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Should anime hero be its own thing?


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From Nauroto to One piece. From Samurai X to Pokemon and from Fist of the North star to Berserk the characters and worlds in anime have lots and lots of original powersets and world rules. But they often also have somewhat an plausible feel, danger seems more real and threatening situations are explored more in detail, often quite extensive detail, giving anime and manga a different feel that western comics even though they have insane amounts of variety. 

 

I think that the only roleplaying game that can capture all these powers and stunts is the Hero system. Anything else will be bogged down by an increasing number of rules as in anime almost all combat ready characters have an special ability or two needing their own set of rules. 

 

I think Hero have a huge opportunity here where they can make source books for anime. Anime art commissions are also cheap as hell compared to everything else so it would be possible to put some cool anime art on the cover and in the book to draw in the kids. Make some kind of generic anime setting like One Piece or Nauruto. Filled with different factions and power sets who all come from one or two sources. Anotother option is "dark vampire hunting world" or just plain mecha.

 

Thats just what I think though. I dont know if it would be a success but it sure seems popular. 

 

Any thoughts?

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That's like saying we should have a "Movie" supplement for Hero because all the movies have a bunch of thematic ideas that are the same almost everywhere...

 

Anime is a medium, a book needed to cover the differences of all the various genres would be insanely large... almost like you'd have to split it up into different Genres.. like Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Superheroic, Wuxia, ...

 

It's also worth a note that a lot of 'common themes' Westerners see in Anime are cultural in nature, and not inherent to Anime or Manga itself, but Japanese Culture.

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I'd love to see such a book but I think it would be a nigh impossible thing to write. Every magic  and/or powers system varies across a wide spectrum and then you have interaction with robots and mecha. Yes , the Hero System could handle it  but even the strongest Hero-Fu will be challenged by something like Macross Delta.(Mecha pilots and super powered idols  fighting a galaxy spanning war)

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 4/6/2018 at 11:59 AM, Trencher said:

 

I think that the only roleplaying game that can capture all these powers and stunts is the Hero system.

 

Big Eyes, Small Mouth is still around. Whitewolf acquired it after Guardians of Order went under. They sell the PDFs of all editions on DriveThruRPG.com. It looks like they have everything except the licensed stuff (which is too bad, b/c they were excellent source books), which means core rulebooks for each edition as well as a bunch of genre books.

 

It's a system that derives a lot from Hero and I'd say MEGS (tri-stat is just rolling MEGS 9 stats into 3 IMO), and is a bit more freewheeling and rules light than Hero, while featuring a power building system that would be very familiar to you as a Hero player. Even if you don't use the core game, the materials are cheap and good quality brain food for making anime stuff in Hero.

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In reality, anime is more of a medium than a genre, spanning everything from soap opera to giant robot.

 

In America, the subset of anime we see could be considered a genre, including elements of wuxia, cyberpunk, mecha, kaiju, and fantasy.  On average it'd be Dark Champions level, though of course anime does range all the way up to worldbreaking power levels, which means Hero is the only decent RPG system that could actually address it well.

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Early editions of BESM were unusable. It was apparent that the designers didn't use their own system for much, because if they had, they'd have found how much was left undescribed, unspecified, and ill-defined. From what I've seen over the years, most attempts by other designers/publishers to come up with a "simplified" Hero System have been failures in one respect or another (they either ended up unusable or so similar to the Hero System as to make the effort pointless).

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I agree. I'd still agree if you said "all editions," and added in Silver Age Sentinels. But they have a lot of info about different anime genres in their source books and some good general stuff in the later core rulebooks. I'd suggest them more for that use outside of something like a quick pick up game.

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1 hour ago, zslane said:

Can Goku fly so fast as to reverse the rotation of the Earth and make it go back in time? If not, then it's really no contest... ;)

 

No, but the DBZ characters can destroy planets.

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"Anime" is more like a meta-genre, so Anime Hero shouldn't a thing... but Anime Fantasy Hero (Fairy Tail) or Anime Champions (One-Punch Man) could be... not to mention countless other permutations.

 

The 3rd Edition supplement Robot Warriors is worth it's weight in gold as a resource for simulating the Giant Robot genre of anime, and even makes reference to many of its conventions.

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@Trencher

 

I personally think Anime could do with its own supplement because every argument given against is just as valid a reason against a superhero supplement.  Especially these days when the Hero part of Superhero has essentially died in comics. 

 

But few here will see past the blinders so you'll not gain any traction on a source book. 

 

But IMO one thing that would work is a "payable" setting book.  A sourcebook that could be actually played "out of the box".  Hero completely lacks this and only puts out material that is designed to assist in you building a game from the ground up. 

 

A Naruto sourcebook that would allow you to go from purchase to "at the table running" in two days is what the system needs.  The same for pretty much anything from fantasy to superhero.  Even Kazai 5 (spelling?) which is a fantastic book gives you the high level overview rather than the "I can play today" information. 

 

While the conventional Hero wisdom is that prebuilt adventures do not work, the top selling rpgs have embraced prebuilt adventures and shot to the top of the rpg tables. 

 

I'd love to see a Hero line to fill the vacume left when BESM went away. And it is dead, the agreement with WW was just to make copies of 3rd ed core available, but nothing else.

 

A line of anime supplements allowing "out of the box" play would be great.

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Superhero, as a genre, does have it's own rules. Anime is does not have a universal set of themes/rules it plays with. The genre conventions of Mecha Anime are not the same as Cyberpunk Anime, Fighting Anime, Slice-Of-Life Anime, Haram Anime, Magical-Girl Anime, Historical Anime; And some Anime is essentially Superhero Anime (Dragonball, One Punch Man, any magical-girl could fit this);

 

What works in Dragonball Hero will absolutely not work in Kazei 5.

 

Every generic anime gaming source book I've seen (a good half dozen) have been, to be blunt, utter trash. Which is what made things like Kazei 5, the old BGC RPG, and yeah, even the old Robottech RPG, work much better: they focused their rules within the genre they were.

 

And frankly, to call "Anime" a genre is just culturally insensitive, bordering on racist generalizations. It's a whole medium where a lot of genres have their stories told.

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For tge first, everythimg you said about anime and universal this and that alsp makes fantasy in 2018 not a genre.  Heck we have elves on motorcycles woth shot guns. 

 

Aa for the " have no real argument so race card" Oh come on.  What utter tripe.

 

You need to be warned by the moderators, you kind of hate mongering is over the line. 

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I'm also in the camp that Anime is a style of media and not a genre in and of itself. It would be like asking for "North American Animation Hero" which would focus on lots of Princesses, different eras, Intelligent and talking Animals, Sentient toys, giant robots, Superheroes, etc... 

 

That said, a series of smaller guide books for each genre of Anime might be popular. One book could focus on cybernetics and far future sci-fi anime, another on mecha, one on horror anime, one on martial art/combat anime, etc... each one could pull large chunks out of other existing Hero books (The 6th Ed. Martial Arts book has a whole chapter on Anime style combat and powers for example) and then expand on them. I doubt Hero itself would do them, but an enterprising 3rd party could make a go of it. 

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On 5/6/2018 at 4:53 PM, Spence said:

And it is dead, the agreement with WW was just to make copies of 3rd ed core available, but nothing else. 

 

Actually, White Wolf is selling almost everything made for BESM that I know of, aside from licensed books, on DriveThruRPG.com. They have BESM 1st Edition, BESM Revised 2nd Edition, BESM d20 Revised Edition, BESM d20 Stingy Gamer Edition and BESM 3rd Edition core rules, along with: BESM Character Diary, BESM Dungeon, BESM Fantasy Bestiary, BESM d20 Character FolioBESM Space Fantasy, BESM d20 Monstrous Manual, Centauri Knights d20, Centauri Knights, Big Robots,Cool Starships, Hotrods and Gun Bunnies, Big Ears, Small Mouse, and Cold Hands, Dark Hearts. I think that pretty much covers all of the GOO core generic materials. IIRC, most of the genre books went with1st Edition and some of their rules were rolled into later editions. I may also have missed a few titles due to site search shenanigans. (I just searched for "BESM," which didn't turn up 1st Edition, which is on the site, for example.)

 

On 5/6/2018 at 9:28 PM, ghost-angel said:

And frankly, to call "Anime" a genre is just culturally insensitive, bordering on racist generalizations. It's a whole medium where a lot of genres have their stories told. 

 

I always considered it a very broad genre with a whole lot of sub-genres that still share a lot of similarities in storytelling conventions that are largely culturally driven. Scott McCloud addresses this distinction pretty well in Understanding Comics. It's hardly racist or culturally insensitive to recognize that another culture has a distinct way of doing things. Frankly, your playing the race card here among your comics loving, and anime loving peers seems a bit odd to me.

 

Back on the subject of Anime Hero: It could be a core book, much like the core rules of the old BESM, that discusses the various subgenres, both subject, and audience driven, and then has a follow up line of books for each of the broader subgenres and how they're approached depending on the audience. What I mean is that you may have various flavors of epic and historic fantasy, but they're approached differently depending on the age/sex groups of the intended audiences, in the way that anime magazines are. So, you make an Anime Fantasy supplement that covers the sub-genres of, say, historic, epic, and comedic fantasy, from the perspectives of Shounen, Shoujo, etc. categories.

 

Would it happen? Probably not. That's a lot of product, and I'm not sure Hero Games would bring out that extensive of a product line, aside from someone using the Hero System licensing agreement. (Not sure how that works, or if it's still a thing, even.) Could it be done? Sure. I think Hero would handle it well, and better than the systems-light BESM, which as zslane observed above often leaves you hanging with its vague rules.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Ragitsu said:

How about a "HERO: Anime Academy" supplement? There is plenty of anime set in some sort of academy: be they mundane, larger than life (a recruitment center for cinematic-tier spies or martial artists), or centered around the outright impossible (fantasy and science-fiction).

 

Yeah, I think My Hero Academy would be a cool supplement and hey, the name fits already!

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It's not "pulling a race card" to point out that reducing an entire cultures animated industry into a single 'genre' is off point.

 

As someone pointed out, American Animation Hero would have the same problems; Gummi-Bears. GI-Joe, and My Little Pony hardly operate under the same genre conventions beyond some generalized cultural similarities. The Toon RPG is great for simulating Hanna-Barara cartoons, but terrible for Transformers... but, hey, those are both cartoons so one Cartoon Genre Book will do just fine? No, no it won't. The same with Japanese Animation.

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