Kadian on Characters in Anime Doing Each Other

Original Post: The Feat of “In-universe Parody” & What it Does for Shows (e.g. K-ON!!, Genesis of Aquarion)


August 7, 2010 at 5:34 pm

Body Swaps: a variation of the in-universe character parody, and a common trope in comedy manga/anime. Maybe not true caricatures, but the displacement of personality and body makes us notice the individual quirks more. There’s usually a rule about the characters having to hide the switch for the duration, so they have to try being the other person.
– Utena: Utena and Anthy for a day
– Excel Saga: Excel and Hyatt in the last episode
– Cardcaptor Sakura: Syaoran and Kero for a day
– Dragonball Z: Captain Ginyu with others

Possession: like body swaps, only one-sided. Through ghosting or mind control someone acts out someone else in that person’s body. Sometimes a hilarious exaggeration, sometimes completely off.
– Kamichu: Yashima regularly possesses Mitue to communicate with muggles
– Yu Yu Hakusho: While he’s dead, Yusuke takes Kuwabara’s body
– Le Chevalier D’Eon: D’Eon’s sister’s soul cohabitates in his body
– Inuyasha: does this a fuckton

Imitation: the most basic form of mimicry, sometimes aided with disguises.
– K-ON!: Ui impersonates Yui
– Fullmetal Alchemist: Envy impersonates others
– Lucky Star: Konata caricaturizes her friends frequently
– Infinite Ryvius: the DVD extras caricaturize the cast
– Ouran Host Club: in mocking or for a punchline
– Turn A Gundam: of course

Of special note was Asatte no Houkou, whose entire premise was two characters swapping age which entirely changed the dynamics of all their relationships.

Not nearly an exhaustive list, but one that gives a wide variety of in-universe impersonations, how they do them, and the impressions they make.


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