In this episode, we do a dual review young-female led stories! We look at the hit comic book series “Lumberjanes” and the 2020-premiering anime “Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!”
The Fullmetal Alchemist anime debuted in 2001 and was based on the hit manga series of the same name. The anime was a chapter-to-chapter retelling of the story, staying true to the original source material. However, once the anime caught up to the source material the story soon divulged and took a direction all on its own like an alternate universe. Characters that were minor in the manga were important in the anime and vice versa; some were given completely different back-stories and others simply never existed before. Although the anime itself was good, it wasn’t faithful to the original source material. This wasn’t rectified until 2012 when a new Fullmetal Alchemist anime, this time called “FMA: Brotherhood,” came out that gave us an anime that was completely true to the source material.
“Brotherhood” was amazing and I can’t help but think how other stories should get the same treatment as Fullmetal Alchemist. These stories were blessed with a good adaptation but were not completely true to the source material. And I honestly think they should get a chance to achieve that adaptation.
Take, for instance, Elfen Lied. Like Fullmetal, it was a manga series that produced a decent anime adaptation that strayed from the original source. Again, this was the case where the anime was simply produced too quickly for the manga to stay ahead of. Unlike, Fullmetal, however, this anime adaptation abruptly ended leaving an unsatisfied taste in my mouth. And it’s a real shame too! The anime has a great soundtrack (the intro is especially poignant), the art direction is well executed, and the voice work is very convincing. Unfortunately, many characters’ arcs are either brusquely shut down or lack a real transition thanks to the anime’s sudden ending. We missed out on what could have been an engaging alternate universe that would have been as satisfying as the original manga’s source.
If there was a readaptation of Elfen Lied (we’ll call it “Elfen Lied: Evolution”), many of the characters will achieve a satisfying progression in their story development. And if we were to keep the original soundtrack (a tall order, I know) and combine it with modern animation, we can create a beautiful, and haunting, telling of this controversial manga. With the popularity of the gruesome “Attack on Titan,” upon us, now is a great time to reintroduce this story to a modern audience.
Shifting gears to a lighter story, the “Scott Pilgrim” comic series is an excellent candidate for a reimagining. The movie, “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World,” is a great adaptation and I can’t praise enough how tight and well done the first half of the movie is. The second half, I feel, suffers from a condensed story line and character motivations that seem questionable. Like Fullmetal, the movie was being produced at a time when the comic series hadn’t even finished yet. As such, they made up their own ending, which worked for the most part.
I think the “Scott Pilgrim” series has a very high potential for a remake. For one thing, it can be adapted into a television miniseries instead of a movie. This miniseries can really bring into light so many things that the movie either skimmed over or dropped. In the miniseries, we can see the badass, three-way fight between Scott, Roxie, and Knives’ dad. We can learn more about the Katayanagi twins. We can dive into Scott’s past and his previous relationships. And we can bring Envy to the foreground and really develop her character. Scott Pilgrim can also flourish as his own being rather than an another Michael Cera character.
I think though the thing that will really make this miniseries stand out is the use of animation as a storytelling device. The movie was live action, and thus, this can be animation. The artist and author Bryan Lee O’Malley original work can now move and jump around like a Justice League or Spiderman cartoon and this can be amazing. We have even been given a taste of what this miniseries could be like as seen here:
I think it would be awesome
Of course, there are many series out there that deserve a remake (Nasauca: Valley of the Wind anyone?) and I’m not surprised! Given the nature of a source’s adaptation to a movie or television series, there are bound to be changes, especially if the adaptation surpasses the original source material. Game of Thrones has done this already with the advent of Season 6 so we might get a retelling of that story 30 years from now! And I’m totally fine with that.
Luffy. He has taken down opponents that are the size of buildings, stopped a coup (or two) completely in its tracks, and has declared war on the World Government. This guy is insane. His unusual feats are credited from his indomitable will and his strong, durable body. Many foes have fallen to him based on these two strengths alone. But would it surprise you if I said that wasn’t his greatest power? That there’s an even bigger power that lies within Luffy that he himself does not fully realize?
This was first brought to my attention when the events of the Summit War were brought to their peak when Luffy was rescuing Ace. As Luffy was running to save Ace, Mihawk was about to kill Luffy when he was stopped by 5th Division Commander of the Whitebeard Pirates Vista. Upon which, Mihawk remarked this little gem.
Luffy has an extraordinary gift to recruit allies and make friends despite his rudeness and inability to listen to people’s backstories. This gift has manifested in various forms throughout One Piece such as
-Recruiting crewmembers who originally find him annoying but are won over by his charm in less than a day
-Making friends with sailors and high ranking officers of the navy
-Stopping a large, stubborn whale from killing itself
-Temporarily recruiting Princess Vivi despite her initial goal to kill Luffy and his crew
-Swaying towns and islands from hating the Straw Hats to adoring them
-Melting Boa Hancock’s cold heart and becoming the first guy she fell in love with
-Allowing the Franky Family and the Galley-La Company to join the Straw Hats in rescuing Robin and Franky despite the three groups mistrust towards each other
These are all small to moderate examples but the last one needs further mentioning as it was a mere taste of the events to come for the Summit War. The fact that Luffy didn’t have any issue fighting alongside the Franky Family, despite them beating the crap out of Ussop, speaks volumes of his character.
Of course, the best example comes directly from the Summit War itself. Luffy was able to bust out of the super prison Impel Down along with a whole bunch of powerful enemies-turned-allies pirates. Buggy, Mr. 3, Mr. 2 Bon Clay, Mr. 1, and Crocodile; ALL of these guys helped Luffy break free of the jail and try to save Ace from the World Government. The thought at the time that Luffy would even think of allying with Crocodile is amazing.
Then, Luffy and co. arrived at Marineford which had the largest gathering of sailors, captains, vice-admirals, and admirals yet. Not only did he have them at his back but Whitebeard was also charmed by Luffy’s ferocity to the point that he commanded his entire crew to help and protect Luffy to ensure that Ace’s lineage will live on.
At this point, I want to stop and stress the fact that Luffy would not be able to achieve all the feats he had done if it weren’t for his friends. Despite his will and strength, he would not have been able to escape Impel Down or get anywhere near Ace in Marineford if it wasn’t for his ability to form allies.
Even now, with the manga currently on the Dressrosa Arc, this ability is once again shown in full strength as Luffy helped the coliseum-gladiators-turned-toys into allies. They have been tremendous help to Luffy and his crew in fighting Doflamingo’s powerful family. Again, it’s thanks to them that Luffy was able to get as far as he is now.
But what does all this mean in the long run?
It’s hard to say at this point as Oda, author of One Piece, is very unpredictable when it comes to One Piece’s plot. However, if I were to (punk) hazard a guess I would say that somehow, this is going to play into Luffy’s continual rise towards Pirate King. We first saw inklings of this back at Fishmen Island where Luffy swore to protect the island and we will probably see it again here. Luffy needs an army is order to protect his islands and his friends. The Dressrosa Arc has given him the ability to do so as he has made friends and allies with not only powerful fighters, but captains, admirals, and even kings and princes of other kingdoms. They’ll provide Luffy the army needed to take on the Navy, the World Government, and the Four Pirate Warlords.
Now whether or not Luffy will act on those resources is hard to say. He might do it if one of his crew members or someone wiser than him, like Jinbei, suggests it to him but I think he would want to keep his life simple and just keep on adventuring with his nakama. Still though, wherever he goes, Luffy will continue to make friends and allies in the most unlikely places and they will help him through times of trouble when he is not able to do it by himself.