Scott Pilgrim Takes Off in a New Direction – This Week in Anime

Nick and Chris dive into the model-new adaptation of the fan-favourite comedian, though one thing is lacking…the place’s Scott?

Scott Pilgrim Takes Off is streaming on Netflix

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the members in this chatlog are usually not the views of Anime News Network.
Spoiler Warning for dialogue of the sequence forward.


Knock Knock Knock
Hello, particular supply from Netflix. Are you uh….”TWIT?”


We’re, uh, TWIA. Is Netflix coming in the mail? Either that service remains to be going in Canada, or a new anime adaptation is about to make me relive the tumultuous expertise of being in my twenties in the course of the mid-2000s.

I don’t know what goes on in the frigid, barren wasteland of Canada and its godforsaken populace, however I can vouch for that second half! That’s proper everybody, it is time to get into the unlikely new manufacturing from Science SARU: a goddamn Scott Pilgrim anime in 2023.
It’s been identified how weird Scott Pilgrim is as a phenomenon: This odd little manga-influenced Canadian indie comedian wound up turning into a cultural sensation, then spawning a star-studded film adaptation directed by Edgar Wright. And most of these celebrities have come again a decade later, lending their voices to an precise anime model of the film.


At least all that bizarre stuff is simply in the lead-as much as Scott Pilgrim Takes Off, and we are able to anticipate the difference to be a easy, devoted recreation of that famed supply materials.
I do not know why we’re masking this when y’all already talked about anime primarily based on Western properties, however we are able to wax nostalgic about rising up in the Bush Administration. Maybe joke concerning the measurement of Hummer SUVs or all-denim fashion-

…when folks mentioned Scott Pilgrim could not survive in this point in time, I did not understand they have been that literal.
As effectively as this sequence labored with Netflix‘s anticipated binge mannequin, it is yet one more one I might have cherished to comply with on a weekly launch. Just a complete week of my social media timelines melting down concerning the title character being killed off on the finish of the primary episode of what seemed to be a quite rote retelling of the comics.


This sequence and its selections have already resulted in a weekend of Scott Pilgrim throughout my feeds, like I’m again on 2008 manga message boards. It would’ve been wild to have this for eight straight weeks.

I believe the binge mannequin fits this beautiful effectively, if solely as a result of it permits for that preliminary shock to settle after which instantly see what this new take is all about. What we bought is fairly: the inventive workers is popping the unique premise on its head and significantly re-evaluating what sort of story they need to inform in a new time and place.

I used to be merely inquisitive about what a Science SARU Scott Pilgrim anime could be like after I thought it is likely to be a extra easy adaptation. But discovering out that Takes Off was a extra bold take-off on the supply materials catapulted me into real enthusiasm for the present. It’s eminently refreshing to see the workers, alongside unique creator Bryan Lee O’Malley, use this chance to discover this setting and its characters from a fully completely different angle.

It seems the Evil Exes have a good bit occurring after they do not simply line as much as get crushed into cash by Scott.
From what I’ve seen, it is a daring transfer that has principally gone over fairly effectively. Some followers are upset that it wasn’t simply a devoted recreation of the unique comedian. Still, it looks as if most individuals who have been into Scott Pilgrim again in the day are responding with a lot of enthusiasm for it getting the Rebuild of Evangelion remedy.
It would possibly simply be how I curate my social media consumption, however the reactions I’ve seen have additionally been primarily constructive. It’s not all the time a given with this kind of transfer, however I believe it helps that the brand new story put forth by the present and the presentation of it’s such a pleasure to behold.

It works as a result of it acknowledges that whereas Scott Pilgrim‘s essential emotional thrust was pretty novel in nerd media when it first got here out, that is not the case now. We’ve had many years of nerd-centric media about flawed male leads in their teenagers and twenties, slowly studying to enhance. I believe that 15 years later, O’Malley felt it was higher to highlight different characters’ tales and views.

Given how many people have been vocally dreading retreading the assorted discourses of the unique Scott Pilgrim main as much as this present, I can sympathize with the creators deciding they did not need to do the identical plot over for a third time. So going the meta-rewriting route and making this extra about Scott Pilgrim the story than Scott Pilgrim the man is a sensible transfer.

Plus, in the event you needed a story about a 20-one thing screwup slowly making an attempt to develop out of their worst habits and making up for the folks they’ve harm, I’ve excellent news: Being a dirtbag in your early maturity just isn’t unique to guys.
Ramona wasn’t precisely underserved as a character over the entire course of the unique comics, however right here we see that she will carry the plot as a solo protagonist. Taking Scott out of the equation and having her be the one to confront and attempt to reconcile along with her exes cascades into much more of that improvement for others in the solid. It’s a scrumptious quantity of digging into these those that bought me to genuinely love the likes of Roxie and Lucas as precise characters.
It’s wild how a lot Scott’s absence opens room for everybody else. Episode three provides some real closure for Ramona and Roxie and offers facet characters like Kim a likelihood to develop a bit. It additionally permits them to make “Scott Pilgrim Yuri” a phrase I’ve to say.

Scott Pilgrim Yuri and Scott Pilgrim Yaoi, this really is the difference for 2023.

Also, I do know most individuals have been excited to have the film’s solid return to voice everyone, however I went with the JP audio as a result of I might not go up listening to Yū Kobayashi swear like a sailor.

I ended up watching the entire thing twice as a result of 1) as we have coated, that is fairly good, and a couple of) I had to take a look at the Japanese dub after listening to concerning the solid. The solely factor higher than Ramona Flowers in the lead is Ramona Flowers in the lead voiced by Fairouz Ai.

I did not know I wanted Aoi Koga as Knives Chau till I heard it, however now I can not think about life with out it.


Before this was launched, I knew there was some trepidation about how “anime” this Netflix Original Anime adaptation of a Canadian comedian could be. Still, between that solid and Science SARU‘s rendering of the sequence, I can comfortably say that Scott Pilgrim Takes Off IS anime.

That is the least attention-grabbing factor to argue about this present. If anyone walked as much as me and began making an attempt to debate the precise definition of anime, I’d be like, “Whatever!”

Those needle drops is likely to be one other factor that makes its pure anime standing a bit extra skewed, however I ain’t going to complain about them.

Nobody complained when Cyberpunk: Edgerunners had Let’s Eat Grandma or The Armed, so they do not get to be choosy when this present throws in Sarah McLachlin covers


Sidenote: I compiled all of the needle drops and ED songs and dare anybody to ship this as a mixtape playlist to their crush.

Musical references are as a lot a a part of Scott Pilgrim as ones to manga or previous video video games. So it suits to include all of them right here and goes a good distance in the direction of giving Takes Off the texture that followers of the supply materials know, regardless of the massively diverged story. That would possibly clarify why this present’s standing as an AU/Spin-off/Sequel/Whatever to the unique has been a bit much less divisive than may need been anticipated, since regardless, it nonetheless looks like Bryan Lee O’Malley‘s Scott Pilgrim.

It’s nonetheless thematically and tonally in line with the unique model. It’s a story about a assortment of 20-one thing screwups being poisonous and flaky whereas making an attempt to navigate their messed-up relationships. It’s nonetheless bought the snappy and metatextual humorousness. It’s nonetheless bought Scott Pilgrim courting a teenager. But now, with a fashionable perspective on its legacy, it will probably additionally reply to its viewers cleverly.

I really like how the workforce on this present will get in entrance of that time a number of occasions. They got here ready, it is nice.


That’s a part of Scott’s complete deal. He’s an immature dirtbag who’s extra comfy courting an inexperienced excessive schooler who’s simply impressed by his extremely mid attributes. At the identical time, we have seen sufficient media about “problematic” guys who date minors and get zero pushback, so I admire the present making it abundantly clear that he is a douchebag and Knives is best off discovering her drive. I want we bought extra of her. That one scene of her and Kim jamming was unbelievable.
“Knives joins the band” is an apparent route for the character in hindsight. That’s one other good thing about that fashionable perspective granted by this specific avenue for “adaptation.” Yeah, they may have simply rewritten the unique storyline of the comics the place they excised these problematic features, however participating in dialog with the supply materials this fashion is a lot extra attention-grabbing. It’s an strategy that makes it similar to the invoked-earlier Rebuild of Evangelion, which is each cool and hilarious.

I do know we hold mentioning these EVA films, however that is as a result of this feels in line with them. The Rebuild quadrology was a decade-lengthy alternative for Anno to re-look at his most well-known story and rethink how he advised it and what he needed to precise as a creator. The outcome ended up being divisive and taking years to be accomplished, nevertheless it was in the end richer for being so prepared to dissect its origin. Takes Off by no means will get fairly as reflective, nevertheless it makes up for it by being cheeky as hell with its standing inside a bigger franchise.


It’s an strategy that works for me as a result of I really like metatext and seeing how authors interface with their works. I cherished the EVA films for that, particularly the third one which blindsided everybody with its most huge story shift. It makes me surprise about a few of these contentions. For occasion, its standing does imply that Takes Off is not a recommendable adaptation possibility for newcomers, just like different meta sequels equivalent to Rebuild of Eva or the now-ongoing Final Fantasy VII Remake.

That’s truthful. Even ignoring reflexive disappointment, I can perceive why of us would possibly bristle on the normal concept of this. I definitely get drained each time a legacy reboot or remake makes itself a half-baked metaphor concerning the nature of reboots. Here, that is principally an added layer that rests on prime of the genuinely participating character drama, humor, and unbelievable motion setpieces.

The different level got here from the few naysayers who did cross my feed. I did not agree with it, however the argument appears to go that Takes Off too successfully hid its alternate-universe standing, “tricking” viewers who have been hoping for a performed-straight adaptation. That will get into the query of how a lot a challenge like this owes its viewers that type of alert versus how a lot of its affect relies on the shock of a swerve, like killing off your title character in the primary episode.


This was the kind of factor that Final Fantasy VII Remake additionally bought hit with.

I’m not in telling folks the way to really feel about that, or if hiding stuff for the sake of peculiar the viewers deserves to be referred to as mendacity or no matter. If your preliminary disappointment is that this is not a easy adaptation, it could be price pushing previous that first response and approaching the present on its phrases. This is not altering stuff simply to be completely different – it’s extremely a lot in dialogue with the unique story and its viewers, and being open to that dialog could also be fairly rewarding.

As I’ve made clear, I completely agree. It stands up in comparison with different anime that attempted what Rebuild of Scott Pilgrim right here did to much less success. Series that modified main plot factors for their very own sake, like in the Fuuka anime, or genuinely did go the deception route on the outset, like Higurashi: When They Cry – GOU, did not generate almost the excitement and goodwill we have had for Scott Pilgrim this weekend.


Well, in Fuuka‘s case, it took ten episodes to disclose that they had reduce out the funniest a part of that complete silly story. So, after all, no person would react effectively to them retconning Truck-kun out of existence.

Effectively, the alternative of taking out Scott Pilgrim early on, each in execution and affect.



I firmly imagine Fuuka is why we have been cursed with so many isekai anime. Truck-kun was robbed of his promised sacrifice and is now portray the roads purple with blood till he’s sated.

It might simply be that Fuuka was by no means in the cultural zeitgeist the way in which Scott Pilgrim was. Doing this kind of factor requires having a built-in fanbase who will be taken out by these swerves and interface with what they imply for the creator’s telling of the story. It’s why it labored for one thing on the Evangelion degree.
My favourite model of this film is in Macross: Do You Remember Love? Much as I like the unique TV sequence, its plot was messy, and the ultimate third was a swiftly assembled, prolonged epilogue that did not serve the story or characters effectively. So, the film revamping the plot and central love triangle is a vital enchancment. And very like how Takes Off manages to flesh out the supporting solid, DYRL turned Lynn Minmay, a fairly underwritten facet character for a lot of the sequence, into the foundational lynchpin for all the franchise. There is a wonderful motive why each subsequent entry treats the film model as canon.
Sometimes simply altering the unique story works with none in-universe timeline metatext. In Macross case, that is likely to be one motive it was capable of construct up its fanbase and proceed as a franchise to today. The creators should calculate the choice to rewrite their very own story in the identify of adaptation on a case-by-case foundation.


Meanwhile, suppose it isn’t effectively-thought of, or you do not correctly talk its motivation. In that case, you get stuff just like the notorious 2nd season of The Promise Neverland, a bag so fumbled that folks do not even discuss concerning the manga anymore as a result of they’re too busy being indignant on the anime.

Oh man, you needed to remind me. There are so many “anime-solely” ending storylines for diversifications that it may be onerous to substantiate in the event that they match into the identical kind of factor conceptually as what Takes Off is doing. But The Promised Neverland tried to go for that fan-faux-out response-inciting swerve. Not solely did it fail to stay the touchdown, nevertheless it additionally in some way wound up face-planting in a completely completely different zip code.


We speak about completely different timelines, and I might like to look in on the one the place no matter occurred behind the scenes of this adaptation that made them go this route…did not.

I’d like a timeline the place the dialogue might progress past the difference’s failings, as eye-catching as they have been. It’s not just like the anime erased the manga from existence any greater than Takes Off removed the comedian or film. And I believe we, as an viewers, could be a lot higher served if we might study to dwell with imperfect – and even dangerous – diversifications quite than letting them dominate the discourse.

That’s true. And it is related since a massive a part of the theming of Scott Pilgrim Takes Off is that our experiences are price remembering, even when they ended badly or had bits that weren’t so nice in hindsight. I do know that ending Takes Off made me need to return and provides the unique Scott Pilgrim comics a reread.

I definitely hope it will probably do the identical for folks. We’re dwelling in a media setting the place it feels like every deviation from what’s anticipated, or something that takes a massive swing at new concepts, will get taken as hostility in the direction of the fanbase. However one feels about Takes Off and its strategy to its supply materials, I believe it is price approaching with as open a thoughts as doable. It won’t be precisely what you anticipated, however which may be why it is price your time.

It seems Scott Pilgrim can educate us simply as a lot in our thirties because it did in our twenties. Now, if solely it might educate us the way to return these Netflix DVDs now that we’re accomplished with them. I don’t need to get hit with these late charges.

I suppose we’ll want to seek out a facet gig to assist with these money owed. That’s one factor from my twenties that hasn’t modified.


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