5 Anime That Should Be Brought Into the Mainstream - Mania.com

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5 Anime That Should Be Brought Into the Mainstream

Anime Titles That Could Blow the Funk Up

By Chris Beveridge     August 25, 2009

Anime That Should Be Brought Into the Mainstream
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Anime has gained quite a foothold in Hollywood as there’s a Robotech movie, Akira is moving right along and of course, the influence of Avatar: The Last Airbender. These imported flicks are causing Hollywood decision makers to look more closely at the medium. Anime tends to mine from comics and novels for their material, but they have original pieces as well so it’s little surprise to see it make another progression to a live action prime time series in the US. Here’s some shows that we’d like to see get adapted for viewing over here:

5. Darker Than Black

In several large metropolitan cities around the world, mysterious Gates appeared within them and destroyed a significant amount of the population. When this occurred, the sky changed and the real stars were no longer visible. What people see now are false stars that represent people who have gained special abilities, making them known as Contractors. While the general population is unaware of their existence, they know of the Gates as they're walled off and strange events are occurring inside. On the outside, the show follows a small group of Contractors that work for a mysterious Syndicate in carrying out missions while playing a cat and mouse game with the police. Mixing in near science fiction technologies and concepts with superhuman abilities of different kinds, each with a distinct drawback that impacts the Contractors humanity, Darker Than Black covers quite a lot of different areas as it builds a series of stories describing a chilling near future.


Ideal Placement: Primetime Network



4. Slayers

Done in a similar vein to Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules with an almost campy style, Slayers follows the adventures of a young sorceress named Lina and her swordsman companion Gourry. The two travel about the known continent dispatching bandits they find, looking for treasure to discover and a good hearty meal as well. The journeys the two take lead them across a varied world with lots of colorful characters, good natured fun and plenty of over the top fantasy elements. With its mix of adventure and comedy, it gets to mix in some fun action, a good amount of sexiness at the right times and some overarching storylines that tie it all together as each season can deal with facing down a difficult opponent.


Ideal Placement: Syndication



3. Black Lagoon

Taking place in a fictional city called Roanapur in Thailand, the series focuses on the Lagoon Company, a small group of people who are essentially pirates and mercenaries. The series is told through the eyes of Rock, a young man who has found himself ending up in this world from a white collar job due to a problem with his boss. Rock is a pretty nice guy that now finds himself dealing with thugs, mercenaries and a whole lot of bullets flying around. Eccentric locales, very eccentric personalities and a very coarse kind of dialogue to it, Black Lagoon is an intense action show that mixes in plenty of sexuality with its adult cast and skewed views of social and political norms because of its place in the world. Roanapur serves as a black market kind of city where anything can be had with endless story possibilities.


Ideal Placement: HBO



2.     Ghost Hunt

While most high school kids spent most of their days just going through the motions, Ghost Hunt introduces us to a lead character that’s actually a ghost hunter. Focusing on spiritual anomalies within the lives of high school students, often taking place at schools, he works with another student from a different school to solve those mysteries along with a group of adults that works for him. The idea is to take from Ghost Hunter, dramatize it as well as shifting it to a younger demographic where producers can factor in the chills of the supernatural for the high school audience. Some mysteries are non-spiritual in nature, but it’s meant to be an atmospheric show that connects with the audience age through its locales and the relevant nature of the mysteries as the supernatural moves into the modern digital age.


Ideal Placement: Syfy



1.     When They Cry

A murder mystery in the tradition of Lost and Harper’s Island, When They Cry details the numerous murders and bizarre deaths that occur in an isolated town well outside of normal civilization. When a project for a dam years earlier goes astray due to these kinds of murders, it turns out they become a yearly occurrence thereafter almost as if they’re sacrifices. When a young man moves back to town after living in a big city for a few years, he becomes wrapped up in the convoluted series of events where the past incidents are told through the eyes of many in various flashbacks. With a long and twisted history for the small town where curses, family rivalries and small town power politics come into play, When They Cry takes the violence a step further in an effort to truly terrorize the viewer, especially as it focuses on a young cast in a desperate situation.


Ideal Placement: Showtime




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BarricadeS281E 8/25/2009 2:35:55 AM

Wouldn't Ghost Hunt be more fitting on Chiller?

grumposaur 8/25/2009 4:36:19 AM

I'm thinking Chris is aiming more at adapting Ghost Hunt to appeal to the Are You Afraid of the Dark? age range, which would probably work quite well.  The show's not really complex enough for an adult audience...

ChrisBeveridge 8/25/2009 5:31:51 AM

It'd be more of a high school mindset Ghost Whisperer kind of show.

al2551 8/25/2009 6:21:19 AM

Given that the topic is Anime that should be brought into the mainstream, I think that Chiller has too small a target audience while the Sci Fi (I still can't wrap my head around SyFy yet) Network reaches a much larger demographic, don't you think?

skyn3t 8/25/2009 7:13:01 AM

Blah, blah, blah.  All cutesy smootsy anime - they'd have to retrofit half the stuff to make any of those choices adapt well to the American audience.  The only anime that'd have a shot at success I think would be X (Think Twilight/Smallville), Death Note, Ghost in the Shell (Think Bones/CSI meets The Matrix/Fringe), Cowboy Bebop, Steamboy (provided you get Martin Scorcese to do it, not the guy from Wild Wild West),  Casshern (The Japanese movie was awesome, but the script could've been WAY better), Evangelion (BSG), Tekkaman Blade (Superman ID4 Star Wars = Good Times).

ChrisBeveridge 8/25/2009 8:00:57 AM

The only one that could qualify as cutesy on that list is Slayers. If you think When They Cry is cutesy, or Black Lagoon, you're not paying attention.

Hectotane 8/25/2009 8:12:02 AM

5: Yes.

4: No.

3: LORD NO.  (A live-action movie based on an anime that's based on live-action movies?  Redundancy?  Bueller?)

2: Yes.

1: Add Shia Lebouf as Keiichi, Sam Jackson as Oishi, Chris Bale as Tom, and that Cyrus girl as Satoko.  Minus the "moe-moe crap," the dreaded "loop plot," and the pedophilia.  Equals "we'll talk with the makers of either Smokin' Aces, Twilight, Equilibrium, GI Joe, or Tom Cruise's Hitler movie."

abynum5 8/25/2009 8:54:56 AM

I was watching BLACK LAGOON this past weekend and wondered the same thing.  The program's nature is to have careless characters running around with a haphazard plan to get some cash and (maybe) come out alive.  There doesn't need to be a sequence of relevant subplots to tie everything together and there similarly doesn't need to be an undercurrent of moral ambiguity, to keep the series going (though by and large, they would certainly help).

NDorado 8/25/2009 2:25:54 PM

I tried to give Black Lagoon a try but it didn't grip me.  Maybe because I saw only a couple of out of sequence episodes.  I'll hunt these down and try to give them a chance.

Muenster 8/25/2009 3:29:01 PM

I can't believe I've actually watched all of these. I just love my Satellite TV package.

1: When they cry (Higurashi no Naku Koro ni). How could a story about the annual murder of a young girl be boring? The writers found a way. Good ending though. NO

2: Ghost Hunt (Gōsuto Hanto) is just another magical schoolgirl dramady that takes place in a school. Wow! Imagine that. An anime that takes place in a high school? Amazing! It does have a well rounded cast of males and females, and not too much slapstick humor. MAYBE

3: Black Lagoon is just another tough girl with guns action series. First episode is awesome, but quickly goes stupid from there on out. Gunslinger Girls is much, much better. NO

4: Slayers has been around for quite awhile now, too bad the main character is written to be so god damned fucking irritating. HELL NO!

5: Darker than Black is a brilliant story with well thought out dialogue and character development. Has a bittersweet ending. I am eager to see the sequel next month. HELL YEAH!

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