Many famous American cartoons have clearly and proudly been influenced by cartoon. Beloved animated films like Teen Titans and Avatar: The Last Airbender have drawn influence from the anime industry while capturing their art styles, character archetypes, and storytelling.
Thanks to the global reach of popular culture in the 21st century, the reverse is also true, with Japanese studios being influenced by American franchises and creating anime adaptations of Famous American works. Over the years, manga and video games have both inspired notable anime series worth watching.
10 Star Wars: Vision
Classic Japanese samurai films were one of the major influences on George Lucas in the early drafts of the original Star Wars. With Visions, Japanese filmmakers and animators have the opportunity to honor the influence of Star Wars on their own work. A multi-studio collection of independent animated shorts, Visions is stylish and engaging.
Each studio uses its distinct art style and storytelling techniques to create a novel spin on the vast Star Wars galaxy. Although most of the shorts are tense, there are a few stories in the collection with a lighter focus that provide some welcome moments of levity. Star Wars: Vision is available on Disney+.
Batman Ninja is probably the easiest elevator pitch of all time. Batman is one of the most beloved vigilante superheroes of all time, and ninjas are among the most iconic characters in pop culture. It’s a perfect fit for Batman to return to feudal Japan. Backed by smooth animation, Batman Ninja’s greatest strength is its complete embrace of its premise, which leans into anime stories with the utmost sincerity.
Batman Ninja places iconic comic book characters in inherently funny situations that are highly entertaining and masterfully executed. Batman Ninja is available to stream on Max and to rent or buy digitally on Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV.
8 spaceship soldiers
Starship Troopers: Traitors of Mars/Sony Pictures
There have been three Japanese adaptations of Starship Troopers. The first was the 1988 unauthorized adaptation of Robert A. Heinlein’s original novel, which preceded Paul Verhoeven’s live-action adaptation by nine years. The second is the 2012 CGI film Starship Troopers: Invasion and its 2017 sequel Traitor of Mars, which serves as a sequel to the live-action Starship Troopers.
The 1988 anime imagines the original novel’s powered armor as a miniature mech, almost like something out of the film Gundunda, while also featuring an ’80s pop soundtrack that doesn’t always consistent with the events taking place on screen. However, Invasion and Traitor of Mars will never be as highly regarded as the original live action film, but could use CGI to bring a new entry to the franchise. The 1988 anime has yet to be officially released outside of Japan. Invasion and Traitors of Mars are available for digital rental and purchase on Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV.
7 stories from Earthsea
Stories from Earthsea/Studio Ghibli
Ursula K. LeGuin is one of the most beloved fantasy authors of all time, and Studio Ghibli is one of the most beloved animation studios of all time. Although it may seem like a match made in heaven, Tales from Earthsea has been controversial since its release, with audience reactions that can be directly related to their level of familiarity with the novel. original theory.
LeGuin himself considered it a suitable film, but was disappointed by the many changes made to the plot and themes of the original Earthsea stories, possibly as a result of the film combining different aspects of several different Earthsea novels, rather than an adaptation of a single novel. Novel. However, Tales from Earthsea has a strong art direction and a great soundtrack. While it may not be a faithful adaptation of the source material, it’s still an epic fantasy tale. Stories from Earthsea is available to stream on Netflix.
6 Cyberpunk: Edge runner
Cyberpunk 2077 is developed by CD Projekt RED and is based on the American tabletop game Cyberpunk, first published in 1988. Edgerunners filters the game’s recognizable Night City aesthetic through its style anime art, allows for many artistic features that would not be possible in other mediums.
At the same time, Edgerunners pays homage to the earliest days of the cyberpunk genre, telling a technologically driven heist story reminiscent of Neuromancer, the novel that essentially launched the genre. Although Edgerunners pays homage to the conventions of the genre, it still stands out thanks to its unique, distinct, and memorable anime art style. Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is now available to stream on Netflix.
5 Marvel Anime
An anthology miniseries starring Iron Man, Wolverine, X-Men and Blade, Marvel Anime brings Marvel superheroes to Japan. Aside from Wolverine appearing in all four series, as the main star of one and having guest roles in the other three, the Marvel Anime series is largely self-contained and exists in a shared universe loosely connected to a separate standard. from many other Marvel adaptations.
The art style is the main draw of the series and the already larger-than-life Marvel heroes benefit greatly from the anime style and animation, which really makes the action and superpowers shine. All four Marvel anime series are available to stream on Apple TV.
4 witch blades
Adapted from a manga series by Top Cow Productions, an imprint from Image, the 2006 anime was the second television adaptation of Witchblade. The first was the 2001 live-action adaptation that ran for two seasons on TNT. Aside from focusing on the titular artifact, there is no direct connection between the live-action show and the anime.
The anime adaptation follows Masane Amaha, a reluctant witch sword wielder through post-apocalyptic Tokyo as she is eventually forced to participate in a dark plot. Despite its outrageous actions and fan service, Witchblade actually conveys a strong message about parenthood and family relationships. Witchblade is available to stream on Crunchyroll.
3 halo legends
A collection of multi-studio shorts such as Star Wars: Visions, Halo Legends is the end result of anime studios being given free rights by 343 Industries to adapt the Halo universe. The choice of anime as the medium for the Halo anthology is a bit of an odd choice, as the Xbox franchise isn’t particularly popular in Japan.
Even so, the choice paid off. Artistic freedom was granted to studios to create a series of shorts that were artistically and thematically diverse, yet coherent through the overall, recognizable visual iconography of the Halo universe. The lore fleshes out the Halo universe in interesting ways, and the stylized anime aesthetic is a novel approach to the quite grounded and gritty Halo universe. Halo Legends is available to stream on Tubi.
2 Powerpuff Z girls
Adapted from the original Powerpuff Girls cartoon that ran from the late 90s to early 2000s, Powerpuff Girls Z reimagines the trio of the same name by transforming magical girls into the likes of Sailor Moon. Powerpuff Girls Z remains true to the spirit of the original series, while also paying homage to the established conventions of the superhero and sentai genres that are ingrained in Japanese Pop Culture.
Powerpuff Girls Z has changed some details compared to the original series. The girls themselves are no longer sisters, are several years older than the original, and are normal humans with superpowers instead of being created in a lab. Professor Utonium has a son and is more of a mentor to the girls than their father. Otherwise, most of the villains are the same, with only minor stylistic and conceptual changes to better fit the conventions of the Japanese superhero genre. Powerpuff Girls Z has been controversial with fans of the original, but it’s a solid and entertaining Magical Girl show on its own merits.
1 GI Joe: Sigma 6
GI Joe: Sigma 6/Gonzo & Hasbro Studios.
As a promotional product for the new GI Joe toy line launched in 2005, Sigma 6 reimagines GI Joe in the 21st century. While the toys are notable for being significantly larger and more articulated than previous GI Joe lines, this show is a major visual and stylistic departure from the previous versions. GI Joe’s predecessor, controversial with the fanbase on both counts.
Sigma 6, on the other hand, perfectly embodies the franchise’s established style. It’s silly, melodramatic, and the characters seem to be saying certain lines based on ridiculous puns in every other line. If nothing else, it’s very easy to enjoy as a goldmine of unintentional comedy. GI Joe: Sigma 6 is available to stream on YouTube on GI Joe’s official YouTube channel.
Thanks to the truly global reach of modern-day Popular Culture and the growth of international cooperation, global influences on media have never been felt more clearly. Just as American cartoons are being influenced by anime, Japanese studios are adopting American influences and adapting American series, injecting novel twists into familiar stories to create Truly memorable stories. cartoon.