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10 Great American TV Shows and Movies You Didn't Know Had an Anime Adaptation

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Typically, an anime adaptation is simply turning a manga from page to screen. However, sometimes an adaptation is just what a series needs to survive. An anime adaptation breathes new life into a Western project that was not there before.

Related: 8 Worst Western Live-Action Anime Adaptations

Whether it be taking existing characters and taking them to Japan or giving them a whole new story, these adaptations are original.


‘Supernatural: The Animated Series’ (2011)

After their mother dies in an unexplained attack, Sam and Dean Winchester are taught all about hunting supernatural creatures by their father. When he goes missing, the brothers use their skills to hunt him down and keep the world safe from dangerous threats. This was supernaturalone of the most popular CW series starring Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki as the demon hunters.

Supernatural: The Animated Series has the exact same plot, give or take a few liberties with their backstories. Only covering the first two seasons, this 2011 series was made specifically for a Japanese audience but Padalecki and Ackles were welcomed when the English dub was made.

‘Powerpuff Girls Z’ (2006-2019)

Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup were created with sugar, spice, and everything nice with an added bonus of Chemical X. Thus, these three powerful sisters were born. Together, they fight crime in Townsville and protect normal people from very strange and powerful characters. We Powerpuff Girlsthey make sure that all of it gets done before bedtime.

Powerpuff Girls Z is a similar story. Only this time, Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup were just three girls who got hit with good Z-rays when a boy named Ken Kitazawa uses Z-rays to melt a glacier. Together, these girls save Tokyo from harm and have different powers from the original Powerpuff Girls that we know and love.

‘X-Men’ (2011)

X-Men is a series focused on mutants who have the x-gene. That gene gives them a power regular humans have never seen before. With his own powers and resources, Charles Xavier founds Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters and in turn, forms the X-Men. They are a group that rivals the Avengers in their power.

Related:10 Superheroes That Should Make the Jump To Animation

In the anime iteration, the X-Men travel to Japan when Charles Xavier sends them on a mission to save Hisako Ichiki, also known as Armor. While there, they discover a cult called the U-Men who are using mutants to strengthen their own army. This adventure was a piece in a four-part Marvel Anime series – along with Iron Man, Wolverine, andBlade.

‘Iron Man’ (2010)

Tony Stark, the original “genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist,” becomes the Iron Man when he is taken captive and forced to create weapons for his captors. Once he saves himself enough time to build a metal suit, Iron Man is born. Returning home, Stark uses his tech and resources to advance his suits and lead a team of superheroes that later become The Avengers.

In his anime adaptation, Stark branches out to Japan, to see where the world’s first Arc Reactor came from. He retires as the Iron Man to carry out some research but once he encounters the Zodiac, he quickly comes out of retirement.

‘Stitch!’ (2008-2015)

When Lilo is given the opportunity to get a dog, she finds love with Experiment 626, who was lovingly dubbed Stitch. Together, Lilo and Stich find themselves up against intergalactic enemies and the struggles that come with growing up with an older sister. But in the end, they are there for each other, no matter what.

Related: 10 Most Surprising Cartoon Crossovers, Ranked

Stitch!focuses on Yuna, instead of Lilo. With Stitch, aka Experiment 626, Yuna continues her mischievous, tomboy lifestyle. However, Stitch has to fulfill his Good Deed Counter which keeps track of his good deeds, so Stitch can become the strongest being in the universe. Of course, with Yuna’s attitude and Stitch’s antics, it takes a bit of time before Stitch hits the mark on his Good Deed Counter.

Mutant Turtles: Superman Legend (1996)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have the perfect New York origin story. When a can of radioactive ooze finds its way into the sewers, it mutates four turtles and a rat. Now, with the size and intellect of a human, these turtles learn the art of ninjutsu from their rat sensei. This series took audiences by storm in the 1980s and 1990s and continues to attract new audiences with their film series.

Mutant Turtles: Superman Legend is not a complete spin-off from the origin story everyone knows and loves. Instead, Japan created OVAs with the American turtles when they make their way to Japan for a mission. They help a being who grants them the power of Super Mutation in return, so they are allowed to become Super Turtles for at least three minutes at a time.

‘Highlander: The Search for Vengeance’ (2007)

Cursed (or blessed) with immortality, Connor MacLeod is a Scottish Highlander who is banished and is eventually trained by a swordsman named Ramirez. When Ramirez is murdered, Connor discovers that Ramirez’s killer is looking for “The Prize,” which can only be found at “The Gathering.” The catch is, “The Gathering” is happening in New York City, in 1985. Now, Connor must fight the last of the immortals to obtain “The Prize.”

Highlander: The Search for Vengeance focuses, not on Connor, but on Colin MacLeod. With his immortality he looks to stop Octavius, a Roman from Connor’s time from building his regime. When they encounter each other in 2156 New York, Connor must stop Octavius’ evil plan.

‘Batman Ninja’ (2018)

Tea Batman series, since 1939, has told the story of Bruce Wayne, the billionaire turned vigilante. When Bruce witnesses his parents get murdered in front of him, he spends years learning how to fight and builds up enough resources to become Batman. Either solo or with his trusty sidekicks, Bruce fights all sorts of crazy characters all across Gotham City.

2018’s ninja batman film takes Batman from Gotham to feudal Japan thanks to a time machine built by Gorilla Grodd. He discovers that the villains from Gotham have been using the time machine to become lords of the land, so they could establish their rule in the future. Knowing this, Alfred goes ahead and sets up everything Batman needs to save the day, Together, with the Bat-family, Batman saves Japan and Gotham all at the same time.

‘Transformers’ (1984-1987)

Originally just a set of toys for Hasbro to sell, Transformers “transformed” into a franchise that would last decades. The AutoBots are a group of aliens who can convert from vehicles into sentient beings who can fit.

Related: 10 Transformers That Haven’t Rolled Out On The Big Screen Yet

transformers had several anime adaptations – which made sense given other series like Voltronwas inspired by Japanese anime. Concepts like giant robots and killer monsters are no strangers to both Japanese or American media.

Wolverine (2011)

Wolverine has had more than one origin, but Marvel fans know him as the hot-headed Logan who has regenerative abilities and sharp, retractable claws. He’s become a key member of the X-Men and continues to receive adaptations after being introduced in the comics in 1974.

In another part of the Marvel anime series, Wolverinetakes Logan to Japan when he discovers his girlfriend, Mariko is missing. Turns out she was taken by her father back to Japan. Her father runs a crime syndicate and supplies some of his materials to AIM. So not only does Logan need to take apart what Mariko’s father built, but also returns the love of his life back home.

Next:10 Great Western Shows Inspired By Anime