"This is so non-canon it hurts."
Non-Serial Movie is related to The Movie
Very popular anime series occasionally spawn not only OVAs
, but also theatrical movies. One problem with this is sometimes the movie is being made while the series is still ongoing
. While they generally have enough sense not to ignore anything that's happened up to
that point, by the time the movie is released a show may have introduced very different facts into canon since when the movie began production. This is an especially big concern with very long series which in turn spawn many short movies
. On the flipside, while it is possible to set a movie before the current storyline and have it fit into continuity, this results in the movie feeling outdated due to the character having their situations and abilities being So Last Season
The easy way out of this is to make sure the movie is officially out of continuity. Nonetheless, fans sometimes establish a general sense
of when a movie should logically take place, with various degrees of shoehorning. The only real rule is Non Serial Movies
usually have a "feel" for whatever season they were closely released in, which also helps viewers who don't have an encyclopedic knowledge of a series. Often, the storyline in progress in the series will begin with a certain status quo and end with a new status quo, but the movie will use the status quo during the middle of the storyline. It's as if during the middle of the story, the characters went on vacation during an end-of-the-world crisis.
There are a few bonuses to this technique. The movie is designed so those with only a basic sense of the series can still enjoy it. It also allows for creative one shot characters
into the story (especially a Filler Villain
). The right director can put a creative spin on a series with an otherwise strict concept. And of course lots of gratuitous Big Budget Beef-Up
A major negative of not being in continuity is it is usually not referred to in the show's later episodes to avoid plot conflicts, nor are they allowed to make major upheavals (e.g., Killed Off for Real
) in characters. One way around this is to make the story a backstory, flashback
, or prequel. Another is to do a plot that is stylistically similar to the ongoing one but clearly divorced (which may be a What If?
A feature-length Bizarro Episode
can also be considered a Non-Serial Movie.
Compare Overtook the Manga
, when a storyline is created that really doesn't fit into the main series narrative.
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Anime and Manga
- Sgt. Frog has five movies, in addition to several shorts. The shorts are all clearly in continuity, and three later movies have received small references from the tv show. In addition, the first three movies are all part of a clear trilogy of sorts, with direct references to past events, so they're presumably all in continuity. Yet, their specific timeline isn't known in relation to the series' episodes and there are references to events and recurring mechas in the movies that never appear in the tv show. They all can roughly fit after each season, starting with the second one especially obvious for the third movie, which introduces new looks for the human cast which are carried over to the fifth season, but there's no actual official placement for them.
- Slayers has five movies; four of them, along with six OVA episodes, are adaptations of the Slayers Special novels, which is a prequel series to the main novel line. According to the movie director, the Slayers Excellent OVA is chronologically the first, with four of the five movies and the Slayers Special OVA following it, though without any given order. The fifth movie, Slayers Premium, is the only movie set during the tv series, but it's a conundrum as to where it fits (fan interpretation has placed it after the second season of the anime and before the third).
- Premium takes this up by being subjected to Continuity Snarl; a radio drama that details what happened before and after the movie stated that it had been five years since the protagonists had gathered together, yet it's made clear in the tv series that each season is set from several months to one year after each.
- Ranma ˝ got two of these, both based on anime exclusive storylines. The first one, which revolves around Akane being abducted by a Chinese martial artist who has mistaken her for his fiancee, could be set anywhen after the first five episodes of the 4th season (Ranma uses the Hiryu Shoten Ha to defeat the Big Bad, and all of the series main characters have been introduced). The second one, which has the crew shipwrecked on a tropical island and a bratty young noble kidnapping all of the women to pick a bride from their number, is definitely set after the late 7th season (Ranma and Ryoga use their Ki Attacks, the Shi-Shi Hokodan and the Moko Takabisha). It also got 9 OVAs, one of which was released in Japan as a third movie- of these, three were anime specific (one Christmas story, one two parter), and the other six were adaptations of manga stories that came out after the anime series was cancelled.
- NONE of the Lupin III movies or specials feature any continuity with any of the four TV series (who barely even bother with continuity with each other), any other film in the series, or even the Manga. It's part of the reason why they work so well though, as they can still feel pretty timeless even with outdated clothing and technology. There's a general sense of Origins Episode era, active period, and retirement (The Castle of Cagliostro mostly), but the creators prefer the flexibility of Mythology Gag to Continuity Porn.
- Sailor Moon has three Non Serial Movies tied to three of its five seasons with various degrees of success (though they do have a common problem of the current season's regular villains apparently deciding to take a short break).
- Sailor Moon R movie is original to anime, and features Chibi-Usa without having any traces of the breakup subplot that starts shortly after her introduction. This would place it between Usagi and Mamoru getting back together and the travel to the future and Chibi-Usa becoming Black Lady (it couldn't occur after that because Chibi-Usa leaves for home right after these events; besides, her origins aren't mentioned in the movie). However, this part of the series takes place in winter (the flu episode), while the movie appears to take place in spring. If the movie chose to outright ignore the breakup story, the earliest it could happen is after episode 72, since Chibi-Usa knows that Usagi is Sailor Moon — but by then it's already autumn anyway. In addition, if the flashback with kid!Usagi meeting kid!Mamoru in the hospital really happened, then the age difference between the two of them appears to be smaller than what was implied in the series (closer to their ages in the manga).
- Sailor Moon S movie is based on a manga side story, partially explaining the difficulty of fitting it into the anime version. The presence of Sailor Pluto and the Holy Grail puts it after episode 111, but Hotaru is not in the movie, despite her introduction occuring only an episode later — a similar situation is found in the manga. This could be blamed on Hotaru's connection with the villains who have nothing to do with the movie. Further complicating the matter is the fact that in the anime version Pluto pulls a Schrödinger's Cast feat by supposedly getting killed near the end of the season. Along with Usagi's loss of the Grail and Haruka and Michiru's departure at the end, this means that the movie could only take place before the final showdown with the Death Busters — but why Haruka and Michiru are willing to work with the rest of the team in the movie, contrasting their behavior in the series, is never explained.
- Sailor Moon SuperS movie, on the other hand, features Sailor Pluto again, so she is somehow alive without any comments or explanation, despite her first appearance in Stars being an obvious shock to Uranus and Neptune (who, for that matter, also surprise the rest of the team by their reappearance at that point, even though they are present in the movie). Interestingly, all of the Outer Senshi do reappear during the corresponding story arc in the manga, and the movie even imported some of its elements that weren't in the TV series (such as Chibimoon getting her own weapon), but apart from that it isn't in continuity with the manga either. Considering that the movie was made before the premiere of Stars, it could've been intended to take place after the end of SuperS — meaning it wasn't pushed out of continuity until the TV series rewrote the reintroduction of the Outer Senshi.
- Cowboy Bebop: Knocking on Heaven's Door (renamed Cowboy Bebop: The Movie in the US due to trademark issues) is set at some point in the timeline of the series. As intense as its events are, they seem to forget all about it, like just one more job. It was made after the series was done for a good long time, but they needed to set it during the original timeline in order to include a character who got Killed Off for Real in the last episode of the series.
- The first Cardcaptor Sakura movie between episodes 35 and 36, but featured the capture of the Arrow Card which is never seen before or after, and introduced a new character from the past who is also never mentioned again. However, the Arrow Card counts up among the 52 Clow Cards (along with four cards captured off-screen), so the movie is in continuity, just that its canonicity is not mentioned explicitly.
- One Piece has had several non-serial movies, starting with the OVA "Defeat The Pirate Ganzak!" (which actually predates the TV series), and going on to include ten as of 2010 feature films. At least one of these features a cast list that never existed in continuities.
- The first movie takes place not long after Usopp joins and the crew have received the Merry Go.
- Second movie, could say sometime after the Arlong arc as Sanji is with the crew but they haven't entered the Grand Line yet.
- Third, almost no where to put in canonical wise as the crew has Chopper but not Vivi or Robin. Chopper was introduced when Vivi was in the crew and she remained as such until Robin joined, with a very slim amount of time in between.
- Fourth movie is put right after the Alabasta arc as Crocodile is mentioned and Luffy's bounty has reached its first increase. The fifth and sixth movies are likely before Skypeia but theres no real indication of it.
- Seventh movie, before Water 7 as it gives an explanation on the origins of Luffy's Gear 2nd mode.
- The tenth movie One Piece Film: Strong World is an aversion as it was written by the creator and was actually referenced in a special chapter of the manga. It's official title even says it is the "One Piece Film".
- The small four episode mini-arc meant to lead up to it is often contested if it canon or not however.
- The twelth movie, "One Piece Film: Z" is like One Piece Film: Strong World and completley canon taking place between Fishman Island and Punk Hazard
- There are currently 19 movies based on the Dragon Ball series: 4 Dragon Ball movies, 13 Dragon Ball Z movies and 1 Dragon Ball GT movie/TV special, plus several TV specials and OVA's. Of these, only 1 movie (Battle of Gods) is considered to be canon with the manga; the others retell previous stories or otherwise borrow plot elements and villains, and trying to fit most of them into the manga/anime story creates a number of plot holes if not an outright Continuity Snarl. The two Dragon Ball Z TV specials, Bardock: The Father of Goku and History of Trunks, while not strictly canon, do fit in with and elaborate on events mentioned in the manga (the destruction of Planet Vegeta and the Bad Future that Future Trunks comes from) and Bardock gets a cameo in the manga later on; as for the OVA's, a character from the OVA Yo! Son Goku And His Friends Return! gets a mention in Battle of Gods.
- Played with for the first Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha movie, a remake of the first season which is, in-universe, a film produced by the TSAB.
- The Bleach OVA, The Sealed Sword Frenzy, is set between the Soul Society and Visored/Bount arcs, despite the show stating there was all of one day between said arcs. The movie Memories of Nobody seems to be doing the same thing. These are both interesting because in the manga canon, after Ichigo's battle with Byakuya he was having trouble controlling his inner hollow, and his very next battle he almost went out of control, leaving him weak until his Vizard training. This plot point seems to be put off for as long as they are introducing filler, it seems.
- Diamond DustRebellion, the second movie, seems actually impossible; Ichigo has full use of his regular Hollow mask, but not the enhanced version; however, both upgrades happen during the Hueco Mundo arc, and Ichigo never goes back to the "real world" in between.
- Bleach one-ups most of the examples here by having non-serial arcs in the main anime; the New Third Captain arc, and the Zanpakuto Rebellion arc. They could potentially take place after the Huceo Mundo arc, but that all depends on how that ends in a compatible state. Certain details such as Ichigo's changing mask already put these into question.
- The New Captain arc lampshades this in the first episode by quite openly saying it happens directly after Ichigo's fight with Grimmjow and that the story will return to that point after this story.
- In Bleach, whenever the anime started to catch up with the manga there was little choice but to insert a non-serial filler arc, as Kubo tends to write very long story arcs which occur one right after another without any space to fit a filler between them. So from the New Captain filler arc onward it became standard for each filler to be a "yeah, this blatantly isn't canon but enjoy it anyway" affair.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! not only had two of these movies, but also a non serial season, called Capsule Monsters, which has little to no bearing (or continuity) with the main anime besides the characters. This is due to Executive Meddling on the part of 4Kids, to keep the original series going longer. There was even a non-serial manga spinoff of the original series, Yu-Gi-Oh! R, taking place after Battle City. But the new crossover movie averts this as the main villain from the movie is slated to appear in the ongoing 5D's series.
- Naturally, Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series has a ball with these.
- Despite being technically non-canon, there aren't many problems with fitting Pyramid of Light into the continuity; it quite obviously occurs between Seasons 3 and 4. The main problems with it are i) it contradicts the canon story of how Yugi solved the Millennium Puzzle, ii) why the cards introduced in it are never used again. OK, one possibility is that the Pyramid of Light card only existed because of Anubis, and disappeared after his defeat, but Blue-Eyes Shining Dragon was certainly a real card, created by Pegasus, and it seems inconceivable that someone as obsessed with Blue-Eyes cards as Kaiba wouldn't keep it and use it.
- Pokémon tends to be inconsistent in regards to this.
- The first movie made the most effort by having Mewtwo wipe everyone's memories of the events but also putting clips from the start of the movie in episodes that aired later. Since then, characters sometimes appear to have also forgotten the events of later movies, usually by not remembering seeing the focal Pokemon of that movie. Conversely, in one episode Brock remembers the movie he wasn't in. Later on, the series gotten better on how to handle movie references so to establish them in continuity. The main location of movie 7 was made the hometown of Drew, a recurring rival of May. A model of the Time-Space Tower in movie 10 was seen in a museum in an episode that aired before movie's 10 Japanese release, and Dawn's Lunar Wing that she bought in that same movie shows up later in an episode set at Canalave City. Movie 8 raised a plot point that has been brought back in later episodes. Also, throughout the run, the movies are always consistent with the current teams at the time of the Japanese cinema release, even with Pokémon only captured a couple of weeks before the movie.
- However, in the Episode N arc of the anime, it's explicitly stated that the heroes haven't met Zekrom and Reshiram, specifically contradicting the Victini movies. Granted, the versions were mutually exclusive, so any attempt to refer to them elsewhere in either anime or movie canon would have required looser Broad Strokes anyway, but a moment of recognition with no follow-upnote would still have been inbounds.
- Detective Conan has gotten one of these per year since a couple years after the show first started airing. Due to the relative scarcity of arc-based stories in the mostly-picaresque TV and manga series, the movies do not usually pose story-based continuity difficulties. They do involve a number of considerably different elements to the main series, however, which sometimes makes it a little hard to reconcile the two.
- The movies are considerably more action-packed, giving Conan a lot more physical things to do (and putting him in a lot more jeopardy). Over the course of the various movies he has crash-landed a helicopter, rocket-skateboarded the length of an amusement park (including along a roller coaster track), parasailed, jumped a car from the top floor of one skyscraper to the roof of another, been shot at by a helicopter gunship on the roof of the Tokyo Tower, fallen out of and jumped out of a helicopter onto a blimp, and more. His secret identity should have been blown by now from the things other people saw him do alone.
- The capabilities of his gadgets are always pushed to their logical limit, and then one inch further, so that between the rocket skateboard, the super-kicking shoes, and the bungee suspenders, Conan can practically fly in every movie. In the main series, any single facet of what's combined to achieve this would make the characters present suspicious. In the movies, such concerns are usually completely overtaken by a cascade of insanely high-stakes situations and awesome.
- Events that take place in the movies may be referenced in other movies, but are never brought up in the TV series. Also, the movies only rarely mention events from the TV series except in general terms. (An exception being the 13th movie, Raven Chaser, which built heavily on earlier Black Organization arcs.)
- Two more points are also disputed by the fandom: should the backstory between Kogoro and Eri in the second movie be considered canon? And should Noah's Ark be listed under the people who knew the truth?
- Maison Ikkoku: The Movie takes place pretty much in the space of time covered by the commercial break in the last episode of the TV anime series, and has all the voice actors from the TV anime — except that it takes place in the Alternate Continuity of the manga instead of the anime.
- YuYu Hakusho: The Movie gave some mild character introduction and didn't have any impact on the main plot. Which was a good thing for anime fans outside Japan, the movie was licensed a few years before the actual TV series.
- Naruto has had ten feature films so far, each taking place sometime during the TV adaptation's storyline.
- Ninja Clash in the Land of Snow (the first movie) happens after Naruto learns Rasengan and before Sasuke's defection, somewhere around the "Land of Tea" filler arc. The other two pre-Time Skip movies can be neatly placed within the infamous 80-week filler season with no difficulty.
- The first Shippuden movie is most likely set after the "Rescue Gaara arc", the second after the "Sasuke and Sai" arc, and the third following the "Hidan and Kakuzu" arc.
- The fourth Shippuden film, The Lost Tower, is set sometime in between Jiraiya's death and Pain's attack on Konoha, with the former even being mentioned by Naruto, despite the fact that in canon Naruto immediately left to train with the toads on Mount Myouboku after learning of Jiraiya's death, and didn't come back to Konoha until Pain's attack had already begun. A flashback also contains various minor continuity errors.
- The fifth Shippuden film, Blood Prison, is implied to take place after the Turtle Island arc and before the Fourth Shinobi World War arc, given that Naruto already knows Killer Bee. However, canonically speaking, Naruto and Bee don't leave the island until the Fourth Shinobi World War is well underway, making the events of the film impossible to fit into the manga's timeline. There are a number of other continuity errors as well, such as A still having both his hands.
- The ninth overall film, Road to Ninja, also takes place in the same timeframe as Blood Prison, after the Turtle Island arc and before the Fourth Shinobi World War arc, because Naruto has already "met" his mother Kushina, all of Akatsuki except for Tobi and Zetsu have been defeated, and Tobi hasn't yet gotten his Rinnegan or changed into his new uniform. Again, the film doesn't fit into the canon timeline because it depicts Naruto in Konoha, even though the Fourth Shinobi World War begins while Naruto is still on Turtle Island and Naruto then heads directly to the battlefield without making a stop at Konoha.
- The tenth overall film, The Last, is so far the only one in the franchise to explicitly be in continuity with the original manga, since it's meant to be the bridge between the penultimate chapter and the Distant Finale, showing how, among other things, Naruto and Hinata, who are Happily Married in the end, actually fell in love.
- The original Fist of the North Star movie (the animated one, not the Live-Action Adaptation) roughly qualifies, as it was made while the manga and TV series were both still running in Japan. It doesn't actually introduce any new characters to the story though, but instead retells key events from the first nine or ten collected volumes of the original manga and then changes the order of events and how they transpire in order to tell a more condensed storyline. For example, in the original manga and TV series, Kenshiro and Rei fought against the Fang King in order to save Rei's sister, whereas in the movie the Fang King and his clan are challenged by Raoh and his army for possession of their territory instead.
- Macross Frontier got a movie started after the series ended, but even this trope and Alternate Continuity couldn't fit everything into only a single movie, so they made two: The False Songstress and The Wings of Goodbye.
- The production team for the original Super Dimension Fortress Macross decided not to go the Compilation Movie route for the inevitable theatrical release (a'la Gundam and Yamato) and instead produced a movie (Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Do You Remember Love?) that is in a parallel continuity with the TV series, presenting basically the same events as the series, but often in new ways. Word of God says that DYRL? is itself a movie within the Macross universe, and that the differences between the two are for dramatic purposesnote
- Digimon is a bit complicated.
- Digimon Adventure, the first season, has two movies. The first movie actually averts this trope, as it's both a Prequel and was released before the first season aired. The second film was released while the first season was airing. However, it explicitly takes place after the events of Adventure and is referred to in the second season...
- Digimon Adventure 02 also had two movies released while it was airing. The franchise's third movie is definitely non-canon, but there was an attempt to place it into canon with a Drama CD. The franchise's fourth movie was released during the last few episodes of Adventure 02. It takes place after the events of the season (but before the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue) and acts as a direct sequel to the second Adventure movie. Obviously it was never referenced in canon, but nothing has ever said it wasn't canon either. Except for some pretty glaring Continuity Snarls that make it a strong case for this trope. In English speaking countries, the first three movies were dubbed and released together as a Compilation Movie entitled Digmon: The Movie. The dub of Adventure 02 also added references to the third movie, which caused huge problems. Izzy mentions Willis in the show but we never see him among the International Digidestined when they all go to the Digital World to help against Malo Myotismon, if the events are canon according to the dub then why do Patamon and Gatomon never use their Mega forms and why does Davis never use the Golden Digiegg which powers exceeds Mega-level Digimon ?(the explanation for its absence in show is justified by it reverting to the crest of Kindness.
- Again, Digimon Tamers had two movies released while it was airing. The franchise's fifth movie is referenced in the anime proper when one of it's characters appear in the anime. The franchise's sixth movie takes place after the end of the season, but it's canonicity has been debated as certain members of the anime's staff were not involved in the movie's creation. Both movies were dubbed in English well after the Tamers dub ended.
- The Digimon Frontier movie is non-serial but it doesn't actually contradict canon in any way. Again, it was also dubbed into English after the series aired.
- Digimon X-Evolution, the franchise's eighth movie, is in it's own canon and is based off the Digimon Chronicle setting (which didn't have a consistent canon to begin with).
- Finally, the Digimon Savers movie is non-canon.
- A theatrical film for Trigun (titled Trigun:Badlands Rumble) was released about a decade after the anime series, apparently taking place sometime during the more light-hearted portion of the series, and is basically a side story (much like the earlier episodes) about Vash and friends encountering a fearsome bandit in an Adventure Town.
- According to the Pretty Cure trope page "most seasons have at least one movie that makes no canonical sense (most of the time) but can't be thrown out because of something really awesome happening in it.
- There are usually two per year: one is a mega-crossover involving every Precure that has ever appeared against a new Big Bad, who is a rather impersonal manifestation of badness not strongly tied to any of the existing continuities. Another is a movie that features only the characters of that year's Precure series, and the plot is usually strongly tied to those characters. New characters introduced in either movie won't appear in that year's TV series, except as a blink-and-you-miss-it cameo (such as Cure Angie from the Heartcatch movie).
- The Fairy Tail movie Phoenix Priestess seems to fit somewhere between the Grand Magic Games arc and the Tartaros arc, ignoring the minor detail of Elfman somehow losing all his bulk from the training he did well beforehand. Seeing how the GMG arc was still ongoing when the movie debuted, however, fans debated how the movie fit in the series at the time because the movie featured the guild back in their old guildhall during the Post-Time Skip setting, which hadn't happened yet in the manga.
- Babylon 5:
- The Made-for-TV Movie Thirdspace aired partway through the fifth season, is set during the fourth season after the end of the Shadow War arc but before the beginning of the civil war arc. However, if the movie is assumed to be part of the continuity, then the movie can only occur between "The Illusion of Truth" and "Atonement", and only if Zack's uniform fitting in "Atonement" is taken to actually be a re-fitting, because that would be the only point at which the right characters are on the station and wearing the correct uniforms.
- Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Movie was an example of a Non-Serial Movie with a Big Budget Beef-Up to go along with it; specifically, all of the cheap sets and spandex costumes (not to mention the stock footage) were replaced with expensive, high quality sets and plasticized, form-fitting body armor, respectively. The film's plot was also a change from the series' norm at the time. The movie's lead villain, Ivan Ooze, was never seen in the series either. The movie is not part of the series canon, since it basically tells the same story as the third-season premiere multiparter (Rangers lose old powers, must earn new ninja-based powers), but with major changes (for instance, the Rangers get their ninja powers from the scantily clad Dulcea of the planet Phaedos rather than the robotic Ninjor, and the new villain is Ivan Ooze rather than Master Vile).
- The Power Rangers Turbo movie was firmly in continuity, though, and you'd have a hard time figuring out what the heck was going on in the series without it. A lot of people were probably confused if they waited for it to hit Blockbuster, figuring that, as with the first, you didn't have to see it.
- Most Heisei era Kamen Rider series have had a Non-Serial Movie. There are exceptions, however.
- Agito: Project G4 isn't an Alternate Continuity, though it's difficult to place within the TV series continuity, leaving it up to Fanon to shoehorn the movie in.
- Ryuki: Both the movie and TV special present wildly contradictory events (and the TV special in fact had two alternate endings, which viewers could vote for via telephone). However, every version of events is considered canon since Word of God revealed that Shiro Kanzaki repeatedly hit the Reset Button trying to Set Right What Once Went Wrong; each version of the story happened in some timeline, but the TV series is the final iteration since he was convinced to give up.
- Faiz and Blade's movies are Alternate Continuity epilogues based on the question "What If? the series ended differently?".
- Hibiki: A particularly odd case. It shows Hibiki gaining his Sword of Plot Advancement and Super Mode in a different way than in the TV series; however, every part of the movie except this is meant to be canon.
- Kabuto: God Speed Love is an Alternate Universe version of the TV series where the Shibuya meteor was even worse and reduced the world to a post-apocalyptic wasteland; it ends with Hyper Kabuto altering history by breaking part of the meteor, lessening the impact and bringing the TV series into existence through the Timey-Wimey Ball.
- Den-O: The show actually incorporates the first movie into the storyline such that the movie forms the fourth of a five-part Story Arc, making it an aversion. The second and third movies play the trope straight, due to the unexplained presence of Zeronos and no continuity between them. It gets even more confusing with the fourth movie and the 2010 trilogy, which may or may not be canon to the television series (their setting is in fact the Den-O Alternate Universe visited by Kamen Rider Decade, thus their canonicity is definite to Decade but questionable to the main Den-O universe; the Den-O AU was the least different of the Decade AUs, so it's possible they're one and the same).
- Kiva: King of Demon World Castle outright contradicts the show's continuity in so many ways that it's impossible for it to be placed in the show's timeline.
- Decade: The first film is canon to the series, but placing it is somewhat difficult as the show has no evident moment bridging to it in a series where the end of each episode sets up the next; it seemed non-canon at first because of the clear lack of anywhere it could fit. The second film serves as Decade's Grand Finale; it also confirms the first movie's canonicity through the presence of Dr. Shinigami, referencing the previous films events, as the Big Bad. Cho Den-O Trilogy: Episode Yellow and Kamen Rider × Super Sentai: Super Hero Taisen are both set after the series, at which point the protagonists have nothing more to do than travelling across the multiverse, making Decade's adventures henceforth self-contained episodic affairs.
- Double: Averted for all films. Scenes from Begins Night appear in the first episode as part of a Cold Open, and it tells part of the backstory in Flash Back, but the actual present-day events seem to take place between episodes 14 and 15 due to the movie's story being Foreshadowed in 13-14 and the presence of the Fang Memory in 15. Forever A to Z/The Gaia Memories of Fate takes place quite pointedly between episodes 44 and 45, since the former ends with the T2 Gaia Memories being transported, and the latter begins with Futo Tower being repaired following the final battle between Double and Eternal. Movie War Core serves as the backstory of Posthumous Character Kamen Rider Skull; however, being canon to Double ends up causing problems for...
- OOO: Movie War Core has many contradictions with the show. It could have been easily written off as a non-serial movie if it weren't for Double's canonical involvement above. Let's Go Kamen Riders is flat-out non-canon because the time travel chaos ends up creating about quite a few dystopian alternate timelines without snapping back to the original, canon OOO timeline after the Big Bad is killed. On the other hand, 21 Core Medals, though stated to be in canon, is hard to place - also, the Greeed loan Eiji some of their Medals to fight the Big Bad and there's never any indication that he returned them - and Movie War Megamax (its crossover with Kamen Rider Fourze) is set after the series, with Ankh dead and the non-existence of the Core Medals... and how both those things might change.
- Fourze: Averted in Megamax, which introduced Rocket States and the Virgo Zodiarts, and first revealed that Gamou is working with Foundation X, all of which are quite important to the series. Time will tell with Movie Wars Ultimatum: for the Fourze gang, it takes place five years post-series and because of the film's events, the next major appearances of Fourze (barring Alternate Universe incarnations, as is the case with Kamen Rider Gaim's Movie Wars) must take place between Fourze proper and Ultimatum; we'll see if an entry with more canonical weight contradicts it five years after the series has aired, by which point it's unlikely we'll be seeing much of Fourze. (So far, Kamen Rider × Super Sentai × Space Sheriff: Super Hero Taisen Z respects Fourze's post-series continuity via some dialogue courtesy of a time-travelling Ultimatum character).
- Wizard: Seemingly played straight for all his movies, as there aren't any references to events or concepts from Movie Wars Ultimatum or Wizard in Magic Land in the series proper. But in Fateful Sengoku Movie Battle, Wizard has the Eleventh Hour Super Power ring that he pulled out of nowhere in Magic Land. However, there is a possible humorous Continuity Nod to Ultimatum in Wizard's Hyper Battle DVD: in Ultimatum, Haruto went into an unknown person's Underworld, fell for the beautiful young woman he met there, and was utterly horrified when it turned out to be the Donut Shop Owner (who says he was mistaken for a girl when he was younger); in the Hyper Battle DVD, when Haruto sees that the Owner has fallen into despair, his immediate response is Screw This, I'm Outta Here!, which could be attributed to the events of the film.
- Gaim: The series is pretty weird about this. To begin with, Fateful Sengoku Movie Battle is never referenced in Gaim's series... but it does reference his Early-Bird Cameo in the last two episodes of Wizard. (In fact, Wizard reclaims a ring that he gave away in those episodes). As for the others, Gaim has a habit of interrupting it's plot to show a movie tie-in episode that is never brought up again. For example, after Heisei Rider Vs Showa Rider Kamen Rider Wars Featuring Super Sentai premiered, Gaim got a crossover special with Ressha Sentai Tokkyuger that tied into the movie. Neither the movie nor the special are ever brought up in Gaim's series. Then there's The Great Soccer Match! The Golden Fruit Cup!. It seems to take place in an Alternate Continuity... but there's a tie-in episode where one of the characters from the main series is sent to the movie's world, and the final episode features the Big Bad of the movie as its stand alone antagonist. His memory seems to be altered by the end so The Golden Fruit Cup can stay out of continuity's way. Basically, the rule of thumb is to ignore any Gaim material not written, in whole or in part, by Gen Urobuchi.
- The Gaim movies also use the series' premise of alternate dimensions existing and many having to go through the threat of Helheim to allow the movie madness to stay out of the way of the tightly plotted series. If you're not inclined to watch the movies, you can just know that between episode x and y, they went through a Crack to somewhere in the multiverse, did stuff that won't matter to Earth's invasion by Helheim, and came back. At least, until the last Rider turns out to be Kogane possessing a woman.
- Also, the Movie Wars films in general have many similar canon elements, not the least of which is the previous Rider recognizing the current one due to his Early-Bird Cameo in the previous Rider's Summer movie. There are also a number of Continuity Nods; in Movie Wars Core, when Eiji saves Akiko from some falling debris, Shotaro says "That's another one I owe you, OOO", referring to Eiji's cameo in Forever A to Z; later in Movie Wars Megamax, when Shotaro offers to hold off Foundation X's baddies and Eiji protests, Shotaro responds that he's finally repaying the debts he owes Eiji for all his help. Additionally, the previous Rider's portion of a Movie Wars film is generally considered canon, due to its being a Post-Script Story or in some cases (like Decade's) the story's Grand Finale. However, the current rider's portion may or may not be referenced.
- Super Sentai movies are different - they're hard to place, seldom reference important show plot points and seldom have their important plot points referenced in the show, but are not usually hugely contradictory, unlike the turn-of-the-century Kamen Rider movies that were What If? stories.
- Bakuryuu Sentai Abaranger - The evil Palette Swap mecha from the movie makes a brief appearance near the end of the series. There's also a Running Gag of mentioning Abarangers's curry house in teamups if that teamup doesn't have at least one Abaranger character appearingnote , suggesting every Sentai succeeding the Abarangers has at least someone who has it as a favorite hangout; you won't see evidence of this in their series.
- Engine Sentai Go-onger's, however, has Samurai World mentioned often, and Retsutaka and Engine Daishogun return.
- Strangely, in Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger, Tricondor is recognized by the team because of the movie's events, but there doesn't seem to be any reason for Oboro to have made a machine that looks exactly like the first Tricondor.
- The two Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger team-up movies are canon. The first one (with Tensou Sentai Goseiger), set between episodes 16 and 17, sees the Gokaigers unlocking 11 Ranger powers at once and and while the events of the second one (with Space Sheriff Gavan) are not referenced in the show itself, the Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters Early-Bird Cameo scene is pretty much a foreshadowing of Basco's final and most nefarious move against the Gokaigers in episodes 47/48, setting the movie before that two-parter.
- Gokaiger also includes numerous references to previous movies, with identical relatives of previous team-up villains appearing.
- Gokaiger also makes the Samurai Sentai Shinkenger and Tensou Sentai Goseiger movie canon to itself, revisiting the events in episode 40.
- At first it seems like the Juken Sentai Gekiranger movie was this with its special combination "Geki Rin Tohja," a mecha formation made from the show's first mecha and the 2 mechs of the "evil" Rin Juken users Rio and Mele but in episode 33, when the first 3 Gekirangers along with Rio and Mele get stuck in the past, they have to fight a giant monster; Rio suggests using Geki Rin Tohja, making the movie canon. Then later they use Geki Rin Tohja Wolf.
- Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger's movies don't get mentioned in the series, but do mention each other — an Algolian (the summer movie villains) is involved in the Dekaranger vs. Magiranger teamup.
- On the case of Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters, Ene-tan and the Megazord Epsilon from the summer movie and the Megazord Omega from the Gokaiger team-up returned in the show after their movie debuts.
- The events of Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger's summer movie are shown in flashback in episode 29 of the series and later explicitly followed up on in episode 39.
- The two Dalek films made in the 1960s, Dr. Who and the Daleks and Daleks' Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D. are completely out of continuity with the TV show Doctor Who, and deliberately so: the cast is completely different, the lead is a human scientist called Who, and only the basic design of the Daleks is carried over. The fact that the plots were adaptations of TV stories cements their non-canon status. Averted with the 1996 film, which was intended to be a bridge between the 1963-89 run and a planned revival which wound up in Development Hell for various reasons until the BBC renewed the series in 2005, and is as canon inasmuch as Doctor Who has a canon (the Eighth Doctor occasionally makes appearances in flashbacks).
- The '96 movie is sort of a Broad Strokes deal: The two biggest points that stick in fans' craw aren't carried over to the new series - the Doctor kissing a girl and meaning it is quietly ignored, and one season finale states that a Time Lord Half-Human Hybrid is impossible, which blows "I'm half human on my mother's side" right out of the water. However, we have seen the Eighth Doctor in flashbacks, and when the Master returned, we (uncharacteristically, actually) got a real explanation for his resurrection (which of course would be unneeded if he was last seen alive.) In a preview web episode for the 50th Anniversary, the Eighth Doctor not only returns, but mentions his companions from the audio series, confirming not only his canonicity, but at least some of his audio adventures as well.
- Ben 10 and it's sequel got live action films, both do not take place within the animated show's continuity. In the second one, for example, Grandpa Max is with the gang despite being abducted in the series, the team had a cool underground base that didn't appeared in the cartoon, Julie does not exist, etc. They are still considered "Canon" as the events of the film has repercussions in later episodes.
- The cartoon series eventually introduced The Multiverse, and depicted "Race Against Time" as having happened in another world. The What If? episodes of the original cartoon also apparently all happened somewhere.
- TV Tome Adventures: The Movie is actually a subversion of this. It has all the hallmarks of a Non-Serial Movie: The heroes fight against Filler Villains, it has no effect on the plot, the events are (seemingly) never mentioned again, etc. Unlike most Non-Serial Movies, things such as Giga attacking them, references to the X-Games, and Zetto still running around doing whatever he wants instead of being under arrest make it clear when it takes place: right between the X-Games and Infiltration Arcs. There is, however, one far more important difference: The Filler Villain is defeated by Alpha and Zetto Fusing together to form "Alphazet." This is never mentioned again... Until the Season 3 Finale where, with no warning whatsoever, Alpha and Zetto do it again to save the day. Oh, and that Filler Villain? Turns out that he was (Probably) one of the super-intelligent viruses made by the Big Bad.