The reboot; love it or hate it, rebooting old stuff is now firmly part of the modern age of entertainment. Anime is no different, and while some remakes have underwhelmed, we’ve picked out anime that truly deserve a reboot.
This list includes different kinds of potential reboots. Some of these series are big-name classics that deserve to be seen by new fans, while others are once-overlooked but now genre-defining shows that deserve their moment in the spotlight.
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Deadman Wonderland goes down as one of the more perplexing anime manga adaptations of recent years. The series was hotly anticipated and did well by most accounts, but still sold the source material short.
The story takes place in a dystopian Japan where convicts are placed in an amusement park named Deadman Wonderland and made to perform deathly-dangerous acts for onlookers.
Ganta, a normal high school boy, is the lone survivor of a mysterious attack on his class. Wrongly framed and sentenced for their deaths, he is thrown into the dangerous world of Deadman Wonderland, where he meets Shiro, a mysterious ally.
There is so much more of this story to tell beyond what was shown in the 2011 series. Many people are already hoping that there will be a reboot of Deadman Wonderland in the future, as has happened with series like Hunter x Hunter and Fullmetal Alchemist.
Tokyo Ghoul is a very good and very successful manga and anime. However, its second season still rankles many fans.
The series has had four seasons, including the re series, along with a handful of OVAs.
While it has achieved enough success, fans will always wonder what could have been with the culmination of the main storyline so altered in the anime.
Maybe, sometime long in the future, we will find out what that could or should have looked like on the screen.
The Berserk manga will always be regarded as one of the best fantasy action series of all time. The 1990s anime is also a much-loved show.
The fact that Berserk deserves a reboot was evidenced by the Berserk anime released in 2016. However, with its divisive 3D style, many fans of the original felt that it was a disappointment to the franchise.
In 2022, another edition, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc - Memorial Edition was released. The Memorial Edition was a re-release of the Golden Age Arc movies for TV with some added and reworked scenes.
With Berserk still being such a popular franchise, it feels like we haven’t seen the last of this from an anime standpoint.
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Le Portrait de Petit Cossette
Cossette no Shouzou was an original anime OVA released in 2004. Despite being only three episodes long, it received a lot of praise for its unique ideas around psychological horror anime.
The story follows Eiri, a college art student working part-time at an antique shop where he becomes infatuated by a girl seemingly trapped in a glass.
One night, he makes contact with the girl, named Cossette, who encourages him to form a contract with her.
As a result of their contract, Eiri is led down a torturous path where the line between love and punishment becomes blurred.
It was said that there was probably more to come from this story than we saw in the three episodes.
With a more fleshed-out plot, cast and fresh animation, this could make for a unique anime experience either as a series or a movie.
Similar to other anime by Shinichiro Watanabe, Samurai Champloo is both a staple of retro anime and yet feels like it could exist at any time.
The story is a contemporary twist on the classic Japanese samurai tale, blending a story of travelling swordsmen with a hip-hop soundtrack.
As evidenced by Cowboy Bebop’s live-action adaptation, any work on Samurai Champloo would have to be wary of trying to imitate the original too much.
However, using the energy of the original series as a starting point, the simple themes and ideas of Samurai Champloo could be used to produce some really interesting anime.
Flowers of Evil
Flowers of Evil was a fascinatingly twisted exploration of adolescence. The first season was released in 2013 and a second season of the anime was pretty much assumed, but never arrived.
The first season’s rotoscope art style was widely criticised, while others have noted that there is much more of the successful source manga to adapt.
While Flowers of Evil was certainly controversial, it feels like there is much to come from this story. Starting from zero might be a great way to get this series the attention it deserved.
When it comes to classic sci-fi anime, few are as notable as Macross. First aired in 1982, the story of war, romance and aliens has so much potential for a remake.
The story is regarded as a classic masterpiece of animation by many fans. With a modern style and proper care for the story, it feels like this could sit alongside some of the very best anime.
Revolutionary Girl Utena
When it comes to anime before their time, Revolutionary Girl Utena is one of the biggest names. First aired in 1997, the gender and genre-bending tale still feels modern by today’s standards.
The story takes place at the prestigious Ootori Academy, where Utena finds herself attracted to the mysterious Anthy Himemiya. She discovers that Anthy is the Rose Bride, someone who holds immense power and is won through Duels.
Pulled by fate and a desire to protect Anthy, Utena joins the Duelists.
The story subverts a lot of tropes and cliches, particularly around gender roles and shoujo anime.
At a time when companies are always looking for exciting new stories that challenge commonly-held beliefs, it feels like Utena is tailor-made for a reboot of some kind.
Despite appearing quite simple on the surface and not getting the same level of attention as the biggest shounen anime, Soul Eater is frequently cited among the very best.
The gothic fantasy revolves around a school where humans that can transform into weapons work with meisters (handlers) to hunt the souls of evil humans in order to become the ultimate weapon.
Soul Eater has been widely praised in multiple areas, particularly for its fun characters and notable gothic aesthetics – the series' visuals are commonly compared to Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas.
Soul Eater's eye-catching style means that the original is very much still watchable today. However, the anime did deviate slightly from the manga.
Many people have been keeping their fingers crossed for a Fullmetal Alchemist-style reboot at some point in the future!
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When it comes to cult classic anime, there are few as notorious as Elfen Lied. Whether you found it horrifying or exciting, there's no doubt that it has something particularly special.
The series, whose name is derived from an old German poem about elves, revolves around a humanoid species called Diclonius, notable for their small horns and invisible, destructive telekinetic arms.
Lucy, a Diclonius experimented on by the government, breaks out of captivity in a murderous rampage. However, a head injury causes her to develop a split personality, appearing to strangers as an innocent girl.
Seeing her, two college students take her into their home and become wrapped up in the dangerous conspiracy concerning the Diclonius.
Despite airing nearly 20 years ago, Elfen Lied still feels quite unique in its tone and the sheer level of tragedy – it was controversial at the time and is still an uncomfortable watch in many scenes.
The anime was produced alongside the manga, meaning the series' content was condensed and had an original ending.
Director Mamoru Kanbe said that more could be done with the source material, so perhaps we could see a longer reboot in future.
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