Follow TV Tropes


Spiritual Successor / Anime & Manga

Go To

Spiritual Successor in Anime & Manga.

    open/close all folders 

  • 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.)
  • If you're looking for a Grand Theft Auto manga/anime, you could do a lot worse than Black Lagoon.
  • Bleach seems to be a Spiritual Successor to YuYu Hakusho, and one can notice several similarities as they read through both works. There should honestly be a list.
  • 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.
  • 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". However, 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.
  • Cells at Work!:
    • The manga 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.
    • The manga, being about anthropomorphized blood cells, viruses, and the general inner working of the human body, is frequently described as an anime version of Osmosis Jones.
  • 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.
  • Subverted to hell and back with Daitarn 3, by Yoshiyuki Tomino. It has a similar name as the series that came before it, Zambot 3, and a similar design for the robot, similar weapons like a "Sun Attack" which is almost identical to Zambot's "Moon Attack", and three main characters. However, it lacks the ending that Tomino's works are infamous for. 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.
  • D4DJ is basically a beatmania IIDX anime, featuring groups of characters forming DJ units and the franchise having a Rhythm Game component. While IIDX does feature characters with anime-style designs and with profiles describing each character, the lore in IIDX takes a backseat to the gameplay, whereas D4DJ's storytelling is very much front-and-center. The various works are even subtitled in the format of "___ Mix", similar to how 5-key beatmania games are numbered as "nth MIX".
  • Darker than Black shares a lot of similarities with the Russian novel Roadside Picnic, but the scale and focus are different.
  • Destiny of the Shrine Maiden has occasionally been cited as a Spiritual Successor of YamiBou, but that probably has more to do with their typical Girls' Love character designs.
  • 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.
    • However, Diebuster did get its own legitimate spiritual successor in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, which later still got its own spiritual successor with Kill la Kill (see below).
    • In addition to having the same creative team, both Kill La Kill and Gurren Lagann share similar stylistic elements and cover similar themes. Where the latter is about boys growing up and learning to face the challenges of life (told though over the top Super Robot action), the former is about girls growing up and learning to grow past the expectations and pressures of society by way of Magical Girl Warriors wearing sentient school uniforms.
    • On the more comical side, Kill La Kill is one to Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt. While both series have a penchant for fanservice, the latter is very much an Affectionate Parody regarding it, while the former makes it a major plot point.
  • Durarara!! is this to Baccano!, although the two are different in tone and setting, they share the same creator, the same "massive cast 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 successor to Boogiepop Phantom.
  • Digimon Ghost Game borrows heavily from the earlier series Digimon Tamers, such as its discussion of What Measure Is a Non-Human? or giving the Virus Attribute Gammamon childlike innocence in the vein of his predecessor Guilmon to make their Superpowered Evil Side that much more jarring.
  • Dragon Ball was clearly inspired by the Chinese literary classic Journey to the West for some of its characters and stories right down to Goku's name which is a Japanese translation of Sun Wukong, the main protagonist of the novel.
  • 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 due to their similarities in art, characters, and themes.
  • 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.
  • Flag seems to be Beyond Good & Evil set in Afghanistan, with the United Nations Task Force standing in for the American military. The In-Universe Camera bits recall 84 Charlie Mopic.
  • Ghastly Prince Enma: Burning Up 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.
  • 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 Divers Re:RISE is, for some veteran furry fans outside Japan, the closest thing to an animated adaptation, let alone a Japanese-made one, from Albedo: Erma Felna EDF (with some elements from Katmandu thrown into it, culture-wise), at least in its basic premise: An AI created by humans controlling a world populated with anthropomorphic animals involved in a planet-wide war. The main difference here is the fact in Albedo, the whole war is much bigger, as involve many solar systems, and its respective AI, the Net, is much more benevolent than the one from this show. This especially funny because the creator of Albedo, Steve Gallacci, took some inspiration from many Japanese media for the comic, Gundam included, and he also expressed his interest to adapt Albedo into animation, especially to an Anime format, rather than Western Animation.
  • Gundam Build Fighters to 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.
  • HuGtto! Pretty Cure can be considered as "The Magical Girl adaptation of, of all things, The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day", since there's a Terminator Twosome plot that involves a pair of good time travelers trying to stop an evil company from securing the Bad Future's existence by sending agents to the past to confront and potentially kill a young girl who is destined to mother the last and greatest resistance fighter, all while having themes of Screw Destiny and learning how to live your own life while valuing others. To make it even more apparent, there's even a stoic robot that used to work for the evil company who does eventually learns how to become human after befriending a young child, much like how the T-800 did when he was tasked to protect a young John Connor in T2.
  • 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.
  • Almost every part of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure can be considered a manga/animé adaptation of something else:
  • 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.
  • 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 ˝. 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.
  • Kill Me Baby might perfectly be a licensed parody of Lyrical Nanoha. The sheer premise of "stoic girl with blonde hair in twin tails and black ribbons who works as an enforcer has a cheerful, brown-haired, more mundane female friend who saw the darkness of her work and thus attempts to bring the best out of her" should rings all the bells.
  • Kiss and White Lily for My Dearest Girl, 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'
  • Kuroko's Basketball, the most popular basketball series of the 2010s, is the Spiritual Successor to Slam Dunk, the successful basketball series of the 1990s.
  • Life (2002) 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.


  • 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.
  • Wandering Son is similar to the 1990s film Ma Vie En Rose. They're both about the struggles of feminine brown-haired children who identify as female despite being male-assigned-at-birth. Later on, they befriend characters who may be trans boys.
  • 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.
  • WorldEnd: What Do You Do at the End of the World? Are You Busy? Will You Save Us? has often been compared to the Nier series in terms of overall themes and plot. Both take place in post-apocalyptic fantasy worlds where humanity has devolved into the monsters that now threaten the nonhuman remnants of civilization. Similarly, the reveal about the origins of the Beasts and Shades causes a major existential crisis in the main character of each series. Furthermore, the final antagonist of both series is a Beast/Shade version of the protagonist.
  • 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.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V is an Animated Adaptation of both Sliders as a show that deals heavily with The Multiverse and Kingdom Hearts in that said multiverse is a love-letter to a particular franchise (the Disney Animated Canon for Kingdom Hearts and Yu-Gi-Oh! for ARC-V.)
  • 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.

Alternative Title(s): Anime And Manga