When it comes to live-action anime, fans may feel like they have slim pickings. Sure, there are plenty of adaptations out there, but fans have long complained that their quality is lacking.
The hope is that upcoming feature, Ghost in the Shell, can stem the tide of underwhelming adaptation and so far the best cut from the film, which is known as the 'shelling sequence,' looks remarkably similar to the original animated footage from the first Ghost in the Shell film.
The footage stands at over two minutes long and shows how The Major's hi-tech cybernetic body is built. The video starts out with the character's head and robotic brain being retrofitted with all sorts of gadgets before fans are shown a side profile of The Major's body. The character's form is then fitted with texturized skin and dunked in what appears to be a pool of white latex, but the liquid doesn't cover The Major for long. In true Ghost in the Shell style, the covering cracks into hundreds of pieces to reveal the heroine's bare humanoid body.
And, by the end, fans are finally treated to a close-up shot of The Major awakening in her augmented body.
Over the years, audiences have come to expect any live-action adaptation of an anime or manga to go over poorly, but that doesn't mean every project has flubbed with critics.
If you can scrub the thought of Dragonball Evolution and Speed Racer from your mind, then you can star looking into a slew of well-received adaptations of popular animes. Here at ComicBook.com, we've narrowed down our list of best live-action anime adaptations to give you a top ten. So, take a good seat and get ready to skim some subtitles; It's time to dive into the wondrous world of anime.
Blue Spring Ride
Anime is renowned for its complex love stories, and Blue Spring Ride is one of the best romances to come out of shojo in years. The story follows two high school students named Futaba Yoshioka and Kou Tanaka once they reunite after years apart. The former friends were separated years ago when Kou moved away to care for his mother, a move which broke Futaba's heart. In the years since, Futaba has become a girl who suffers from a debilitating inferiority complex with Kou has become a disheartened boy with no dreams. Together, the two struggle regain their former sense of self and find that the love between them never quite left.prevnext
Kimi ni Todoke
If you want to feel a lot of feelings, then you have to check out the live-action remake of Kimi ni Todoke. The soft romance originated as a popular manga and anime, and its film is just as cute. The story focuses on a lonely girl named Sawako Kuronuma who is bullied by her peers for looking like the ghoulish character from The Ring. While Sawako may look scary, the girl is a venerable angel, and her quiet charm catches the eye of the school's most popular boy Kazehaya. The two form a tentative friendship, which is a first for Sawako, and learn that love does not always stand in plain sight. Sometimes, you have to draw back a ghostly curtain or two.prevnext
Boys Over Flowers
When it comes to shojo, there are few series as tested as Boys Over Flowers. The beloved manga was adapted into an anime in the late 1990s before several live-action series based on the franchise debuted. While some of those iterations flopped, it was South Korea's take on the story that took the world by storm in 2009. The show follows a gang of rich, popular boys who attend a prestigious academy. The gang comes in conflict with a poor, scholarship student who abhors the boys and their snooty demeanors. While the pair often fight, the leading lady eventually falls for two of the boys, and Boys Over Flowers does a remarkably job depicting the love triangle's up-and-down moments for fans to enjoy.prevnext
If you are looking for something a little less romantic, then don't worry! There are still shows and films for you to peruse. Take for instance 2011's Bunny Drop, a live-action film based off Yumi Unita's titular josei manga. The film follows a 30-year-old man named Daikichi who adopts his grandfather's illegitimate daughter Rin after his sudden death. The young girl is considered an embarrassment to the family, but Daikichi refuses to let her sleep on the street. The slice-of-life story follows the pair as they deal with their new living situation and overcome their own abandonment issues.prevnext
My Love Story!!
Anime is a fondness for romantic-comedies, and there are few better than My Love Story!! The beloved series inverts plenty of tropes with its wry humor, and fans everywhere have fallen for the lead's charm. Adapted into a live-action film back in 2015, My Love Story!! tells the tale of Takeo Goda, a high school student who is feared because of his brutish appearance. However, the boy is a softie at heart and wants nothing more than to fall in love. So, when the kind-hearted boy ends up saving a girl named Rinko Yamato, he is stunned to find that she's interested in him. Together, the couple learns that appearances aren't always what they seem - for better or for worse.
Our Little Sister
Technically, Our Little Sister is not an anime adaptation, but it is based directly on a very popular josei manga titled Umimachi Diary. The series was created in 2007 by Akimi Yoshida, and a live-action film was released last summer to critical acclaim. The slow film follows a group of three sisters who learn they have a younger half-sister when their father passes. The older women take in their sister and struggle to overcome the culture gaps and secrets which separate them.prevnext
City Hunter is one of the more action-driven stories on the list, but there are no cheesy fight sequences to be found here. The thrilling drama is a class-act exploration of seedy criminal underbellies and sex appeal, so fans are happily say it does its titular anime justice. The adapted story follows a boy named Lee Yoon Sung after his father is killed during a military cover-up. The protagonist is taken by his father's friend and turned into a living weapon that can seek revenge for the government's poor oversight, but Lee Yoon Sung's plans are overturned when he meets a young woman named Kim Na Na.prevnext
As one of the more recent adaptation on this list, Orange is a telling example of where anime adaptations are going - and they are going in a great place if this film says anything. The movie is based on a popular anime that follows a group of friends during their high school years. One of the friends, Naho Takamiya, receives a letter from her future self which tells her to prevent one major regret. The mysterious event has to do with a new student named Kakeru Naruse, and the pair grow closer to one another while Naho continues to get increasingly distressed letters from herself.prevnext
When it comes to famous live-action anime adaptations, then Death Note is at the top of the pile. The anime and manga has become a global phenomenon, so it's not surprising that a live-action film was made. However, fans were shocked over how good the movie was. The film closely followed its source material by bringing in characters Light Yagami and a detective known as L. The two boys find themselves stuck in a game of cat-and-mouse when the former gains possession of a journal known as a Death Note. The item gives him the power to kill anyone in the world by simply writing their name down, and Light becomes obsessed with his newfound gift. It is up to L to stop the psychotic murderer, but he may not have enough time to do so before his name ends up in the Death Note as well.prevnext
It is difficult to find a better live-action anime adaptation than Rurouni Kenshin if not impossible. The 2012 film painstakingly used Nobuhiro Watsuki's story as inspiration to create what many consider to be a near perfect film adaptation. The acclaimed film follows a young man named Himura Kenshin who once worked as an assassin called Hitokiri Battōsai. Kenshin, who is ashamed of the sins he committed as a mercenary, now wanders a post-war Japan to protect the innocent from corrupt criminals and unwittingly finds some allies along the way.prev