When an anime proves to be popular, it might have a way of coming back after it finishes with a reboot that will hopefully be enjoyed just like the original. Sometimes, a reboot comes out decades later, while other times, it just comes out just a few years afterward. Regardless, its purpose is to retell a classic anime in a new and updated fashion.
Occasionally, a reboot can be darker and bloodier than the original, or go in the opposite direction. However, neither is necessarily an improvement on the original. When a reboot fails, it might become infamous among the fanbase, while others are simply forgotten with many fans not even knowing the reboots existed.
10 Ghost Stories: It Focused On The Ghosts
This anime series, which is arguably best known for its North American gag dub, made a comeback with Gakkou no Kaidan SP, which revolved around the ghost characters from the original, making them the literal hosts of the show instead of the original’s human cast.
The series was much lighter and softer than the original, with the ghosts have cuter, “super-deformed” designs. Some of the hosts were explicitly based on characters from the original show, such as a host named Rabi, a cute white rabbit based on the original’s Shirotabe. Another host based on Kuchisake-onna, whose episode had been pulled from broadcast, was also included.
9 Cutie Honey: She’s Had Quite A Few Reboots Under Her Belt
This classic Japanese superheroine’s first animated return since her classic 1970’s series, New Cutie Honey, was really controversial, being far darker and edgier than the original series. The series didn’t really do well, considering it was going to be 12 episodes at one point but was canceled after 8.
Honey has had other reboots since then. Cutie Honey Flash, an attempted shojo reboot, was generally well-received but was often seen as an attempt to cash in on the popularity of Sailor Moon, Re: Cutie Honey was somewhat disliked for making Honey ditzier, and Cutie Honey Universe mostly became known for ditching the famous theme song.
8 Sailor Moon Crystal: Fans Wanted New Stories
The first Sailor Moon anime won fans all over the world when it first came out. When Sailor Moon Crystal was announced, however, most fans thought the series was going to be something more substantial than a scene-for-scene remake of the original manga that they had probably already read, especially since many countries saw the manga rereleased to promote the series.
While some changes to the manga had been controversial in the first place, the 90’s anime at least expanded on the plot and gave a lot of interesting stories. Any other changes made to the story became all the more controversial in Sailor Moon Crystal.
7 Blood-C: Even For Vampires, It Had Too Much Blood
The second series in the Blood franchise, following Blood+, proved to be bloodier and gorier than its predecessor. Fans of the original found the new violence to be in poor taste while the story was slow-paced.
In addition, the excess of blood and gore in the series made it controversial on an international scale. Not only did it face censorship issues in Japan, but it also ended up getting blacklisted in China.
6 Himitsu No Akko-Chan: The Third Series Flopped With Poor Ratings
This magical girl series, considered one of the first, revolves around a young girl called Akko with a magic mirror that lets her transform into anyone and anything that she wants. The classic series has seen a few reboots, one in the ’80s and another in the ’90s.
The original cartoon and the second series were relatively popular. Unfortunately, the third series was not so lucky, having done so poorly in the ratings that it had an early cancellation.
5 All-Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku: Aging Up The Hero Wasn’t A Good Idea
In this series, a cat’s brain is placed inside a robot body and becomes its owner’s protector as well as posing as his sister. The series proved popular enough to get various spin-offs.
One such reboot, All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku Dash, went for the darker and edgier route and ended up annoying fans of the original, with the heroine now being an escaped, amnesiac android on the run. One of the more infamous changes was that the boy in the original, Ryunosuke, was aged up to be a high school student so that he could be Nuku-Nuku’s love interest rather than a surrogate brother.
4 Saint Seiya: The CGI Reboot Was Controversial
Anime is known for its use of traditional animation, but that doesn’t mean that there hasn’t been plenty of attempts to branch out into 3D animation. Saint Seiya: Knights of the Zodiac was an attempt to create a CGI version of the cult classic Saint Seiya series.
However, many fans didn’t like the changes made to the source material or the handling of the characters, especially the rewriting of Shun as female. The new animation style wasn’t well-received either, although some fans still appreciated it.
3 Dirty Pair: Fans Don’t Care For Flash
This sci-fi anime series revolves around a pair of futuristic troubleshooters called the “Lovely Angels.” Unfortunately, they have a reputation of often blowing stuff up to get the job done, earning them the nickname of “Dirty Pair.”
A reboot of the 80’s series, Dirty Pair Flash, was generally disliked by fans who felt that the new take on the series exaggerated the characters, making them come off more as rivals than friends. Toward the end, the reboot was also accused of relying on fan-service more than the original series ever did.
2 Minky Momo: It’s Hard To Move Past The Truck Incident
This series revolves around a magical princess who travels to Earth with her animal friends to protect the world of dreams. However, the series had a shocking twist in the 46th episode: Momo gets run over by a truck and is killed, although she is eventually reborn as a human.
While a second series was developed featuring another Momo, outside of Japan, the series is basically known for the original’s infamous truck incident. And while the original was popular enough to get 13 extra episodes during its run, the second series also had a few unaired episodes. A third series had also been planned, but only exists as a manga.
1 Kimba The White Lion: The 80’s Version Kept Killing Everyone
Osamu Tezuka’s Kimba The White Lion is known for being one of his more bittersweet works, dealing with the conflicts between humans and wild animals, though the 60s series was known for being relatively lighter by comparison. When the story got another retelling in the 1980s, however, it started to go a different route.
While some fans initially thought the new series had more of a realistic tone, others were shocked with just how dark this series was willing to go. In fact, much of the main cast being killed off by the final episode. Some fans also thought the 80’s series sent confusing messages, telling viewers that fighting back, even in self-defense, is still wrong.
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