Scott Pilgrim Takes Off is the best kind of franchise sequel

Scott Pilgrim Takes Off, the new anime series on Netflix, arrives at an interesting time, coinciding with the buzz around the new Madame Web trailer and Sony’s unique approach to building a Spider-Man cinematic universe without Spider-Man. While other franchises have attempted similar strategies with varying success, Scott Pilgrim Takes Off stands out for its fresh take on the original story.

Based on Bryan Lee O’Malley’s comics and the 2010 film, the series explores the lives of Scott’s friends, enemies, and lovers, offering a more nuanced look at their characters beyond their relationships with Scott. This approach adds depth and maturity to the narrative, highlighting that everyone has their own story to tell, beyond being someone else’s partner or adversary.

The series retains the original cast in voiceover roles, providing a sense of continuity while the animation style, overseen by Japanese studio Science Saru, gives it a unique visual appeal. While the first episode initially follows the familiar events of the film, it quickly takes a new direction, keeping viewers engaged and surprised.

Co-written by O’Malley himself, the series feels like a nostalgic reflection on youth, with a blend of insightful reflections and entertaining storytelling. Each episode has its own energy, and the theme song sequence is particularly memorable.

In a time when franchises often struggle to expand without their central characters, Scott Pilgrim Takes Off proves to be a successful and enjoyable continuation. It offers fans a chance to spend more time with beloved characters and explore new aspects of their lives, making it a delightful addition to the Scott Pilgrim universe.

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