10 Copy Cat Anime Worse Than The Original


It’s been said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but there are times when the line between homage and plagiarism was blurred. That’s the case with these anime, which rode the coattails of the most popular anime of their time but failed to replicate the original’s success. What’s more, these clones were arguably worse than their inspirations.



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While some of these anime are decent enough and could stand on their own, they still couldn’t escape the shadows of their most obvious inspirations. Others, meanwhile, are so bad that they’re only remembered as good examples of why ripping off a popular anime’s superficial trappings and chasing trends won’t always work out as intended.

10 Flame Of Recca Was A Lesser YuYu Hakusho

YuYu Hakusho wasn’t just one of the most popular anime of the 90s, but one of the most influential shonen anime ever made. one of YuYu Hakusho‘s biggest contributions to anime was popularizing the tournament arc, which has since become a genre staple. Flame Of Recca loved this idea so much that it used it for an entire series.

Just in 1997, Flame Of Recca was accused of ripping off Yu Yu Hakusho. Besides similar character designs and personalities, Recca and his friends’ story was basically a series-long version of the Dark Tournament. Flame Of Recca endured as a nostalgic cult favorite, but it still couldn’t surpass Yusuke and his friends’ adventures.

9 Fairy Tail Was A Fantasy Retelling Of One Piece

A lot has already been said about how Black Clover is the most derivative contemporary shonen anime that clearly took notes from Shonen Jump’s Big Three, but before Asta came along, there was Natsu and friends. broadly speaking, Fairy Tail was a fantasy version of one piece, but nowhere near as compelling or expansive as the Straw Hats’ voyages.

That’s not to say Fairy Tail is bath. The anime is a good example of how following the shonen formula isn’t a net negative, and it’s since become a cherished nostalgic memory. However, Fairy Tailsthemes of camaraderie and chasing dreams were better done in One Piece. That, and the stylistic and visual similarities between the two can be hard to ignore.

8 Guilty Crown Was A Failed Code Geass Remake

when Death Note director Tetsuro Araki and My-HIME writer Hiroyuki Yoshino (with Code Geass writer Ichiro Okouchi helping out) teamed up to make an original anime, the last thing people expected was a rehashed Code Geass. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what Guilty Crown was, and it can be best described as Code Geass going off the rails.

Guilty Crown barely had an original thought in its story, which followed yet another prodigy student/future revolutionary hero who gained amazing powers after he met a mysterious girl. Guilty Crown repeated many of Code Geass‘ plot beats but rushed through them, leading to many unintentionally hilarious moments that bordered on self-parody.

7 Kabaneri Of The Iron Fortress Was The First Attack On Titan Clone

after Attack On Titan‘s runaway success, everyone was excited to see what Wit Studio would do next. What no one expected was another Attack On Titanspecifically Kabaneri Of The Iron Fortress. Rather than use their newfound clout to pursue an ambitious adaptation or original project, all Wit Studio did was rehash humanity’s war against the Titans.

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in letter, Kabaneric was really just Attack on Titan, but in a steampunk Feudal Japan with armored trains and zombies. all Kabaneric had going for it was its impressive animation and character designs, but even these eye-catching visuals couldn’t elevate the first of many high-profile Attack On Titan clones from being a derivative imitation.

6 Darling In The FranXX Copied Neon Genesis Evangelion Almost Word-For-Word

To be fair, there are so many anime that were inspired by or are direct copies of Neon Genesis Evangelion that they could qualify for their own subgenre. However, Darling In The FranXX took this imitation to the next level by literally just being evangelion, right down to the thematically suggestive giant robots to the background lore

It’s been said that Darling In The FranXX only became an Evangelion clone in its second half when the world’s lore was revealed, but, in hindsight, it was conceptualized as an Evangelion clone from the start. Darling In The FranXX was made by former Gainax employees, and it’s hard not to read the anime as their failed attempt to repeat Evangelion‘s success.

5 Platinum End Retreaded Future Diary In The Most Ludicrous Ways

While it didn’t age perfectly, Future Diary is still one of the most undeniably influential anime of its time. Without Deus’ game for godhood, the entire death game subgenre wouldn’t be as popular. Platinum End is no exception, and that’s not only because it followed the death game formula to the last letter. Instead, it went further by copying Future Diary itself.

Both anime are about battles for godhood, and they feature contestants who were given slight supernatural buffs. The difference, however, was that Platinum End took Future Diary‘s laughable edge to the most juvenile and tasteless extremes. The end result wasn’t an offensive show, but an anime so hilariously bad that it made Future Diary seem restrained.

4 Yuki Yuna Is A Hero Was One Of Puella Magi Madoka Magica’s Most Blatant Clones

Puella Magi Madoka Magica was so influential that it’s responsible for spawning the entire fad of deconstructive and edgy magical girl anime that dominated the 2010s. Many of these clones copied madoka‘s darkness on a superficial and rather juvenile level, but the closest and most blatant imitation was Yuki Yuna Is A Hero.

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like madoka, the titular Yuki’s adventures were an otherwise straightforward magical anime that hid an existential and cosmic darkness underneath a cutesy surface. Both anime dealt with heroism’s hardships and the sinister implications of magical girl clichés. Although Yuki Yuna Is A Hero isn’t all that bad, it’s still a pale remix of madoka.

3 Gundress Failed At Imitating Bubblegum Crisis & Literally Everything Else

In the ’80s, one of the most popular trends in cyberpunk anime was a team of cool heroines who either worked within or outside the law to serve justice. Bubblegum Crisis solidified this trend, and it inspired countless clones, many of which fell into obscurity. If not for its spectacular failure, gun dress would’ve been one of these forgotten imitations.

In terms of personalities, fighting prowess, and mission, gun dress Angel Arms agents were practically clones of Bubblegum CrisisKnight Sabers. Not helping gun dress‘ case was its shoddy production, which was so bad and mismanaged that it made an already derivative anime even more laughably bad and difficult to watch than it already was.

2 Arifureta Was The Rising Of The Shield Hero, But Edgier & Worse

Back in 2019, The Rising Of The Shield Hero‘s brand of edgy isekai storytelling was seen as the much-needed serious take on Sword Art Online. Naofumi’s brooding adventures and victimization inspired countless imitators, the most notable being Arifureta: From Commonplace To World’s Strongest.

Shield Hero and Arifureta starred bullied anti-heroes who were their world’s strongest characters, and they used their might to indulge in revenge. However, Arifureta was even more shameless in its juvenile wish fulfillment than Shield Hero. in letter, Arifureta skipped Shield Hero‘s nuance and attempts at deeper storytelling to prioritize the poorly animated edgy entertainment.

1 Duel Masters Was Literally Made To Imitate Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters

the Yu-Gi-Oh! card game was inspired by Magic: The Gathering, and things came full circle when magic‘s creators, Wizards of the Coast, wanted their own Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters-style franchise. This led to the creation of Duel Masterswhich was really just Yu-Gi-Oh! but focused on a legally-approved magic copy cat.

Duel Masters and Yu-Gi-Oh! have more similarities than differences, but Duel Masters lacked the original’s camp and charm. Both followed aspiring card players, but Duel Masters only retreaded clichés and trends that Yu-Gi-Oh! codified and immortalized. For what it’s worth, Duel Masters‘ card game was more interesting than the anime.

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