It seems like there’s a new anime-to-live-action adaptation every other week. But live-action film and television aren’t the only way to adapt an anime series into a new format. Just look at stage shows!
Recently, there’s been a push for officially licensed tabletop roleplaying games (think Pathfinder or Dungeons & Dragons) set in the world of some of our favorite anime series (like Cowboy Bebop, or if we’re talking anime-adjacent, Avatar: The Last Airbender). But there’s so much more collaborative storytelling opportunities out there, and anime might just be the perfect place for the scene to draw inspiration from.
Unlike live-action film or television, TTRPGs put players into the driver’s seat, allowing them to interact directly with a world they love in a different way than even a video game might offer. Your only restrictions are the rules of the game itself and the limits of your imagination, given you have the right Game Master.
Let’s take a look at a handful of anime series with the right mix of characters, settings and adventure that we’d love to see make the jump to TTRPG!
That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime
That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime follows the adventures of a 37-year-old man disappointed with his own life, who’s killed and then teleported to a world full of goblins, dwarves, humans and even the occasional dragon. One difference: he’s now a slime.
If you’ve interacted with any TTRPGs before, you know this aligns perfectly with the more mainstream games like Dungeons & Dragons. Sans the slime part. (Well, not entirely…)
In a Slime-inspired TTRPG, players could choose to play as any number of these different character types, and would each have their own strengths and weaknesses to consider. There’s no shortage of monsters to fight or dungeons to raid for supplies, either. You could even watch the show to get some added inspiration!
Also, who would ever say no to a talking dire wolf companion? Not me!
As an extra note, That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime actually has a role-playing game already, in the form of a mobile game, so a proper TTRPG could definitely take it to the next level.
Watch That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime on Funimation!
My Hero Academia
One of the most impressive things in My Hero Academia is its deep catalog of Quirks (bonafide superpowers) that characters are born with, and the numerous ways they can be used. That goes for heroes, villains and everyone in between.
Do you want to get creative and combine a couple of Quirks to create your own special ability like Shoto Todoroki? You could do that. Do you want to play a disgraced hero looking to earn back their respect? Or do you want to switch things up with a villain and try to take over the city or even the entire world? Both would be pretty easy to introduce with the right guardrails in place!
All I’m saying is, in a world where 80% of people have some kind of meta-ability, you can do pretty much whatever you can think of as long as it makes sense for the story.
Watch My Hero Academia on Funimation!
Naruto would offer an amazing world for a TTRPG for a number of reasons. On top of the many character or archetype choices, depending on your skill level, you could choose to either take things slow and focus on the (relatively) grounded early run of the series or jump straight into the giant monsters and world-ending stakes of the later episodes.
But the one aspect of a good TTRPG that Naruto has in abundance, even compared to other series on this list, is its lore.
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Many of us have spent hours upon hours interacting with the Naruto series over the years. Why not use that knowledge to your benefit by playing around with one of the backstories from the entire universe? You could learn someone in your party is secretly a jinchuriki, or represent one of the hidden village black ops squads on an assassination mission, or you could spend a fun afternoon roleplaying as you chase down someone’s lost cat. The options are pretty much endless.
Watch Naruto on Funimation!
On its surface, Fire Force would be a pretty simple premise for a TTRPG. You join an institution full of people with fire-manipulating abilities to fight monsters and keep the last of humanity safe. This is where having a vivid imagination comes in handy.
Would your character be part of one of the talented Special Fire Force Companies? Maybe you’d test things out on the side of the White-Clad, a cult devoted to worshipping the literal apocalypse. You could even prove yourself by being the only non-powered member of your company that stills holds their own in a fight.
When it comes to everyone having fire-related powers, don’t feel like you’d be restricted. If the show is any evidence, you could take that as far as your mind could allow. I mean, there’s a character that can control the speed and trajectory of bullets, for crying out loud. Get creative and have fun with it!
Watch Fire Force on Funimation!
High Rise Invasion
A TTRPG based on High Rise Invasion would be a ton of fun for both players who are trying to survive being chased down by NPCs, and the GM, who would be the one doing the chasing and world-building.
If you’re unfamiliar with the series, it focuses on a group of teenagers who find themselves in a maze comprising of skyscrapers and bridges while people in masks are hunting them down. From there, characters have to determine whether or not to trust each other and constantly weigh the odds of whether every decision will or won’t be their last.
Did that last part sound familiar?
If you’ve ever played a TTRPG, you probably know how easy it is for players to obsess over every decision—even one as simple as if/how to open a door. So imagine how entertaining it could be in the chaotic world of this series where a murderer could be waiting behind every corner!
Oh, and don’t worry. You can eventually get some special abilities of your own if you play it right and survive long enough to get the chance. *evil laugh*
What anime would you love to see come to life in a tabletop RPG? Share this post and let us know! And stay tuned to Funimation for the latest news on all things anime, this season and beyond.