6 Anime to Remake Like It's 1999
by Lynzee Loveridge,
Consider me one of the many people that did a double take when Young Jump magazine announced Ryu Fujisaki's Hoshin Engi (aka Soul Hunter) manga is getting a remake. I have vague memories of watching the series on DVD in my teens on my white CTR television (with built in VCR, mind you) and remember next to nothing about it, except there were some supernatural politics and a magic hippo. It's probably the last series I'd peg for getting a remake, but then again Japan has listened to exactly zero of my fool-proof great suggestions when Ushio & Tora got the same treatment in 2015. This week, I'm going to specifically look at television anime from 1999 to find those hidden gems that deserve a new 2017-issued shine.
Crest of the Stars One of the early light novel adaptations, Crest of the Stars is a space opera full of intrigue and political dealings. Unlike its peers though, it concerns itself with two teens: aristocrat Jinto and Ahb Empire Princess Lafiel. Jinto is off to study the language and culture of the empire after his father hands over the keys to the planet, but despite what was initially a bloodless takeover, war breaks out anyway and both kids end up as major players in the empire's future. The core story is engaging, but the space elves' character designs could do with an upgrade that matches the novel's or manga's artwork more closely.
Pet Shop of Horrors Before Enma Ai launched her website, Count D was delivering just what the customer ordered at his pet shop in Chinatown. As a "be careful what you wish for" series in four episodes, Count D sells everything from a wish-granting Kirin to a rabbit that resembles a dead child. With so many folkloric monsters and Hisashi Abe's character designs to work with, the series is ripe for a remake and expansion. There's even the untapped potential of a second manga, Pet Shop of Horrors: Tokyo to pull material from.
Starship Girl Yamamoto Yohko The TV anime of Starship Girl Yamamoto Yohko never made it stateside, but its two OVAs did. All are based off the sci-fi novels by Shoji Takashi and directed by Akiyuki Shinbo, before he became permanently attached to Shaft. The titular character is a girl who loves playing games like Ace Combat but feels like something is missing. What she learns is she has a massive case of time-travel amnesia, and the doctor is ordering some real space battles to get that worked out. She enlists her three schoolmates, and together the quartet begin battling against NESS' fighters to settle disputes on behalf of Terra. The TV series features character designs by Akio Watanabe in the style he used for Nurse Witch Komugi, and it suffers from a lot of the same art problems as many series of that era when digital was still getting its bearings.
Corrector Yui Magical girl meets technology in Corrector Yui, although the original starred a computer-inept teen who couldn't properly use the internet in 2020. A remake would have to update a few things, but the recent development of AR and more realistic VR technology opens up a whole new world for a Corrector and her cute mascot to fumble around in. A costume redesign that looks a little less like a Cardcaptor Sakura knock-off would also help.
Betterman Sunrise's dark monster mecha series shares some similarities with Evangelion as far as tone and its stoic female lead. Mutants and brain-controlled weapons are at the forefront of a battle against a deadly virus called "Algernon." Keita Aono is the unfortunately doofy-looking protagonist flanked by former Sonic the Hedgehog character Hinoki Sai. Takahiro Kimura of Brigadoon is responsible for the squishy designs of what is otherwise a serious show; he seemed to abandon the aesthetic by the time he worked on GUNxSWORD in 2005.
Infinite Ryvius Isn't it time we revisited Lord of the Flies in space? Infinite Ryvius took a band of teens surviving on a metaphorical space life raft with zero adult supervision. Things get worse as a social hierarchy inevitably develops with resources provided accordingly. Another victim of digital animation, Infinite Ryvius fares better than most with character designs by Hisashi Hirai, who was fairly new at the time the show was made but went on to design Gundam Seed and is now a staple of the Fafner franchise. That isn't to say there isn't room for a remake focusing on the same core themes and setting, but with new characters and updated music and animation.
Which anime television series from 1999 do you want to see remade?
The old poll: Which original Sunrise anime is most deserving of a sequel? The results were:
- Tiger & Bunny
- Cowboy Bebop
- Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion
- Outlaw Star
- The Big O
- Witch Hunter Robin
- The Vision of Escaflowne
- Cross Ange
- Valvrave the Liberator
- [email protected]: XENOGLOSSIA
- Buddy Complex
- Phi-Brain - Puzzle of God
The Daily Lives of High School Boys, Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere, The Banner of the Stars, and Ranma 1/2 were all in the top 20 as well, but those aren't original series, they're based off pre-existing properties...and Ranma 1/2 was animated by Studio DEEN.
When she isn't compiling lists of tropes, topics, and characters, Lynzee works as the Managing Interest Editor for Anime News Network and posts pictures of her sons on Twitter @ANN_Lynzee.
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