December 2, 2023

The very first thing I’m going to do, now that I’ve completed watching press screeners for Scott Pilgrim Takes Off, is to observe the entire thing once more. That’s partly as a result of Netflix has made it one thing of a problem to overview this endlessly charming anime adaptation of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s six-volume graphic novels, which observe the travails of a love-struck and video-game-obsessed bass participant from Toronto as he chases the woman of his desires. But additionally, I actually simply wish to instantly revisit Scott Pilgrim’s Treasured Little Anime as a result of the entire thing is so rattling enjoyable.

After I say that Netflix has made reviewing this eight-episode collection a problem, by the way in which, I’m referring to the prolonged and really particular laundry checklist of spoilers that the streamer has forbidden us from, properly, spoiling. So let’s do this in in Pilgrim-esque broad strokes: It’s enjoyable! The soundtrack will rock your face off! Doe-eyed Scott and roller-skating Ramona nonetheless have insane chemistry and can make you consider love and stuff!

Michael Cera as Scott Pilgrim and Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Ramona Flowers in “Scott Pilgrim Takes Off.” Picture supply: Netflix

Sorry, I bought slightly carried away. Let’s attempt that once more.

The arrival on Netflix of Scott Pilgrim Takes Off, which comes 13 years after director Edgar Wright’s live-action adaptation, matches the graphic novels in the whole lot from its aesthetic — a cartoon that mixes manga-inspired visuals with the appeal of a comic book strip — to its smart-aleck and pun-filled dialogue. Produced by Tokyo anime studio Science Saru and with all the solid from Wright’s movie having returned to offer voice work, the present at first appears to arrange a trustworthy recreation of the story in Episode 1.

That’s, earlier than careening off into all-new territory with the dying or seeming dying of (redacted character) by the episode’s finish.

From there, I’ll attempt to tiptoe across the spoiler prohibitions as finest as I can, so you may cease studying proper now if you wish to method Scott Pilgrim Takes Off fully contemporary. I’ll say, nonetheless, that if you happen to have been/are a fan of this franchise, not solely do I strongly suspect you’ll discover the anime model to be as a lot of a delight as I do. However as a result of this isn’t a simple retread of the graphic novels, I’d hurry up and watch at the least the primary two episodes, if I used to be you, earlier than the secrets and techniques herein are spoiled on social media.

Broadly, I believe I’m secure in saying that O’Malley and author BenDavid Grabinski discovered a inventive option to make Ramona, relatively than our titular hero, function the protagonist who drives the plot alongside. As a substitute of Scott partaking in fight one-by-one with every of Ramona’s former boyfriends within the League of Evil Exes (Scott Pilgrim vs. Matthew Patel. Spherical one. Battle!) it’s Ramona who, as a substitute, will get the chance to reckon together with her previous. Scott continues to be Scott, in fact — as is Knives Chau, Younger Neil, Stephen Stills, Stacey Plaza, Kim Pine, and Envy Adams.

The story has modified, even because the tune stays the identical.

Visually, there are such a lot of impressed touches and Easter Eggs all through that I don’t even know the place to start. Eagle-eyed Netflix viewers will spot the inclusion of fictional film director Edward “Fallacious” at one level within the collection, whereas issues just like the depiction of paparazzi as camera-wielding ninjas who flip by means of the air in pursuit of their quarry in addition to the online game house display that begins every episode are among the many present’s notably impressed touches.

Scott Pilgrim on Netflix
Michael Cera as Scott Pilgrim and Satya Bhabha as Matthew Patel in “Scott Pilgrim Takes Off.” Picture supply: Netflix

I’d think about that tackling an adaptation like Scott Pilgrim Takes Off represents one of the vital nettlesome sorts of challenges for a creator, particularly given this story’s cult following. Nostalgia is a strong drive to reckon with. Luckily, right here, it really works. Beneath the silliness of enemies who explode right into a bathe of cash, boss battle-style, to the subspace freeway that runs straight by means of Scott’s mind, this present similar to the graphic novels has managed to discover a portal that gives a shortcut straight again to my youth — to a time when video video games have been life, your romantic entanglements felt virtually operatic, and all of it one way or the other labored out ultimately.