Akira Toriyama’s Sand Land makes a better show than game

Sand Land anime outperforms its game version, offering a tighter, more exciting adaptation of Toriyama's manga.

: Akira Toriyama's manga, Sand Land, receives two new adaptations: an anime series and a video game. The anime, streaming on Hulu and Disney Plus outside the US, delivers a more engaging and quicker-paced experience than the open-world RPG game. The game, despite its expansive world and vehicle mechanics, suffers from filler content and underdeveloped gameplay elements.

Akira Toriyama's Sand Land has been adapted into both an anime series and a video game, offering fans of the manga two different ways to experience its post-apocalyptic desert world. The story, set in a vast desert resulting from wars and natural disasters, revolves around a sheriff and a young demon's quest to find a hidden water supply, featuring a mix of serious themes and quirky humor reminiscent of Toriyama's unique style. While both adaptations feature the same characters and general plot, the anime offers a more concise and engaging narrative across its 13 episodes, free from the filler and pacing issues that plague the open-world RPG game.

The game version of Sand Land, despite faithful visuals and the inclusion of vehicles for exploration and combat, falls short due to its by-the-numbers gameplay and lack of interesting quests, feeling stretched and lacking the original's charm. In contrast, the anime captures the essence of Toriyama's work, blending action, humor, and a touch of strangeness effectively. Beyond just telling the original story, the series introduces a new story arc that expands on the universe in exciting ways, further setting the anime apart as the superior adaptation.

Ultimately, while the Sand Land game offers fans the chance to explore its world in a more interactive manner, it fails to capitalize on its potential, overshadowed by the anime's tighter storytelling and dynamic presentation. Fans and newcomers to Sand Land are likely to find the anime a more worthwhile and entertaining experience, capturing the spirit of Toriyama's manga more effectively than its video game counterpart. The anime's success in adapting the quirky, action-packed saga of Sand Land demonstrates the challenges and potential rewards of bringing manga to different mediums, with fidelity to source material and engaging storytelling being key to successful adaptations.