11 Anime Reboots That Managed To Capture The Magic Of The Original

11 Anime Reboots That Managed To Capture The Magic Of The Original

Hundreds of new anime series are released every year. Emphasis is placed on completely original content and nostalgic blasts to the past that harken back to past hits. Reboots are common in all forms of entertainment, and anime is certainly no exception.


RELATED: Top 10 Anime Ruined by Their Reboots

There are many occasions where a fancy modern reboot of an old series can help introduce the property to a whole new audience or bring back the original fans for this revised update. Anime reboots can unfortunately be a mixed bag, and many revivals can feel creatively empty or counterintuitive to the original’s message. However, some anime reboots match the magic of the original and even find ways to top it.

11/11 Awkward alien love encounters get a rejuvenating reboot

Urusei Yatsura

Lum gloms on Ataru in 2022's Urusei Yatsura reboot.

Rumiko Takahashi’s Urusei Yatsura is a beloved anime staple from the 1980s that ran for nearly 200 episodes. Like most of Takahashi’s major works, Urusei Yatsura combines a slapstick romantic comedy with science fiction. The laid-back slacker Ataru finds himself betrothed to an electrically charged alien named Lum.

More than 35 years later Urusei Yatsura’s last episode aired, anime returned in 2022 from David Production. The new Urusei Yatsura looks better than ever, and the updated visuals evoke a retro sensibility reminiscent of the 1980s. The same goes for the anime’s storytelling and character dynamics, which are rooted in the past but still don’t feel dated.

10/11 A beloved Shojo love story gets the treatment it deserves

Fruit basket

Kyo kisses Tohru in Fruits Basket (2019).

A reboot can serve a number of purposes, but the best possible scenario is when these updates redeem a previous adaptation that failed to do justice to the source material. Fruit basket is an iconic shojo series that looks at Tohru Honda’s wide-eyed innocence as she begins living with the Sohma family, who happen to be strangely cursed.

The 2001s Fruit basket is only 26 episodes and cobbles together an original ending to this emotional story. The 2019s Fruit basket comes out to 63 episodes and a feature film, all of which are able to take what worked from the original and give it even greater depth and nuance.

9/11 A dark vision of the future deepens its story

Spriggan

Yu's static beats in Netflix's Spriggan.

The 1998s Spriggan is a 90-minute feature film that is likely to delight fans Akira, Ghost in the shelland cyberpunk anime in general. Spriggan is an incredible piece of animation, but that really only scratches the surface Spriggans 12-volume manga.

RELATED: 10 Worst Anime Saved by an Amazing Reboot

Spriggan returned in 2022 as a six-episode miniseries on Netflix that takes advantage of its ability to dig much deeper into the history of this unique universe. A war over the remains of Noah’s Ark and dominion over creation itself features radical action sequences between cybernetically enhanced soldiers.

New smiling seller

Moguro haunts his client with a big face in New Laughing Salesman.

The smiling salesman is a dark comic anthology from the early 1990s in which Moguro Fukuzou promises to fill the empty souls of the beleaguered people he meets. Yet macabre irony ultimately burdens all his clients. This entertaining examination of humanity ran for 127 episodes, and its portrayal of humanity is just as bleak in its 2017 reboot, New smiling seller.

Very little has changed, and Moguro is up to his same tempting antics. The only deterrent against the 2017 century New smiling seller is that it’s only 12 episodes long and doesn’t benefit from a luxurious run like its predecessor.

7/11 A proud Shonen protagonist gets a fitting scene to shine

Hunter x hunter

Netero versus Meruem in Hunter x Hunter.

Shonen anime are notorious for reboots, some of which even receive multiple updates. The main reason behind this is that it is often urgent to adapt new shonen manga here and the corresponding anime precedes the source material. The 2011s Hunter x hunter is regarded as the definitive version of Yoshihiro Togashi’s manga.

The original 62-episode series from 1999-2001 feels firmly in the ’90s, and it’s limited in scope. The 2011 reboot has 148 episodes that are able to push Gon, Killua and the other powerful nen users to places far more exciting than the heights of the original series.

6/11 An iconic sports series gets a dystopian makeover

Megalobox

Joe vs Yuri in Megalobox.

There are some excellent boxing anime and manga out there for those looking for them, and Joe tomorrow is one of the biggest names in the genre. The 50th anniversary of Joe tomorrow was marked by the release of Megaloboxa futuristic update to the franchise’s standard boxing roots.

Megalobox marks a large deviation for Joe tomorrow with its depiction of boxers using steampunk-esque enhancements to aid their attacks and a much greater sense of crushing dystopia. Despite these cosmetic updates, Megalobox is still the story of a determined underdog who will do whatever it takes to become the best in boxing.

5/11 Gag Anime theater with 1990s energy

Dr. Slump

Arale and the rest of Penguin Village run in Dr. Slump (1997).

Akira Toriyama is one of the biggest names in anime and manga because of his totemic Dragon Ball franchise. However, Toriyama’s gag comedy series, Dr. Slumpis also satisfactory and should not be overlooked.

RELATED: 9 Best Old School Anime That Deserve a Reboot

Toriyama’s increased sense of comedy is wonderfully realized in a series of 243 episodes, but so much material can also seem daunting to Dr. Slump newcomers. In just 74 episodes, the 1997s Dr. Slump reboot is one-third the length of the 1980s original. Still, it does more with less and effectively modernizes everyone’s favorite young girl robot, Arale, and the rest of Penguin Village.

4/11 A dark look at power, corruption and co-dependence

Devilman Crybaby

Blood rains down on Devilman in Devilman Crybaby.

Go Nagai is responsible for many legendary anime series, and Devil man is a unique spin on superheroes and monsters that had their first anime in the early 1970s. Devil man has seen many sequels, spin-offs and crossovers during its lifetime, but one of the most popular iterations of the property is the 2018 reboot by Masaaki Yuasa, Devilman Crybaby.

Devilman Crybaby retells the same basic story as the original, where an ordinary teenager, Akira, becomes the demonic Devil Man and vows to destroy society’s hidden monsters. Like all of Yuasa’s works, Devilman Crybaby is a stunning piece of animation that distills Nagai’s character and story into its strongest components.

3/11 Clever paranormal powers in the hands of heroic heroes

Shaman King

Yoh uses his sword in Shaman King (2021).

Shaman King is a playful mix of supernatural magic and exciting action that ticks many boxes on the shonen checklist. Shaman King ran for 64 episodes in the early 2000s, but it failed to stand out among any of its peers. There is also a terrible English dub which is highly censored and does the series no favours.

Shaman King returned in 2021 for a concise 52-episode adaptation (with a confirmed sequel series on the way) that hits the heights of the original and benefits from gorgeous modern animation. Yoh’s journey to win the prestigious Shaman Fight is at its best in this reboot.

2/11 Existential Mecha Dread is reborn through four films

Rebuilding Evangelion

Twin EVA Unit-O1's duel in Evangelion 3.0+1.0: Three times at once.

Neon Genesis Evangelion is a revered piece of media that has even caused quite a stir outside of the anime community. There were major reservations when Hideaki Anno announced that he would be rebooting his signature mecha series into a series of four Rebuilding Evangelion feature films.

The first two films are largely in sync with the original series, but the third and fourth films take major detours that show the true intent and complexity behind these reboots. Not everyone appreciates the big meta swings that are taken in Evangelion 3.0+1.0but they clearly feel like Anno and Evangelion.

1/11 A beloved action anime from the 90s is getting a reboot

Trigun Stampede

Vash readies the gun and charges in the Trigun Stampede.

Trigun is a classic 1990s action anime featuring a larger-than-life gunslinger with a heart of gold. The morally complex adventures using Vash the Stampede are effective but limited in this 26-episode series. Trigun Stampede lovingly updates this amped-up Western and benefits from having Yasuhiro Nightow’s entire manga to turn to for guidance.

Admittedly, Trigun Stampede does not premiere until January 2023. Nevertheless, the first episode has been shown and there is already an overwhelmingly positive response indicating that Trigun Stampede is fresh and reverent to the original.

NEXT: 10 Anime Reboots That Completely Changed The Tone Of The Original

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