The majority of live-action anime adaptations fail miserably, although there are a few exceptions.
Fans and critics alike typically have a difficult time with the live-action adaptations of well-loved anime programs. When it comes to adapting live-action anime and other mediums like video games and book series, there are a number of hurdles to overcome. Anime is considered a dangerous medium to bring to life because many fans prefer to see their favorite characters in 2D form rather than in 3D.
The anime film business, in spite of the skepticism of the general public, is relentless in its pursuit of the ideal balance between faithfully recreating the world of anime while also accurately conveying the characters’ thoughts, feelings, and motivations. As a result, several of these anime-to-live-action translations are unexpected fan favorites and cult classics. What are the finest live-action anime adaptations to watch?
Mark Sammut made the following update on December 23rd, 2021: Live-action anime adaptations on Netflix are living proof of how difficult it is to make the leap from anime to live-action. Anime adaptations are rarely attempted by Western studios, and when they do, the results are usually dismal. However, 2017’s Ghost in the Shell is one of the better live-action adaptations of the sci-fi manga and anime classic. It’s best to go into these movies with low expectations, although there are a few that are truly exceptional.
1. Bleach (2018)
It is theoretically impossible for any of the long-running battle shonen series to be made into live-action films. Bleach’s 2018 adaptation doesn’t debunk this perception that their stories are too big to fit into two-hour films. The movie is based on the first five episodes of the anime and serves as a prequel to the rest of the film.
A positive aspect of Bleach is that it’s enjoyable to watch. Basically, that’s all you need to know. Sure, there are legitimate complaints about the story’s slow start, its uneven spectacular effects, and the lack of development for the characters, but none of those things matter nearly as much when a picture is still entertaining.
2. Assassination Classroom (2015)
First of two live-action movies based on the Yusei Matsui manga Assassination Classroom was released in 2015, and it was a huge success. No matter whether version of Assassination Classroom is seen, the premise of an alien who destroyed the moon and plans to do the same to Earth becomes the homeroom instructor of a class of misfits. Students are tasked by Koro-sensei with destroying him before he devastates the planet.
An impressive job has been done in interpreting the manga and anime’s offbeat humor into Assassination Classroom: Live! While it’s not as good as the original, it’s also not horrible.
3. Animal World (2018)
Kaiji, one of the greatest gambling manga and anime of all time, is partially inspired on Animal World. As an example, the film makes its protagonist Kaisi more conventionally charming while simultaneously giving him a weird obsession with clowns.
Animal World stays true to its Kaiji roots, though, as Kaisi is forced to play a high-stakes game of rock-paper-scissors on a ship.
For the most part, the live-action adaptation of Animal World stays true to the manga and anime, and as a result, the suspense of Kaiji’s Espoir arc is faithfully recreated. The roles of Anderson, played by Michael Douglas, were originally played by Yukio Tonegawa and Kazutaka Hyodo, but were later replaced by Douglas.
With both Japanese and Western viewers, Gintama is a successful anime series. Many fans were really thrilled with the film and character portrayals because of the attention given to the potential live-action creation..
Gintama’s live-action adaptation may surprise those who were expecting another flop. They may also be impressed by the cast’s ability to convey the natural demeanor of the well-known characters from the original material.
5. The Disastrous Life of Saiki K
The Disastrous Life of Saiki K, unlike many live-action adaptations, was not concerned with changing many parts of the source text. This was a major factor in the film’s first mixed reception, and it’s one of the reasons why critics are divided over how the film ultimately turned out.
Regardless of how it is received, the live-action version stays true to the story found in the manga and anime it was adapted from. As the film progresses, the visual and pace style can be regarded as unpredictable or downright wild. Many fans were expecting a more realistic portrayal of the characters, so it may come as a surprise to see that Saiki’s demeanor is very much in keeping with his anime counterpart..
6. Death Note (Japanese Version)
It’s only right that we acknowledge the alternate version in light of Netflix’s new live-action remake of Death Note, which has elicited a flurry of criticism. An adaptation of L and Light Yagami’s well-known anime series had already been made in Japan. However, the Japanese adaptation stayed true to the anime and manga in terms of character design, behavior, and plot points, whereas Netflix’s version strayed far from the source material.
In addition, many fans found this rendition to be a good fit for the original anime’s general horror theme. Because it wasn’t supposed to be reworked, keeping to the original source material is critical to gaining the support of anime enthusiasts.
7. Terra Formars
Terra Formars was a long-running manga series that was adapted into a 13-episode anime series. It was established in 2014, but a live-action proposal and film were made shortly afterwards in 2016.
In the opinion of several reviewers, the film was funny enough to maintain their attention. In addition to Iceland, this live-action adaption was shot far away from the usual locations for live-action films set in Japan.
8. Blade Of The Immortal
Blade Of The Immortal, despite being a lesser-known anime at the time, gained some notoriety for its live-action adaptation. Many anime fans were pleased to see that the show’s unique charm was successfully translated into the live-action medium thanks to the excellent casting decisions made for the various roles. This film is a success because of the nearly overdone amount of blood, gore, weapon-based battle, and underlying supernatural power.
If you’re looking for a live-action anime movie to watch this year, Blade of the Immortal has you covered. The first two story arcs of the series are covered in this film.
9. Ace Attorney
It’s hard to find a young adult who hasn’t heard of Ace Attorney, one of the most recognizable video games and anime series of all time. Over the years, this franchise has covered a wide range of ground. The film has to convey both film and video game characteristics at the same time because of its unique and mixed origin.
This wonderful live-action experiment had an unexpected outcome. There are even people who say that “Ace Attorney” is the best video game movie of all time! In 2012, a film was released based on the original game’s second and fourth cases.
10. Rurouni Kenshin
The Rurouni Kenshin live-action film series premiered in 2012 with the release of the first film. The film’s favorable reception prompted the production of a sequel in 2014, and more are expected in the near future. Although it pays homage to the original anime and manga, it also lives up to the lofty standards set by both mediums.
The rapid and furious swordfighting sequences, with their precise and refined choreography, are largely responsible for this.
11. Speed Racer
Speed Racer, a classic 1960s anime series, was originally known as Mach GoGoGo. Speed Racer is often regarded as a cult classic, despite the fact that older anime versions are often shaky or lack attention from the general public.
Since its release in 2008, many anime fans have relied on this film as a constant source of inspiration. It was even nominated for several film awards and has a sequel in the works, with a completed story, in the works for the live-action adaptation.
12. Alita: Battle Angel
Alita: Battle Angel is one of the few live-action adaptations of anime that Hollywood has managed to pull off well. The film received overwhelmingly good reviews from both die-hard devotees of the source material and newcomers alike.
In addition to remaining true to the book’s plot and character traits, the film’s actors’ demeanor and demeanor are faithful to the original. Even Alita’s 3D eyes, which are generally avoided or scorned in the live-action community, went down well.
13. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond Is Unbreakable Chapter 1
When JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond Is Unbreakable Chapter 1 was released in 2017, it was greeted with a flurry of excitement from the hordes of anime and manga fans who had grown up with the series. On Rotten Tomatoes, the live-action adaption received a majority of positive reviews based on the film’s VFX and distinctiveness.
Style, costumes, and color schemes from the manga and anime are faithfully reproduced in the film. Many people consider Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond Is Unbreakable Chapter 1 to be one of the best ever live-action anime adaptations, and with good cause.