In 2009, anime fans lost faith in Hollywood anime adaptations. The fandom trotted into theater that year with tickets to see Dragonball Evolution, and many left before the film even finished its first act. The movie, which was based off the iconic Dragon Ball series, forever skewed Western live-action adaptations of anime because it was so bad.
No, really. There’s nothing redeeming about the film.
More than five years have passed since Dragonball Evolution made its tragic debut, and anime continues to evade Hollywood’s sensibilities. Fans are currently eyeing Paramount’s remake of Ghost in the Shell with trepidation, and anime lovers revolted when news broke that Lionsgate was developing a live-action Naruto film. It’s safe to say the fandom doesn’t trust Hollywood to make a good anime film - and they have every right to be weary.
Currently, there are a handful of major anime franchises being shopped around Hollywood. Not only is Naruto being whipped into a live-action film, but reports have surfaced that Attack on Titan is also in the works with Warner Bros. For years now, Akira has been shopped around various studios, and these franchises are not ones to be trifled with. Abroad, these series are money-making juggernauts, and Hollywood would be wise to level up its anime approach if they want to tap that market.
Little has been done to reassure anime fans that Hollywood learnt its lesson after the fallout of Dragonball Evolution. Controversies about casting and source material changes have popped up as recently as with Ghost in the Shell, and the industry cannot afford to slack for long. Fans agree that both anime and manga are on a rise after a prolonged slump, and sales for these mediums continue to grow each day. Japan rivals traditional comic book sales with its manga earnings, and anime is a global phenomena to put it lightly. Hollywood may be preoccupied with superhero films these days, but many expect manga to become the industry’s next big resource pool.
So, at ComicBook.com, we’ve pooled a few ways Hollywood could start to regain trust amongst anime fans and not totally botch live-action movies moving forward.