One of Nintendo’s most popular franchises ranks high, but fails to snag survey’s top spot.
In today’s anime industry, it’s become extremely difficult to get an entirely new animated series greenlit, due to rising production costs and tightened revenue streams from media sales and television advertising. However, the otaku culture boom means that you can grease the wheels considerably if the anime you want to make is an adaptation of a franchise that’s already a proven success in another medium.
Light novels and manga are the two most fertile fields from which Japanese animation producers pull properties, but Japanese website Anime Anime recently polled its users about what video game series they’d like to see turned into an anime. 1,475 respondents weighted in, and below are their top 10 picks.
Anime Anime says roughly half of the respondents were women, which explains the inclusion of this pretty-boy-high-school-idol-rearing game.
9. Final Fantasy VI
The just-released Final Fantasy XV already has a web anime, and best-seller Final Fantasy VII previously served as the basis for a CG feature, but the sixth mainline installment of the franchise, which has arguably its strongest ensemble cast, found its way to the upper reaches of the poll.
Hey, if this visually groundbreaking, offbeat reimagining of Shinto folklore can work as source material for an awesome tissue box cover, why can’t it do the same for an animated series?
7. Final Fantasy X
Final Fantasy makes the list again, this time with its first chapter that gave its characters voices.
6. Chrono Trigger
The much-loved mid-‘90s RPG from Square owes its inclusion here to a number of factors. Not only did it never get a direct sequel, thus leaving fans hungry for more glimpses of its setting and characters, it also sports character designs by Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama, who’s already proved that his artwork translates well to animation.
5. Metal Gear Solid
A complex web of motivations and secrets ties the characters, organizations, and countries of Metal Gear Solid’s world together, some of which could be the seed of an interesting story told in an animated format. Unfortunately, with creator Hideo Kojima no longer attached to the franchise, a Metal Gear anime would probably just end up being about zombies.
The most obscure title on the list, Ib (pronounced like “eve,” but with a B instead of a V), is a freeware PC horror game originally made with ASCII’s RPG Maker 2000 program.
3. Steins;Gate 0
This one is bit of an odd choice. While the Steins;Gate franchise started as a video game, that game spawned a 24-episode anime TV series, one OVA, and even an animated theatrical feature. The video game sequel, Steins;Gate 0, is reportedly also getting the anime treatment, but with no firm format or release date announced, apparently fans voted for it because they don’t just want to see it get made into an anime, but see it get made into an anime right now.
2. The Legend of Zelda
We’ve seen artist tributes turn bits and pieces of Nintendo’s flagship fantasy series into anime, but fans would like to see even more.
1. Kingdom Hearts
Topping the list was Square Enix’s Kingdom Hearts, which started out as a reason to stuff Final Fantasy heroes and Disney characters into the same setting, before growing into something much greater than even the sum of those impressive parts. Granted, considering the continued presence of Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy in the series, one could argue that, to an extent, this game already has an animated component. But as Tokyo Disneyland itself will tell you, Disney and Kingdom Hearts aren’t entirely one and the same, leaving many still longing for an anime that’s dedicated to telling the game’s story.
Follow Casey on Twitter, where he’d totally watch an SD Final Fantasy anime series using the designs from World of Final Fantasy.