Both Hollywood and anime have traded notes for years, spawning The Matrix, Kill Bill, and a Japanese remake of Unforgiven, to name a few. There aren't many TV shows that follow this pattern, but you can see how American movies could be made into anime. In the same vein, TV show anime adaptations could also work. In fact, they're already designed for television, so they'd probably be even better.
American TV and Japanese animation share more than the same broadcast medium. Angry teens with special powers, wacky humor, and over-the-top fight scenes are present in both. Anime also doesn't shy away from mature themes, so incorporating crime or baby mama drama wouldn't seem out of place. Also, some shows would definitely benefit from animation. Everyone's seen cheesy effects in live action that would not only look better if animated, but totally bad ass. There are plenty of American shows that could be great anime series given the right conditions.
American Horror Story is equal parts grotesque and psychologically horrifying, which are two of anime's fortes. Also, it offers a good blend of adult and teenage characters, something that anime needs more of. Viewers aren't going to feel too young (or too old) to enjoy it.
However, “enjoy" might not be the best choice of words. A latex-clad ninja named “The Rubber Man” isn't necessarily conducive to happy fun times.
Power Rangers already has its roots in Japan, and it would be so much less cheesy in animation. The Zord battles would go from Rock'em Sock'em Robots to a mecha fans wet dream. And the rangers' transformation sequences would be more believable. Overall, less Power Point and more magical girl. Lastly, the "monster of the week" story structure is right out of a shōnen battle series. The series is perfectly suited for animation.
- Photo: Dexter / Showtime
Dexter wouldn't be the first guy in Japanese animation to exact justice through questionable means (two words: The Rapeman). But if the "serial killer with a heart of gold" angle doesn't convince you, then the gory visuals will. After all, if there's one thing anime does well, it's pools of blood. And considering how breathtaking South America looked in Michiko & Hatchin, you've gotta be itching to see what animators could do with South Beach.
Nothing screams "anime" louder than a super-powered teen. Toss in a love triangle, a rival who's a frenemy, and you've got a classic recipe for success. No, it's not the most original concept, but it leaves a lot of room to experiment.
For one, you could swap small town Kansas for the Japanese countryside, and Clark could be the hafu child of his adoptive parents. It would offer an interesting twist on the classic Superman story.