A Starter Guide to Anime’s Best Live-Action Films

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Following the arrival of Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop and the mixed reviews that came with it, many anime fans wonder if it will ever be popular for them to get a perfect adaptation of some of their favorite series. While the streaming series starring John Cho, Faye Valentine, and Mustafa Shakir has yet to confirm that it is in the running for a second season, we thought that now would be the perfect time to share some of the best examples of live-action anime adaptations that do a fantastic job of bringing the source material to life.

To start, Hollywood has created a handful of amazing movies that have brought anime stories to a new medium, with the Wachowski Brothers’ take on Speed Racer often referred to as one of the best examples of the genre. Starring Emile Hirsch, Christina Ricci, Matthew Fox, and John Goodman to name a few, the 2008 film captures the aesthetic of the original to such a wild degree, that the film is often thought of as one of the best representations of how the medium of anime can be brought into live-action. When it comes to the West, anime fans can also check out 2019’s Alita: Battle Angel which uses a major Hollywood budget to help bring the cybernetic story to life.

rurouni-kenshin-1264874.jpg(Photo: Warner Bros)

Of course, the most successful live-action anime film in North America, though it can be argued that it is a video game adaptation more so than the former, is Detective PIkachu, which saw Ryan Reynolds voicing the electric rodent that has a mysterious past and is seeking to learn the answers behind what had happened to its former master.

In Japan, there have been plenty of examples of films that have been able to properly capture the spirit of their respective source materials. The Rurouni Kenshin movies performed the Herculean task of capturing the aesthetic of the anime series, while also throwing in fighting that might just do one better than its predecessor. Along with Kenshin, Assassination Classroom and Blade Of The Immortal are also able to bring to life their stories in their grim detail. Needless to say, we definitely wouldn’t be surprised to see more live-action anime movies and series coming our way in the future, past what has been announced by Netflix, Amazon, and other streaming services.

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What is your favorite live-action anime adaptation to date? What future adaptation that has been announced 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.

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