The student news site of Hamline University.

The Oracle

The student news site of Hamline University.

The Oracle

The student news site of Hamline University.

The Oracle

Scott Pilgrim Takes Off: a fresh take on the epic journey

  This article was previously published in print on Dec. 05, 2023.  

“Scott Pilgrim vs. The World,” is a cult classic film that captured the hearts of audiences with its video game style and unique blend of action, romance, and humor. This beloved cinematic gem has now transformed into an anime series: “Scott Pilgrim Takes Off.” It is an animated extravaganza that dives deeper into the characters, expands the storyline, and adds a dash of magical realism. 

The distinctive visual style is one of the best aspects of the anime adaptation. Anime allows for vibrant, dynamic animation that brings the comic book aesthetic of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s original graphic novels to life. In addition to the over-the-top fight scenes and quirky character expressions, the anime version stays faithful to the original material while exaggerating the fantastical elements.

TV series often have the ability to dive deeper into character backgrounds and relationships. The shift from movie to anime format facilitated richer character interactions, offering a deeper understanding of their motivations and relationships through extended dialogue. As a result of this slower pacing, we can experience a more prosperous and nuanced storytelling experience, a luxury that is not always available in the fast-paced world of movies. 

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The anime begins much like the movie, following Scott Pilgrim on his quest to win the heart of the enigmatic Ramona Flowers by defeating her seven evil exes. However, what sets the anime apart is how it strays from the movie’s original progression. 

Unlike the movie, which introduces Ramona’s evil exes toward the end, the animated series reveals her exes’ creation of the “League of Evil Exes” before the main character Scott faces them. This alteration provides a more comprehensive understanding of the characters’ motivations and relationships.

In a surprising turn of events, Scott is defeated by evil ex-Matthew Patel in the first battle. Whereas in the movie, Scott defeats all of the exes. This defeat sends shockwaves through the narrative and sets the stage for a captivating and unpredictable journey.

The show explores the aftermath of this shocking event. This retreat from the movie’s more straightforward narrative adds depth to the story and keeps viewers on the edge.

One of the anime’s major plot twists involves Matthew’s deeper motivations. In this adaptation, Matthew fights not only for Ramona but also to reclaim what he perceives as his rightful place in the League of Evil Exes. This intricate exploration of his character adds a layer of complexity to the storyline, as a mix of personal and strategic motives drives his actions.

The anime plunges into Ramona’s psyche, revealing her dreams of Scott and her unwavering belief in his survival. This subplot mirrors Scott’s determination in the movie, creating a powerful parallel that adds emotional depth to the narrative. The story takes an intriguing twist when she discovers the nature of Scott’s defeat, making viewers question what truly  went down at that first battle. 

Liv Degendorfer
Liv Degendorfer

With its time travel elements, the anime has viewers on the edge of their seats. Introducing different timelines and future versions of characters adds a unique layer to the narrative, exploring the consequences of time travel. 

We also have Young Neil, a friend of Scott’s who is a background character in the movie but takes a more prominent role in the series. In a clever nod to the movie’s meta elements, Young Neil writes a screenplay envisioning a world where Scott defeats all the exes. This clever nod to the original film adds a layer of self-awareness, blurring the lines between fiction and reality. However, as more information is revealed about the screenplay, it highlights the intricacies of time loops within the show’s narrative.

The anime does not shy away from meta-humor, with jokes about Ramona delivering DVDs for Netflix instead of Amazon like in the film, a playful nod to the show’s streaming platform. The fact that the original cast returned to voice their characters adds authenticity to the project, highlighting the camaraderie among the cast.

“Scott Pilgrim Takes Off” is a delightful treat for fans, offering a fresh perspective on the beloved story. With unexpected twists, expanded character arcs, and a healthy dose of meta-humor, the anime promises to be a must-watch for both longtime fans and newcomers to the Scott Pilgrim universe. The decision to adapt the story into an anime format has allowed for a more immersive exploration of the characters and their world, providing a new and exciting dimension to this iconic tale.

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