Revitalizing Classics: The Best Anime Reboots of All Time
Old Meets New: The Best Anime Reboots That Bring Fresh Life to Classics
Anime franchises are no strangers to the world of reboots, as seen in recent times. Two late-20th-century classics, Berserk, and Urusei Yatsura, were given new life in the past year.
While the former was just another adaptation of the Golden Age arc, it still garnered high praise, with some claiming it to be better than the original 1997 adaptation.
Reboots are often employed when nostalgia for a particular series reaches a new height in popularity or if the original series fails to keep up with the source material.
Regardless of the reason, there have been numerous attempts at rebooting beloved anime characters and series, and many of them have received a warm welcome from fans.
Urusei Yatsura (2022)
Renowned as one of Japan's most celebrated manga artists, Rumiko Takahashi has created several pop-culture staples such as Inuyasha and Maison Ikkoku. However, her debut work, Urusei Yatsura, may hold even more cultural significance.
The original anime premiered in the 80s while the manga was still being serialized, managing to remain mainly faithful to the source material.
Decades later, as nostalgia for all things from the neon decade began to peak, executives at David Production saw an opportunity to re-adapt Takahashi's work.
The result was an anime with a more faithful design to Takahashi's characters, particularly Lum, who was given her iconic iridescent hair color.
Rebuild Of Evangelion
Hideaki Anno's Evangelion franchise is a globally recognized anime series, thanks to its engaging characters, non-linear storytelling, and stunningly animated sequences, all of which have become a significant part of pop culture.
However, despite its popularity, the original series and the movie End of Evangelion were controversial enough to provoke viewers into sending threats to Hideaki Anno.
Nevertheless, Anno remained undaunted and rebooted the series and reimagined it in various ways. In a series of films known as Rebuild Of Evangelion, Anno created an almost complete retelling of the series while retaining some of the original plot points.
The final film, Thrice Upon A Time, received special praise for providing audiences with proper closure.
Sailor Moon Crystal
Naoko Takeuchi's Sailor Moon is widely considered one of the top five anime series outside of Japan and has become synonymous with the magical girl trope within the shojo genre.
However, when the series was first adapted into an anime in the '90s, the production took creative liberties, altering the series' direction by adding filler and redefining character dynamics.
Toei Animation, the same studio that produced the original adaptation, decided to readapt the series with greater fidelity to Takeuchi's vision. They discarded all the anime filler and restored the original LGBTQ+ themes found in the manga.
Thankfully, they also preserved the series' iconic '90s aesthetic while updating the animation style.
Trigun is often considered a quintessential '90s anime, with Vash the Stampede as an iconic, peace-loving, gun-slinging protagonist who has won the hearts of many anime fans.
However, his journey is far from optimistic, and the original '90s series emphasized this story aspect.
Trigun Stampede made its debut, but when previews were released, audiences were skeptical due to the new computer-generated animation style, which disappointed fans of the original series.
However, once Stampede released its first episode, those concerns dissipated as audiences were enamored with both the animation style and the series' faithfulness to the original work.
Osamu Tezuka's creative mind brought forth numerous fantastic stories, ranging from Astro Boy to Kimba: The White Lion. However, one unique tale stood out among the rest: Dororo.
This supernatural story follows a limbless, organless ronin on a journey to conquer the 48 demons that have been wreaking havoc on their homeland.
A black-and-white adaptation of the series was first produced in 1969, but it remains a cultural treasure.
In 2019, the 50th anniversary of the original, Studio MAPPA released a reboot in partnership with Tezuka Productions.
The series was much more vibrant in color and violence, quickly garnering a new fanbase among a younger audience.
In the early '70s, when Devilman's adaptation first premiered, the Vietnam War was the talk of the town. The series heavily emphasized anti-war themes and imagery, incorporating supernatural threats of biblical proportions.
It is often considered an important work that inspired subsequent anime.
As we move forward to 2019, the resurgence of violent bigotry against LGBTQ+ members has become the talk of the town. The reinterpretation of Devilman Crybaby was produced by Studio Science SARU in collaboration with Netflix.
The series was top-rated among audiences and praised for its inclusiveness, adapting well to modern times.
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
Bones, Inc. produced and animated two adaptations of Hiromu Arakawa's iconic series, Full Metal Alchemist. While their first attempt in 2003 is still highly regarded, the creative decisions went against Arakawa's original vision.
Following the series' completion in 2010, Bones decided to start over instead of moving to another studio to re-adapt the series.
The result was a more comprehensive series that can be easily binged. Fans of Avatar: The Last Airbender will surely enjoy Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, given the show's similar themes.
Berserk: Memorial Edition
Kentaro Miura's highly acclaimed Berserk has unsurprisingly undergone numerous reboots since its initial adaptation in 1997.
While the original adaptation has become the most iconic and positively received among the various reboots that followed, it appears that may have changed with the release of Studio 4°C's memorial edition of the Golden Age arc.
Unlike the 1997 series, the Memorial Edition updated the animation style and included storylines and elements from the manga.
It was hailed as Miura's definitive adaptation, receiving high praise from many.
Hunter X Hunter (2011)
Yoshihiro Togashi is widely regarded as the father of modern shonen, with his series inspiring numerous mangaka with their emphasis on intricate power scales and captivating characters.
Among his catalog, Hunter X Hunter is arguably the most recognizable, having been adapted for television twice.
The '90s adaptation is iconic enough to have vaporwave artists feature it in their work, but most fans would agree that the 2011 reboot is the most faithful adaptation.
Whether Madhouse, the studio behind the reboot, will continue to adapt to the ongoing Dark Continent Arc remains to be seen.
Fruits Basket (2019)
Among the most iconic titles within the shojo romance genre, Natsuki Takaya's Fruits Basket has captured many hearts.
A unique blend of supernatural elements, the story revolves around Tohru Honda, an orphan who finds herself embroiled in the Sohma family and their troubles.
The first adaptation of the series was released in 2001. While it was met with some positive reception, it was rushed and deviated significantly from the source material, which was still being serialized at the time.
Fast forward 18 years and the anime received a reboot, resulting in a more faithful and proper adaptation of Takaya's work.
About the Creator
I'm an avid fan of anime and cartoons. Ever since I was a kid, I has been fascinated by the colorful and imaginative worlds that anime and cartoons can bring to life. My sites: https://cartoonvibe.com/
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