If you still haven’t seen Spider-Man: No Way Home and have managed to avoid the actual top-tier spoilers… well, I’m sure not ruining that for you. Good for you. Movies shouldn’t live or die by whether you know what happens, but you deserve to have these surprises yourself. Even if you’re largely unspoiled, you know from the trailers that this movie looks back. And it does so in a way that’s pretty meaningful.
While it’s got a lot to say about life and family and responsibility, it’s also a look at how we view entertainment. And the things it has to say apply to everything — anime included. Now more than ever, since we’re getting yet more remakes. The short version: it all matters. The long version? It all matters, but in lots of ways.
Each Version is Someone’s Favorite
It can be tempting to call one version or another of something the “best” one. Or the “most accurate” one. It’s tempting because, often, there is a “most accurate” version. Popular manga get the rush anime treatment, then a second one when it turns out years later a lot of stuff wasn’t accounted for. Spider-Man has gone through a lot of different forms, some closer to the source than others.
Regardless of whether something is objectively better and righter, though, someone out there loves the other versions. Maybe it hit them just right at a certain point in their life. Maybe the manga-accurate version didn’t hit them in the gut the same way. Either way, all versions of a story have an equal chance to be someone’s favorite.
Remakes Are Their Own Evolving Story
One step above the story of Peter Parker is the story of Spider-Man the series. We know his story, but we also know the story of how his depiction on television and in film evolved. Each version re-tells a familiar plot, but together they bounce off each other — telling a new story about the story.
Series like Mazinger Z do the same thing. There are dozens of takes on the series, from isekai reimaginings to Mazinger Edition Z going harder than ever. Each iteration may stand alone, but it’s a new installment in its own running story. We see certain villains float to the surface and get stronger stories, while others get makeovers. We see Koji evolve, not just within series, but across them. And each iteration shows what fans valued in that iteration’s time period — whether it was romance, drama, or flashy action.
We’re All Here for a Good Time
Sailor Moon Crystal wanted to be truer to the manga, especially in terms of art style. It only took a few episodes for viewers to see why mimicking the art in motion was so difficult. But even with that revelation glaringly in our faces for a while, there was new Sailor Moon on. And it was fun. You can always want more, but that was a big deal.
Spider-Man, Batman, Sailor Moon, and every other title we love is here to entertain us. Maybe teach us something once in a while, maybe show us something from a different point of view. If a remake doesn’t resonate with you, you can move on; there’s always the original. Meanwhile, that remake might interest a whole new group that would have missed out otherwise. And that just means more people to enjoy your faves with.