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7 Wonderfully Weird Anime Spin-Offs

by Lynzee Loveridge,

Anime series draw inspiration from all kinds of things; American television (Supernatural), adult visual novels (a large portion) manga (the other large portion) or original projects. An even smaller series are spin-offs of other anime series. Sometimes its television shows within television shows coming full circle, an expansion on the original series' universe, the female character reimagined as a magical girl. The last one is really common, especially for direct-to-video releases (see Magical Girl Pretty Sammy, Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya, that School Days OAV).

7. The Adventures of Mini-Goddess This reimagining is similar to the recent Rock Lee Naruto spin-off; it takes established characters and makes them tiny. The parody's tone isn't too far off from Ah! My Goddess', it's just cuter because everyone is small.

6. Rayearth OAV The Rayearth OAV is basically someone's idea of "instead of the girls going to Cephiro, how about Cephiro comes to them?" while also rearranging alliances and personalities. Mokona is now a magical cherry blossom fairy, Ferio is now a sorcerer, and Eagle Vision is bent on destroying Earth. Somewhat related, it wasn't until I was looking up images for this show that I realized a lot of the cast is named after automobiles.

5. Getsumen to Heiki Mina Getsumen to Heiki Mina is a series within a series, like Kujibiki Unbalance is to Genshiken. In this case, that series is the manga and live-action television show/movie Densha Otoko. In the live-action series, the main character Tsuyoshi has watched the show and collects merchandise. In the subsequent spin-off Mina is pursuing a career in sportscasting and also fights off unruly alien sports fans.

4. Angel Links The cast of characters in Angel Links are born out of episode titled "Law and Lawlessness" from the anime series Outlaw Star. In the original episode a lizardman named Duuz and his colleague Valeria work for a private security force. This is carried over into Angel Links where they both work under Meifon Li, who runs a transport company that fights off space pirates.

3. Winter Garden So, what if the creators of the crazy comedy Di Gi Charat decided to reimagine the wacky aliens as decidedly average young women falling in love? The series abandons the trademark catch phrases, outfits, and superpowers. The character designs are more mature too, with only Rabi en Rose retaining her bunny ears (in the form of a headband).

2. Nurse Witch Komugi The SoulTaker is another signature series by director Akiyuki Shinbo (Madoka Magica, Monogatari series). Features a weird, dark storyline and strange color effects. On top of its oddness is Komugi, who for a single episode dons a nurse uniform while the group fights the nefarious Hospital. Apparently there was a shortage on nurses in the anime world, so KyoAni was called in to turn Komugi into a full-fledged magical nurse witch.

1. Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Far more popular than its origin, Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha is a spin-off of an OVA based on an eroge by Space Project called Triangle Heart: Sweet Songs Forever. Triangle Heart features no magical girls: it's a story about a guy trying to save his love interest from terrorists among other storylines. Nanoha herself was a side character in the show who worked at her parent's cafe. Prior to the OVA release, a short clip of the character was made showing her as a magical girl. The rest is history.

The new poll: Of the following traditional Japanese snacks, which is your favorite?

The old poll: The last poll asked which fashion designer characters would you purchase clothes from? We must have a lot of aspiring magical-girl readers because Tomoyo Daidouji took the #1 spot. Here's the full results:

  1. Tomoyo Daidouji (Card Captor Sakura) 38.4%
  2. Tsukimi Kurashita (Princess Jellyfish) 22.3%
  3. George Koizumi (Paradise Kiss) 15.1%
  4. Pappug (One Piece) 14.2%
  5. Rika Sena (Kare Kano) 3.9%
  6. Sakura Kurumi [Cure Marine's mom] (Heartcatch Precure!) 3.2%
  7. Mikako Kouda (Gokinjo Monogatari) 2.9%

When she isn't compiling lists of tropes, topics, and characters, Lynzee works as Associate Editor for Anime News Network, blogs about women and LBGT topics in anime and manga on her blog Engendered Dilemma, and posts pictures of her son on Twitter @ANN_Lynzee.

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