The Capcom Animated Universe: An Alternate Capcom/White Wolf Timeline

The Introduction
The Introduction
We all know about Resident Evil and how it was a roller coaster of groundbreaking landmark games and utter shit titles as well and how Capcom's best-selling franchise was also given a series of "in name only" movie adaptations starring Mila Jovovich and we all know about the meteoric rise and subsequent shameful fall of White Wolf, the tabletop RPG mavericks of the 90's.

But what if things played out a little differently? What if video gaming and anime were able to further break into the proper mainstream culture? And what if it was an experimental TV adaptation of the Resident Evil franchise that helped ensure that happened?

Okay, this is a pop culture TL that is mainly focused on a Capcom shared universe that is started off with the premiere of the anime-styled Resident Evil: The Animated Series which was a joint Japanese-American production that debuts on the fledgling FX channel in 2000. While mainly focused on gaming, anime, and TV, this TL will also explore the wider effects on the pop culture.

This is a rough outline and summary, and the actual TL will be explored in-depth more.

The POD is 1995 or so, when Mark Rein-Hagen is more or less caught in a power struggle within White Wolf. Capcom's own deal with White Wolf is still in effect at this time, and Rein-Hagen realizes he's about to be ousted by the new guard and so he decides to sell all his shares in White Wolf to Capcom. As a consequence, the infamous metaplot that developed in the later editions of the World of Darkness games doesn't happen in this TL while Kindred: The Embraced is greenlit by Fox but is not actually produced in 1996.

The first three Resident Evil games are developed and released more or less the same in OTL. But then in 1999, Capcom gets a deal with Fox to begin a horror animated series based on Resident Evil. It is a joint production between Fox and a smaller anime studio in Japan, and the show has a distinct art style and aesthetic that is more or less in tune with the edgy violent OVA's of the 80's and early 90's.

Because the show is TV-MA, Fox does not want it on their main network and instead places it on FX, and from here the show becomes an unexpected success. As a consequence, a wider animated universe develops around it, featuring other Capcom games and some of the IP's acquired from the White Wolf buyout.

Other butterfly effects will happen in this TL as well, but you'll have to find out as the TL is developed
 
Okay, this is a pop culture TL that is mainly focused on a Capcom shared universe that is started off with the premiere of the anime-styled Resident Evil: The Animated Series which was a joint Japanese-American production that debuts on the fledgling FX channel in 2000. While mainly focused on gaming, anime, and TV, this TL will also explore the wider effects on the pop culture.
Interesting, wonder if it might push for to move family guy to FX rather cancelling it
 
Interesting, wonder if it might push for to move family guy to FX rather cancelling it
Because the show is TV-MA and Capcom insists on no cuts, Fox execs are unsure that it can air on the regular network due to the stricter regulations on Fox, so they put it on FX. Family Guy is also moved there as well after its second season and Resident Evil proves that FX can be a viable cable channel instead of a dumping ground for reruns and old movies.

No metaplot?! Does that mean the oWoD/cWoD becomes less like a dark comic book superhero universe and something more like the nWoD?
Yes and no. It is more vague like early nWoD was, but it's also a lot less pretentious and focused on the angst and you do not have bullshit metaplot decisions since Justin Achilli is fired from White Wolf after the Capcom buyout.

The pretentious Goth and Punk bullshit is toned down in favor of something more Metal-influenced, and a lot of the more controversial metaplot decisions of Revised Edition do not happen. The Gangrel remain in the Camarilla, the Ravnos are still a full fledged clan and there is no Week of Nightmares, the Stargazers are still in the Garou Nation, the Avatar Storm does not happen, and specific later gamelines do not occur. Kindred of the East and Demon: The Fallen simply do not get made, while Hunter: The Reckoning turns out a lot differently and is more in line with Hunter: The Vigil or the early mortals books like The Hunters Hunted and the various "Year of the Hunter" supplements.
 
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Because the show is TV-MA and Capcom insists on no cuts, Fox execs are unsure that it can air on the regular network due to the stricter regulations on Fox, so they put it on FX. Family Guy is also moved there as well after its second season and Resident Evil proves that FX can be a viable cable channel instead of a dumping ground for reruns and old movies.
Nice, if anything RE might air on lineal fox on latin america(no FX till 2005 and sadly fox crippled FX badly here in LATAM) as latin america cable not give a fuck content.

Are you brazilian Ryu?
 
Nice, if anything RE might air on lineal fox on latin america(no FX till 2005 and sadly fox crippled FX badly here in LATAM) as latin america cable not give a fuck content.

Are you brazilian Ryu?
Nah, I'm from the United States, actually.

BTW, the TL will be presented in a blog-inspired format and written by a random nobody and his friends in Southwestern Virginia and it's kinda like a retrospective.
 
Surprise, the SF RPG was very popular with brazilians and by your user name thought you would be one, still nice work so far
I love the SF RPG, but unfortunately the more pretentious goth and punk elements of the White Wolf fandom here in the States hated on it, and it got cancelled in OTL. They later became the dominant clique in White Wolf (and by extension, Onyx Path) and that played a part in the World of Darkness going from a beloved and daring 1990's icon to an insufferable pretentious 2010's punchline
 
I love the SF RPG, but unfortunately the more pretentious goth and punk elements of the White Wolf fandom here in the States hated on it, and it got cancelled in OTL. They later became the dominant clique in White Wolf (and by extension, Onyx Path) and that played a part in the World of Darkness going from a beloved and daring 1990's icon to an insufferable pretentious 2010's punchline
What a sad history, still yeah that SF RPG gamebook was rare outside USA and Brazil(i learned of it thanks wikipedia as example)
 
Chapter 1: The Nightmare Begins
Metro City by Night
A Fan Site for Capcom and White Wolf
How's everybody doing out there over in Internet Land? I'm Steve and this is my blog where we will be discussing the pop culture of my time, and in particular we're going to be discussing the Capcom Animated Universe and how this juggernaut of a franchise was able to keep going for a decade and a half and actually went out on top.

Beginning with the debut of Resident Evil: The Animated Series in March of 2000 and ending with the finale of World of Darkness: Unlimited in October of 2012 followed by the final installment of the Marvel vs. Capcom film trilogy the following June, the wider Capcom Animated Universe was a cornerstone of 2000's pop culture and even though its end was less than a decade ago, I still kind of miss it here in 2020.

Well, let's begin with how Resident Evil: The Animated Series first came about. Back in 1999, hot off the success of Resident Evil 2 the previous year, Capcom wanted to expand their hot new franchise into other forms of media. There was already a comic book series by Wildstorm and later that year, the professional wrestler Allen Jones debuted in WWF as Night Hawk, a masked commando who was sent to WWF by the Umbrella Corporation and was heavily derived from the character HUNK in Resident Evil 2. Alongside "The Brood", a stable centered around Vampire: The Masquerade, Capcom was licensing these gimmicks as part of a wider push into mainstream pop culture. They were very meticulous and each project was carefully monitored, especially following the flop of the Street Fighter movie adaptation in 1994.

It was in early October of 1999, right as Resident Evil 3: Nemesis was selling like hotcakes that Tetsuya Nomura, having taken a temporary leave of absence from SquareSoft but allowed to work as a freelancer for Capcom/White Wolf (provided he did not work in the video game sectors, of course) had an idea as he was on a vacation in New York City and had by chance encountered Mark Rein-Hagen, founder of White Wolf and now tasked with the wider effort to get Capcom IP's out into the mainstream on TV.

Rein-Hagen had previously been in negotiations with Fox and famed producer Aaron Spelling for a TV adaptation of Vampire: The Masquerade titled Kindred: The Embraced and while the project was greenlit and 20th Century Fox had the media rights, the show remained unproduced and it was debated on how one could effectively translate an RPG into a television show. Nomura suggested to Rein-Hagen that the show could be animated, as it would be likely easier than excessive special effects done in a live-action show. A few days later and by October 12 of that year, Capcom greenlit and announced Resident Evil: The Animated Series for a debut in the spring of the following year. Using the contract White Wolf had established with Fox, Capcom made sure to make the TV show part of a wider shared universe, something that had been attempted with superhero cartoons earlier in the 90's such as Batman: The Animated Series or the X-Men cartoon adaptation.

Going all out and sparing no expense, Capcom wanted something with a gritty anime art style reminiscent of the old violent OVA's of the 1980's and early 1990's, and the show would feature a dynamic oldies and classic rock soundtrack with authentic licensed songs, which Capcom paid for extensively and even ensured that it would be in perpetuity for syndication and home video releases. Because of the show's graphic content, it would be rated TV-MA and Capcom insisted on no censorship beyond the bare minimum. Fox executives were worried, but were able to compromise by letting the show debut on the fledgling basic cable channel FX, fearing the show would bomb badly and they could cancel it after the first season.

By late October 1999, Fox began airing the first teasers for the show, namely during the Treehouse of Horror X debut on Halloween Night and the Night of the Headless Horseman special that aired earlier that week. People were surprised and often spooked by it, but fans were very happy and it began to be the subject of widespread speculation on the internet and in video game press.

In January of the following year, more extensive trailers and promos began to air on Fox, Fox Family, and FX. The cast was even officially announced, most of them were relatively unknown voice actors but a few names stood out. The initial cast for the first season of the show were as followed.

Max Brooks
Susan Roman
Lara Jill Miller
Hank Azaria
Johnny Hardwick
Clancy Brown
Phil Hartman

Susan Roman and Max Brooks were voice actors, the former known mainly for being the voice of Sailor Jupiter and the latter was more known for being the son of Mel Brooks than for his acting work. Lara Jill Miller was a former child actress who had been on Gimme a Break! back in the 80's and had made her voice acting debut on the anime Digimon: Digital Monsters, which was airing on Fox Kids. Hank Azaria and Johnny Hardwick were already regulars on The Simpsons and King of the Hill, and Clancy Brown was an interesting choice but it was the inclusion of Phil Hartman that had shocked everyone and garnered a lot of new interest in the show.

Phil Hartman had taken a break from acting and comedy shortly after the suicide of his wife in 1998, who shot herself in a manic drug-fueled rage while Phil was out buying some groceries. He had gotten stuck in traffic and came home late, arriving mere seconds after his wife had pulled the trigger on herself. Completely devastated by the death of his wife, he announced he would not be working until further notice. Many assumed he was retiring from show business altogether. But there was something that convinced him to return to the entertainment industry with this strange new anime-esque horror series. Resident Evil fans were speculating on what Hartman's role would be, with many assuming it would be Barry Burton. The actual answer was even more mind-blowing and amazing when the show actually aired its first episode.

Then on March 16, 2000 at 10:00 PM, the debut episode of Resident Evil: The Animated Series would premiere on FX.

A disclaimer aired shortly before the start of the show, narrated by John Larroquette of all people.

The following program is for mature audiences. It contains graphic scenes of violence, blood, and gore. Viewer discretion is advised.

And then the opening credits began to roll, set to the opening part of this song...


With aerial shots of the Arklay Mountains, montages of newspaper clippings from Raccoon City's newspapers, and finally a close up of Chris Redfield shrieking at an unknown entity in the hallway of the mansion, the same voice that narrated the earlier disclaimer announced the show's title...

RESIDENT EVIL
 
And I thought the sub-zero expy was Insane...if anything i commend Capcom, they outmarveled marvel 20 years early too(a shame is too late to capcom to buy marvel dirty cheap)
About that...well, I don't want to spoiler anything but Marvel will play a role in the TL a little later on
 
And then the opening credits began to roll, set to the opening part of this song...


With aerial shots of the Arklay Mountains, montages of newspaper clippings from Raccoon City's newspapers, and finally a close up of Chris Redfield shrieking at an unknown entity in the hallway of the mansion, the same voice that narrated the earlier disclaimer announced the show's title...

RESIDENT EVIL
I instantly hate the fact this show never happened now.
 
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