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Scott Pilgrim Takes Off is Pretty Faithful

Every single detail regarding the adaptation Scott Pilgrim Takes Off was a rollercoaster from reveal to release. The idea for a Scott Pilgrim anime series wasn’t bad, if a bit jarring given the graphic novel’s Western origin. However, once the opening credits were revealed by Netflix ahead of the series’ release, everyone seemed to agree that Science Saru Inc. was nailing the style and flair the series is known for.

With the entire cast from the 2010 film adaptation reprising their roles in voice form, Anamanaguchi on the score—who composed the soundtrack for the acclaimed tie-in arcade game, as well as original author Bryan Lee O’Malley co-writing the script, this seemed to be too good to be true. There were a few odd details, however. How would an adaptation presumably sticking to the same plot beats expand this universe as O’Malley claimed it would? Why was the title Scott Pilgrim Takes Off instead of the clear Scott Pilgrim vs. The World route a one-to-one adaptation would’ve typically taken?

Viewers are taken down a vastly different route in the first episode of the series. Most of the episode follows the same general plot beats as the source material, though this facade is broken when Scott actually LOSES the first fight against Matthew Patel. From this point onward, the series becomes a completely original work within the Scott Pilgrim universe, expanding its lore as O’Malley claimed while keeping the core of every character intact.

Long-time fans of the story are understandably split on how they feel about the anime. Some feel betrayed and burned by the series’ deceptive marketing, while others open this expansion of the Scott Pilgrim universe with open arms. Some even enjoy the anime but wish there was indeed a faithful adaptation regardless. The overall reception to the series seems to be largely positive however, with its polished visuals, stunning performances by mainstay and guest cast members and enthralling soundtrack being hard to deny.

The series seems to leave off on a cliffhanger, which—given the anime’s different direction from the start—seems to imply a continuation of sorts is in order. Whether that’s through a second season or a new graphic novel serialization is yet to be confirmed.

Scott Pilgrim Takes Off is now streaming on Netflix.