Wizard of Oz Would Make a Great Isekai Action Anime

Just about everyone has seen The Wizard of Oz, it is a beloved classic film that has shaped western culture, and its mark on film history is indelible. For the most part, anime has neglected such a classic, and although there was a 52 episode series based on four of the Oz novels released in 1986, the anime industry rarely visits Oz. This is a shame because there is so much storytelling potential and world-building opportunity with L. Frank Baum's world of Oz that The Wizard of Oz would make a great Isekai action anime. What would such a series look like? How could the story be changed to make it more like an action-packed anime?

The story of Dorothy getting whisked away to Oz with her dog, Toto, is as iconic and Isekai as it gets--so no explanation is required. And no simple retelling of the original Oz stories will do, so Dorothy is a magical girl in this anime, and Toto is the cute and zany animal mascot character. Most of the beginning plot remains the same, with Dorothy wanting to leave her dull life in Kansas and discovering that she has the power to travel to a magical land called Oz.

At first, Oz seems like a dream, but then as she travels more to Oz, she finds that Oz and Earth are symbiotic, and as problems in Oz occur, the consequences for Earth are dire. To save Earth, Dorothy must use her newfound magical girl powers to save Oz. Unlike its 1939 film counterpart, the stakes in this anime will be even higher.

But what is the main lead without some strong supporting characters to see them through? The famous ally characters of The Wizard of Oz are all here but with some revamps, much like Dorothy. The Scarecrow is still looking for a brain and is as cheerful as ever. However, The Scarecrow's perceived lack of intellect is amnesia, and his tragic backstory is revealed through vague flashbacks and build-up. As for the Tin Man, in this version, he is a steampunk-styled robot who could be a cold tsundere type who wishes for a heart so he can learn to be more warm-hearted. He is equipped with weapons he doesn't know how to use unless he can tap into his emotions.

The Cowardly Lion, in this anime, he is a cat boy who has a dandere personality and, much like his live-action counterpart, wishes he had courage. Unlike his counterpart, however, the more scared he gets, the more his unintentional power of turning into a giant lion-like kaiju is triggered. Thus learning courage would help him control such destructive power.

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Having an entire anime series would also allow for the other stories of L. Frank Baum to be explored in greater detail. Most viewers only know of the 1939 film, but entire sequels made the world of Oz even more rich and ripe for long-running anime series. For purist fans of the original work who take umbrage with such a retelling, taking old properties and revamping them is nothing new. Oz's other classic story elements are present, but Wizard of Oz would make a great action Isekai anime series with a few tweaks and the tropes mentioned earlier.

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