For those who haven’t heard, it was recently announced that Tomb Raider would follow in the footsteps of Castlevania and Assassin’s Creed with a brand-new anime series to be produced, a first for the franchise. It's also following in their footsteps as an original Netflix anime. As a huge fan of the series, particularly the reboots, my imagination immediately went wild, so now we’ll be looking at the top five things we want from the new Tomb Raider anime—in no particular order.
This is honestly my number one request for the series: Get Camilla Luddington to reprise her role as Lara from the reboot games! She’s a fantastic actress who really embodied Lara and brought a lot of depth and emotion to the role. While motion-capture acting is different than straight-up voice acting, Luddington already has experience in the latter, having portrayed Zatanna in several DC animated movies.
Aside from it being personal preference, Luddington’s reprisal of her role would also help the series have a real sense of cohesion with the games, rather than feeling like something hastily tacked on—or worse, like bad fanfiction. According to distributor Netflix, the anime will be canon with the reboot game trilogy, so this is all the more reason to keep Luddington as Lara.
Jonah! (and Hopefully Sam)
I won’t disagree that Lara works best alone, in all iterations of the games, but part of what makes her an interesting character is seeing how she interacts with other people. From watching her deal with the group dynamics on Yamatai to her enmity with Trinity, it gives her more depth of character than just an Indiana Jones knock-off with spectacular jumping abilities.
To that note, my favorite character from the reboot series and Lara’s best friend, Jonah, would be an absolutely perfect fit no matter where or when the anime takes place. He’s adventurous but more emotionally grounded and wary of danger than Lara, lacking her singlemindedness. The two work well together and have a balanced dynamic, something that Lara needs in her life. While Jonah doesn’t have to appear in every episode or story arc, it’d be nice to know that Lara’s bestie is still out there supporting her, no matter where her adventures take her.
A hallmark of both the original and reboot series has always been their diverse locations. Lara’s a globetrotter, and history happens everywhere, letting her travel from Peru to Greece to the Arctic while keeping the story interesting. Not only do I want to see some amazingly gorgeous backgrounds and scenery, it would be nice to see Lara explore different cultures and histories around the world, hopefully playing on local myths and legends as she goes.
That being said, I don’t think that deep cultural and archaeological exploration is needed in what’s hopefully a fun action-adventure series, but it wouldn’t hurt to give the series some weight. And, either way, diverse settings are always enjoyable.
Lara As A Seasoned Explorer With Character Development
One of the best aspects of the reboot trilogy is the fact that Lara finally gets an actual personality and character development to go along with her adventuring skills. In the original games, and even the world of the comics and the Angelina Jolie movies, Lara was a pretty flat character (no pun intended). That’s not to say she wasn’t this amazing fighter and explorer, but she was pretty one-note about it. She didn’t need to be anything more complex or interesting than this avatar who could do anything.
That is, until the reboot came along and gave her a more grounded personality, with real character development and feelings and a life. Hopefully, the anime series will combine the best of both worlds, keeping her as a seasoned explorer like in the original series, completely competent and capable of holding her own no matter what the situation, but also still have her be, well, a person. Facing challenges and developing and learning from them isn’t just the key to being a well-rounded person in real life, but it’s what works in fiction too.
Women Writers and Directors Behind the Scenes
This might seem like an obvious wish to be put on the list, but it’s going here anyway. Part of the reason why Lara was such a great character in the reboot trilogy is that she acted like a real human being, not a damsel in distress or some sort of Superman archetype. I think a lot of the credit for that is due to having women behind the scenes, particularly women writers for all three installments. So why shouldn’t the anime have the same?
While there’s obviously nothing wrong with having men working on a Tomb Raider show, Lara’s story and embodiment of female empowerment falls rather flat if it’s not something that is also occurring behind the scenes in the real world. There’s not much point to having Lara be a fantastic hero if we don’t get to also have a few real-life women show how amazing they are in the process. So far we have seen Tasha Huo confirmed as the series showrunner, so here's hoping there's more to come!
These are our top picks for things we'd like to see in the upcoming Tomb Raider anime. What are yours? Let us know in the comments below!