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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Retelling of ‘Scott Pilgrim’ in new anime

A blond and brunette boy lie next to each other in bed. The eight episode animated series “Scott Pilgrim Takes Off” is now streaming on Netflix. (Courtesy of YouTube)

The wait is finally over for Netflix’s newest anime “Scott Pilgrim Takes Off,” starring Michael Cera and Mary Elizabeth Winstead.

The animated series is based on the graphic novel series “Scott Pilgrim” by Bryan Lee O’Malley. The comics were later adapted into the 2010 feature film “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” directed by Edgar Wright.

“Scott Pilgrim Takes Off” was developed and written by O’Malley and BenDavid Grabinski with Wright serving as an executive producer for the show.

Released on Nov. 17, the show has eight episodes with each episode ranging from 26 minutes to 29 minutes.

The comic book series and movie follows part-time musician Scott Pilgrim from Toronto, Canada, who is a bassist in a band. At a party, he meets Ramona Flowers, a mysterious girl he’s been seeing in his dreams. In order to be in a relationship with her, Scott must battle and defeat Ramona’s seven evil exes, who form the League of Evil Exes. Scott defeats the league and is able to restart his relationship with Ramona.

The original cast from the 2010 film are reprising their roles for the voice cast. Cera is voicing the titular character Scott Pilgrim, while Winstead voices Scott’s girlfriend, Ramona Flowers. Other cast members include Kieran Culkin, Chris Evans, Brie Larson, Jason Schwartzman and Aubrey Plaza.

The first episode of the animated series seems to be following the plot of its predecessors until Scott is defeated in his fight with Ramona’s first ex. Saddened by the death of her potential partner, Ramona hears Scott’s voice in a dream and realizes Scott is alive, so she starts investigating his friends and her exes to find out the truth about his disappearance.

The show serves as a retelling of the graphic novels and deals with time-traveling and alternate timelines. 

While the animation of “Scott Pilgrim Takes Off” reflects the art style of the original comics more than traditional anime styles, it does feel like any other anime. It focuses on the quality of the scenes and art rather than movement of the characters. Like many other animes, the show uses a technique called limited animation, which uses fewer frames per second to create movement for a character; this is why some scenes may look a little choppy and disconnected. If you like art and animation like I do, these moments are easy to pick out, especially during fight scenes. 

The show uses a variety of anime tropes, such as Ramona having extremely stylized eyes when Scott is completely infatuated with her or giving a character an exaggerated sweat drop to represent embarrassment or discomfort.

Animation aside, the series is very fast-paced. There are moments when a bunch of jokes are thrown at the audience in a short amount of time. These moments can sometimes feel a little disorienting, especially when paired with the vibrant color palette which can be stimulating for some viewers.

The series contains a handful of meta moments. For example, when Scott meets Ramona for the first time, he shares a fact about the voice actor for Sonic the Hedgehog, who voiced two different versions of Sonic for separate cartoons that aired at the same time, just like all of the voice actors in the show. In some of the episodes, there is a movie in production about Scott’s death that is directed by a man named Edgar Wrong, poking fun at the director of the 2010 movie.

If you need a fun, new animated show to watch, “Scott Pilgrim Takes Off” might be the option for you.

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