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Spiritual Successor / Anime & Manga

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  • Air Gear is a Spiritual Successor to the Jet Set Radio games. (The Korean MMORPG Street Gears Online appears to be a Spiritual Successor to both.)

  • Ano Ko ni Kiss to Shirayuri wo, what with the "two rivals (one fiery and compassionate, the other a genius who's rather passive about everything but romance) fall in love with each other" takes a few cues from Special A.

  • Bleach seems to be a Spiritual Successor to Yu Yu Hakusho, and one can notice several similarities as they read through both works. There should honestly be a list.

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  • Blue Submarine No. 6 is a Spiritual Successor to Space Battleship Yamato, except that the bad guys are the ones that move around in a refurbished battleship.

  • Bokura no Hentai is this to Wandering Son. Both are Seinen series with surprisingly cute art styles for their maturity level and each have a transgender The Cutie character who has sported a bob haircut. The former is overall darker though and is a deconstruction of the Otokonoko Genre.

  • Brave Beats is this to Tribe Cool Crew as both are similar-looking dance animes and aired in the same timeslot.

  • The Brave Series to Transformers Victory.

  • Brynhildr in the Darkness can be considered a successor to Elfen Lied, seeing as they are both written by Lynn Okamoto, contain cute supernaturally empowered girls who are mistreated in the name of science, gory fights and have harem undertones.

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  • Captain Earth towards Star Driver. It helps that both series feature the same staff of people (except for character design) and concepts from the latter show are used again in the former, most prominently the usage and explanation of the term "libido". Since Captain Earth is still running, the jury is still out wether both series are set in the same universe or not and speculations are running rampant. What can be said already, however, is that Captain Earth has an overall more serious tone than Star Driver did.

  • Cardfight!! Vanguard is considered a Spiritual Successor to the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise; it centres around children playing a Collectible Card Game, created by Akira Itou - Kazuki Takahashi's apprentice, who also worked on the Yu-Gi-Oh! R manga with him.

  • In a lot of ways, Cells at Work! is like an edutainment spin-off of Psycho-Pass. Like the citizens of Psycho-Pass, the cells are all assigned professions from the moment they are born in order to contribute to the society, that society being the human body. The Immune System is a microscopic version of the Public Safety Bureau who hunt targets deemed a threat to either detain or execute before they can cause too much damage.

  • Claymore and Vinland Saga are often said to be the spiritual successors of Berserk. In fact, if you put Claymore and Vinland Saga in a blender, you'd get a serving of Berserk.
    • Speaking of Berserk, Kentaro Miura cites several works as his influences, but the series seems to take the most from Guin Saga, Devilman and Violence Jack.

  • Subverted to hell and back with Daitarn 3, by Yoshiyuki Tomino. Similar name as the series that came before it, Zambot 3? Check. Similar design for the robot? Check. Similar weapons like a "Sun Attack" which is almost identical to Zambot's "Moon Attack"? Check. Three main characters? Check. Kill 'Em All ending? HELL NO! Although Zambot 3 was one of the first Deconstructions of the Super Robot genre, Daitarn was a more humorous crossover with James Bond in a Super Robot. Doesn't stop them from having team attacks in Super Robot Wars, though.
    • Speaking of Tomino, Overman King Gainer is one to Combat Mecha Xabungle.
    • The Big O could be seen as a successor to Daitarn 3, only using Batman instead of James Bond.
      • The Big O itself has a spiritual successor in Tiger & Bunny. Both are anime series by the same studio, share part of the staff, and has the look and feel of an american saturday morning cartoon. While the first sported a mecha pilot Bruce Wayne, the second depicts the results of a government/private take-over on the Justice League. Also including a cute short-haired android voiced by Akiko Yajima.

  • Darker Than Black shares a lot of similarities with the Russian novel Roadside Picnic, but the scale and focus are different.

  • It may seem like Diebuster is this to Gunbuster at first, due to the parallels between the two. But then it turns out they have converging endings.

  • Durarara!! is this to Baccano!, although the two are different in tone and setting, they share the same creator, the same "Loads and Loads of Characters with distinct plotlines on a collision course" writing style, and the same jazzy musical style.
    • They also happen to share the universe, though taking place in different countries and decades apart, only two characters from the first make a brief cameo in the second.
    • Others see it as more of a sucessor to Boogiepop Phantom.

  • Dusk Maiden of Amnesia can be considered this to Natsu no Arashi! in animated form at least - both series were directed by Shin Oonuma and feature cute (actually, near-identical) ghost girls and a healthy dose of SHAFT-like visualsnote .

  • Fairy Tail is this to Mashima's earlier series Rave Master, containing a few characters with the same name and/or design, and even a few plot elements with the same name but different functions. Etherion, Oracion Seis, etc.
    • It's sometimes considered one to One Piece as well.

  • Fist of the North Star is this for Mad Max, but with Bruce Lee.

  • The Five Star Stories by Mamoru Nagano is a Spiritual Successor to Heavy Metal L-Gaim, an anime series he worked on with Yoshiyuki Tomino.
    • There are hints in the manga that it is, in fact, in the exact same continuity - that it is a prequel of sorts, pre-dating L-Gaim by a good span of time.

  • The author of Future Diary seems to be following up with his new manga, Big Order.

  • Guilty Crown: General consensus is that this series was a partial one to Code Geass, particularly in the first few episodes, given that it shared the same "resistance group taking on oppressive entity" premise. While Shu and Lelouch have very different personalities and interests, they are both 17-year old youths accompanied by mysterious girls (Inori and C.C. respectively, who also differ from each other) and capable of using mysterious powers. However, the overarching story eventually headed in more of a different direction.

  • Gundam Build Fighters to Kidou Tenshi Angelic Layer, which features characters using personalized toy models to fight in a virtual battlefield.

  • Haruhi Suzumiya has a successor in Medaka Box before the latter got turned into a shonen-fighting series.

  • I Married My Best Friend to Shut My Parents Up is this to Roomshare, both of which are by Naoko Kodama. The former is the story of a young woman named Machi who, tired of her parents pressuring her to marry a successful young man, decides to fake a marriage with her female kohai, Hana, who needs a place to stay while her apartment is being renovated. In the latter, the main character, Tomoka, asks her friend Saki to move in with her, since Tomoka's fiance dumped her and she can't make the rent on the apartment she leased. When the owner asks if Tomoka and Saki are the married couple, Saki says yes.

  • The 12-Episode Anime If My Favorite Pop Idol Made It to the Budokan, I Would Die is the Lighter and Softer successor to the anime film Perfect Blue. Both explore the culture and environment of the Idol Singer and the fandom that revolves around it.

  • Both the anime and game series Inazuma Eleven is this to Captain Tsubasa.

  • Kamisama Kiss has a lot in common with Inuyasha. To begin with both plots revolve around an ordinary teenage girl getting control over a supernatural asshole, who is forced against his will to help her and protect her, and only later do the two start to fall in love. Tomoe, the male lead in KK, looks almost exactly like an older and more mature version of Inuyasha when he wears his hair long; he also acts like a more intelligent and slightly more mature version of Inuyasha. Nanami, the female lead in KK, looks like Kagome with brown hair and has the same personality type. Then the Time Travel Arc happens in KK and the similarities get even more pronounced.

  • Kannazuki no Miko has occasionally been cited as a Spiritual Successor of YamiBou, but that probably has more to do with their typical Girls' Love character designs.

  • Keiko Takemiya's Kaze to Ki no Uta is the spiritual successor to "The Door To Summer", a one-volume manga she wrote. They both contain similar story elements, as well as both being adapted into 60-minute OVAs.
    • Both of these series in turn are spiritual successors to In the Sunroom, a lesser known manga of hers, which also have similar story elements of the two series mentioned above.

  • People have started seeing Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple as a spiritual successor to Ranma ½. Granted, just think about it: a comic martial arts series with pretty Action Girls, which results in lots of Fanservice, a Love Dodecahedron and a Will They or Won't They? type of relationship between the protagonists. Sure, there's no Tsundere female character in here, but if it was, then it'd be called a rip off instead of a resemblant work.

  • Kiddy Grade is a Spiritual Successor to Dirty Pair: both series revolve around a team of two young female operatives for a galaxy-wide troubleshooting organization that uses incredibly advanced Phlebotinum, brute force, property damage, and good luck to right wrongs and triumph over evil.

  • Kuroko no Basuke, the most popular basketball series of the 2010s, is the Spiritual Successor to Slam Dunk, the successful basketball series of the 1990s.

  • Life is a succession to the mangaka's work Vitamin, as both deal with the harsh reality of bullying and how it can physically, emotionally and mentally destroy the victim. The differences are that the former is a long-running series spanning over twenty volumes, takes place in high school and the girl cuts herself and the latter is only a few chapters long, takes place in middle school and the girl becomes bulimic. How they deal with the bullying in the end differs, too.

  • Made in Abyss has been called one for Madoka by some.

  • Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun is seen as this towards Ouran High School Host Club and School Rumble as they all use and parody shoujo tropes. Taken a step further with School Rumble as both this and Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun also have high school students who are secretly mangaka.

  • My Hero Academia is recognized as this to Naruto. The author, Kohei Horikoshi, stated various times to be a huge fan of Shonen Jump, particularly Naruto.

  • While the two are not all that similar plot-wise, Totoros from My Neighbor Totoro seem to be a Spiritual Successor to Papa Panda from Panda! Go Panda!

  • The anime adaptation of Namu Amida Butsu! -UTENA- is this to Touken Ranbu - Hanamaru, what with both's heavy emphasis on humor and Slice of Life.

  • Ninku shares many similarities with Naruto despite coming first. Examples like the fact that Fuusuke is a wind ninja who wears orange and uses the kuatsuken (resembling Rasengan).

  • Nodame Cantabile is seen as the spiritual successor to Honey and Clover. Both are about students in art schools (drama ensues, obviously), both anime adaptations were made by the same studio, with a very similar drawing style.

  • Noir was succeeded by Madlax, and Madlax, by El Cazador de la Bruja, being part of studio Bee Train's Girls with Guns trilogy.

  • NEEDLESS is basically a Spiritual Successor to Scryed.

  • One Piece is now one to Kochi Kame, not because of their content but by the fact that after Kochi Kame ended, One Piece has become the oldest series that is still serialized in Weekly Shounen Jump. As of 2017, it's celebrating its 20th anniversary and the only other series that premiered before the 2000 era is Hunter × Hunter, a manga that is barely present in the magazine due to its high amount of hiatus and it was even completely absent in 2015, and every other series premiered in 2012 and later. One Piece has been serialized for half as long as KochiKame's serialization and it is very clear that One Piece isn't going to end soon.
    • While many shonen manga running in Jump and other magazines are heavily influenced by Dragon Ball, One Piece, more than any other series, is seen as it's generation's equivalent to that manga, having reached the same level of ubiquity and success in Japan, critically and financially. In an inverse of how it compares to Kochi Kame, it's run much, much longer than Dragon Ball but has similar content and characters.

  • Pokémon: Diamond and Pearl Adventure! to Dragon Ball. Wild Child young boys befriend teenage girls, fight enemies, and go on adventures.

  • Pokémon Origins is this to Pokémon Zensho. They're both adaptations of Pokémon Red and Blue, though the former uses a lot of features from on the remake. Red is depicted as a bubbly, Hot-Blooded hero with a Charmander starter and both are Truer to the Text adaptations of the game.

  • First, Junichi Sato directed Prétear, a Magical Girl series that is (very) loosely based on "Snow White", and features a redheaded heroine with a Pretty Boy and Tall, Dark, and Snarky Jerk with a Heart of Gold as her love interests, and a Dark Magical Girl enemy who believes nobody loves her. Three years later, he directed Princess Tutu, a Magical Girl series featuring a ballet-dancing redheaded heroine trapped in a fairytale-influenced world with... a Pretty Boy and Tall, Dark, and Snarky Jerk with a Heart of Gold as her love interests, and a Dark Magical Girl enemy who believes nobody loves her. While the two series are very different in tone and overall story (Pretear is a Reverse Harem that starts out light-hearted and quickly becomes dark, while Tutu has dark elements from the get-go and is full of meta about art and storytelling), the similarities are hard to ignore.

  • Princess Mononoke has been stated to be a spiritual successor to Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind; both have similar themes and characters, but PM has rather more depressingly realistic overtones, and replaces the former's Happy Ending with a Bittersweet Ending.

  • Several themes in Puella Magi Madoka Magica can be traced to scriptwriter Gen Urobuchi's afterword to the first volume of Fate/Zero, of which he was also the author.

  • Puni Puni Poemi, from the same director as Excel Saga, seemed to be a deliberate attempt to cram all the insanity of Excel Saga into two episodes.

  • RahXephon's creator has said it's a Spiritual Successor of 1970s super robot series Brave Raideen.

  • Madou King Granzort to Mashin Eiyuuden Wataru, both by Red and Sunrise.

  • Revolutionary Girl Utena to The Rose of Versailles.

  • Samurai Champloo is a Spiritual Successor to Cowboy Bebop, both series being created by Shinichiro Watanabe.
    • Michiko & Hatchin is a further succession, judging from the art style and Watanabe's involvement.
    • Space Dandy is yet another spiritual successor, since it's directed by Shinichiro Watanabe and involves a badass (well, sort of) and his crew flying through space. It's also a successor to not only Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo, but to Outlaw Star and Trigun as well, as all four of those shows had the distinction of becoming much more popular to American audiences than Japanese audiences after airing on Toonami and [adult swim], to the point that Space Dandy made its world premiere on Toonami.

  • Samurai Flamenco is a Genre-Busting, deconstructing-reconstructing, wild ride of a show. It uses so many genres and tropes that it can be compared to a diverse range of works that cross culture, genre, and time, like: The Dark Knight, Tigerand Bunny, Kick-Ass, and Don Quixote; as well as Sentai and Magical Girl shows.

  • Serial Experiments Lain is the spiritual successor to Key the Metal Idol.

  • Dororon Enma-kun Meramera to Shin Mazinger — they both take famous Go Nagai's manga, revamp it for modern audience and introduce new plotlines and characters, including at last one Canon Immigrant.

  • Soul Eater is sometimes considered to be the spiritual successor of Fullmetal Alchemist. Note that Soul Eater's writer Atsushi Okubo has worked as Hiromu Arakawa's assistant.
    • The animated adaptations of Soul Eater and Fullmetal Alchemist even suffered similar fates. Both shows started to overtake the manga on which they were based on, and rather than try to pad out the show with filler, the writers came up with their own ending for the show to tie up the loose ends.

  • Space Carrier Blue Noah to Space Battleship Yamato, by the same producer.

  • Space Patrol Luluco can be considered a Studio TRIGGER version of TYPE-MOON's Carnival Phantasm: both shows are comedies based on taking several different independent properties owned by the company (Inferno Cop, Kill la Kill for TRIGGER and Tsukihime, Fate for TYPE-MOON) and crossing them over with comedic results, along with being a sort of Self-Parody of the companies producing the anime.

  • Spotted Flower is one to Genshiken, both by the same author and focusing on the otaku culture, although there are subtle hints pointing that the former might be a true Sequel to the later, with the two of the main characters grown-up and married.

  • Sword Art Online to .hack. Both series center around Virtual Reality MMORPGs that are more dangerous than a video game ought to be, with SAO killing players who die in-game and .hack//'s "The World" housing dangerous AI experiments. Both also have video game adaptations that simulate MMO gameplay in a single-player Action RPG.

  • Tamayura is the spiritual successor to Kamichu!. Not only is the show about a tightly-knit group of teenage girls, with the mood, art style and theme practically lifted from its illustrious predecessor, but it also takes place in Takehara, an old town not far from Kamichu!'s Onomichi and similar to Onomichi in many respects. Still, an argument could me made for Sketchbook as an influence, considering the age of the characters and the art theme (not to mention the opening).

  • Tōka Gettan is a Spiritual Successor of sorts to Yami to Boushi to Hon no Tabibito and Moonlight Lady. One episode of Tōka Gettan was essentially a YamiBou episode. The games they were adapted from were unrelated, though.

  • The 12-Episode Anime is in many ways a spiritual successor to the OVA.

  • Wangan Midnight to Shakotan Boogie.
    • At the exact same time, Spiritual Antithesis is also in play. While sharing both racing themes, Wangan Midnight focuses more on street racing while Shakotan Boogie puts more emphasis on Running Gag and Shakotan-styled cars. Wangan Midnight also took the races on the expressways while Shakotan Boogie focus the races on touge and city streets.
    • And now, Wangan Midnight and its C1 Runner sequel were succeeded by Ginkai no Speed Star, which has a completely fresh new plot with automotive mechanics as its main focus, though it was set in the same universe and had the Wangan Midnight Final Chapters as its subtitle.

  • Xam'd: Lost Memories is an obvious Spiritual Successor to Eureka Seven.

  • Your Lie in April is seen as a successor to Nodame Cantabile due to also being a series about music that has a prodigious yet cynical male pianist whose life changes when he meets a talented and wild female musician.

  • Yuri!!! on Ice to the Japan Animator Expo short ENDLESS NIGHT, both of which were directed by Sayo Yamamoto. ENDLESS NIGHT's primary focus (figure skating), core concepts, and some of its imagery (most notably that of two men pair skating together) are all transferred into Yuri!!! on Ice.


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