You may not have liked the Scott Pilgrim anime, but you needed it

Scott Pilgrim Takes Off (L to R) Michael Cera as Scott Pilgrim and Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Ramona Flowers in Scott Pilgrim Takes Off. Cr. COURTESY OF NETFLIX © 2023
Scott Pilgrim Takes Off (L to R) Michael Cera as Scott Pilgrim and Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Ramona Flowers in Scott Pilgrim Takes Off. Cr. COURTESY OF NETFLIX © 2023 /

The Scott Pilgrim anime wasn’t exactly what we were expecting but it was a necessary addition to the tale.

I’m a long time Scott Pilgrim fan. I have all the books (yes, that one too), I have watched the movie multiple times with and without director commentary (because I think Edgar Wright is brilliant at hiding little things in his films) and I had a PS3 hooked up for years because it had the Scott Pilgrim video game on it and I genuinely thought it would never get rereleased. I’m a fan boy. Heck, Scott Pilgrim panels were what I used to practice woodburning when I first started out.

I honestly thought all Scott Pilgrim stuff had hit it’s end a while ago and, while I still enjoy it, I never expected anything new. Even when they announced the Scott Pilgrim Takes Off anime I thought it would be cool to see the book animated in the style of the actual book, my biggest hope was that they kept certain parts of the book that were different in the movie. When I heard they changed Ramona’s job from an Amazon delivery person to a Netflix DVD delivery person that was the biggest change I thought I was in for.


It wasn’t.

The first episode felt a lot like everything I remembered (though I was sad to not see that one group. You know, that one with Crash… and those Boys) all the way up until the ending. That’s when I realized… the show had gone full Final Fantasy 7 Remake on me.

Honestly, they did foreshadow it with Scott having a cute little chit chat about that one time there were two Sonic cartoons happening at the same time with completely different stories with Sonic voiced by the same guy. That’s the fun part with Scott Pilgrim’s video game references though, they happen all the time and most of the time they end up not meaning anything other than showing the character knows about video games.

So instead of the familiar Scott Pilgrim story we end up with something where at the end of the first episode, Scott dies (told you there were spoilers) and from there on in everyone goes about their lives Scott-free (oh I didn’t even mean that pun).

Many of them, without worrying about Scott, go on to do things like making better music, finding success in various careers, and just living really awesome lives. The exes, for example, don’t get defeated by Scott and therefore go about their lives. Many of them undergo massive career changes and find love and happiness in unlikely places.

Scott Pilgrim Takes Off
Scott Pilgrim Takes Off (L to R) Jason Schwartzman as Gordon Graves and Aubrey Plaza as Julie Powers in Scott Pilgrim Takes Off . Cr. COURTESY OF NETFLIX © 2023 /

But the biggest thing that we get to see is that, honestly, with the exception of maybe Ramona, everyone’s lives improve. And in the long run, Ramona also goes on a journey that ends up with her literally becoming her best self.

What we end up with is a show with two very big important messages that cover two things that, honestly, didn’t age well.

Firstly, we see that Ramona’s past shouldn’t define her. In a world where everyone dated each other, for some odd reason Ramona’s is the only one who’s main story element is the fact that she’s dated other people in the past. You know, despite the fact that Scott has multiple exes and is literally dating a minor when he meets Ramona.

Ramona gets to find herself and realize that she is her own person who gets to define herself as opposed to getting thrown into turmoil while everyone in town gets caught up in her past mistakes and choices.

And the bigger, more important thing, is it shows that, put simply, that Scott is kind of trash. It became really easy for people to relate to Scott because he is a flawed character but as time went on, it became more and more problematic. Especially when more people started seeing the movie than reading the book meaning they missed that bit where Scott visits Kim and fights Nega-Scott, learning the importance of facing his mistakes and owning up to the chaos and pain he’s brought upon other people.

But, luckily, with the Scott Pilgrim anime, Scott faces off against an opponent far more difficult than Nega-Scott. He encounters two versions of himself from the future that have become such insanely terrible trash pandas that they can ONLY be voiced by Will Forte. And unlike Nega-Scott being there to force Scott to literally have to deal with himself, the future versions of Scott are trying to make it worse for him. They try to set him down a Ramona-less path where he can continue to live a life without pining about Ramona.

The eldest Scott is the worst. A massive vessel of anger that goes down a complete “Evil Ryu” path and is so upset by every little change that it turns out that Ramona didn’t even left him. She needed to take a break and he listened so poorly and reacted so terribly he ran away assuming she had abandoned him, building up his own story about how terrible she is, trying to create his own narrative.

So while the anime is absolutely not what anyone was expecting, I think what we got was even more important. A letter from the creator himself, directed by the director of the live action movie, purposely showing us that our past shouldn’t define us. It fights the double standard that exists in media where in a guy is allowed to date whoever but if women do it that’s something that should haunt us.

And, most importantly, it shows us that Scott isn’t someone to be idolized but rather a cautionary tale of what can happen to ourselves if we fear change and allocate the cause of our problems to other people. It may not have been what everyone wanted, but it is EXACTLY what everyone needed.

Next. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World holds up 11 years later. dark

What did you think of the Scott Pilgrim anime? Was it what you were expecting?