Elden Ring might just go on to be named the game of the year by critics and gamers, despite it only being released on February 25. Very much a masterpiece of open-world gameplay, the lore runs deep, the action is tremendous, and the setting is as dark as it is difficult to conquer.
Being created by Japanese game studio FromSoftware, many have sought to pick up on Elden Ring’s influences and inspirations. Right now, anime is only growing in prominence in the same western markets that the action RPG has sold millions of copies in, so, understandably, many have pointed to anime inspirations.
Among them, as you would assume, is Studio Ghibli. Being such an influential studio in its own industry, it makes sense that a lot of Japanese content would get hints from its former works. Better still, with Elden Ring being such a success, there’s even talk of the potential of a dedicated anime.
Anime inspirations spotted in Elden Ring
It’s well-known that director Hidetaka Miyazaki enjoys his anime, particularly the incredibly dark fantasy world of Kentaro Miura’s creation Berserk, which has been seen as an inspiration for Elden Ring and its predecessors, the Dark Souls games. It’s particularly prominent in the gameplay of Elden Ring, with the sense of constant danger, persistent punishment, and just overall bleakness, but its Medieval Europe setting can also draw familiarities.
As for the Studio Ghibli draws, there are many, especially when you start to look at Elden Ring’s bestiary. The colossal size of the monster and bosses, coupled with their almost spiritual nature and distinct aesthetic hearkens back to the likes of Princess Mononoke, and the Sky Temple may even be inspired by Castle in the Sky, just given a dark, dreary, and derelict overcoat.
Elden Ring may follow its influences into anime
Berserk and many Studio Ghibli series and movies can easily be pointed to as clear inspirations for a lot of what’s in Elden Ring, and perhaps soon, we could get to see what Elden Ring would look like were it to be a fully-fledged anime. As detailed in a Bandai Namco release, the company is going to be expanding the new IP beyond the game, which is being inferred as meaning comics and novels as well as possibly anime and movies.
The Bandai Namco CEO, Yasuo Miyakawa, didn’t elaborate on how they planned to expand, so the potential for an anime is just conjecture at this point, and big fans of the game will just need to follow Elden Ring news to keep in the loop, but it seems like the logical step. After all, Scarlet Nexus was released in 2021 and got an anime that same year. Although, that was in the works during the game’s development.
Elden Ring’s mythology and setting were co-created by A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin, so there’s plenty of material to run off of – as has been showcased in the sprawling world of the Lands Between. Helping a potential project further is the fact that Elden Ring is very much like an anime in itself, with its colossal weapons, battles against insurmountable odds, a smart and clinical hero, and a seemingly doomed world.
There’s a lot to love about Elden Ring as a fan of anime, and the game may even bridge the gap and make some new anime fans – even though its likeness to many anime projects is rather subtle or well buried.