The easiest answer to the title’s question is that they don’t have to be. Like all things, anime is something that exists because people have the passion to make them, right? Or, the people who have the passion are exploited by a production company that wants more money. Regardless, one of the key things in animation production passion. An animation production from the limited standards at that time can be so much more charming than something created today with modern anime techniques. Especially since people can create an anime at any time period for a reason with the largest sense of passion to it. In most cases, its so hard to replicate that passion unless its pushed in a completely different direction for or different reasons. At least, that is how I feel about Diebuster which follows Gunbuster. That’s not a reboot, but the tension feels the same.
I can see why people would want a reboot for an anime series that is based around some kind of manga source material. Especially since accuracy is something that a lot of people care about. So thus, we have the brotherhood equation where years after the original show came out and was incomplete or had a different ending, the show is redone to much more accurate to the source material and generally looks better. That accuracy is something that a lot of people want to have. Generally, it’s felt like it has some success with Brotherhood, Hunter x Hunter 2011, and Fruits Basket that just ended recently into some great success. Though, not everyone is going to be happy. I’ve seen some calls for Soul Eater and Yu Yu Hakusho to get a reboot in the same way and I really don’t want these things for either of them. They look great already, leave them alone. Just get people to enjoy them the way they are.
Repeating an original story feels so strange to me. Yet, that has been a thing that has been done somewhat often too. Is it weird to see a creator’s vision at that time or the work of so many people repeat a show and its plot elements for yet another time? Especially when its someone else doing it. Like, I can get why a reboot like Space Battleship Yamato 2199 was made because it’s been literally decades since the original series came out and it comes with a new point of view. I also know that Macross: Do You Remember Love exists, repeats a lot of the plot elements in SDF Macross a short time after SDF came out, and yet its an animation classic. A reinterpretation of the story could be interesting. It’s fascinating to see something be done again and again in different ways. You see that with the Code Geass Trilogy, Eureka 7’s Hi-Evolutions films, or, what we are covering in these two weeks, the Rebuild of Evangelion films.
Oh man, these Evangelion films are something special. Not only because it’s literally a slight changing of themes, but it’s the most documented on why these films were created in the first place. Not to mention, that all of the rebuild films definitely come from Hideaki Anno’s vision so this is a creator going over something they did before in a different way. Especially since Anno’s reasons change over the course of working on them. At least, that is what I get from see from every piece of media I saw from them. The booklet for 1.0 mentions Khara having more freedom to create Evangelion the way he wanted with more advance visual techniques. Then there is the jump to the NHK special where Anno mentions all his ideas turn into some form of Eva, which is why he worked on another edition of it. Which is true? Probably all of it. This is just a case that reading more gets you to understand it more.
Continuing with the rebuilds, its so interesting to see how his life has changed from the tv series to the movies themselves. Why? Well, the conclusions of each of them are different thematically. Neon Genesis Evangelion itself was about finding your own place and life and being happy with who you are. The Rebuilds go a little further and actively challenges the abuser. I like saying that 3.0+1.0 is like that scene in Fruits Basket where Kyo meets his father again in Fruits Basket. If you don’t know what that is like, it will be covered in the future very soon here. So yes, sometimes a reinterpretation from the creator can do so much and show how a person has changed. Other times, it’s about accuracy or money or just passion. Some reasons are better then others just like everything else. It’s often that money and passion can meet together for the same purposes when it’s a well known franchise that people love. The world is just complicated like that. As long as ideas meet together, then they can happen.