Seeing Too Much Influence In Older Anime?

For the longest time, I’ve tried figuring out to fill out some gaps in my personal log of anime history. I mean, I’m an anime fan that has started out with a lot of popular works like everyone else. The easiest things to start as an anime fan is to look at popular works which have a lot of attention then go in some sort of direction afterwards. For me, I’ve kind of gone in all directions from newer seasonal shows to older mecha and other shows because I love both of them. Finding newer things has kept me so much more interested in anime because is a lot more to see with newer and older creative things too.

From doing that, I just wanted to create my own sort of anime history because I want to look into a lot of creators that I haven’t gotten into before hand. Find a lot of good people who created so much incredible anime that were at the start of anime itself to people who are famous now from all of their own creative vision. Or even see so much great work that the people who are famous now created before they were famous. It’s been a lot of fun seeing things like Flying Phantom Ship and Future Boy Conan for instance because those are Miyazaki anime before he became who most of the anime community knows him as now.

It’s a good time, but it worries me that I might be seeing a lot more influence in areas that I am not sure are real connections or coincidences. A major example is once again, Evangelion. Something which everyone calls as being influenced by Space Runaway Ideon and Ultraman, but really is a kitchen sink of anime influences just like every Gainax production and some, not all, Trigger productions. But there is so much more then that. Operation Yashima, for instance, is like the scene where the Yamato was first powered up. Or the mere mention of the characters Rei and Asuka when there was a character called Rei Asuka in Dear Brother. That’s only a small amount.

The worry from this post came from seeing Flying Phantom Ship and seeing this ancient looking sailing ship that is actually a modern flying ship that can fire laser canons from its bow. This film came out in 1969 and I’m wondering if Leiji Matsumato saw this and this is where a lot of his series productions came from. Or I’ve been thinking about the hyper mode in Daltantious and THE POWER in GaoGaiGar and how they might be from the same thing. I could keep going for this and I am not sure if there is actual influence from one series to another OR if that is all coincidence for them too. It’s that question of whether I am thinking too hard on this or whether I should just enjoy watching the anime instead. Hmmm.


  1. I think it’s fun to see where the beloved series got their start, like there are direct parallels between Urusei Yatsura (1981) with the instrumentality scene in Third Impact as well as a direct visual line to EP 26, but in that case Hideaki Anno worked on Urusei Yatsura, so it’s more of a “what came first the chicken or the egg” situation, because someone will inevitably be influenced by something they work on and are passionate about šŸ™‚

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    1. I love reading about unlikely connections! I don’t think that’s something you need to worry about. Even if two series aren’t directly influenced by each other, they could be products of the same…zeitgeist? And I find that pretty neat. šŸ™‚ PhD-holding critics make a living off picking apart that stuff.

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      1. The end of Urusei Yatsura (1981) Episode 78 has a lot of similarities to Evangelion Episode 26 visually, except that episode is all about an inward reflection on Ataru’s mother after she falls and hits her head. I think Evangelion probably took from a lot because Gainax was originally founded by a lot of nerds, plus Hideaki Anno was a key animator on Urusei Yatsura.

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  2. I think that parallels you’re seeing in older anime probably isn’t coincidences, a lot of these anime were based off of manga, and mangaka particularly in the 1950’s, 60’s, and 70’s, spent a quite a bit of time together. Mangaka would often live in the same small apartment buildings and collaborate ideas with each other. So it’s no surprise that there would be some similarities popping up! And of course, as the manga that they wrote were adapted into anime those similarities get adapted too. And even if the mangaka didn’t meet each other, it’s very common in the art world to learn from the work of other artists, so again making similarities pop up.

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  3. “… but it worries me that I might be seeing a lot more influence in areas that I am not sure are real connections or coincidences.” I mean… isn’t that what makes watching anime fun? Neither interpretation is wrong, there’s probably as many real connections that you’re making verses coincidences you’ll see. Picking for yourself which interpretation is your personal view and gives your posts their own personality. At least that’s how I’ve been framing it for myself.

    It certainly is food for thought, especially viewing older works in comparison to their contemporary ones.

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    1. I think it’s easier with newer shows to go “oh, this is a dezaki shot” or call out all of those other references like the Attack on Titan derpy giant run pretty easily. Older ones are ones where I’m going “is this one idea from GaoGaiGar from this Daltanious and God Mars” with a maybe as an answer.

      And I see what you mean about what could be a connection or not. Hmm.

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  4. This is a very interesting post. I’ve noticed things with older anime and think “oh, this character or series must have been inspired from this one!”. Good observation about the Ideon/EVA parallels because I think some people believe that EVA was the first to do certain things when it comes to anime. Even when I watched Key the Metal Idol, I think Serial Experiments Lain got some stuff from there and the title character must have been an influence on Rei Ayanami. I even pointed out that Fuusuke from Ninku’s Kuatsuken attack is totally the original Rasengan as seen in Naruto years later and Masashi Kishimoto admitted to practicing his drawing skills by copying Ninku panels. You also have Satoshi Kon who I and others swear people have been influenced by or straight up ripping off his stuff. I’m curious about this Flying Phantom Ship movie.

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