Today, when we look at anime-inspired works, a lot of them are pretty good. From Legend of Korra to Steven Universe, there are a lot of great cartoons that take cues from anime and do it well. But sometimes, anime-inspired works are embarrassing- you can tell whoever behind it was like “whats that thing these young people are into? These animus and mangos? Let’s try to do that!” Sometimes it also crosses the line into blatant, cringe-worthy plagiarism. So without futher ado, let’s look at some of the weirdest anime rip-offs out there.
It’s a weird concept at first glance, but Twilight actually does fit in with the worst shoujo manga has to offer out there- abusive boyfriends played as romantic, the heroine getting randomly sexually assaulted, monologues and melodrama, the works. So the manga-like Twilight comic adaptation by Young Kim actually works a bit better as a manga than it did as a book It did, however have absolutely atrocious lettering and weird transparent speech bubbles that covered up the characters faces.
Usually I don’t pay attention to lettering, so it’s quite a feat this lettering ended up so ugly it ruined the comic’s actually quite passable art.
Kappa Mikey is more of an anime parody than just a copy, but it’s definitely really weird. The shortlived 2006 Nickelodean series followed an American kid named Mikey who won a contest to be in an anime and turned said anime into a hit because there’s nothing that helps an anime more than some random weeb teenager from the US getting involved, apparently. The way the show DID its parody was pretty bizarre- our American protagonist was done in the typical Nicktoons style while the anime-like characters he interacted with were done in a sort of anime style. I say “sort of” because the style tended to look more like a 12-year-old DeviantArt user’s approximation of anime than any actual style of anime. The result…did not look good at all.
It didn’t help that low-budget Flash animation was used. It’s hard not to get second-hand embarrassment watching the theme song.
Also, despite being a parody of anime, it didn’t really do much despite dig at the surface elements. The characters could be loosely correlated to some vague anime tropes and there was anime-esque slapstick and expressions, but that was about it. Some fans liked it as a show for the stuff in it outside the parody aspect, but most admit it wasn’t really great as a parody.