It’s easy to look at cartoons and see how they could translate to anime, but it’s harder with live action because there is a level of reality that even the most imaginative and mind bending stories have to deal with. Continuing with our series talking about shows that could be turned into anime, we now switch gears to the science fiction and fantasy genres. Both science fiction and fantasy take us out of our reality and give us a new world to play around in. Not only that but they can take the ordinary and change it completely. They can make us believe things we never could or explore places we could never see. With that in mind here is a few classic shows from these genres that I believe would translate well into the anime form.
It all began when three sisters (Phoebe, Piper and Prue) reunited after their grandmothers death. One day, Phoebe, the youngest sister, decides to explore the upstairs attic and finds a dusty old book sitting on a stand. The book is a tome of spells called the Book of Shadows, and at first glance, Phoebe writes it off as a novelty. Her curiosity gets the better of her, though, and she ends up reading the incantation in the book which unlocks her and her sisters hidden magical powers. It turns out, their mother and grandmother were from a long line of powerful witches. Along with the discovery of their powers, the sisters must now begin to face the forces of evil while trying to maintain all the aspects of their life including holding down a job and having a normal relationship.
What if Charmed became an anime?
Japanese Title: 魅了された物 (Miryō sa reta mono)
Literal Translation: The Charmed Ones
Genre: Magical Girl/Fantasy
So in the past few years, there has been an abundance of magical anime, including the more titles like Witch Craft Works and Wizard Barristers. Of the two, Wizard Barristers provides a more grounded depiction of magic, as it is looked down upon in society; Wizards, or Wuds as they are called, are second class citizens, but those who commit crimes with magic have their own lawyers who also study magic. This is the kind of thinking that should be behind a Charmed anime. As with its original show, it should focus not just on the fighting and magic but having the sisters try to cope with being witches in a normal world. And they will not be in high school, there’s too The exception could be Phoebe, since she is the youngest but Piper and Prue are older and therefore are either in college or already wrapped up in being adults. And on another note, Paige should not show up. There’s not really a reason for it, I just never liked Paige.
Older sister Piper and Prue are witches have known this fact for years. Phoebe their youngest sister has no idea of her latent powers but on her first day of high school she inexplicably awakens her powers. After her sister reveal their secret, she is confused and runs off to try to make sense of all that has happened. She is then kidnapped by a mysterious figure who uses Phoebe to attack the other sisters. They must find a way to rescue Phoebe while finding out what it truly means to be sisters.
Where is the best place to store supernatural artifacts? I mean artifacts that are capable of doing everything from changing a person’s hair color to trapping your soul in a mirror and replacing it with an evil spirit. How about in the barren outskirts of South Dakota, is a building known as “Warehouse 13?” Myka Bering and Pete Lattimer are two U.S. Secret Service Agents who are assigned to the secretive Warehouse 13, charged with traveling the world searching for artifacts and guarding their storage in the warehouse. The artifacts in this show have a connection to a historical person or event and, as a result, are imbued with a piece of its creator, original user or the event itself which gives it its supernatural properties. Each artifact is unique and causes different effects ranging from time travel to preventing death to very minor things like attracting dogs, but such power isn’t free–the use of most artifacts will have a side effect. For example, the one which attracts a dog will also make you drool excessively for 24 hours.
What if Warehouse 13 became an anime?
Japanese Name: 倉庫13 (Sōko 13)
Literal Translation: Warehouse 13
Keeping the historical aspect of the show would be a given, but we could also throw in a few anime-inspired artifacts, as well. In the original show, there is an episode where a person wears superhero boxers that gives him powers, but slowly kills him. Taking that concept we could add in an episode where someone finds a wand or scepter that turns them into a magical girl. This could be used in a variety of plots like creating an artifact for historical anime figures like Osamu Tezuka or Hayao Miyazaki. In his movies, Miyazaki always includes a real-world theme such as environmentalism, so maybe having an artifact that cleaned up pollution, but as for the side effect made the user sick because they absorb the pollution. It would be a creative challenge to come up with some great artifacts and how they are involved in history.
Pete and Myka are U.S. Secret Agents who are both good at what they do. However they are soon assigned to a secret governmental project that finds and collects dangerous objects called artifacts and store them in a specialized building called the Warehouse 13. However the U.S. government is not the only country to know about the warehouse. While only a few other countries help run the warehouse they are partnered up with different agents from the different countries to hunt down and collect these artifacts. Can they work together with the others while protecting the world or will the temptation to use these artifacts get the better of them?
Mystery Science Theater 3000
Being trapped on a spaceship watching movies all the time doesn’t sound that bad. That’s not how Joel Robinson and later Mike Nelson felt about it, though. Both of these men were kidnapped by the nefarious Dr. Clayton Forrester and his sidekick Dr. Laurence Erdhart, whose goal was to take over the world by unleashing the world’s worst B-Movie. The goal is to make Joel or Mike watch horrible B-Movies in order to find the perfect one that will drive the world crazy, letting the duo of doctors seize power. To stave off going crazy, Joel used parts to create two robot sidekicks Crow T. Robot and Tom Servo, and it became their mission to watch the movies and make fun of their flaws, poor acting and just plain shoddiness.
What if Mystery Science Theater 3000 became an anime?
Japanese Name: アニメシアター3000 (Animeshiatā 3000)
Literal Translation: Anime Theater 3000
It wouldn’t be a direct adaptation, but borrows the idea behind MST3K. Instead of having the characters riffing on bad B-Movies, it could be the same characters but riffing on poorly created anime or just plain weird anime. We could use the same plot structure, but instead of a mad scientist from Earth, it can be an interdimensional witch who wants to use the worst anime possible to take over the universe. There would be no sense in changing the formula all together, but of course our heroes would have to be drawn in anime style as well, or what’s the point? On the other hand, though, it would be cool if they did it live action and every episode had the robots and the human cosplaying as different characters to match the theme of the anime being watched.
Kikimora is a witch with a simple goal–universal domination. Having failed before, she wants to try something new and different to try and achieve her goal. On the planet Earth, she notices that a medium known as anime has gained a foothold in its society. She decides that as an experiment, she will kidnap a human and and make him watch that worst of what this medium has to offer in the hopes that she can find one that is so mind-numbingly bad that it drives him crazy. And when she does, she will use that to try to take over Earth and then the universe. In an attempt to keep himself sane, the human builds to robots Crow and Servo to keep him company and make fun of all the awful anime that he is forced to watch everyday.
What sort of Science Fiction and Fantasy shows would you like to see turned into anime? Are there any here that you disagree with? Let us know in the comments below.