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When starting a new show, TV producers rarely can anticipate how successful it will be with the audience. But let's assume the show got popular, The Firefly Effect didn't hit it, and a row of sequels is inbound. Now, some producers play it simple and stick with season numbering. But the more creative types go for oddly named sequels and thus, confront the fans with a difficult question: how do you refer to the first show, if its title is already used to refer to the entire franchise? Solution: "The Original Series".
Long time fans may well insist on referring to the original work by the franchise's name.
A subtrope of Retronym.
- Enforced by Dragon Ball Z, rendering the previous 153 episodes as just "Dragon Ball". This is one of the more unique examples because the Z suffix was only added so that Toei could market it as if it were a brand new anime seriesnote . As such, most fans tend to call it "the original anime", "the first series" or "OG-DB". This has gotten easier thanks to the introduction of Dragon Ball Super: Dragon Ball Z's popularity in the West meant that "DBZ" was frequently used to refer to the entire franchise, but Super has made it more logical to refer to the whole franchise as "Dragon Ball", thus calling more attention to the original episodes.
- Mobile Suit Gundam, though more often referred to as Gundam 0079 or sometimes First Gundam. The titular Gundam Mobile Suit itself is usually referred to as the "RX-78(-2)", its model number, to distinguish it from other Gundams.
- The Pokémon anime's original series mostly refers to the Kanto arc, with the technical addition of the Orange Islands the Johto arcs simply because they didn't have subtitles. With rare exception, every series is a direct continuation of the previous one, minus Ash dropping his current Pokémon lineup outside of Pikachu.
- Official sources have retroactively named the first season (as in, the one based on Pokémon Red and Blue, which established the first generation of Pokémon games) as Pokémon: Indigo League.
- While the opening theme songs of later seasons are usually referred to by name, the first one is simply called "Pokémon Theme."
- Used straight, then averted, then used straight again by Pretty Cure.
- The first installment is Futari wa Pretty Cure, and the oddly named sequel was Futari wa Pretty Cure plus a suffix... and so was the first cast reboot. However, later seasons dropped the "Futari wa", making the franchise Pretty Cure and freeing the first season from having to be called The Original Series.
- However, the English, German, Italian and Spanish dubs of Futari wa Pretty Cure are simply called Pretty Cure, which makes it The Original Series all over again.
- Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki, the OAV episodes, for Tenchi Muyo!.
- Sailor Moon (the Dark Kingdom arc), also known as Sailor Moon Classic.
- The original series of Patlabor OVAs was named Mobile Police Patlabor. To distinguish it it from the similarly-named movie and TV series released after, the Laserdisc rereleases added the subtitle Early Days.
- The Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise approaches this in a few different ways by region and medium. The first anime series titled Yu-Gi-Oh!, produced by Toei Animation, is often referred to by English-speaking fans as "Season 0", despite being an entirely separate adaptation from the better-known second anime that was released worldwide. Said second anime, meanwhile, was also originally released worldwide as just Yu-Gi-Oh!, but now tends to be referred to more specifically as Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters, the name by which it aired in Japan. As for the original manga itself, the Viz translation split it into three parts: Yu-Gi-Oh!, Yu-Gi-Oh! Duelist, and Yu-Gi-Oh! Millennium World. There's no official subtitle for the first part, though it's sometimes referred to as "The Shadow Games".
- The first released Star Wars movie (i.e., Episode IV) was originally titled simply Star Wars on release. The title A New Hope was added with the 1981 re-release (the first one after The Empire Strikes Back), but it wasn't marketed as "Episode IV: A New Hope" until after the prequels were released (even the 1997 Special Edition◊ is called simply "Star Wars: Special Edition"). The fanbase typically used "the trilogy" to refer to the "whole" Star Wars saga prior to the release of The Phantom Menace, allowing them to continue calling the first film simply "Star Wars", but this is no longer done, and most everyone within the fandom now refers to the original film as "A New Hope" or "Episode IV", and episodes IV-V-VI as the "Original Trilogy".
- The original novel about Artemis Fowl was titled simply Artemis Fowl, whereas the rest had various subtitles.
- The first Warrior Cats series was simply called Warriors (or Warrior Cats, depending on where you live), while all the other series and spinoffs have subtitles such as The New Prophecy and Omen of the Stars. Fans usually referred to it as "the original series" or "the first arc", but it was given the official name The Prophecies Begin as of a 2015 reprint of the first series.
- The first Rivers of London book is called Rivers of London. It seems likely Ben Aaronovitch was expecting to call the series "the Peter Grant series" or something similar, but by the time the the comic series was launched and needed a main title, this was what the fans were calling them.
- Star Trek: The Original Series is probably the most famous example. In fact this very wikiword redirected to it before this page came about.
- Doctor Who's "classic series" refers to the original run from 1963-1989 (and sometimes its TV movie in 1996), to differentiate it from the revival from 2005. Generally everything before the revival is called "Classic Who" and everything after is "New Who", though the terminology gets fuzzier when applied to the Doctor Who Expanded Universe.
- The Kamen Rider Series has not one, but two shows simply titled Kamen Rider. In an inversion, only the original series has its name untouched. The second show with the name, originally intended as a Continuity Reboot but later brought into the existing universe (during the show's run, as part of a Retool), is officially called Kamen Rider (New) in Japan and known as New Kamen Rider among English-speaking fans, though The Other Wiki in both languages and this wiki call it Kamen Rider: Skyrider after a new superhero name was given to the protagonist during the Retool.
- In the media, the first Law & Order is commonly called the original or the flagship series.
- Numerous game shows from the 50s, 60s and 70s have had reboots that many born in the 70s on believe to be the "original" versions. Those of note include The Price Is Right, Match Game, Password and Jeopardy!. The diginet Buzzr runs the original Price and Password while very few of the original eps of the others exist.
- The Protomen's first album is simply called The Protomen. After Act II: The Father of Death came out, it retroactively became Act I: Hope Rides Alone.
- While game series typically get a 1 tacked on for the first one as the second emerges, it's more complicated with Expansion Packs: the expansion is still part of the first game. Another convention to the rescue: base games that have expansions but don't have a subtitle of their own are referred to as vanilla to differentiate from the flavored expansions.
- As an example of the above bullet point, each expansion for World of Warcraft has its own name: "World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade", "World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King", and "World of Warcraft: Cataclysm." Which leaves players with a conundrum: If someone asks "In which expansion did they add thus-and-such class/race/game mechanic?", how do you answer when it was added back during the original game run, before the first expansion? Blizzard refers to this time period as "World of Warcraft Classic", but the de facto consensus among the players is to refer to it as "Vanilla World of Warcraft".
- Happens often where the title of the first is homonymous to the series: Metroid, Castlevania, Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts...
- The Legend of Zelda: The first game in the series was just The Legend Of Zelda, and the second was Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, but every game after that was just called The Legend of Zelda: (something). The first game, therefore, can be referred to as "Zelda 1", "the original Zelda", etc. For wiki purposes, we refer to it as The Legend of Zelda I code-wise (the name is still customized as "The Legend of Zelda"), following the Roman numeral designation of the second game. Relatedly, it had the subtitle "The Hyrule Fantasy" in Japan, but this never made it out of the country. The corresponding text on the title screen was turned into "The Legend of".
- The first game of the Monster Hunter series was only known as Monster Hunter, so most fans tend to call it Monster Hunter 1 to differentiate the game itself from the overall franchise. In the similar case of the Monster Hunter movie, it gets a Title: The Adaptation nickname of Monster Hunter: The Movie or some variation.
- A weird case is the Metal Gear series: since the original game is called Metal Gear, the second Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake... but the third is Metal Gear Solid, and the series is more referred by that name since practically all later games followed that name (any Metal Gear game that isn't titled "Solid" from that point on is either a spin-off or non-canon).
- Since Mega Man received lots of spin-off series, the original series are referred to as "Mega Man (Classic)".
- The Core Design-produced Tomb Raider games are usually referred to as the "Classic" series. Some don't count Angel of Darkness as one of these, and die-hard purists only count the original trilogy.
- After Unreal Tournament 2003 (UT2k3) and Unreal Tournament 2004 (UT2k4) came out, the original Unreal Tournament was called UT99 for its release year.
- The Super Smash Bros. series has the original title simply referred to as such (as the later titles are frequently referred to by the subtitle, Melee or Brawl instead) or Super Smash Bros. 64 in reference to the console as these games come out at one title per console generation.
- The original Command & Conquer game is referred to as Command & Conquer: Tiberian Dawn to distinguish it from its sequels (some documents on the official disc already referred to "Tiberian Dawn", suggesting it may have originated as an internal project name).
- The first game of the Paper Mario series is simply called Paper Mario. Similarly to Super Smash Bros. above, fans typically refer to the first game as Paper Mario 64 to differentiate it from the series as a whole.
- Remakes of the original Final Fantasy refer to the game as Final Fantasy I.
- To differentiate the original Escape Velocity from the overall series, it is referred to as Escape Velocity Classic.
- The original PlayStation officially became the "PS one" some time after the PlayStation 2 came out. Previously, it was colloquially called the "PSX", after the abbreviation for its developmental code name, "PlayStation-Experimental". Most people will still know what you mean when you call it that, although the especially pedantic will inform you that "PSX" refers to an obscure Japanese PS2/DVR hybrid.
- The first Xbox was nicknamed the "Xbox 1" by gamers during the time of the Xbox 360 until Microsoft announced their third console, the Xbox One. With that and "Xbox" being used as the catch-all name for their video game brand even on Microsoft Windows, Microsoft officially calls it the "Original Xbox" nowadays.
- Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! (the first two seasons) are the original series. The 1978 episodes, which are part of The Scooby-Doo Show, are often mislabeled as part of Where Are You! for complicated reasons. note
- The Transformers, referred to as "Generation 1" by most fans (after the oddly named sequel Transformers: Generation 2 came out). Hasbro has since started using it themselves.
- My Little Pony: The initial batch and television show are "Generation 1".
- Ben 10, and it was the only one its creators actually had an active part in running (a different creative duo ran the first two sequels, and another main team runs the fourth.)
- Winx Club: The first four seasons (2004-2009) are the original series. The show was relaunched by Nickelodeon in 2011 with newly animated specials that retold Seasons 1 and 2. In 2014, DVD releases of the first season were titled "The Original Season 1" to avoid confusion with the Nickelodeon specials.