Scott Pilgrim Takes Off: A Personal Review

Scott Pilgrim Takes Off

Scott Pilgrim, Ramona Flowers, and the Evil Exes are Back on Netflix

One day in April 2010, I was scrolling through the timeline of an app called Twitter for many years and found a “tweet” with an article that caught my interest. It was about the most anticipated summer movies of 2010. The post from one of those blogs, which I can’t remember the name, highlighted the obvious ones the following summer season. Toy Story 3, Iron Man 2, the new Shrek, Twilight: Eclipse, Inception, etc. However, one film in particular caught my attention, Scott Pilgrim vs The World, based on a comic on the Scott Pilgrim comic book series.

I spent the entire summer reading all six volumes of the graphic novels. Enjoying all the old-school video game references, wittiness, and playfulness on each page and comic panel. I was invested in the hot girl with seven evil exes and in the underdog, Scott Pilgrim. In my late 20s, dealing with crap at a new 24/7 job, and working hard to overcome my insecurities and stand up for myself. I was Scott Pilgrim fighting Nega-Scott.

The movie came out in mid-August, and I saw it in an almost empty theater. Nevertheless, it was an unforgettable movie-watching experience. I was blown away by everything about Edgar Wright’s new film. The cast, the cinematography, the needle drops. It absolutely felt like a movie made for me. Over the next 13 years, I watched the movie countless times and listened to the soundtrack millions of times. This is one of those things I turn to whenever I need a reminder to fight Nega-Myself.

What About the New Anime

There’s no doubt about it. One of the most anticipated things would be this anime adaptation of Scott Pilgrim. Netflix’s Scott Pilgrim Takes Off is everything I expected and even more. The streaming series is made for both anime and video game fans. Many of those being fans of both, it’s a nerdy series, just like the original graphic novel, Edgar Wright’s, and the video game adaptation.

The movie cast is back to reprise their roles, this time as voice actors. I forgot how good they were with their characters. My favorite is Wallace Wells, Scott’s sassy gay roommate who constantly gets lucky with other males. Kiera Culkin was good enough to do his best with the material he was given, as the movie used his sexuality for laughs. This reflects that 13 years ago, homophobia in comedy was still going stronger than today.

In the series, Kiera Culkin got better material to be cheeky and own his sexuality in better ways than in the movie. Similarly, as with Roxie’s sexuality and the self-aware way Scott’s relationship with Knives was attended, this 8-episode anime series came to fix some of the wrongdoings addressed in 2010 in the past few years.

It’s About Ramona Flowers

Nevertheless, the best improvement in the new series is the portrayal of Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s Ramona Flowers. It is unlikely that a single film can adequately develop all these characters. This time, Ramona is way more than the manic pixie girl dream. There is more time to evolve her as a character and explain why she’s the way she is and why she’s broken the hearts of seven people in the past.

With all these fixes from the things that didn’t age well in the previous iterations, it incorporates amazingly with all the positives. 8-bit gamers will rejoice at the start of every episode. Each title card is done with the font from a different video game, from Mega Man to Bubble Bobble. If you played Nintendo in the 80s, you’ll get a kick of nostalgia at the start of every episode. You’ll be pointing at the screen with great exhilaration.

The homages to different genres are also present. What Edgar Wright did for the film, Abel Góngora did for the anime. Each episode combines different animation styles and sub-genres to complement the plot. Most importantly, the story is extraordinary.

Don’t Worry, No Spoilers

Without spoilers, we can call it either a sequel or a meta-narrative. It is something different and unexpected. It does wonders with the small sandbox of just a few characters in Toronto, Canada. Though they took so many liberties, the essence is still there. Scott Pilgrim shall confront himself, his insecurities, and his heartbreaks.

No matter how the story is told, it always comes down to Scott Pilgrim facing his insecurities and whatever is making him date a high school girl. And it’s still perfect for me! Cause there’s always something to be inspired about. Maybe I won’t fight seven evil exes. But there’s a lot to fight with, especially myself. So they can keep reminding me bread makes you fat anytime they can.

Scott Pilgrim Takes Off is available on Netflix.

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