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Fandom Rivalry / Anime & Manga

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  • Pokémon:
    • The infamous Pokémon vs. Digimon wars. When Yu-Gi-Oh! joined in, it became a Mêlée à Trois. Beyblade and Monster Rancher sometimes get thrown into the mix too. It started when both fandoms claimed that one was a rip-off of the other, as they were out at around the same time. The fighting got to the point that a lot of people decided that anyone who was a fan of both wasn't really a fan on their side. Adding to it, Digimon was an evolution of Virtual Pets; something Pokemon never stepped into until gen 6, save for the heavily forgotten Pokemon Pikachu pedometer, and even then the Pokewalker was just adding onto it. Digimon added fighting to it for an advanced "pet" feel, with more and more tougher forms as they evolved. Pokemon was more or less an evolution alone of any RPG; they only added Evolution in exchange of special skills, weapons, and so on.
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    • Then Chaotic came along and soon this conflict is worthy of an FPS and RTS.
    • Digimon stepped down after Yu-Gi-Oh! came in, seeing as some kids stopped watching it after 02 ended. Also, for a while, there was Yu-Gi-Oh! vs. Duel Masters.
    • Diehard Yu-Gi-Oh! fans tend to regard Magic: The Gathering as their ultimate rival partly because Duel Masters was a spiritual spinoff, and partly because its popularity trounced Yu-Gi-Oh! up and down the stairs of success. Magic players tend to not even notice the hatred of Yu-Gi-Oh fans and their dislike of Magic kicking them out of their popularity in a "But for Me, It Was Tuesday" kind of way.
    • Beckett Magazine played up these rivalries in their covers.
    • In some places it was Pokémon vs. Digimon vs. Dragon Ball.
    • Pokémon vs. Bakugan isn't uncommon. The tension between fans of both series, young and old, is so thick you can cut it with a knife.
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    • Rivalries between fans who prefer the games and fans who prefer the anime and/or manga can get rather heated as well.
    • Pokémon Origins vs The Traditional Anime was big when the former came out. Origins is Truer to the Text, darker than the anime, and is aimed at older fans. There's quite a bit of "Red vs Ash" (who are both based o n Red from the games, by the way) going around.
    • Sometimes it has been the whole rest of the Anime fandom against Pokemon due to feelings that Americans got a wrong impression of anime from it (especially with the 4Kids dub) or that they didn't realize there was other, and better in their view, anime out there.
    • This trope really came into effect once Yo-Kai Watch was released internationally. Western fans were already distasteful prior to the localization due to people calling it "the Pokemon killer" but the tension got worse when the main English dub came out. There are some who prefer the Pokemon anime while others who think the Yokai Watch is of higher quality, especially due to the dubbing quality, Nate being perceived as a better protagonist than the Memetic Loser Ash, and the more risque jokes. The plans to Retool the series for Pokémon Sun and Moon into a school-based series with more focus on comedy and a redesigned art style has further fueled tensions on both sides; with fans of Yo-Kai Watch accusing Pokémon of ripping them off and Pokémon fans blaming Yo-Kai Watch for the rebranding to compete.
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    • Fans of Pokémon vs. fans of Inazuma Eleven. Inazuma Eleven fans label Pokémon as having no progress despite its Long Runner status, Pokémon fans label Inazuma Eleven a shallow and contrived series that is hated for stealing ratings in Japan. It's even more intense when fans outside Japan were factored. Inazuma Eleven is much more popular in Britain due to the footing soccer has there, while Pokémon is one of the Gateway Series to American anime fans, and the US as a whole couldn't care less about soccer. Though it doesn't seem that bad in Japan itself, as there's quite a bit of crossover fanart in Pixiv, and it even has it's own tag: pokeire.
  • There's Pokémon Adventures fans vs Pokémon: Diamond and Pearl Adventure! fans as they're the two most popular manga internationally. The former is on-going while the latter only adapted Pokémon Diamond and Pearl so Adventures has more fans, but that doesn't stop debates on which had the better Sinnoh adaptation.
  • My Hero Academia:
    • A notable one between this title and Black Clover, as both fought to be the new flagship series of Shonen Jump, in the post-Naruto era. Black Clover became a target for Snark Bait due to its overuse of cliches and formulaic storytelling in counterpart to My Hero Academia's more unusual approach to the Shonen genre getting praise. The rivalry grew bitter as the former's fans felt the acknowledgement that the latter work was getting was undeserved, accusing it of being as much of a Cliché Storm.
    • Again with Boruto Next Generation, a work whose fans feel is truly deserving of becoming the new flagships series over My Hero Academia, seeing as it is a sequel of the previous one.
  • Higurashi: When They Cry versus School Days. This one started over the "Nice Boat Incident" involving the murder of a Japanese police chief. While School Days merely got its final episode postponed, there were plans to outright cancel the Higurashi anime, right around the time of the big reveal of the identity of the Big Bad. The media was also much harsher on Higurashi with far fetched logic and outright misrepresentation of the series narrative trying to connect the series to the murder. Needless to say, the fandoms have not gotten along ever since.
  • Dragon Ball Z versus Sailor Moon, what with the shows being complete opposites in every way besides being anime aired in the 90s. Foe Yay is common. The fact that they occupied the same timeslot for quite a while didn't help... Although it is Hilarious in Hindsight, seeing as how the two shows were produced by THE EXACT SAME COMPANY (Toei Animation), and seem to have very similar animation styles.
  • The Dragon Ball Z fandom itself is home to quite a few rivalries and sub-rivalries, including (but not limited to) the Funimation dub vs. The Ocean Group dub, Shunsuke Kikuchi's score vs. Bruce Faulconer's, the 1989 anime vs. the 2009 recut, and Dragon Ball GT vs. Dragon Ball Super.
  • For some reason, most likely due to both airing on [adult swim], one of these existed for a while between Fullmetal Alchemist and InuYasha fans.
  • For over the past decade, the most popular shonen battle anime/manga (at present writing) are One Piece, Naruto and Bleach, generally referred as the Big 3. Since they're all the same genre, they have a similar core story structure, so it's entirely possible to enjoy more than one at the same time. However, it's also because of those similarities that fans of all three are at a Mêlée à Trois, but it's surprisingly evened out: for every one fan who likes one and dislikes two, others like two and dislike one, while just as many like all of them equally.
    • Toriko quickly established itself as a powerhouse in Japan. Some said that it was replacing Bleach as a flagship manga for Shonen Jump (in light of Bleach's anime ending), and the author of One Piece himself had declared Toriko as his biggest rival.
    • Occasionally, Fullmetal Alchemist would have been added to the mix, with the debate centering on whether it's too different to compare to the other three, and if not, whether it's the best out of the four. Notably, that discussion is far less heated (especially once FMA ended), if only due to FMA fans having their own Fandom Rivalry within their own base (e.g. the first anime vs the manga and the second anime, as mentioned earlier).
    • In spite of both having their anime version end prematurely, Fairy Tail and Blue Exorcist are creeping their way into the debate, though neither are in the same level as Toriko right now. The argument over Fairy Tail is whether it has the deepest character relationships, or if it's too much of a Fanservice-laden series. The argument over Blue Exorcist is between those who feel it plays around with a lot of supernatural show tropes, and those who think it's a generic shonen with prettier characters. Though since the Fairy Tail anime has resumed, its possible that it might be able to establish itself better.
      • Meanwhile, fans of Fairy Tail and fans of One Piece are often at each others' throats due to the similar art styles and how Fairy Tail's author Hiro Mashima vehemently denies being influenced by anything related to One Piece.
    • Katekyō Hitman Reborn!!, surprisingly, has avoided much of this discussion, but there are still some sections that debate about it all the same. The argument over the series is whether it has great Character Development on the protagonists, or if its Cast Full of Pretty Boys is too much of a shoe-in for female-oriented Fanservice.
  • In Brazil, Saint Seiya vs. Dragon Ball Z. The former was the "breakout anime" of the country and the one which opened the doors for many other to come due its huge success. The latter came some years after and was another huge hit and the comparisons started, as well the fights between the fandoms. Sometimes Yu Yu Hakusho is dragged into the mix (the one who replaced Saint Seiya after so many reruns), although both Brazilian fandoms praise Yuyu despite the disagreements about which one is better and despite Yuyu fandom being very vocal, saying Yuyu Hakusho is way better than Dragon Ball Z and Saint Seiya.
    • Sailor Moon and Saint Seiya were pretty divisive in some parts of Latin America during the time they aired, mostly a shonen-vs-shoujo, or more to the point, boys-vs-girls type of rivalry.
  • Code Geass and Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann had some of this, as the two shows aired only a few days apart and are essentially polar opposites in terms of content, worldview, and "hardness". This is made more amusing with the English voice cast, where they both feature Yuri Lowenthal as a passionate idealist and Johnny Yong Bosch as a calculating, sometimes Necessarily Evil pragmatist, as main cast members whose ideals clash with each other. The difference is that Yuri is the star of Gurren Lagann and Johnny is the star of Code Geass, with the other's ideals being portrayed as misguidedly Lawful Stupid. Super Robot Wars Z2 almost seems to nod and wink to this conflict by having Kamina and Zero dislike each other at first (Kamina thinks Zero is too shady, Lelouch thinks Kamina is just a loud meathead) before they establish a mutual trust and respect by fighting alongside one another.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya vs. K-On!. This stems from the fact that these shows were both adapted by Kyoto Animation, and that the second season and the premiere season of Haruhi and K-On! respectively were both broadcast during the spring of 2009. This is especially since Haruhi returned from a three-year hiatus, and its second season was highly anticipated at that time.
    • If this thread is any indication. To put it simply, the former group was blaming the latter for their lack of a second season of their show. But with Endless Eight rearing its ugly face, guess which side had the final laugh on virtue of not raging hard at itself.
    • Several Haruhi fans are blaming K-On! for the Off-Model way Haruhi has been drawn in (her upper teeth showing and her head being rounded at the edges). Never mind the fact KyoAni first used that style on their CLANNAD adaptation. But it seems everyone forgot about Clannad already... This is because some people don't understand the concept of an Art Director.
    • Mind you, if Haruhi EVER enters a power level battle discussion, it'll be outright chaos as people argue who is stronger out of Haruhi and your favourite mecha that jumped out of Pandora's box.
    • To muddle things even more, many Haruhi fans jump to the movie as an argument. Given the praise of the movie, many turn around and then argue that K-On! is to blame for ruining the 2nd Season and that it would have been amazing had time not needed to be split.
    • Also, a lot of Mecha and Toku fans absolutely despise K-On! (and to a lesser extent, Lucky Star and Haruhi) due to the decline in mecha series and the ensuing market saturation of series about four schoolgirls engaging in zany hijinks designed to be as Moe as possible.
  • Macross versus Robotech: Many Macross fans look at Robotech as a bastardized Americanization. Some Robotech fans consider the addition of Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross and Genesis Climber MOSPEADA to the original Super Dimension Fortress Macross storyline to improve all three series, or at least prefer them to the official Macross sequels. The Robotech fandom is also split between people who enjoyed the licensed RPG, comic book adaptations, or novelizations, and the "purists" who treated all the spin-off material as bastardizations.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion vs. RahXephon: Fans of the former accuse the latter of copying many elements from their series (as well as End of Evangelion to a lesser extent) while fans of the latter counter by saying theirs is superior critically. It did not help either side that the plots for both anime franchises were very tightly merged together in Super Robot Wars MX.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica:
    • Puella Magi Madoka Magica vs. Infinite Stratos for domination of the winter 2011 anime season. IS fans insist that Madoka is pretentious while Madoka fans consider IS to be another stupid generic harem show.
    • Speaking of Madoka, looks like Nanoha fans are gearing up for a showdown about being dethroned as the most popular non-standard magical girl series.
    • Madoka fans also do heated battle with fans of classic magical girl shows like Sailor Moon, Cardcaptor Sakura, and Pretty Cure due to the vastly differing tones. Madoka fans often dislike classic magical girl series for being feminine or "boring", while classic fans hate how Darker and Edgier Madoka is and often believe that it's ruining the genre by making series actually aimed at little girls passe.
    • There is one with the fanbase of Revolutionary Girl Utena over which is the better Deconstruction of the genre, if Madoka is considered a deconstruction at all.
    • The more recent Happiness Charge Pretty Cure has gotten a lot of ire from the Madoka fandom as they perceive the series to be a Take That! towards them as the characters can achieve their dreams without being punished for it, act selflessly for others without expecting to benefit from it, etc.
    • Princess Tutu is another Magical Girl deconstruction who's fans occasionally butt heads with Madoka's fans, to the point that it's been said that if one were to have watched Tutu first, they would have hated Madoka.
    • Fans of the character Madoka have rivaled Haruhi fans over which one is the "real" God figure.
    • Madoka is often compared to Neon Genesis Evangelion. However, on /a/, it's probably best to keep Madoka fans and Evangelion fans at least five miles apart, especially with the movies for both franchises playing in late 2012. Needless to say, both argue over which is the better Darker and Edgier Deconstructor Fleet series.
    • Madoka and Yuki Yuna is a Hero are often compared and the fandoms butt heads a lot. Both have middle schooler pink haired Magical Girl protagonists and blonde Cool Big Sis characters who break down at least once. With the revelation that Yuki Yuna Is A Hero is just as dark as Madoka, if not worse, the rivalry really got heated. Madoka fans often consider Yuki Yuna a poor ripoff of the series while Yuki Yuna fans often believe it improved on Madoka.
    • The Bokurano and Puella Magi Madoka Magica fandoms get this due to the fact they're both Darker and Edgier deconstructions of counterpart genres (mecha and magical girl). The fact that Madoka had a reference to Bokurano, which means the writers at least know of the series, doesn't help.
  • Having produced some of the biggest, most revolutionary anime blockbusters of Turn of the Millennium and The New '10s, some rivalry has developed between Kyoto Animation and Studio Shaft.
  • Nichijou:
    • For the spring 2011 season, there's a small rivalry between A Channel and Nichijou, especially because of a simple timeslot conflict. A Channel fans cry Screwed by the Network; Nichijou fans call "Follow the Leader" and "bland" for the former.
    • The Nichijou fandom also has a strong rivalry with fans of Daily Lives of High School Boys (Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou), or "Nichibros", over which anime with "Nichijou" in the title is superior. Interestingly enough, Nichijou and Daily Lives also are Friendly Fandoms, with much of one fandom being well-acquainted with and fond of the other fandom's target work.
  • Bokurano and Neon Genesis Evangelion are two of the most popular Darker and Edgier mecha deconstructions. There is a large amount of debate on which series does it best.
  • Fans of Lucky Star, Azumanga Daioh, Hidamari Sketch, and K-On! have been known to be bitter toward each other as they're all comedic Slice of Life series based around young girls. Occasionally Strawberry Marshmallow gets added to the mix.
  • Fans of Casshern Sins vs. fans of Ergo Proxy.
  • Fans of Voltes V vs. fans of Voltron. Particularly infamous in some corners of fandom, where Voltes V proponents will slam Voltron as a rip-off and dedicate fanfiction and videos to the characters being slaughtered or made out to be villains threatening the Voltes V team. Flamewars will spark over which giant robot would wipe the floor with the other, and whether or not the "Voltron" title plagiarized the "Volt" in Voltes (fans who point out that the original title was GoLion tend to get ignored in the shuffle). The arguments all boil down to which Five-Man Band series is the legitimate and superior title, whether or not the latter was plagiarism, and if it's possible for fans of either to enjoy both.
  • In the Spring 2013 Anime season, we had Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet and the (continuing into summer) Attack on Titan, both animated by Production I.G. Some Titan fans blamed Gargantia for "stealing" some of their better animators and money, resulting in some Off-Model scenes and still shots (even though many of those stills originated in the Attack on Titan manga). It didn't help that Titan Episode 6 featured some of the most egregrious stills and "QUALITY", while Gargantia's Episode 6 featured a particularly well-animated bellydancing scene.
  • It happened with Majestic Prince and Valvrave the Liberator in 2013 as both were mecha anime that premiered on the same day despite have nothing in common aside from being in the same genre and being loaded with Fanservice; MJP fans often take it a step further with claims of how well received their anime was while Valvrave was comparatively panned, and in turn the fans of the other show countered that Majestic Prince sold less copies.
    • In recent years Valvrave hatred has squared off against other recent mecha anime including Daimidaler, Dai Shogun, Captain Earth, Gundam: Reconguista in G, Cross Ange, Aquarion EVOL, Eureka Seven AO, M3, and Aldnoah.Zero. In terms of previously aired shows Infinite Ryvius seems to have the most comparisons and hatred, even more than SEED Destiny due to both shows having many of the same tropes.
  • Sword Art Online fans and Log Horizon fans, due to similar premise of their respective series. Out of all rivalries mentioned here, this is easily the most violent of them all, so much so that it's pretty much considered suicidal to refer to both SAO and LH in the same sentence in, well, any anime-specialized website.
  • Blood+ and Blood-C fans remained at each other's throats. The former regarded the latter as the worst in the Blood franchise and Saya Kisaragi as a Failure Heroine who can't save lives while the latter find Saya Otonashi as useless who keeps depending on Haji. There's also those who like the original OVA but regarded the two spinoffs as cheap knockoffs.
  • Fans who stream their anime from licensed services vs. fans who watch fansubbed anime stored locally on their devices. The former often cite supporting the anime industry and having more free space on their devices, while the latter criticize official streaming services for their poor subtitle and translation quality and don't want to have to be connected online to get their fix.
  • Girls und Panzer has an in-universe example between two Sensha-Do styles. The Euro-Asian Classic Style uses panzers in as near mint condition as possible, whereas the American Unlimited Style emphasizes heavy customization.
  • Then there's the idol anime war, which is The iDOLM@STER vs. Love Live! vs. Aikatsu! vs. PriPara. This plays into what Viga of Idols of Anime calls the "Idol Sengoku Jidai" of the 2010s, with spillover rivalries between real life idol groups (Morning Musume, AKB48, Momoiro Clover Z, etc) and anime idol groups.
  • Subbing vs. Dubbing. The debate was even worse during the economic recession around The New '10s, but a lot of this comes from personal preferences. Mind that if you will.
  • Of the major anime distributors, there is the Funimation fans vs. Sentai Filmworks fans. The former will often criticize Sentai Filmworks for their rushed releases, poor dubbing direction, and using niche voice actors while the later will often criticize Funimation for monopolization of the anime industry and dubious marketing strategies and releases (particularly with Kadokawa Pictures titles). Regardless, Funimation vs. Sentai Filmworks is considered to be one of the biggest rivalries of the anime industry (both fanbase and business wise).
  • Digimon has a rather brutal civil war going on. Pick a season, any season, and no matter how you felt about it someone out there will tell you how wrong you are. And Goddramon help you if you so much as mention Digimon Frontier.
  • There's a rivalry between "classic" and "modern" Sports Stories fans. Fans of pre-2000s series like Slam Dunk, Hajime no Ippo, and Ashita no Joe believe that newer series are trying too hard to pander to female fans and aren't focused on sports enough, while fans of newer works like Big Windup!, Haikyuu!!, and Ace of the Diamond often find older series displeasing for the opposite reasons.
  • Spats between fans of the various "-dere" archetypes aren't uncommon. Tsundere versus Yandere are the most common because they're the two most popular. There's also "classic tsundere" versus "modern tsundere" (post-Shana Clone era) fans.
  • Fans of Yaoi Genre versus fans of Yuri Genre. The two often don't intersect and tend to dislike the other. Since despite being similarly melodramatic stories about same-sex relationships on the surface, the two have very different cliches attributed to them that attract different fans.
  • Death Note and Code Geass both came out around the same time, feature bishonen Magnificent Bastard protagonists, and have a lot of Ho Yay. They have a rivalry due to the similarities, though most comparisons are superficial as they're vastly different in genre and story.
  • Aquarion Logos versus Concrete Revolutio: Choujin Gensou. While mostly restrained to /m/, fans of both series clash with each other because they share many similarities: Starting in the latter half of 2015, tokusatsu and mecha anime references are abundant, the main heroine being inept, over the top action scenes, both their fans claiming they are cultural artifacts and meant only for intellectuals, and neither made decent money in sales. Logos fans get accused for having their characters poorly written and favors Monster of the Week episodes while ConRevo fans get accused for having their story chopped up into an incoherent mess and have atrocious music. The only difference is that Anime News Network praised ConRevo for some reason, but due to the site's biases in the Gundam community (see above) mecha fans rarely take ANN seriously these days. Not helped by the fact that Logos' review admitted to not understanding it or even see the first installment of the franchise.
  • Watamote versus Himouto! Umaru-chan. Perhaps because of their similar subject matters (though very different presentations), a fair amount of vitriol gets thrown back and forth between fans of these two series on /a/. The announcement that Umaru will be getting a second season of anime has only made the situation worse.
  • The Asterisk War versus Chivalry of a Failed Knight. Both of these anime aired in Fall 2015 on the exact same day and the exact same time as each other, and contain many similarities between their settings, plot, and characters that they could easily be considered as "twin sister" series. The backlash against each other was to be expected, however, things got really heated when the latter series managed to pull off some things that greatly distinguished it from the former series and light novel adaptations in generalnote , turning it into something rather unique that greatly surprised everyone while The Asterisk War pretty much ended up being a Cliché Storm that everyone else expected it to be. Not helping matters is that The Asterisk War managed to get a second season in addition to its light novels getting localized in English by Yen Press, while Chivalry of a Failed Knight still sits with one season and its light novels are still Japan exclusives.
  • Death Note vs. Liar Game are both psychological thrillers that features Magnificent Bastards facing off against one another in an intricate and increasingly complicated Gambit Pileup. There has been some debates on which series managed to pull-off the intellectual warfare better, whose characters employed the smarter tactics in dealing with their opponents, etc.
  • If an anime has been dubbed in English by two companies(be it a redub or a transfer of rights), chances are there'll be a rivalry. Prominent examples include Pokémon and Sailor Moon.
  • Remember Madoka Magica vs. Infinite Stratos (relatively chaste, melodramatic, serious Tear Jerker vs. raunchy, Love Triangle and Shipping-driven Battle Harem)? Violet Evergarden vs. DARLING in the FRANXX is like that x9001. Despite the two shows having very little in common other than being the most hyped anime of the Winter 2018 Anime Season and being put out by the two arguably most popular anime studios at the moment (2018), arguments between the two fanbases can get very nasty very fast, and not just on /a/. Fan wars in the Chinese anime community got to the point that supposedly a Violet fan reported Darling's heavy Fanservice to the government Moral Guardians, resulting in the show being temporarily banned in the most populous country on Earth! (Darling fans have been little better; often relentlessly trolling threads and articles about Violet.) Darling being a two-cour anime has only dragged out the webfights, which as of this writing (almost two months after Violet ended) show few signs of slowing down.
    • Darling also earned, in it's final episodes, the hatred of fans of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann and Neon Genesis Evangelion for using themes too similar to those two works and ultimately, failing to make them justice, present them in a different manner or become a noteworhy Spiritual Successor to any of these series, leading the fans of the other two series to consider Darling and overhyped, weak and generic anime.
  • Planet With versus Zoids Wild, both anime aired in summer 2018 starring cat themed main mecha and on /m/ one can't go making a thread of one without the other being hurled verbal potshots. Planet With is often slammed for unoriginality and slow pacing while Zoids Wild is often mocked for being childish and fansubs stopping at episode 7.

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