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Mike Anderson

What if IT was an anime?

See how an artist reimagined Pennywise as an eerie anime clown

Inspired by the 2017 adaption of Stephen King’s IT, artist Mike Anderson created anime-esque artwork of Pennywise the clown. Not long after, freelance graphic designer Kevin Duran added voiceover and stitched the art together to create a 13-second animation, posting it on Twitter with the caption “what if IT was an anime?” Anderson later told Entertainment Weekly that he was “pretty upset” that Duran didn’t ask him if he could use the artwork, but they’ve worked it out.

Speaking to Dazed about the decision to draw Pennywise in the first place, Anderson said that he likes to “draw television, comic or movie characters that I love, and reinterpret them in my own artistic style” and that he chose to do it after he reviewed the miniseries on a podcast and watched the new film. He said that “drawing Pennywise was very therapeutic.”

Anderson said that he thought “the concepts and subject matter of Stephen King's book would be perfect for anime. There seem to be fewer limits in anime. Crazy concepts and unique storytelling are almost expected. The King novel delves into mythologies and settings that a live action movie may not have the time or budget to fully realise. And even if they could it may not appeal to mass audiences. Taking IT to an anime series would ground the story in a genre where traveling between dimensions and giant monsters are more accepted.”

Now that he’s gained recognition and attention for his IT reimagination, maybe Anderson would consider adapting some more of King’s work? He said, “I think a lot of King’s work would translate into anime really well. Since anime can cast such a wide genre net, there is really no limit. The Shining would be perfect for anime with its disorienting storytelling and visuals. I think Salem’s Lot or Cycle of a Werewolf would be interesting to draw as well.”