It’s hard to say exactly when rebooting stories and franchises became a “thing,” but regardless it seems like every other movie or show that comes out these days is a reboot or remake of something. Some are good, some are bad, and some — good or bad — just don’t feel necessary in the first place. It all depends on a number of factors, the most prominent among them being the team behind the reboot, and the amount of time that’s passed since the original.
Anime is certainly no stranger to reboots and remakes. Fullmetal Alchemist is a perfect example. Like Game of Thrones, the show came out before the source material had reached completion, leading to a wealth of original content and a unique ending. Several years later, mangaka (manga parlance for cartoonist, essentially) Hiromu Arakawa was nearly finished with the story, and an anime revamp named Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood released, this time entirely faithful to the creator’s vision.
For as many anime reboots as there are, however, there are just as many one-and-dones (not counting theatrical re-releases and remasters). So, out of curiosity, Looper conducted a survey of 650 people to see what classic anime fans would want to see redone. The results were split among the runners-up, but we did come out with one clear winner.
An ’80s cyberpunk masterwork
Of those polled, nearly a quarter — 23.38%, to be specific — believe Akira is most deserving of a reboot (aside from the Taika Waititi-directed live-action version, which is still in limbo).
If you know anime, you already know Akira. Based on Katsuhiro Otomo’s manga of the same name, it’s a dystopian cyberpunk tale set in Neo-Tokyo, a city built over the ruins of the original, which was obliterated over 30 years before the events of the film. Bolstered by a cast of memorable characters, visuals that hold up to this day, and a soundtrack that can be described as nothing less than unforgettable, there’s as much reason to watch it today as there was when it released in 1988. Commonly considered one of the first anime to have a significant impact outside of Japan, it’s no wonder so many respondents chose it.
Akira stands a decent bit above the competition, but the runner-ups are all basically neck-and-neck. Coming in second with 15.54% of the vote is fantasy Soul Reaper saga Bleach, followed extremely closely by Soul Eater at 15.23%. Fourth and fifth place aren’t too far off either, with 14.77% of respondents choosing pirate adventure One Piece and 14.15% backing mecha ur-text Mobile Suit Gundam.
The leftover 16.92% went to a range of write-in responses, from the musically unmatched Cowboy Bebop, to Akira Toriyama’s scream-along Dragon Ball Z, to 1960s staple Speed Racer. With how things generally go, it wouldn’t be surprising to hear reboot announcements for all of these anime — and Looper will be sure to keep you updated should that come to pass.