Anime that Could be Live Action – Discussion

So…I’ve been thinking. Recently I was looking through my posts and discovered a few trends. One being that I have a ton of Godzilla content, but also a lot of content about adaptation western media into anime. I’ve done western shows, books and even created a tag around it. Quick note, thank you so much for the support that tag has received, it’s great to see people enjoying it and I hope people continue to. Anyway, I was thinking, I’ve been transforming things into anime, but today, I’m going to flip it! I’m going back into the dreaded world, of live action anime. I did a post recently talking about why live action anime adaptations don’t work, but today I’m throwing that aside and looking at what could be. I expressed a few ideas in that discussion but here I wish to elaborate on some of them as well as add a few more for good measure. I will only be talking in a movie sense with these choices, so no Death Note Netflix shenanigans in this one. With that said, let’s begin.


I brought this one up the most in my other posts, and I do feel Another is a great example of an anime that could be made live action. Horror is the most adaptable genre in my opinion, albeit most horror films are very quick to produce and don’t have much integrity. The concept of Another is strange but also somewhat believable, at least in a horror setting. I get Final Destination and Saw vibes from this anime, it doesn’t go for a conventional horror aesthetic of demons, monsters or a serial killer, it’s an unseen force that causes pain and misery everywhere it goes. I also feel a live action touch could really bring out the gore factor of this anime since it’s known for its already gruesome death scenes. I know there is already a japanese made live action version, but I only found that by chance and I’m talking giving these the mainstream treatment. I get the feeling that this wouldn’t be just ‘Another‘ boring horror film if it was created. Ok that joke was miserable…


When you have a ketchup sachet and it bursts in your hands


Dragon Ball

Ok, now before we all get heated over this, I want to preface this. I do not want a live action Dragon Ball movie to be anything like Evolution, I’m talking a completely different style and tone. I mentioned in my previous live action anime discussion, I talked about how I feel the MCU formula could work for Dragon Ball. The combat shown in movies like Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War and even Captain America: Civil War has combat that I feel could defiantly work in a Dragon Ball movie. Skyward clashes, hand to hand fisticuffs, all combining martial arts with crazy action, prime combat material for Dragon Ball. I also think the humor could be translated pretty well with the right writing team, a lot of jokes could really lend themselves to the Dragon Ball style. I do feel they would have to tone down some of the wackiness of Dragon Ball, but in this world of vivid worlds and imaginative concepts we can make a Dragon Ball world that could potentially work. In terms of what sage I’d use for the movie, well, that’s a tough choice. I’d say maybe a mix of the original arc to introduce the characters and maybe sprinkle in some elements of DBZ. I know the live action Dragon Ball failed the first time, but hey there’s always room for improvement.


Anyone else think Dave Bautista would make a good Piccolo?


Full Metal Alchemist

Yes this did have a live action adaptation in Japan, but let’s apply the ‘Hollywood’ anime adaption treatment to it. This for me would the textbook fantasy adaptation, but with a few more zany elements. For some reason, I get Pirates of the Caribbean vibes from FMA when watching it, but it still retains a more ‘fantasyesque’ (is that a word? Well it is now) style when compared to Pirates of the Caribbean. The story can be a Lord of the Rings like story, with the Elric brothers exploring the land for the Philosophers Stones, with the Seven Deadly sins hunting them. Long running anime can be hard to adapt into shorter films, its like condensing hours upon hours of content into an average runtime of 2 hours. Full Metal Alchemist is an anime I am somewhat new to but personally I already love it, and think seeing it a feature-length live action style would be a somewhat unique movie.


If only we could replicate these amazing expressions.


The Godzilla Anime Trilogy

Oh wow, Godzilla managed to weave his way into this post too, what a shocker. Well I put this here for the anime aspect not the Godzilla aspect. This trilogy got a lot of flack from fans of the series, saying it was trying too hard to be intellectual and was more of a movie with Godzilla merely in it as opposed to an actual Godzilla movie. Add to this the controversy where one of the directors criticized those who didn’t like it, and you have a cluster of movies that have become the black sheep of the Godzilla franchise. However, I feel that would these movies be made into live action they could get away with it. What’s my argument for this? Well it’s simple, the 2014 Godzilla did it. I know people complained about the lack of Godzilla in that movie, but I didn’t mind. I think the slower pacing would work better with live action since we’d get more emotion from the characters, plus I would kill to see Godzilla earth in live action, he’s like 3 times bigger than the tallest Godzilla and then some, imagine the sheer scale you’d feel with that beast. This trilogy isn’t the most well-regarded, but a live action version might help to expand its audience, as well as breath some potential new life into their unique universe.


I’ll give the movies this, they sure do know how to make kickass posters


Honorable Mentions

  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: If Pacific Rim can exist, then so can a live action Evangelion. Also include any mecha/gundam anime you can think of for this mention.
  • Berserk: Game of Thrones and other gritty fantasy shows and movies exist, so why can’t a live action Berserk?
  • Inuyashiki: Another anime that was adapted into live action in Japan, but I feel a western version could work, kinda like a more grown up Iron Man movie, with elements of Logan and other R-Rated hero movies like it.
  • Bayonetta: Yes Bayonetta had an anime, and I think it’s a great anime for the live action treatment. I get an Evil Dead vibe from it, not to mention seeing all the monsters and demons would look amazing if given the right special effects.

Thank you for reading I hope you enjoyed it. if you did please consider leaving a like and following my blog for updates on future posts. Also follow me on twitter @joe_reviews for further updates and general nonsense. Till next time.

8 thoughts on “Anime that Could be Live Action – Discussion

  1. I’m waiting for a Japanese live-action adaptation of Another. That is definitely one I’d like to see. Honestly, I don’t really care for Western/Hollywood live-action adaptations of things because I’ve been so disappointed with so many of them, and I’m not sure if that will change in the future, but it’s definitely something that doesn’t really interest me. That’s totally a personal thing though. I know other folks love Western adaptations and that’s cool too.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve been learning to have more of an appreciation for horror, but very specific kinds. I love psychological narratives, whether in books or anime, so with Another being more psychological and less blatant, in-your-face horror, I think it appeals to me far more.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. As a pretty avid fan of most Japanese live actions of manga/anime seeing this list was really interesting. I’d love to see ‘Another’ get a better live action adaptation, I haven’t watched the Japanese version but supposedly it’s not so great.

    I’d be curious to see your other picks get some love too in the future!

    Liked by 1 person

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