Books made to be anime

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As I was wandering the halls of Anime Expo this past week, I started thinking about how little anime is based on something other than manga, toys, or video games – I actually could only think of one anime (Moribito) based on a novel, off the top of my head – so then of course I started to think about what other books I would love to see in anime form. Here are my winners:

The Lotus War series by Jay Kristoff


Two words: Japenese steampunk. With gryphins, devastating pollution, a mad emperor, chainsaw katanas, airships – not to mention action, romance, death, and tragedy – this story would be ridiculous fun in anime form. And while yes, this series was written by a white dude from California, so yes, he does make some painfully ignorant mistakes when it comes to Japanese language and culture – just think how easily an anime adaptation could FIX that. Win-win.

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

Cinder BIG

For more of a Shojo flavor, here’s a star-crossed tale of cyborgs, humans, and aliens, with romance to spare. A futuristic Cinderella/Red Riding Hood/Rapunzel retelling of space opera proportions, this series also hosts a beyy of swoon-worth boys (yes, there is a rakish pirate captain), and even a snarky fashion-loving robot sidekick – really, anime is in this book’s DNA. (Plus the author is an admitted Sailor Moon fangirl herself.)

The Leviathan series by Scott Westerfeld


Steampunk-style mechas vs. biological weapons of the living airship variety, in an alternate history take on the first world war – seriously, animation is the ONLY format that could possibly do this series justice. Cute beasties, epic battles, swashbuckling, intrigue, coming of age, and even a girl pretending to be a boy – what more could you want?

Deadly Class by Rick Remender

Deadly Class

And last but not least – because what self-respecting would-be-anime list wouldn’t include high school drama? – here’s a shonen-style tale of a deadly high school for would-be teen assassins (a tried and true anime staple). Now yes, this is hardly a new idea, but this is a smart, brooding take on an old favorite, complete with mad action and fun 80’s retro flavor. I mean, just imagine the hair…

So there you have it, my book-to-anime wishlist. Now if only someone would get on that…