Tempest’s Downpour – The Abridged Series

Posted on Nov 21 2010

Those of you who have missed the train, the bus and the helicopter for modern internet/anime phenomenon have probably been left in the dust regarding the many Abridged Series that fill Youtube and Dailymotion. If you have been living in a cave for the past three years, don’t worry – I’m here to help you reacclimate yourself to the modern world so you can retreat into your dimly lit bedroom and stare at a computer screen all day like the rest of society.

The Abridged Series in general is a loving parody of a particular anime, video game or other television program (commonly Japanese-based, like Power Rangers). Each has its own style, though the humor typically revolves around pointing out flaws or ridiculous elements of a program, along with some Internet in-jokes. Instead of critiquing in the form of an outright review, the characters themselves in Abridged Series comment on the flaws over the course of the episode.


I don’t remember any of this from the manga” – Yugi from Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series.

According to TV Tropes, the formula for an Abridged Series is Affectionate Parody, Editing Works and Gag Dub. An Affectionate Parody points out the flaws, but doesn’t bash the program’s head in for it. Instead, this form of Parody seems to cheer for the show for being outrageous.

Editing Works just means making changes to something that already exists. This can be done in the form of Game Modding, remixing, redubbing or more. A Gag Dub is, of course, where the funny comes: Gag Dubs are even in official works like Samurai Pizza Cats, Digimon and several shows dubbed by 4Kids Entertainment, a company that seems to be okay with laughing at itself.


Quotes from abridged series have become popular motivational posters.

The Abridged Series has become its own genre. Though parody has existed for as far back as history takes us, Little Kuriboh was the first to coin the phrase “Abridged Series” for his spoof “Yu-Gi-Oh! the Abridged Series.” Now there are nearly a thousand popularly known Abridged Series running, so that TV Tropes and an entire wiki have attempted to list them all. [1]

TV Tropes states that Little Kuriboh is not the only one who created this form of media: hbi2k (Berserk Abridged, Gantz Abridged, and The Vision of Escaflowne Abridged) and Lanipator (Yu Yu Hakusho Abridged) helped popularize it. All three people are active members of Team Four Star (Dragon Ball Z Abridged) and helped instigate the War of the Abridged Series Creators [2] – a gag where each Abridger sent characters out to destroy other Abridgers.


Little Kuriboh instigating during the War (not to be taken seriously)

Now for my favorite part: I’ve been watching different Abridged Series for a few years now, and I’ve compiled a list of my top favorites. I haven’t seen all 800-some odd Abridged Series, so feel free to suggest any shows you think are super awesome which I suck for not seeing. The following are listed in order from top favorite and below:

  • 1) Dragonball Z Abridged – Some of the best minds in Abridging have gathered together and made a ridiculous show into something mind-bogglingly good. There are no words to describe how amazing this show is.
  • 2) Yu-Gi-Oh! the Abridged Series – The originator and by far one of the best Abridged Series, YTAS continues to be consistently funny (and funnier) all the way through its current 50th episode landmark. Don’t forget to watch all the little AMVs and weird Dan Green-related parodies LK has made.
  • 3) Yu-Gi-Oh GX Abridged – I didn’t know about this series until Little Kuriboh made mention of it. Make sure to watch Darkside Incorporated’s version, since at least fifty people have made their own Abridged Series from this anime. The humor is more silly than sage, which is lovely.
  • 4) Yu Yu Hakusho Abridged – Lanipator has admitted to taking forever updating, and it’s quite true. He does the most incredible job voice acting I have ever heard: Yuusuke and Kuwabara especially sound exactly like their dub voice actors, and the humor is quite cute.
  • 5) Saiyuki Reload Abridged – Created by one of the first female abridgers who does such a good job voice acting the boys that I didn’t believe it was true. Saiyuki Reload is an entire filler arc, and WhiteAsh did an amazing job telling us all we needed to know and entertaining us through the craptastic plot. She is on a possibly permanent hiatus from this series due to actually having a life (unlike us, right guys?).

[1] http://abridgedseries.wikia.com/wiki/Abridged_Series_Wiki
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheAbridgedSeries

[2] http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheWarOfTheAbridgedSeriesCreators

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