Remakes: the good and the bad

Remakes are something that we’re seeing increasingly often in numerous different forms of entertainment: movies, video games, and even anime. The reasoning behind a remake is usually due to a particular title’s popularity being maintained throughout numerous years after its original release — and a desire to bring that property up to date or make it more accessible to a modern audience. 

I want to talk about some of the remakes and reboots that we’ve seen in both anime and video games — and whether or not the whole phenomenon is a good thing that we’d like to see more commonly from now on. 

Final Fantasy VII Remake

Video Game Remakes

Final Fantasy VII is an extremely beloved game by many. It introduced a lot of people to Asian-style RPGs — especially in the west — and showed that we can tell great stories through the medium of video games. Because of these factors, a remake was huge news — and fans all around the world were over the moon. 

Final Fantasy VII is regarded by many, myself included, as their favourite RPG. When a game makes such a massive impact on its players, it becomes tremendously hard to surpass it and make something even more impressive. It could be argued that Square Enix did that with another popular title in the series such as Final Fantasy X — or maybe you believe that they peaked with Final Fantasy VI.

Regardless, however, VII remains the most consistently popular, and its remake makes sense. Video game remakes feel as though they exist to show what the developers can truly do now that they aren’t so restricted by older technology. Capcom’s Resident Evil 2 remake, for example, is so good that many believe it to be better than the original game, while Final Fantasy VII Remake expanded considerably on a relatively brief chunk of the original game. 

Sometimes, however, it’s simply a matter of pure nostalgia; the recent remakes of games such as Crash Bandicoot and Spyro are good examples of this. These types of games were huge back at the time of their original release, but nowadays it’s hard to find games that played as they did, so being able to revisit them on modern platforms is welcome. 

Video Game And Anime Remakes: The Good and The Bad

Anime Remakes

With anime remakes, it feels quite different; they can be a huge critically acclaimed success that people love for years to come, or they can just be outright strange. Within recent years I have noticed numerous anime remakes popping up: Fruits Basket, Shaman King, Digimon Adventure, Dororo, Devilman Crybaby, and so on.

These remakes come in different forms as well — just look at Evangelion, which originally aired back in 1995. Eva has since had a four-part movie series — the most recent of which came out in March of 2021.

Now when I think of great anime remakes, the first titles that come into my head are Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, Hunter X Hunter 2011, and Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. These were all popular shounen titles that, in my eyes, all made sense to remake — and said remakes were all vast improvements upon the originals. 

Madhouse did wonders in adapting Hunter X Hunter, making the anime catch up to the most recent manga content while also maintaining incredible animation quality throughout the entire series. Jojo’s Bizarre adventure starting from the very beginning with Jonathan Joestar as the main character allowed viewers to see the entire story animated. Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood kept the anime canon; no filler, so no needless dragging on of plotlines — just a great story from start to finish.

Not all remakes are equal, however, with Berserk 2016 standing at the top when it comes to downright bizarre adaptations, with many critics disliking its reliance on low-budget CGI and disorienting camera work. Berserk is an extremely beloved manga series with a fanbase that is nothing short of obsessed with it. On top of that the Mangaka, Kentaro Miura, is an unbelievably talented artist who has drawn not only amazingly well-detailed characters, but incredible backgrounds and scenery. So when an anime adaptation isn’t quite up to snuff, you better believe we’re going to hear about it from the fans.

In conclusion, I’m all for these remakes — as long as they get the adaptations they deserve. Whether it’s remaking an older story so a newer generation can see it, or a remake to do better justice to the source material, I’m all for it.

As a follow-up to this piece, I’m going to list off some series that I would love to see remade, so please look forward to that! In the meantime, why not let us know what games or anime series you’d like to see remakes of? Hit us up in the comments or via the usual social channels.

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Conor Evans
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