Ideas for anime series rarely come out of thin air. A large number of anime are adaptations of manga, light novels, visual novels, or video games. In addition to these media, there are anime adaptations of non-Japanese literature such as Franz Kafka’s ‘A Country Doctor’. While it is obvious when a foreign book gets a direct anime adaptation, it may not be as obvious when one inspires an anime. Here are some examples of famous foreign literature that helped to inspire anime.
Journey to the West
Written in 16th century China by Wu Cheng’en, Journey to the West is a tale of a monk named Xuanzang that travels to the western regions under instruction from the Buddha in order to obtain sacred Buddhist texts. On his journey, the monk is accompanied by Sun Wukong, a violent monkey; Zhu Bajie, a gluttonous pig; Sha Wujing, a quiet ogre; and Yulong, a horse and son of a dragon king.