Respondents pick two casts of Nintendo characters they want to see get the anime treatment above Link and Zelda.

For as gigantic a Japanese pop cultural force as Nintendo is, it’s sort of strange that there’s so little in the way of anime adaptations of the company’s video games. It’s been decades since the anime and game industries in Japan began blending freely together, and you can find anime versions of popular game franchises from publishers including Namco, Sega, and Square Enix, but aside from the Kirby anime TV series and that weird 1985 Super Mario Bros. anime movie, made-in-Japan Nintendo-based animation is pretty much nonexistent.

That means there’s a lot of pent-up demand for Nintendo anime, as shown by a recent poll from Japanese website Anime Anime. 1,609 participants were asked what console video game they most wanted to see an anime adaptation of, and five of the top ten, including all of the top three, were Nintendo franchises.

The respondents (about 60 percent of whom were women, 55 percent 19 or younger, and 25 percent in their 20s) made Animal Crossing their number-six pick, and coming in at fifth place was Fire Emblem: Three Houses, the most recent mainline game in the Fire Emblem series.

Surprisingly, The Legend of Zelda didn’t capture the top spot. Despite the vast ocean of “anime Zelda” and “Zelda if it were made by Studio Ghibli” fan art projects that have been created over the years, Breath of the Wild only made it to number three in the ranking.

So what topped Zelda?

Coming in second was Xenoblade Chronicles, or simply Xenoblade as its known in Japan. That might seem like an unexpected upset for the Monolith Soft-developed franchise, but it likely benefitted from the timing of the poll and the game’s genre. Xenoblade Chronicles 3 just came out this last summer, likely making it fresher in the minds of the survey respondents than 2017’s Breath of the Wild, and a 13 or 26-episode anime TV series is still a much shorter time commitment than the 50 hours or so hours Xenoblade Chronicles 3, as a full-on RPG, takes to beat, representing a pretty big time savings for those who just want to know what happens in the story and to the characters. Xenoblade Chronicles 3’s character/art design being much closer to popular anime aesthetics than Zelda’s probably gave it some extra votes too.

And at the top of the list was…

Splatoon. It’s kind of a surprise for such a relatively new Nintendo series to be the most-wanted anime adaptation, especially one with such a heavy focus on its competitive multiplayer aspect. Splatoon does have a single-player story mode too, though, and the game’s extremely unique concept of anthropomorphized sea creatures doing battle by slinging oceans of brightly colored ink at each other, and how such a world would work, is something fans would want to see explored in greater detail.

The complete top 10 were:

10. Buddy Mission Bond
9. Jack Jeanne
8. Minecraft
7. Kingdom Hearts
6. Animal Crossing
5. Fire Emblem: Three Houses
4. Undertale
3. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
2. Xenoblade
1. Splatoon

Oddly enough Super Mario doesn’t show up in the rankings, but that’s likely because of Illumination Entertainment’s CG Super Mario Bros. movie that’s coming in the spring.

Source: Anime Anime via Hachima Kiko
Top image: YouTube/Nintendo 公式チャンネル
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