Anime Underground

16 American Movies That Would Make Awesome Anime Series  

Jonah Dorrance
7.3k votes 1.1k voters 19.1k views 16 items

List Rules Vote up the movies you'd love to see as anime series.

Popular anime series have been adapted into big-budget American films a few times before, usually yielding disastrous results and breaking the hearts of die-hard fans (looking at you, Dragon Ball Z). But what if we tried the reverse? Anime adaptations of American films.

Anime is a versatile medium unbound by a specific genre or subject matter and, as many fans will attest, it is not limited to children’s entertainment. As to the artistic integrity of such adaptations, The Animatrix (an anime collection of short stories set in the universe of The Matrix) was infinitely better than the actual sequels to The Matrix.  

This opens up a pretty substantial catalog of movies that would make great anime. The only difficult part, really, is narrowing it down. Let's look, then, at stories with stylish characters, complex plots, and over-the-top adventure - you know, elements that thrive in the world of anime. If you don't want to see these films adapted into anime, sorry, but you're dead inside.

Underworld is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 16 American Movies That Would Make Awesome Anime Series
Photo: Screen Gems

Vampires are a common element in anime. Shiki and Vampire Knight are popular series, to name a couple, but Underworld offers an expanded universe of vampire-werewolf politics that would be a rarity in anime. The film also has a stylish, gothic design for both its characters and setting, allowing for a ready-made yet haunting anime style.

Most importantly, anime is in desperate need of more female driven, fantasy-horror stories with a strong heroine (who isn't overly sexualized or fifteen years old). Selene the Death Dealer would be a terrific answer to this gross oversight. 

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Resident Evil is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 16 American Movies That Would Make Awesome Anime Series
Photo: Screen Gems

You can't go wrong with zombies and girls kicking ass. The zombie anime genre is relatively small, and in great need of an action-horror series that doesn't follow teenagers battling it out in a high school (or finding themselves in inexplicably sexual situations with each other).

Resident Evil is the perfect remedy, on par with other popular survival series, and jam packed with terrifying monsters, an epic fight in a moving train, and heroine Alice (who has a lot in common with these other badass anime women). All of the ingredients for a great adaptation are there, it just needs to get out of our imaginations and on to our screens.  

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Harry Potter Franchise is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 16 American Movies That Would Make Awesome Anime Series
Photo: Warner Brothers

The journey of the boy wizard fits perfectly in the framework of a classic shonen series,  "power of friendship" included. Of course, there is also the exciting potential that lies in animating the world of magic. Think of what animation could do with those epic duels, the mythical creatures, Hogwarts itself, and massive events like the Tri-Wizard tournament.

With a huge, well-developed series to pull from, an anime adaptation would not lack for material. If you're wondering what some of the designs may look like, there has been official art released of various characters in the anime art style. If that doesn't get you hyped, you should probably seek immediate medical attention.  

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The Crow is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 16 American Movies That Would Make Awesome Anime Series
Photo: Miramax

Revenge and the supernatural make one hell of a combination, if Black Butler tells us anything, and The Crow offers a chance for an anime series that features such a lethal combination. This cult favorite is based off of a comic series by the same name, and as anime is the go-to for adaptations of manga series, it would be a pretty natural option for The Crow as well.

The film's distinctive visual storytelling not only pays respect to its original format, but paves the way for an exceptional anime design. Also, the opening scene make for a pretty shocking pilot episode.

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