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Genre Mashup / Anime & Manga

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Examples of Genre Mashup in Anime & Manga. A lot of 1990s anime were genre mashups!


  • Adolf: Spanning approximately half a century, from the Berlin Olympics to the then-present of The Eighties, focusing primarily on the years leading up to World War Two, it is by turns a Coming-of-Age Story, Spy Fiction, Romance and a fairly well-done Author Tract about the evils of war and racism.
  • Again!! is a school sports club comedy drama, with time-traveling.
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  • Ah! My Goddess. When it launched, it was a Slice of Life Romantic Comedy involving magical beings, having harem antics without being a Harem Series, and occasionally putting the entire Slice of Life concept on the shelf to go save the world from fantasy villains. Now, it's recognized as the Trope Maker for the Magical Girlfriend, but the elements of fantasy adventure are still far more strongly present than in your average Magical Girlfriend series.
  • Baccano!: The Mafia + Immortality + Alchemy by way of Quentin Tarantino, done by a Japanese author.
    • Its Spiritual Successor Durarara!! takes Genre Busting even further by featuring students, gangs, mythology, mad scientists, Japanese horror and Anonymous, just to name a few. It seems on the surface to primarily be a sort of mystery/thriller with a bit of action thrown in, but it's also got a not-insignificant amount of slice-of-life often by way of... interesting characters (like an Irish faerie who lives in a high-class Tokyo apartment), but in a way the best single descriptor for it might actually be a romance deconstruction. With some reconstruction later on. And not in any way that one would normally think of a romance being.
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  • Bakemonogatari is a comed- well, a bit, maybe, but it's mainly an action... Hang on, there's not much of that either. Okay, so it's a harem... no, not quite. Romance...? Well, the main character has a love interest, but that's not the focus of the show. If there were a genre for it, it would have to be called "Dialogue, Mind Screw, and SHAFT". The entire show is based in folklore and ghost stories, too.
  • Berserk is a Dark Fantasy series with Cosmic Horror Story undertones, but The Golden Age Arc — several volumes long flashback in the middle of the series — is a Low Fantasy that's very close to Historical Fantasy, while still having some small elements of Dark Fantasy, with the main character having escaped from Heroic Fantasy.
  • The Big O is a Film Noir, Science Fiction, Giant Mecha, Detective story, Psychological mind-screw with Batman overtones.
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  • Cat Planet Cuties About half fairly standard ecchi romance/comedy. The other half is a thriller.
  • CLANNAD: Word of God states that the main theme is family. However, as the plot progresses, we see slice of life and romance moving into the story, not to mention that Tomoya's Unwanted Harem become True Companions. Fuko's arc borders on fantasy, but the second season takes the cake and eats it with Ushio turning out to be the Girl in the Illusionary World, Tomoya being the Garbage Doll, thus firmly establishing the fantasy aspect of the show. Also, Light Orbs. Need I say more? Mind screw...for the viewer at least?
  • Code Geass is one half high school drama, and another half a story about liberating Japan from an Evil Empire. Oh, and Applied Phlebotinum, Alternate History, Magical Eyes, Humongous Mecha, and loads of Fanservice are thrown into the mix.
  • Cowboy Bebop. Noir? Check. Western? Check. Sci-Fi? Check. Cyberpunk? Check. All set to a heady jazz soundtrack. No wonder this is the entry-level anime series and what put [adult swim] on the map.
    • Also, according to the Alan Moore quote that currently heads this page, Cowboy Bebop is life.
      Shinichiro Watanabe: The work, which becomes new genre itself, will be called ... Cowboy Bebop.
    • Its spiritual sequel Samurai Champloo is set in feudal Japan and melds samurai action with elements of humorous Slice of Life and adventure, along with bizarre anachronisms like graffiti artists, breakdancing, rap, and baseball.
    • And after that is Space Dandy, a Raygun Gothic sci-fi action-comedy with heavy disco and funk themes and Space Opera elements going on in the background.
  • Death Note is a grounded, realistic Psychological Thriller with Dark Fantasy elements, specifically the titular Death Note and the shinigami.
  • Detective Conan: Pretty much every genre except for fantasy has been covered during the manga's run. There's been everything from romance to Body Horror to wrestling. The Spin-Off Magic Kaito, which is canonically in the same world, actually does have magic. Both real and fake magic, so the world as a whole does have fantasy elements.
  • The only thing you can really pin down about Excel Saga is that it's a comedy, since the series switches genres every episode. Even the comedy part isn't completely consistent, since one episode is played completely straight (but then again, that's the joke.)
    • The anime and manga are also inconsistent with each other on what kind of comedy it is. The anime is more of a parody of...everything (including itself,) while the manga starts out as a commentary on post-recession Japan with Slice of Life elements, and then slowly starts introducing more sci-fi and deconstructive elements, and a more serious story.
  • Senki Zesshou Symphogear is a music themed, Science Fantasy, Magical Girl anime.
  • Figure 17 Tsubasa & Hikaru Slice of Life, Magical Girl, Sci-fi, Horror (dude gets impaled in the second episode, framed alongside such stories like performing a school play written by one of the children). Contains a lot of drama that would alienate children of the protagonist's age yet still deals, very realistically (despite the aliens), with issues a child could struggle with.
  • The Garden of Sinners is a mix of romance, horror, Urban Fantasy, murder mystery, and action.
  • Gintama. Mostly comedic... that's it. It's historical, Sci-fi, human drama, gag series.
  • Gunbuster is a Coming of Age Sport Super-Real Robot Military Science Fiction Space Opera.
  • Harem Royale - When the Game Ends - is a supernatural high school romantic comedy that includes horror (the romantic comedy is enforced by a literal demon, and the girls who don't win the male lead's heart will be sent to hell).
  • Haruhi Suzumiya is a little bit of sci-fi, comedy, mystery, romance, and slice of life in a highschool setting.
  • Hell Girl. A fusion of suspense, drama and horror, with some slice of life and social commentary about the least appealing aspects of the Japanese society thrown in for good measure. The third season is full of Mind Screw as well.
  • While Hunter × Hunter is primarily a shonen action series, (albeit with massive Deconstructor Fleet overtones,) there are plenty of non-shonen action things going on, like when Gon and Killua spent an entire arc auctioneering, or when they went to Greed Island and the series suddenly became an MMORPG.
  • Is This a Zombie?: Magical Girl Action Horror Thriller Harem Comedy. With ninja (plural).
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure really likes to hop from one genre to another with every arc, going from globe-trotting adventure story to detective story, to gangster story, to prison story, to racing story. Even the fight scenes involving Stands often get more cerebral than your typical action scenes, and feel more like mysteries than straight up fights.
  • Kaguya-sama: Love is War is a high school romantic comedy with psychological thriller elements.
  • Kaiju Girl Caramelise is a fairly typical shojo romance story, except that the girl occasionally turns into a Kaiju and prompts the same kind of action seen in Kaiju movies.
  • Magical Project S started as a parody of magical girls, but then becomes an indecisive parody that sometimes took its elements seriously. Then it explored psychological and deep themes, then explored the concept of friendship. Afterward it went to romance.
  • My Lovely Ghost Kana - A Slice of Life Porn with Plot love story that puts the titular Magical Girlfriend's suicide at the beginning, featuring characters who all have Dark And Troubled Pasts that are utterly ignored as the story deconstructs the angst right the hell out of them, while celebrating The Power of Love without a trace of narm. And it's better than it sounds. What.
  • Planetes is hard sci-fi, with plenty of drama, strong themes on relationship building, and a few comedy bits to relax the audience. Some people just agreed upon it to be a slice-of-life story, but In Space!
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica - Deconstruction of Magical Girl genre mixed with a lot of drama and Cosmic Horror Story.
  • It's a Super Sentai show, it's a Magical Girl show, it's a psychological deconstruction and reconstruction of the superhero genre! It's Samurai Flamenco! As well as taking elements from several Japanese super hero genres, this anime has elements of Psychological Horror, Romance, Slice of Life, a Buddy Cop Show, and more. The plot is so complex and surprising that it is more like getting four different shows for the price of one.
  • Sgt. Frog is a sci-fi comedy which also mixes in, among other things, Action-Adventure, drama, fantasy, sports, Sentai, Romantic Comedy, Giant Mecha, J-Horror, Film Noir, Slice of Life, and more.
  • Shakugan no Shana: Is it martial-arts fantasy? Or horror? Or school drama? Or romance? One episode, they are having an epic sword fight with a giant bear and using fire powers. The very next, they are relaxing by the pool outside school, and having a rivalry of another sort.
  • Have fun listing Slayers as a single genre of anime. Set in a fantasy world, it includes comedy, action, and large amounts of drama...often into a single episode!
  • Star Driver. It's a mecha show! No, it's a romantic slice of life comedy! Wait wait, it's a Magical Girl series except starring a Bishounen! No, I was wrong, it's a Mind Screw! Whatever it is, it's all very FABULOUS.
  • Enter! The Mysterious Pretty Cure from Suite Pretty Cure ♪'s soundtrack starts off with a pipe organ, twinkles, and an Ethereal Choir for a church-like feeling. Then, it moves into a techno/metal riff as the pipe organ becomes low toned. After that, a bright hard rock guitar solo steps in. The song then goes back into its heavy metal riff again and ends on that note.
  • Sword Art Online is a love story in a sci-fi setting, with harem, medieval fantasy, mythology, detective fiction and post-apocalypse in between.
  • On its musical side, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann has the legendary song Libra Me From Hell which is the musical embodiment of the show by fusing rap and opera.
  • Tiger & Bunny - Affectionate and Deconstructive Parody of Super Hero genre combined with Buddy Cop Show and Slice of Life.
  • Un-Go - Post Cyber Punk detective drama with supernatural elements throw in for good measure.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, starts off as a routine Gaming and Sports Anime and Manga that gradually morphs into a full-blown Mind Screw, with a chaser of psychological exploration and numerous Take Thats at shonen anime tropes and concepts from its franchise's original series.
  • Yuusha Gojo Kumiai Kouryuugata Keijiban is a multi-dimensional message board for all kinds of heroes, with each chapter depicting a different thread posted by a hero seeking help or sharing their experiences. Not only is the manga itself very unique, but it also brings up unique types of heroes in-universe. For example, one hero is a king who managed to fight off corruption in his kingdom; another hero is an Earthling who can't decide if he wants to leave his job to jump into the magic summoning circle for the 24th time.

Examples from Genre-Busting not yet sorted:

  • There's an entire genre where every notable show and game has done this: Mons. The Trope Codifier and Trope Namer shows, Pokémon and Digimon, are so fundamentally different that every trope in the genre has been subverted in one incarnation of either series.
    • Mons are analogous to animals: They are manmade in Digimon, and we have seen real animals in that series.
    • Your job is to collect mons: Not in Digimon. Okay, Maybe in some of the games, but none of the animes has that.
    • Humans and mons live alongside each other: Digimon only has this at the end of the second season. In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon, humans are a myth.
    • Much happens in urban settlements: Certainly not in Digimon Frontier.
    • The humans use the mons in battle: In Digimon Frontier and Pokémon RéBURST, humans become mons.


How well does it match the trope?

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