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A question suggested by

Michael Lawing
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Do you watch anime or read Manga? Have you ever used them for RPG inspiration?


Do you have a question you want asked as QOTD? Post here!

And if you want to find an old QOTD: The big QOTD Summary and Subscription Thread Volume 3
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Yes and yes.

Things that i find they do best (some of them)

Over the top. Large scale powers.

Mecha, robots & machines in general.

Show casing fighting styles, and most importantly superhuman fighting styles and feats of super skill.



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I watch... industrial amounts... of anime.

I am, in fact, trying to write a Macross-inspired RPG in a week, because none of the mecha RPGs do what I want an RPG like that to do. I have absolutely no idea who to play it with, but that is not the point of the whole exercise.
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Manga, no. Anime, a little. As a genre it's never really captured my attention. The number I've watched is probably single digits ({edit} double digits including movies, but still not a ton), and the number of those I truly enjoyed is in the neighborhood of 4-5.

There are a couple that could be used for inspiration that I've seen, like Grimgar or Sword Art Online. But to be frank, the portrayals of RPG-style hooks and tropes is somewhat predictable. The shows stand (or fall, in some cases) on the characters, which are replaced by PCs in a RL game. I suppose if I ever do a bounty hunter and/or space campaign, I'll steal a couple ideas from Cowboy Bebop. Otherwise, I find Western serialized format(s) to be a lot more adaptable to RPGs. Shows like Doctor Who and Star Trek are my most-used, with other similar ones matching that trend.
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As I am mainly a wargamer, I only watch Girls Und Panzers.




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My oldest daughter is (was?) a big anime/manga fan. I've never read, but I have watched. Sometimes it was just being in the same room, but I've logged time with Sailor Moon, Naruto, and Fullmetal Alchemist.
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Anime some, I like more non-typical Anime like Ghost in the Shell, Akira, Ninja Scrolls, Steam Boy, and a lot of the Ghibli studio stuff. And some of the older stuff like Robotech and Macross.

I've played Robotech: The Roleplaying Game, but nothing particular added to my RPG's.
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Not a ton, but some. And I've borrowed ideas from a few things for RPGs, I think from Outlaw Star, Fullmetal Alchemist, Cowboy Bepop, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Lupin III...those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head.
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I’ve watched a decent amount of anime and read a smattering of manga, but none of the games I’ve played so far were really suitable to inject any content. Hoping to play TBZero some time.
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I'm not enthusiastic with the style and tend to check out S-Class stuff only. Masamune Shirow(Appleseed), Hayao Miyazaki (Nausicaa), Evangelion (first run), Bebop, Space Dandy (ok, maybe not S-Class) etc. A little bit of Gundam and heaps of Dragonball and Robotech growing up.

The number of anime series I have given up on after one or two episodes is too long to list. Most recently Kill la Kill (sp?) was just too silly for me. I do not relate well to the character archtypes and so the premise and/or art has to be pretty baller for me to stick around. This is easier to overlook in the comics.

For me Manga and Anime are mostly aesthetic categories. I'm not sure I have gotten a lot of exclusive content out of these mediums. Maybe giant bipedal robots? I like the landmates from appleseed a lot and have used them in a Stars Without Number game, but they are not really functionally different than any other IP's power armor. I love the world of Spirited Away but it is not so different the European/English notions of Faerie.

I read a lot of comics and will keep looking for good Manga. There is a lot of it posted for free on various websites and I will occasionally trawl for a book to read. Frankly, my stack is too high as it is. I do tend to like western comics with heavy manga influence.

I also played a lot of Robotech RPG, mostly in the post-invasion setting with the Invid.
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I tried a few anime series, but gave up. There was only one that appealed to me (Tenchi Muyo, because of the female characters, especially Ryoko and Washu), but even then I felt it just kept going and going and going when it should have stopped.

The only manga I enjoy is probably not even considered manga by most manga lovers: What's Michael.




Yeah, I've probably cribbed a couple of female NPCs from Tenchi.
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Albator (78). cool



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Mallet wrote:

Albator (78). cool



That was called "Captain Harlock" in Italy (and just about everywhere else).

And, not to put a too fine point on it, the italian OP is BY FAR the best in the world (as used to happen for most anime of that period)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yxo3soclk_A
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I'm started many more anime and manga than I have finished. I like a lot of it in principle, and the ideas are often wonderful, but in practice the pace of storytelling is just...too slow. Also, I usually can't get past the first bit of "fanservice", as soon as things start to jiggle unnaturally, I'm out.

But there are a lot of things I adore, old classics like Akira and much newer things like One Punch Man. I'm definitely used Cowboy Bebop, Trigun, Porco Rosso, and Nausicaa bits and concepts in RPGs. Also Lone Wolf and Cub has been the template for at least two characters I have played.
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I used to watch it a lot. I knew the owners of ADV and Funimation as well as most of the voice actors they used. I have tons of free things and free autographs on things as well. However, I do not want it that often anymore.

I have been influenced by plots for RPGs, but it is in the same was as I might take it from Western TV shows. That is, I am not playing an anime RPG or following any aspect of the anime. Instead, it is I found some particular idea or plot. One of the more simpler things I have done is with the calendar. In Fruits Basket, it explains that the rat told the cat the wrong day to show up for a meeting with God, so it was not included in the Chinese Zodiac. Since there are 13 moons for a lunar calendar, I used the 12 Chinese Zodiac animals plus the cat for each month for a game world before.

I always wanted to do an RPG for Twelve Kingdoms, but I am not sure there is enough audience to bother with it.
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I've watched a fair amount of SF anime like Captain Harlock, Ghost in the Shell, and Cowboy Bebop. Not a fan of mecha, so that eliminates a lot.
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Been musing on this some today, and have realized that there are a fair number I do, in fact, enjoy. Animes, at least. Manga remains entirely unexplored for me. But I was a big Digimon fan for years, and one of my favorite films is Final Fantasy: Advent Children (with the caveat that it only has emotional heft if you've played the corresponding game). And this is in addition to various films that are - if nothing else - strikingly beautiful (the animation in some is just breathtaking). To that end, I've borrowed some story beats from Digimon, so yes, it has been an RPG influence, albeit a small one.

I've never considered myself an "anime fan," though. It remains a fringe interest, but I amend my earlier response at least slightly.

rebuscarnival wrote:
For me Manga and Anime are mostly aesthetic categories.


This is an interesting distinction, and imo makes sense. It's why citing them as influences (as genres) is somewhat odd to me. They're more broad than other genre classifications like sci-fi or Western in terms of the type of content you can expect. "Sci-fi anime" or "Superhero manga" are their own sub-genres that are probably more closely aligned with how we define genre scope.
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mawilson4 wrote:

rebuscarnival wrote:
For me Manga and Anime are mostly aesthetic categories.


This is an interesting distinction, and imo makes sense. It's why citing them as influences (as genres) is somewhat odd to me. They're more broad than other genre classifications like sci-fi or Western in terms of the type of content you can expect. "Sci-fi anime" or "Superhero manga" are their own sub-genres that are probably more closely aligned with how we define genre scope.


FWIW there are lots of non-aesthetic tropes in anime that I am marginally aware of - tsundre, robot boys, harem romances, no one is over 26 years old, etc. There's certainly a contrast between Japanese depictions of the post-apocalypse and western ones - Western media tends to focus on Mad Max or anarchistic landscapes where many of the Japanese depictions have functioning societies surviving with super-science. How much of this is anime specific vs. Japanese media in general I can't say.

To your point, it is interesting which genres they choose to cross. There is a tolerance for goofy romance that I don't associate sci-fi or other adventure shows in the west. In Evangelion (and others) all sorts of occult stuff shows up beside the more "traditional" sci-fi elements. I find the lack of taboo about the dark arts endearing, although usually nonsensical.
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rebuscarnival wrote:
FWIW there are lots of non-aesthetic tropes in anime that I am marginally aware of - tsundre, robot boys, harem romances, no one is over 26 years old, etc. There's certainly a contrast between Japanese depictions of the post-apocalypse and western ones - Western media tends to focus on Mad Max or anarchistic landscapes where many of the Japanese depictions have functioning societies surviving with super-science. How much of this is anime specific vs. Japanese media in general I can't say.

To your point, it is interesting which genres they choose to cross. There is a tolerance for goofy romance that I don't associate sci-fi or other adventure shows in the west. In Evangelion (and others) all sorts of occult stuff shows up beside the more "traditional" sci-fi elements. I find the lack of taboo about the dark arts endearing, although usually nonsensical.


Nice perspective. As an admittedly casual fan, it's interesting to hear about the cultural and/or artistic differences, since it's context that I lack.
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mawilson4 wrote:
rebuscarnival wrote:
For me Manga and Anime are mostly aesthetic categories.


This is an interesting distinction, and imo makes sense. It's why citing them as influences (as genres) is somewhat odd to me. They're more broad than other genre classifications like sci-fi or Western in terms of the type of content you can expect. "Sci-fi anime" or "Superhero manga" are their own sub-genres that are probably more closely aligned with how we define genre scope.


Anime and manga are not a genre. It is more than just aesthetics though. They both deal with Japanese style artwork/cartoons. These styles have changed over time, but some aspects remain the same. Within anime/manga there are certain rules that are followed.

In regards to the content, this is more tricky. You have mecha, magic, magical girl, princess, fairy tales, horror, romance, etc. There is no way that can all belong to any categorization based on content. Within each of these there are often certain troupes that are followed. For example, glomping in a romantic comedy, or in general, the lack of parents.

Anime/manga took off because of the influence of Disney and the lack of ability to produce TV/movie content of high quality after WWII. Animating something solve that problem.

In the US, we have live action. That live action can involve a lot of different genres. In Japan, they have anime instead of live action. With that said, there are certain cultural aspects that are peculiar to anime. For example, they tend to mix religious ideas together and have no desire to reconcile some things that seem to be contradictory. This is because the Japanese society does this.

There is a trend now for Korea becoming popular. The interesting fact is South Korean pop culture is coping Japanese pop culture. Their boy bands are just the same as the J-pop boy bands. Korea has their own manga/anime, but it is done in Japanese style. There are K-dramas that are literal adaptations from Japan. Most of their most popular ones have been.

For example, in Japan, there was the manga Hana Yori Dango (Boys over Flowers) that began as a manga. That then was turned into an anime. Then there was a live action movie. In 2005, it because a live action TV series. In 2009, South Korean TV did a version in Korean.

I got so sick of seeing all of these Korean TV shows on Netflix that were just copying things from Japan that I complained to Netflix. It was probably just a coincidence, but a few months later a lot more Japanese TV started to show up on Netflix.

In any case, Japanese culture is still spreading throughout the world. It is just being done by Korea.
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No on both counts. I still have a few soft spots from when I originally watched back in the day with my cousin (specifically Dual, TriGun and Cowboy Bebop) but I was, once upon a time, engaged to the worst kind of anime fan and I've not gotten near the stuff in 12 years.
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A little, maybe the famous stuff like Akira and Ghost in the Shell. And Dominion Tank Police is so funny.

I've not used any anime influence in role-playing, but I am on the lookout for a cheap copy of BESM.
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rebuscarnival wrote:


For me Manga and Anime are mostly aesthetic categories. I'm not sure I have gotten a lot of exclusive content out of these mediums. Maybe giant bipedal robots? I like the landmates from appleseed a lot and have used them in a Stars Without Number game, but they are not really functionally different than any other IP's power armor. I love the world of Spirited Away but it is not so different the European/English notions of Faerie.
those other IPs are inspired by Shirows work...
His stories are an excuse to showcase his designs and concepts, there's literally 0 concept artist that has 0 shirow influence... I can totally relate to not caring if it's a Ferrari or a Toyota though...
The concept of minimecha, that's him.
I totally recommend the mangas and other books from him.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
The movie's iron man armor is a lot closer to bbgc Hardsuits then comic designs... Nausicaa is inspired by Moebius, that then inspired every other animator and so forth.... The grand father of manga and anime was inspired by Disney. Created Astroboy out of iconic resemblance to mickey mouse. Created a huge diversity of mangas of all kinds. The matrix was supposed to be ghost in the shell, the movie then inspired plenty of manga and anime, all wearing the black trenches of the 90's american comics... geographical medium styles are kinda obsolete in 2020


Mangas i found really neat:
Anything Shirow just go fishing for concepts.
Alita Gunnm 9 first tomes. It dwarfs in every point the movie and then some. Props for a strong female lead decades ahead of the trends.
Dragon Ball (z) classic.
Claymore (makes monsters look good)
Biomeat (zombie apocalypse done by replicating chicken breasts)


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Ugavine wrote:
I've not used any anime influence in role-playing, but I am on the lookout for a cheap copy of BESM.


There is a new(other) condition on Ebay now for ~$16.
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No doubt, but Starship Troopers has power armor*. I've only read the manga and next to Nausicaa, Appleseed is probably my favorite. Perhaps those Occidentalisms come through in a way that capture my chauvinist bent? I also like Kirosawa a lot, but his flicks are also steeped in western literature.

If you want to donate to my Battle Angel fund I'll get right on those books, but the ante is steep!

*Upon researching, I see the difference between mini-mechs and power armor, but this is not a distinction I would make on my own.
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