Scott Pilgrim Takes Off Review – Easily the Best Netflix Anime Series in 2023

By Daniel Hart
Published: November 17, 2023
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Scott Pilgrim Takes Off Season 1 Review
Scott Pilgrim (L) and Ramona Flowers (R) in Promotional Image for Scott Pilgrim Takes Off - Courtesy of Netflix


A formidable entry in the Scott Pilgrim Universe. Takes Off means serious business.

Scott Pilgrim Takes Off is a pleasure to watch in so many ways that I had to question my unnecessary skepticism. When it was announced that the anime series was bringing back the cast of the original film to reprise their roles, it felt like a PR strategy rather than a genuine reimagining of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s graphic novels. Undoubtedly, it was the confidence that the anime series was going to be a smash hit that persuaded Netflix to reach out to the stars.

Brought to the streaming service by animation studio Science SARU (Japan Sinks: 2020) and Universal Studio Group, we arguably have a series that pushes Scott Pilgrim vs. the World to the side. Yes, that’s a strong claim, but this is the closest we will likely get to regular Scott Pilgrim content, especially with O’Malley behind the project as executive producer alongside Edgar Wright. 

Scott Pilgrim Takes Off Season 1 Review and Plot Summary

The story is familiar: Scott Pilgrim (voiced by Michael Cera) meets the girl of his dreams (literally), Ramona Flowers (voiced by Mary Elizabeth Winstead), but is soon faced by her Seven Evil Exes, which he must defeat in order to date her.

It’s best to stop there on the plot summary because while the reimagining of the story is casual in tone and seemingly unoriginal at first, Scott Pilgrim Takes Off is far more complicated once the premise is established, bringing new material that has never been seen before. The series pulls audiences into a false sense of security and provides a fun, smart, multi-string story arc that is wildly appealing. The anime series pushes the boundaries of the story and successfully pulls it off with charm and robust storytelling.

It’s no surprise that an anime adaptation is likely to serve as the benchmark of the Scott Pilgrim universe. Anime has a consistent track record of serving the story well (see Pacific Rim: The Black, Transformers, and Castlevania), and the makers behind this series made a great decision by delivering the story in this format. Scott Pilgrim Takes Off is undoubtedly well-animated, and the transitions between scenes, storyboards, and depth in the universe are impressive. I expected it to be colorful and bizarre, but the animators understood the assignment.

Is Scott Pilgrim Takes Off the best anime on Netflix this year?

Putting the impressive animation aside (which you’d expect in an anime), it’s the script that props up this series. The dialogue is intelligent, with comedy being the main driver, however, the series does not bamboozle the audience with pop culture references and edgy jokes. The series relies on the impressive voice cast to honor the script and to relay the emotions well to the viewers. 

RELATED: Will there be a Scott Pilgrim Takes Off Season 2?

The key question when critiquing Scott Pilgrim Takes Off is, do we care more about Scott Pilgrim after this series? The answer is a resounding yes. It’s not only a good anime, but it reignites a universe that needed a push.

Whether it is the best anime this year on Netflix boils down to technicalities that I do not want to delve into greatly because then I’d have to omit Blue Eye Samurai, which is an animation series, not an anime. Even then, the latter is uniquely better. If solely based on the anime genre, then yes, Scott Pilgrim Takes Off is easily the best Netflix anime this year.

Scott Pilgrim Takes Off Voice Cast

(L to R) Brandon Routh as Todd Ingram, Chris Evans as Lucas Lee, Mae Whitman as Roxie Richter, Julian Cihi as Kyle Katayanagi and Ken Katayanagi in Scott Pilgrim Takes Off – Image Courtesy Of Netflix

Here is the impressive voice cast, with many reprising their roles from the original film:

  • Michael Cera (Scott Pilgrim)
  • Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Ramona Flowers)
  • Satya Bhabha (Matthew Patel)
  • Kieran Culkin (Wallace Wells)
  • Chris Evans (Lucas Lee)
  • Anna Kendrick (Stacey Pilgrim)
  • Brie Larson (Envy Adams)
  • Alison Pill (Kim Pine)
  • Aubrey Plaza (Julie Powers)
  • Brandon Routh (Todd Ingram)
  • Jason Schwartzman (Gideon Graves)
  • Johnny Simmons (Young Neil)
  • Mark Webber (Stephen Stills)
  • Mae Whitman (Roxie Richter)
  • Ellen Wong (Knives Chau)

On the Netflix Tudum Website, Edgar Wright discusses his feelings about bringing the cast back 14 years later:

“One of the most beautiful aspects of making Scott Pilgrim is, some 14 years since we made the film, we are all still friends and see each other whenever we can,” [cont] ““Hearing the actors play their parts again was emotional, heartwarming, and hilarious,” [cont] “We’re giving them an opportunity to revisit something that meant a lot to them, but they also are bringing their years of experience, their perspective on these characters, and it leads to awesome stuff.”

We want to hear from Scott Pilgrim fans! What do you think of Scott Pilgrim Takes Off Season 1? Would you like to see a Season 2? Comment below.

RELATED: Scott Pilgrim Takes Off Season 1 Ending Explained

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