5 Anime I’d Love to See Remade

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Love them or loathe them, there’s no denying that the anime industry likes its remakes. Whether it’s to introduce a newer generation to an older title, to rectify endings to stories that outstripped their source material and had to settle for creating their own conclusion, or to keep a franchise going for the money’s sake, anime retellings have been something of a trend for a while now. Hellsing was turned into Hellsing Ultimate, Dragon Ball Z was revised as Dragon Ball Z Kai, Fullmetal Alchemist got Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, and of course, Sailor Moon is currently celebrating its 20th anniversary with Sailor Moon Crystal. These are only a  small handful of the titles to have received remakes over recent years.

Rather than go over some of the best or worst of these to have hit screens over past anime seasons though, I thought it might be fun to instead compile a short list of titles that I’d personally like to see completely redone. Of course, there’s always the danger of a series being completely butchered in the process, and I don’t realistically believe that any of these will actually be seeing a remake anytime soon (if ever) anyway, so this article can be viewed purely as wishful thinking on my part.

Rose of Versailles

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I actually really like Rose of Versailles as it is, hammy 70s music and all. Unfortunately, despite its inherent beauty and charm, there’s no getting around the fact that this is a title many anime fans will never get around to watching simply because of its age. Others might vehemently disagree, but I think it’d be fantastic to see a reboot of this classic series – provided it stays relatively faithful to the original, of course. While I complained about a couple of things in my review of the show, I’d be pretty happy to see a remake of Rose of Versailles that stayed along very similar lines in terms of story and artwork, but had a decent budget to put into updated animation and a new soundtrack. It might be tough to achieve that perfect mix between old and new – I’d hate for Rose of Versailles to lose all of its retro feel, and god forbid it be turned into some fanservicey or moe-fied spectacle – but needless to say, the vision in my head is pure gold.

Tokyo Babylon

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Here’s another older title that could use a coat of fresh paint. Tokyo Babylon isn’t terrible by any means, but a 2-episode OVA could never do a story like this one justice – it’s much too subtle, too beautifully dark, and too heartbreakingly tragic for that. In fact, although a modest 7 volumes in length, Tokyo Babylon deals with some undeniably interesting themes, which would have been the perfect tie-in to CLAMP’s later anime adaptation of X (a personal favourite of mine). Subaru and Seishirou, or more specifically the wonderfully twisted relationship that develops between them, makes for a truly engrossing story, but the short length and slapdash feel of the OVA doesn’t allow for much exploration of that here. Neither does it delve too deeply into Hokuto’s character, who also has a significant role to play in the proceedings and makes for a compelling personality in her own right. I’d be overjoyed to see Tokyo Babylon as a full anime series – the atmosphere alone would be well worth it, though it would of course be grand if the visuals were able to match it.

Tsubasa Chronicle

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Oh my, another CLAMP title. The main problem with Tsubasa Chronicle is that it’s more filler than actual story – 52 episodes not counting the OVAs, and you could easily cut that number in half and still have some breathing room between individual story arcs. What were they again? I forgot, they kinda got buried beneath all those largely pointless side-adventures. There’s also the wee problem of the anime being axed after season two, leaving the main storyline completely unresolved. I’d love to see a more streamlined version of Tsubasa; one that adapts the manga more faithfully and rids itself of the unnecessary weight of all that filler. The anime already has all the right ingredients, including one of the most gorgeous soundtracks in existence, so if the above issues were ever to be properly sorted out then I think the show would get the chance to shine that it really deserves.

Fruits Basket

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Speaking of anime that’d be better off following the source material more closely. Fruits Basket is one of those shows I happen to like anyway, but that I imagine I’d like a lot more if it was more faithful to the original story. As it stands, the series doesn’t struggle to present a vibrantly fun cast with just the right amount of comedy to complement a fairly engaging plot. However, since only roughly the first half of the manga was adapted into anime form, the conclusion feels a bit clumsy and ultimately resolves only a portion of the story, while some of the characters simply don’t get the kind of development and depth that they merit. If there was ever a remake that extended the story to its proper length, trimmed a little fat off the edges, and gave the production values a bit of a push, I’d say Fruits Basket might even be able to rival Ouran for best reverse-harem show out there.

Serial Experiments Lain

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Don’t get me wrong, I have very few complaints about this series – a very solid story in its own right, and also thankfully a complete one (since unlike the other titles on this list, Serial Experiments Lain is not based on a manga). A quite dark and very psychologically-driven take on the relationships between physical reality and virtual reality, between the individual and the rest of the world, and between technology and self-identity, the themes that Lain explores are just as relevant today as they were nearly two decades ago – if not even more so thanks to the tools that many of us now constantly use in order to express ourselves and to communicate with others. If it could be done as beautifully but as unpretentiously as the original story, I have no doubt that a technologically and culturally updated Lain could be a fantastic reboot, with a lot of intelligent and thought-provoking things to say about the world we now live in.

Question of the post: What anime would you most like to see a remake of and why? Do you think it would ever happen?

(Note – as I’ll be increasingly busy IRL over the next couple of weeks, I may not be online much until early October. This will likely be my final post until then.)

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44 thoughts on “5 Anime I’d Love to See Remade

  1. I would love a Soul Eater remake that pushes through to the manga ending. Not necessarily because I hate the anime-only ending BONES gave the series, but because I just want more Soul Eater.

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    • Fair enough. I never read the manga so I have no idea how the anime differs from it, but I enjoyed the series well enough. (Which I suppose is actually saying quite a lot since I normally run in the opposite direction whenever a shounen action piece appears – particularly one that goes past the standard two-cour run time.)

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      • I would LOVE a Soul Eater remake! I was content with the series (never read the manga either so I can’t comment on the comparison) but I will say I remember the first 3 or 4 episodes being ridiculously annoying and mundane. PUMPKIN PUMPKIN PUMPKIN! I would rewrite that lol.

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    • Groove adventure Rave, the anime only covers the first 12 volumes of the manga. The material offered later on is very satisfactory and fun as well as very heartwarming. An anime adaptation that covers the entire series in style of Full Metal Alchemist would be awesome.

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  2. Let me just throw my lot behind that Tokyo Babylon reboot. That, and I stand by Petshop of Horrors as an anime painfully crying for a remake (a FAKE anime would be nice too, what with it being a BL title with leads that are not cookie cutter stereotypes).

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    • Nice choice there with Petshop of Horrors – I hadn’t thought of that one. I certainly wouldn’t be turning my nose up at an anime series of FAKE, either. Genuinely good and innovative BL in general is notoriously difficult to find.

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  3. I dream of an Umineko no naku koro ni remake along with the second half we never got. And while I’m fantasizing here, make it 8 full-length movies/OVAs instead of a TV series. It’s not fair that only Nasuverse stuff gets special treatment, what with Kara no Kyoukai and Carnival Phantasm and Fate/Zero and Fate/Stay Night remake and even a 3rd damn season of f*cking Prism Illya.

    (I sound angry at the end there but I’ll probably watch anyway :3)

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    • Umineko is definitely a popular franchise – I’ve seen numerous people saying they want more. Personally I never really got into it, but I have a vague respect for the title regardless. (I never got into the Fate franchise either though, and still haven’t watched a single episode of Prisma Illya.)

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  4. Oh my goodness I’d love a Furuba remake. It was one of the first anime shows I saw and loved, but I felt that the manga was tonnes better. I would like a remake of Rurouni Kenshin: Reflection. What kind of messed up ending was that? It was not true to the manga at all and I like to pretend it never happened.

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    • Yeah, from what I’ve seen around online, it looks as though a lot of people would definitely welcome a Furuba remake. Kenshin is another really popular choice – although other than the current live-action movies, it’s not been a franchise I’ve really been into. I enjoyed Trust & Betrayal but never managed to watch much of the series. Shounen action material has just never been my thing.

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  5. On your list I’ve watched Lain and Fruits Basket. I thought Fruits basket was as average as average gets and I’ll get to Lain. As far as remakes–I’d nominate:

    1. the original Saint Seiya series, this is kind of like how you decided to pick Rose of Versailles. The original Saint Seiyas seem dated now, and are too long, but if it can be repackaged as a good 26 episode series with a good budget it’d kick ass. For a preview of what it could be, Saint Seiya Lost Canvas and Saint Seiya Hades Sanctuary are pretty good. Don’t know about 100+ episodes though.

    2. Ronin Warriors: Another dated one that’d be good I think. Interesting premise.

    3. Fate Stay/Night: This needs to be remade by Ufotable! We’re getting the Heavens Feel movie (hopefully many movies like Kara nyo Kyoukai) and a series based on Unlimited Bladeworks. Fate Stay/Night is hard to watch as a sequel of the awesomeness that was Fate/Zero so we need a Fate Stay/Night that compares to the other series.

    Now back to Lain, yes that was really ahead of it’s time wasn’t it? I’d also want it done a little more….I’d say a little more accessible rather than pretentious as such. I think Summer Wars is a good example of doing a similar idea more simple without losing the social commentary….if Lain could be done like Summer Wars but as a series that’d be great.

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    • Honestly, I have yet to get into the Fate/stay franchise on any particular level – I tried watching a bunch of times and just never got pulled in enough to keep going with it. I’m hoping that the upcoming Unlimited Blade Works series will do something to change that, however.

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      • Fair enough–it is not a particularly accessible series for a few reasons.
        1. Fate/Stay Night is just a C/average anime at bet.
        2. On forums, discussion about the visual novel dominates discussion about the anime–this is usually the case with VN adaptations, but it’s on another level for the Fate series.
        3. Fate/Zero which is excellent, is a little tedious to follow for the first few episodes, and also during the series itself there’s periods of extended dense dialogues.

        I hope UBW will strike a good balance of production values, accessibility and good story line–actually kind of like how you described a Lain remake should be.

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  6. Yes, Fruits Basket remake, or a second season, I would take twelve! Haven’t watched anything else on the list, so I don’t know anything about them, although I have plans for Lain and Lady Oscar (after the manga, though).
    I would love to have a proper animu out of Battle Angel Alita/Gunm. The OVA was awful for someone who already knew and loved the manga, like me. I am aware that they had to cut some things in order to fit it into only two episodes, but why only two eps in the first place?
    In the same vein, I would love a remake of Dragon Half – a whole series. It could be nearly identical to the original one, but longer and, dunno, covering the whole story? The manga was pretty entertaining and had a cute ending 🙂

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    • I can’t say as I’ve ever watched either Battle Angel Alita or Dragon Half. I also haven’t read the manga (though that’s nothing personal against their respective stories, it’s just that I’m not much of a manga reader in general).

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    • I kind of liked the Battle Angel OAVs, but I must take another look at them soon.

      Then again, so long as an adaptation more or less stands on its own I tend not to compare it too closely to the source material (most of the time at least)

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  7. I only have vague memories of Tokyo Babylon, but I do remember wishing that there was more of it. So, yes, a remake of that with extra length would suit me JUST FINE.

    To answer the question, the one I’d really like to see remade is Rocket Girls, and for a couple of reasons.

    First is the pilot footage on the DVD set with much sharper character designs. That change alone would be amazing.

    Second, stretching it out so Yukari gets more flights before Akane joins would strengthen that relationship, and make Yukari more believable as a leader.

    Finally, and most importantly to me, would be the chance to tackle the last two light novels which have never even had fan translations. I like those girls, and I really wanted to see what they got up to next. Alas, it is never to be I think.

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    • I’ve never seen any of Rocket Girls – I assume from your comment that despite your wish for a remake, it’s still a show you really like? It’s actually been somewhere on my ever-increasing to-watch list for a while now, but with one thing and another I just haven’t managed to get around to it yet.

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      • Rocket Girls has problems, several in fact, but despite that I adore both it and the first two light novels that got translated.

        But then I’m the sort of guy who thinks that The Right Stuff and Wings of Honneamise make the perfect double feature… 🙂

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  8. I’d like to see a remake of Takahashi Rumiko’s Inuyasha, a (somewhat) old anime that got me into the fandom in the first place. As an avid follower of the first part of the series, I believe a remake would provide a good opportunity to address some weaknesses of the original.

    Namely, a tightening of the narrative and change some parts of the plot, which I felt caused the series to become draggy/miss out on hidden potential. In addition, a remake could provide more room for better fleshing out the backstory of certain characters, which I think were inadequately addressed in the original work. Plus, improved character designs for both new and returning characters.

    But in the end, it would all come down to the final decisions of the Japanese committees and how receptive their home audience would be.

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    • I definitely think Inuyasha drags on a lot – as many shounen action shows tend to do. I was never a fan of the franchise, but I can certainly see how it would be good to see a tighter, more streamlined version. 🙂

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  9. What I wonder is, what made Ouran’s ending so much better than Fruits Basket’s, that the former feels “perfect” and the latter doesn’t, even though both are anime-original endings midway through the manga?
    Is it that Ouran’s premise was less plot-centric, so that all they had to do was the “every hosts’ backstory” structure in the second half of the season, and close out Haruhi’s debt plot-point? Is it that Ouran’s back half of manga wasn’t as “necessary” as Fruits Basket’s, so there’s not as much of a desire to see it animated?

    Or was it an execution thing?

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    • I think it might perhaps be a bit of a mix of all these things you mentioned. As I have yet to read the manga for either Fruits Basket or Ouran though, I can’t really give as detailed a response as I’d like. As a whole though, I do think that Ouran is executed better than Fruits Basket, even though I do like both titles a lot.

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  10. I still don’t follow what Lain would get from being adapted. The technology in it is still relevant today, as it’s a show from after I went online, even. The pacing in it is very deliberate. Just updating some references? Adding some nail of polish? Honestly, it feels a bit out of place on the list, also because I don’t understand from your description what it stands to gain?

    We’ve spoken about it on my blog, or on Twitter, but I’d love for a Fruits Basket remake, but I want it to come out all at once, or without me hearing about it until it’s done, so I could feast upon it non-stop 🙂

    My personal choice? Princess Tutu. But I wouldn’t touch the music, or even the voice-acting. Leave the voices as already acted, just give it a brand new coat of paint, as it doe look quite old and sparse.

    Also, speaking of early 2000s series that just look bad, with a certain brutalistic approach to art, barely drawn backgrounds and cities and people, almost like the early 90s’ Ranma, you need to look no farther than series like Shakugan no Shana (first season, at least), and the first two seasons of Lyrical Nanoha, but I didn’t care enough about either to care for a remake, and I guess Nanoha has the films.

    I guess I could like a remake of Trigun, I just didn’t really like the anime, though I really liked the manga :-/

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    • Yeah, some anime just work so much better when you can really feast on it without the seemingly endless promo stuff first (followed by the usual week by week episode release schedule, of course). I can see how a remake of Fruits Basket would benefit from that kind of treatment.

      Honestly, I don’t think I’d touch Princess Tutu. I agree that it looks a little rough around the edges, and it does of course show its age. I quite like the style of visuals it already has going for it though – maybe it’s just me, but I think it looks quirky and vibrant as opposed to anything approaching sparse. Ditto with Trigun, I’d say. No real comment on either Shakugan no Shana though, since I don’t particularly like either series and have seen very little of them.

      With regards to Lain, I actually don’t think much of the technology in it is still relevant today. Many of the ideas and concepts certainly are (which is partially why I think it could work so well as a remake in the first place), but for the most part, the technology itself that we commonly use today, as well as the specific kind of culture that’s grown up around that technology, is just too new to have featured when Lain came out in 1998.

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  11. Heartily agreed on the Fruits Basket remake – and I’d say it’d need two cours to cover all the material properly. While I think some anime have a dated look, I feel that gives them character and a certain charm. I was originally thinking Kino no Tabi might be alright polished up, but I actually kind of the like the simple style it has. One title that I can definitely say I’d like to see remade is Akira. I think it would have actually even more impact now with the advances in animation than back in its day. 😀

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    • Yeah, I agree that Fruits Basket would probably need to be a two-cour show if it was going to cover all of the manga. And while an updated Kino no Tabi wouldn’t be bad, I too quite dig the simple, understated feel it has going for it.

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  12. I’m not fond of Fruits Basket (doormat protagonist and /everyone/ knows the MC’s mother) and I both watched the show and read the manga. But I can understand that the anime tried a more light-hearted approach and a full adaptation of the original manga would give the characters more depth and would cater more to fans of melodrama, too. I also have to admit, that I find it quite a shame that the series didn’t show the cutest and most touching pairing: Rin/Isuzu (horse) x Hatsuharu (cow).

    Tsubasa is too “new” to get a readaptation but I totally agree and want badly a Tokyo Babylon series. It could very well be a Noitamina series with 13 episodes plus some OVAs. I actually I’m greedy when it comes to old CLAMP work and I would highly appreciate to see Wish, Clover (we could get more stories, the ones they never wrote!!!), Miyuki-chan in Wonderland and why not Gohou Drug.

    I’m also with you about Rose of Versailles. The manga had some parts different from the anime, so it’d be great to see it faithfully adapted to a T.

    As for what other series I’d like to see: Saiunkoku for once; I’d want it finished. I might be drawn to a readapted Rurouni Kenshin if it’s by MADHOUSE (their HxH work is excellent!). I’m totally on the train about a lengthier Petshop of Horrors. Human Crossing perhaps? It’s a many volumes manga so they could pick up more and better stories to adapt. Kuragehime, too, I think. And Nausicaa as a series.

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  13. I would LOVE to see Mamotte!! Lollipop remastered. Mamotte! Lolipop definitely had some room for improvement when it came to illustration which always bummed me out. I know it isn’t a super popular anime, but I liked the foundation of the story, I just wish it wasn’t so lame when Ichi and Zero transformed.

    I think Fruits Basket should keep that soft lit color scheme and augmented music. I actually don’t think I would want to revise it. I would love more episodes though!!!

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    • I haven’t seen Mamotte!! Lollipop, so I can’t really comment there.

      As for Fruits Basket, I don’t mind the colour palette as it already is or the music, but I think some of the artwork could be a bit sharper and the animation smoother, particularly by today’s standards. More episodes would be great too, but I’d rather see a remake like FMA got than a sequel.

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  14. I’d certainly want to see TRC remade, too! I read some of the manga before I watched the anime, so it was a big disappointment that the fillers weren’t even as good as those mini arcs in the manga. It’s sad we didn’t get a proper ending, even an anime-only ending, which left things unfinished. 😦

    Off the top of my head, SLAM DUNK is the series I really want to see in current animation quality. With Kuroko being the hyped basketball boys anime today, I wonder how they’ll react if there ever was a brand-new SLAM DUNK.

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    • Yeah, it’s really sad to see anime just lying there unfinished, especially when they have such potential.

      I haven’t seen SLAM DUNK, but I bet if it were remade it’d certainly have its fair share of fans. It was pretty popular once, and basketball remains a popular enough sport as far as sports anime and manga goes.

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  15. Sailormoon and Rose of Versailles… really bring back memory.
    Manga and anime started to become popular in the 1990 in my country (I came from Indonesia) until now. If I grew up with Dragon Ball on TV, kids nowadays grew up with Naruto, Bleach, Detective Conan.

    I would like Sailormoon to get remake BUT must be remains faithful to the manga from the beginning to the end. In the manga, their character became more mature as the story went on.

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    • The current Sailor Moon remake isn’t very good, unfortunately. It’s much more faithful to the manga in terms of art style than the 1990s anime version is, but I have to say that in nearly all respects, the first anime is still by far the better one.

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