Flanderization/Anime and Manga

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  • Belldandy in the original manga Ah! My Goddess starts as a character who is divine (of course), good-hearted, and a genuinely nice person but who is not above the occasional eye-roll or violent expression of rage (mostly towards Urd). As time went on she became more and more passive and sweet to almost saccharine levels. This is also illustrated by the progression of the different anime (OVA, movie and TV shows) which was made at various points in the manga's history.
  • Azumanga Daioh has a veritable boatload of flanderization in the manga. The Anime versions of the characters are the end result.
    • Kaorin's crush on Sakaki, though the series is arguably too short and Kaorin's crush simply less-discussed in the early stages for it to be a classic case, but it's still plenty discussed enough to get a shade creepy.
    • Osaka starts out as a somewhat slow-witted and eccentric, yet generally still well-adjusted girl, but becomes weirder and creepier as the episode count goes up. Most people agree this is an improvement.
  • Minami in Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu. In the first season, she's quite jealous and hits the main guy often for looking at other girls, but it's not TOO bad and she has her nice moments. Come the second season, and she's became a mistress of the Unprovoked Pervert Payback with a massive case of Disproportionate Retribution. She gets better though, but until then... wow.
    • Much more obvious with Mizuki, who had a Yandere gag that was used rarely in the first season coupled with wanting to see the protagonist in drag. The second season has this as her primarily character trait. She also gets better over time.
  • Ciel Phantomhive in Black Butler season 2. They seem to only focus on his bad parts, making him seem much more evil.
    • They also made him a lot more dependent on Sebastian than in the first season, making him more of a damsel in distress when he could have been capable of handling himself a little easier.
  • A minor character in Bleach, Keigo Asano, falls victim to this. He starts off being a goofy and slightly neurotic kid who hangs around with Ichigo. In his appearances after the Soul Society arc, he freaks out at the drop of anything even resembling a hat. He's even worse in filler.
    • Aizen might actually count as an Invoked Trope. He's already close to being the single most powerful, intelligent, omnipotent character in the series......he just wants to be more so.
  • Cardcaptor Sakura:
    • Sakura went from a sweet natured Everygirl to a living embodiment of cute and innocence. Her naivete and obliviousness also seemed to be one-upped to borderline-Ditz scales, albeit both probably because the plot called for it.
    • Shaoran went from a male Tsundere with comical deredere qualities on occasion to a meek Dogged Nice Guy by the end of the anime's run. Granted, this may have been due to the new object of his affections now being the title character, but even when Sakura wasn't present he seemed noticeably more timid and underconfident than before.
    • A strange aversion with Kero's big form, that was initially depicted as more serious minded and gallant than his Sleep Mode Size. He gradually became goofier and more childish as the show progressed making the two forms of the character more interchangeable.
      • It's worth noting that the Cardcaptors dub toned down a lot of the exaggerative traits of the characters and made the dialogue and voice acting more 'down to earth', albeit often because they were relevant to plot points they didn't want to translate (especially in the case of Shaoran).
  • In Claymore, #22 Helen was originally a mature, serious, but lighthearted Claymore, but in later volumes her lightheartedness was exaggerated to Plucky Comic Relief proportions and she began acting like something of a child who needed Deneve, her Blue Oni, to keep her in check.
  • Completely rampart in the Edolas (mirror world) versions of Fairy Tail anime characters. They have literaly one trait showing how they're different from their Earthland counterparts, and every single thing they say shows us this one trait.
    • This shows up in filler a lot as well. Gray is all Juvia talks about, and Fried is unable to make a simple decision without wondering how Laxus would handle it.
  • The characters of Fate/stay night and Tsukihime are prone to being flanderized in sequels, such as Kagetsu Tohya really playing up Kohaku's craziness or Fate/hollow ataraxia doing similar things to the likes of Saber or Tohsaka. However, Carnival Phantasm has taken these depictions and ramped them up even more resulting in a near stalker Akiha, a Moe caster who acts like a schoolgirl and even more exaggeration of Ciel's love for curry. Arcueid and Taiga, on the other hand, act completely like normal while Ilya's sociopathy is greatly downplayed. Carnival Phantasm was made like that on purpose for comedy, though.
  • Due to changes in the primary plot and background in the first Fullmetal Alchemist anime, several characters were modified, but two in particular to stand out.
    • In the manga and Brotherhood, Zolf J. Kimblee weaves a happy line between Complete Monster and Magnificent Bastard, managing to pull his fair share of both awesome and horrible moments that leaves the reader/watcher unsure what to really think of him. In the first anime, much of this background had yet to be revealed so he was reduced to a stereotypical Mad Bomber obviously meant to be hated.
    • Similarly, Basque Grand was originally an unknown due to dying before his introduction. The first anime cast him as a Colonel Kilgore character who everyone was happy to see die. The manga later depicted Basque as being one of the more reasonable officers during the Ishbalan Massacre, willing to kill a superior officer in order to avert unnecessary bloodshed.
  • Shuichi's hyperness and Tohma's obsession with Eiri (which starts out as merely protective and gets creepier over time) in the Gravitation manga. The anime has more stable characterizations, though skipping over most of the character development in the later volumes.
  • Takamura's not-so-sudden (de-)evolution from a skilled and respectable boxer into a Jerkass in Hajime no Ippo. He's always been portrayed as a Jerkass outside of the ring, but there's a limit...
  • Higurashi makes rather entertaining use of this. When the show takes a break from all the drama and horror, more comedic and lighthearted moments often make characters act in a hilariously different way from their usual selves. Keiichi, usually a positive, optimistic charismatic boy who cares about his friends, becomes either Keiichi the Overreacting Prank Magnet or Keiichi the Brainless Perv. Dutiful, level-headed Mion becomes Mion the Tomboyish Leader. Rena, who is affectionate and friendly if a little... dangerous, gets all obsessed with things she considers cute (and taking them home). Satoko becomes a hyena-like prankster and Rika is just cute and helpful.
    • Of course, this has somewhat dark twist for some of them. Keiichi acts that way because he became extremely stressed from taking studying too seriously and takes Dumb Is Good to high levels, Rena thinks happy days are limited due to her parents' divorce and acts as wacky to make the most out of them and Rika is Really Seven Hundred Years Old.
  • In the manga version of Keroro Gunsou, Dororo is a Technical Pacifist who nonetheless has amazing ninja skills and doesn't ever shirk from the cause of justice, often playing the Only Sane Man to the rest of his squad. The anime exaggerates his pacifism to the point of often making him meek and indifferent to events, his opposition to his squad's schemes manifests itself more in the form of half-assed protests that eventually just alienate him from the others, his maturity is spun into an annoying emo personality, and in general he either plays the Butt Monkey to the other Keronians or isn't even there with them a lot of the time.
  • Jaken, Sesshomaru's henchman from Inuyasha, started out as a sadistic and very competent evil sidekick who occasionally wound up the butt of humor at his expense, and later on became a goofy weak klutz who often messed up his master's plans.
  • Yuuna's jealousy in Maburaho got Flanderized to the point that, though she was originally very bland, she actually became an entertaining character.
  • Naruto:
    • The anime turns Sakura Haruno into a violent psychopath who's constantly punching Naruto (and sometimes Sai) into the ground for the slightest infraction. While she does hit him a few times in the manga, the anime takes it Up to Eleven, and in the manga, it mostly stops after the time skip, while it persists in the anime.
    • While Hinata is just shy in the manga, she's much worse in the anime, stalking Naruto from afar and going red and fainting more than once when he makes the slightest amount of contact (physical or otherwise) toward her.
    • Naruto himself is made to look a lot less intelligent than he actually is in the manga.
    • Sai.[1] In the manga and anime he starts out pretty bad, angering Naruto in particular by insulting his manliness a couple of times, and calling Sakura ugly when trying to think of a nickname. However after a few missions with the team he begins improving and is seen reading a book on social skills. The anime however takes this to the extreme by having his relationship with Team 7 improve overall, while simultaneously increasing his social akwardness. He's now so socially inept that Naruto actually thinks Sai is hitting on him, when he actually misreads Naruto's actions as a sign of fear and tries to "show him tenderness." There's even a scene where he tries to spoon feed Naruto who has a broken arm. Sai's reading habit has also been given a huge upgrade,[2] and he's seen in a library multiple times surrounded by stacks of books. Unlike in the manga, his reading habits tend to make his social interactions worse (99% of his bad interactions happen because he "read it in a book"[3]).
  • One Piece:
    • It can be hard to believe, but Sanji wasn't always quite such a loser when it comes to romance and women. He was never all that successful in romance (unless you want to count those 20 bounty hunter chicks that were probably just leading him on) and was kind of awkward around Nami from the start, but it wasn't nearly as pronounced as it is now. His attention to the main females more often seemed kind of sweet, and he didn't quite come off as a dorky pervert like he does now. However, Oda gradually turning him into a full blown Chivalrous Pervert (coupled with epic Butt Monkey tendencies) was actually a really positive change. In retrospect, there was a period of time where he seemed a little too perfect compared to other main characters, and was in need of a serious personality flaw in the same vein as Luffy's flakiness and stupidity, Zoro's lack of sense of direction, Usopp's cowardliness, and Nami's greed.
      • And now after being on Okama Island for so long, Sanji's become utterly weak against women. Once again, tropes are not bad.
      • Though, said über-weakness has been the topic of Lampshading by Chopper, saying that his rocket powered nosebleeds, which require blood transfusions afterwards, are getting annoying and that he needs to be rehabilitated. With pictures first.
      • This has actually become a significant plot-point, as Chopper now needs a donor to conduct a blood transfusion on Sanji after he spurted most of it out when meeting a society of actual, non-Gonk Mermaids. The Mermaids and Fish-men refuse to provide blood for a human, however. A useful trope indeed.
    • Amusingly enough, back in the Kuro arc, Zoro and Luffy arrive late to the battle, but it's Luffy who got lost due to his lacking sense of direction, Zoro simply got stuck in grease.
    • Zoro has undergone a good deal of this as well, being both far more intelligent and level-headed in early chapters, but after Loguetown he began the steady descent into the mostly-clueless meathead he is today.
  • Pani Poni Dash!: Just about everyone ends up having one of their traits exaggerated to extremes (which is typical for its sub-genre). Three obvious examples are Mesousa's uselessness, Himeko's super-high level of hyperactivity (maho), and Kurumi's plainness.
  • Ranma ½: This long-running comedy manga contains some of its medium's most pronounced examples of the trope.
    • Kasumi went from a normal Yamato Nadeshiko to an unfazeable near-parody. (Considering how comparatively dull she was before, it could be considered an improvement.)
    • This is also applied to Nabiki's love of money, which propels over time from a merely opportunistic character to an appallingly two-faced exploiter.
    • The first time Akane cooks in the series, it is merely bad and she realizes why immediately after tasting it (she made an honest mistake with ingredients, 'sides she's just a beginner); later in the manga, her cooking has become all but poisonous, she doesn't care what she throws into it, she refuses to taste it or to acknowledge that it tastes bad, and everyone else treats it like toxic waste.
    • Genma starts the series genuinely caring about his son (including going out of his way to help Ranma keep his curse hidden), despite being a selfish idiot who tends to do more harm then good with some very warped ideals and morals. By the end of the series, his already-extreme faults get flanderized to being willing to throw away his son for a knick-knack he already knows has little value.
  • Minako from Sailor Moon, in order to distinguish her from Usagi (who was actually an Expy of Minako in the manga), was made more ditzy and less mature as the anime went on (compare her introduction in the first season to how she's acting by the last), which is actually a reverse from the manga, where she became more mature and intelligent as the series progressed.
  • Makoto in School Days transforms from a merely sex-curious teenager into an uncaring, womanizing bastard. Furthermore, the two main female love interests get reduced to only being known for their obsession with Makoto. Though Kotonoha may have been emotionally unballanced from before,.
    • Though, it's shown in the second to last episode Makoto actually realizes he became flanderized and tries to fix things. Only to commit a critical mistake and be brutally murdered.
    • Not to mention, having the three flanderized is the point of the series. We cannot deconstruct Unwanted Harem without showing how it can bring up the worst out of everyone, huh?
  • The Slayers anime was rife with this as the series progressed from season to season; Gourry Gabriev recieved the worst treatment: not only was he more out of the spotlight as each new season began, his stupidity got to the point where one had to wonder how he could even remotely function. To elaborate, while the first season indeed showed him as being rather tactless and air-headed, he was also shown to be more insightful. It's even worse when you compare it to the original novels, where Gourry is portrayed as, aside from some natural airheadedness, for the most part only Obfuscating Stupidity and not a true idiot. Lina Inverse on the other hand went from merely frowning from the mention of her embarrasing nicknames to being on a hair-trigger temper for just about everything.
    • Finally toned done somewhat in Gourry's case. While it's not in large spades, the Evolution-R series started giving back Gourry some level of competency.
    • Amelia was flanderized as well; she had a penchant for justice that was something of a quirk in the novel, but the anime flanderized it. However, by the time season 4 was halfway over, this trait was subdued, and is only displayed once in season 5. Gourry in the original novels was also far snarkier and only acted stupid as opposed to being The Ditz. Xellos the Mazoku preist was also highly sinister and an unsettling figure in the novel; while he does have his share of frightening moments in the anime, his perpetual grinning and trickster ways made him far more humorous.
      • Zelgadis's complex itself is flanderized along with his character. In the anime he desires to change back into his original human form because he feels that he appears freakish, even though very few civilians actually point out his chimeric appearance. In the novels, it is more because he wants to wash away his past as his great-grandfather Rezo's berserker (as Rezo also turned him into a chimera in the first place). His complaints about his appearance in the anime make him whinier and gives him an automatic Butt Monkey status during some gag episodes.
      • Taken Up to Eleven in a radio drama where he broods about his appearance to the point that he winds up talking to a stone wall...
  • Pretty much everyone in Tenchi Muyo!, especially Ayeka and Mihoshi.
    • Especially in all the "expansion" series. The characterization gets more and more flanderized the further away from the OVAs you get.
  • Kawachi from Yakitate!! Japan. He started out as a talented baker with "real person" problems and a tendency to need to have the hero's eccentricities explained to him (and thus the reader). Over the course of the volumes this degenerated into him becoming a total Butt Monkey, suffering any indignation or humiliation that the other characters were apparently too cool to have happen to them, and a tendency to shout disbelief at any tiny thing, causing others to mock and ridicule him. It finally culminated in even his beloved mother and younger siblings being dismissive of his abilities, and as the series went on he became the equivalent of Krillin hanging out with Goku and Vegeta... only without the abiding affection and/or small amount of respect those two gave Krillin, as Kawachi's "friends" took to using him to literally waste the opposing team's time.
    • Also Kuroyanagi. At first, he was shown as a cold hearted judge with very high standard of food, but later is portrayed as a literal bread zombie whose only passion is eating delicious breads.


  1. He was brought up in a secret black ops organization known as 'root'('foundation' in the english anime), and was taught to not show or have any emotion whatsoever--only care about your mission. When he is put in Team 7 as Sasuke's replacement, he is socially akward and often unintentionally insults people due to a general lack of social skills.
  2. in the manga it's like a one time thing meant to show that he's trying to form good relationships with others
  3. which at one point in the anime is implied to be Make-Out Paradise, Jiraiya's infamous porn novel