Otaku USA Magazine
In Honor of Deadpool, Try These Fourth-Wall-Breaking Anime

Like Deadpool, these anime characters break the fourth wall to talk to you!

In case you haven’t heard, Deadpool is coming back to the big screen. Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman teamed up to drive the Internet wild yesterday. But it’s going to be a bit ’til the merc with the mouth teams up with Wolverine. So what do we do until then? Fill the gap with that same energy!

Here are just a few anime series that punch a hole straight through the fourth wall. From acknowledging its own status as an anime to making you a main character, each of these does Wade Wilson proud.


Excel Saga Features Its Creators as Characters

Excel Saga

2001’s Excel Saga bears only a passing resemblance to its 1996 counterpart. Like Deadpool, it features major characters who are aware of their fictional status. Also like the Marvel property, there’s more than a little talk about the business side of said fictional status. In particular, you’ll see both the original manga artist and the anime director as recurring characters.

The Lupin-cosplay, afro-having Nabeshin is director Shinichi Watanabe—not to be confused with Cowboy Bebop creator Shinichiro Watanabe. While Excel and Hyatt try to take over the world one prefecture at a time, Nabeshin has his own storyline going. Plus, there’s a a pair of Excel and Hyatt cosplayers (also the theme song singers), one of whom goes on the star in strange spinoff Puni Puni Poemy.


You’re the Star of One Room

One Room

Most fourth wall breaks, as in Deadpool, are for comedic purposes. But then there’s One Room, which technically doesn’t even have a fourth wall. This short anime produced by SMIRAL is a first-person story in which you’re the main character.

Throughout the series, “you” meet up with neighbors, fellow club members, and even your childhood sweetheart. The series ran three seasons, and ran alongside a similar show intended for female audiences. In Room Mate, the viewer is the new manager of a dormitory occupied by a trio of attractive. Sadly, this “Side M” version ran only a single season.


Pop Team Epic… well, you know.

Pop Team Epic

Deadpool and Pop Team Epic share a lot of DNA. They both absolutely wreck the fourth wall. They both have a lot of “constructive criticism” for their comics’ publishers. They also both have a huge following and have attracted some big-named celebrities to their respective adaptations. Most of all, though, it’s the energy.

Pop Team Epic has absolutely no chill. It kicked off by pretending to be a completely different series. Twice an episode, it switches its cast. And we have no idea what’s up its sleeve next. But that’s what we love about it.

Speaking of Pop Team Epic, here are series we can’t wait to see return this season.

Kara Dennison

Kara Dennison is a writer, editor, and presenter with bylines at Crunchyroll, Sci-Fi Magazine, Sartorial Geek, and many others. Beyond the world of anime, she's a writer for Doctor Who expanded universe series including Iris Wildthyme and the City of the Saved, as well as an editor for the critically-acclaimed Black Archive series.