Taking well-love anime and turning these into live action films has become all the rage in Japan. We're talking about the superb Rurouni Kenshin trilogy, and the hotly anticipated Attack on Titan film. (We can shoot the shit all day about Western audiences being unsatisfied with the released trailers so far, but lemme tell you, son-- out here in the East? Everybody's hyped.)
It's also good to see that Hollywood may have learned its lesson with the horrible white-washed Dragonball: Evolution movie that effectively killed the interest in making a half-decent adaptation. The lesson is clear: leave the Asians to do what they know how to do best-- make crazy fun movies out of their crazy-fun manga and anime stories.
Who would know better about the aesthetics involved in anime than Asians? Trying to simplify these tales and characters to fit a general Western audience shortchanges both the fans and people who want to be introduced to the awesome world of live-action anime adaptations.
When done right, however, live action anime adaptations can bridge the gap between East and West, between the otaku and the casual movie goer. Given an Asian cast and production familiar and respectful of the material and add some big budget Hollywood backing, we could come up with some glorious films. No one quite does fantasy and sci-fi the way the Japanese do.
Here are 22 animes we wouldn't mind having a live action adaptation, given the right circumstances.
Art credit: AIC
A little-known cult classic from back in 1999. The Legend of Black Heaven tells the story of middle-aged salary-man Oji who has nothing going on in his life. He's a poor father, a poor husband, and an all around loser but he used to be the face-shredding lead guitarist of a once fairly popular heavy metal band. That's long in the past now. Until the day a beautiful blonde woman asks him to take his Gibson Flying V guitar again and save the world. It turns out that the galaxy is in the middle of a raging intergalactic war and the heart-pumping sound waves of Oji's music gave a particular group of aliens' spaceship a sonic boost. This may be Oji's last chance to live the dream and save the world through rock and roll.
Check out the first episode on youtube.
Art credit: Yen Press
Who doesn't love the zombie apocalypse? On that note, who doesn't love adorable high school girls? Put em together and you get ass-kicking, big boobed, Japanese girls in their sailor-style school uniforms battling zombie hoards and struggling for survival. Throw in some teenaged romance and sexual tension every now and then. At this point, do the intricacies of the plot really matter?
Art credit: Gonzo
The Japanese have truly mastered the adage "go big or go home," particularly when coming up with story ideas that no one else would touch with a ten-foot pole. I'd love to have been a fly on the wall when Hellsing was conceptualized. Abraham Van Helsing--yes, of Dracula-killing fame--comes back from the dead after 100 long years to lead a royal order of vampire hunters whose main mission is the protect the British queen from a world-wide platoon of neo-nazi vampires.