Side-Story Bonus Art

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Putting the characters in Holiday Dresses is one of the most common themes.

A Sub-Trope of Bonus Material, where artists make what could be described as official Fan Art. They draw scenes of the characters doing things that aren't actually in the work as such.

They could range from Beach Episodes, to Christmas Scenes, to Fashion Shows, to Weddings of the Official Couples, to Alternate Universe settings, to Characters Switching Clothes, to Cosplay Fan Art. Again, it's anything a fan artist might do (that's still acceptable for the rating of the work[1]), just by the actual artists of the work, or people official hired to draw these.

Currently, this is a particularly widespread trope for anime and manga, seen in many online galleries and even in books that are collections of these. Many Webcomics have these as well, often in the form of "voteys" - bonus images which you get to see if you vote for that comic on one of various comic-ranking sites.

While seldom seen today, this sort of material used to be a staple of American Comic Books (primarily in the Romance and Teen Humor genres, or any other comics with a significant female readership.) "Fashion Pin-Ups" showing the characters in different outfits were common, as were reader-submitted fashions—often redrawn by professional artists, with credit to the young designer.

Examples of Side-Story Bonus Art include:


Anime and Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • One Piece animated some of these to put in its newest intro.
  • Naruto too, including one with the characters in a modern school.
  • The girls of Noir. Dressed up as Santa Claus. With Toy Guns. Not enough wtf in the world.
  • Bleach loves doing this, to the point that most of the chapters have one or two pages featuring the cast just sitting around looking stylish. Possibly explained by the fact that the author has admitted that he's interested in pursuing a career in the fashion industry.
    • This is made surreally hilarious by the fact that any and all costume changes almost have to happen outside of continuity - the overwhelming majority of Bleach characters belong to groups where the dress code is either a black with white highlights samurai outfit, or a very spartan white with black highlights suit. After a run of ten years featuring Loads and Loads of Characters, the number of those characters who have substantially altered their main outfit can quite literally be counted on one hand.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima occasionally has these. The earlier ones are generally more Fan Service-y, (like having a few of the girls in swimsuits or a "Happy Holidays" Dress) but more recent ones features stuff like group shots of Ala Alba looking Badass.
  • Several in the Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha franchise. These range from pictures showing Riot Force Six during down time, to Nanoha, Fate, and Vivio having a family outing, to Nanoha and Fate (Or at least, the actors portraying them) doing a shoot for The Movie .
  • Done for some covers of The Law of Ueki; one Beach Episode cover is mentioned in an omake inside as a weird dream a character had. (And another character mentions that she wouldn't be wearing her glasses in that situation.)
  • The credits sequence for Divergence Eve is nothing but this sort of stuff.
  • Anything drawn by CLAMP gets lots of this, as seen with the above picture of xxxHolic. Usually they feature the characters in Impossibly Cool Clothes (okay, more impossibly cool than some of the canonical outfits).
  • Rumiko Takahashi indulges in this trope A LOT. But of particular note is Ranma ½, where she takes the chance to put the titular, self-assured and macho Gender Bender in extremely, uncharacteristically feminine clothes (or less) and settings and enjoying it --even the Catgirl outfits! This is possibly deliberate, as a subversion of Fan Service and gender roles at the expense of fans and the character her[him]self, since Ranma vehemently DESPISES wearing feminine clothes or doing girly things unless it's for an ulterior motive, and even then she/he doesn't like it. Other characters, both in this series and others, get this treatment too, but it's not as unusual or surprising (or as common.)
  • Naoko Takeuchi released 5 different collections of this of the Sailor Moon characters, one for each season. She liked drawing them in outer space, teleporting to Paris, or wearing princess outfits, swimsuits, bride's dresses, lingerie, just about anything out of the catalogs she had lying around her house.
  • The manga of Maoyuu Maou Yuusha sometimes include a page showing the characters in 21st-century clothing rather than the medieval styles appropriate to their setting (well, Head Maid's Meido costume is already anachronistic). Playboy Bunny suits, Head Maid as an Office Lady, Demon Queen in Sailor Fuku, Lady Knight with a cell phone up to her ear, Demon Queen and Grand Princess Fire Dragon dressed as maids....

Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • Some early issues of Elf Quest had cartoons showing the elves living in Poughkeepsie with their creators the Pinis. One of the most telling had them jumping on Wendy Pini's bed early in the morning to wake her up.
  • Fashion Pin-Ups, showing the characters in new outfits (either based on current fashion trends or reader designs) were a common "filler" feature in girl-targeted comics of the Silver Age and Bronze Age. Some typical examples (mostly of the "reader design" type) from Harvey's Bunny ("The Queen of the In-Crowd") comics can be seen in this Flickr collection.
  • Superhero comics occasionally had these features as well. In the early '70s, DC Comics (no doubt realizing that a number of costumes designed in the '40s and '50s looked a bit dowdy by contemporary standards) sometimes showcased reader submissions:

Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Advance Wars Dual Strike has some bonus artwork like this, showing the cast in civilian clothes and driving around with a Cool Car.
  • Lots of Nippon Ichi games have this.
  • Just about all of the promotional art for Ace Attorney are such works.
  • Any game with unlockable bonus costumes could be said to be indulging in this, perhaps most famously Kratos going from a half-naked god-killing badass to... a cow.

Web Comics[edit | hide]

R.K.Milholland:Here's a fun game! Seeing how all the characters are based (closely) on real people whom I call friends, start a deadpool to guess which of them will be the first to kill me for the swimsuit issue.

  1. unless there is some official Rule 34 art