A few years back, we had a plethora of different cartoons on many different channels that defined the childhoods (and in some cases, part of adulthood) of people all across the U.S. These cartoons ranged from the most imaginative to the insanely stupid, but if you ask the people who grew up on these different cartoons, they will slip into a sense of nostalgia and euphoria. As with many things, eventually these cartoons fall behind into memory and are replaced by others that hope to find a similar home in our hearts. A couple of years ago, one classic cartoon was given a new breath of life by getting its own anime adaptation.
The cartoon: The PowerPuff Girls. The anime: PowerPuff Girls Z. It took the original idea of three super-powered girls and twisted it into a magical girl anime. Instead of Chemical X creating three girls, Professor Utonium’s son uses Chemical Z to melt a glacier, which sends off rays of light and hits three ordinary girls to create Hyper Blossom, Rolling Bubbles and Powered Buttercup. Most, if not all, of the same characters from the original cartoon are in the anime, including the Mayor and Miss Bellum, Mojo Jojo, HIM, Fuzzy Lumpkins, The Gang Green Gang, An anime version of Princess Morebucks and even the Amoeba Boys are among the original characters that find themselves in this adaptation.
Japan has adapted several pieces of western literature into anime (Gankutsuou/Count of Monte Cristo, Ponyo/The Little Mermaid, etc.), but rarely have they tried their hand at adapting cartoons. Back in the 90s, we saw Japan take a swing at the idea, which resulted in a few mediocre series like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles OVA. In recent years, we have already seen the flip side of American cartoons taking inspiration from anime with shows such as Teen Titans, The Boondocks and Avatar: The Last Airbender. Unfortunately, however, there haven’t been too many classic cartoons adapted to anime besides comic book projects like Marvel Anime, which is a series that was based on Iron Man, Wolverine, Blade, and X-Men.
Classic cartoons from the U.S. are, like The PowerPuff Girls, ripe for an anime overhaul, and here is how we hope that could happen.
A story about a boy genius, his laboratory, and his annoying sister that likes to cause destruction just for funsies. Dexter’s Laboratory showed us what we could do if we were ten years old, had the mind of a super villain, and built things just because we could. Dexter had tons of inventions that got him, his sister, his family, and sometimes his friends into hilarious trouble. When things got out of hand, Dexter would have to use his genius, which got him into the mess, to solve the problem A good number of his inventions involved giant robots, which he has used in different situations that ranged from destroying giant monsters to winning a simple game of dodge ball.
What if Dexter’s Laboratory became an anime?
- Japanese title: デクスターと彼の研究室 (Dekusutā to kare no kenkyūshitsu)
- Literal Translation: Dexter and His Laboratory
- Updated artwork:
Genre: Mech Drama
The original Dexter’s Laboratory has been described as inspired by many things, including anime itself, so it transcribing it to an anime-like form shouldn’t be too hard. As I said before, Dexter sometimes used robots to solve his problems, and he is a boy genius. So, the obvious choice for this anime adaptation would of course be Mecha, unless Dee Dee got her own spin off; then of course, it could be shojo. But for now, this is Dexter’s show.
Dexter the Scientist, is a teenage boy who works day and night inventing things to better humanity, but his archrival Mandark stands in his way and wants to wreak havoc on the world. To stop Mandark, Dexter must face him and his evil experiments to protect the world. Sometimes, Dexter must call upon the help of his sister Dee Dee to help him defeat Mandark. Expect thrilling space battles and epic confrontations against the forces of evil as Dexter and Dee Dee fight to protect the ones they love.
He’s hip, he’s suave–he’s the blonde macho man, Johnny Bravo. He fell for every woman that walked his way, and he would go out of his way to try and impress them despite the consequences. Accompanied on his misadventures by little Suzy, the annoying geek Carl, his mother Bunny, and Pops (the owner of Pop’s Diner), Johnny tried to make it cool to be a womanizing jerk, and you know what? He did a convincing job. He’s been abducted by aliens, sent to prison, met famous celebrities, and even helped Santa Claus, but even after all these different events, no one on Earth or in the Universe has ever found him interesting enough to stay with him for an extended period. Although, he’s got to have some talent to score with an antelope.
What if Johnny Bravo became an anime?
- プレイボーイジョニーブラボー (Pureibōijonīburabō)
- Literal Translation: Playboy, Johnny Bravo
- Updated artwork:
In anime, there are plenty of muscle heads who try so hard to impress women but usually fall on their faces, so transcribing Johnny Bravo into an anime is pretty much a no brainer. Since the original plot of Johnny Bravo was a success, following the same basic arc would work if it was adapted. Throw in a little back story and an ultimate goal, and you’ve got a pretty decent storyline overall.
Johnny Bravo is a suave and perfect specimen of the macho man. He lost his first girlfriend to someone of the same type of personality, so he believes that all women respond to this type of guy. Too bad none of the women he hits on respond to his advances, and they usually end up harming Johnny due to his womanizing ways. Soon, his next door neighbor’s older sister shows up, and she and Johnny have a connection. Will Johnny’s macho attitude win her over, or will she try to find the real Johnny hidden under all that muscle and idiocy?
Fairly Odd Parents
“Timmy is an average kid and no one understands…”
Those lyrics explained the entire life of Timmy Turner and how he was granted Fairy God Parents. Timmy was a ten-year-old kid who was neglected by his parents and was always left in the care of Vicki, the evil babysitter who tortured him in new and creative ways. Because of his circumstances, Timmy was granted a pair of Fairy God Parents, Cosmo and Wanda, to make him happy by granting his every wish (within reason). While having his Fairy God Parents, Timmy must protect their identity, lest he lose them forever. Even without the fairies, Timmy has weird regular parents, an evil babysitter with a vindictive mind, a genius friend, a stupid friend, and a teacher who is obsessed with finding the existence of fairies, so his life is anything but average despite what the song may tell you.
What if Fairly Odd Parents became an anime?
- Japanese title: 魔法妖精両親 (Mahō yōsei ryōshin)
- Literal Translation: Magical Fairy Parents
- Updated artwork:
Genre: Episodic Comedy
The adventures with Timmy, Cosmo, and Wanda were zany and fun, but there is one detail about Cosmo and Wanda that I feel should be exploited if this show is turned into an anime: Timmy wasn’t their first kid. They’re hundreds of years old, and they have been assigned to plenty of other children. In fact, they kept a Hall of Fame and Hall of Shame for the best and worst of the kids they took care of. Among their most famous kids were Bill Gates and Timmy’s crazy teacher Mr. Crocker. So unfortunately, instead of having Timmy in the adaptation, they should do different episodes about the adventures Cosmo and Wanda shared with the other kids they watched over, good and bad.
Cosmo and Wanda are Fairy God Parents who are assigned to grant wishes to unhappy children. Join them as they journey through their long lives, being the best Fairy God Parents they can be while trying to make their various kids happy. Can they accomplish this task with every child, or will certain obstacles prevent them from changing the life of one of their assigned children?
Moving on from neglectful parents to crack pot parents, Danny Phantom’s parents are professional Ghost Hunters and inventors. Their goal in life is pretty much to capture and examine ghosts. One day, they invented a portal that was supposed to let you go into the ghost world, but sadly, it didn’t work. Danny wondered why it didn’t work, so he walked into the portal, accidentally hit the On-Off Switch, and turned into a human with ghost powers! As a ghost-powered superhero, it became Danny’s duty to stop all the ghosts that started to flow out of the portal before they could wreak havoc on the world around him.
What if Danny Phantom became an anime?
- Japanese title: ダニーファントム、ゴーストボーイ (Danīfantomu, gōsutobōi)
- Literal Translation: Danny Phantom, Ghost Boy
- Updated artwork:
Genre: Paranormal Action
The story of Danny Phantom could be the basic plot for an anime right from the beginning. It’s a paranormal/magical boy anime with a bit of mecha thrown in their because of different machines and gadgets used to capture the ghosts.
Danny Fenton is a normal teenage boy with his fair share of normal teenage problems, including embarrassing parents who have an unhealthy obsession with ghosts. While trying to find a way to communicate with ghosts, his parents build a portal that would allow them to travel into the ghost world; however, it fails, and they leave in disappointment. Danny, wanting to see his parents happy, tries to see if there is anything he can do to make the machine work. He finds a minor malfunction with the machine and tries to repair it, and amazingly, he does. But he is trapped in the machine and becomes contaminated by the ghost world, gaining paranormal powers that he must use to stop all the ghosts that are escaping into the human world.
Of course, there are plenty of other cartoons that deserve to be given their own anime, but there are so many potential candidates out there that it is hard to narrow down which ones we would like to see the most. What other cartoons do you think could be given a great anime adaptation? Let us know what you think down below.