->''In any event, recently I noticed that there were certain movies which, although not designed to be, are like sequels to earlier, unrelated films. Movies that show you what would have happened years later if only you use a little imagination and poetic license[.]''
-->-- '''Website/{{Cracked}}''', "[[http://www.cracked.com/blog/4-recent-films-that-are-accidentally-sequels-to-80s-movies/ Recent Films That Are Accidentally Sequels to 80s Movies]]"

A Spiritual Successor is a type of sequel that is not part of the same world or story as its predecessor, but is nonetheless considered to be a successor because it's made by the same creators; shares common themes, styles, or elements; or, most likely, both. In other words, it's a sequel "in spirit".

The reasons for this are varied. Sometimes creators are unable to retain the rights to their original work, which makes a direct sequel impossible. Other times, designers don't feel like continuing the same story of the original work (and risking {{Sequelitis}}), but their distinctive style remains. Or producers try to adapt a different work following the model of a previous success of theirs, while maintaining a prudent separation between the two {{Canon}}s. And then sometimes [[FridgeBrilliance it occurs completely by accident]].

Present in all sorts of media, although the term "Spiritual Successor" may have originated within video games (also known as companion games), because developers might own the engine and game code with publishers owning the trademarks to the franchise.

A spiritual successor may succumb to BetterByADifferentName.

The series version of an {{Expy}}. Often overlaps with SerialNumbersFiledOff. Compare SpiritualLicensee. Contrast TheyCopiedItSoItSucks, DolledUpInstallment, InNameOnly, DuelingShows, and ThematicSeries. See also ProductionPosse.

The [[InvertedTrope opposite]] is SpiritualAntithesis, though it is possible to be Spiritual Successor to one work and SpiritualAntithesis to another at the same time.
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!!Examples:
[[index]]

* SpiritualSuccessor/AnimeAndManga
* SpiritualSuccessor/ComicBooks
* SpiritualSuccessor/FanWorks
* SpiritualSuccessor/{{Film}}
* SpiritualSuccessor/{{Literature}}
* SpiritualSuccessor/LiveActionTV
* SpiritualSuccessor/{{Music}}
** SpiritualSuccessor/FrankZappa
* SpiritualSuccessor/{{Pinball}}
* SpiritualSuccessor/ProfessionalWrestling
* SpiritualSuccessor/{{Radio}}
* SpiritualSuccessor/TabletopGames
* SpiritualSuccessor/{{Theatre}}
* SpiritualSuccessor/{{Toys}}
* SpiritualSuccessor/VideoGames
* SpiritualSuccessor/WebComics
* SpiritualSuccessor/WebOriginal
* SpiritualSuccessor/WesternAnimation
* SpiritualSuccessor/{{Other}}
[[/index]]

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