We all have things we want to see happen in anime, like “I want [insert manga series] to receive an anime adaptation” or “I want [insert anime series] to receive a second season.” I’m no exception to this. So here’s a nice list post about 10 things that I personally want to see in anime. Mostly very specific things, mind you, nothing like “I want anime to be a good person.” And while there are a few “I want [insert thing] to receive an anime adaptation” wishes, none of them are from Japanese things.

So then, let’s get started!

More things directed by Rie Matsumoto
I’m pretty sure she works for Toei, so I guess this is all up to their whims. But surely they cannot deny that the Heartcatch Precure movie was amazingly directed, Kyousogiga was the most glorious nonsense they’ve ever released, that episodes 3 and 10 of Saint Seiya Omega were like the best in the series, that the random episodes of Fresh Precure she directed had charm… Surely they can’t deny all that.

She’s just great. When I first looked her up I just kind of decided right then and there that she was probably one of my favourite directors in anime. And it’s not like she’s even done all that much, so to be able to say that is either a testament to her awesomeness or a testament to my impulsiveness. Believe whichever you want. Until I find proof to believe she is not the amazing director I’m imagining her to be, I will believe in her, and wish for her.

A magical girl anime designed by Mutsumi Inomata
I love Mutsumi Inomata. Her designs and artworks for feminine characters are amazing. The more fantasy-oriented a work, the less restrained she has to be. The more colours she can use. The more frills she add. … maybe even more belts, depending on what kind of design we’re going for. Not that she’s bad in any way at “plain” designs, but I think she definitely shines when extravagance is permitted.

So wouldn’t it be a perfect match for her to design magical girls? She’s even got experience as an animator, so if they wanted a character designer who could double as key animator/animation director, well, there you go!

And if you need some kind of convincing that she’d be able to make good magical girl outfits, let’s pretend we want an outfit that’s like the standards for today’s magical girls. We don’t necessarily, but just for example’s sake. Let’s take a look at two existing designs.

First, there’s Cheria Barnes from Tales of Graces. Better than Homerun-chan’s magical girl outfit if you ask me, though those tights are certainly unique. Cheria’s design always made me think of a magical girl, aside from maybe those sleeves. The second is Ruri Aiba from Sacred Seven. Not so much in her standard outfit, but in, say, the bluish dress she wears in the first episode. Don’t you doubt for a minute that Inomata could make amazing magical girl designs. In fact, she’d make the best ones.

Just imagine that she's flying around after having transformed rather then being swung around after having been captured. It totally works.

Just imagine that she’s flying around after having transformed rather than being swung around after having been captured. It totally works.

Come on Inomata! You used to work for Toei! They’ve just got to let you design the next Precure!

A Cyborg 009 remake animated by Yoshihiko Umakoshi
Just imagine it! I think it would be perfect. It would make the episodes that don’t have much going for them actually entertaining, a problem that none of the anime adaptations before ever managed to overcome. … though I’m going to be a heathen and say that said problem existed in the original manga as well, at least near the beginning (and I imagine it’s a billion times worse in the material that was never supposed to exist, but I will admit to having no idea about that). That doesn’t mean we can’t fix it, though, right?

Umakoshi doesn’t even have to do the design work to satisfy me. I actually really liked the designs for the 2001 series, so if they just used those again I’d have no complaints. Maybe it’s easier if he does both, though. I’m cool with that too. And at first, maybe you will think “no, Umakoshi’s style is far too pointy and angular for Cyborg 009’s roundness” but then I will tell you to watch Ojamajo Doremi and/or Marie & Gali. Marie & Gali preferred. Point is, he can do whatever he wants. It’s going to work.

And aren’t we due for another series anyway at this point? It’s been over ten years. Movies don’t count!

House of Leaves anime adaptation by ShaftxShinbo
Whatever you may think about Mark Z. Danielewski, the book, Shinbo, or Shaft, you’ve got to admit. This is probably a good fit. You think Shinbo’s directorial style is pretentious and serves no purpose in the vast majority of his works? Hey, people say far worse things about the pretention of House of Leaves and its author.

When I think about some of the disorienting visuals and impossible backgrounds that pop up in Shinbo’s most unrestrained works, I’m not thinking “I wish this loser would give it a rest already.” I’m thinking “I have no idea what I’m watching and believe that this could be used to great effect if he really put his mind to it or stopped working only on romcoms and porn.” So why not House of Leaves?

The very premise of the best part of House of Leaves is something impossible — a house that’s bigger on the inside than than the outside. And he’d have a lot of freedom with the appearance of that part of the house, too, especially as it expands in size. That alone makes me daydream about the possibilities. But it’s also a great fit because of the thing that tends to draw people to read House of Leaves in the first place — the formatting of the book itself is often disorienting and confusing.

Now, let’s ignore that House of Leaves is poking fun at academia for a minute. Let’s just throw that out the window. I’ve only read House of Leaves once, but one thing I distinctly remember was the formatting helping to really create the atmosphere, the experience. The expanding portion of the house in question was supposed to be confusing, mazelike, nonsensical. So the formatting mirrored that.

Near the end there’s a sort of chase sequence, and rather than having five hundred worthless footnotes and mirrored text, there are multiple pages that have very little text on them during this sequence. You turn the pages faster, because it takes less time to read. Speed increases, the pace feels faster than it really is, anticipation grows. It helps you feel there.

It’s probably asking too much to expect Shinbo to be able to recreate that kind of effect, but I think if anyone’s ever going to adapt House of Leaves to visual media, it’s gonna have to be someone like him or it’s gonna suck. And it would probably suck even if he did it (even if he did it right!) just by the kind of book it is. It’s not a book that should be adapted to anything, really. At least not in full. Yeah, just adapt the Navidson Record parts. That’s all I want anyway.

A Carmilla anime adaptation
I’m not actually positive that I want this. But Sheridan LeFanu’s Carmilla is my favourite vampire story, so it’s easy for me to assume that I do want it. You see, I actually really like the idea of vampires, yet I find myself in vast disappointment at the vampire stories anime has to offer me. Sure, my #1 favourite vampire-related anime series happens to be Shiki and I love it. But what about #2?

My #2 is actually… Hellsing. I don’t even like Hellsing that much. I don’t even care all that much about Hellsing Ultimate, because it’s lacking a certain amazing thing the TV series had: a soundtrack by Yasushi Ishii. And here’s a fun fact for you: now that I’m not bumbling through my terrible memory recall live, I think I can safely say that my favourite anime soundtrack is, in fact, Hellsing’s. Unrelated, but that’s just how fun facts work. But isn’t it disappointing that there’s only one vampire-related anime that I’m genuinely glad exists? I think it is. So we need more worthwhile vampire anime.

My primary fear with an anime adaptation of Carmilla would be the fact that the industry is filled with people who would jump on the opportunity to cash in on the same aspects of it that Hammer did when they adapted it to a movie (The Vampire Lovers) — the omg lesbians. Except it would be worse because anime is somehow trashier than Hammer just doing their thing. Not sure how that works, but I’m pretty sure it’s true. And while I do like The Vampire Lovers, it really has a totally different feeling from the original story. And part of that is, yes, Ingrid Pitt prancing around naked with Madeline Smith.

My only other fear would be that I just wouldn’t care as much about the story if it was stripped of the prose that originally told it. I do think that’s another reason why that movie adaptation felt so different (and I haven’t seen any of the others so it’s the only one I can comment on). I love Carmilla enough that I want them to give it a try. … But it’s never gonna happen.

[umee]_Shiki_-_05_[2A4FA267]_Oct 29, 2012 9.29.55 PM

A Fevre Dream anime adaptation
Yep, that’s right. Another vampire story. Because, of course, I decided on my own without consulting people who have watched more vampire-related anime series that anime lacks good vampire-related stories. Here’s another vampire book (not to be confused with a book that was turned into a vampire) I liked a lot. George R.R. Martin’s Fevre Dream.

I don’t really have the same fears with a potential adaptaion of this that I do with Carmilla. The prose thing isn’t nearly as big of a deal with Martin as it would be with Le Fanu. Totally different styles, right there, and I don’t appreciate Martin’s prose on its own merits like I do with Le Fanu. What I’m saying is, they could both write a total garbage story and I wouldn’t like Martin’s much, but I’d probably still like Le Fanu’s quite a bit.

So strip Fevre Dream of its prose and get me some nice visuals and sounds to go with that story. I am totally okay with this. The first half of such an anime would be such a treat for me, just like the first half of the book was. I love suspense and not having confirmation of what we’re actually dealing with (even if it’s obvious). Besides, who doesn’t want to see more steamboats in anime?

Again though, not gonna happen. If Japan’s going to start caring about George R.R. Martin enough to adapt any of his books into anything, it’s going to be A Song of Ice and Fire. … which might actually be pretty good without HBO’s creepy sex scenes and awkward priorities.

More musical episodes
Well, we had one in Kurenai, didn’t we? It wasn’t even that great (though I think it’s where my desire for AWKWARD AOI YUUKI SINGING originated from — Symphogear just fueled that flame). But I’d be fine with more musical episodes or segments like that one. 100% fine. I just want more. I mean, who doesn’t want to see their favourite anime characters break out into song?

More Gabriel Faure songs
I’m in awe at anime’s appreciation of Faure. Really. And all I’ve found from his works so far in anime is… the ending of Gunslinger Girl being based off of Après un rêve and Hyouka using Sicilienne. That’s way more than I can say for anything I know about that originated in an English-speaking language. Or uh, any other language, really. I’d assume France would be the biggest fan of him, though. After all, he was French. You know how France is, loving their French things.

Anyway, the point is that I like Faure. His songs, at least. And yeah, maybe anime did already use my favourite of his songs (Après un rêve). But does that mean it’s time to stop? No! What about Les berceaux?! What about Automne? Au bord de l’eau? We’ve barely scratched the surface, here. If we’re gonna base stuff off of music from dead guys or just plain use their music outright, then I want more Faure.

Besides, Gunslinger Girl wasn’t exactly the thing I always dreamed would use Après un rêve. Après un rêve always seemed like it belonged in a nice story that was packed full of tropes and elements from film noir. So let’s get on to my next wish…

More neo-noir elements (or better yet, series)
I guess nobody cares about this in Japan. That makes sense, I guess, since it’s kind of a western thing. But it’s also a me thing. And by that I mean I really want to see it. I like actual films noir. But you know what I like even more? Modern media with neo-noir stylings. It’s a little funny, but some of the anime with the most of these elements are basically at Eternal Classic status in the west. Cowboy Bebop, The Big O. I don’t know if Darker Than Black is there yet, but probably.

Darker Than Black - 7_Mar 1, 2013 2.35.06 PM

Those are the three series I think of when I think of neo-noir anime. The three vary a lot in quality, objectively speaking (um, as objective as you can possibly get, anyway; Big O was really messy and Darker Than Black had a few narrative issues itself), but I love them all. So… pretty please, Japan? Can I have more? Can April 2016 please feature the premiere of a series that has everything I’m baselessly hoping for?

A spherical cow anime
We already had a spherical cat anime. Might as well go all the way with this idea, right? Bonus points if it injects physics-related jokes, or jokes at the expense of physicists. It’ll be like Marie & Gali with spherical cows. Marie & Gali with Poyo, except Poyo’s a cow. Come on, anime. Make it happen.

Make it all happen.