10 most important manga characters in anime

Fans may notice when reading their favorite anime’s corresponding manga that the main characters don’t do as much as their animated counterparts. Other times, it’s the other way around. A fan may read the manga first and may be surprised to learn that a minor character is much more prominent in the anime.

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There are many reasons for this. The writers could have given a character a larger role in the anime to complete the story. A supporting character who proved popular could get a larger role in the anime adaptation to help them develop. Sometimes the character may be an anime original who is shoehorned into the ongoing manga while trying not to interrupt the intended original story.

10 Attack On Titan: Levi proved so popular that he ended up getting his own spin-off

levi and his squad on horseback

Levi Ackerman became such a popular character within attack on titan that casual fans will be surprised to learn he’s just a supporting character. However, he still has a larger role in the anime than the manga. As a prominent member of the Survey Corps, his larger role also allows for more action scenes. His backstory and his abandonment issues are also given in more detail in the anime. In fact, Levi’s prominence had an influential effect on the manga: he later got a spinoff manga and visual novel, Attack on titans: no regretstold from his perspective.

9 Fullmetal Alchemist: The 2003 anime gave Lust her own character arc

lust fullmetal alchemist 2003

In the 2003 anime adaptation of full metal alchemistLust survived the story much longer than her manga counterpart, who died a bit earlier, especially considering other homunculi survived until the final arc. She was even given a story arc about her wishing for a human soul. The 2003 anime seemed to have a habit of keeping characters, like Basque Grand and Shou Tucker, alive longer than the manga.

8 Sailor Moon: Even the creator of the series was surprised at how the anime expanded on Sailor Starlights

On sailor starsthe final arc of sailor moonthree new Sailor Senshi are introduced: the Sailor Starlights, who are searching for their long-lost princess and are the alter-egos of the idol group, The Three Lights.

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That said, they were meant to be supporting characters, but were given a larger role in the anime adaptation. For the sake of comparison, they are killed halfway through the story arc in the manga, while they are one of the few characters to survive towards the end with Sailor Moon in the anime. Supposedly, even the creator of the series, Naoko Takeuchi, was surprised by the larger role they were given.

7 Cardcaptor Sakura: Syaoran Li has his own supporting cast in the anime

By the final arc of the card captor sakura manga, Syaoran Li was already given a more prominent role, but the anime adaptation was way ahead of the manga. In addition to the episodes focusing on him, he was also given various supporting characters, such as his cousin Meiling and an elderly family servant. Even his mother and sisters had a brief appearance in the film.

Nelvana’s English dub had planned to portray him and Sakura as co-stars early on in an attempt to make the series more gender-neutral, even cutting episodes without him. However, the romantic tension between him and Sakura was also downplayed, ironically diminishing his role considerably.

6 Ultra Maniac: Maya is only mentioned in the epilogue

Ultramaniac Maya

At ultramaniac anime, young witches compete to become the princess of the Magic Kingdom and the prince’s bride. Nina’s former childhood friend and main rival, Maya, acts as an antagonist throughout the story, though her backstory with the prince is revealed to be more complicated than she seems. However, the entire bridal competition subplot does not appear in the manga and Maya is not seen at all, although she is mentioned as Nina’s roommate.

5 Revolutionary Girl Utena: Nanami is just a photograph in the manga

Revolutionary Girl Utena Nanami

fans of the Revolutionary Girl Utena The anime recalls Nanami, Touga’s sister, as a cross between a jealous popular girl and the series’ comic relief. Despite this, she only appears in one photo in the manga. She had less of a presence in the film, where she briefly appeared as a cow. Fans of the manga have also noted that Juri takes on a similar role as Nanami in the manga, being a shallow rival to Utena, while she has a more likable personality in the anime.

4 School-Live!: Taroumaru died in the chapter in which he appeared but became the mascot character of the anime

Taroumaru School Live Dog

At School live! manga, Taroumaru, a Shiba Inu puppy, was a posthumous character who only appeared in a flashback. His role was more or less to show that animals could be infected by the zombie threat.

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In the anime, she is given a much larger role, effectively becoming the mascot and mascot of the School Life Club. Unfortunately, she ultimately doesn’t survive this time either, but she still managed to live much longer than her manga counterpart, with a much longer history.

3 Ghost Sweeper Mikami: Kenki-Kun became the anime’s narrator

Ghost Sweeper Mikami Kenki-Kun

At Mikami Ghost Sweeper manga, Kenki-kun, a toy-like device, is used by the heroine to detect spiritual power. Presumably an inanimate, albeit powerful, object in the manga, the anime portrays the character as the narrator who breaks the fourth wall, explains things to the audience, and introduces the episode titles.

two Urusei Yatsura: Lum’s stormtroopers didn’t even have a consistent number in the manga

Urusei Yatsura Lum Stormtroopers

On urusei yatsura, Lum’s Stormtroopers were Ataru’s classmates and rivals who had a crush on Lum. In the manga, they weren’t actually individuals, to the point of fluctuating between four and five members.

In the anime, nicknames were developed and given: “Megane”, “Chibi”, “Kakugari” and “Perm”, with Megane especially as a supporting character. For the sake of comparison, the group disappeared after 11 chapters of the manga, but remained until the final episode of the anime, as well as appearing in the OVAs and movies. They even made a cameo appearance with Ataru as punks in Hanyo no Yashahime.

1 Yu-Gi-Oh!: Miho Nosaka became a main character in the Toei anime

Miho asking Tristan for a favor

In Toei’s anime adaptation of the first Yu-Gi-Oh! chapters, Miho Nosaka, a supporting character who appeared in one chapter, was given a much larger role as a central member of Yugi’s group of friends.

However, his lack of presence in the original manga was his eventual undoing, as he is no longer a main character in the “Duel Monsters” series. Since the Toei series was not officially released outside of Japan and the subsequent anime was released before the manga in the West, Western fans are probably not very familiar with Miho.

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Lelouch smiling (left);  Aang in glider (middle);  Naruto in sage mode (right)

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