What is Spriggan? Everything You Need to Know About the Netflix Anime – GameRant

Netflix’s Spriggan is a six-episode revival of a classic action manga. What else do anime fans need to know going in?
Among Netflix's upcoming gauntlet of anime releases is the revival of a series Netflix calls "The Landmark of Action Manga." The title in question is Spriggan, based on the manga of the same name by Hiroshi Takashige with artwork by Ryoji Minagawa.
Spriggan began publication in 1989 and ran until 1996, around which time the manga was released in the U.S. as Striker. However, the American version was heavily censored to "mask anti-American sentiments" according to MyAnimeList.
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Fans of old-school anime cinema might recall the 1998 adaptation by Studio 4°C, which had lots of slick action and plenty of gorgeously detailed guns. It's the kind of anime looked back on more for its incredible visuals than for its storyline. The critical and audience reception among broad film aggregates and even MyAnimeList are fairly mixed on the movie.
Yet despite the film being more of a cult film with a niche following, the new series release has the potential to reignite interest. This comes around the same time that Seven Seas Entertainment is licensing the original manga to be released in the west under its original name.
If ever there was a time for Spriggan to come back strong and stake its claim as a "Landmark" as Netflix's marketing so boldly claims, this would be the time. So what is Spriggan, and exactly why should this Netflix ONA be on your radar?
In Cornish folklore, Spriggans are faeries with childlike visages despite old grotesque bodies. Perhaps not the most marketable protagonist, which is likely why the manga forgoes that in place of Yu Ominae, a trained fighter, and agent for the ARCAM corporation.
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As a "Spriggan," Yu fights to protect powerful technology from an ancient civilization and prevent the power from falling into the wrong hands. Namely, they're fighting to stop other nations and factions from using technology as weaponry on a world scale.
David Production, the studio behind JoJo's Bizarre Adventure and Fire Force, has taken on Spriggan's revival, utilizing a mix of hand-drawn and CGI animation. Early teasers gave the impression that the show would be mostly CG, save for some detailed close-ups, similar to the animation on MAPPA's Dorohedoro.
As more trailers and teasers have been released, the animation style seems to lean heavily towards 2D during downtime, sequences of character acting, and even a lot of action scenes. Where CGI is chiefly utilized is during action involving characters with superhuman power suits.
Director Hiroshi Kobayashi's resume has two stand-outs: Netflix's Dragon Pilot and Kiznaiver. Both of these shows might be more known for character drama than action per se, but both shows were acclaimed for how they tackled their respective dramas. The newest trailer for Spriggan showcases far more character-acting out of combat, and it all looks vibrant and full of life.
On the action side of things, character designer and key animator Shuhei Handa is the character designer and animation director. Their storied history as the chief AD on Kill la Kill, to their work on One Punch Man, Sword Art Online, and more, makes them a solid choice for a series sold on its action.
The final standout from the staff list is screenwriter Hiroshi Seko. With adapted material, one doesn't always think about screenwriting, but it's what undoubtedly comes up the most in critique. People often complain about the things that were cut or unnecessarily added and so on.
Seko has written adapted scripts for some of the biggest anime adaptations of the last two decades, from Attack on Titan, to Jujutsu Kaisen. It's clear that David Production is serious about making sure that this adaptation is done as faithfully and lovingly as possible.
Spriggan is available for streaming on Netflix
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Source(s): Spriggan on MyAnimeList / Srpiggan (ONA) on MyAnimeList / Seven Seas Entertainment
Matthew Magnus Lundeen is a writer, critic, podcast host, and aspiring cinephile trying way too hard and simultaneously not enough. He writes anime features for GameRant when he isn’t trying to write his novel series.


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