The third season of Stranger Things acknowledges the world outside of the American Midwest, opening a whole can of worms about late Cold War-era international politics that it doesn’t seem all that equipped to answer. Nonetheless, the decision to introduce a prominent Red Scare plotline in the story of supernatural kids saving the world has been made, bringing along with it the need to recognize that the increasingly high-stakes escapades of its cast would probably be noticed across the globe.
This raises a lot of questions, not the least of which is: Would Japanese animators pitch a “based on a true story” version of the plucky, monster-destroying American children? And what would that show look like?
Animation studio Humouring The Fates has answered this with a trailer for the ‘80s anime version of Stranger Things that never was. Committing to an idea that somehow hasn’t been done elsewhere yet, the clip is a stylized montage of character highlights from the first two seasons. We see Eleven’s psychic powers being tested in the secret lab, Joyce communicating with Will through Christmas lights, Dustin hanging out with his pet baby monster, and the whole group preparing to face down the Mind Flayer as lightning crashes around them.
It’s a fun exercise, though a lot more Saturday morning cartoon than ‘80s anime, despite the big eyes and Japanese titles. Still, the VHS splash screen bookending the clip and bits of tracking fuzz that go along with it are enough to make the video look like it’s from a bygone era and, let’s be honest, isn’t that all anybody wants from Stranger Things?
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