The Scott Pilgrim anime, an adaptation of Bryan Lee O'Malley's comic of the same name, sparked various reactions from viewers. Opinions on the adaptation were divided, with some appreciating the changes made while others expressing strong dislike. Nevertheless, the anime managed to generate considerable buzz online. As such, it found itself in competition with the highly acclaimed 2010 film, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, featuring Michael Cera as Scott Pilgrim and Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Ramona Flowers. While the original comic and the movie presented a superhero narrative gone awry for Scott, the anime took certain creative liberties. This makes it intriguing to compare it with the now-iconic film.
Disclaimer: This article contains spoilers for the Scott Pilgrim anime.
The Scott Pilgrim anime and the differences with the 2010 movie
The Scott Pilgrim anime (Image via Marc Platt Productions) features a notable departure from the movie when Scott enters his first battle. Initially, the scenes closely resemble those in the film, but a significant deviation occurs when Scott confronts Ramona's first evil ex-boyfriend, Patel. Unlike the movie, where Scott triumphs by tapping into a hidden power, things take a different turn here as Patel transforms Scott into coins.
This change significantly impacts the season as the main character is absent for most of it, with Ramona taking over the story. It is during Scott's funeral that Ramona discovers he is alive, and this is also when Envy Addams enters the scene. This divergence from the movie adds to the storyline.
Additionally, the relationship between Knives Chau and Scott is not given much emphasis, despite being prominent in the comics. Both the film and the Scott Pilgrim anime seem to overlook or minimize this subplot. Scott's death also has a profound effect on Young Neil, who writes a screenplay that mirrors the entire plot of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, serving as a clear reference to the film.
More differences between the movie and the anime
Scott in the anime (Image via Marc Platt Productions).
In the Young Neil movie, Knives portrays herself and develops a romantic relationship with Lucas Lee, one of Ramona's previous partners. Another notable difference is Todd Ingram's unexpected affection towards Wallace during the production of the film. Ramona suspects that either Envy or Todd had a hand in Scott's disappearance, adding another contrast between the movie and reality, where Scott clearly did not meet his demise.
The League of Evil Exes receives greater attention to their personalities and motivations in the absence of Scott's involvement. As the focus of the Scott Pilgrim anime shifts away from his efforts to defeat Ramona's exes, her interactions with her former boyfriends become more prominent within the series. This divergence from the movie is yet another distinctive aspect.
The Scott Pilgrim anime is certainly distinctive from both the movie and the comics, with a significant emphasis on time travel. Consequently, Scott's disappearance from the storyline in numerous episodes is explained by a future version of himself traveling back in time to prevent his marriage to Ramona. This narrative development serves as the primary focal point in the anime, setting it apart drastically from the source material.
However, opinions on the Scott Pilgrim anime have been divided since its release, attributed to not only its deviation from the original plot but also the distinct character portrayals. Ultimately, as the saying goes, perception of the series rests with the viewer.
As an enthusiastic fan of the Scott Pilgrim series, I found the anime adaptation to be a fascinating and unique take on the story. While it certainly deviated from the source material in significant ways, I appreciate the creative liberties that were taken. The anime's focus on time travel and the exploration of Ramona's relationships with her evil exes were particularly intriguing to me.
Overall, I believe that the Scott Pilgrim anime is a worthy addition to the franchise and offers a fresh and exciting perspective on the characters and story. While it may not be to everyone's taste, I encourage fans of the series to give it a chance and see for themselves what it has to offer.