What are the best anime-live action movie adaptations you've watched?

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What are the best anime-live action movie adaptations you've watched?

Postby Mave » Mon Jul 27, 2015 9:12 am

I'm not sure if this falls under the general entertainment or anime section. Anyway....

I just wanted an excuse to gush over the Rurouni Kenshin live action movies that were released quite a while ago. I'm usually a huge skeptic of such attempts but the cast of Rurouni Kenshin were surprisingly good and adapted movie plots were somewhat acceptable to me, a hardcore Kenshin manga canonic fan.

I understand that the actors played all fights out as realistically as possible with minimal CG but I am most curious by the overall sword choreography. I'm not sure if some of the speed moves were digitally accelerated as it was really....fast. (0.o) Is that even really possible? It was also interesting to watch how Kenshin, being such as a small guy, used this whole body to move around (feet, head etc), run around really quickly and execute some 'gymnastic' moves while fighting. I read somewhere that the actor is also a dancer by profession so his trained physique flexibility helped a lot. Overall, I truly did enjoy the whole action scenes and character scenes.

Some have commented on how violent the movies were but I thought it was quite scaled down considering how much more worse it could have been. Seeing Sanosuke bloodied up a bit more in the movie reminded me being beaten up looks a lot more uh....glamorized in comic form.

My only complaint about this series is the overall movies felt relatively 'rushed' and there could have been more expanded scenes. If they made as many movies out of this as they did the Harry Potter franchise, I would have gladly bought them.

Kenshin and Saitou were my favourite cast members. I never thought I'd see Kenshin real life and Saitou was pretty badass.

SPOILER: Highlight text to read: Did anyone find the Kyoto Inferno movie scenes where everyone was trying to defeat Shishio a little....comical? I know Shishio is supposed to be the invincible villain but to see him beat up Team Kenshin so easily was a little unbelievable.

This thread is not limited to Kenshin only. I haven't watched other live-action anime movies yet but if anyone has recommendations as good as the Kenshin movies, please feel free to share.
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Re: What are the best anime-live action movie adaptations you've watched?

Postby shooraijin » Mon Jul 27, 2015 5:06 pm

I'll give one in reverse: Zeiram was bad acting, boring sets and rubber suits, but the OVA Iria: Zeiram the Animation, its direct descendant (and prequel), has wonderfully weird visuals and creature designs. Fortunately the SNES game was based on the anime, not the live-action.
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Re: What are the best anime-live action movie adaptations you've watched?

Postby the_wolfs_howl » Sat Aug 01, 2015 11:15 am

I absolutely agree about the Rurouni Kenshin movies. They picked all the best actors to bring these characters to life, and I think they did a pretty good job of condensing down the story into the length of three movies. I would have been totally okay with more movies too, though :D And I love the action! Sure, some of it is a little unrealistic, like Sanosuke flipping Kenshin with his huge sword or Shishio's flaming sword, or just the speed of a lot of the moves. I don't know if they artificially sped up the action, or if the actors really are just that fast, but I know that they did as much as they possibly could for real. And that, I think, is what makes these movies so great. Even though some things are a bit too impossible to completely believe, it's just realistic enough that you can kind of forget that. And really, I'm just happy they didn't have people suspended in midair for five minutes while they yell their attacks at each other :P I also loved how they showed a bit of Kenshin's softer side, and his backstory. I would have loved to see more of it, though; they explained how he got one of his scars, but not the other! Can you say "wasted potential"? :shake: I wish they could've included all the information you get from the OVAs. But for what a high-energy action movie this is, I was impressed with how much time they devoted to character development. I think I appreciate all of the characters even more now than I did while watching the anime. I think my main disappointment in that regard was that they didn't give enough time to Sojiro. He was always the most interesting antagonist to me, and while I think they captured him well in the movie, they just didn't give enough of his backstory to really show why he is the way he is. He just ends up looking crazy and evil for the sake of being crazy and evil, without any of the complexity that's actually there.

But yes, all in all I adore the Rurouni Kenshin movies. I show them to everyone who will sit still long enough :D


Another really really good adaptation is the Death Note live-action movies. They get just about everything perfect. There are only two movies to cover the Death Note plot, so obviously they have to condense the storyline down a lot, so you lose a lot of the really clever cat-and-mouse games L and Light play, but I think they did a great job of getting the important parts in. The characters are all done amazingly well, especially Light and L (which, if you ask me, are the ones who really matter in the end). I honestly can't imagine anyone doing a better job with these characters than Tatsuya Fujiwara and Kenichi Matsuyama. The CG for the shinigami leaves a little to be desired, but I'm okay with it because I don't think they were trying to make the shinigami look realistic anyway. One thing I should note for anyone reading this who hasn't seen them already is that they actually change the ending. I think the movies' ending makes more sense and works better for the story than the ending of the manga/anime, but adamant purists would probably take issue with it.

There's also a spinoff movie called L: Change the World, with the same actors but a different director. It tells a side story of one of L's cases, and while the plot is nowhere near the complexity and ingenuity of Death Note, what this movie does with L's character is phenomenal. I love it to pieces even though I don't really care about the plot, because I think I could watch L being himself till the day I die and never get bored ^_^ It also has a great soundtrack, and makes me bawl my eyes out every time I watch it <3
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