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Written by 12:05 am Comics

does scott pilgrim takes off follow the comics

does scott pilgrim takes off follow the comics

does scott pilgrim takes off follow the comics

The Scott Pilgrim series by Bryan Lee O’Malley has amassed a huge cult following over the years. First published as a series of graphic novels from 2004 to 2010, Scott Pilgrim tells the story of a 23-year-old bass guitarist who falls in love with the mysterious Ramona Flowers but must defeat her seven evil exes to date her.

The six-volume comic series garnered praise for its video game-inspired fight scenes, pop culture references, and a blend of comedy, romance, and fantasy.

While previous adaptations like the 2010 Scott Pilgrim vs. the World movie brought the comics to life in live-action, the new Scott Pilgrim Takes Off series marks the characters’ first foray into animation. This has left fans wondering – does the Netflix cartoon faithfully adapt the original Bryan Lee O’Malley comics that started it all?

Is Scott Pilgrim Takes Off a Direct Sequel to the Comics?

Scott Pilgrim’s Takes Off is not a direct sequel to the comics. While it features many of the same characters like Scott, his girlfriend Ramona, roommate Wallace Wells, bands Sex Bob-omb and Clash at Demonhead, and various other supporting characters, the Netflix animated series takes place approximately 5 years after the events of the final Scott Pilgrim graphic novel volume.

So while the new cartoon revisits the same world and contains appearances from fan-favorite characters, the all-new storyline is not directly based on any of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s original books. Series creator Bryan Lee O’Malley did have a hand in developing the animated show but opted to take the characters in a fresh direction rather than directly continuing the comics’ narrative. This allows the animated series to focus on characters and themes that were underserved in previous adaptations.

What Time Period Does the Animated Series Take Place In?

As mentioned, Scott Pilgrim Takes Off takes place around 5 years after the conclusion of the Scott Pilgrim books. The exact timeline is left ambiguous in the show itself, but creator Bryan Lee O’Malley has clarified that it is set in approximately 2017 or 2018 in media interviews. This would place it over a decade after the 2000s timeline of the original graphic novels.

While never directly addressed, some technological and cultural references to apps and social media do suggest the passage of time. However, the world still resembles the comic’s mid-2000s indie rock aesthetic more closely than modern times, giving the show a certain timeless quality.

By not firmly cementing itself in any one period, Scott Pilgrim Takes Off can focus on character dynamics and relationships that speak to multiple generations, rather than timely references that could date the series to one fleeting pop culture moment.

How Closely Do the Characters Resemble Their Comic Counterparts?

Despite taking place years later with an original storyline, the core cast of Scott Pilgrim Takes Off stays remarkably true to their comic book counterparts in terms of visual design, personalities, relationships, and even voice acting. Scott Pilgrim still sports his rotating collection of t-shirts while struggling to mature emotionally. Ramona Flowers frequently changes her hair color and remains haunted by her past.

Scott’s friends like Stephen Stills, Kim Pine, Wallace Wells, Stacey Pilgrim, and Young Neil look nearly identical to their four-color counterparts. Key relationships like Stephen and Kim or Wallace and his partner Mobile remain intact. Even the voice cast like Jason Schwartzman as adult Scott feel like they were ripped right from the graphic novels’ pages.

So while the plot itself may be all-new, fans of the comics will still feel very much at home with this older but familiar cast of characters they have loved for nearly two decades. Every beat of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s signature comedy style shines through thanks to thoughtful creative decisions aimed at pleasing long-time fans while still being accessible to newcomers.

What Elements Had to Change for the Jump to Animation?

While the characters and setting closely match the comics on a visual level, some tonal and stylistic elements did need to change to work in the context of an ongoing animated series rather than a finite graphic novel storyline or one-off movie.

For example, much of the over-the-top comic book violence and rapid-fire video game combat present in the books and film have been toned down significantly. The animated show still contains action and humor but unfolds at a more relaxed pace better suited to serialized storytelling.

Additionally, since the focus is on Scott’s friends rather than Scott himself, fantastical elements like the League of Evil Exes and subspace portals have been downplayed significantly compared to previous adaptations.

The real-world character dynamics and relationships take center stage over the bombastic fantasy combat tropes that defined Scott Pilgrim’s early adaptations. This shift to grounded slice-of-life comedy allows the creative team to connect with the original books’ interpersonal themes that often got overshadowed previously while still retaining the vibrant energy fans expect from Bryan Lee O’Malley’s unique vision.

Does the Show Contain Any Nods or References to the Original Comics?

While Scott Pilgrim Takes Off tells an original story not directly based on any of the graphic novels, there are still plenty of subtle nods to the source material that fans will appreciate. For example, Scott can be seen wearing shirts referencing bands from books like Plumtree, Sloan, and The Planet Smashers throughout the series.

Other background elements also reference the comics, like the appearance of a Pizza Pizza restaurant chain location or a movie poster for action star Lucas Lee. A musical performance even features Scott’s famous “Bread makes you fat” t-shirt design.

So while not essential to understand and enjoy the show’s fresh storyline, these fun easter eggs help reinforce the connection to the comics for Bryan Lee O’Malley devotees. They also reward close watching without alienating less die-hard fans, striking an ideal balance.

Will Scott Pilgrim Take Off Appeal to Fans of the Books?

Element Comparison to Source Material
Visual Design Nearly identical character/setting designs
Comedy Style Retains Bryan Lee O’Malley’s signature humor
Character Personalities True to original portrayals
Canon Relationships All major couples preserved
Themes Further explores interpersonal dynamics

Considering that the animated series stays extremely faithful to the iconic visuals, irreverent tone, and relatable characterization of the Scott Pilgrim world while also expanding on themes and relationships from the graphic novels, there is a lot for longtime fans of the books to love. Viewers get to revisit these beloved characters they may have not seen in over a decade and spend more time with fan favorites that were never fully explored in previous adaptations.

Seeing the continued evolution of couples like Stephen and Kim or Wallace and Mobile over an extended animated series rather than a finite film is extremely rewarding for long-time Scott Pilgrim fans. And with original creator Bryan Lee O’Malley heavily involved, his unique comedic sensibilities permeate the show through and through despite the fresh narrative.

Could the Show Bring in a New Generation of Fans?

In addition to pleasing die-hard fans of the books, Scott Pilgrim Takes Off stands as an excellent entry point to the franchise for new viewers. Since the animated series shifts focus to fan-favorite secondary characters, those unfamiliar with the original graphic novels or movies can enjoy this fresh storyline without needing any backstory from previous adaptations.

By maintaining the signature visual aesthetic, comedy beats, musical sensibilities, and general youthful vibes of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s world, new audiences will surely be delighted and inspired to check out the comics and movies after the fact.

So whether you have been a hardcore Scott Pilgrim fan for years or are just discovering the franchise now, Scott Pilgrim Takes Off balances its legacy appeal and accessibility beautifully. It has the potential to connect with both older and younger viewers alike.

What Questions Are Left Unanswered for the Future?

While this first season of Scott Pilgrim Takes Off tells a satisfying self-contained story centered on Ramona’s sister Stacey, the ending sets up future plot threads to be explored in potential upcoming seasons. Questions fans may have include:

  • What will happen between Stephen and Joseph, Kim’s attractive new guitar student who causes relationship tension?
  • Will Mobile’s potential acting career success pull her away from Wallace unwillingly?
  • Does the ending hint at a possible reconciliation for erstwhile couple Scott and Ramona down the road despite their current estrangement?
  • Could future seasons integrate more literal elements from the original comics like the League of Evil Exes or subspace portals to satisfy fans?
  • Might Bryan Lee O’Malley get involved in writing or directing an episode if the show is renewed?

Hopefully, the strong fan and critical reception to this first season encourages Netflix to greenlight future installments. There are still plenty of stories left to tell within the Scott Pilgrim universe and myriad directions a sequel season could go in. The potential certainly exists for the animated series to run just as long as the 6-volume graphic novel series it was born from.