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Crunchyroll Asked What Anime We’d Reboot if We Could So I’m Here With Some Classic Anime That Only Got a Single Release

These series are a lot longer than their anime counterparts

Tokyo Babylon art

Every now and then someone poses the question about what anime they’d reboot if they could. This time, it was Crunchyroll that opened the floodgates.

I know that some turn their noses at the idea of rebooting anything, but anime reboots are generally well-received because it’s a chance for the series to be improved in a way that wasn’t possible before. This can be something cosmetic, like better animation, or it can be a chance for the anime to tell the entirety of its story because the manga wasn’t finished at the time of airing. You’ll see a lot of anime enthusiasts pointing to the likes of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, as an example, or something like Fruits Basket, which concluded its story last year, or the 2011 revamp of Hunter x Hunter. 

If you’re like me, you always assume that “reboot” means that you’re able to bring a show back with the bells, whistles, and well over 37 pieces of flair. With that being the case, many brought up some great examples like Tokyo Ghoul, Katekyo Hitman Reborn!, and Soul Eater. As much as I adore these picks (oh Tokyo Ghoul, there is so much missing from your anime adaptation) I couldn’t help but think back to series from back in the day that got, like, a singular DVD release, and… that’s it.

Even if there was a LOT more story to tell.

So I’m gonna name a few!

Tokyo Babylon and Subaru’s traumatic past

Spoilers for Tokyo Babylon

This one is a personal attack.

So Tokyo Babylon is one of Clamp’s earliest works, predating the likes of Cardcaptor Sakura, Magic Knight Rayearth, and X/1999 (this is important to my personal angst with this series). The story focuses on all-around good boy Subaru Sumeragi as he goes about solving various supernatural mysteries throughout Tokyo. He’s occasionally assisted by his twin sister, Hokuto, who is a total fashion diva who makes their outfits. Subaru has a love interest named Seishirou Sakurazuka who is SUCH a love interest that Hokuto is actively trying to get the two of them together.

Seishirou would go on to become my most hated anime character of all time due to the way he completely crushes Subaru, both physically and mentally.

Now, the reason why this particular series is a personal attack is that the single anime release did NOT depict the devastating nature of Seishirou and Subaru’s relationship. Things end happily for them in the anime and there was never a reason to believe otherwise, especially since this was released BEFORE the manga was made available in the U.S. But then? X/1999 happened, which is a follow up to Tokyo Babylon where Subaru is no longer the shy, cinnamon roll that he was and is, instead, a trenchcoat-wearing, cigarette smoking tragic character.


Because Seishirou killed his sister.


Because Seishirou was going to kill Subaru but Hokuto went and took his place.


Because apparently Seishirou was trying to see if Subaru would make him feel anything, and since he didn’t (or so he says), he proceeded to utterly break him… just as Subaru came to the realization that he loved Seishirou.

This tragic affair is only depicted in the Tokyo Babylon manga, though, not the anime. It would be years before the manga was officially released in the U.S. so I could read up on what happened between Seishirou and Subaru before their appearance in X/1999 (which, btw, remains unfinished in manga form, but the anime does have an ending).

I’ve been wanting an anime release of Tokyo Babylon that actually went into the full weight of its story ever since, and I… almost got one? But then it was canceled. Probably for the best, according to fans who are familiar with the studio that was supposed to be doing it. Even so… won’t somebody pick up this series?

Pet Shop of Horrors would be a fantastic horror series

A stylishly horrific combination of “be careful what you wish for” and “just follow the damn rules in the contract,” Pet Shop of Horrors got a single DVD release back in the day that featured four episodes. The premise centered on a mysterious pet shop that sold rare animals that often fulfilled the unique needs of their owners. For example, there’s a couple dealing with the death of their daughter, so when they go to the pet shop they get a rare species of rabbit that appears as their daughter.

Each animal comes with three rules to follow, but if you break those rules you typically end up very, very dead. The rules typically aren’t difficult to follow, but some folks can’t help but give in when the pet takes the shape of a lost loved one (as is the case with the rabbit I mentioned).

While the story is episodic in nature, there is an overarching mystery about who Count D, the owner of the pet shop, is, especially since people keep dying after purchasing one of the pets at the shop. That being said, the original anime release barely scratched the surface of the story, as the manga is TEN volumes long, has a sequel series (Pet Shop of Horrors: Tokyo), and TWO prequel series that feature Count D’s grandfather and father, respectively.

Basically, there is a lot of content anime fans missed out on, is what I’m saying.

Beyond that, I think this series could be a visually stunning horror anime if the right studio got their hands on it. From the creature designs to the brutal deaths, this could be an amazing reboot.

Ah yes, that good ol’ fashioned boys’ love

If you ever wonder why boys’ love fans are typically surprised when they get, well, any sort of anime release (especially an entire series), it’s because we’d sometimes only get a DVD, if we were lucky, that only featured a small part of a much longer story. Sure, you’d be happy to get your hands on something like Kizuna: Bonds of Love then you realize, wow, there are actually 11 volumes of manga, and there’s an entire badass rescue arc where the quiet kendo star goes in to save his boyfriend from the Yakuza.

None of that is in the anime, by the way, and it’s not the only old-school boys’ love series where you have to rely on the manga to fill in a lot of gaps – assuming the manga gets released here at all.

Take Fake, for example, the “what if these buddy cops weren’t just buddies” series that got an entire anime opening with its DVD release, hinting at there being more characters and plot to see. Honestly? There is! There are seven volumes of manga, but we only got a single anime release.

Yes, that catchy ass opening I have up there was not for an entire series and I am forever upset about it.

Then there are series like Earthian, which focuses on a group of angels that observe human behavior to decide whether or not we’re worth keeping around. The anime doesn’t really address this much, nor does it really address the whole “homosexuality is forbidden between angels, oops our two main angels are falling in love” plot, either.

Now that more streaming services are on board with having boys’ love, I’m hoping that more of it gets produced and, maybe, we’ll be able to revisit some of the series that only got a whisper of a release. Then again, I’m not sure if any of these series would hold up today (Kizuna dates back to 1992, for example), but it’d be interesting to see the full story of something like Earthian being released today (because what WOULD those angels think of humanity these days).

If you had the chance to reboot an anime series, what would be your pick, and why? And no, you don’t have to grab a classic series that only saw a 40-minute release when it’s got several volumes of manga, but I would be curious if there are any others like that.

(Image: Clamp)

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Briana (she/her - bisexual) is trying her best to cosplay as a responsible adult. Her writing tends to focus on the importance of representation, whether it’s through her multiple book series or the pieces she writes. After de-transforming from her magical girl state, she indulges in an ever-growing pile of manga, marathons too much anime, and dedicates an embarrassing amount of time to her Animal Crossing pumpkin patch (it's Halloween forever, deal with it Nook)