As a general rule, crossovers are actually pretty bad. Perhaps a better way to put it is that they are easy to do badly–a crossover that sounds good in concept may founder because the characters or settings turn out to be incompatible, for example. But the crossover nature of the campaign I’m running for Anime USA this weekend makes me think about actually good crossovers. Here’s a sampling of some of my favorites:
Jason and the Argonauts: Not any of the film versions, I mean the original legend. Think about it, Odysseus, Perseus, Hercules, Nestor, Ajax, Atalanta, and so on, all on the same ship going questing together? It’s the ancient Greco-Roman equivalent to The Avengers!
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The comic, not the movie. It’s a brilliant conceit, mashing together a team of the pop-culture heroes of the 19th century, and an excellent bit of comic-book storytelling to boot.
The Subspace Emissary: AKA Smash Bros. Brawl‘s story mode. I think the moment at which I knew I was in love was when it has Red from Pokemon become Lucas from Mother 3’s mentor–but it’s full of all these golden little paired-off character interactions that are sheer joy to watch. Frankly, I’m torn on whether the best moment is Pikachu shocking Ridley, then standing tiny but fierce and protective over the temporarily indisposed Samus, or Link and
Samus Zelda extending a hand of friendship (or at least temporary-truce-to-fight-a-bigger-threat-ship) to Ganon. If you’ve never played it or seen the story, and you have any fond memories of classic game characters at all, I strongly recommend trying to find the cutscenes on YouTube and giving them a watch.
ETA 9/16: Fixed a sense-breaking typo in the last paragraph.