The anime industry is filled with adaptations recently, there’s light novel adaptations, manga adaptations, and even game adaptations with titles such as God Eater, Touken Ranbu Granblue Fantasy and Monster Hunter itself, adapting the spin-off title Monster Hunter Stories into an anime. However, the main Monster Hunter games would work better than Monster Hunter Stories as a source material for an anime, especially one that is more mature and not targeted to children. Here’s why:
Lack of Story
Monster Hunter isn’t really known as a plot-driven game. This works perfectly in this hypothetical adaptation scenario, especially if a skilled director takes this project, it gives them full reign over how they wish to construct the story. They could make a typical shounen story about a guy trying to be the best hunter ever, or a revenge plot story for a monster that killed the protagonist’s family. The director can be truly creative and just take the best part of Monster Hunter and turn it into a great story as opposed to other adaptations like God Eater or Granblue Fantasy, where the plot of the game is adapted and it may not be the best source material to work into a television format.
Monster Hunter has multiple areas across multiple generations similar to Pokémon. There is a Japan inspired village, a snowy mountainous area, there’s even a floating village as a possible setting. This variety in setting allows a talented writer to show off their skills even more. They could make a story about a hunter travelling across the world to gather materials to make an ultimate sword. There’s so many options to create a story based off the various interesting locations Monster Hunter has to offer. This is very different from God Eater, where the setting is fixed at a dystopian apocalyptic world which severely limits the potential of creating something interesting and new for fans of the series.
Epic Combat and Monsters
Monster Hunter as a game has always been about conquering a monster 10 times your size and barely escaping by the skin of your teeth. This concept alone allows writers to really amp up the tension of the scenes and get creative with the fight sequence. How will the protagonist conquer a gigantic fish? Maybe he will use a trap, maybe by using poison darts? There’s all kind of possibilities. These combats can even be really gritty, showing the Monster breaking the hunter’s arm with just one swing of its tail. The monsters in the game are also really epic, they can make for a really terrifying foe for the main characters to face against.
Lack of established characters
There really isn’t that many established characters in Monster Hunter. All of the NPCs play more of a functional role as opposed to a narrative role such as the guild girls. This is really different from series like God Eater where the side characters are a little more established and plays more than just a functional role. This allows writer to be fully creative with the hunter characters in the story. They could even make one where the main character dies by the third episode like a certain magical girl series (cough). One of the key issues with adaptation is how the story has to follow the source material quite religiously, removing a lot of the stakes during the high point of the anime when most of the consequences of said scene is already known by the core audience, the fans of the series.
Ultimately, all these freedom will be perfect for someone with a great vision to work into an amazing anime. If Monster Hunter gets an anime, I believe it will be more like an original anime rather than a typical adaptation of a game, there’s just so many possibilities for anyone to create their own narrative.
It’s just like the game itself, you can create your own narrative, maybe you play the game to hone your skills, to kill big monsters, or maybe you just love to fish and mine in Monster Hunter, there is something that attracts all kind of people into Monster Hunter. As for me, it’s all about the getting better at the game to kill stronger monsters and the social aspect that comes with the game.