Hollywood Live-Action Adaptations of Manga & Anime

I always ask why do anime fans hate hollywood adaptations of anime titles so much? I ask that question to myself too since I also hate that idea. Although eventually I realized that I simply hate it because everybody else hates it too. It’s not reasonable for me to hate it then. So I tried to be open about it until I watched the trailer of Dragon Ball Evolution and then I got a real reason to hate it! However, I still kept an open mind.

If I loved an anime so much and then it got a hollywood live-action movie, it won’t change the fact that I love the anime. No matter how bad it is, it is not going to tarnish the anime because simply, the anime is here and then there’s the movie somewhere else. I can always watch the anime and forget about the live-action adaptation. For me, it is that simple.

I see hundreds of forum threads with hundreds of disappointed reactions to live-action adaptation news. I get that to a certain extent. I could write an elaborated long article about what kind of anime that might work in hollywood and what kind of anime that will never work. But all of it would be unnecessary. It’s industry. Hollywood would take any anime and americanize it (which is one huge reason not to like the adaptations) so it will be relateable and accessible to all kinds of audiences: initiated and uninitiated. I personally can’t blame them. They want to make more money. And if I wanted movies with substance I won’t go near mainstream hollywood in the first place. So, as far as we’re talking about making money, I can’t blame their strategies.

Let’s say I watch an adaptation. I don’t like it.  I stick to the anime. It’s that simple. All my protective sentiments and my hate for hollywood adaptations become irrelevant when I realize that the anime is there and will always be there, untouched.

I heard that Naruto is getting a live-action adaptation. Every fiber in me tells me that this is so damn wrong! Naruto is extremely Japanese. It is rooted in Japanese history and folklore. That’s the kind of story that’ll get lost in hollywood. But does it really matter? I don’t think a crappy live-action adaptation is going to affect me so much that I stop liking the original work! If it does then I’m no fan.

A live-action of Ghost in the Shell is already upon us. Based on the trailers, it looks promising. No one does Sci-fi better than hollywood (only in the technical aspects); Content-wise, I’m not so sure. I’d be more sure if Christopher Nolan was the director. Anyways, I’m interested in how it’ll turn out.


This is my second post for the Discover Challenge: Conventional Wisdom. Check out my first one: The Revolution We Needed.

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