George Lucas, the mastermind behind Star Wars, frequently spoke about how he loved Akira Kurosawa’s 1958 samurai classic “The Hidden Fortress.” He loved it so much that he borrowed some ideas to inspire the events you see in Star Wars.
Naturally, it’s only suitable in this age of anime that we get some of the biggest anime studios working on the Disney+ Star Wars spin-off series, Star Wars: Visions. Each episode takes place in different timelines and parts of the galaxy, all of which have their beautiful style, thanks to the studios who worked on each episode. The stories take other parts of the main series even though Visions isn’t considered canon…yet.
Studio Trigger (Kill la Kill) and Production I.G. (Psycho-Pass 3) are just some of the anime studios that helped fuse the world of anime and Star Wars. While my jaw was dropped the whole time at the animation and the fact that I’m just a massive fan of anime and its storytelling methods, we still have to rank them from worst to best.
9. Tatooine Rhapsody (Studio Colorido)
This was one of the more fun, less grim episodes of the series. A young Jedi Padawan seems to have dropped the lightsaber (for now) in pursuit of being one of the best rock bands in the galaxy. Unfortunately, the band’s hijinks, for whatever reason, put them in the crosshairs of Boba Fett and Jabba the Hutt. The animation is cute, and the story is light-hearted. But other than that, this episode is pretty forgettable. It probably would have been better if the singing didn’t remind me of a montage training scene in Pokemon.
8. The Duel (Kamikaze Douga)
I know many of you will hate me for this one, but while The Duel had some gorgeous visuals and one of the better fight scenes in each episode, I was left wanting more from the plot. I understand that each episode was practically 15 minutes, but the rest of Visions provided clear and established plot points. This was literally just cool Ronin guy fights evil Sith to save the village. At the end of the episode, there is a fantastic secret surrounding the Ronin, but the storytelling is messy (almost nonexistent).
7. T0-B1 (Science SARU)
Imagine if Astro Boy wanted to be a badass Jedi. That’s what our little droid friend T0-B1 intends to become. The visuals were cute, but the main fight scene was rather stylish and had me tense up. While I wanted to learn more about T0-B1’s creator, a Jedi, the main story itself worked well. I could see this being a fun little spin-off series should Disney+ continue working with these studios.
6. The Elder (Studio Trigger)
It pains me to put this Studio Trigger episode in this part of our list, but I wasn’t feeling this one at all. The fight choreography was surprisingly lackluster, considering this was the same studio that produced the insane fight scenes in Kill la Kill.
The main bad guy was this episode’s saving grace, with the interesting background of a former Sith who left before they fell. The Jedi and Padawan characters were almost personality carbon copies of Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi.
5. The Village Bride (Kinema Citrus)
Photo: Star Wars: Visions – The Village Bride
Not once did The Village Bride ever look too much like Kinema Cirtus’ previous work like Barakamon, Made in Abyss, The Rising of the Shield Hero, or Revue Starlight. Instead, visual elements borrowed from the studio’s overall work to truly create something unique.
Unfortunately, the story was too simple when you have a Jedi with such a cool design in F. F saves a girl and village from bandits and just leaves. Hopefully, the internet can stir up some interest in getting Disney and Kinema Citrus to let us dive into F’s life after the events of the Great Jedi Purge.
4. Akakiri (Science SARU)
The animation style of Akakiri was a bit odd. Science SARU previously worked on a few Shin-Chan movies and brought some of those visuals with the faces of the characters, which looks unintentionally hilarious. The story is easily one of the darkest of the bunch, where destiny isn’t necessarily controlled by the Force or yourself. However, I did chuckle when I heard George Takei as Senshuu with his eccentric antics.
3. The Ninth Jedi (Production I.G.)
This is another contender for Disney+ to make a movie or anime series. What’s funny is, the way the story is set up could have easily been fit into the main Star Wars movies post Order 66. There was plenty of suspense, action, and proper story pacing, which I was pleasantly surprised they could fit in such a short time frame.
The fight scenes also had some reminiscent visual styles of Ghost in the Shell fight scenes, which looked great. With the young (not quite ready) Jedi Kara thrown into the typical drama of being a Jedi and joining a newly formed Jedi order, I want to see her crew’s adventures and how they manage to thwart the Sith and the people who kidnapped her father.
2. Lop and Ochō (Geno Studio)
In the short time I had to connect with Lop and Ochō; I didn’t realize how quickly emotionally invested I was in their family. Watching the dynamic of the blood sister Ochō and adoptive humanoid rabbit sister Lop was intriguing when fighting over the fate of their planet.
Lop and her father wanted to fight against the Empire when they occupied the land with taking resources in exchange for “protection and other resources” Ochō thought it would be best to work with the Empire to help advance their planet. while I was genuinely excited to hear Paul Nakauchi, who most of you might know as the voice of Hanzo from Overwatch, as the father of the two sisters and clan leader of the planet.
I’ll admit, I wasn’t expecting much from this as I wasn’t a huge fan of Golden Kamuy, one of Geno Studio’s more well-known shows. But this was beautifully animated from top to bottom. You can even feel the evilness and disgust come from Ochō’s face when she’s turned to the dark side. But I have to give credit where credit is due; I was floored by the entire production, acting, and storyline of Lop and Ochō. Lop and Ochō should be an easy decision for Disney+ and Geno Studio to create their movie or separate anime series to continue this intriguing story.
1. The Twins (Studio Trigger)
I’m honestly upset that no one thought to have just made this its own separate movie away from Visions. Using the flashy eye-popping visual style that Studio Trigger is most well known for from Kill la Kill and Promare, The Twins follows sister Am and brother Karre who are at odds with each other and their life mission.
Am and Karre were explicitly created by the Sith using alchemy to become leaders of a surviving remnant of the Imperial army after the fall of the Empire. Karre pulls a Finn and goes rogue to fight against their “mission” and his twin sister, who is too far into the darkness. Alison Brie kills it as Am, embodying what a Sith leader should be along with some supreme dictator attitude. Satsuki Kiryuin from Kill La Kill would be proud of Am’s power. The fight scene is dazzling. There’s a fantastic nod to The Last Jedi fans as well (I know you exist).
If we don’t get Lop and Ochō or The Ninth Jedi continuations, I need The Twins to have its movie, anime series, video game, gacha game, the works.
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