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access_time February 29, 2020 at 6:00 AM in Features by David Poole

5 Anime Series That Deserve the DBZ: Kakarot Treatment

Bandai Namco and CyberConnect2’s Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot set a new standard for anime games. When we reviewed the game in January, we noted it as the definitive way to play the Dragon Ball Z saga. We also said that we would love to see other anime games in that same style. With that in mind, we decided to make a list of five franchises we would love to see play out as action RPGs. We avoided series that already had games like it, including Black Clover, The Seven Deadly Sins, Fist of the North Star, and One Piece. It’s also worth mentioning that we didn’t want to use franchises that already have a lot of recent games, like Naruto. With that said, go ahead and take a look at our choices. Hope you’re listening Bandai Namco!

Sailor Moon

I’m just going to say it. Sailor Moon, as much as it caters to girls, could easily have a game I would be interested in playing. There is so much potential in this franchise that could easily apply to a video game like Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot. Sure, there have been video games in the past, but nothing that quite matches the scope of modern games. Honestly, with the amount of sailor scouts in this series, it could even do well with a Dynasty Warriors style game. Imagine, “Sailor Warriors,” with all of the Sailor Senshi as playable characters.

The transformations would be a cool visual to display in a 3D action game. It would also be great to see some of the classic moments remade in a game setting. If taking the action RPG route, players could follow the story as normal teenage girls and then transform when a threat appears. In a lot of ways, it could even be like a Persona game. Honestly, a turn-based RPG would even be a good fit for this series, but either way, someone should make a modern Sailor Moon game. It’s in desperate need of one, and in the right hands, it could be amazing. Only question is would it be in the classic anime style, or the Crystal style?

Yu Yu Hakusho

I may be a little biased, but Yu Yu Hakusho has remained my personal number one anime for years. The action is perfectly captivating, the characters are fantastic, and the story gives a real sense of progression. While it’s no stranger to video games, Yu Yu Hakusho’s only real action RPGs were handheld titles. None of them were really good, and the majority of the franchise was utilized for fighting games. Despite this, Yusuke Urameshi, the series protagonist, shows up in several of the Jump series games.

Jump Force is the most recent of these games, with two Yu Yu Hakusho characters on the roster. Yusuke looked pretty good in the game style, but it only made me want a high production value action RPG. If I could get a Yu Yu Hakusho game in the style of Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot, I would be a happy man. Going through the entire series and seeing every element recreated in a 3D action game could be amazing. With the series recently releasing two OVAs and rumors of a remake series, now would be a great time to make a new game.

Rurouni Kenshin

Despite the controversy of its creator, Rurouni Kenshin is still a much beloved series. With that in mind, there haven’t really been many video games for the franchise. There was a handful of Japanese fighting games, and one single RPG. Other than that, Kenshin Himura, or Hitokiri Battōsai, hasn’t really had much exposure in games. Like Yusuke Urameshi, he is still an iconic addition to the Jump series of games like Jump Force. Regardless, he really deserves his own game, and his series could even apply to a very popular style of action RPG.

The rise of popularity in the Soulsborne style of action RPGs is seen across multiple games. Code Vein, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, Remnant: From the Ashes, the list goes on. Being that Kenshin is a swordsman, his fighting could easily apply to that type of gameplay. The twist would simply be that Kenshin doesn’t kill his opponents, using a reverse blade sword. He has no problem fighting, though he simply won’t kill. Surely, a smart developer like FromSoftware could find a way to make that work. It might even be cool to add the nemesis system from Shadow of Mordor, making defeated enemies come back to challenge you.

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba

It’s no secret that Demon Slayer has been a popular recent anime. Fans have admired the beautiful animation and have grown to enjoy the characters. Tanjiro makes for a great protagonist, and the skills he acquires along the way of the story cater perfectly to a video game. There could even be multiple playable characters like Nezuko, Zenitsu, Inosuke, and more. These characters can even form a party in an action RPG style, much like Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot.

The fact that the series is so new also makes it full of untapped potential. Other anime series get video games pretty often, even if they’re arena fighters or mobile gacha games. Demon Slayer could start out strong by releasing a game that chronicles the story, at least as far as the anime goes. Given that the manga is still ongoing, this is the only series on this list that isn’t complete.


Trigun actually was going to get a video game, titled Trigun: The Planet Gunsmoke for the PlayStation 2. Unfortunately, not much about the game is known, and it ended up being cancelled. It’s likely this is due to the low popularity in Japan, though the series was very popular in Western regions. Trigun is a solid action anime that mixes the wild west with space-western themes. It follows Vash the Stampede, a man with a large bounty on his head where destruction follows in his wake. He’s a very talented gunslinger and this could easily apply to a third person shooting action game.

Like Kenshin Himura, Vash is more of a pacifist, and prefers non-lethal methods to solve his problems. This may create some challenges for an action game, but it could open up room for creativity. Unlike Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot, a Trigun game may work best as a linear experience, but they could find a way to open up the world a bit. Honestly, with the series being popular in the Western regions, it might be best to take inspiration from those games. Perhaps it could be successful as an “anime Red Dead Redemption.”

Of course, there are plenty of other franchises that could be suited to an action RPG game. Some series’ could even use an updated game, like Bleach or Samurai Champloo. Either way, this list represents the games we felt deserved it most. What do you think? Are there games you would love to see with the Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot treatment? Let us know in the comments below!


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