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possible to set a movie before the current storyline and have it fit into continuity, this results in the movie feeling outdated due to the character having their situations and abilities being So Last Season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.
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- KeroroGunso 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 ½ 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.
- In fact, official word for the order of episodes places "Big Trouble in Nekonron, China" as occuring between the season six episodes "Ryoga Inherits the Saotome School" and "Tendo Family Goes To The Amusement Park. "Nihao! My Concubine", likewise, occurs in the seventh season of the anime, between the episodes "Gosunkugi's Summer Affair" and "Bring It On! Love As A Cheerleader, Part 1".
- Ranma is an episodic Status Quo Is God series so it doesn't matter much where the movies fit in.
- 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 had 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 was original to anime, and featured Chibi-Usa without having any traces of the breakup subplot that started 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 version).
- Sailor Moon S movie was 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. (Real reason: 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.)
- Andy makes a cameo wearing the clothes he changed into at the end of the episode he appeared in, and the show "Big Shots" is still on, so that puts it in between episodes 22 and 23.
- 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.
- Might as well list them (excluding the 8th and 9th movies as their abridged remakes of the Alabasta and Drum story arcs):
- Th first movie takes place not long after Ussop joins and the crew have recently 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, 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.
- 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
- None of the Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z movies had any precise (or logical) place in the manga's and TV show's canon, but each of them effectively adapted various plot elements of the main story in somewhat general terms, while substituting the villains from the source material with new ones for the movie.
- Dead Zone, the first of the DBZ movies, does fit neatly between the end of the original DB TV series and the beginning of DBZ, if one ignores the minor Continuity Snarl of Goku's friends knowing about Gohan before Raditz's arrival. Garlic Jr. even showed up in a filler arc of the TV series set between the Freeza and Cell arcs. Of course, the "Return of Garlic Jr." story arc also featured Gohan's pet dragon from Tree of Might, a movie that couldn't possibly be set during the TV series due to too many continuity glitches.
- Dragon Ball Z Abridged states that, while Icarus (Gohan's dragon) did appear in the film, Gohan wasn't allowed to keep him because he "wasn't canon."
- Cooler's Revenge, the fifth DBZ film, also fits in between Trunks' arrival and the Android saga. Some consider Gohan's tail as a continuity snarl, but he could have easily regrown his tail and had it subsequently removed in the three years before the Android's arrival. Goku's Super Saiyan transformation is contested, however, as he was able to transform on his own by that point, while in the movie he only transforms after becoming angry. This is usually written off as plot induced stupidity, as Goku waits until the end to turn Super Saiyan in every movie.
- However, his response when Trunks asks him if he can transform into a Super Saiyan at will is "most of the time", implying he didn't have complete control over it yet.
- The official Dragon Ball handbook, Daizenshuu, also places it in continuity with the show.
- "The Return of Cooler", "Super Android 13", and "Broly: The Legendary Super Saiyan" all seem to be able to take place in the 10-day period before the Cell Games; one can easily argue that Goku and Gohan shouldn't be in their normal forms, but one can also argue that they can change back to their normal forms at will.
- Though the first two of these movies show that Gohan isn't able to transform into a Super Saiyan, but one can also argue that Gohan does indeed know how to transform, and that he simply figured it wouldn't be necessary (considering there are at least two other Super Saiyans fighting already).
- Bojack Unbound, the ninth DBZ features Trunks despite Trunks already having gone back to his original timeline after the Cell games.
- He is, however, depicted getting ready to travel back to the native timeline to inform them of his victory in his last canon appearance before being interrupted by Imperfect Cell. However, he has long hair in Bojack and short hair in his last appearance, creating confusion of when exactly he came back.
- Wrath of the Dragon, the last of the DBZ films until 2013, avoided many continuity snarls by being made near the end of the TV series. The film could easily be set shortly after the final battle with Majin Boo. The only real problem is that the film supposedly depicts origin of Future Trunks' sword, despite the fact that the sword in the film (which is later used by Trunks in Dragon Ball GT) is supposed to have magical powers, whereas the sword used by Future Trunks is said to be an ordinary sword.
- That's not all. Unless Future Trunks had his own adventure with Tapion in his own timeline, it's not possible for him to receive the sword that way. The thing about Dragon Ball is it has strange timeline logic, where separate timelines are treated more like parallel universes. In Future Trunks' timeline, all of the Z fighters died and Goten wasn't even born, yet everyone is accounted for in Wrath of the Dragon, because it's based off of the main timeline.
- Interestingly, Trunks and Goten did start a successful swordsmanship school before the events of Dragon Ball Online.
- The only true exceptions that are considered canonical are the Bardock and Future Trunks specials, which were TV specials that aired during the show's time slot in Japan. The Bardock special serves as a prequel to the entire series and Bardock's character was later canonized in a single panel appearance in the manga. The Trunks special on the other hand was adapted from a special chapter of the manga which told Future Trunks' backstory.
- The latest movie Battle of Gods, is the first movie that has been officially confirmed to be part of the series canon.
- 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.
- 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 thought 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. More recently, movie 8 raised a plot point that has been brought back in later episodes. Also, 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.
- Although characters never seem to remember meeting Pokemon in the main series either. Hell, iirc in the Battle Frontier arc there were multiple instances where Ash didn't recognize Pokemon he'd encountered the first time he went through Kanto (including a few he'd owned himself)...
- Note though that most of the "broken canon" scenes in the series were dub-only references or mistakes (although there are a few genuine movie-related errors in the original version), and the biggest reason fans have determined the movies of variable, partial, or not canon is that they are barely ever referenced in the series, and the few references that actually do occur are usually claimed to make the events only partial canon.
- For the most part, at least the movies (and specials) seem to all be in continuity with each other. Mastermind of Mirage Pokemon makes every movie up to that point canon with it (with Pikachu's memories), and the Sinnoh Legendary Pokemon movie trilogy is obviously canon with itself.
- One thing Pokemon's movies have in their favor is that there's a more reasonable way they can actually have happened between episodes. All of Pokemon's movies start with something along the lines of "Ash and the gang are on their adventure to beat the [region name] Pokemon League.", so it's basically a 2 hour long one-shot episode. Furthermore, the characters' teams coincide with the teams as of the episodes around the movies' respective intended release. The specific events may have a questionable canon, but the timing is plausible.
- 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 is 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.
- And speaking of his secret identity, Kaitou Kid knows exactly what it is in the movies, whereas the TV series and manga have always been more cagey about it. Also, Kid and Conan almost always end up working together to some extent in their movie appearances, whereas they're always more at odds everywhere else.
- 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 nine feature films as of 2012, each taking place sometime during the TV series' on-going 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 and fourth following the "Hidan and Kakuzu" arc. The placement of the fifth and sixth are problematic for a number of reasons, chief among them being that, canonically speaking, Naruto doesn't go back to Konoha in between the "Confining the Jinchuuriki" and "Shinobi World War" arcs.
- The fourth movie, 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, but has a Continuity Snarl: in a flashback, it's stated that Jiraiya was the one who created the Rasengan, when it was previously made clear that the Fourth Hokage, Minato Namikaze, was the one who did so.
- 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
- Doraemon has so many of them.
- 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.
- In the USA and Canada, 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. The fourth movie was eventually dubbed into English well after the Adventure 02 dub ended.
- 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 Digmion 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.
- Sometimes Annuals can be of this nature.
- 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 arguably 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-serial 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 a Continuity Nod. Cho Den-O Trilogy: Episode Yellow and Kamen Rider X 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. Double Forever 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 resetting 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, OOO gains a lot of medals he won't have in the series, and Burakawani never appears again - 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.
- On top of that, the Movie Wars movies have their own Continuity Nods. When Eiji shows up in Core, Shotaro says "I still owe you one", referring to his helping out in Double Forever; likewise, in Megamax, Eiji says "It's been a while" when he meets Gentaro, referencing his own cameo in 21 Core Medals, and Shotaro says that Kamen Riders should healp each other out (referencing what Eiji had said to him in Double Forever.) The original Movie Wars, Movie Wars 2010, has Decade recognize Double from his cameo in All Riders vs. Dai-Shocker.
- Fourze: Averted in Megamax, which introduced the Rocket States and first revealed that Gamou is working with Foundation X, both of which appeared in 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 will be 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 (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).
- 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.
- Bakuryuu Sentai Abaranger - The evil Palette Swap mecha from the movie makes a brief appearance near the end of the series. It was even briefer in Power Rangers Dino Thunder, since the movie footage was never used to set this up.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- There's also a Running Gag of mentioning Abaranger's curry house in teamups, suggesting every sentai has at least someone who has it as a favorite hangout; you won't see evidence of this in the series.
- 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.)
- 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.