These Franchises Are Perfect For the Star Wars Visions Anthology Treatment

Star Wars: Visions blew away fans of sci-fi and anime alike by putting one of the biggest fictional franchises in the world into the hands of animation studios across Japan. This idea gave creators the liberty to tell new and exciting stories from the Star Wars universe and allowed them to do it in perhaps the most versatile visual storytelling medium ever.

Many viewers may be crossing their fingers for further seasons of Visions, but Star Wars is far from the only series that could both benefit from this anthological approach and look great as an anime. Here are just a handful of examples that would fit such a project beautifully.

Discworld: An Absurdist Fantasy

Death watches over the Discworld

Terry Pratchett's masterpiece, the Discworld series, boasts a unique sense of humor that borders on satire. Though it may poke fun at the fantasy genre, it treats its world and characters with the utmost respect. Through over 40 novels, each telling a complete standalone story, readers are shown the many walks of life across this flat plane, including humble city guards, elite wizards and witches and even Death incarnate.

Since Discworld is essentially a collection of individual stories already, an animated anthology would fit right in with its vignette narrative style. Because the source material often parodies itself and its genre, this would give anime producers a chance to bring some self-aware jokes to life and laugh at the medium's tropes and clichés. Pratchett himself released several books detailing the geography, science and sociology of his signature setting, leaving visionaries plenty to pull from when coming up with their own rip-roarious fables.

Harry Potter: The Magic of the Wizarding World

Harry Potter learns magic at Hogwarts

Regardless of the polarizing views around the expanded lore of Harry Potter that J.K. Rowling added after the main series' conclusions, there are many untapped pockets of the Wizarding World. In particular, very little light has been shone on the non-English speaking regions. While the Fantastic Beasts film series and games like Hogwarts Legacy have unpacked things a bit, most supplementary materials have centered on offshoots of Hogwarts' history.

If anime creatives were given the freedom to conjure up their own magic, they would likely move away from this Anglo-centric narrative. Star Wars: Visions contained many stories that thrived by integrating aspects of Japanese culture into their settings. It would be just as refreshing to get to see a similar take on the secret world of wizards and witches living in Japan, whether it takes place in the modern day or a bygone era.

League of Legends: A Battle Royale Filled With Stories

Heroes clash in League of Legends

League of Legends is already a game that delivers most of its lore in a sort of piecemeal collection. Since its immense roster of characters hails from all over the world of Runeterra, it is a proverbial motherlode of story possibilities. This can be seen in the many short stories that Riot Games puts out for its champions, as well as its many multimedia entries such as the hit series Arcane, which itself integrated a considerable amount of innovative animation.

Although the MOBA might not enjoy the same popularity in Japan, an anime anthology could get viewers invested in its characters and build interest in it. Because of the deep variations in character design and locales, entries might range from heart-pounding action to lighthearted adventure and blood-curdling horror. Both in terms of character interactions and plotlines, the possibilities are endless.

Lord of the Rings: The One to Rule Them All

The Fellowship of the Ring head towards Mordor

As the birthplace of all modern fantasy, Lord of the Rings has a hand in inspiring every corner of the genre. With the upcoming film War of the Rohirrim in the works, it's clear that there are creators in the anime industry with an interest in exploring the world of Middle Earth. Rather than focus on a single epic or event based on Tolkein's masterpiece, future projects could tell tales from across its history and geography.

Thanks to the nuanced and developed civilizations throughout, anime studios would have plenty of settings to choose from to inspire their characters. While some might opt for the first chapter in an epic quest, others might enjoy making a slice-of-life hobbit jamboree or an elven love story. They could even use backdrops like Mordor for a Fantasia-esque art piece, featuring a nightmare parade set to an orchestral accompaniment.

Doctor Who: A Sci-fi That's Bigger On the Inside

The Doctor fights off Daleks and Weeping Angels

Star Wars: Visions may have offered writers and animators a whole galaxy to play with in crafting their original segments, but Doctor Who provides the entirety of time and space -- and then some. As one of the longest-lasting sci-fi franchises of all time, Doctor Who has built a mythos of its own that gets reinvented with each era. Having expanded into novels and audio dramas, it's no stranger to opening the canon to collaborators. But while there have been animated entries in the past, most of these have felt half-hearted in animation and production.

However, an anime project spearheaded by multiple studios with unique takes on the Whoniverse would be treated with respect and quality. Thanks to the massive monster catalog the show has, subgroups like Torchwood and U.N.I.T. and of course, the many iterations of its protagonist, creators would be free to tell any kind of story they like, with or without the Doctor. Not only could they invent new worlds and adversaries for the Doctor to explore, but they could also experiment by zeroing in on some of his/her most iconic adversaries or allies in unfamiliar settings, whether that be a unique place or far-thrown time.

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