Scott Pilgrim Takes Off

Scott Pilgrim Takes Off

Netflix Series
Watch Now
9.5

Amazing

An animated reboot of sorts, Scott Pilgrim Takes Off follows the much loved Scott Pilgrim as he meets the girl of his dreams, Ramona Flowers, only to find out that the path to true love is not as easy as it seems.

Considerable excitement was abound for fans of the Edgar Wright 2010 movie Scott Pilgrim vs The World when not only was a Netflix anime series announced but also the (now much more famous) movie were cast confirmed to reprise their roles.

Based on the graphic novels written and drawn by Bryan Lee O’Malley, Scott Pilgrim Takes Off is a triumph of both the familiar and the brand new.

At first it was hard to whip up the energy to watch the titular bassist slash immature boyfriend Scott (Michael Cera, Life and Beth) once again awkwardly battle through the League of Evil Exes to ‘win the hand’ of flighty Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead).


As the first episode hits those same old beats the result was an unsurprising and comfortable pleasure.

And then…well, let's just say that the last few moments of episode 1 switch the narrative into a very different place indeed.

What Is Scott Pilgrim Takes Off About?

With a slice of self-referential meta here, a slice of introspective self growth there, and liberal dusting of super fun anti-realism over the top, Scott Pilgrim Takes Off is the same garage band playing on a very different stage.

Given the graphic novel origins and very ‘video game animation’ aesthetic of the 2010 movie it’s unsurprising that the anime style would suit Takes Off so well, but that doesn’t stop it being a constant delight.

Something as simple as Ramona’s constant dying of her hair is as lovingly rendered as a wibbly wobbly energy distortion that warps the character designs.

Japanese animation studio Science Saru (“Food Chain” for Adventure Time, Yurei Deco) ensure that the series is packed with flourishes that treat the eyes, but still retains O’Malley’s signature expressive style

O’Malley has crafted a story that sidesteps the original narrative and uses the space to expand upon his wonderful cast of characters.

Virtually every ‘evil ex’ gets an episode dedicated to them to flesh out their mentality.

That the first episode knocks their usual motivation immediately on the head gives them welcome room to breathe outside Ramona’s shadow.

Scott Pilgrim Takes Off Official Trailer

Is Scott Pilgrim Takes Off Worth Watching?

The result is a wonderful return to colourful characters retold through a different lens.

Winstead’s warmth (and the show’s willingness to present her past actions in a negative light) threads an investigative story packed with more fantastical twists accepted as reality; there may be robots, a mental hyperspace shortcut reality, and a infinite hold-all bag, but Romana’s gentle upbeat humanity keeps everything grounded.

The extra breathing room allows characters including Lucas Lee (Chris Evans), Matthew “Matthew Patel” Patel (Satya Bhabha), and Wallace Wells (Kieran Culkin) to grab bigger chunks of the narrative and grow into them.

Thankfully this addresses a few uncomfortable niggles with the movie; May Whitman’s Roxie homosexuality isn’t played for gags this time, and nor is Scott’s suspect behaviour given a free pass.

Don’t worry though, there is still plenty of room for flashy fights and ‘krak’, ‘pow’, ‘wallop’ sound effect bubbles to scatter over the screen like confetti.

O’Malley, co-writer BenDavid Grabinski, and Science Saru has created in Scott Pilgrim Takes Off a show that hits all the notes that make Scott Pilgrim so fun, whilst reinvigorating it by branching off into new and interesting territory.

Ignite that endearing Sex Bob-omb and let the explosion carry you ever onwards.

Words by Mike Record

Good

  • Familiar But Totally Different
  • Beautiful Art Design
  • Voice Cast Are Superb
  • Very Satisfying Narrative And Character Arcs

Bad

  • Whether Or Not You Buy Into The 'Hyper Reality' Will Make Or Break The Plot For You
9.5

Amazing

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