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Many series that I have seen have "x in Wonderland" episodes where they have retellings/variations of Alice in Wonderland with the characters from the show. Examples of this include Ouran High School Host Club (episode 13), Black Butler (season 2 OVA 1 and 4), Cardcaptor Sakura (episode 55), and Code Geass (OVA). What is the origin of this? Is there some sort of cultural basis for this?

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    It probably has to do with being public domain now. Also, it is not limited to anime: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… – Killua Jun 8 '13 at 15:59
  • I'm not asking about the popularity of Alice in Wonderland adaptations but of this specific type of episode. I don't think I've generally seen this specific type of episode outside of anime, though I could be wrong. – kuwaly Jun 8 '13 at 16:14
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    It could be just a general popularity of the "Alice in Wonderland" story. I'm going to guess that most of the "X in Wonderland" episodes were just fillers. I know the "Ouran High School in Wonderland" was. So I don't think there is a deeper meaning for referencing "Alice in Wonderland" asides from cute referencing of a very gaudy and stylized American cartoon. If it helps a lot of people contribute the anime drawing style to typical disney cartoons of the 50s, so a lot of anime artists are very familiar with disney cartoons. – kevluv97 Jun 10 '13 at 3:39
  • You might be right, just figured I might throw out food for thought... – kevluv97 Jun 11 '13 at 18:26
  • I think that anime runs in the anime cloture so they usually add an "in wonderland" episode. – user23851 May 3 '16 at 4:20
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I guess this is because of it's overall popularity. According here,

Alices Adventures In Wonderland is a pretty well-known work: it can be associated with world-crossing fantasy, drug imagery, lolita fashion and other aspects of Victorian England, political satire, and who knows what else. No wonder it shows up a lot in anime, shock horror (it's a frequent target of Grimmification, usually with lots of blood), and emo teen novels. (You know the kind — usually involving vampires, eating disorders, or vampires with eating disorders.)

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This is interesting because I see many answers saying it's not limited to anime, but from what I've seen, it's not limited to Alice in Wonderland.

While it seems to be the most popular one by far, I also have seen re-editions of the Japanese fairy tale 'Momotaru, the Peach Boy', examples include: Assassination Classroom, Maid-Sama and Free!!! (All of which are amazing and I would recommend watching from the bottom of my heart.)

I agree that they are many for the purpose of buying time for the animators to work on bigger pieces such as finales, they also are comic relief episodes that put loveable characters in familiar situations.

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