Anime is all about high drama, intensely unique storylines with and over the top action. So it’s no surprise that some of the best Western franchises have gotten an Anime version that seem weirdly appropriate.
Anime is becoming more and more popular in western media. Most recently, a clip featuring Stephen King’s It as an Anime resurfaced during the release of Chapter Two. But it’s surprising to know that many other popular Hollywood franchises have gotten a similar treatment.
Either created by fans, or through official remakes, the anime versions of these popular and cult classics actually work. While some are quick clips or reimagined trailers, some are actually full-blown shows or movies that will make you want to track them down.
So here are 8 Anime versions of some of the greatest pop culture properties.
8. Power-puff Girls Z
Craig McCracken’s Powerpuff Girls has been immensely popular with audiences of all ages. While the show itself has Anime origins, an actual Anime version released shortly after the original series ended.
The OG Powerpuff Girls featured incredibly witty storylines, parodies, and satires of existing pop culture classics. Its unique selling point was a style of humor that respected the intelligence of its young audience. This made the show appealing to both kids and their families. The Japanese Anime reboot, titled Powerpuff Girls Z, however, loses track of what made the original great.
The actual animation is a very cool Anime-version of the original designs. However, the animated version of Powerpuff Girls failed to live up to its predecessor’s creativity or originality.
7. Highlander: Search For Vengeance
The original Highlander films and the TV series (to a lesser extent) are classics. The Highlander franchise saw immortal heroes fighting immortal villains. Basically, the stuff of legend. However, the quality of the franchise may have dipped slightly after the original film.
The franchise was so popular though, that an actual Anime film, titled Highlander: Search For Vengeance provides a formidable continuation of the franchise. The movie came out in 2007 and any thing of it as a great Highlander sequel.
The usual Highlander action and swordplay has been perfectly adapted into an Anime style that seemed obvious. Highlander and anime is a pairing that goes together, and the movie does not disappoint. The visual storytelling style of Japanese Samurai stories goes perfectly when overlayed within the Highlander franchise, with the extravagance of Anime.
6. Rick And Morty
Rick And Morty is quite possibly one of the most revered and highly successful animated shows of all time. The series has is a pop culture staple as much as The Simpsons or South Park. It’s amazing storylines, co-created by Dan Harmon, pays homage to, and references many iconic franchises like Back To The Future.
So it only makes sense for the adult show about a young boy and professor (Pokemon anyone?) be made into an Anime. A fan cleverly created an opening trailer for Rick And Morty, that’s completely in an Anime style.
The trailer is very reminiscent of the Pokemon style of animation that makes you wish the show existed. Unfortunately, though, there is no Rick And Morty Anime series. Just this amazing trailer for a show that may never be. But the original Rick And Morty is still around for fans to enjoy.
5. Supernatural: The Anime
But fear not. One Anime adaptation of a highly successful television series does exist. And when you find out that it’s The CW’s Supernatural, it kind of makes sense.
Supernatural is a supernatural (duh) show about two brothers hunting and fighting monsters. The show has been on for 14 seasons covering a lot of ground. From urban legends to mythical monsters, to even the Devil himself. The show and its stars often provide a lot of fan service. With musical episodes and a cross over with Scooby-Doo, the series really rewards its fans. So an Anime was the next progression.
Supernatural: The Anime is an official adaptation for the show that’s available on the CW’s streaming service, CW Seed. This version covers most of the first two seasons of the live-action show. While it’s a retelling, many episodes feature original episodes made solely for the anime.
The reception for the Supernatural Anime have been divisive. Many calling it a poor imitation of the original.
4. Batman Ninja
There have been countless adaptations of Batman. But one of the most recent ones comes in an Anime version of the character, in a movie titled Batman Ninja.
The new animated movie sees the Dark Knight end up in feudal Japan, along with most of his enemies. Batman Ninja is an official adaptation from DC, produced and released by Warner Bros.
The anime movie is pretty impressive in adapting the Batman story, along with its villains and their dynamics into a totally different setting. The animation style looks crisp and well suited for a Batman story. And it’s incredibly amazing to see the typical Batman gadgets, costumes, and conflicts against a Feudal Japanese backdrop.
3. Stranger Things
The original Netflix series Stranger Things has quickly become part of the everyday pop culture nerd. The show homages classic 80’s era content, while also building on the drama and tension that audiences today enjoy. Not to mention the amazing special effects and likable main characters.
So a when a fan makes an Anime trailer for the series, it’s pretty darn amazing.
The trailer, which focuses on the first two seasons of Stranger Things, looks incredible. The entire Hawkins cast appears in Anime form and the eery creepy tone of the show seems to blend perfectly in an anime setting. Everything from the Demogorgon to Eleven kicking butt almost looks better in Anime.
Given the setting of the show itself, it’s only appropriate that the anime style is also like 80’s cartoons. Too bad it’s only a fan-made the trailer and not a real Anime spinoff.
2. Game Of Thrones
Game Of Thrones has been a massive, cross-media phenomenon. Traversing from books to a highly successful TV show, imagine what an anime of the franchise would look like. Well, imagine no more, as a fan has made our dreams come true.
Westeros becomes a dark and brooding Anime version of the show with action intrigue and dastardly characters. Can’t you just picture Season 1 Jamie Lannister, as a sleazy and seductive Anime knight in armor?
While the trailer was clearly made as a joke, but it actually fits in with the uber-serious and sometimes ridiculous plots that happen in the series. The trailer features all the tropes of Anime storytelling, complete with cut scenes and action montages that break from the main storylines.
No actual Game Of Thrones anime exists, with all the prequels of the original announced, it could be a possibility.
1: Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
Star Wars includes one of the biggest fandoms in the world. So an Anime version of the first-ever Star Wars movie is an enjoyable treat that brings all the feels.
The fan-made trailer takes us through most of the first film. It’s a slow and moving trailer that makes you want to watch the original. The trailer introduces all the major characters, in Anime form, and provides a look into the franchise if it was an Anime.
This Anime rework truly makes you want to go and revisit the original. It showcases how an Anime adaptation can stay true to the original while also enhancing many of the same attributes of what fans fell in love with.
Which favorite property would you like to see an Anime version of? Let us know in the comments below.
Featured image from Harbouring The Fates
Shah Shahid is an entertainment writer, movie critic (so he thinks), host of the Split Screen Podcast (on Apple Podcasts & everywhere else) and filmy father on a mission to educate his girls on decades of film history. Armed with uncontrollable sarcasm and cautious optimism, Shah loves discussing film, television and comic book content until his wife’s eyes glaze over. So save her by engaging him on his own blog at BlankPageBeatdown.com or on Twitter @theshahshahid.