretches, with Yorktown and Enterprise MAYBE having a bit of inspiration.

Royal Navy stuff: Largely conceded that, though KGV's partial saber-ness (voice, bit eater, the cribbed line) is intentional, though not truly an expy. There isn't exactly enough to say Reknown is fully Saber or Violet either, but she clearly has the social awkwardness/etc both have to varying degrees. With Terror, on thinking on it, it's mainly the swimsuit design that got copied. I conceed fully everything else.

Sakura Empire ships: Shigure's outfit is similar but that's about it, not much else in common at all. Takao and Atago while not true expies were definitely inspired by the Kancolle duo. Kishiyo was definitely taking some pages from QBZ-95's design with Choukai as while not 100% there are a few too many similarities to be just "incidental artist quirks". The rest are stretches or mild things.

Iron Blood: Besides what i mentioned above, Z35 had some heavy inspiration by Uzuki, which only got taken further with the choosing of Uzuki's VA (like I said earlier, this was not incidental). With Z36, the choice of short black hair+an eye patch does recall the other character, but the inspiration isn't as strong as with Z35. U-557 has enough variance to raise the question of if the outfit selection was intentional or incidental.

Iris Libre: Besides above, Jeanne while not a 100% expy was clearly inspired by the Fate series.

Edited by ReiKusanagi on Aug 19th 2019 at 5:05:23 AM

Aug 19th 2019 at 8:18:54 PM

I'm one of those people who believe Lusamine really is a Ragyo expy. But apparently there's debate on whether this counts, so I'm just here to let you guys know I added the Expy entry to Lusamine's character page prior to finding this.

To be honest, I'm aware Word of God hasn't yet confirmed it, but I don't see any reason to argue why Lusamine isn't a Ragyo Expy, though, and I agree that the similarities are too obvious to be glossed over.

Edited by Unnerving_Posterior on Aug 19th 2019 at 8:21:08 AM

Irene Drathe Perrywinkle from Friend Code: 1203-9265-8784 and 4571-1389-1915 Relationship Status: It's complicated
Drathe Perrywinkle
Aug 19th 2019 at 8:34:17 PM

Um, you should've brought your entry here for us to discuss it first. Also, didn't we have a consensus she didn't count??

Omega Psycho Rangers Quest 64 Discord(very much safe for work)
Aug 20th 2019 at 5:40:08 AM

^ yeah, sorry about that. Like I said, I didn't know about this thread when I added the entry.

sgamer82 from Meridian, ID
Aug 20th 2019 at 6:39:44 AM

My understanding is "they're clearly an Expy" isn't good enough. We need some kind of clear proof of intent.

If Word of God hasn't confirmed or otherwise indicated it, it's not an Expy.

Edited by sgamer82 on Aug 20th 2019 at 7:42:21 AM

Plus, remember how in Eragon everyone cries "a single tear"? Yeah, just try that with One Piece and see if it works
Pichu-kun ...
Aug 20th 2019 at 6:59:42 AM

Expy is plagued with misuse because people put characters they think are expies, irrespective of whether it's confirmed or not,

Irene Drathe Perrywinkle from Friend Code: 1203-9265-8784 and 4571-1389-1915 Relationship Status: It's complicated
Drathe Perrywinkle
Aug 20th 2019 at 10:18:14 AM

@Unnerving_Posterior: It's probably best to remove it, and note we're discussing it on this thread(link to your own post up above that mentions it), then we can fully discuss it.

Omega Psycho Rangers Quest 64 Discord(very much safe for work)
Aug 26th 2019 at 7:15:03 AM

Grisaia no Kajitsu: Yuuji Kazami needs a look because the Expy entry says he's one to Kiritsugu Emiya from Fate/Zero. I question this because I played the actual visual novel itself and didn't find any similarities to Kiritsugu, nor has Frontwing ever confirmed that Yuuji was based off him.

Edited by DivineFlame100 on Aug 26th 2019 at 7:16:01 AM

Aug 26th 2019 at 1:29:26 PM

The Expy entry for Lusamine is still up. Anyone mind if I delete it?

Also, could I get some input on my question about the Death Knight here?

Karxrida Art by @anoderp from Darkness within Darkness Relationship Status: I LOVE THIS DOCTOR!
Art by @anoderp
Aug 26th 2019 at 8:09:31 PM

From what I can tell, the only noteworthy similarity between the Death Knight and Black Knight is that they're both vaguely Darth Vader Clones. Cut.

Edited by Karxrida on Aug 27th 2019 at 12:05:34 PM

If a tree falls in the forest and nobody remembers it, who else will you have ice cream with?
ILikeRobots Aspirant Creativity Wizard from the worlds of my imagination Relationship Status: You cannot grasp the true form
Aspirant Creativity Wizard
Aug 27th 2019 at 12:54:41 PM

[up] x2 I and a few others have scrubbed through and put a bunch of the expy misuse on the Three Houses pages under Recurring Element when applicable, which is where the Death Knight’s similarities to the Black Knight can go.

I think there’s a good case for RE for him at least.

possesses the major Crest of sleepiness
Crossover-Enthusiast F E A R from somewhere doing something Relationship Status: Chocolate!
Aug 31st 2019 at 10:51:36 PM

This was added to Angel's Friends:

  • Expy: Raf share many similarities with Bloom, the main protagonist from the Winx Club. For starters:
    • Both girls are winged humanoids. With Raf being an angel and Bloom being a fairy.

    • They're also the Rookie Red Ranger in their respective groups.

    • Their main color is blue.

    • With Raf's new powerup near the end of season 1, both girls have the ability to control fire.

    • And to top it all off, both girls were at one point voiced by Liza Jaqueline. Voicing Bloom in the original 4kids dub and voicing Raf throughout the entire series.

I don't know what this thing is, and that terrifies me!
Lermis Purposefully untitled from Out of touch with reality Relationship Status: Above such petty unnecessities
Purposefully untitled
Sep 1st 2019 at 2:03:14 PM

Planning to start a TLP thread to deal with the Expy misuse. I'll title it Reccuring Character Elements before I can find a better name and it'll be devoted to characters from the same franchises that have very high similarities with each other. I've already brought this up to some other threads. Is everyone alright with this?

I think most my edits are me adding the proper numbers of - to quotes.
ILikeRobots Aspirant Creativity Wizard from the worlds of my imagination Relationship Status: You cannot grasp the true form
Aspirant Creativity Wizard
Sep 1st 2019 at 3:04:02 PM

[up] I'm fine with it, especially if it'll cut down on the rampant expy misuse, which by design it should.

possesses the major Crest of sleepiness
Sep 1st 2019 at 3:16:50 PM

[up][up] I'm... skeptical about whether such a concept is tropeworthy, but I'll reserve judgment until I see a draft.

Total posts: 554

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