Why do Live-action Adaptation of Anime Usually Suck?

Okay not all of them are bad but usually most of them aren’t to the level you would expect them to be.

For instance take that Dragon Ball movie for example, we all knew it sucked balls. I admit that we all had a lot of expectations from it but seriously after watching that film one can easily say that the people who made them had a very little idea about it — and altered it vastly for the generic audience.

Vastly Altering the Source Material


Yup, that’s Goku in the middle

That’s one of the biggest problems in the industry. I mean altering the source material. There is a reason why the source material is popular, popular enough for a live-action adaptation. Still the makers usually make drastic changes to the original source material, simply to hit a greater audience. It’s all about the money after all.

The Setting

Anime Setting

Typical Anime Setting

Anime/Manga are usually based in a vividly imaginative world. Well, I am not saying that such type of movies are impossible but are expensive. So usually some amazing anime series/movies are not easily adapted or even if they are they are various budget constraints that makes the movies look cheesy.

Character Details/Actors

Tetsuo from Akira

I usually have no complaints against whitewashing the entire cast of the film but if they don’t deliver then I have a problem. The thing is every character in anime has a unique design and it is showcased when we see their vivid emotions. You know the laws of physics don’t apply here. So when they are portrayed in live-action everything feels so cheesy. I mean they should fix the character and adapt them for live-action but without disturbing the integrity of the source material.

Tastes of the Makers

Speed Racer

Speed Racer was a Good Movie

When the director gets into making the movie he usually makes the movie to this own desired tastes. I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with that but if they keep all of those original elements. Because even those little things matter.



Now this is deceiving

The last and the final deal breaker is the market. After all not everyone who is going to watch that movie is going to be a nerd. Some themes must be localized for the greater audience. Basically more about money.

So Should they Stop Making them?

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex

No! I still think these kind of movie have huge potentials, I kinda have high hopes from the upcoming Warner Bros’ adaptation of Akira and Disney’s Ghost in the Shell. If they just tune everything right they might just hit gold. I mean say something like Akira is already a hit in it’s original medium and boy it might not take many special skills to keep it that way.

The Unusual geek, Having a special place for Anime and Manga. Art lover and a crazy Internet Surfer.

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