Editorial: Telltale Games Should Adopt Material from Anime and Manga

Telltale Games has a long history of using established source material to create new stories set in universes that we have come to love. I have been enthusiastically following Telltale's newest season of The Walking Dead, A New Frontier, and love what they have been doing to add depth to a series known to people all over the world. The Walking Dead game, which started back in 2012, has taken the styling and drama of the comic books (which it's more based on than the TV series) and run with it. In the case of their other games series, they have always done a great job of being loyal to the values of the source material. In the case of Batman: The Telltale Series, they included details that deviated away from the original storyline so as to not tell the same tale we've heard over and over. They did this however, without sacrificing the integrity of the characters and world that it's set in. All of this is to say that Telltale has my utmost faith that they can accurately and respectfully recreate stories from nearly any medium.

With the finale of A New Frontier on its way, and my thoughts of what might come from Telltale next, I started to think about what I want to be next. We've seen adaptations of previous game series (Minecraft: Story Mode, Tales from the Borderlands), games inspired by comics (Batman, Walking Dead), and even series based on TV shows and movies (Game of Thrones, Guardians of the Galaxy). What I want to see is Telltale taking a step into yet another medium to pair the stories from that medium with Telltale's pre-established style of gameplay, decision based narrative, and episodic release format. So I would like to make this suggestion to Telltale: pull from the rich and interesting worlds that are seen in anime and manga.

Telltale Games

Anime and manga is great for many reasons. One of the biggest reasons would be the action. While more gamers than not don't seem as drawn to Telltale's quick time event (QTE) sequences, having them paired with a fight between Goku and Frieza would be a great match for the action in Dragonball Z. Players could mass buttons to simulate throwing the light speed punches, or combine a series of held buttons to charge a Kamehameha blast. Think about the ways they could they represent the transformation into a Super Sayan. Perhaps we could play as a young Scout zipping through titans using the omni-directional gear while utilizing the joystick movements to dodge obstacles and titans. When you finally have a clear shot at the nape of the beast, you can move your indicator into place and press the designated button to deliver the satisfying final blow. For many reasons, Attack on Titan would be a great series to receive the Telltale treatment. There is a good chance that Telltale would reach an audience that they have not tapped into yet by exploring the anime and manga mediums. I would personally love to see One Punch Man, Cowboy Bebop, or Inuyaha picked up by Telltale because of what they could do with the series' action sequences.

The other powerful thing about anime and manga, which is perhaps the reason they have become as prominent as they are, is their ability to tell a memorable story. They can tell a cheerful story just as easily as they can tell a dark one. Anyone who is up to speed on the Attack on Titan manga can vouch for that. Take a series such as The Future Diary (which I totally love and am only a little ashamed to admit it) that starts out a little creepy and ominous then turns completely dark. I would love to be responsible for making the choices that caused the story to become as twisted as it did! The emotional highs and lows that are present in a lot of anime and mange stories would translate perfectly into the choice and consequence storytelling that Telltale provides. Does the name 'Shou Tucker' ring a bell? If so, imagine the possibilities for interaction and choices that could take place during that interaction! If you've never heard of Shou Tucker, you should spend some time with Full Metal Alchemist. Even if we never followed the main characters of the anime/manga in the game, most of the universes are so rich that interesting and impactful stories could easily be brought to the surface by Telltale Games.

Shou Tucker

I understand that the gameplay in Telltale games is stale (perhaps even boring) by many gamers standards. What makes these games as important as they are is the story. If Telltale keeps delivering unique stories while improving and adding on their gameplay, we could see them going strong for a number of years to come. I think pulling inspiration from anime and manga would help bring a great story, and also encourage them to find ways to update and enhance their gameplay. Whatever their next step is, I'm excited to find out more.

What do you think? Are there anime/manga series that you would like to see picked up by Telltale? Or is their style of gameplay keeping you from jumping into their games? Let me know in the comments!

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