Art Imitating Other Art, Imitating Life: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World Review

Very rarely do I scrap an entry and am forced to start over, but the sheer epicness of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World melted my brain leading to the fangasm that was my first draft.

To be blunt, I didn’t enjoy the author Bryan Lee O’Malley’s graphic novel on which the movie was based off of and thought it more of something sorta kinda interesting enough to read just for the sake of passing the time… kinda like really good issue of Highlights in the dentist’s office. The story-telling was jumpy, it took me a full two volumes to really be invested in any of the characters, and character development rises and drops at the snap of a finger (not “the drop of a hat” ‘cuz that would be redundant). If ever you were to read the series, though, I highly recommend doing so in one go, just so you can jump to the better parts in the later volumes. Also, the fact that the graphic novel was in production at the same time as the movie’s screenplay leads to quite a divergence between the two, so if anything read for comparison’s sake.


The movie itself, though, was everything I wanted the graphic novel to be, but wasn’t. What was only a handful of obscure videogame and anime references in the graphic novel have been multiplied ten-fold for the film. An understanding for character development in a more understandable manner has also made its way into the movie adaptation, making the relationship between Scott, current girlfriend Ramona, and underage ex Knives much more interesting. And while source material purists may complain about the movie not having enough of a backstory for the other female characters, keep in mind what Wikipedia says in their harem (genre) entry:

Because romance is rarely the main focus of an entire series, harem structure is ambiguous. The most distinguishable trait is arguably the group of girls who accompany, and in some instances cohabitate with the boy, and while intimacy is just about customary, it is never necessary; when it is present, there must be a minimum of three girls who express it, otherwise two is a love triangle.

Wikipedia does not lie.

Add to the epicly choreographed action sequences and videogame/comic references, quite the myriad of rock music made especially for the movie by artists such as Metric and Beck (and even 8-bit composer Anamaguchi for what looks to be a pretty epic game adaptation) and you have a hit in my book. The fact that so many lines were lifted straight from the graphic novels as well as how casting as well as set design recreate the panels from O’Malley’s work on a scary good level is just icing on the cake. Sure, the amount of referential material will age the film, but “living in the moment” is kinda an ongoing theme for the film, so I guess it only makes sense for things to end up as such—a  rare instance in which I much prefer the adaptation over the source material.

External References:
– Scott Pilgrim Featurette (rottentomatoes.com)
– Scott Pilgrim Alternate Ending Considered (collider.com)

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About daemoncorps
Gabe (daemoncorps) has been writing about anime and the like since 2005, but has been babysat by it for much longer. He primarily spends his days distracting himself on twitter or writing for Fandom Post until he realizes he has a weekly webcomic (tapastic.com/series/scramblebouquet) to work on. He also just finished writing his first full-length graphic novel about unemployment (https://tapastic.com/episode/293804).

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