Scooby-Doo Takes Japan in New Anime-Inspired Series

Scooby-Doo Takes Japan in New Anime-Inspired Series

Following the recent announcement of a live-action series at Netflix, Variety reports a new Scooby-Doo animated series (it’s fourteenth to date) is also now in development at Cartoon Network. Described as “Scooby does anime,” Go-Go Mystery Machine will see Shaggy and Scooby-Doo “unwittingly unleash hundreds of mischievous mythical monsters” while on “the ultimate foodie adventure” in Japan.

As proof of concept, Warner Bros. has released a promotional image of Shaggy and Scooby-Doo dangling from the back of a miniature Kei truck — painted like the Mystery Machine— as both a sumo wrestler with butterfly wings and a multi-eyed beast draped in sashimi tail them in hot pursuit.

Based on both the poster and description given, Go-Go Mystery Machine will be one of the rare Scooby series’ to reduce the roles of Fred, Daphne and Velma for a controversial brand new supporting cast of mystery solvers— this time, a trio comprised of “gadget wiz” Toshiro, “magical friend” Etsuko and Scooby’s very own Japanese uncle, the exquisitely-named Daisuke-Doo. If that wasn’t enough, the synopsis additionally leads us to believe it will be one of the odd outliers of the franchise to have the monsters be legitimate supernatural beings instead of costumed criminals—a perennially divisive choice some have argued is anathema to the franchise’s original ghost-breaking ethos.

While you and I know those people are provably wrong (the title character is a talking dog, after all), Go-Go Mystery Machine may still have a hard row to hoe amongst a skeptical public in light of the franchise’s recent decisions— including the poorly-received Velma, its first theatrical animated film underperforming at the box office, and Warner Bros’. unpopular decision to cancel its nearly-completed sequel for tax purposes. It’s also unclear if the powers-at-be have decided to move forward with its teased Gremlins crossover film, Scooby-Doo! Gremlins Getaway, or have scuttled the project entirely.

In light of everything, though, it’s difficult to imagine a fan of the original series’ 60’s psychedelia-meets-gothic German expressionist visual style wouldn’t be intrigued by the promise of a Grudge or Ring-inspired chase sequence featuring music by Babymetal, Shonen Knife or Melt-Banana—especially if the backgrounds are painted in watercolor.

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