Hello everyone! This is the Roundtable User Discussion, where couple of AV users, like yourselves, virtually met up to talk anime, manga and other related topics. Read, comment, discuss and enjoy! Also, go back and read our other conversations (Here) and share your thoughts!
I am your host, HalberdierV2, and welcome to the Eighth Roundtable Discussion! today we have the thoughtful insights of Obsidian609, the legendary ZombiePie and sage Hailinel! Today's topic is something that's bound to be exciting, Crossovers in Anime!
Hailinel: 'Sup! I've been into anime since high school about fifteen years ago, though I haven't seen much of the latest shows out there. My tastes are mostly locked in a time capsule that got sealed some time around 2003. I created my Anime Vice account when the site launched, but it was only recently that I started coming here as a more frequent user. I guess if you want to know more about me, there's also this blog post I wrote.
ZombiePie: Hello Anime Vice! It's good to be back being involved with the Community features.
Obsidian609:Hello and thank you for having me tonight.
Obsidian:The only thing I have been watching is Blood-C right now. As for manga I have just been reading D.Gray-Man, Yozakura Quartet and xxxHolic
Zombie: I finished up Tiger & Bunny in line with Tom's articles and am looking forward to the second season of Squid Girl.
Hailinel: Last Sunday, I decided to sit down and watch a bunch of older anime. Some I had seen before, some I hadn't. The first of what I hadn't seen was Ayane's High Kick. An OVA so obscure that it's apparently not even in the site's database. Two episodes of ridiculous sports-comedy and a character that's like B-ko crossed with Sagat from Street Fighter.
The other anime I hadn't seen was the three-episode OVA Cyber City. It's really fun, though it really doesn't go very deep into the characters. It feels like a three-episode TV pilot that never really got off the ground. Three very well animated, action-packed episodes, but just like AHK above, it left me wanting more when this is all we got.
As for what I had seen before, this was seriously the first time I had seen Gall Force: Eternal Story andOdin: Photon Space Sailor Starlight in roughly a decade and a half. Neither is really at the top of their genre, but the rose tinting I may have had for them actually didn't distort too much. It was a fun day.
Obsidian: Wow, heck of a day. I think the only anime I have watched on your list was Gall Force: Eternal Story years ago on the Sci Fi Channel. Don't remember the dialog too well.
Hailinel: Honestly, I was surprised by how much I did remember as I watched it.
Hailinel: In manga? Well, I think they'd be good for the occasional event. It would be interesting to see the artists do takes on the characters of other series, but I'd probably prefer it if I didn't have to buy multiple books from the series that are crossing with each other. Having to read two or three separate series to keep up with the story is much more cumbersome than a single event manga volume or series. (It's also easier on the wallet).
Obsidian: Hmm crossover in manga's. I haven't read too many other than the Dragon Ball - One Piece and the Fairy Tail - Rave Master crossovers. Seeing how they weren't that long they didn't really cover much as to the reasons for the crossover especially the Fairy Tail / Rave Master one. I think it is possible if they make a good plot for the crossover.
Zombie: I have really fond memories of when DC and Marvel created Amalgam Comics and did a bunch of specials where they would combine characters into new ones like Dr. Doomsday (which was Doomsday and Dr. Doom), Dark Claw (which was Wolverine and Batman), and Super Soldier (which was Captain America and Superman). It was crazy and super looney but with crossovers unless you are really careful it has to be non-canonical and kind of a joke that appeases the curiosity of hardcore fans.
Obsidian: Yeah, Amalgam did do some crazy crossovers. But I agree, they should be non-canonical and kind of a joke that appeases the curiosity of hardcore fans.
Hailinel: I totally missed out on that era of western comics. Amalgam sounds utterly crazy. Though, I do disagree on keeping them non-canonical. I think that there are certain cases where, if treated right, the events of a crossover can be maintained within the separate continuities. It depends on how the effects of the crossover are handled.
Hal: I remember reading about Amalgum's comics and thinking how loony their universes must be from all that character fusing.
Hailinel: If we're talking about crossovers from different production teams, I think that the best option for any anime crossover in that sense would be for a movie of some sort, or a TV/video special. The crossover would be best kept contained within itself, or at least constrained to a single series, rather than across two or more. TV logistics are just a different beast when compared to the way print works.
Zombie: I know there are CLAMP fans out there that are yelling at me furiously, at the top of their lungs, saying that crossovers can be serious and genuinely impactful to the story of both products, but in the end CLAMP pays the price with the manner in which they do their crossovers. All of their stories require a massive investment on the part of the audience. You have to know and keep up with everything in order to understand anything. It's honorable that they put in that much effort to add that interconnectedness, but in the end it muddles every story they tell and makes them sometimes unnecessarily complex and inaccessible to new viewers. Which is why I say generally writers should try to limit things to non-canonical specials.
Obsidian: I see what you mean there ZompiePie. I think Blood-C might be a crossover with xxxHolic which was probably not the best way to crossover with. Come to think of it there was a Detective Conan/Lupin III crossover which did considerably well and was entertaining.
Hailinel: I disagree, ZombiePie. Though I'm not familiar with all of CLAMP's crossovers, their crossover between Tokyo Babylon and X requires minimal investment. It certainly helps to be familiar with the Tokyo Babylon characters, but the storyline of X is such that reading Tokyo Babylon isn't really a requirement to understand the relationship between the characters, as by that point, they're more or less focused on ending each other.
Hal: I agree with your point on CLAMP, Zombie ,especially with the Tsubasa series, which seems to have become the hub for all of the clamp crossovers, and is really complex, confusing, and I've kept my head out of it. Also, the production may have suffered more problems outside of Japan. imagine trying to do a crossover in the US, especially considering the corporate culture to each other! (probably explains why JUMP! ultimate Stars never saw the light of day in English..)
Obsidian: Yeah, such a shame they never translated that game. I should have bought the import when I saw it at Best Buy years ago.
Zombie: Again I have to go back to comics and mention a stupid crazy one that I really enjoyed which is Marvel Zombies. Beyond that I have to be perfectly honest and say that the one's I like or am excited about are the ones that match two perfectly similar but different enough products. The announcement of the One Piece x Toriko, even though I'm not entirely absorbed by either manga/anime, when it was announced I felt that it was perfect and could be a potentially great multiverse.
Hailinel: I think the best example would be Leiji Matsumoto's space opera of a universe. At the core, there are a few key characters, like Captain Harlock, Emeraldas and Maetel, but the stories that they're involved in can exist independent of one another. You don't need to be familiar with Harlock to enjoy Galaxy Express 999, for example.
To create a good universe like this, it really helps to understand how these stories are connected from the start. So when the time comes for an event where characters from two works are put in a position to meet each other, it feels natural, and not just a gimmick.
Obsidian: Yeah, Leiji Matsumoto's universe is epic. I agree that you don't have to be familiar with the characters series to enjoy his works.
Hailinel: I'm not really too familiar with any of those crossovers, so I can't really say what could be learned from them.
Obsidian: I only read Cross Epoch, I thought the characters' match-ups worked perfectly for the story.
Zombie: Yeah, with the Dr. Slump and Dragon Ball crossover Goku visited Penguin Village in a filler episode. Again it was a nice little nod to dedicated fans of Akira Toriyama's work. For people that started with Dragon Ball and had never heard of Dr. Slump it didn't prevent them from enjoying the rest of the series and was utterly harmless.
Obsidian: Oh yeah, I forgot about that filler episode, and it was as you said, utterly harmless.
Hailinel: That sounds interesting. I'll have to see about tracking that down.
Obsidian: Episode 55 started that filler crossover Hailinel, if you were wondering.
Zombie: In the end cross epochs are like the Christmas Special of a show or book. Utterly mindless and probably created with the intention of making more money. Almost every single time I have heard them I've avoided them because they end up being a waste of a perfectly good plot and are aimed at the lowest common denominator.
Hailinel: Too much time really passed in between to let these two cross over, but am I the only one that thinks a mix of Hell Girl and Vampire Princess Miyu would not be both potentially fitting with each other, as well as awesome? You've got the creepy girls and their helpers mixing it up with foolish mortals. What else do you need?
WHAT ELSE DO YOU NEED?
Obsidian: Hmm good point and I would watch it.
Zombie: I remember Kunihiko Ikuhara saying that he wants to collaborate with David Lynch some day. So here's what I propose...Twin Peaks and Mawaru Penguindrum merge together and create an incomprehensible, batshit crazy, awesome show. How awesome would that be? I mean they could have David Lynch co-direct an episode of whatever Ikuhara is working on and it would still be pretty much the same show. It would be perfect.
Hailinel: I'm pretty sure you could tell someone that David Lynch directed Revolutionary Girl Utena: The Movie, and sound legitimately convincing.
Hailinel: Naruto/Bleach/One Piece? Well, I guess the main question would be, how would you realistically fit them together without it clashing severely? True, they're all shows with supernatural elements and action, but there's no really easy way to connect these together for any sort of crossover without a ludicrous contrivance of some sort because the worlds they inhabit are so different.
Obsidian: Very true on that part.
Zombie: Those properties are so big that a crossover would require a lot of careful attention. It could be an amazing and impressive piece of work but all bets are that it isn't and it would just be a violently out-of-control megacrossover where sources are thrown together with no regard to blending their continuities. At that point you probably just convince yourself it's best to not cross the streams.
Hal: well, that's what filler's for, to make one-shot episodes with no bearing on the actual story of the manga, and to have some fun.
Hailinel: That's true, but when they go wrong, they can go very wrong. Like bad fanfiction, only done by the original creators.
Zombie: So again we get back to my point that generally crossovers should be non-canonical. I bet it has to be with the author's not willing to work or viewing themselves as rivals and not companions with each other...I mean you think about the money they could make on such a crossover but it still hasn't happened there has to be a major reason. Then again I could be off on that one.
Hal: hmm, true, although mangakas really don't make all that much compared to western animators.
Zombie: Gundam and something moe...SCIENCE!
Hailinel: That would compliment each other? I could cop out and suggest Hell Girl/Miyu again, but how about some action between You're Under Arrest and Patlabor? That'd really shake Natsumi and Miyuki's traffic duty up a bit.
What? Don't give me that. They're both cop shows. It fits.
Obsidian: Huh. Tough to say on that one. I probably wouldn't be able think of any good ones like you, Hailinel.
Hailinel: It was a fun discussion. But if I have any final thought, it is this: "You may cross your anime, your manga, and the street, but never the streams."
Good night, everybody!
Zombie: Don't be too open minded about crossovers because if you're too open minded, your brains will fall out.
Obsidian: Huh that was good. Good night everyone!
Hal: Good Night everyone, see you at Roundtable Discussion #009!