I don’t know when it began, but whenever me and my friends talk about /x/ show that needed a remake (because of a lacking experience, bad animation, unjust adaptation, etc.), we’d say “Kailangan i-Brotherhood ‘yan. (That needs to be Brotherhood-ed)” – in reference of course to Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. Early anime fans would find no problem remembering the “first” Fullmetal Alchemist and, although it wasn’t necessarily bad, it was made apparent after the fact that it went a different route no further than a good fourth or so of the now-complete source material.
Liberties like that were made at the behest of author Hiromu Arakawa (who wanted a different ending from the one she planned to write in the future), as well as a means to compensate for the show catching up to the manga. The latter generally happens quite often (it even warrants the question, ‘why try to adapt an incomplete story’, but that’s a bit of a bigger discussion). Unfinished stuff get picked up early on, like manga and light novels, mostly because of how popular they are, and studios just can’t help but capitalize on that market. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. Usually that was the end of that. The decision to make, what is essentially a complete reboot of the series however, was nothing short of brilliant.
Don’t get me wrong. The first FMA was good, I want to make that clear. The narrative didn’t fall apart, and the original take on some of the in-universe stuff (like homunculi, philosopher’s stones, and the mechanics of alchemy) were all well expounded. Even the follow-up movie, Conqueror of Shamballa, is still to this day, one of my favorite anime movies.
Brotherhood was simply better all around (for me at least).
Which gave birth to the idea; all reboots/remakes can only be better. I mean, right? I suppose you can throw in the argument that “It depends on the intention.”, but any show that would undergo a remake surely had reasons to do so (that, or the show may be a complete cash cow). Going back to Brotherhood – FMA didn’t really need a brotherhood-ing, but I’d go so far to say that it deserved one out of respect to the source material; and by extension, the audience who followed the source material prior to the adaptation.
There’s also the added factor of dated-ness. Fan-favorite shounen classic Hunter X Hunter got brotherhood-ed nearly ten years after it originally aired. It now has not only the benefit of cleaner animation, but also an adaptation of arcs not previously animated. In a way it can be said that it breathed new life into what I’d consider as one of the pioneer shounens pre-Naruto era. At the very least I’m sure it managed to nab a couple more fans. Does it mean the adaptation is better than the original? In relation to current viewing standards, I’d say yes.
Speaking of viewing standards, how about the Rebuild series of Evangelion? Now this one I can’t be too adamant on because the Rebuild series isn’t even over yet (and I happen to like the 1995 Eva quite a lot), but mecha has always been one of those features that needed more visual appreciation than most genres, and the updated Eva battles have been nothing short of epic. Yes, I know, Evangelion is way way more than mind-numbing fights between mechs and aliens, but I don’t think the movies lacked in the mind-f***ery either.
I would’ve loved to toss out more examples, but my anime reservoir can only be so deep. I do think that I got my point across well enough. Really, all this was spurred by the fact that Fate/Stay Night is getting brotherhood-ed this Fall (fanboy squeal). Now that F/SN’s off the list, a couple of shows that I’d love to get a brotherhood-ing would be Soul Eater, Tsukihime, and D.Gray-Man.
What do you guys think about brotherhood-ing?
Any shows you have in mind that you’d want to be remade?