2015 Anime Revival Roundup
They say everything old becomes new again. While us geeks are used to seeing that principle play out in movies and games all the time, it now looks as though the anime industry is having a go at bringing back some of its best – and honestly, you won’t find me complaining.
Just around the corner are reboots and continuations of some of the most beloved Japanese shows from the mid-to-late ’90s and ‘2000s that will have the generation just after the ’90s kids screaming in joy like the first time they powered on their GameBoy Advanced SP.
1) Digimon Adventure Tri
Japanese Release: October 23rd, 2015
North American Release: To Be Announced
Every generation has its own senseless feud: Coke vs. Pepsi, Sega vs. Nintendo, Apple vs. Android, the list goes on. At the dawn of the 2000s kids in playgrounds the world across were debating whether Pokémon or Digimon was cooler. It’s no question that Pokémon blew Digimon out of the water as far as games go (although we did love our Digivices), but the Digimon Adventure anime resonated with fans far more than the adventures of Ash and Pikachu ever did.
Celebrating the series’ fifteen year anniversary, Digimon Adventure Tri is honouring the franchise by returning to the original cast of characters it all started with. Tai, Sora, Matt, Mimi, and more are all back with their respective Digimon, and they’ve grown a bit since our last visit, with the majority of the Digidestined now tenth and eleventh grade high school students.
The animation looks superb and the modernized arrangement of “Buttefly,” the show’s original theme song, is sure to fill old fans with feels. It remains to be seen if the English dub will contain that whacked out “Di-Di-Di-Digimon” opening tune, but I’m kind of hoping it comes back too. While originally planned as eighteen episodes for TV, Digimon Adventure Tri‘s creators recently decided Tri will instead be three feature length movies that, after theatrical release, will be divided into six parts each and…then aired on TV…as eighteen episodes. Confusing? Yes, but as least we’re getting to catch up with the old gang!
2) Yu-Gi-Oh 20th Anniversary Film
Japanese Release: 2016
North American Release: Unknown
It hard to believe the Yu-Gi-Oh franchise is two decades old. It feels like only yesterday we were ripping through packs of Yu-Gi-Oh trading cards and scanning Ebay to find those ever elusive Exodia pieces or Egyptian God Cards. In reality, the series began in manga form all the way back in 1996, and at last year’s Jump Festa 2015, the series creators announced plans for a Yu-Gi-Oh 20th Anniversary feature film project.
Few details about the film project currently exist, other than that it will star series veterans Yugi Muto and Seto Kaiba. Whether or not it will serve as a continuation of the original anime series or simply a one-off-story that works with or without the context of the show is not yet known. What is known, however, is that in the series’ 20 year run, no one living or animated has ever managed to match the intensity of Yugi Muto’s hair. Seriously – that kid has got to be using some crazy hair product.
3) Dragon Ball Super & Revival of ‘F’
Japanese Release: July 5th 2015
North American Release: Rumoured to be revealed at New York Comic Con (Oct. 8, 2015)
Technically the wildly popular Dragon Ball Z has already had a followup series in the form of Dragon Ball GT, but fans weren’t exactly crazy about it, mostly because Dragon Ball mastermind and creator Akira Toriyama had absolutely nothing to do with it. But following the immense success of recent Toriyama-helmed DBZ films Battle of Gods and Resurrection ‘F’, the series creator has seemingly fell back in love with the franchise and decided to write a new series that picks up directly after the events of DBZ’s Buu Saga.
The show is already out in Japan with some English subtitles floating around online, but fans who want to hear Goku and his friends with their English voice actors have no reason to worry: many cast members from the FUNimation English dub are interested in reprising their roles, and its rumoured that Dragon Ball Super’s English dub will be given a release date at this year’s New York Comic Con during the “Dragon Ball Z (And Beyond)” panel.
The latest feature film in the series, Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F, is also just around the corner, with a North American DVD and Blu-ray release scheduled for October 20th. The film sees series classic villain Frieza return to Earth to exact revenge on the Saiyans and humans who defeated him many years ago.
4) Beyblade, The Live Action Movie?
North American Release Date: 2017
If I had to pick any anime show from my childhood to be made into a Hollywood motion picture, I honestly don’t think Beyblade would have ever even came to mind. I mean, I obsessed over those dramatic spinning tops, but a live action movie?
Apparently, Paramount Pictures thinks it’s a great idea. To their credit, the studio has experience transferring TV and toy franchises onto the big screen with their
awful financially successful G.I. Joe and Transformers movies. Mary Parent, who has previously served as producer on C.G. heavy hitters like Godzilla (2014) and Pacific Rim is set to helm the project, but little others news is presently known. In the Beyblade cartoon, giant monsters called “Bit Beasts” would emerge out of the spinning tops to do battle. If the Bit Beasts are portrayed with the same intensity as some of the monsters in Parent’s other works, the film could be, at the very least, a visual treat.
Let’s just pray it’s not another Dragon Ball: Evolution situation…