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Continuity Overlap

Events in one series also impact continuity in another series. This is an element that may go into defining a 'Verse.

Immensely common in American comic books, to the point where some series essentially merged into one during the '90s.

See also Crossover, Intercontinuity Cross Over, and Massive Multiplayer Crossover.

Examples:

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    Anime/Manga 
  • In Digimon, after the events of Anode Tamer and Cathode Tamer for the Wonderswan - sorry, No Export for You - Ryo Akiyama dimension-hops to the Adventure universe. He witnesses the battle with Diablomon from the second movie and meets with Ken Ichijouji. Ryo and Ken defeated Milleniummon in Tag Tamers and Ken is infected with a Dark Spore, setting events in motion for Adventure 02 and confusing the hell out of anyone who had to take Ken's flashbacks to those events at face value with no knowledge of the games. Later in Brave Tamer, his partner Monodramon merges with Milleniummon resulting in Cyberdramon. Ryo then appears in Tamers, a universe separate from Adventure, and he has Cyberdramon with him who is aggressive and uncontrollable due to Milleniummon's half of his being. So this is basically three (or more) very separate continuities all connected through Ryo.
    • It should be noted that Ryo's movie and 02 scenes go unnoticed by American viewers because he resembles Wonderswan Ryo far more than Tamers Ryo because of the art style (even once Tamers Ryo leaves the Digital World and gets the shirt he has in Anode/Cathode.) Once you know what he looks like, there's no mistaking his movie and 02 flashback appearances for anyone else.
  • All of Ken Akamatsu's manga series seem to have this, especially Love Hina and Mahou Sensei Negima!. Specifically, both Love Hina and Negima! have identical characters named Mei, who appear to be the same person, Word of God states that the inn that Keitaro and Naru stayed at in Love Hina was the same inn that several characters from Negima! stayed at, and the Shinmeiryu sword school is used by characters in both series. In a recent Negima! chapter, Motoko's family name was explicitly mentioned in relation to Shinmeiryu techniques, and a specific technique ("Zanmaken: Ni No Tachi") used in Love Hina has minor plot relevance in Negima!.
    • Negima also has a shout out to his first manga, AI Love You, when the subject of sentient A.I. comes up; it's hinted that part of Chachamaru's programming may have been written by A.I. Love You's protagonist.
    • Akamatsu himself has confirmed that the Nitta-sensei from AI Love You and the Nitta-sensei from Negima are the same person, as well as the fact that Motoko and Eishun are related somehow.
  • xxxHoLiC and Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle both merge at numerous times, and characters in one series are often seen in another. The anime for both series, due to unfortunate copyright issues, don't cross over as much.

    Comics 
  • Clearly the Marvel Universe, which includes characters from the Fantastic Four, The Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain America, Ghost Rider, The X-Men, The Punisher and many more.
    • A limited amount of this has appeared in the recent Marvel movies — Nick Fury appears at the end of Iron Man, and Tony Stark appears at the end of The Incredible Hulk. This crossover has, so far, not appeared in the Spider-Man or X-Men movies.
      • The lack of crossover with the Spider-Man and X-Men franchises are due to the film rights to those characters being owned by Sony and Fox, respectively, as opposed to Marvel Studios.
    • Behind-the-scenes pictures of some of the maintenance panels on the X-Jet in X2 reveal that some systems were built by Stark Enterprises (and that there were no user serviceable parts inside!), but they're far too small to be seen onscreen. An "Intercontinuity Nod"?
  • DC Comics has done this as well, like with Batman and Superman.
    • At one time this was the exception rather than the rule... each story was set in its own continuity and it was rare for one costumed hero to even be aware that others existed. It wasn't until the Justice Society of America title in 1940 that heroes interacted with each other on a regular basis, and it proved so popular that DC eventually attempted to weave pretty much all its titles into a single overarching continuity (things that couldn't be made to conform were assigned to alternate universes in the "multiverse" concept, and it was possible to cross even those over if a writer really wanted to... the first such crossover involved Barry Allen and Jay Garrick (both "The Flash" in different universes).
  • It's not uncommon for a main character in one Sin City story to play a minor role or even a cameo in a different story. Many stories have also been shown to happen at the same time, such as Hard Goodbye and A Dame To Kill For.

    Film 

    Literature 
  • In the Honorverse the novels Ashes of Victory/Mission of Honor, Crown of Slaves/Torch of Freedom and Shadow of Saganami/Storm from the Shadows all take place concurrently, so we get three different looks at the same sequence of events, and often have entire chapters duplicated across books.
  • In the Dragonriders of Pern novels, the events of Dragonquest, the second Lessa novel, affect the events of Dragonsinger, the second Menolly novel. Also many other cases, since all the Pern novels are explicitly set in the same universe and it's very common for the main characters in one novel to be minor characters in another and for there to be considerable chronological overlap (Dragonquest and Dragonsinger cover roughly the same time period as experienced by two different people). This is complicated even more by the (somewhat risky) draconic ability to time travel.
  • All of Brandon Sanderson's adult novels (Elantris, Mistborn, Warbreaker and The Stormlight Archive so far, with others forthcoming) are set in the same universe, with at least one character (Hoid) appearing or being referenced in every one, and hints of a broader Myth Arc on the horizon.

    Live Action TV 

    Web Comics 
  • Megatokyo's Junpei has shown up in Applegeeks, and they cross over from time to time. Mostly though, they stay apart, mainly because one set of characters in in Japan and the other is in America. Plus, time passes much slower in Megatokyo than in Applegeeks.

    Web Original 
  • Almost all of the Whateley Universe stories take place among a small group of kids who go to Whateley Academy together, so there's phenomenal amounts of Continuity Overlap, to the point that it looks like the authors have to coordinate character schedules down to the day.

    Video Games 
  • All of Volition's games take place in the same continuity, where the Saints Row series serves as a prequel to the Red Faction series, taking place Twenty Minutes into the Future. Volition no longer have the rights to the FreeSpace series, but a "Subach Industries" shows up in Saints Row, referencing the Subach-Innes corporation from the former.
  • Valve's Half-Life and Portal videogame series canonically exist in the same universe.
    • Portal was introduced in the "Orange Box" compilation as a Gaiden Game borrowing elements of the Half-Life universe — specifically, it mentions Black Mesa as a competitor to Aperture Science for government funding, and Word of God says that GLaDOS awakening and subsequently going berserk coincided with the Combine invasion of Earth, preventing the scientists from getting help.
    • Half-Life 2: Episode 2, for its part, introduces a ship called the Borealis as a major plot element; said ship was built by Aperture as part of an early teleportation experiment and "vanished, along with part of the dry-dock".
    • Portal 2 continues the gag with an Easter Egg where you actually find the other part of the dry-dock, complete with a life preserver labeled "Borealis", and Cave Johnson directly mentions Black Mesa in the pre-recorded messages you find in Old Aperture.
  • Street Fighter, Final Fight, and Rival Schools are all in the same universe. Several characters from Final Fight have become a regular part of Street Fighter, most notably Cody, Guy, and Rolento, and Sakura was playable in the first Rival Schools. Since Saturday Night Slam Masters is in the Final Fight timeline (Haggar is in the cast, and canonically it's what he did before he became mayor), that puts it in the same setting as well.