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Anime's influence on Exalted -- for good or ill -- is well known; there's certainly no need to go into any great depths on that subject here.  :)

Rather, this is a brief list of manga or anime inspirations for an Exalted campaign. Whether borrowing a few elements of a story or converting an entire series to Creation, the following have -- in mine own opinion, in any case -- plenty to offer. This will probably be expanded as more random ideas invade my forebrain.

(A note: Both Japanese and English series titles are offered, where applicable and known to me)

Saint Seiya / Knights of the Zodiac:

A classic sentai series, perfectly suited to Exalted -- flocks of characters in fantastical armor, with fighting ability on a par with the gods, sworn to various deities and destined to kill each other in massive cyclical Holy wars. And let's not forget the internal strife, backstabbing, and occasional bouts of insanity. Great Curse, anyone?  ;)

The Gold Saint / Spectre conflict alone would make phenomenal fodder for a Solar / Abyssal showdown ...

(If at all possible, I would suggest avoiding the "Knights of the Zodiac" translation of the anime. Interesting things have been done to the plot in an effort to avoid the abundance of blood, insanity and dozens of spectacular deaths *evil chuckle*)

Yoroiden Samurai Troopers / Ronin Warriors:

More sentai! This time, facing off against the forces of an otherworldly demon-emperor hellbent on conquering the mortal world. The Yondai Masyou would make excellent Infernals (or perhaps Abyssals; YMMV); the Troopers themselves fit into the Solar Castes perfectly. Or they would be very unusual Dragon-Blooded ;)

Kaosu is clearly a horribly meddlesome and mysterious Sidereal. *evil*

(I suppose that would make Byakuen a really bored Lunar. He certainly seems smarter than the Troopers, and therefore must be more than just a familiar  ;) )

Shoujo Kakumei Utena / Revolutionary Girl Utena:

Here we have Dragonblooded schoolyard politicking at its best, though Ends of the World could be ... almost anything. Perhaps the "Power of Dios" is, somehow, a stolen Solar Shard?

Conversely, the entirety of the series could be one really eccentric raksha Court, with the claiming of Heart Graces all over the place ... the movie (Adolescence Mokushiroku) may be even more suitable than the main series as an inspiration for a raksha campaign. One endless shaping!

Yami no Matsuei / Descendants of Darkness:

This is a Sidereals campaign just waiting to happen ;) Some Bureaus aren't corrupt, they're just ... eccentric. And someone has to go untangle all those fates when people just don't die properly, dammit! Add in meddling demons and other complications, and there you have it. (Muraki is a very bloody twisted Abyssal, yes he is.)

The shinigami-as-deceased-mortals aspect would be lost, but Arcane Fate more than makes up for the effects, imo.

Now you know just what goes on in the Bureau of Endings ... be afraid, be very afraid ...

Tenkuu no Escaflowne / Vision of Escaflowne:

One word: Warstriders.

In all seriousness, one could take the entirety of Escaflowne and just drop it into some nice corner of Creation and it would work -- especially if the ST avoided the Mary Sue-ish Hitomi. That's what PCs are for!

The possibilities are endless: Perhaps Zaibach is the Locust Crusade. Maybe they just happened upon a mess of First Age technology. Maybe Dornkirk is a mad Sidereal out to "fix things" and has just completely flipped his cog ;)

If you prefer the movie version, Folken is a classic "Oblivion rocks and you all suck now" Abyssal. No idea what he would be in-series, other than very messed up and probably dead *laughs*

Tenshi Kinryouku / Angel Sanctuary:

It a ST wants to run a series based around corruption in Heaven, you can't get better inspiration than this. From the indifference of the highest powers to the ghetto underbelly of Heaven and spirits running eugenics experiments on each other, Angel Sanctuary is a lovely resource for Heaven crashing headlong into Hell. Or Malfeas, as it were. Or maybe Oblivion ...

And the Inorganic and Organic Angels, Rosiel and Alexiel (or do I mean Autochthon and Gaia ..? hm) have finally had enough. Ehehe.

And that's without making an effort to convert the plotline directly, which gives me headaches just thinking about it  ;)

Seiden RG Veda:

First Age-style campaign, without a doubt. There's just no other way to do this one justice.

Gods and god-blooded clans ruling over mere mortals? Check.
Unspeakable alien creatures invading from the edges of the world? Check.
The biggest, baddest, most baroque weapons and armor possible? Check.
Usurpation, mass slaughter, freaky magic, and demon-gods? Check.
Secret motives and mysterious guiding forces? Check.

There's even a Great Prophecy to enact -- or circumvent.

And the glorious reign of the gods is annihilated by the end of the story! ;)

Bleach (rev. -Suzume)

So you're chosen by a death-spirit on its last legs to temporarily take over its powers and save your family, only it turns out that you take a bit too much, and are more powerful than the spirit was. What's more, with you around, the latent powers of your friends and classmates start to manifest, turning them into monster-fighting badasses. Then the death-spirit local finds out about the little illegal monster hunting you've been doing, hunts you down, takes the friendly death-spirit and her powers back to death-spirit land to try and execute her. Their mistake? They didn't kill you outright. It turns out that you've had your own powers all along, lying dormant, and now you're going to need them. After all, storming heaven isn't too much to do for a friend, now is it?

Boukyaku no Senritsu / Melody of Oblivion (rev. -Suzume)

Years ago, the War of the Twentieth Century was waged between people and the Monsters. The Monsters, beings with the power to re-shape reality, won. The Melos Warriors who fought for humanity are now a scattered and nearly extinct handful of resistance fighters, struggling to prevent the dream- and emotion-eating Monsters from destroying the last hopes of mankind. They fight with mistic powers granted them by a being that only can see, who leaves a mark upon their bodies as a sign of her favor. This mark luminesces when they use their abilities to empower their weapons with mythic might. They fight with the assistance of powerful relics of the past that serve them as both mounts and as companions. They fight to prevent the last remenants of the unused technology of manking from the last war from being destroyed by the collaborators with the Monsters. I don't, I think, need to say any more. ^_^

Scrapped Princess (rev. -Suzume)

Nearly sixteen years ago, the holy Oracle of Grendel prophesied that the daughter born to the king of a certain land was the "great poison" that would destroy the world. To avert the prophesy, the infant was cast from a cliff, tossed away like garbage. The entire kingdom breathed easier, knowing that the world had been saved. Fortunately, someone found this action repugnant. He saved the girl, and hid her, raising her with his own two children as if she was his own. Flash forward almost sixteen years. The kindly man is now dead, and through misfortune, the girl's identity has been discovered. Though her fated sixteenth birthday is fast approaching, and the adherents of the Mauser religion hunt her relentlessly, she is guarded by her adopted brother, a skilled swordsman, and sister, a talented sorceress. They aren't out to conquer the world, just to live a little bit longer. But to do the latter, they may have to do the first. They must fight the kingdom's special forces, the holy Peacemakers of Mauser, and the entire populace of kingdoms and empires who believe that the girl named in hope Pacifica is a being of pure evil. Worse, they must face the possibility that the prophecy might be true. In their struggle, they will gain the support of good and honest people, fantastically gifted warriors, rulers and nobles, common tavern maids, and the secret weapons left behind by the so-called Demon King Browning.

Xenosaga (rev. -Suzume)

Either the game or the anime based on it (yes, that is in the right order...). Alchemicals in space. Need I say more? ^_^

Juuni Kokuki / Twelve Kingdoms (rev. -Suzume)

Summoned from her mostly normal life in Japan, Nakajima Youko must come to grips with her endowment as the near-immortal queen of Kei, a country not on any map of our world, one of twelve kingdoms froged by the great ruler of heaven when he last destroyed the world. Each kingdom is ruled by a king or queen, assisted by a semi-divine Ki-Rin. Both are immmortal, so long as they keep the Mandate of Heaven. Once they lose that Mandate through bad rulership or tyrrany, first the Ki-Rin grows ill and dies, and shortly thereafter the Ruler follows suit. The ruler may appoint advisors, naming them "Sen-Nin" and making them immortal as well. Great monsters may be tamed. Great deed may be done. And all of this in a setting very strongly reminiscient of ancient China. ^_^ This series is based on an ongoing series of novels. I hope to obtain and start translating one of the early ones this summer. ^_^

Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon / Sailor Moon: (Tai, again)

Now, before the masses rise up and strangle me, let me note that I don't mean a horde of Siddie girls in short skirts  :) But one could get an interesting bit of ideas from the first two story-arcs -- for the first, the Shitennou as some nice Infernals, anyone? Or maybe Abyssals; the theme fits better somehow. Betraying their Kingdom and its rightful ruler, and all, with the (spirit) vampirism as an added bonus. The second ... maybe the Kurozuki are outcaste Dragonblooded ... Or perhaps they should be the Infernals. Hm ... that could work ...
The Kingdoms of the Moon and the Earth make nice fodder for First Age ruins and artifacts (by the gods, I want the diamond sword that deals lethal poison with a touch); and, if you have a taste for the anime version, Allen / Ail and Ann make interesting raksha.
(Tsukikage no Knight as a really messed up Lunar ...?) *giggles*
Definitely go with the manga on this one. There's a lot that can be stolen.  :)

Aqua Knight by Yukito Kishiro

Knights in power armor riding orcas in a vast ocean, dotted with island kingdoms. A young, questing knight with mad sword skills and hotness and character in abundance. A genius scientist obsessed with perfection, flying around in a ship powered by an artificial giant. Etc. Etc. Perfect for adventures in the West. Also, it's beautifully drawn by the creator of Gunnm/Battle Angel Alita. Resplendence

King of Fighters (Tai)
The only thing better than a kickin fighting game series -- is a kickin fighting series with a plot.  :)
Demon serpents and their freakish semi-human descendants? We have those. Shadowy organizations replicating people? Those, too. Evil overlords of a few different varieties? Yeh; and one's just bored. Wonderful examples of just utterly eccentric (or insane) superpowerful fights? Check.
Some of the most insane inspiration for Exalted MA styles ever? Oh yeah.
I wish I could crunch the actual rules for Exalted. I would so be converting styles from these games ...  ;)

Weiss Kreuz / Knight Hunters (Tai)
Probably more suited to a lower-key game (mortal or God-Blooded), but definitely worth a look. Especially if you look into the Drama Cds and / or An Assassin And White Shaman, and not just the first animated series (Kapital). *ois*
Hunting down and slaughtering those that the "normal" authorities won't touch, and then getting involved up to your necks with an organization trying to breed new and better humans with scary powers (and control them, of course). And then you find out the big organization your team works for is actually connected with these people ... or something ...
Then again, I just like the idea of assassins working a day-job as florists *laughs*

Kannaduki no Miko (Chris)
A freakish monster plots to escape its prison dimension and bring misery to the Earth! Eight bizarre villains, each lured by the despair in the hearts, have alredy pledged service and been empowered with terrifying kung fu powers! All that stands in their way are the reincarnations of those ancient heroes of yore: the Solar Priestess and the Lunar Priestess! (But what could this possibly have to do with Exalted?)
Full of inspirational melodrama and also gonzo crazy fight scenes (fist, sword, super robot), and also the three main characters are perfect models of Exalted achetypes: the social monster (with whom pretty much every character, male or female, instantly falls in love), the turbo-sage (a millionaire, an occult genius and a consummate archer -- and only sixteen years of age) and the combat monkey (who can pull his own super robot out of Elsewhere when cracking rocks with his fists isn't enough). As a bonus, halfway through there's also the second-best ever depiction of an Exalt hitting their limit break and doing absolutely unspeakable things.

FLCL (Chris)
I won't even touch on the plot (which is infamously strange), but if you just take a look at the characters:
A hero with a shiny mark on his forehead that lets him fight armies, summon monsters and parry a nuclear warhead with an everyday object. An insane wanderer from beyond the limits of the world, driven entirely by whims and passions (or is she?). 'Secret masters' who are completely helpless to act in the face of rampaging space demigods. Also what is easily the coolest 'limit break' moment ever put on screen ("MY NAME IS NAOTA!"). Exalted Modern, yup, pretty much.

Mononoke Hime / Princess Mononoke (Darloth)
Stunts. This thing has exalted class stunts ALL over it, not to mention the main character is clearly a solar (obviously undergoing some kind of nasty infernal corruption) wheras the girl could only be more lunar if she actually turned into a wolf at some point. But, more than that, the setting in general... gunpowder tech (the lady is a dragonblooded, fire aspected of course) meets spirits and such, with tiny tiny wood spirits all the way up to gigantic gods and demons.
In general, it has more of the setting-feel of exalted than nearly anything else I've yet seen, and I'm surprised noone has mentioned it yet.


I plan to add Five Star Stories to this list ... if I can only think of a way to sum it all up .. -- Tai

The problem with 5SS is that the story jumps from one end of time to the other, death does not restrain the characters (at least one of whom seems to come back therefrom, if memory serves), and the characters actually end up being too powerful even for Exalted. ^^; Still, it'd be interesting to see someone try... -Suzume
That's only a problem if you try to adapt the series wholesale, though; and borrowing elements from a series is just as viable as stealing the whole thing, yes? *grins evilly* Pesonally, I think that Amaterasu would make the most kickin version of, oh, Luna ever  ;) S/he/it does come back from the dead at least once, but I wouldn't actually have someone use Amaterasu as a PC .. ye gods. Chrome Ballanche, now, he would be an awesomelly freaky First Age savant ... -- Tai

Adolesence of Utena as shaping combat, yeah that could work, especially with the theme of just her being real.--HWSOD

Was she, though? Or was only the prince-who-wasn't real? Or the drowned boy? So many possibilities .. I love Utena. It's so twisted. -- Tai is singing along with "Virtual Star Embryology"

Good stuff! If you get any more ideas, be sure to post 'em - and make sure I don't go off my nut and try to run a Lunars / Raksha campaign inspired by Samurai Pizza Cats. O_o Muuhahahaha!! Frrred!! -Okensha who really should be sleeping

Personally, I think that Samurai Pizza Cats would be better for a (very very bizarre) raksha / Alchemical campaign ...  ;) Still up for invading the Realm, btw? -- Tai "The Draconians are right there!! BURN THEM ALL!!" "Yessir!"
I suppose the pizzaria could be a manse... I swear they stole that bit from Duklyon. And yes. ;) -Okensha

Do you mind if I add a few? ^_^ >Rubs her hands gleefully...< Also, I'm going to link to you from the anime discussion page I made a while back, that noone ever used... -Suzume

By all means!  :) The more, the merrier ... I'm currently debating shamelessly stealing parts of Robotech. *whistles innocently* -- Tai
Hope this is a good start... ^^ -Suzume
I was going to add some. I thought, "Hrm...I know! Melody of - blast! Well there's always Twelve - damnit!" and now I'm down to the dregs of my Exalted inspiration. Boogiepop Phantom (Shaping especially, plus it's a good source for 'evil God tricks') and Shadow Skill ("One guy pulls back his throwing arm and an army of a thousand hesitates"? Sounds pretty damn Exalted!) are pretty good for it, and the Real Bout Manga is all about the powered Martial Arts (And it's not toooo over-the-top in that regard. Houshin Engi is just regular good fun but you could probably turn it into something Exalted - probably 'artifact heavy Sidereals' or similar. ~ BerserkSeraph

I personally like to steal artifact ideas from Flame of Recca (I prefer the manga over the anime).

Ehehe. Recca I was going to put up there, but I'm not quite strong enough on the plot yet .. -- Tai
Well, I've read the entire series, so I'm quite strong on the plot. However, while the artifacts are quite stealable, I dunno how stealable the plot would be, as you would have to strip most of the setting details away, which basically turns it into Exalted Kombat. --BrilliantRain

As for Xenosaga .. nice call!  :) But my personal project would have to be it's predecessor, Xeno, Xenogears. For a lot of different reasons ... Ehehe. Anyone out there still familiar with the game? -- Tai wishes they had finished the game properly, dammit!!

I got to the last dungeon and never bothered to finish the game. Seibzehn and Achtzehn would make rather nice Juggernaut class Warstriders, I believe. Did not really like the plot turns and it just has too many tropes that I do not enjoy. I preferred Legend of Legaia. The way they had moves strung together was more to my taste. Teknoman or Tekkaman might be a good series to look at for ashigura or gunzosha, or for dragon armour, depending on how you want to look at it. ~ Andrew02
Xenogears would have been ever so much better -- and made a good deal more sense -- if it had actually be completed. That said, there are parts which are rather unnecessary ... but for Solars-gone-wrong, the Solaris Empire *evil giggling* is just perfect.
But if I was going to cnvert a video game wholesale, Xeno wouldn't be it, very true .. -- Tai

Excellent list there Taichara, not only good inspiration for Exalted, but good series to recommend watching! Anyway, a good Manga, Anime series and movie to watch for inspiration is X. The Dragons of Earth vs The Dragons of Heaven - two sides of super-powered heroes and anti-heroes fighting in modern Tokyo... 'Nuff said! :) - ComicJam

Nice list! The Animes you mentioned make for great inspirations (I love, that you mentioned "Sailor Moon", 'cause the series is much better than it's reputation and the Shitennou are some of the coolest Anime villains ever made)! I realized soon, that Anime has to offer great possible stories or characters for Exalted, when I read the "Vampire Princess Miyu" Manga and directly thinking of an Abyssal Character, who matches her philosophy. I want to mention some Animes, too. First and foremost: nearly every Anime by Hayao Miyazaki might work for Exalted, some more, some less. "Spirited Away", "Nausiaä" and "Princess Mononoke" are probably the most fitting (especially "Spirited Away" has an interesting view of japanese minor gods, that fits perfectly into Exalted; the bathhouse where the deities relax could also exist in Yu-Shan). Another one is "Naruto". If you ask why, you haven't seen it yet. The Ninja Villages remind me of the Dragonblooded somehow and the characters use Charms powered by the essencelike Chakra. Do not mind, that the first two Episodes are all humor - the series get's more and more serious. "Inuyasha" should be mentioned, too, as it is a great series with some neat battles. Inuyasha himself reminds me of a fierce Lunar warrior. Okay, this are my two cents. Hope you go on with that list. - Jiba

Hmm... you commented just before I added it Jiba, so I'll leave what I wrote. I'm not sure what the japanese title is. And yeah, all of Miyazaki's work feels exalted, but I think Nausicaa and Mononoke the most.
-- Darloth

Added the japanese title. Hope you don't mind, Darloth. Jiba

A small gem to point Sidereals players and Gm's towards: Shakugan no Shana, while you would probably have to find it in fansub at this point, is a wonderfully surreal experience, and it contains a damn near perfect portrayal of a Sidereal assuming a resplendant destiny. Between outsider 'kings' who devour reality itself (Damage to the tapestry, anyone..? They could be fae lords or demons, either one..) Living artifacts, and a psychotic little moppet who's job it is to keep the damage to a minimum, under the guideing hand of her incorporeal mentor (Alestor gives me -wonderfull- sifu ideas..)you almost couldn't ask for better. Gamlain

Has anyone seen Aquarian Age? It -looks- like it'd make great exalted inspiration, but I've not actually seen any.
-- Darloth