10 TV Shows & Movies We'd Love To See Get The Anime Treatment!
by D.J. Rivera
In recent years, the popularity of anime has grown considerably here in the States. The genre, known for its intensity, has stood the test of time with its unique ability to grow with its viewers and has been widely accepted due to its notorious unconventional nature.
Titles such as Ghost in the Shell and Death Note have been given the live-action treatment, with many more on the way, including James Cameron’s passion project Alita: Battle Angel coming next year. But it seems the reverse is about to be the next big thing in the industry. Netflix has seen fit to turn the film franchise Pacific Rim and their sci-fi futuristic series “Altered Carbon” into anime shows. And this trend isn't immune from Oscar-caliber works either -- The Academy Award-winning film Blade Runner 2049 will be getting its own anime series exploring the world created by the great minds of Denis Villanueva, Ridley Scott, andm of course, Philip K. Dick. The series will be on the anime streaming service Crunchyroll as well as Adult Swim.
Blade Runner has inspired anime for more than a generation. Here’s a look at the animation of BLADE RUNNER BLACK OUT 2022 to celebrate today’s announcement of the all new BLADE RUNNER anime series!! pic.twitter.com/dtxkXfIZVI— Crunchyroll (@Crunchyroll) November 29, 2018
So with the news of Blade Runner getting the anime treatment, one can’t help but wonder what other TV shows or movies would benefit from this process. There has been no shortage of action-packed thrill rides at the moviesm and there is no question that we are currently living in a golden age of television. While there is a lot of greatness to mention on both sides, the two can sometimes be limited due to the restraints of time and budget. Giant robots, space battles, and crazy powerful heroes can be hard to bring to life on a reasonable budget. But if you have ever seen an anime show, thanks to the animation style the genre has become so known for, then you know the possibilities are endless. So with that being said, here are 10 TV shows that audiences would absolutely become addicted to if they were presented as an anime!
The thought-provoking anthology series that takes a harsh look into the world of tech escalation paranoia probably wouldn’t be first on your list to enter the genre of anime, but before you quickly slam the next button, allow me to intrigue the dark corners of your mind as to why “Black Mirror” deserves such an honor. Bringing the intrinsic storytellering into the limitless world of intensity means these tales, that are already some of the best mind-bending narratives television has ever seen, could go places we can’t even imagine. The award-winning series could further expand on some of its existing lore, or it could create a whole new slate of badass material. The depths of cyberspace, a dystopian monochrome future, and the far reaches of outer space can all be achieved and then thoroughly pushed into the “Black Mirror”. I dare you to look away.
A secret world of underground assassins that plays by its own rules, which are packed to the brim with crazy Gun Fu fight scenes, seems like the kind of thing that would have started out as an anime, but in actuality, it is just an awesome Keanu Reeves film. The John Wick Universe is set to expand with a third film, TV series, and a Ballerina-titled spinoff all on the way, so why not throw an anime in there as well? Hitmen of all sorts with different abilities serving different factions could serve for a season after season of contracts to terminate. The action alone in the first 2 films was considered by many to be a breath of fresh air for the genre. Once the barriers of live-action are removed, there is no telling how crazy an anime based in the world of John Wick could be.
"Game of Thrones"
Dragons, zombie armies, giants, and all kinds of magic definitely make “Game of Thrones” very worthy of an anime adaptation. The stuff we’ve seen in the show would make for some great material, but there are so many untapped gems within the entire A Song of Ice and Fire book series that would also be great to see brought to life within the animated genre. The lore could be expanded on and so many legends and tall tales referred to within the pages of George R.R. Martin’s epic series would be done justice. I mean, just think of the battle sequences that would go down. For years now, fans of the books have been clamoring for an animated adaptation, and a “Game of Thrones” anime would certainly be the stuff of legends. And sooner or later, legends tend to come true.
Edge of Tomorrow
Edge of Tomorrow has everything fans love in an action-packed fantasy adventure. This one even has re-spawning and mech suits to get the gamers to back us up on this one. Edge of Tomorrow or Live. Die. Repeat., whatever you want to call it, it is the one where Tom Cruise gets the ability to Groundhog Day himself from the very aliens trying to destroy us. The one battle scene we see play out is the alien Normandy sequence, and that was wall-to-wall insanity. Imagine if some animators got to work and presented this invasion on a much grander scale. Plus, think of all the other crazy and graphic ways we could have seen Cruise’s character die in order to figure out how to overcome some new obstacle.
If you haven’t heard of “Misfits,” you are truly missing out on one of television's best-kept secrets. The Hulu series is basically Suicide Squad on probation as juvenile delinquents. 5 of these so-called juvenile delinquents acquire special powers after a storm, which gives abilities to many people throughout the world, strikes them while doing community service. These powers sometimes make their life easier, but most of the time just causes more problems. Time travel, immortality, and the ability to trade powers with other individuals are just some of the unique things this show has to offer. A world where random people have random powers and worlds continually collide in unique battles is something that could be fledged out in its entirety within the confines of the anime genre.
If the Alien films have taught us anything, it's that in space, no one can hear you scream, and going up against a Xenomorph is no easy feat, let alone going up against the queen and her army. The Alien franchise has a ton of unexplored chapters to delve into, and an anime could be just the thing this property needs. While the films seem to be in limbo, a Japanese-style animated take in the classic could really up the ante on the action these stories could offer, not to mention add an entirely different level of horror to the process as well. Ridley Scott proved this thing was scary, and James Cameron proved that, if you went to war with them, it makes for an iconic sci-fi masterpiece, which inevitably proves this could be a great anime series.
Robot cowboys, robot Samurais, and robot Romans all fighting back against their human oppressors in a theme park design for people to live out all their wildest fantasies -- including murder. While this sounds like I pivoted and started describing my favorite anime series, this is simply not the case. But your confusion only goes to prove my theory that HBO’s “Westworld" would be a good fit to be turned into an anime property. Whether it's action sequences in the saloon, epic samurai battles to the hills, or armed guards shooting up the hallways of the Delos buildings to stop a robot insurgency that could lead to an all-out war for the very survival of mankind, this show could absolutely take advantage of the limitless advantages anime has to offer.
Close your eyes and open your mind to the possibility of Sucker Punch becoming the next great anime series. While the film wasn’t a critical success, there were so many epic fight sequences that are some of the most visually pleasing depictions of mayhem the world has ever seen. The world-within-a-world-within-a-world aspect could be shown in broader detail and the gun-firing, hand-to-hand combat against larger-than-life foes are already some of the things that popular animes are known for. Dragons fighting armies of orcs, steampunk robots fending off hordes of Nazi zombies, and some sexy femme fatale's shooting up robots on a futuristic bullet train make up one movie that would fit perfectly into the world of anime.
"Into The Badlands"
AMC’s “Into the Badlands" is like Mad Max except everyone is incredibly well-dressed in some of the most elaborate color-coded attire any dystopian future has ever seen. Where guns are traded for arrows and blades are the weapon of choice, “Into the Badlands" offers more martial arts action and swordplay than anything else out there. Clippers lead armies in full-scale battles that are like if Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon had a baby with The Lord of the Rings. Besides having some high-octane masterfully executed action pieces, it also contains some of that fantastical mysticism everyone loves. Beings that become superhuman when they draw blood provide formidable foes for the people of this mysterious future. The origins, secrets, and battles could be explored and expanded on if the “Badlands" was to get the anime treatment.
Ready Player One
A world where the limits of reality are your own imagination sounds like someone is describing the genre of anime when it's really the main character of Ready Player One describing The Oasis, the endless VR world of pop culture references that gamers search for easter eggs in. The film, based on the hit Ernest Cline novel directed by Steven Spielberg, would be perfect for anime simply because there would be no limit on what could be done in this series. Audiences can be taken to snow planets to watch Deloreans crash into The Iron Giant, or run screaming through the halls of the Overlook Hotel away from two creepy singing twins. With a place like The Oasis offering up anything a person can think of and then experience it in seconds is exactly why this style of animation was created.
(Image via AMC)
- D.J. Rivera, YH Contributing Writer