The 15 Best Anime Reboots That Improved Upon The Original

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Vote up the anime reboots that bring something new and valuable to an existing anime series.

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.

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  • Hunter x Hunter (2011)
    Photo: Nippon Animation / Madhouse

    The original Hunter X Hunter started on some solid footing, but it ended up on hiatus more than once due to the source manga's erratic update schedule. After the first series began in 1999, production stopped just short of the Chimera Ant arc, as there wasn't enough material available and they wanted to avoid more filler. Manga updates came so slowly and sporadically that it took until 2011 to gather enough material for a complete arc.

    Rather than creating the arc and risk going through the same thing again, production decided to restart the series from scratch, paying more attention to character development and faithfulness to the source material.

    6,561 votes
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
    Photo: Bones

    Everyone has an opinion on which version of Fullmetal Alchemist is better, which means the anime community may never agree on an answer. Both have their merits, but only the reboot, FMA: Brotherhood, truly remains faithful the manga storyline, which is a fantastic story on its own.

    While plenty of amazing anime excel without strictly adhering to their source manga, it's a blessing at least one version of Fullmetal Alchemist brings manga creator Hiromu Arakawa's original ideas to life.

    6,730 votes
  • 3
    3,104 VOTES
    Fruits Basket
    Photo: Studio Deen / TMS Entertainment

    While the original 2001 Fruits Basket anime remains an all-time classic for many fans of the shojo genre, manga fans were disappointed about its inconclusive ending. Because the anime aired while the manga was still ongoing, it settled for an anime original ending that didn't properly capture the manga's darker tone in later arcs. A few characters from the manga were also missing from the anime, such as Kureno Sohma, Isuzu Sohma (AKA Rin), and Machi.  

    However, the 2019-2020 reboot gives manga fans a chance to finally see the original source material faithfully adapted in its entirety. It also features a new, slick animation style with a completely different voice cast, staff, and studio. For those who wanted more complexity and drama to the series, this reboot is the perfect addition to your list of top-tier shojo anime. 

    3,104 votes
  • 4
    3,140 VOTES
    Hellsing Ultimate
    Photo: Gonzo / Madhouse

    The main thing differentiating Hellsing Ultimate from its predecessor Hellsing is its loyalty to the manga storyline. To be fair to the first series, it couldn't follow the manga because the manga wasn't anywhere close to being finished. In order to create an anime with a coherent storyline, the anime creators came up with their own villain, a vampire named Incognito.

    Hellsing Ultimate follows the manga closely, and is generally considered to be the superior version of the Hellsing story. In addition to telling a more compelling narrative, Hellsing Ultimate boasts much better animation.

    3,140 votes
  • 5
    517 VOTES
    Dororo
    Photo: Mushi Production / MAPPA

    Based on the 1967 manga by Osamu Tezuka (creator of classics like Astro Boy and Black Jack), the 2019 Dororo anime faithfully adapts the manga's dark themes. The original anime version came out in 1969. And although it was a faithful adaptation, it had to be censored since the network thought this show was too dark with its bloody battles and images of corpses. Plus, the black and white animation might feel too outdated for modern viewers. 

    Luckily, the 2019 version delivers with its amazing animation and upgraded character designs. It doesn't shy away from the manga's tragic storylines and grisly images either. While the anime has some awesome fights and action sequences, it's also a moving story about humanity and friendship.

    517 votes
  • Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works
    Photo: Studio Deen / ufotable

    Fate/Stay Night is based on a visual novel, where plots and endings are determined by the reader's choices. An anime adaptation can unfortunately only choose one ending, which means fans of the video game may not see their favorite outcome unfold on screen. This problem is ameliorated with the rebooted version of the story, Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works. While protagonist Shirou becomes romantically involved with his partner Saber in the first series, in the second series he instead becomes involved with Rin.

    While there are merits to both romantic outcomes, Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works, which was produced by ufotable, offers a significant improvement in art, animation, and special effects over the original Studio Deen version.

    2,576 votes