Anime has garnered a massive reach around the world, with it being a slow but progressive shift over the last two decades. Aside from the growth of popularity in the US, it has always had a prevalent influence in Japan. Demon Slayer recently became the most profitable movie in Japan — surpassing the timeless fan-favorite film Spirited Away and serving as a reminder of the power anime has.
As we witness this change in direction, there are so many titles deserving of a film continuation or side story (and no, I'm not talking live-action.) So what properties deserve a little theatrical love to expand their horizons?
Yu Yu Hakusho
I'm very aware that Yu Yu Hakusho has received a film before (two technically, but The Golden Seal feels more like a special), but there's still a need for more.
It's no secret that the franchise creator Yoshihiro Togashi was feeling a little burnt out with the constant deadlines and publication needs, promoting a sense of relief by the series concluded. Since then, he's worked for a much longer time on Hunter X Hunter, and the nostalgia for Yu Yu Hakusho is as strong as ever, even 20 years later.
The ending was a wonderful, happy note for an intense, action-packed series, but the desire fans have to see the core four unite again to combat evil is still strong enough to suggest it would be a smash hit in every way possible. If it wasn't for Yu Yu Hakusho, lengthy action series that follow serious narratives would have a hard time finding their footing — and for that, we're grateful. If we get to see the spirit detective prove himself to a new generation, there's no doubt that the love for Yu Yu Hakusho would be as impactful as Dragon Ball Super – if not more.
Claymore is a noteworthy manga and anime title that has found a substantial following over the years; however, it's easily one of the more underrated action titles.
Centering on a group of complete badass women who hunt demons, Claymore has everything worth loving about a solid anime. Regardless of if you're watching the impressive fight sequences, boss-battles, back story, or hearing about the rankings and status of Claymore, there's no lull in the franchise.
The anime was a hasty end to a manga that ran for quite sometime later, and with the changes in animation style, Claymore could be one that is only enhanced with a fresh take on the series. Seeing something as epic and grand as Claymore on the big screen would feel in line with titles like Demon Slayer or Attack on Titan, which is the love a title like Claymore deserves.
Outlaw Star is, without a doubt, one of the best anime titles to come out of the '90s. Its outlandishly captivating story managed to tell a space-centric tale in a much more limited time compared to lengthier titles that find that equal level of notoriety.
The series took time to introduce a handful of characters with different backgrounds, from different walks of life, all coming together as one bounty hunting family (similar to Cowboy Bebop.) Unlike some of the other series that used similar backdrops, Outlaw Star had a much more optimistic, less ambiguous conclusion, as well as scrapped plans to actually continue one day.
Years after being dubbed as not successful enough in Japan, the series became one of the most profitable in sales in 2006 and 2007 in the US, also airing on Toonami decades after it concluded. The opportunity to revisit this space adventure would feel well-timed to sci-fi franchises' continued success, so Outlaw Star could be one of the most unpredictable (but essential) revivals in anime.