If you have been keeping an eye on anime news recently, then you may have heard about all the Hollywood, television, or Netflix anime adaptations that have been announced. I may not remember all of them, but some of them that I do remember are Gundam, My Hero Academia, Sword Art Online, Your Name, and most recently Cowboy Bebop. I know there are others, I just can’t think of them at this moment. In a way I don’t want to, because it seems like quite an intimidating once you think about it. All of it comes from popular series and franchises as well. I know that I am a very strange person, but I would prefer adapting things that haven’t gotten much attention from the past. Something like the Battle Angela Alita, but I guess those aren’t as viable on the movie market as much as higher profile material
The Good About This (Yes, there is good)
So what are some good reasons to have a live action adaptation of anything? I think the easier answer is obvious. It’s about the source material getting a bigger presence out in the wild then just what the anime can get it. Even if a show makes it onto television with a dub like all the television series that I listed above, it’s still not making it to a wider audience in anyway. Having a live action adaption means commercials are advertising on television screens leading up to its appearance in movie theaters. Even if the movie flops at the box office, people will still go out and see it. A fraction of those people will at least try out the source material because of them, which is a positive gain for the anime community itself. If more anime fans are the result of all of this, then excellent. Hopefully a good person or two joined the anime fan ranks.
Another positive for me at least, it’s interesting to see the unique ideas that come from adapting these shows. Most of the time, adaptations of manga are always set on railroad tracks because they have a defined destination. Besides the advantages that a moving visual medium give a manga, a manga reader already knows what is going to happen. Shonen jump films help breath some creativity into the franchise, but it isn’t completely there because they are non-canon. Alternative adaptations can do whatever they want with characters of the same name and that can be great if they are written well. If they aren’t, then you know how to feel about that already. Yup. I believe we have quite a few results of what happens already produced on here.
The Bad (Plenty of Bad as well)
As anime fans, I think we all know about all the negative aspects of live action adaptations. First of all, I am definitely in agreement that anime should stay animated. The unique visual styles of anime and how not every episode of an anime looking like another one yet is still a part of the same anime is why I love anime. This is the reason why I love Cowboy Bebop and why I think the live action adaptation is going to be incredibly boring. The only shows that I saw doing the craziness of animation in live action are Legion and Mr. Robot. Even then, those series can be jarring. Other than those, no other show has ever had as dynamic direction and interesting visuals behind them and that is just sad.
The other problem with live action adaptations in general is not many of them have been that good. In fact, most of them has been terrible. As far as I know, the Ghost in the Shell movie has been the best one so far and that was maybe average at best. Ok that’s not completely fair. I know that there have been some good live action adaptions from Japan. Apparently the Rurouni Kenshin films are good though I don’t care about that franchise anymore, and the Bleach live action film was alright. Possibly others are good too according to reviews I’ve read from people I trust. Talking about western live action adaptions tough, all of them have been awful. Without mentioning how far away they are from source material because that is not something I am too concerned about, how they have been written in general is just awful, there visuals are terrible as well, and they are just terrible in general. Some are just horrible stuff.
I know that I have no power over live action adaptations happen, but it really does feel like the creators have no live or affection for the animated medium at all. Especially with things like the Disney live action remakes that also try to “fix” the problems that the animated movies have. They make money, but they have no soul with them. I am hoping that these live action adaptations that have started production have their own soul to them. That’s all I am asking for. Being accurate to the source material isn’t something that I am concerned about. I just want their writing to be good and make sense in the world that live action adaptation is presenting to the audience. That’s it. Thank you for reading my rant and thoughts on this.
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