games / Columns

The Top 8 Wanted Video Game Anime Adaptations

October 31, 2022 | Posted by Marc Morrison
Metroid Prime Image Credit: Nintendo

Welcome all to another edition of The 8 Ball! I know the last time I was here I mentioned that I was going to do a list of ports I want Square to do. That’s still coming, don’t worry, but anime adaptations are a hotter topic at the moment. With the announcement/trailers of Onimusha and Nier: Automata, and the recent cancellation of Shenmue, game companies are getting more invested into doing ancillary media stuff, like an anime series. With that said, let’s take a look at the games/properties I’d like to see be made into anime form. Let’s begin:

#8: Jet Set/Grind Radio

Considering the cel-shaded look of Jet Grind (or Set) Radio, the thing almost practically looks like an anime already. I could see a show in which the gang of GGs has to spray the streets of Tokyo-to, contend with the other gangs, bring down the corrupt CEO and also contend with the police with Onishima leading them. He would be akin to Inspector Zenigata from Lupin The Third, as kind of a dogged, if comedic, arch foil to the GGs. An anime series could also be great at introducing strange/esoteric Jpop music to western audiences.

#7: Windjammers

I see this as basically being “Slam Dunk with flying discs” and really, what more could anyone want? The thing about Windjammers is that there really isn’t a mythos or story behind it, so a creative person could just build whatever they want. Wars settled by the sport of Windjammers? Done. A high school sporting series about international students who play Windjammers? Done. A series about the group who take down an evil organization bent on world domination, through the power of Windjammers? Why not. Hell, do it all, I say. The sports scenes along would be pretty great to look at.

#6: Parasite Eve

It is straight up criminal that there was never a Parasite Eve anime series in conjunction with the game. There was a live action movie, set before the game (and based on the original novel) but that is it. I could see a show where Aya has to stop the plans for Eve to bring about a new evolutionary dawn. Really, basically being like an anime version of The X-Files or Fringe, with Aya and Daniel trying to stop Eve’s machinations. Sadly, if there ever was a Parasite Eve anime, I 100% know for certain it would have to have a shower scene on it, like the one that Chun-Li had in the Street Fighter animated movie.

#5: Mega Man X

This is almost a cheat since Mega Man X has appeared in two different animated things. The first is that he appeared in that mid-1990’s Mega Man show, as a time traveler from the future to stop evil robots from his time. There was also a 20 minute OVA for the Mega Man X PSP game that was made. But neither are actual series or full on things, so it’s fine. I don’t think a Mega Man X show would be the most mature thing in the world, but having X (somewhat conflicted), Zero (cool, overconfident hero) and Axl(immature, comic relief) teaming up to stop Sigma, would be a ton of fun on the small screen.

#4: Yakuza/Judgment

I’m kind of lumping these both together, but each would take a slightly different path. For Yakuza, I’d have the series based on Kiryu being in the Yakuza, with him coming home after a long prison sentence and having to try to acclimate to the world and what his role is, with it being so long. Basically an anime version of Cutty’s story from The Wire. For Judgment, I envision a private detective/legal show, just with plenty of fist fights and occasional boozy/karaoke nights to break up the stories, provide insight into the characters, etc. I think Judgment has a slightly more established set of characters, but Yakuza has more established history, which makes sense given main Yakuza has seven games over Judgment’s two. Also, I will never refer to Yakuza as “Like a Dragon”.

#3: Metroid

If Nintendo isn’t going to make a live-action version of Metroid starring either Elizabeth Debicki or Gwendoline Christie, then an anime series will have to suffice. I’d have Samus encountering new planets with new threats every episode where she has to take them out with her weapons/abilities. Maybe every 10 episodes or so, she gains a new ability that makes her more effective/lethal. A general problem with Metroid, as compared to other games/series, is that it’s a fairly lonely game. Samus doesn’t have a wacky crew of other characters to interact with, or there’s really not a big cast of other characters, aside from her. Still, a Metroid series could be some good scifi anime, I think.

#2: Rival Schools

It kills me that Rival Schools never got big. Outside of three games, one of which never came to America, the series is just incredibly memorable and unique. This could be the seminal high school anime, with the various schools/groups battling each other, and occasionally teaming up, to take down more serious threats. It could also be intercut with the characters actually going to school and being stuck in a classroom. The fact that there is basically the sport high school, the American high school, the gang school, the main characters school, etc., means that there could be a lot of variety in what each episode focuses on. Then the larger plot of the principal trying to take over the world, hopefully voiced by Maurice LaMarche. Look up why this is funny on Google.

#1: Tales of Arise

Unlike most of these, which outside of my wishing, don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of being made, a Tales of Arise anime series HAS to be coming down the pipeline, right? If Tales of Zestiria got an anime, then surely Arise has to get one also. The nice thing about Arise is that, compared to some other RPGs, it has a relatively small cast of characters so more attention could be on them then having to deal with a really large cast. That is something the Persona 4 and 5 adaptations had a few issues with. Plus, I think it would just look stunning, especially if they did it in the style as the game’s intro movie, which you can see above. Come on Bandai Namco, just announce this thing already.

For comments, list which games you’d like to see adapted into an anime series and why.

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Top 8 Wanted Square Ports