In the world of anime, characters often enjoy anime and manga themselves, usually fictional series that only exist in their world. More often than not, it’s a completely different genre than the main series, possibly to give viewers a different vibe from what they’re already watching. Because characters tend to already be animated in anime, there’s also something of a debate if fictional shows the characters watch are intended to be anime or live-action shows in-universe.
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Naturally, with anime revolving around the anime community, whether it’s the work going into making anime or the lives of anime fans, a few fictional anime will be showcased.
10 Martian Successor Nadesico: Earth Got Attacked Over The Gekiganger III Anime
In the Martian Successor Nadesico anime, the Jovians are attacking Earth because they idolize the fictional Gekiganger III anime, a parody of 1970s mecha anime.
As the series goes on, more and more characters are shown enjoying the anime, even becoming otaku themselves. Gekiganger III technically had an OVA, which included clips from the previous series with a few unseen clips.
9 Shirobako: Exodus! Is An Idol-Themed Murder Mystery
The Shirobako anime revolves around a group of friends who are part of their school’s animation club and who want to make their own anime. The fictional Musashino Animation studio works on the Exodus! anime, which starts out as an idol series with three cutesy heroines, but quickly develops into a murder mystery. Showcasing the ins and outs of the anime industry, the series is even given an alternate ending at one point.
8 Sailor Moon: A Lot Of Fans Wanted Sailor V To Get Her Own Prequel Series
In the Sailor Moon series, Sailor V, the original Sailor Scout, had already become a media icon, complete with video games. In one episode of the ’90s anime, Usagi, Ami, and Rei get to investigate the animation studio working on the new Sailor V anime. Many of the staff members in the episode were based on some of the series’ real-life crewmembers.
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Over the years, fans have also wanted to see an anime adaptation of the original Codename: Sailor V manga. In fact, Toei Animation’s interest in adapting the earlier manga is what brought about the creation of Sailor Moon in the first place.
7 Pop Team Epic: Hoshiiro Girldrop Had A Lot Of Work Put Into It
When many viewers tuned in to the first episode of Pop Team Epic, they might have thought they were watching the wrong show: instead of Popuko and Pipimi, viewers saw the opening to an idol anime called Hoshiiro Girldrop. Shortly after the title was shown, however, Popuko tears through the screen, assuring viewers this isn’t the show they’re about to watch.
The series was originally a one-shot that ended with one of the girls turning out to be Popuko. The joke eventually became a recurring segment in the anime, usually in the form of previews for the nonexistent next episodes, and later got an anime adaptation. Given how much work was put into the joke, there could be more than enough to develop an entire anime from it.
6 Oreimo: The Stardust Witch Meruru Series Made An Otaku Out Of Kirino
Oreimo revolves around a boy, Kyosuke, learning that his brilliant sister Kirino is secretly an otaku of the fictional magical girl series Stardust Witch Meruru, complete with an opening song.
Interestingly, while a parody of Puella Magi Madoka Magica and Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, the series appears to be a straight magical girl show, specifically aimed at young girls. Despite this, it’s also shown to have older fans, many of whom interpret the show to have a darker meaning than it actually does. It’s also one of the more family-friendly series Kirino takes an interest in.
5 Fruits Basket: Mogeta Is A Popular Anime Mascot, Complete With A Movie Deal
In the Fruits Basket universe, Mogeta is a popular anime and manga series, complete with a movie. Despite being named after a cute mascot character, the series is shown to be quite dark and not the typical slice-of-life show such characters appear in.
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Mogeta, a pink, rabbit-like creature, is tasked with fighting an evil emperor on behalf of a princess with the help of a boy called Aritamis Donpanina Taios. Despite her normally cute appearance, Mogeta can transform into a horrifying monster to fight the emperor’s minions.
4 Welcome to the N.H.K.: Puru Puru Pururin Even Has Merchandise
In Welcome to the N.H.K., the main character Satou believes a conspiracy dubbed the N.H.K. is behind his transformation into a hikikomori. In a series with a few otaku characters, it makes sense that fictional anime characters would show up.
The fictional anime, Puru Puru Pururin, which revolves around a catgirl character, shows up in various ways throughout the series: the show’s theme song is played at times and at least one character owns merchandise. The theme song even gets a dark reprise in one episode that plays when one of the characters is convinced to join a pyramid scheme.
3 Way Of The House Husband: This Series Has A Police-Themed Magical Girl Anime
In Way of the House Husband, the only time Miku gets to be less than normal compared to her ex-yakuza husband is when the story reveals her secret indulgence: a police-themed magical girl series, PoliCure. Throughout the series, the fictional anime gets merchandise, a live show, and characters even put on a performance of the show at a hospital.
2 Yo-Kai Watch: Hailey Encounters Yo-Kai In Parts Thanks To A Sailor Moon Parody
In Yo-kai Watch, Hailey is shown to be a fan of Pretty Guardian Sailor Piers, also known as Sailor Cuties, a Sailor Moon parody that turns out to be important to the plot. Her attempting to purchase one of the show’s action figures causes her to buy a Yo-kai Watch U Prototype, causing her to meet the Yo-kai.
Nate is also shown to be a fan of the Space Wars film series, which is a parody of the Star Wars films, although it’s a little unclear if it’s an anime or a live-action production.
1 Porco Rosso: A Betty Boop-Inspired Short Plays In The Cinema
In Porco Rosso, Hayao Miyazaki paid tribute to classic American cartoons in a scene where Porco sees a cartoon at the local cinema. The short notably features a heroine based on Betty Boop, anthropomorphic animals, and takes influence from the Disney short, Plane Crazy.
Considering how early Western animation often influenced anime, such as Astro Boy being a parody of Mighty Mouse, an entire anime based on classic cartoon characters might not be such a bad idea.
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Hello, my name is John Witiw, and you may remember me as a writer for Viral Pirate, Frontrunner Magazine, or Co-Ed, but now I’m here for CBR! Feel free to suggest stories you’d like to see at [email protected]!
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