Resident Evil 4 Anime Perfectly Captures What Makes the Game Great
Capcom makes fun of RE4’s goofiest tropes.
The funniest bit of marketing leading up to the Resident Evil 4 remake’s upcoming release is no doubt the series of anime shorts loosely based on the game’s plot. Unlike the source material, these animated videos are silly and lighthearted from start to finish. And while they capture the series’ signature campy tone, they also lampoon the game’s most memorable — and sometimes tired — tropes. There are multiple episodes available, and each one is less than a minute long, making them easily digestible. Although the original Resident Evil 4 is beloved, the 2023 version is the definitive way to play, and the new animated shorts highlight the best reasons to try the remake.
During the animated shorts, we get a look at the game’s most iconic villains including the violent villagers, the chainsaw-wielding Dr. Salvador, and even the massive Del Lago lake monster. In the game, these foes are all presented as terrifying and formidable, while the anime makes them out to be cute and silly.
“Leon and the Mysterious Village” (Episode 1)
Battling these enemies is easily one of the game’s strongest points, and the anime reveals just what’s in store in the upcoming remake. The tension during some of the battles is top-notch, likely keeping you on the edge of your seat while you play.
We love how the anime pokes fun at itself, too, referencing Leon’s first encounter with the infected villagers. You can actually try this section in the free Resident Evil 4 remake Chainsaw Demo, which is one of the most thrilling areas of the whole game.
Of course, during your initial playthrough, you’ll likely get taken out a lot, and the anime references that, as well. At the end of the first anime episode, Leon gets whacked over the head with an axe, which triggers a rainbow to shoot out (that isn’t in the game), before his untimely demise. “You Are Dead,” the on-screen text reads. Hopefully, you’ll have better luck while playing the remake.
“Leon and the Mysterious Village” (Episode 2)
The second episode focuses on Ashley, who is the driving force of the game’s plot. She’s the president’s daughter, and Leon is tasked with saving her from the mysterious Spanish village.
In Resident Evil 4, the Ashley escort sections are controversial, as they’re often slow and clunky due to the AI. Ashley is seen as a damsel in distress, constantly yelling for Leon as she gets captured by enemy villagers. The remake actually improves her AI and personality a lot more, but the anime still pokes fun at the original.
Leon tells Ashley to stay close, and she agrees, only to get immediately captured by an enemy (which will no doubt happen in the game). The anime makes even more references to enemies, including El Gigante, a gargantuan giant boss who poses a threat in the early stages of the game. As expected, El Gigante then smashes Leon with a large piece of wood, leading to his demise once again.
Since the remake fixes many of the issues from the original, Capcom can get away with being so self-aware in the anime. It’s self-deprecating humor at its finest, reminding us that Resident Evil is way sillier than it gets credit for. It’s also a reminder of the incredible job Capcom has done with the remake.
It’s likely Capcom will release additional anime episodes around the game’s launch this Friday, and possibly more afterward.
Update (3/23): Here’s the third one!
Resident Evil 4 will be released for PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC on March 24, 2023.