10 Properties We’d Like Anime Of

It is important to note that even if we magically had the money and influence to get any of these properties turned into an anime there is no guarantee that they would turn out well. All adaptation is more of an art than a science and the countless promising adaptations that have become cinematic abortions are a testament to how easy it is to adapt something incorrectly. We picked these titles because there is a chance if done correctly would be suited to anime. In practice this might not happen but we are assuming a best case scenario. Still it is a fun thought experiment and I hope everyone will feel free to make their own suggestions in the comments.

Runaways

Marvel’s attempt to draw in manga readers may have failed, but that didn’t prevent Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona from writing a winner. This story of a group of kids who realize their parents are all part of a criminal ring, has great characters and their relationships to one another resonate. The dynamics of these people who form an unconventional family while making their way in the world as heroes and a safe place for other kids are wonderfully vivid. Also there is a dinosaur. I would want the story to end with the initial arc which Vaughan finished since all the stories there after are quite variable in quality.

The Chronicles of Amber

The Chronicles of Amber is an epic fantasy series by Roger Zelazny. Shifting through dimensions and fantastical monsters can now be done with modern CG but would look fantastic if animated correctly. The plot starts as a simple story of revenge to reclaim a stolen throne and escalates into a multidimensional conflict. But overall there is a good deal of talking between big action scenes which is the narrative style that anime loves the most. Plus all the princes and princes of Amber are amazingly hot, incredibly competent, and scheming against each other. The series consists of two series of 5 book cycles. Most people consider the first pentalogy far superior to the later so you could stop with The Courts of Chaos but you would have room to adapt the Merlin Cycle if there was enough demand.

Yoko Tsuno

This is a well-known Franco-Beligian comic I’ve talked about before. Think of Yoko trained as an engineer but really a jack-of-all-trades fabulous mix between Nancy Drew and Jonny Quest. Her adventures and mysteries take her all over the world as well as into space and SCIENCE often plays a role in the stories. Even though she is on the move, she has a regular cast of characters so construction an overarching storyline could easily fit in.

Isaac Asimov’s Robot Series

A classic of the science fiction genre and far more accessible and personable than Asimov’s Foundation series. The first three books are mystery novels at their core but at the same time are some of the foundations of all robot literature as well. The human Elijah Baley and his robot partner R. Daneel Olivaw have a unique partnership over the course of the series and one of the few times Isaac Asimov makes engaging characters. It has a decent cross cultural to anime fans as Americans love sci-fi anime, the Japanese love mystery anime, and the Robot series is well-respected everywhere. There is also robot sexy time and incest later on so you know it would do OK with otaku.

A Wrinkle in Time

The classic children’s novel involving space and time filled with fantastic worlds, the struggle between good and evil, and saving a universe. It features strong, brainy Meg as the lead as well as her piercingly intelligent little brother Charles who must defeat the disembodied brain with powerful telepathic abilities known as IT. Love, conformity, and truth all playing big roles throughout the story. Science-fiction always finds a good home in anime where the vastness and oddness of the universe can be on full display.

Blake’s 7

While the Robot series is a well-respected classic Blake’s 7 has always been a fervent cult following. Set in a dystopian future which seems to be all the rage now it lends itself to appealing to a western audience. While some of the titles I picked have a slightly dark or cynical feeling this title is downright morose in its worldview.  The original series had an infamously cheap BBC budget so some high quality and imaginative animation could bring the exotic planets and settings of the universe to life. The crew of the Liberator was fairly diverse and had crew members that ranged from the more traditionally heroic Cally, to the grey hero in Blake, to the almost villainous Avon. It is a series that has demanded a remake for some time so a new medium might give it a new life.

Incarceron

This is a British novel about a future, artificially living prison run by Incarceron a brutal AI. The prison is its own world with forests and villages while Incarceron is an all-seeing being which kills the human inmates but also births half-lings from the fiber-optics of its walls. To me, this setting already feels perfect for an anime which could visually bring it to life.

Exalted

Exalted was a table top role-playing game system that was created  around mixing traditional high fantasy with manga to give rise to a hybrid that mixes the two while creating its own mythology and feel. The anime and manga influences on the setting are unmistakable therefore making it easy to adapt. There is an already established set of signature characters that could be used for a story or the animation team could create their own charters if so desired. The Exalted universe is set in a time of chaos with invaders from outside and infernal strife within the world making it a grand setting for epic adventures as well as personal quests. There are leagues of untamed wildness filled with fantastic monsters, ancient and terrible gods, forgotten secrets, stolen destinies, outcast heroes, savage and magical barbarians, majestic cities filled with corrupt nobles, lost technology, and a planet wide empire on the verge of civil war.  You could set a whole TV series in the Ankh-Morpork styled hive of scum and villainy known as Nexus and never leave the city walls.

The Legend of Zelda

Mostly important because there deserves to be an animated version where the most famous line is not “Well, excuuuuse me, Princess!” Though I do agree in order for this series to work the creators must give Link a strong voice, personality, and point of view. I am undecided on whether or not I would want them to take one of the existing games and make it into an anime or whether I want them to create a new story in the continuey, but I’m leaning towards new giving more freedom and less expectation. Plus this also gives them a reason to be creating an anime in the first place. I know most video game adaptions go in the poorly done category, but this list is in a perfect world remember.

Pirates of Dark Water

The Pirates of Dark Water was an old Hanna-Barbera cartoon that had a distinctly anime vibe. It had an ongoing plot with a slightly older feel to its writing. The sort of show that would appeal to the lucrative shonen demographic. Sadly the show was canceled before Ren and his crew could complete their quest. It would be remarkable to see a reboot of the series like they recently did with Thundercats. You could redo the original episodes with a more modern sensibility while finally giving the show the conclusion it deserved. I think the airwaves are big enough for two pirate anime series especially since this would probably be a co-production.

19 thoughts on “10 Properties We’d Like Anime Of

  1. wendeego says:

    Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy is already basically post-apocalyptic Gurren Lagann. Just put BONES in charge of production and it’d be set! Would be pretty amazing, assuming that they’d be able to adapt the whole thing and get the endings right.

    Otherwise, I’d love it if Sekien no Inganock was turned into an anime series, since it’s very episodic and incredibly stylish. Sort of like Perdido Street Station crossed with Revolutionary Girl Utena. On that note, what about Perdido Street Station?

    • will'o'wisp says:

      “Otherwise, I’d love it if Sekien no Inganock was turned into an anime series, since it’s very episodic and incredibly stylish.”
      A man after my own heart.

      • will'o'wisp says:

        It seems that most of the “What a Beautiful …” games are written by Sakurai Hikaru. Though there is very little information about Liar-soft and their games in general available in English.

      • wendeego says:

        On the note of Hoshizora Meteo…

        Been spending the past few days reading through Forest, and there are images and ideas that are so incredibly brilliant that I wish someone would just throw money at an anime adaption so that they can be depicted in their entirety. The fossilized city, the crocodile, the end of the Game, flooded Shinjiku…

        The problem is that a) there’s a whole lot of x-rated content to smooth out and b) the story of Forest is so complex that it would require a staff of geniuses to keep things on the right track. Visual novel adaptions have a pretty mediocre track record, and Forest is one of those games where its adaptation could be worse than disastrous if the right people weren’t at the wheel.

        Anyway if Hoshizora Meteo really is working on Girls’ Work, and is putting his all into it, I can guarantee you that Girls’ Work will very possibly be brilliant and will certainly be trippy as hell.

    • reversethieves says:

      Well as we stated this is in the 1 to 2,578,917 miracle universe where things turn out the best they can.

      The sadness that is the Starship Troopers anime is unknown in this blessed land.

      Unless you mean an anime based on the Yes song.

      Sister Bluebird flying high above,
      Shine your wings forward to the sun.
      Hide the myst’ries of life on your way.
      Though you’ve seen them, please don’t say a word.
      What you don’t know, I have never heard.

      – Hisui

  2. JLayne says:

    Some great picks there, guys. I’d love to see any of Philip K Dick’s works given an anime treatment, particularly Blade Runner.

  3. TWWK says:

    Great choices – I was glad to see Pirates of Dark Water, especially! I wouldn’t say it’s “old,” though, as old Hanna-Barbera makes me think Scooby Doo or The Flintstones, rather than a 90s cartoon. :P

    It’s kind of dark, which definitely fits in better with the anime medium than with Hanna-Barbera’s traditional fare.

  4. Wraith says:

    David Weber’s Honor Harrington serious would be another great choice. It’s a space opera epic and, done even moderately well, could be the next Legend of the Galactic Heroes. It’s got the epic story lines, tons of characters, convoluted political plotting, huge space battles… everything you’d want.
    Plus, the Honorverse has a couple special touches that makes it particularly anime compatible. One is a life-extension technology called prolong, which has the side-effect of greatly lengthening the physical growth stage of its users. At several points, when societies without prolong are involved, there’s mentions of how uncomfortable they are when the bridge crews all look like adolescents.
    There’s also the cute animal companion in Nimitz, Honor’s treecat.

    Mildly surprised this one hasn’t already happened, really.

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