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Well, the question says it all. I'm really interested in the idea of cross-overs in anime. I want to know which particular company or manga group artists started the idea of cross-overs and what particular anime(s) showed cross-overs (in anime history) and the characters involved in it.

As I have searched from Wikipedia:

A fictional crossover (short: crossover) is the placement of two or more otherwise discrete fictional characters, settings, or universes into the context of a single story. They can arise from legal agreements between the relevant copyright holders, unauthorized efforts by fans, or even amid common corporate ownership.

I think that defines cross-overs in anime as well 'cause anime and manga stories are mostly fictional, hence, may work the same way in the anime industry. Correct me if I'm wrong but the general idea I have about it is that they can only do cross-overs if they (anime characters and anime) are in the same company or copyright (e.g. Clamp).

So far, most of Clamp animes did cross-overs like the cross-over of the characters of Cardcaptor Sakura, Chobits, Clamp School Detectives (same names and faces but with different roles) to Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle. Another is the popular cross-over of characters and even story of Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle, XXXHolic, Kobato and several Clamp-made animes (that I might have forgot to mention). Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle focuses in the cross-over ideas since they travel different worlds and meet the same people they met from the previous world they've been yet with different attitude and roles.

Another example I know is the cross-over of Lupin III (along Fujiko and others) in a Detective Conan movie, Lupin III VS Detective Conan. And Conan Edogawa's appearance in an episode of Yakitate! Japan (I'm not sure which episode it is). I don't know if Detective Conan, Lupin III and Yakitate! Japan are animes from the same company or copyright. Are they?

P.S. I hope this question won't be closed since this will really be educational for anime fans out there.

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Very similar question already closed, and I think with good reason. The idea of cross-overs did not originate in anime or manga; it's been a device in many fictional media. The Wikipedia article quoted in the question indicates this quite well: "A fictional crossover", "a single story", "discrete fictional…settings"—all of those phrases, to me, point to it being a general phenomenon within fiction, not something unique to anime/manga. –  dgw Dec 14 '12 at 6:41
    
How about the question of mine about the first anime that showed crossovers? Aren't you going to consider that question? –  xjshiya Dec 14 '12 at 7:23
    
I might consider it a very broad question, but others will need to come and express their opinions so we can really start to define whether questions like this are in-scope for the site. –  dgw Dec 14 '12 at 9:24
    
I don't think that the question is off-topic, as it asks for anime with a speciality, not for crossovers in general. Or am I mistaken? –  looper Dec 17 '12 at 8:40
    
I voted to reopen this question since it did not seem to violate any of the FAQ guidelines for asking questions. –  Happy Dec 17 '12 at 12:40
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1 Answer

up vote 8 down vote accepted

It's probably as early as those old Go Nagai shows. There's a couple of movies where several of his franchises were together. To name a few:

  • Mazinger Z Vs. Devilman (1973)
  • Great Mazinger tai Getter Robo (1975)
  • Great Mazinger tai Getter Robo G (1975)
  • Grendizer - Getter Robo G - Great Mazinger Kessen! Daikaijuu (1976)
  • UFO Robo Grendizer tai Great Mazinger (1976)

Crossovers consisting of Devilman, Mazinger Z, Great Mazinger, Getter Robo, Getter Robo G, Grendizer, and UFO Robo Grendizer.

Also, Lupin III is by Monkey Punch and Detective Conan is by Gosho Aoyama. It was a planned collaboration. Both shows are produced by Tokyo Movie.

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Very knowledgeable answer. Thanks! –  xjshiya Dec 14 '12 at 9:23
    
I think you meant Kaitou Kid and Detective Conan...? –  Aarthi Dec 17 '12 at 15:41
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