5 Japanese Games that would make Excellent Anime
Ask anyone what some of their favorite 2016 anime have been so far and I promise that almost everyone who’s watching it will include the Ace Attorney anime on their list. Whether they’re new fans who used the anime as a gateway into the franchise or longtime fans who want to relive the fun of the first two Ace Attorney games, several people–including myself–can’t get enough of the Ace Attorney anime. This really shouldn’t be a surprise not just because they’re excellent games, but because they’re so dialogue-based, it’s natural that they would transition well into an anime. Last week I wrote a list of Japanese games that likely wouldn’t make good anime–this week, I bring you a list of 5 Japanese games that I think would have good anime adaptations. Like the previous list, however, there are rules:
This is NOT a list of my favorite Japanese games. If you’re really dying to know my favorite games, look at the author description at the bottom. I have them listed.
- All the games on this list are Japanese, but they’re not all JRPGs
- All these are games have not received an anime adaption of any kind
- I’m not saying that these would 100% definitely make great anime–nor am I implying that they ever will get anime. I have no way of knowing if any of these will ever get an anime, nor would I have any way of knowing if they were good unless I’ve watched them. These are just educated guesses–games that I think would have a significantly higher chance at having a good anime regardless of circumstances.
- When I say “anime” I mean anime–not an OVA, not a movie, not a special. I mean a full-blown anime with at least 12 episodes, though almost certainly more. The fact that most anime from the last decade are 12, 24-26, or 52 episodes should be kept in mind, though.
- I’m assuming the anime would be an adaptation of the games (EX: Persona 4, Ace Attorney) NOT a continuation, re-imagining, or separate story of any kind (EX: any of the .hack// anime, Advent Children)
On that note…
No More Heroes
There are very few games that are practically begging to become an anime as badly as No More Heroes. First of all, this action-adventure, hack-and-slash is home of some incredibly unique characters–most well-known being the over-the-top, nerdy protagonist, Travis Touchdown. These characters alongside the already anime plot (Travis wants to be the top ranked assassin in the world) would let the episodes practically write themselves: Just animate some explosive fights and adapt the writing from there. It could be a fantastic action/comedy that would help new fans fall in love with the incredible world of this underappreciated gem, and would allow older fans to relive this incredible game.
The World Ends With You
Confusing writing aside, The World Ends with You could make a wonderful anime. First of all, there’s the art style of the game–who wouldn’t love to see a TV anime (I say TV anime specifically because of the Redline movie) done in this style? Second, this game is home to a fantastic soundtrack that could be reused in an anime adaptation. Most importantly, I think that the writing in this game would be well-suited for an anime. It’s very easy to see in the game which conversations are important and which are more unnecessary, so it would be pretty easy to trim the fat from this game if it were to be adapted. There’s a large enough cast of characters to make an anime version of it hold the interest of the viewer through the characters in addition to the plot, but without overwhelming them since each character is so unique. Finally, because all the excessiveness of the writing in the game would be gone, it would be much easier to appreciate the character development in this game, alongside understanding the story which, admittedly, gets incredibly confusing at the end. This game will be 10 years old next year, and though we’ve seen some of the main characters appear in Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance, we’ve never had a sequel to this game. Tetsuya Nomura has gone on the record saying that a sequel is still a possibility, and what better way to get people excited and jog their memories of this game than with an anime adaptation?
Final Fantasy VI
My main reasons for wanting a Final Fantasy 6 anime are the same reasons that I would also love a remake of this game, as I explained in my list of very unlikely games that I’d like to see announced at E3 that I posted in June. To quote the article, “I want to see Kefka’s face twist and writhe as he laughs maniacally, I want to see a more animated transformation for Terra, I want to see the opera scene as cinematically as possible—and I know I’m not the only one, as Final Fantasy VI is generally considered to be arguably the best 2D Final Fantasy game.” Final Fantasy 6 is a fantastic game, which is why I’d like to relive the whole thing, but more visually this time. The graphics were good for their time, but I think it’s time for an upgrade–be it a 3D remake or an anime. The writing for Final Fantasy 6 is incredible, and it contains arguably the best villain in Final Fantasy as well as some of the most memorable characters overall in Final Fantasy history. My only worry for a Final Fantasy 6 anime is condensing it, because it’s a pretty long game, so picking it apart and condensing it could potentially cause trouble, but I’m sure it’s still doable.
The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask
Seeing this game on the list probably won’t come as a surprise to most people who read the previous list of Japanese games that I think wouldn’t make good anime. For anyone who didn’t read it, suffice to say, I mentioned that Ocarina of Time wouldn’t make a good anime because it focuses more on the freedom of an open world and game play than it does the story–and in an anime, because you lose the game play and the freedom, it would rely heavily on the story–something Ocarina of Time simply doesn’t have as much of as other Zelda titles. Perhaps no Legend of Zelda game embodies great storytelling as well as Majora’s Mask, which is why I think it would make an excellent anime. It would also be really interesting to see what the production company would do to show the 3-day mechanic, but again, this is a wonderful tool for storytelling. Like Final Fantasy 6, the only foreseeable issue that could arrive is condensing it down, but due to the length of this game versus Final Fantasy 6, I’m sure it would be an easier feat for Majora’s Mask.
Any Fire Emblem Game
I think Awakening in particular would make the best Fire Emblem anime, but any given Fire Emblem game would likely be at least a good anime. First of all, there’s the linearity constant throughout the entire franchise: Each game is pretty straightforward in its story and what it wants you to do. This would translate well into an anime because it gives the whole thing an overarching plot–a goal to obtain–and thus helps the viewer stay focused in the writing. Secondly, Fire Emblem games are generally well-known for having very memorable characters–particularly Awakening, which is the first of 3 reasons I have for thinking it would make the best anime of any Fire Emblem game. Having good characters are a staple for having a good anime because they make the viewer care more because they care about the characters and they want to see what they do next. The only major problem with that and Fire Emblem is that, due to the perma-death these games are so famous for, there are dozens of important characters in each game. It would definitely become a task trying to figure out who’s more important that who, and thus, who warrants more screen time, if any characters should be cut out entirely, etc. Although it would definitely be the biggest obstacle in making a good Fire Emblem anime, I think that would be the only notable one because once you figure out who’s important enough for screen-time, the writing would be easily adapted by the in-game dialogue, and could likely be used word-for-word because of the aforementioned linearity. The other major reasons I think Awakening in particular would make the best Fire Emblem anime is 1. It’s generally called the best entry point into the series. Granted those are for game play reasons, I think it would still hold true in an anime since the characters of Awakening have proved their importance in the future of the franchise as we can see from Fates. 2. Frankly, Awakening has the best story of any of the Fire Emblem games I’ve played. Combo that with the most memorable characters and it’ll be a great experience for the viewer.
Like I said in the previous article, I’d like to encourage leaving comments with your thoughts: What are some games you like that you think would make good anime? Why? Do you disagree with any of the games on this list? Did I leave anything out? Again, in the pursuit of knowledge, I’d like to heavily encourage feedback.