Retro anime often have a way of proving their relevance long past their initial era or premiere. Whether it’s set in the past or the future, it’s always a surprise looking back at these shows and finding them just as impactful now as they were then, if not more. And usually, it’s because, as humans, we often make the same mistakes over and over.
It could be anything, from social issues to environmental issues. While the plot and the storylines may change, the themes often do not. One such series that ticked off all the boxes for a stellar story was Spriggan.
Spriggan had it all, secret societies that sprawled all over the world, ancient civilizations, and secret messages for the future to hold. If the name doesn’t sound familiar, that’s okay. While the series was popular upon release as a manga, it feels as if it slipped into the shadows in recent years.
But the series isn’t all that old. The manga was released in 1989 with numerous reprints and even international sales. It was popular enough to inspire a video game in 1999 from studio FromSoftware.
The game featured a curated soundtrack with 27 tracks. It was released in Europe under the name Striker. Soon a film adaptation was released through Japan by Toho. In 1999 Bandai Visual released the film on DVD, with ADV releasing the film to English-speaking countries in 2002.
But that’s not all. The past few years have proved powerful for fans of even the most obscure series, with reboots and remakes coming in fast. It was announced in March 2019 that Spriggan was getting the Netflix treatment, with a new anime adaptation. The series will be produced by David Productions, the studio behind Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure and Cells at Work!
So far, we don’t know much else about the anime, especially when to expect it. But with Netflix and David Productions at the helm, it’ll be sure to please.
The anime will most likely follow the original story. Yū Ominae is a high school student with a hefty job: working for an organization known as ARCAM to keep artifacts from ancient civilizations safe. The agents of the companies are known as ‘spriggans,’ tasked with not only protecting these artifacts but finding them as well.
It is a storyline quite a few are familiar with: secrets kept by the government and only a young, spry teenage boy can save humanity.
The original film feels over the top, with action that can easily veer off into the realm of camp. The plot is driven more by characters that would be right at home in any cheesy 80s flick with weapons that are almost as big as they are. Rather than the plot driving the story, it is the people within it.
But the movie bounces along with no problem, with explosions at every turn, cyborgs, and catastrophes of apocalyptic proportions. It’s a wild ride and a very self-aware one at that. Spriggan knows it’s not the movie you’re going to turn on for a thought-provoking night.
Instead, it revels in its borderline cheesy drama, pushing forward every moment of action it possibly can. It aims to please with fire and guns, not compelling plot points. The show is a wild ride, with animation that would please almost anybody.
While it still has cringe-worthy moments of animation that are at best, a bit wobbly, overall the movie is solid in its form. The explosions are relatively smooth, the fights are interesting to watch, and even more, dull moments can be pleasing to the eye.
With any luck, Netflix and David Productions will help elevate Spriggan to the sci-fi epic it has the ability to be. Gorgeous graphics are a given with who is at the wheel of the reboot, but there’s also the possibility that the story itself will be tightened up to something a bit more cohesive.
So far we have heard little in the way of when the adaptation will be released. All we really know about the series is that its part of Netflix’s grand plan of airing more anime around the world, which we all love. The series will presumably be available through numerous international Netflix catalogs but it is still too early to tell.
What we can hope for besides a new and improved Spriggan would be any sort of news for it soon, whether it be details about the story or even some stills from the show. However, until that happens, we can always revisit the original to tide us over