After the success of Vox Machina, what’s next for tabletop-inspired anime?
The Legend Of Vox Machina shows that tabletop games and anime go together perfectly. Could this be the start of a whole new movement?
The Legend of Vox Machina was one of the biggest successes of the winter season. On paper, the idea of an anime based on an actual tabletop role-playing stream might not seem like a recipe for success, but VoxMachine proved that the concept works. The series has received praise from both long-running critical role fans and those who have never watched the original source material. However, the success of VoxMachine begs the question, what’s next for tabletop-inspired anime?
VoxMachine is inspired by the popular Actual Play stream Critical role. It is based on the group’s very first campaign scenario. However, while critical role is arguably the most common Actual Play podcast, it’s far from the only one. In fact, there are many different Actual Play streams and podcasts, many with large and dedicated audiences, including CollegeHumor’s Rating 20, the McElroy brothers Adventure Zoneand Waterdeep Rivals. On top of that, there are plenty of smaller actual playback streams spanning every genre imaginable. Because of this, there are plenty of other stories just waiting to be adapted into anime.
This conversion would be quite simple, as most Actual Play podcasts use an arc layout similar to many anime shows. For this reason, it would be very simple to translate these stories to the screen. This would allow a studio to adapt a short intro arc to test the waters before committing to a series.
Too, Dungeons and Dragons (the game used by critical role) is far from the only table system available. In fact, after seeing the success of both critical role and VoxMachine and how they brought Dungeons and Dragons to a whole new audience, it makes sense that other tabletop editors would be keen to work with animation studios. Because they could create anime series based on their systems, which could interest a whole new audience in their product.
For example, the famous world of darkness the setting created by White Wolf Entertainment would be a perfect fit for an anime in the vein of tokyo ghoul due to its mixture of supernatural and urban fantasy. While the extremely popular monster hearts could become a supernatural drama in the vein of black butler Where Death threat. In fact, there are plenty of games out there with settings that could easily translate into a gripping anime series. Like the two critical role and VoxMachine have shown, a good anime can attract new players to the game, which generates more money in the long run, which makes an anime series attractive to both game publishers and anime companies. The former likes it because it promotes their products and the latter because the show they are creating will have a built-in audience due to the game’s already existing fan base.
Tabletop games and actual game streams are, like anime, storytelling mediums. However, due to lower barriers to entry, the AP sphere is teeming with unique and new voices with new stories to tell. Animation companies could start treating the AP sphere like the serialized manga or webtoon spheres, seeing which stories resonate with audiences before licensing them and turning them into anime, and bringing those stories (and their associated systems) to a wider audience.
The success of VoxMachine shows that anime and tabletop roleplaying go together perfectly. Hope the success of VoxMachine will encourage future cooperation between these two industries. This kind of collaboration could lead to many new and fantastic shows hitting our screens and a load of fresh and talented writers getting the attention they deserve.
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