4 Anime That Would Make Great RPGs

I unleash my inner weeaboo and list some anime that could be made into great RPGs.

Back in the early 2000's, there was a bit of a phenomenon going on. Just about every popular cartoon show or movie got a video game spin-off. Most of these weren't that good, to be perfectly honest. While some managed to be OK, the rule, rather the exception, was that these spin-offs were just bad.

But there were some rays of light and honestly, those made up for all the bad riff raft out there. 

So why hasn't the anime industry tried the same thing? Well, to answer my question, it's probably because there's already a shit ton of games turned into anime and vice versa, just not on the scale we saw in the West with cartoon shows. 

So here's a quick list of some of my favorite anime that could have done pretty well as games.


One of my all time favorites written and drawn originally by the amazing Yoshihiro Togashi. 

This is a series based on some simple premises in 7 distinct story arcs. A formula that Shonen anime has followed since Dragon Ball and more recently, Naruto. I'll be the first to say that I don't like Naruto all that much. However, as much as I dislike the series, the games it's produced are very solid from what I've heard and seen. So HunterxHunter could easily just mimic the Ninja Storm series.

The game could just follow the main groups of characters and replay key fights throughout the series. There's a lot of them too, and I'm struggling to not just say every fight in HunterxHunter. From a technical standpoint that would be impossible, though. So instead just pick some of the best throughout the series. Fights like Gon V. Hisoka, Kurapika V. Uvo, and Netero V. Meruem. Where you get some kind of bonus for using or defeating your opponent in the same way they were defeated in the show. Oh man, if only. 

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann

This would honestly be a tough one. The hypest anime, probably ever, deserves a hype as hell game. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann for those that don't know (I'm so sorry if you don't, you should) is an epic story of two brothers (not the biological kind) who live underground. The older of the two and the greatest man to have ever not lived is Kamina. Kamina doesn't like living underground though and wants to be outside.

The problem is, everyone thinks underground is all there is. Kamina is proven right when a giant robot with an equally giant head drops through the ceiling, revealing the sky and bringing a babe named Yoko with it.

The show is then about rising to defeat the giant robots known as Gunmen and their pilots, the Beast Men. Oh, and by "rise" I don't just mean over the enemy. I mean to space because that's where the series goes eventually when the true enemy reveals itself. How sick is that? So obviously the game would be about piloting the sick ass robot the main characters use, Gurren, to fight the Beast Men and progress through the story of the Anime. Imagine a musou game like Dynasty Warriors, but with actual boss fights of the main villains from the series. Seriously, why hasn't this been made?

Death Parade

Death Parade isn't exactly the kind of show the title would lead you to believe it is. It's a series about bartending, sort of. The implications are that the bar is limbo and the bartender is there to judge your mortal soul against another in classic games to see which of you deserves to be reincarnated. Simple, right?

The game itself would be in my opinion. Make it a pseudo-visual novel like the wonderful VA-11 Hall-AInstead of mixing drinks and solving problems, though, you're mixing drinks and creating problems to test the breaking point of the human psyche.

Remember how I said two people get judged with classic games? Well, that can be anything from air-hockey to darts or bowling. At any moment, though, the bartender can raise the stakes exponentially. How about air-hockey, but whenever your opponent scores, you feel the pain of whatever organ is printed on the puck exploding? You don't get to play this part, but rather you get to choose how the game has to be played, which might not seem that fun to most, but to me, it sounds like a really interesting premise.

Log Horizon

This one practically writes itself. Most of us know about Sword Art Online by now. Love it or hate it, it's popular as hell. I'm on the "hate it" side of things, though, and that series has too many mediocre games as is. So I'm going to talk about the series written by a dude who writes like he's actually played an MMO and almost got sent to prison for tax evasion because of it. 

The series is already a game. So I honestly don't have to think too hard here. It's based on players in an MMO called Elder Tale. One day 30,000 of them wake up to find themselves in the actual game world. They still have Heads Up Displays, and the world for them operates largely like the game did, including being able to respawn after death.

The premise is pretty unoriginal, but the execution is wonderful. Instead of having to worry about death, players have to worry about adapting to this new world and getting along with the NPCs who are no longer just characters in a game, but living, breathing people. 


So of course, there have been a plethora of anime that have made it over into the video gaming world, but these four in particular would make amazing RPGs. Let's hope we see an RPG based on one of them in the not too distant future. 

If you have any ideas for anime that should be made into games let me know in the comments!


Published Jan. 29th 2017

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