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Why aren’t anime movies usually canonical? —Kudasai

An essential component of the Japanese entertainment world, anime films often find themselves at a crossroads regarding their canonicity within the history of the franchise to which they belong. This question poses a number of dilemmas and challenges for both creators and viewers, and understanding why anime films tend to be non-canonical requires a deeper exploration of production processes and audience expectations.


One of the main reasons behind the lack of canonity in anime films is the timing of their production. These films are often developed and produced while the main series is still ongoing. This presents a significant challenge to the film’s writers and directors, as they must work with limited information about future plot development in the main series. As a result, films can feature plots and events that do not perfectly align with the continuity established in the series, leading to inconsistencies and contradictions with the main story.

Additionally, the desire to create a unique cinematic experience often leads anime film creators to take certain creative liberties. This may include the introduction of new characters, locations, and concepts that do not fit the plot established in the main series. While these additions can enrich the experience of the film, they can also create discordance with the narrative established in the series.

Despite these differences from the main series, anime films continue to be loved by fans for several reasons. They offer the opportunity to explore new stories and emotions with beloved characters in a different and often more expansive format. Additionally, films often feature higher quality production in terms of animation, art design, and music, making for impressive cinematic experiences.

Ultimately, while the anime films may not be canon to the franchise’s history, they remain an important part of the anime universe and continue to delight fans with new adventures and visual experiences. Its ability to expand the world and characters fans know and love, even if they don’t always fit within established continuity, is part of what makes anime such an exciting and diverse medium.

Fountain: ComicBook Resources

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