Though some fans would hate to admit it, there are few things more beloved in anime than crossover events. Those special events have died down over the past few years, but anime studios have cranked out dozens of crossovers since the medium was popularized in the 1990s. Whether the miniseries contain all-out fight sequences or rom-com hilarity, fans keep coming back to select crossovers when they need a pick-me-up.
Here at ComicBook.com, we’ve sussed through the slew of anime crossover projects to give you five of the very best. So, if you’re a fan of Fairy Tail or Dragon Ball Z, you will soon find out how those popular shonen series have teamed up with other acclaimed contemporaries.
It's A Rumin World: 50th Anniversary Weekly Shonen Sunday
To kick things off, we want to reintroduce you to Inuyasha. The half-demon is the hero of one of Rumiko Takahshi’s most popular stories, and Shonen Jump wanted to honor the mutt’s creator with a special crossover anime in March 2008. The one-shot saw characters from series like Urusei Yatsura, Ranma 1/2, and Inuyasha come together in a hilarious mash-up. Stuffed with fourth wall combo-breakers, “It’s a Rumic World” saw heroines flirt, Inuyasha lose his temper, and Ataru Moroboshi woo all the ladies.
Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicles
When it comes to crossover appeal, CLAMP capitalized on several of its most popular series with a one-of-a-kind show. The studio, who brought fans shows like Cardcaptor Sakura and Magic Knight Rayearth, created the standalone series called Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicles. The show borrows iconic characters from CLAMP’s other titles and reimagines them in an acclaimed fantasy drama. The show follows Sakura, the princess of the Kingdom of Clow, after she loses all her memories and must rely on her childhood friend Syaoran to retrieve them and her dying soul.
Fairy Tail x Rave
Thanks to the power of Original Video Animations (OVAs), mangaka Hiro Mashima was finally able to give fans what they always wanted back in 2013. The creator debuted a special crossover between two of his most famous titles, Fairy Tail and Rave. For years, various clues had teased the two series were interrelated, and Mashima exploited those tidbits with grandiose fan-service. The OVA saw heroes like Natsu and Haru go head-to-head, and it was definitely a crossover fans felt was worth the wait.
Lupin 3rd vs Detective Conan: The Movie
There are plenty of one-off anime crossovers, but none have gone so deep as Lupin 3rd vs Detective Conan: The Movie. The full-length film treats fans to a rather intriguing premise: what happens when the world’s greatest thief encounters a detective who never drops a case. The franchises crossed over back in Decemeber 2013 to critical fanfare by critics and more. The film earned more than $6 million in its first two days and earned plenty of awards along the way.
Dream 9 Toriko, One Piece Luffy, Dragon Ball Z Goku Collaboration
What happens when you pit together three of the most powerful anime characters of all-time and make them fight? Well, you get one of the most epic crossovers to ever hit television. In 2013, Dream 9's Toriko, Dragon Ball Z's Goku, and One Piece's Luffy came together in an explosive episode where they all fought to win a rare, delectable Carat Sizzled Cattle streak. Sure, the premise was more than a little goofy, but the one-shot story left fans stunned because of its sheer star power.