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Top 10 Best Anime Makeovers

VO: Ashley Bowman WRITTEN BY: Hannah Collins
There are extreme makeovers and then there are extreme anime makeover glow-ups! These anime characters went through dramatic transformations for the better. We’re not necessarily talking from beast to beauty, here, just those who made a big positive change to their appearance. MsMojo ranks the most extreme anime makeover glow-ups. Which anime makeover made you glow up? Let us know in the comments!

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From “meh” to… “oh, yeah!” Welcome to MsMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top ten extreme anime makeover glow-ups.

For this list, we’ll be choosing anime characters who went through dramatic transformations for the better. We’re not necessarily talking from beast to beauty, here, just those who made a big positive change to their appearance. As some of these glow-ups are key plot points, watch out for some unavoidable spoilers ahead.

#10: Tsukimi Kurashita
“Princess Jellyfish” (2010)

Like many artistic people, Tsukimi Kurashita - the lead protagonist of “Jellyfish Princess” - is a classic introvert. She also never really recovered from the death of her mother at a young age. Though Tsukimi is a sweet-natured, generous friend who would happily do a favor for anyone, social interaction is a daunting task for her. She’s also not so great at presenting herself, either. From her scruffy plaited hair to her baggy jumpers and big glasses, everything about her appearance tells you to pay her no attention. But, when Tsukimi does bother to put some effort in, people can barely take their eyes off of her. It’s amazing what a little self-care can do for you!

#9: Waver Velvet
“Fate” Franchise (2006-)

When we first met Waver Velvet during “Fate/Zero”’s Fourth Holy Grail War, he was just a scrawny 19-year-old full of self-doubt. Though he wasn’t exactly unattractive, Waver’s personality had a lot of room for improvement. His narcissistic tendencies often left him labelled as “spoiled” and he usually shied away from doing anything too physically-demanding out of fear. Fast-forward into the future and - surprise! - that skinny little boy has turned into a not-so-skinny man with a head of hair that reminds us of a L’Oreal commercial. As Lord El-Melloi II, Waver’s body finally catches up with his brawny brain. He’s even a hit with the ladies too, though his precious video game collection will always be his first love.

#8: Nina Einstein
“Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion” (2006-08)

“Code Geass” is filled with the kinds of beautiful female characters you’d expect from CLAMP, but Nina Einstein doesn’t count herself as one of them. In the first season, nothing about her particularly stuck out looks-wise other than her dark green hair, which, in a show where magenta and neon are normal shades, isn’t that out of place. Typically, her clothes are nothing special either. In fact, the frayed edges and oversizing of them belies her shrinking personality. Come season two, however, and Nina’s new found confidence makes her a whole new person. With her hair down, her glasses off and clothes that actually fit her, it’s no wonder she caught the eye of royalty!

#7: Raphtalia
“The Rising of the Shield Hero” (2019-)

To say Raphtalia had a rough childhood is an understatement. When she was just 10-years-old, her peaceful seaside town was ravaged by a wave of calamity, resulting in the deaths of her parents and her own enslavement. It’s no wonder she wasn’t in the best shape when Naofumi bought her. With a little TLC, however, her new owner and adventuring partner realized that the unkempt urchin he’d purchased was actually a cute little demi-human. Even more surprising was her transformation later on into a fully-grown woman as her hero levels increased. Her fluffy animal ears, well-groomed hair and stylish armor is a far-cry from the dishevelled slave girl she once was.

#6: Sophie
“Howl’s Moving Castle” (2004)

“Howl’s Moving Castle” is a fairy tale about how what’s on the inside affects what’s on the outside, so how could we not include it here? While the titular wizard goes through some wild bodily changes as he grows in maturity and selflessness, our heroine Sophie goes through a similar journey of growth. Before she meets Howl, Sophie was an ordinary, demure hat shop girl. Then, a curse from a jealous witch and chance meeting with the rebellious mage changes her life forever. Her haggard form reflects the stunted person she let herself become, and it’s only through opening herself up to romance and adventure that she breaks through the curse to become the beautiful and unique woman Howl sees her as.

#5: Prompto Argentum
“Brotherhood: Final Fantasy XV” (2016)

We all have a little puppy fat as kids, and Prompto Argentum is a prime example of this. He’s also a prime example of how much can change between our awkward teen years and our more confident adult ones. The anime spin-off from the game surprisingly reveals that the tall, slim “skirt-chaser” we’re used to seeing was once a doughy, bespectacled boy. Now, we love Prompto however he looks, but his issues with his weight were implied to be linked to the depression and isolation he felt as a kid. Befriending Noctis helped Prompto feel like he belonged, and he worked hard to condition his body into a form that he was happier in. Just don’t go insulting his “chocobo butt” hairstyle…

#4: Homura Akemi
“Puella Magi Madoka Magica” (2011)

This twisted magical girl anime gives us another example of a makeover shown in reverse. In the present day, Homura Akemi has sleek, long black hair and icy violet eyes that are meant to give you a sense of her cold and quiet demeanor right away. However, in the series’ tenth episode we discover that, in one alternate timeline, Homura used to look very different. When she was younger, she had to wear glasses and suffered from a heart problem so severe that she was hospitalized. Eventually, she was able to use her soul gem to get healthier and, quite literally, let her hair down. In the movie sequel, Homura got an even more dramatic wardrobe shake-up to something surprisingly racy.

#3: Sawako Kuronuma
“Kimi ni Todoke” (2009-11)

A lot of teen girls love having long hair, but for high school student Sawako Kuronuma, her style choices draw some unwanted opinions from her classmates. Because of her reserved personality, dark eyes and waist-length, black locks, she’s constantly bullied for looking like Sadako - the terrifying female spectre from Japanese horror series, “The Ring.” Luckily, she finds acceptance in an unexpected place: Shōta Kazehaya, the most popular boy in school. While Kazehaya loves Sawako just as she is, once she begins to return his affections, Sawako decides to put more effort into how she presents herself. Of course, Sawako’s rare smiles reveal that she’s never been a horror movie monster. She just needed the confidence to show off her natural beauty.

#2: Kae Serinuma
“Kiss Him, Not Me” (2016)

Like Prompto, “Kiss Him, Not Me”’s main character, Kae Serinuma used to be more heavily set. Her dramatic weight loss was also down to a similar tragic backstory.... Tragedy of the made-up kind, we should add. Kae is a passionate fujoshi, which is what fans of the Boys Love genre are known as. When one of her favorite male characters is killed off, Kae becomes so beside herself that she locks herself in her bedroom and doesn’t eat anything for days. Her eventual emergence is kind of like a butterfly coming out of its cocoon, and it isn’t long before she has several suitors buzzing around her. Of course, we should point out that we don’t endorse this kind of extreme dieting.

#1: Palm Siberia
“Hunter x Hunter” (2011-14)

A little makeup can go a long way, but who knew it could go this far! While some people can light up a room, Palm Siberia is surrounded by bad vibes wherever she goes. In fact, much like Sawako Kuronuma, her introduction in “Hunter x Hunter” is reminiscent of “The Ring”’s Sadako. Accompanying this dark cloud around her is a dark shroud of tangled hair and grey skin, making her look like the undead. But, when Palm goes on a date with “Hunter x Hunter’s” lead character, Gon, it was like she came back to life. Healthy brown hair, peach-colored skin… She was unrecognizable! Palm assumed a similarly attractive form to do some political espionage around Secretary of State, Bizeff.

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