Haven’t we had enough terrible live action versions of animated movies in our time? I mean c’mon Avatar the Last Airbender as a live action film, who thought that would be a good idea? And even worse, please, world, stop turning amazing animes into live action films! Just stop!
Apparantly, my appeals go unheard as Warner Bros. recently announced plans to adapt Tite Kubo’s manga series Bleach into a live-action feature. It is already an anime and a manga which usually go hand in hand so I am ok with that, but a live action movie? I have definite reservations.
If you haven’t read the manga or seen the anime here is the plot:
Bleach follows the adventures of Ichigo Kurosaki who is a teenager gifted with the ability to see spirits. His life is drastically changed by the sudden appearance of a Soul Reaper—one who governs the flow of souls between the human world and the afterlife—named Rukia Kuchiki, who arrives in search of aHollow, a dangerous lost soul. Ichigo obtains the powers of the Soul Reaper (死神 Shinigami, literally, “Death God”). With her powers diminished, Rukia is left stranded in the human world until she can recover her strength. In the meantime, Ichigo must take over Rukia’s role as a Soul Reaper, battling Hollows and guiding souls to the afterlife realm known as the Soul Society. – it is bascially pretty awesome.
With it already being super popular in terms of anime fans, I can see why they would want to make it a movie that everyone would enjoy but it would lose so much of the reason it is awesome.
Firstly, if they want it to be a huge commercial success they would have to move it from Japan to America. They made the decision to do this to the live action adaptation of Akira and look what happened to that? It got put on hold! (and it upset many fans who felt that a story set in Japan should stay in Japan and I agree). I can imagine this would similarly piss off many of the fans of the original because a change in setting changes much of the feel of the show and manga. Also, if you a hardcore fan of the series you probably watch it in its original Japanese language subtitled in English. Which certainly will not be the case if it is a feature length live action film. (This would also mean that most likely it would feature american actors rather than Japanese which would just be… weird!)
You can not turn these characters into live people!
Secondly, can you imagine a main character with bright orange hair? You probably think, yeah just get an actor with naturally red hair, a ginger! But no, if they do the same as they did on Dragon ball Z you know that they will probably try to style the hair just like the anime which will look ridiculous on a live human person.
Yeah, Kind of like this. It is just ridiculous.
So, I really think if they try to live action it, the characters that I love will end up being just ridiculous looking. Anime features are exaggerated for a reason and can’t be on a real person! (Although I am looking forward to seeing what they do with Kon….live action killer stuffed animal? hmmmm….)
Also, if this is to be commercially successful much of the humor will have to be changed or it definitely won’t be appropriate. I mean if they kept in every reference to Orihime’s boobs then you can bet that many people will not be amused. It would also mean that much of violence would have to be cut down because some of those hollows are pretty intense.
Basically what I am saying is this: PLEASE DONT MAKE THIS LIVE ACTION! I think a CG version could be cool but in reality it will probably look like the Hulk movie from 2003. The only saving grace is that it has a decent director attached. Peter Segal, who most recently directed Get Smart, will produce and potentially direct while Dan Mazeau (Wrath of the Titans) is attached to draft the screenplay.
But if they put the live action film, Akira on hold, I wander if this will even go any further? But as a fan of the manga series, Bleach, I can only hope they do this film adaptation correctly, and not have another Dragon Ball Z situation unleashed on world giving anime fans a bad name.