If there’s one guilty pleasure all anime fans have, it’s a love for crossovers. Anime purists might not admit it, but there are very few things as awesome as seeing two or three anime favorites sharing some well-deserved screen time.
Sadly, crossovers have not been very prevalent with popular titles during recent years. However, through anime’s storied history, there are still a number of very great entries in this somewhat elusive genre.
Of course, there have also been some notable ones as of late, and these, as well as the old and gold crossover anime that were released before, are the focal point of today’s list.
Here are our Top 10 Crossover Anime!
10. Anime Tenchou x Touhou Project
- Episodes: 1
- Aired: November 2010
Yet another one-episode feature, this particular entry into the anime crossover world is something straight out of Ufotable’s lineup, with characters from the company’s popular franchises, Anime Tenchou and the doujin game franchise Touhou Project.
Though quite notable for the way it integrated the characters’ interactions from the two franchises, the special episode was unfortunately only shown for a very limited release in Japan and thus, is quite difficult to find nowadays. Nevertheless, this special episode, created partly to commemorate Anime Tenchou’s 10th anniversary, is definitely worth any fan’s time.
9. It's a Rumic World: 50th Anniversary Weekly★Shonen Sunday
- Episodes: 1
- Aired: March 2008
This short, one-shot special features characters from Rumiko Takahashi’s most iconic works, Urusei Yatsura, Ranma ½ and of course, Inuyasha. With Ataru Moroboshi’s flirting ways crossing over to female Ranma and Kagome, Lum, Inuyasha and Ranma himself would not let him get away with it. Though very short, the characters interactions in the few minutes they share together are just classic laugh-out-loud Takahashi.
Plus, a lot of the characters even break the fourth wall, including Inuyasha and Ranma noticing that they sound alike (they have the same seiyuu), and Kagome and Lum addressing the audience directly. Awesome? Definitely!
8. Ravex in Tezuka World
- Episodes: 1
- Aired: November 2009
This 18-minute crossover featuring characters from anime giant Osamu Tezuka’s portfolio and blended with the musical pieces from electronic music group Ravex, as well as a number of popular Japanese musicians, stands as a tribute to the anime forerunner. Within the crossover’s runtime, several of Tezuka’s creation were featured, including Black Jack and of course, Astro Boy.
With music from prominent artists such BoA, Maki Goto, Anna Tsuchiya, Tohoshinki, and TRF, the crossover is a worthy tribute to what would have been Osamu Tezuka’s 80th birthday. After all, without Tezuka, there might have been no anime in the world at all.
7. Grendizer, Getter Robo G, Great Mazinger: Kessen! Daikaijuu!
- Episodes: 1
- Aired: July 1976
From the golden age of the super robot era in anime comes this tour de force featuring three of the era’s most iconic giant robots, Grendizer, Getter Robo G, Great Mazinger, who are called upon to defend the Earth against the threat of a giant sea monster, a 550-meter, 40,000-ton, regenerative behemoth called a Dragosaurus. The job is easier said than done, however, as the Dragosaurus proves tough for even the three powerful super robots to effectively defeat.
Like the many crossovers that were released during the super robot era, the events of this crossover are not canonical to any of the official events of each of the super robots’ anime. Rather, it is considered as a side-story, much like the recent manga/American crossover featuring a noncanonical story involving Shingeki no Kyojin’s titans invading a city protected by Marvel’s Avengers.
6. Fairy Tail x Rave
- Episodes: 1
- Aired: August 2013
Anime personality Hiro Mashima has never shied away from giving fans clues that his works are somehow related (take Plue, for example), but this one-episode jewel of an OVA finally takes the cat out of the bag, as characters from Mashima’s two main works, Fairy Tail, and Rave Master finally manages to get some much-needed screen time with each other.
Featuring a fight between the two main characters of the two beloved series, as well as some clever placing and pacing, this OVA is one cool tour de force for fans of Mashima’s work. After all, any crossover that features Erza, Lucy and Elie in one episode can’t ever miss, right?
5. Dream 9 Toriko & One Piece & Dragon Ball Z Super Collaboration Special
- Episodes: 2
- Aired: April 2013
With a lineup headlined by three of anime’s most overpowered protagonists, Toriko, Goku and Luffy, this crossover special sure delivered in every aspect. Composed of two parts that were shown side by side on April 2013, the special episodes featured the three characters competing with each other in order to win the extremely rare Carat Sizzled Cattle, the rarest meat of all.
Considering the appetite of Toriko, Goku, and Luffy, fans could only guess just how epic the battle among these three leads was. True to form, fans were even treated to some well-deserved shounen fan service on the second part of the special, when the three leads found themselves fighting against a common enemy.
4. Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicles
- Episodes: 52
- Aired: April 2005 - November 2006
From the creators of popular anime series such as Cardcaptor Sakura, Magic Knight Rayearth, and X/1999 comes this one-of-a-kind crossover series, featuring beloved characters from manga group CLAMP’s works. Though the story of the Tsubasa Chronicles is not exactly canonical with the group’s other works, the series was nonetheless able to connect the universes of a number of CLAMP’s works.
The anime proved successful, with fans and critics alike lauding the series for managing to tell a clever story featuring characters that have already been acquainted with fans from previous works. Apart from this, the twists within the overlying story’s plotlines are also very notable.
3. Carnival Phantasm
- Episodes: 16
- Aired: August 2011 - July 2012
With this crazy and hilarious anime, it seemed like Type-Moon, the anime firm behind the wildly successful Fate series, just so happened to have some extra funding and decided to mesh their characters together in a gag-filled, chaotic show featuring the company’s most popular characters. What is really strange, though, is the fact that it’s so darn good!
From the addictive opening theme to the antics of characters from Fate/Stay Night and Tsukihime finding themselves in situations far beyond the themes of their respective titles, each episode of Carnival Phantasm is simply a delight to watch.
2. Cyborg 009 vs. Devilman
- Episodes: 3
- Aired: November 2015
One of the most recent crossovers in recent anime history features two beloved characters from anime’s yesteryears, Cyborg 009 and Devilman. According to reports, the crossover was decades in the making, as Devilman creator Go Nagai, during his initial years as an anime illustrator for Cyborg 009’s Shotaro Ishinomori, got the idea that a crossover featuring the titular characters would be a great idea.
Such ideas usually wait for the right time, however, and as far as one could tell, when the three-episode OVA was released, it was exactly what fans of the original series wanted, with excellent production values and action scenes that pitted the two iconic protagonists against each other.
1. Lupin III vs Detective Conan: The Movie
- Episodes: 1
- Aired: December 2013
What happens when you pit a thief who cannot be caught against a detective who solves every case? Well, that is exactly the premise of this crossover film, featuring anime’s most beloved thief, Lupin III and anime’s darling detective, the clever Detective Conan. Of course, with the two franchises’ characters involved in the mix, this movie is filled with everything fans love about both Lupin III and Detective Conan.
The movie was a runaway success in Japan, grossing more than $6 million within the first two days of its release. Critically and commercially successful, the film holds the title as the highest-grossing film featuring Detective Conan. Apart from this, the movie was also nominated for the Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year at the 37th Japan Academy Prize.
Thus, our list of the top ten anime crossovers ends. Of course, if any other cool crossovers come into mind, please do mention them in the comments below.
Till the next list!