Netflix is all in when it comes to bringing some of the biggest anime franchises to life in a whole new way, with Cowboy Bebop hitting the platform earlier this fall and the streaming service set to launch. tastes of One Piece, Yu Yu Hakusho and Avatar the Last Airbender in the future. With the denizens of Bebop arriving to mixed reviews, we thought now would be the perfect time to dive into some of the best live-action anime adaptations in both East and West.
For starters, Hollywood created a handful of amazing movies that took anime stories to a new medium, with the Wachowskis’ vision. speed racer often considered one of the finest examples of the genre. Starring Emile Hirsch, Christina Ricci, Matthew Fox and John Goodman to name a few, the 2008 film captures the original’s aesthetic to such a wild degree that the film is often considered the one of the best representations of how the medium of anime can be brought into live-action. As for the West, anime fans can also check out the 2019 Alita: battle angel which uses a sizable Hollywood budget to help bring the cyber story to life.
Of course, the most successful live-action animated film in North America, even though it’s arguable that it’s more of a video game adaptation than the first, is Detective PIkachuwhich saw Ryan Reynolds voice the electric rodent who has a mysterious past and seeks to know the answers behind what had happened to his former master.
In Japan, there have been many examples of films that have successfully captured the spirit of their respective source material. the Rurouni Kenshin the movies have done the Herculean task of capturing the aesthetic of the anime series, while throwing in fights that might just do better than its predecessor. In the same way Kenshin, Assassination Classroom and Immortal’s Blade are also able to bring their stories to life in their dark detail. Needless to say, we certainly wouldn’t be surprised to see more live-action anime movies and series in the future, after what’s been announced by Netflix, Amazon, and other streaming services.
What’s your favorite live-action anime adaptation to date? What future adaptation are you most looking forward to? Feel free to let us know in the comments or hit me up directly on Twitter @EVComedy to talk all things comics, anime, and the world of anime adaptations.