No, there isn’t an upcoming anime titled “XYZ”. This is about adaptations. And not just any “traditional” adaptation; I’m talking about East meets West.
The idea has been around for a while now but doesn’t seem to gather much attention, which begs the question: “Is it a good idea?” Ok, it doesn’t really “beg the question“. Any well-educated philosopher will tell you that– Ah who am I kidding. No one cares about that. Anyway, here’s a probably non-comprehensive list of “western” adaptations for you to consider:
- Starship Troopers
- The Animatrix
- Batman: Gotham Knight
- Halo Legends
- Iron Man
- Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker
- Mass Effect: Paragon Lost
- Starship Troopers: Invasion
So how many of those have you heard of? How many have you watched? The unaired ones aside, probably not a lot. Honestly, I haven’t seen many of them either, but I like to blame that on the fact that the ones dubbed in Japanese usually don’t have any English subs. Personally, I think the idea of adapting “western material” into anime isn’t a very bad one. It serves as a sort of cultural exchange by potentially introducing anime watchers to western material, and vice versa. Heck, it’s also a treat for those who just so happen to be fans of both.
But of course, there’s an obvious problem. A quick look at the MAL pages will show you that some of these shows have pretty low ratings. Haters and purists aside, the main problem is the execution. If you’re going to attempt a fusion of two different cultures, you’d better make sure you do it well. A bad anime is one thing, but botching something like this will get you hate on two fronts. That doesn’t mean that all such attempts are going to turn into trainwrecks, though. Take Halo Legends, for example. That’s one such adaptation that I actually watched, and it wasn’t too shabby.
Of course, Halo fans will complain about a few inaccuracies and liberties taken while general anime watchers will probably be unexcited about something non-Japanese, but the end result was fairly entertaining. At least, it was a real visual treat. Another example would be Supernatural. I was actually very excited for it, but unfortunately it was one of those shows that had no subs. Regardless, it apparently has decent ratings on MAL. In fact, it’s quite easy to see a trend. The “truer” such adaptations stay to their source material, the better they are generally received.
This might suggest that such adaptations introduce more western material followers to anime rather than the other way around, but that’s still a cultural exchange. I personally think that anime is a great medium, and these adaptations are an excellent way to
lure introduce people to it. In any case, I’m sure most of you will go back to ignoring adaptations of western material after reading this post. Or perhaps the problem is simply that they are so obscure? If that’s so, I’m just doing my job by spreading the word. Western adaptations aren’t all that bad. You guys should check them out.