Unlikely Anime Inspirations

If you've ever had to write something on a deadline, chances are that you've experienced the true horror of running out of inspiration. Not so for anime creators, it seems - from vending machines to gambling strategies, and even computer operating systems, it's as if absolutely anything can spark off a series. So say goodbye to writer's block as we introduce these unusual titles...


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It's rumoured that you can buy anything from vending machines in Japan, but what exactly have they put in these soda cans?

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Yes, and they're known as akikans, created as part of a strange experiment to determine whether steel or aluminium cans are better. So the girls have to fight it out - that is, until they run out of carbon dioxide...

One Outs

Tokuchi Toua, the star of the underground baseball gambling scene, is recruited to play for the Lycaons in Japan's Pacific League... Sounds just like any baseball anime?

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Then take a look at Tokuchi's contract with his manager: he gets ¥5,000,000 for every out he pitches, but loses ¥50,000,000 for every run he gives up. With a genius like Tokuchi though, one wonders who's really on the losing end...

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Here, opponents are not the only enemies, and money rules the playing field. Expect some intense mind games, underhanded meddling, and of course, regular triumphant displays of Tokuchi's rising salary.

Black Rock Shooter

This franchise has a rather surprising history - it all started from a picture of a mysterious girl with a blazing blue eye, uploaded by illustrator Ryohei Fuke.

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This image caught the attention of Supercell's songwriter, Ryo, who composed an eponymous song with the Vocaloid, Hatsune Miku. Pretty soon, the two parties collaborated on a music video and catapulted the mysterious girl to online fame.

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Finally, buoyed by its popularity, Black Rock Shooter had its own anime produced by Studio Ordet in 2009. Now who said you need a plot to start a story?


Apparently there was a joke somewhere that Windows ME was unstable and behaved like a "fickle, troublesome girl". So naturally, someone took the joke further and designed an ME mascot, Me-tan, and then things cheerfully spiralled out of control...

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Mascots, comics, and fanbooks - just when you think it's really gone out of hand, up pops a fake anime opening called Troubled Windows, complete with fansubs.

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Technically, OS-tan doesn't exactly qualify since it remains a meme for now, but who's to say it won't be on someone's TV someday?

- SL

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