It’s been 13 long years since we were treated to a love story that packed quite a punch – Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Although it was a box office disappointment, thankfully, it didn’t take long for Edgar Wright’s misunderstood and under-appreciated film to receive the cult following it deserved.
Now all these years later a new show is here led by director Abel Góngora (Star Wars: Visions) and the beloved film cast is back together and along for the ride for new anime Scott Pilgrim Takes Off. The film’s director Edgar Wright also makes a return, taking on an executive producer role, and Scott Pilgrim creator Bryan Lee O'Malley is in the writer’s chair for Netflix’s eight-episode anime, which brings us back to his unforgettable world.
Scott Pilgrim’s life is a bit of a mess, to put it kindly. He plays bass in a band that nobody knows, lives with his friend Wallace – rent free, of course and is dating a 17-year-old high schooler. However, when his Subspace Highway (I know, it sounds odd, but just roll with it) is used by the enigmatic Ramona Flowers, Scott’s life changes in ways unimaginable.
From the moment you start the first episode and experience the stunning opening video alongside its extremely catchy song Bloom by the Japanese band Necry Talkie, you know you are about to experience something pretty special.
We won’t be spoiling the series in this review, but it takes Scott Pilgrim in new and fascinating directions, making every episode exciting even for those die-hard fans who have consumed every piece of Pilgrim media time and time again. Because of this new path the anime takes, we get to see characters portrayed in ways we could never imagine, resulting in unexpected interactions and outcomes throughout the show’s eight episodes.
The graphic novel’s magic is captured flawlessly thanks to the effort of the Japanese studio, Science SARU, from everything big and small, to the locations to the no-holds-barred action sequences that are featured in almost every episode – they have knocked this out of the park.
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They really have achieved something very special, which shouldn’t be a surprise considering this is the studio founded by the award-winning and legendary Masaaki Yuasa (Inu-Oh and Ping Pong the Animation).
The animation truly makes every episode shine and pulls off bringing these beloved characters to life. If that wasn’t enough, the returning cast elevates this even further, each sounding like they have slipped flawlessly back into their roles from 13 years ago and are having a blast being back.
The delightful visuals are matched with an equally impressive soundtrack which is co-composed by Joseph Trapanese and a band that fans of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game will know well, Anamanaguchi, who have also written some original songs for the anime too – which do not disappoint.
If you’ve never consumed a piece of Scott Pilgrim media before, whether that’s the game, graphic novel or film, then this may not be the best place to start. That doesn’t mean you can’t start here, because of course you will find plenty to enjoy – but people who have read the graphic novels or watched the movie will definitely get more out of this particular show.
Each episode highlights just how great Bryan Lee O'Malley and BenDavid Grabinski are. This writing duo have packed this tale with an intriguing story, fantastic dialogue and a new way to look at each and every character. It’s no small feat what they have managed to do in just eight episodes. Has it left us wanting more? Absolutely! We’re not sure whether the show was ever intended to receive a sequel, but with everything they have achieved during this run, we’d be more than happy to spend more time with these characters.
This is an adaptation that will stay with us for a while to come and, much like the film, it will definitely be one we rewatch time and time again.
Scott Pilgrim Takes Off is streaming now on Netflix. Sign up for Netflix from £4.99 a month. Netflix is also available on Sky Glass and Virgin Media Stream. The 2010 Scott Pilgrim vs the World film is available to stream on ITVX.
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