Otaku USA Magazine
These English-Language Books Totally Deserve an Anime Adaptation

Plenty of manga and light novels get anime, but we think these Western books deserve anime adaptations

If there’s a manga or light novel running in Japan, it’s very likely to get an anime adaptation. Light novels corner the market lately, with some anime studios even having their own publishing house so they can find hot stories. But — as unlikely as it is to happen — there are some English-language books that we think deserve the treatment, too.

Take these titles, for instance. We think they’d be fantastic given the anime treatment. And in at least one case, we’re not alone!


Monk & Robot would make a great iyashikei series.

From Kino's Journey -The Beautiful World-

Earlier this year, Wayfarers author Becky Chambers put out the first book in her new series, Monk & Robot. The book, A Psalm for the Wild-Built, tells of the new friendship between… well, a monk and a robot. Traveling “tea monk” Dex is the first human to meet a robot in the centuries since robots became sentient. In particular they meet Mosscap, a talkative robot who wants to learn about humanity before reopening communication with our species.

The book feels just like an iyashikei anime, with the philosophical focus and gentle pacing of shows like Kino’s Journey. The pair are on a long-term road trip, discovering the remnants of a bygone time and learning what it means to be alive. We can absolutely see it getting an anime treatment and feeling just right.


The author of A Peculiar Peril wants an anime adaptation.

From Dorohedoro

Author Jeff VanderMeer does a lot of things on his Twitter. He posts bird photos. He talks about his new books. And he’s not shy about liking Dorohedoro… and wanting one of his own books to get a similarly-vibed anime adaptation.

His book A Peculiar Peril sends Jonathan Lambshead and friends through an alternate Earth where Franz Kafka is an amphibian, bear guns actually shoot bears out of them, and Aleister Crowley is doing the sorts of things Aleister Crowley tends to do. VanderMeer believes (and we agree) that his story would benefit from a Dorohedoro-esque adaptation: equal parts funny, action-packed, and horrific. Plus, it would mean getting to see Mothman Charlemagne onscreen, and that’s always a plus.


Discworld could be just about anything.

From Slayers

The late Terry Pratchett’s Discworld has been through several adaptations… some good, some less so. His stories covered a wide variety of genres, using the flat planet as a sandbox for everything from fantasies to children’s stories to police procedurals. Frankly, what in there wouldn’t make a good anime?

Pratchett’s humor and surprisingly powerful characters lend themselves to something a bit like Slayers tonally (maybe slightly less slapstick… or slightly more, depending on the story). Tiffany Aching’s adventures might make for another lovely iyashikei series. And Vimes and the City Watch might have a Patlabor twist to them. It’s unlikely we’ll ever see any Discworld anime at all, but the sheer scope of the stories means they’d be at home in nearly any genre.

What other Western books do you think would make good anime?

Kara Dennison

Kara Dennison is a writer, editor, and presenter with bylines at Crunchyroll, Sci-Fi Magazine, Sartorial Geek, and many others. She is a contributor to the celebrated Black Archive line, with many other books, short stories, and critical works to her name.