I really like movies. These shows can definitely work as movies, and here’s why!
There are a lot of different anime that have had epic stories, but have sat dormant for a while. Fast forward to today, and it’s like production studios are in a fad to take older series, and repurpose them for movies. Evangelion started it, then Berserk followed suit, with Hellsing Ultimate revamping (see what I did there?) the story to make it closer to the manga so Madhouse can put out their OVA’s. I have been a huge fan of how these came out so far, and it has gotten me to thinking. What other series can work as movies? Well, here’s my top five!
#5: Fullmetal Alchemist
I know what you’re saying here, and that’s “But FMA got redone in Brotherhood!” Yes, that’s true. But there were still a bunch of deviations from the manga to Brotherhood. It was still well done, but there was still less emphasis on the emotional strain that Edward and Alphonse go through while searching for the Philosopher’s Stone. The action and fights were great, but we need more of the actual plot. There is room here to make at least four movies here, and Bones /Madman / Funimation could make a lot of money with these.
I mention Voltron a lot, only because I really loved this show. There have the coolest concept, and the lions are so iconic. Since there isn’t really a manga to go off of, you can go off the grid. This goes doubly so for giving a definitive answer as to what happened to Sven, the original pilot of the Blue Lion, and second in command. In Japan he was killed off, yet was only badly injured in America, where he came back in the abomination known as Voltron Force.
These movies can either retcon the Japanese story for Sven, or present his Japanese fate to American audiences. With the original run, there is room for plenty of movies, with a possible one focused on Sven. If those ever go through, you can then work on the other Voltron series. I mean, it’s probably the closest we’re ever going to get to that rumored Voltron movie out of Hollywood.
#3: Lupin 3rd
Lupin is probably the greatest anime about a heist team, ever. I know that is a very narrow representation of what Lupin really is. But Lupin has spanned decades, with very little retread. If you’ve ever seen an episode, you know that any single episode could be expanded into a feature motion picture because of the scope of their jobs.
Part two of the series had about thirty episodes that didn’t come to America, due to one reason or another. What better way to at least get some part of the plots over to America than incorporating them into movies? People love a great heist flick, and Lupin cannot disappoint.
The big draw here is the dynamic between Lupin, Fujiko, Jigan and Goemon, and Inspector Zenigata. All four of Lupin’s crew are masters of disguise, and almost always fool Zenigata so they can escape. Think of how great Lupin’s Mercedes Benz SSK will look in today’s animation? Hell, this whole show will look phenomenal. There is a charm here that hasn’t been replicated. Lupin is just a feel good movie that doesn’t take itself seriously at all. Bring on Lupin!
#2: Ronin Warriors
This is an old one, and it’s almost ripe for the picking. Ronin Warriors, was a syndicated show, before Toonami aired it in 1999. There is definitely room for improvement, like, where did the Ronin Warriors and Tulpa’s Warlords get their armor? How did Tulpa come to power? Why did the series start almost in the middle of a fight with Tulpa, just to turn into an exploratory quest to find everyone? How was Anubis connected to the Ancient One, and then how is he connected to Lady Kayura? Anubis was pretty much a placeholder for the Ancient One’s powers to transfer to Kayura.
If I were in charge of producing this, I can see at least three movies, with the first one actually giving an intro that was sorely missed, culminating in the fight with Tulpa that separates the Warriors. The second movie would have the discovery of the White Armor of the Inferno, coupled with finding the separated Warriors and the fights with the Warlords. Of course, the third movie would be the final chapter, starting with the Ancient One dying, and the musical chairs of his powers changing hands. There’s a lot of loose threads that can be utilized to make a really captivating series of movies.
#1: Mobile Suit Gundam
The original series is just ripe for a redo. We got Gundam Unicorn, but that’s really an extension to the long running conflict between Zeon and the Earth Federation. That can also be boiled down to a very long running feud between Amuro Ray and Char Aznable, who go from fierce enemies, to friends, to a friendship not unlike Charles Xavier and Magneto. The series also started the Gundam trope of a masked man who becomes the major antagonist of the series after unmasking.
The scope of this conflict is enormous. In this, you have four series (Gundam, Zeta Gundam, ZZ Gundam, and Victory), four OVA series (MS Igloo, 08th MS Team, 0080: War in the Pocket, 0083: Stardust Memory, and Unicorn), and the movie Char’s Counterattack. There is a wealth of history, characters, settings, and Gundams to make this fresh. Hell, you can even refresh the original RX-78-2 Gundam to make it even more appealing to today’s audience. The story, from MS Gundam all the way through Unicorn and Char’s Counterattack, may just be the magnum opus for robot anime. When Gundam strayed from the Federation and Zeon, the stories seem to suffer, even in Gundam Wing. At it’s worst, it was still better than some other shows. If only one more of these reboots actually come through, please let it be the original Gundam conflict.
That’s about it! For one reason or another, these shows are the pinnacle of their genres.