As we’re always looking to the future for the next best thing, sometimes we miss some gems from the past! Thankfully, animation studios found the value of these manga from 10+ years ago. Through faithful adaptations or modernized retellings, these stories are alive and well and now in anime form. Let’s take a look at these recent anime with older manga origins!
5. Subete ga F ni Naru (The Perfect Insider)
- Manga Run: February 2001 – July 2001
- Anime Aired: October 2015 – December 2015
“Who am I? Where do I come from? Where will I go?” A mysterious and solitary genius ponders these questions even as she tackles the most complicated research, copes with multiple personalities, and serves as the main suspect for her parents’ murder when she was 15. Her aloofness, beauty, and intellect attract a university researcher and his too familiar student and they hope to meet her. Instead, they are forced to unravel a present complicated mystery that is tied to the shrouded past of said genius, Murata Shiki.
There are a few notable changes such as student Moe’s more secretive approach to her crush on her teacher Souhei. The way in which the story is told changes from a rather linear format to seemingly unrelated clips from the past interspersed with the present narrative in the anime. That aside, even years later, the sense of increasing dread and mystery has carried over. The anime even delves a little faster into taking you to a creepy setting. There are some creepy, off-putting scenes but for those who love a good thriller that settles into your psyche, this one aged quite well.
- Manga Run: November 2000 – September 2018
- Anime Aired: January 2020 – March 2020
The residents of the Hole try to live the best lives they can as the perpetual guinea pigs to magic-users that live in a separate plane. The magic-users are constantly mutilating and killing those that live in the Hole as if they were sub-human. Yet an unlikely friendship blossoms despite the daily threat of death between lizard-headed Kaiman and the spunky Nikaido who runs a restaurant.
A lot of times anime adaptions play down some of the more graphic scenes from the manga but no such luck here. The face-ripping, bone-breaking, and blood-splattering are all faithfully represented. Only Nikaido’s large though not plot-relevant chest is a little less in-your-face. Especially in today’s climate with corruption amongst those in power and seeing other humans as inferior, this anime aged well.
3. Kiseijuu (Parasyte -The Maxim-)
- Manga Run: February 1989 – December 1995
- Anime Aired: October 2014 – March 2015
Highschool-student Shinchi and parasitic alien Migi don’t have much in common… except that they’re sharing a body. The would-be parasite and prey have to coexist to both remain alive when Migi fails to eat and take over his host’s head. Many of these worm-like monsters have invaded mankind and walk amongst the public as if they are normal humans only to eat and kill them in secret.
Possibly the most different feel from the manga on our list, this adaption definitely took into consideration the trends of the times. In the anime, Shinichi is punished unfairly and saves a little girl from certain death while the manga didn’t try so hard to make him a saint by having him talk in class and fighting yankees. The anime also includes a gratuitous booby-grabbing scene but it’s not like the manga was shy about sexual humor. There’s still lots of blood and body horror but it’s a more teen-aimed retelling of a gritty and more adult story but it’s great for action fans who fancy a bit of philosophical introspection.
2. JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken Part 1-8 (JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Part 1-8)
- Manga Run: December 1986 – October 1987
- Anime Aired: October 2012 – July 2019
JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken follows the stories of the Joestar Family and its rivals and their Stands (psycho-spiritual powers) as the two sides fight through the generations to settle a grudge between Dio Brando and Jonathan Joestar. Everything about JoJo is bizarre. The outfits, their reactions, and their powers are out of this world but as such, the anime is SO captivating. It’s incredibly faithful to the manga and some scenes look exactly like they’ve been brought to 2D life. This is another manga-to-anime that doesn’t water down their graphic scenes of which there are plenty!
1. Banana Fish
- Manga Run: April 1985 – March 1994
- Anime Aired: July 2018 – December 2018
Running most of the kid gangs of New York is the Boss, Ash, at only 17 years old. Already he has seen too much for grown men but he handles the streets with incredible competence. When the words ‘banana fish’ herald more death and sadness in his life, he decides to investigate the truth behind it and his mob Boss’ connection to it. Joined by photojournalist Shunichi and his assistant Eiji after a kidnapping attempt, they must use all their resources to discover the sordid conspiracy that has led to so much loss and death. Would you believe this in BL? This action-packed story with gangs and hardened criminals also has gay romance. A lot of character interactions had to be cut to get the overarching story to fit into 24 episodes and is set in modern-times but it still maintains the suspense, drama, and heartache of the manga.
Pretty much all of these anime that were made a decade or more after the manga started are very graphic and murder-y with some dark material. But more than just as shock value, these stories were so well done within their own time that the more recent improvements in animation can do them justice on the screens. We hope that if you’ve already read these great manga you’ll also check out the anime. If you’ve never heard of them before, these series have withstood the test of time and are definitely worth a watch!