Live Action Anime Movies. Its a tragedy worse then the holocaust. However, it is a growing trend in Hollywood and we decided to pick the best of the worst, because let us be honest…with films like Dragonball Z it’s quite easy to hate on this genre. We kick off our Top 10 Live-Action films based on anime list with our number 10 pick:
I can’t describe how many times I thought ‘whoah!’ it’s one of those moments that could only ever happen in cartoons or ‘whoa!’ that was anime level crazy! This film set out to create a literal live action adaptation of a lovable & cheesy retro cartoon anime. That’s exactly what it did. Above everything else, this movie is a visual feast that stays true to the cartoon. I think it is really unfortunate that so many critics are complaining about the visuals in this movie, because I think that they are truly fantastic. I can safely say that I have never seen another movie like this one, and I feel that so many movies are going to try to do what this movie did.
The story almost mirrors the cartoon which is based on the four nations, which rules the world and the members of each nation have the control of one of the four elements: fire, air, water, and earth. Say what you want about M. Night but he knows how to assemble an action scene. I’ll admit there are one or two very minor things that this movie improved on over the show. On a technical level, the film is pretty much perfect. The sets, costume designs, and visual effects are all commendable. Ironically, I was so ready to rip apart Jaden Smith in Karate Kid last week but ended up loving the film, yet with Airbender, I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen child acting this poor. Still, given the topic of conversation, this film actually lands a place one notch up from Speed Racer on the enjoyment scale.
There’s a fond place in my heart for Initial D. My first car in high school actually resembled the car the main character had in the original anime series. Thus, kicked off my initial interest in the world of car racing. While the anime stayed fairly close to the manga, this live action movie makes plenty character and plot changes. The storyline is basic but enjoyable, with the main characters getting a decent amount of screen time. However, what sets the movie apart is the cars! I am a car nut, and I love the way the cars, ranging from the RX-7 to the Trueno, were cleanly built and well crafted to fit the mold from the anime. Was it faithful to the anime or manga? I think the directors did very well with the film, capturing the geekiness of Takumi’s friends and the racing was just fun to watch.
The live action version of the animated short, Blood: The Last Vampire is a disjointed movie about Saya and her weird adventures in 1970 Tokyo hunting the demoness Onegin. It has almost all the elements of the anime movie in the firstpart, then some changes they inserted in the second half of the movie. I don’t want to contain spoilers, but it has more flashbacks related to Saya’s past and about her revenge. The start of the Live Action Movie was exactly the same as the Original Animated Movie. Having the train scene at the beginning was a great way to instantly pull fans of the Anime into the movie and get them into that familiar world of the Blood series. The lead actress did a good job and although slightly dissapointed overall, I think viewing this movie is necessary to cure your curiousity if you’re a fan of the anime movie.
Death Note is based on the popular manga and loosely based on the anime series of the same name. eath Note reflects why imperfect human beings should not a high amount of power because men are fallible, vulnerable to desires and prone vanity. You see an almost accurate telling of one persons corruption and descent into madness. The suspense is more cerbral than visual with a very solid structure. Death Note takes place over the span of 12 episodes in the anime, which comes out to about a running time of a little over four hours as compared to the two hours of the movie. Needless to say, I was afraid the plot or characters were going to be underdeveloped and it would all fall apart under the weight of what it was trying to accomplish. A bit uneven here and there, but overall, still a fun ride. A must see and own for any anime fan, let alone, any Death Note fan.
Space Battleship Yamato is a live action film adaptation of the original Space Battleship Yamato anime TV series. It was released in Japan on December 1, 2010 and debuted at number 1 on the Japanese box-office, ousting Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The year is 2199, and the Earth has been under radioactive siege from extraterrestrials known as the Gamilas for five years. The Earth’s surviving population has moved underground to escape the bombardment, but the contamination is slowly penetrating to reach them. The last space battleship of the exhausted Earth Defense Forces, Yamato, sets out on a journey to Iscandar, a planet located in the Large Magellanic Cloud, to acquire a device that can heal the ravaged Earth before it is too late. A great thrill ride to wrap up 2010!
I’d like to direct your attention to FUNimation’s Shinobi: Heart Under Blade, a live-action, anime-influenced extravaganza! Shinobi is one of the few live-action films I’ve seen that have nailed the style, pacing, and tone of Japanese anime. The film is saturated with epic melodrama and poetic dialogue and leaps into motion when blades are drawn and battles are fought. Enough blood and serious violence is present to merit an R rating, but there are certainly more graphic martial arts movies out there.
Mushishi is deeply complex at times, and often drifts into the realms of the incomprehensible. Set at the turn of the 20th century, it follows a young man by the name of Ginko, who travels all over Japan, studying Mushi. As far as I could tell, Mushi, rather than being plain old insects, are tiny creatures with some kind of magical force. They’re a necessary part of life, but they often have negative effects on humans. Fans of the franchise should find lots to like here as much of the material comes right out of the anime and manga. It’s a beautiful piece of work, roaming languidly through lush leafy forests, pale misty light, and deep woodland ponds fringed with trees. The beauty of most of it makes the horrific parts even darker and more ghastly.
This is a film that is based off the popular anime series of the same name, in which Kei Kurono is nothing like the character from the anime. I think that a lot of fans are going to debate this film, but movie was two hours long and covered a lot both anime and manga sides. A major difference I noticed also was that the action and sex is heavily toned down. The manga, after all, is famous mostly for how incredibly over-the-top it is in terms of violence, nudity, and the tendency to present humanity as being pretty reprehensible. This live action incarnation is a slightly mixed bag of sci-fi goodness for genre devotees. If you haven’t seen the anime TV series or the manga I would say read the manga from the beginning. That way you’ll really understand what the dark, twisted, cruel, ruthless, confusing, sci-fi story is about.
At first viewing I was a little disappointed with Casshern, but when I finally came to terms with what this film really was, I found myself more willing to accept it. Upon my 2nd viewing, I fell in love with the film’s mythology. This film made me think I was watching a live action anime, which is neither good or bad. First-time film director Kazuaki Kiriya has an undeniable gift for visuals. From the luscious green trees of the “forest” to the industrial wasteland, each backdrop is brought to life with elegance and beauty. However, at the same time it can become exhausting. At the end of it all, this film triumphs and is a rollercoaster ride one will want to take.
There you go folks! Sound off in the comment section with thoughts, opinions, and of course, your OWN top 10 list. Until next time…