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On June 10th, 2014, in promotion for the then-upcoming release of Super Smash Bros for the Wii U and 3DS, Nintendo released an animated trailer for the reveal of Palutena and Dark Pit as two of the playable characters. At the time, the trailer by itself was enough to get people thinking about a Super Smash Bros anime. Of course, after the hype of the trailer died down and the game eventually came out, that conversation all but disappeared. However, four years have passed and a new Super Smash Bros. has been released, which got me thinking: Would Super Smash Bros. be a good anime?
The short answer is probably no, but here is a much better explanation. The first point against it is that Smash Bros as a game has largely existed for the spectacle of it all. There is not much of a large overarching narrative when it comes to the Smash universe, even with Smash Brothers Ultimate’s attempts at expanding what story there is. As such, the finished anime would likely feel fairly a lot like the Rage of Bahamut anime, in that it feels like a fairly generic good vs evil story without much to it in terms of character dynamics.
Speaking of characters, though, there would be far too many. The promotion of Ultimate talked about everyone being in the game and it is not far from truth. The game currently has a roster of 74 characters, with challenger packs set to release in the near future which will potentially get that total closer to 100. From a storytelling perspective, trying to flesh out that many characters over a traditional 12 or even 24 episode time span while also having the main antagonist and other potential characters would be impossible to manage. Of course, if the show had as many episodes as say a show like Naruto, then it could work, but even longer running Shonen have a lot of characters that usually do not get well fleshed out.
Now, this is not to say that there would be nothing good about a Smash Bros. anime. Quite the opposite in fact. For example, assuming that the animation stayed relatively close to the quality of the trailer, that would definitely be something to praise. The music, assuming that it comes from the different franchises in Smash, would be really fun to hear in an anime about those characters.
Overall, a Smash Bros anime probably would not be bad, but it definitely would not be good either. There are just too many problems with the story and characters to make it a worthwhile adaptation.
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