You probably see quite many anime adapted from games coming out in almost every season.
While some of them are pretty well-known games even among the non-players, the rest of them aren’t so much.
Even if the games are pretty well-known to anime fans, you can only know what sort of game it is until you watch the anime.
Sure, the anime may not give you a rough idea of the gameplay. But at least you know enough about the game’s story through the anime.
That was what happened to me when I watched God Eater anime for the first time.
While I was already aware of the game before the anime came out, I only know what sort of game God Eater was when I started watching the anime.
Heck, it even led me to start playing the game when I finally got myself a PS4 and loved it. Not only I’ve finished playing the game all the way to God Eater 3, I even bought God Eater 2 manga too.
And it all began with me starting to watch God Eater anime.
Same goes for Persona 5 game and Granblue Fantasy.
Okay, not going to lie that I will still be playing Persona 5 whether I watch the anime or not. But I doubt that I would start playing Granblue Fantasy had I not watched the anime.
But some of the anime adapted from games are rather dubious, though
As much as I’d love to credit the anime for the reason that got me to play these games in the first place, I will say that some of them aren’t even worth watching.
Well, that is if faithful adaptation is what you’re looking for.
Depending on the game developers, some of them decided to go off-tangent with the anime adaptation for some weird reason.
That seems to be the case for God Eater anime.
If you think that the story in the anime is the same as the one in the game, you’ll be surprised to find out that they’re nothing alike at all.
Not only is the story in the anime isn’t the same as the one in the game. But the main character for the anime is different from the one in the game too.
And don’t get me started on Tales of Zestiria anime. You’re better off playing the game and forgetting that the anime even exists!
But the anime that takes the biggest cake when it comes to being the most dubious anime adapted from games I’ve ever seen is none other than Phantasy Star Online 2: The Animation.
Just to be clear that it’s hard to make a faithful adaptation of a video game due to the game having a long story and gameplay.
But Phantasy Star Online 2: The Animation somehow takes the level of dubiousness to another level.
I have to agree with this article on ANN saying that the anime is dubious.
Sure, they tend to be critical with pretty much any anime. But they’re right about that since the anime is indeed dubious.
What is wrong with Phantasy Star Online 2: The Animation?
Unlike any other anime adapted from games, the story in Phantasy Star Online 2: The Animation doesn’t even come close to the source material.
Rather than having a story where the characters are fighting Falspawn right from the beginning, we have a typical student character, Itsuki Tachibana, instead.
A well-rounded student who is oblivious to the game called Phantasy Star Online 2. The student council president recruited him to join the student council and asked him to play the game.
She wants him to prove that the game won’t cause any impact on his grade at all.
It was only then he realized that the game somehow overlaps with reality.
If the anime isn’t based on anything, I will say that the premise itself isn’t that bad.
But the problem is the story is just plain boring.
I can’t believe that I watched the anime till the end despite knowing that the anime doesn’t resemble the game at all.
Why do these games still get adapted into anime?
If it can boost the sales of the source material and bring new people to the franchise, then it makes sense why we’re seeing so many games adapted into anime.
And that holds true even more for an online game like Granblue Fantasy which depends on a high number of players playing the game.
Yes, they did have a giant ad that ran in a newspaper a long time ago to commemorate the game’s anniversary.
But nothing brings more exposure to the game other than through the anime.
The conversion is much better too since some anime fans also love playing games. So, they’re more likely to give the game a try if they find the anime to be interesting.
And it’s even more so if it’s an online mobile game and you only need a decent phone to play the game.
Besides, it doesn’t cost that much to produce the anime since they can reuse things like the game soundtrack and the existing cast for the anime.
From the business perspective, the anime adaptation is a form of marketing but in a different format.
The anime adapted from games that are worth watching
While most of them can be a total dud, there are a handful of them that I find worth watching even if you have never played the game before.
Sure, some of them may need to change some parts of the story to fit the anime narrative. But I’d rather have a story that has a slight difference from the source material than to have a story that goes off-tangent.
If you have never played the game before but looking for anime adapted from games that are worth watching, here are some of them that I recommend.
Just to let you know that some of them are games that I have never played before. So, I can’t verify how close they are to the source material.
But if someone like me who has never played the game before is enjoying the anime, that should be saying something about the anime, don’t you think?
To be honest, I hesitated a little to recommend the anime since it’s a little of a mixed bag here. Depending on your expectation, the story can be interesting to watch or just meh to you.
As you can already expect, some parts of the story are a bit different from the game since you can’t cram everything in one season.
But overall, I will say that the story is simple enough for you to grasp without having to know anything before watching the anime.
The only thing that you need to be aware of is the game has the option for you to play as Gran or Djeeta. So, you’re bound to see one of the episodes where you’ll be seeing Djeeta instead of Gran.
Other than that, the rest of the characters in the anime are the same as the ones in the game.
Well, not surprising here that I will include this one in the list since the anime isn’t that bad if you ask me.
Sure, the anime does leave out some of the details which can be confusing if you have never played the game before.
But other than that, what you’ll be seeing in the anime is the closest thing you can get in the game.
As someone who has never played the game before, I can’t say for sure if the anime is doing justice to the source material or not.
But I do find the anime to be interesting enough to watch, though. Can’t say for sure how much the anime version will cover since Shenmue has three games in total.
So, I’m guessing that the anime will most likely cover the story in the first game at the very least.
This is another game where I can’t verify whether the story in the anime is the same as the one in the game.
But if the manga adaptation is any indication, it sure looks like the story in the anime is more or less the same as the source material.
It takes a while for me to get warmed up to the anime, though. So, I only find the story starts to get interesting in the fourth episode onwards.
If you do decide to give this anime a try, you need to watch at least four episodes just to get the feel of the story.
Honorable mention: Phantasy Star Online 2: Episode Oracle
Yes, there’s another Phantasy Star Online 2 anime. But unlike Phantasy Star Online 2: The Animation, Episode Oracle is like what you would expect in the anime adapted from games.
Can’t say for sure if the story in the anime is the same as the one in the game or not.
But I will say that it’s the closest thing you can get when it comes to the actual gameplay where you’ll fight Falspawn with a group of people.
And for the most part, they can be from a different job class.
Sad to say, the story in Episode Oracle isn’t any better than the one in Phantasy Star Online 2: The Animation.
It’s because of this reason that I don’t include this anime in the list.
But if you’re curious about the gameplay, then the Episode Oracle can give you a rough idea of what to expect in the game.
It’s the same as any other adaptation
Regardless of the source material, I will say that the adaptation won’t be a dubious one if the original story remains intact.
While a faithful adaptation is expected when the source material is a manga or a light novel, that never seems to be the case at all for video games.
Yes, I get that it’s hard to adapt a game that has 70-hour gameplay into 13-episodes anime.
But the least they can do is to make it as close as possible to the source material even if not all of them will make it to the anime adaptation.
Heck, even half of the faithful adaptation is still better than not having the same story as the source material at all.
At the end of the day, existing fans of the games aren’t the only ones who are watching the anime. We have people who are new to the franchise and are watching the anime for the first time too.
Sure, having a completely different story for the anime adaptation may get them curious enough to have a look at the source material.
But it’s pointless when the anime-exclusive story is just plain terrible to the point where it’s unbearable to watch.
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