Some Tips to Entering an Older Franchise

The idea post comes from reading Irina’s latest masterpiece on gate keeping: Link Here. There is an inherent gate keeping feeling or struggle when it comes to a lot of older anime, so I wanted to help a bit. The Legend of the Galactic Heroes has a strong one due to its episode length and Gundam’s iron gate is very strong to a lot of people for those not in the know. Older mecha that comes from who knows how many years ago and have multiple installments of 50 episodes each in an episodic manner. Something must anime fans are not going to be interested in now days. The demand for anime nowadays is much different from back when anime started which leads to different content now.

I try my best to get into more and more older franchises all the time, so these are my tips to doing so. I am not sure if what works for me will work for you, but a lot of this comes from my own research into different franchises and what is available to me. Hope this helps a little bit.

Number 1: Watch a Recent Installment

The amazing thing about legendary pieces of older anime is how they always return to the anime sphere because of how popular they were. If you want to check out an Astro Boy series for instance, you don’t have to watch the original. There is a 2003 version that looks amazing just waiting for you to watch it. I’m not kidding. Or we could talk about the latest Tezuka production, Dororo (2019). A revival of an anime after 50 or so years. The history of anime is still pretty short.

That is one small example of who knows how many older franchises are waiting to be watched. Getter Robo has another installment coming out next year, Mazinger Z had a reboot in 2009, Megalo Box is a reimagining of Tomorrow’s Joe, and Lupin the Third has some recent installments that are fantastic watches. The best thing about a lot of these is they capture the appeal of the original with updated animation and art, but are a bit more modernized to appeal to a recent audience. Jump on board.

Number 2: A Movie

This part does and doesn’t connect to number 1. Some older franchises have had short movie adaptations that were produced recently for older fans and to introduce newer people into them as well. If those don’t exist, some even have older movies based on their first few episodes or have their entire stories split into multiple recap movies. Some stories have singular movies that are recap everything which aren’t as good, but can at least get you attuned into the franchise and tell you what to expect.

Number 3: A Short Series

IF there is no suitable movie or newer series to watch, some franchises have shorter entries into the franchise to dig into that come from ages past to watch. This doesn’t account for everything, but some just do and that is where a spot can be found. Here are some examples: Mazinkaizer for the Mazinger franchise, Patlabor: The Early Days for Patlabor, or even Gundam 0080 for a place to start in the Universal Century to get some of its themes and story.

The main idea behind this is to grasp an idea on themes, what the world is like, and how the characters act. It’s not going to be everything, just a grasp or an idea. All ideas are based on so many levels of this material here.

There is no way to get into an older franchise, but I wanted to show that there is no reason to be scared in trying something newer or older. These are three ways that I found to find a place, but I am sure there are an endless amount of ways to get into an older franchise. There is no reason to be afraid or allow people to push you away from people who make these franchises seem too much to you. Just dig in and enjoy.

You don’t have to start from the very beginning or a longer franchise to be a fan or get started, just find your own location to begin and enjoy. No one should gate keep you away from enjoying something different and new to you old or otherwise. That’s all I wanted to say. Once again, I hope this was helpful.


    1. Right? Just having a tipping point to another world is a way to dive deeper.

      I think it was either Metropolis or Cyborg 009 that tipped me into looking into more Tezuka material.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Definitely, Scott.

        I see. Granted Cyborg 009 is an Ishinomori work, but I get what you’re saying. I still have yet to see Metropolis. It’s one thing seeing the old silent film in World Cinema class, but I would like to check out Tezuka’s take on it.

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  1. That’s pretty interesting, I definitely understand that longer franchises can be daunting so I agree that those tips make a lot of sense. I really like marathoning though so I always like to start from the beginning.

    For example this year (Well I guess 2020 since we’re in 21 now) I finally started the Beyblade franchise. It’s been really high on my list for years and now I’m going to be watching straight through all the way to the current seasons. It’ll take a while but it’s a fun journey as you see the animation improving as you go through. I recently finished doing that for Summer Wars (Mostly, I still have to watch one or two more OVAs and the new show) and eventually I intend to enter the lengthy Gundam franchise but that’ll probably take even longer than Beyblade with how many shows its got.

    Very good tips though and that’s how I present it when I’m trying to pitch a series like One Piece to someone. Watch the Episode of Luffy, Nami, Sanji, etc. specials and then the Alabasta special. If you watch all the recaps you can skip straight through to Impel Down and start from there so that’s a few hundred episodes out of the way

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    1. I have to say that I used to be a marathoner, so I get that feeling and wanting to see everything, but lately I just had an the time in the world so using a taste test to see if a series is worth getting into has been pretty helpful.

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  2. This is a good starting point for most things, I think, although I’ve heard of people getting sucked into series after seeing fanwork/memes (which is its own can of worms).

    The reason I have a bunch of series which are almost exclusive to me in AMQ and rare to find fans of in general (Touken Ranbu, HypMic etc.) is because I’ve gotten into things with the intent of bettering myself language-wise and they eventually got anime or something similar/the other way around. With enough exposure to anything, you eventually pick up vocabulary you don’t know and, for games without an official translation, are able to navigate them by memory. Playing a game in a language you’re not entirely familiar with as an entry point is not a method I’d recommend unless time is on your side and you’re dedicated enough to a language and/or a series, though.

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