Live-Action Anime: My Love-Hate Relationship

When I first started watching anime, I refused to watch any live-action adaptations of any anime that I ended up liking, because I thought that the producers wouldn’t do the movies justice. I thought they would just end up being corny or ridiculous, or wouldn’t be true to the plot, which would then just make me frustrated (especially since where I live, movie tickets are $10 apiece, so that would have been a huge waste of money if the movie was disappointing). That being said, the more that I expand my anime horizons, the more that I am slowly starting to see myself being open to the idea of seeing more anime being adapted as live-action. Of course, there are also some adaptions that, as I said, are just awful. Here’s the overview of my love-hate relationship with live-action animes.

Animes That I Would Love to See Live-Action Adaptations of, or Have Seen and do Love:

I think that there are a few animes that would be quite epic in live-action, just because of the overall premise of these shows. There are also a few that I have seen in live-action that I do in fact love. The list is as follows:

1. Clannad & Clannad After Story

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This is an inspiring love story of a boy, a girl, and the child they ultimately end up having. It is a story of friendship, life, love, growing, and learning to cherish those you care about. I highly recommend having a box of tissues ready if you choose to watch this. I personally have always wanted to shoot at least a couple of scenes from this anime in live-action and see how it would turn out. I think that with the right actors and the right setting, this could be absolutely beautiful in live-action, but they would have to really not change much of the plot at all, so Hollywoodization probably would never happen. And I’m ok with that. I almost consider this anime “sacred,” that’s how much I love it. So while I think it would be good live, it’s probably best if we never go that route with this one.

2. Sword Art Online

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I know that Sword Art Online already has been adapted into a movie, but it’s not live-action. I think that with the overall premise of this anime, it would be epic as a live-action movie, and even if they changed a few things, it would still be a really good movie that would probably do quite well in the box office. Just the action aspect of it, coupled with the romance and the notion that it’s literally play or die makes it interesting in and of itself. On the other hand, any producer would have to be careful with how they did it, or else they’d just end up with a reboot of The Hunger Games, so any live-action Sword Art Online movie would have to be done with great tact.

3. Ghost in the Shell

Image result for ghost in the shell live action

Seeing as they did make a live-action adaptation of this one, and it turned out good, I am happy to include it on my list. This movie was absolutely fantastic, and definitely worth the money spent to see it. I have not seen the original Ghost in the Shell anime, but I did see Stand Alone Complex, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Imagine my delight, then, when the opening scene in the movie was a scene from Stand Alone Complex, and when a good portion of the movie borrowed from this anime. It could not have been better. Despite all the criticism that this movie has received, I really, really like it.

Animes that Would Not Be Good Live or Were Not Good Live

Now that you’ve seen my list of animes that I would love to see live, or that I thought were good live, it’s time to take a look at the bad side of live-action animes. Here are a few that I don’t think would be good live at all:

1. Itazura Na Kiss (ItaKiss)

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This is my second-favorite anime love story, and really the only anime rom-com that I’ve seen so far. Yet I don’t think that it would be good live for several reasons. First, Indonesia has produed a live-action version of it, and it seemed to deviate from the plot quite a bit, at least from the first few minutes of it that I watched. Also, the characters just didn’t seem believable as themselves, so that was hard for me, but I don’t know. Maybe I’ll go back and watch it again in live-action, but there’s only certain types of people with certain acting skills who can accurately portray Irie and Kotoko in the right light, and I just think it would be a struggle to recreate that dynamic.

2. Little Busters

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While Little Busters is another amazing, tear-jerker of an anime about love and friendship, I feel like trying to recreate a live-action version of it would just be weird. The plot would jump around way too much, and it just generally wouldn’t make any sense. Plus, it would certainly be weird trying to replicate the sudden personality shift of Kyuoske (spelling?), as he seems nice, then mean, then nice again in the anime. I’m not certain that viewers would understand this change, or if such a change could even be accurately achieved in live-action. I think he might just end up being the most hated character in the movie, which is not the case at all with the anime.

3. Death Note

Image result for death note live action netflix ryuk

I was never really a fan of this anime to begin with, and the live-action adapation, at least the Netflix release, wasn’t exactly my favorite. Nat Wolff was ok as the lead role, but there were some scenes that I thought needed a bit more. For example, when he was in the detention room and got scared by Ryuk, the scream he gave out, coupled with the flailing he did, seemed totally fake, and I laughed so hard at that. I’m not meaning to judge, but that’s the truth. Also, they changed a lot from the original anime. L was way too hyper in the movie, and had an absolute fit when Light wouldn’t admit to being Kira. I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about this movie to begin with, and well, it didn’t quite live up to expectations. Maybe if it hadn’t been set in Seattle, it would have been different, but I doubt it. I don’t think location really makes a difference for this one…it just all around was not my favorite.

So there’s my take on the matter. What do you all think?


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