Johnson Aligned Universe (Johnsonverse)
The Johnson Aligned Universe is a major continuity of WBC and Johnson Studios productions. Many TV series and anime take place within this universe. However, their importance varies. Created in 2012, the JAU is one of five major Johnson continuities, the others being the Detective Jenny continuity, the Ludicrous Limericks continuity, the Monster World continuity, and the Nirn Anthology.
The series within the universe follow a strict hierarchy that each one must adhere to. Each is grouped into one of several groups:
These series are the main series of the universe. Any and all actions that occur in them are canon and can and will affect the lower series.
- Godzilla - The most important part of the universe, as it is the catalyst of all the events. In addition to the existence of kaiju and aliens, the series is also responsible for the varied hair colors of many anime characters (explained as being caused by ambient alien energy first released in 1976 when Mogu was killed) and various features of several characters.
- Vocaloid - The main human element of the universe, there is absolutely no singing, dancing, or techno music involved. Instead, the Vocaloid characters are, for the most part, depicted as child soldiers (the characters of Len and Rin Kagamine, Meiko Sakine, Haku Yowane, Luka Megurine, and SF-A2 Miki are grouped in an elite Global Defense Force anti-kaiju squad known as V-Unit). Miku and Kaito are depicted as dim-witted comic reliefs who work as janitors at GDF HQ, Neru and the UTAU character Teto Kasane are villains (Neru has a very complicated personality, however), and the rest of the Vocaloid characters are regular high-schoolers. The character of Dr. Shinji Mustafa (voiced by Tim Curry) creates many of the newest kaiju characters, and Teto Kasane is directly responsible for the existence of Haruhi Suzumiya and the Titans (the latter existing in other dimensions).
- WBC's Sgt. Frog - Many of the alien elements currently seen in the universe originate from Sgt. Frog. This version was made personally by Tim Johnson under license from Viz Media and features many notable differences, such as the art style being based on the manga, completely ditching the style used in the original anime; Fuyuki and Natsumi being fraternal twins rather than Natsumi being a year older; Fuyuki taking on a personality quite similar to the original Natsumi's and doing many things such as theater, sports, writing, and landscape art, in addition to his trademark occult obsession and strong liberal views; the Nishizawa Corporation having a defense contractor division working closely with the GDF; Fuyuki and Momoka becoming an official couple in the first Sgt. Frog movie, as do Natsumi and Koyuki; an entirely different voice cast featuring the Johnson twins as Fuyuki (Tim) and Natsumi (Chloe) respectively, Richard Steven Horvitz as Keroro, Dan Castellaneta as Tamama, Rick May as Giroro until his death on April 13, 2020, with Maurice LaMarche taking over the role afterwards, Gilbert Gottfried as Kululu, Dennis Bateman as Dororo, Alec Baldwin as Garuru, Tara Strong as Pururu, Jim Parsons as Tororo, John DiMaggio as Taruru, Belle Armstrong as Momoka, Jenny Smith as Koyuki, John Cleese as Paul, Kristen Wiig as Aki, and Dante Basco as Mutsumi; and in the 2012 special Snow Day, Fuyuki and Momoka become private Mechagodzilla 2 and MOGUERA pilots, respectively, with Natsumi and Koyuki as their back-ups). The series has a major focus on comedy, with squash-and-stretch physics, Looney Tunes-esque gags, music from the APM library, and Ren & Stimpy-esque gross-out visuals (as an aside, the series uses the same theme song as The Ren & Stimpy Show under license from Nickelodeon until that show's rights were transferred to Cartoon Network on August 24, 2018; Tim is a fan of John Kricfalusi and his work, while Kricfalusi himself praised the series and even voice-acted in and directed several episodes).
These series are directly affected and even catalyzed by the series of Group 1.
- Haruhi Suzumiya - The titular character is a creation of Teto Kasane, the secondary antagonist of Vocaloid: The Series. Other than that, the series is mainly the same, with the Bang Zoom! voice cast retained. In Sgt. Frog, the series is mentioned multiple times, and Fuyuki has a vocal dislike for Haruhi for her reality-bending powers and borderline criminal actions, though he also likes her for her hatred of residents of West Tokyo.
- Attack on Titan - The Titans are also the direct result of Teto. This is only mentioned in the Group 1 series, as the Titans' mysterious origins are retained in the actual series itself.
- Lucky Star - Initially part of Group 3, the black sheep of the Group 3 series, since several events of the Godzilla series have actually affected it as part of the backstory: alien energy released by Mogu when he was killed in Godzilla vs Mogu is responsible for the strange hair colors in this series, as well as several other entries in the Aligned Universe (mainly affecting Sgt. Frog, Vocaloid, and Haruhi Suzumiya). Ambient radiation from years of Godzilla being in Tokyo, as well as the 1986 Tokyo Nuclear Attack launched by North Korea during World War III, has resulted in several characters having their growth stunted, most notably Konata's; the radiation also caused deformities, such as Konata's cat smile and lazy eyes, Misao's fang etc., though it was later revealed that Konata's deformities were a result of her mother's illness. The series itself is mostly the same, but does incorporate a very different music track composed of APM and Seinfeld music, with permission from Sony Pictures Television. The opening theme is the most notable difference. Gone is the original opening theme. The theme is now the one from the Johnson-owned HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm. As an aside, Seinfeld co-creator Larry David was greatly involved in the Johnson version, helping to write new "Seinfeldian conversations". The original cast was retained, but they re-recorded their lines to cut out any and all Japanese honorifics, something that bugged Tim Johnson, as he was alarmed and disturbed by the use of it, believing Bang Zoom! would have localized the series rather than maintain the honorifics that could confuse viewers. In-universe, it is explained that they don't use these words because they live in East Tokyo, which has been relatively Westernized following Japan's annexation upon the Treaty of San Francisco in 1952, while West Tokyo is considered traditional (Fuyuki Hinata considers them "culturally-backwards" and "mentally deficient with a few exceptions", often leading assaults in East-West Turf Wars). Following the movie Nemesis, Lucky Star was promoted to Group 2 after Konata's father Sojiro was killed when the Izumi residence was destroyed by Duncan and Tornaq, which had a massive impact on the series, mainly the canonization of the widely-popular Konami (Konata and Kagami) couple. The move received great praise from the LGBT community, since the two are basically at the forefront (Natsumi and Koyuki play Beta Couple to Fuyuki and Momoka, as do Rei and Mari to Shinji and Asuka in Monster World).
- CLANNAD - The series, which came in June 2016, is directly influenced by several series in Group 1. For example, it has been stated that the light orbs will be an invention of Dr. Mustafa, rather than supernatural objects. Despite this change, it has been confirmed by multiple sources that Fuko will still be an astral projection, with an additional scene added showing her awakening from her coma. One major, major change is that Nagisa does not die, her illness cured by medicines created in a GDF laboratory. The entire series will receive a new dub, with much of the Sentai Filmworks cast, but with many changes, such as the pronunciation of character names (such as Nagisa) being corrected, and characters such as Kyou and Tomoyo being recast in order to make them sound younger, as was Tomoya so he wouldn't have an inordinately deep voice like the one possessed by David Matranga; in fact, very few actors from the Sentai dub were retained, among them Luci Christian (Nagisa and Ushio), Brittany Karbowski (Ryou), Andrew Love (Akio), and Hillary Haag (Fuko). Another change will be scenes depicting Tomoya and Nagisa kissing (an element noticeably missing from the original series), additional episodes (up to 50 in the first series, and 75 in After Story), and a new OVA, Kotomi After, depicting a new route for Kotomi, just as OVAs were released for Kyou and Tomoyo's routes. Music-wise, the opening theme is replaced by a new, original arrangement by the Johnson Philharmonic Orchestra, while the ending theme remains the same. Almost all of the background music is replaced with APM music, plus selections from Over The Garden Wall, Star Wars, and Steven Universe, in addition to Ifukube music for moments when kaiju appear. This is not CLANNAD's first appearance in a Johnson-made production, having featured prominently in the 2014 film Terror of Godzilla, made for Godzilla's 60th anniversary and the first of a trilogy (followed by Revenge of Godzilla in 2015, and wrapping up with Wrath of Godzilla in 2016, being released at the same time as the Monster World film Shin Godzilla).
These series do not contribute to the main storyline. Events from Group 1 are mentioned and sometimes even appear in the background, but any effect they have on the Group 3 series is negligible.
- Azumanga Daioh - Almost completely unaffected by the Group 1 series, this series exists in an insulated bubble away from the dangerous plots of Group 1. Almost the entire series is unchanged; the only noticeable change was the production of brand-new episodes all written by original series creator Kiyohiko Azuma, adding over 80 new half-hour episodes with more in production. This was due to Tim Johnson's dissatisfaction with the length of the original series, which was only 26 episodes long and felt the series rushed through three years of high school. It is also explained that the cast still have normal hair colors because West Tokyo (where the series is said to take place; Vocaloid, Sgt. Frog, Haruhi Suzumiya, and Lucky Star take place in East Tokyo, and the differences frequently cause clashes between Fuyuki and Tomo Takino) was never adversely affected by alien energy (though it is rumored the radiation may have caused Sakaki to have dreams of Chiyo-chichi and may also be the cause of Osaka's personality). At least two episodes are crossovers with Sgt. Frog: one where Tomo heads to East Tokyo to uncover the existence of aliens among us (too dense to realize how long the alien attacks on Earth have been common knowledge), only to be driven back to West Tokyo by Fuyuki, starting a bitter hatred between the two. The second episode involves a swim meet between the high school and a rival school...which just happens to be the school that Fuyuki, Natsumi, Momoka, and Koyuki attend. Not only is the war between Fuyuki and Tomo further exonerated, but a fierce rivalry between Kagura and Natsumi is formed (the subplot involves a single scene where Tamama's stunt double becomes a pimp after a Fuyuki-Tomo Kill Bill stare-off gag). The series has also been mentioned and has even made several appearances in Group 1 series, mainly due to Fuyuki's deep-rooted hatred for Tomo due to her often annoying personality. All of the music and even the theme were retained. By popular demand (and by creative decision), all of the characters' Japanese voices were retained, and the series was subtitled to make the differences between East and West Tokyo more noticeable, not to mention Tim Johnson's extreme disdain for the ADV dub. It was the first series in the JAU to end, though the characters will still make cameo appearances.
- Sodor High School: Thomas & Friends Tales - Based on a popular fanfiction series on Fanfiction.net, this series is a humanized version of the popular Thomas the Tank Engine franchise. Kaiju events are frequently mentioned, and the series has made several cameo appearances in the most recent movies. The series is unique in that it was technically the second series of the Johnson Aligned Universe to premiere (the first two episodes aired on Labor Day 2011).
- Nichijou - Added in 2015, Johnson Studios was the first to produce a professional dub for the series. The only noticeable difference is the replacement of the show's original soundtrack with APM music, as had been done with Sgt. Frog and Lucky Star, as well as having music from The Neverhood. Tim Johnson commissioned the series to be added because he was enthralled by the deranged comedy style the series perpetuated, and personally oversaw production of the English dub. Like Azumanga Daioh, it exists in an insulated bubble away from the dangerous plots of series in higher groups, though the events of other series do come up every so often, such as new scenes depicting characters in a shelter during a kaiju attack (usually taking place concurrent with episodes of Vocaloid and even mixing stock footage from said episodes in), as well as introducing a new, rather tragic as to why Hakase Shinonome created Nano.
- K-On! - Added in June 2016, the series is, for the most part, its own self-contained series, but with references to the larger universe still being included. The entire original English cast returned to re-record their lines, as well as record the new dialogue. Before the series aired, it was stated at a convention that the popular ships of Ritsu/Mio and Yui/Azusa would be canon and on full display, and also stated they "would see where Mugi's love life goes, though she'll probably be the token heterosexual of the club". A notable addition is the main characters gaining the ability to change their voices to sound like anyone, living or dead; it is explained that this is a side-effect of the alien energy released upon Mogu's death in 1976, the sole exception being Yui, who, along with Ui, have it as an innate ability said to be hereditary to the Hirasawa bloodline. This was done in order to avoid having to use the Japanese recordings of Ho-Kago Tea Time's songs or have their English voice actresses re-record the songs (among the main voice cast, only Shelby Lindley, the voice of Mugi, is a singer), a move that also changed HTT into a cover band and paved the way for their introduction to ShowBiz Pizza Place locations opening in the Japanese states in 2016. Other changes include moving Sakuragaoka High School to the Tokyo area to allow the characters to interact with the rest of the JAU characters, changing the school from an all-girls school to a conventional, bi-gender school, and drastically changing the backstory of Ritsu and Mio's relationship in a decidedly dark yet heartwarming direction, which in turn changed Ritsu's personality somewhat.
- Kiniro Mosaic - Originally a series made for Japanese audiences, this show's official English dub was, like with Nichijou, overseen by Tim Johnson. Most of the cast is voiced by Johnson's normal stable of voice actors (namely Kira Buckland as Shinobu, Sarah Anne Williams as Aya, and Cristina Valenzuela as Yoko), with Alice and Karen voiced by actual British voice actresses after the original plan to have Chloe Johnson and Jenny Smith voice them was scrapped on the grounds of "cultural inaccuracy" (Emma Tate voices Alice, and Cara Theobold of Overwatch fame voices Karen). The original Japanese version was simply a little series with jokes about the English and Japanese languages; the Johnson version, while still lighthearted and comedic, also takes a more serious tone at times as the main cast struggles to reconcile three different cultures (American, British, and Japanese).
- Sonic X - Also overseen by Tim, this dub features the cast from the video games (many of whom had also voiced their characters in the original 4Kids dub) reprising their roles, with Tim himself voicing Chris. Starting in 2018, as part of the series' 15th anniversary, the series was revived, showing Chris and his friends six years later, though the characters are the same ages as they had been before. All scenes and background music remain intact. The series takes place in 2056, though the third season is set in 2062 and, since the fourth season, is set in 2068; the series was set in the future so as not to conflict with the other JAU series (no kaiju appear in the series, but in the revived series, dialogue states that, by 2056, Godzilla VI had succeeded the current Godzilla; one episode in the fifth season involved Dr. Eggman trying and failing to repair a Vortaak-made Mechagodzilla unit); this was already established before that the series took place in the future. Chuck Thorndyke's age is now 65 rather than 55, as Tim felt that him becoming a father at the age of 12 was "way too absurd". While Chris is a recurring character in the new series, Sonic has no human companion in the revival, as Tim decided that other characters like Tails could better take his place. Various characters from other media were added, and Amy's personality was also softened, as Tim was dissatisfied with "how the writers never seemed to understand that Amy's kinder side triumphed over her short temper rather than the other way around". It is also explained by Tim how Dr. Eggman came to Sonic's world (this was due to an electrical accident involving a teleporter he was building), and why he had to go back to Sonic's world to stop time from freezing (this was because he had been in Sonic's world for the better part of his life).
- Detective Conan/Case Closed - Added in September 2020.
- Squid Girl - Added in January 2021.
- Ouran High School Host Club - Added in January 2021.
In-universe, these series are fictional TV shows, and the characters all actors or animated, sometimes licensed from other companies.
- Adventure Time (added in 2015 due to the Cartoon Network acquisition by Johnson) - Fuyuki, Natsumi, Momoka, and Koyuki's favorite show. Generally speaking, this is one of the few things they believe the West does right, in addition to food, racing, aviation, spaceflight, toys, cinema, and architecture.
- Gundam - As you can guess, this is Keroro's favorite show. Keroro is also still an avid Gundam model fan.
- Super Sentai - Tamama's favorite show. Fuyuki is thankful that this series never got "Americanized".
- Transformers - Kaito and Giroro's favorite show. Kaito prefers Robots in Disguise (the 2001 version), while Giroro likes G1.
- Death Note - Teto's favorite show for obvious reasons.