Despite anime skyrocketing in popularity over the last decade in places outside of Japan and Korea, the video game industry has yet to fully commit to the genre’s biggest properties in a meaningful way.
Outside of Japanese-published mid-budget licensed games, there have yet to be larger AAA video games set in the worlds of some of the most beloved anime. With the genre continuing to balloon in popularity and revenue it’s only a matter of time before these properties get proper video game adaptations.
9 One-Punch Man
One-Punch Man sounds like an anime that would be boring simply based on the premise of a character who can defeat any foe with a single punch, but the writing does a great job of infusing comedy in a way that elevates it. The show has its main protagonist Saitama serving as a mentor of sorts, which is the direction a video game based on the property could take.
In the same way, a game focused on letting people play as Superman would be tough to design in a way that would make it engaging, the same can be said for a Saitama-led One-Punch Man game. The trick is to let players use a weaker character and have Saitama serve as their trainer, who also can be the focus of comedic gags and such.
8 Demon Slayer
The anime adaptation of the Demon Slayer manga was released in 2019 and quickly became a mainstay in the West as fans fell in love with its world. Members of the Demon Slayer Corps are tasked with taking down demons that terrorize and kill the living. In some ways, the demons in Demon Slayer function similarly to zombies, and thus make the anime prime for a AAA video game adaptation.
It’s unclear if an open-world or a more linear game would serve the series better. At the same time would fans want to relive the events of the anime/manga, or would the idea of earning a spot in the Demon Slayer Corps as an original or created character be more enticing?
7 Mob Psycho 100
Psychic powers are a neat concept that is rarely explored in video games, despite how naturally well they fit in the medium. Control is a game released in 2019, developed by Remedy Entertainment, that lets players use psychic powers to fight enemies and interact with the world around them.
Mob Psycho 100follows a kid named Shigeo Kageyama who has unrivaled psychic abilities he uses to exorcise evil spirits. The show is a bit weird, comedic, and ultimately dazzling in its animation when Mob unleashes his full power. Remedy feels like the perfect match for a game set in this universe, and has the quirkiness to match the vibe of the anime.
6 Attack On Titan
Fast-paced traversal and brutally violent combat seem to be some of the most demanding aspects of the Attack on Titan anime, and that would need to carry over to a AAA video game adaptation. The anime revolves around a walled-in capital of humans who live in fear of ultra-violent giants known for attacking and eating humans.
In the pilot episode, the outer wall is penetrated, which kicks off a captivating story of survival, mystery, and espionage. A game that follows the events of the anime could work if the hook is that players get to control the Scouts in battle, and must be skilled enough to take down Titans on their own.
5 Hunter X Hunter
Hunter x Hunter is an anime that beautifully blends childlike wonder and friendship as a core theme with the over-the-top action and power-scaling of something like Dragon Ball Z or My Hero Academia. The show revolves around a boy named Gon who wants to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a Hunter, a title designated for unregulated adventurers who can serve as explorers, bounty hunters, hunters, etc.
Hunter x Hunter has rich lore and enough depth to present a game in which players create their character and must work their way through many of the same trials and challenges Gon and company had to endure throughout the anime, such as the Hunter Exam, and Greed Island.
4 Jujutsu Kaisen
With how popular Jujutsu Kaisen became seemingly overnight, it’s surprising that it hasn’t saturated the video game market yet. The anime revolves around a school that teaches sorcerers how to eliminate curses that invade and disrupt the living world.
These sorcerers use Cursed Energy to perform Cursed Techniques that help them take down curses. Domain Expansion is a high-level Cursed Technique in which the user forms a unique pocket dimension specifically reflecting their design. The show’s animation and captivating fight sequences elevate it and are largely why Jujutsu Kaisen became so popular.
3 My Hero Academia
Superheroes are all the rage these days with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, shows like The Boys and Invincible, and games like Marvel’s Spider-Man seeing tremendous success in their respective entertainment mediums. My Hero Academia is the anime version of this as it is currently one of the most popular and successful running anime series.
The show does a great job at exploring the rules of the world and the variety of powers people have. An open-world My Hero Academia game where players take on the role of an aspiring hero and work towards earning a license to become registered seems like a game that would print money.
Berserk, an anime that people reading this might not be familiar with, served as the inspiration for many of the video game industry’s most popular games. FromSoftware has discussed how the Berserk anime/manga were core influences on both the Dark Souls trilogy and Elden Ring.
Dark fantasy is a genre rarely explored in video games, but when done right it tends to deliver. Guts, the main character of Berserk, is a walking power fantasy considering just how powerful he is. This means that a translation to video games seems to make too much sense on the surface. In regards to a possible developer, FromSoftware seems like the perfect fit in what would be a true ‘comes full circle’ moment.
1 Cowboy Bebop
Cowboy Bebop ran for just 26 episodes in the late 90s but is considered to be one of the best anime series of all time. The show follows a group of ragtag bounty hunters in a near future science fiction world filled with corruption and crime.
The world of Cowboy Bebop is rich and full of character, so the idea of a single-player role-playing game taking place in a time before or after the show is pretty exciting. In terms of the show’s story, it’s considered to be nearly flawless, so most fans likely wouldn’t want it to be a one-for-one adaptation.
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