Sometimes, an anime just needs a solid revamp, and the best anime reboots stand as a testament to the power of re-imagining a beloved series. This practice, where an old anime gets reworked with modern animation and fresh ideas, injects new life into a series either forgotten by time or without a proper conclusion. Some of the best anime remakes introduce anime fans to history they might otherwise have ignored. That's what happened to Devilman, a '70s anime remade in the form of Devilman Crybaby, which updated the art and style and introduced new fans to the series.
Another reason a studio may remake an anime is to more closely follow the manga source material. The 2003 version of Fullmetal Alchemist boasts plenty of its own merits, but it largely veers off course from Hiromu Arakawa's story in the manga. For fans of the manga, the 2009 remake, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, is a welcome addition to the anime canon, even ranking as one of the best anime of all time.
Not every anime that deserves a reboot receives one, and some reboots even end up eliminating the joy of the original series. That said, the anime below not only rebooted their series faithfully, they did so in ways that improved upon the existing property. This doesn't necessarily mean that the original series is bad – instead, it means the reboot adds something new, and provides a worthy viewing experience all its own.
Devilman Crybaby is a 10-episode anime centered on a teenage boy named Akira who transforms into a devil but still retains a human heart. It's based on a 1972 anime called Devilman, which never really enjoyed popularity in the US, and in fact wasn't even brought to the States until 2014. For many viewers, Devilman Crybaby is their first introduction to the Devilman universe, which contains a 39-episode anime, a manga, and multiple OVAs.
The original anime offers a '70s feel, which doesn't always successfully generate fear in modern audiences. The new anime uses psychedelic, gory imagery to hook new viewers – who may be inclined to check out the old stuff once if they're not sufficiently terrified.
The main thing the Ushio & Tora reboot brings to the table is length. What began as a series of '90s OVAs is now a respectable, well-animated, 26-episode show. Though it aired in 2015, Ushio & Tora never bends to the demands of the times. Instead, it retains its '90s sensibilities, keeping the art style and monster-of-the-week format alive while still making use of the advanced animation techniques available to it.
In short, its perfect mix of old and new ideas makes it an especially fascinating anime to watch.
Kino's Journey follows a young person named Kino traveling the world on their talking motorcycle, Hermes, both of them learning lessons about human nature in every town they visit. The remake, Kino's Journey -the Beautiful World- the Animated Series offers much of the same content but conveys it in a different tone. Because the original series uses a dreamy art style, a muted color palette, and a leisurely pace, the new series boasts sharper art, brighter colors, and a more action-oriented feel.
While neither approach to the content is inherently better, it's great to have options that suit a variety of tastes.
Here Comes Miss Modern originally debuted in 1978. The 42-episode anime follows a feisty '20s Japanese girl named Benio who wants to choose her own husband and pursue a career in a world that expects her to enter into an arranged marriage. The reboot comes in the form of a series of movies, the first of which dropped in 2017.
Why is the new version an improvement? First of all, few modern anime fans even knew the original existed, so the reboot brings it to their attention. Second, the art is easier on the eye, and the story exists in a more digestible form as a movie. Third, and most importantly, while the original anime was certainly feminist for its time, ideas about feminism have naturally changed in the years since its release. Benio's story is about women's rights as they expand into the future, and it deserves to be retold by people with a contemporary understanding of the concept.