Videogames make it possible for us to take part in a unique tale that we wouldn’t experience otherwise. Vampire slayer, magic wielder, cybernetically enhanced supersoldier — these roles, once out of reach, are now ours to own and mold. These immersive sagas are so intriguing that even non-gaming studios want to get in on the action, giving us countless adaptations across film, TV, and, of course, anime.
The line between videogames and Japanese animation is thin, making it easy for the former to crossover to the latter. Because of this, videogames make great source material for anime, as the medium can bring our favorite characters and tales to life without facing the budget constraints of a live-action production. Not to mention, anime often comes closer to producing a faithful adaptation than any other medium. With that in mind, here are five anime based on video games that fans will enjoy.
Netflix’s Castlevania centers on Dracula and his quest to punish humanity for killing his wife Lisa on suspicion of being a witch. He summons an army of monsters and demons to ravage Wallachia, and it seems that no one can stop him. That is, until Trevor Belmont, from the creature-slaying Belmont family, steps up to the plate. Joining him are Sypha Belnades, a sorceress with control over the elements and Dracula’s son, Alucard.
If you haven’t seen Netflix’s Castlevania yet but are a fan of the games, then don’t waste any more time; go see it. Netflix based the animated web series on both Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse and Castlevania: Curse of Darkness. And although the Netflix show isn’t very long, it still packs in a bunch of references that fans of videogame series would enjoy. For example, when Dracula and Alucard face off, they use spells straight out of the games, like Sword Teleport and Hellfire. Not to mention there’s the elusive wall chicken reference.
Bayonetta: Bloody Fate
Based on the 2009 video game Bayonetta, Bayonetta: Bloody Fate follows the titular character who, after waking up in a coffin at the bottom of a lake 20 years ago, embarks on a journey to recover her memories. But she also has to keep her deal with the demonic forces she draws her powers from as an Umbra Witch.
Her quest starts looking up when she meets Cereza, a young, time-displaced girl. Too bad Jeanne, another Umbra Witch, gets in her way — and seems to be working with the forces of Heaven, the very ones she should be opposing.
Even though Bayonetta: Bloody Fate isn’t a direct adaptation, it’s still entertaining to watch. The film cuts out unnecessary details — locales and a specific narrative order — and instead gets right into the nitty-gritty, the actions scenes. The film’s stunning visuals bring the hack-and-slash scenes between Bayonetta and the Angels to life by focusing on the settings, characters, and weapon designs.
Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children
Over the last three decades, the Final Fantasy franchise has become a commercial success, spawning several animated films and shows. Each installment in the science fantasy series features a standalone saga with different settings, plots, and characters. But as a whole, they all share a similar theme. One entry, however, clearly stands above the rest when it comes to adaptations: Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children.
The anime film takes place two years after Meteor’s destruction in Final Fantasy VII. Millions of people have contracted a deadly Lifestream-distributed disease called Geostigma, a disease that threatens to destroy main character Cloud Strife’s new life. To make matters worse, remnants of Cloud’s past are after him, and they’ll stop at nothing to carry out their nefarious plans.
Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children’s focus on intricate details is what truly brings the characters and their environment to life. As such, the team took care to tell an equally beautiful and intriguing tale about human emotions.
You can’t have a game-based anime list without including one of the best first-person shooters out. That’s right, we’re talking about Halo.
Six different anime studios — Bee Train, Bones, Casio Entertainment, Production I.G., Studio 4°C, and Toei Animation — took part in the movie project. Each installment explores several events and groups from the Halo universe, including the Spartans and the Covenant factions.
Halo Legends is an animated treat for players interested in the narrative side of the franchise. It also introduces anime fans to first-person shooter games. The short films delve deeper into the Halo universe, giving fans more fleshed out and exciting character backstories than the videogame cutscenes. The various subtle changes from the games make the film an interesting watch; fans will love pointing out the differences. It’s a great way to pass time while waiting for the next game to drop.
Humanity is on the brink of extinction following the appearance of human-eating creatures called “Aragami.” What’s worse, conventional weapons don’t work against them, so they’re free to roam the planet and destroy everything in their path.
Luckily, there are special humans known as “God Eaters” who can fight these creatures. Thanks to the Oracle cells the God Eaters possess, they’re able to wield the only weapon that can kill the Aragami — the God Arc. The anime follows God Eater Lenka Utsugi, whose God Arc takes on the form of a blade and a gun, in her battle again the deadly creatures.
The post-apocalyptic anime God Eater is based on the 2010 video game of the same name — although a few events in the anime differ from the source material. Studio Ufotable (behind the Fate series and Garden of Sinners movies) manages to effortlessly capture the game’s dark environment, feeling of despair, and bloodshed.