The Marvel Universe has been a pretty good revenue-producer for the last decade or so. And with streaming services pulling out all the stops in the competition for viewers, some are saying that it's time for Marvel creators to think seriously about combining their characters and stories with anime. What do you think? Is the Marvel Universe a good fit for anime?
Do not say 'yes' automatically. Before you make any assumptions, understand that Marvel creators attempted to get into anime in the past. Iron Man, Wolverine, Blade, and X-Men have all been adapted for the anime audience. None of them fared very well. In fact, none of the series did well enough to warrant a second season.
It is not that there isn't an audience for Marvel. Box office receipts prove there is. People are clearly interested in the likes of Black Panther, Ghost Rider, and Guardians of the Galaxy. The question is whether these same people are interested in anime and manga.
A Different Audience?
Marvel's lack of success with previous anime attempts could be attributable to nothing more than a different audience. Let's face it, Disney focuses on separate audiences for both the Marvel and Star Wars universes. It could be that the audience for Marvel is distinctly separate from the anime audience. And if this is the case, no amount of trying is going to change things.
Not everyone appreciates anime. Likewise, not every anime fan appreciates efforts to take a beloved series and turn it into a live action show. We have seen a lot of live action flops over the last few years, haven't we? So maybe there just isn't the audience for Marvel Universe anime.
A Different Style?
Another thing to consider is Marvel's animation style. It is clearly Western to its core. Whereas anime creators strive to be a bit more realistic in their presentations, Western animators do not have a problem exaggerating. If the Marvel Universe were to go anime, could creators still get away with exaggeration while remaining true to anime's roots?
Even if they could, adapting Marvel characters to anime would change what they look like. Changing the storylines to make them more in tune with the anime culture would change how creators tell their stories. The fact that the styles are so different could very well alienate Marvel fans.
Too Big a Risk?
We cannot discount the fact that Disney now owns the Marvel Universe. As you may already know, Disney has a history of producing blockbuster films and TV shows. They have also experienced their fair share of box office and TV flops. With so much money being spent on so many projects, perhaps the powers that be feel like taking Marvel to the anime world is too big a risk.
Industry insiders probably wouldn't be surprised to learn that such is the case. There is plenty of other anime content Disney can buy if the company so chooses. They also have the ability to create their own content from scratch. Why take the risk of alienating Marvel fans by messing with what the fans already love?
Imagining the Marvel Universe in anime is interesting. Whether or not it ever becomes reality remains to be seen. Given Marvel's past history with anime, the safe money would bet against it.
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