The movie industry is trending towards adaptations of anime and manga. While most fans worry about an adaptation being terrible, most current projects are merely forgettable.
However, it’s thanks to these clunkers that fans believe all adaptations are cringe-inducingly bad.
1. Dragonball: Evolution
Dragonball: Evolution is legendary. No live-action adaptation triggers anime fans more than Evolution, and for good reason. The movie took one of the most beloved franchises and turned it into a steaming mess.
The shoddy CGI effect, nonsensical story, and warped characters insulted fans of Toriyama’s work. To make matters worse, Toriyama has condemned the movie and the screenwriter has apologized for trying to “cashing in” with the project.
2. Fist of the North Star
You’d think a live-action version would do well since Fist of the North Star is essentially a martial arts heavy version of Mad Max. This 1995 stinker proves just how easy it is to whiff.
The movie tones down the gory violence and wastes Gary Daniel’s (who is a champion kickboxer) martial arts ability on weak fight scenes. Series, Kenshiro’s famed attacks look like love taps.
3. Attack on Titan
Attack on Titan is a global phenomenon, so it’s understandable that a studio would want to produce a live-action movie.
Fans fell in love with the manga and anime due to the cast, which was turned into whiny teens for the live-action movie. Even fan-favorite Levi Ackerman was removed completely from the story. Attack on Titan also uses irreverent humor, which clashes with the graphic scenes of people being torn apart. The first movie was a box-office hit, but negative word-of-mouth tanked the second movie.
4. City Hunter
City Hunter is one of the most manga and anime beloved franchises, and luckily for fans, it has a great Korean drama adaptation. But this Jackie Chan flick is down right lame.
Chan tries his best to save the movie with his martial arts skills, but the movie just can’t capture the spirit of City Hunter. The movie ditches the thrilling detective work that protagonist Ryo uses to fight crime and instead doubles-down on camp. At least we get to see Chan dressed as Chun-Li?
Kite is a controversial anime from 1999. It won supporters and haters for the action scenes and graphic sexual content.
The live-action movie tried its best to focus on the story, which is the weakest part of the anime. What few action scenes there are fail to excite and Samuel L. Jackson sleepwalks through his scenes. Kite was a massive failure and has fallen into obscurity.
Dragonball: Evolution is the most hated adaptation within the Western community, but it doesn’t come close how much hate Devilman gets in Japan. This movie routinely tops “Worst Movie” polls in Japan and was crowned “The Worst Movie of the 2000s.”
G-Savior was produced to celebrate Mobile Suit Gundam‘s 20th Anniversary. It was supposed to be a joyous event for fans and kick-start a new generation of the franchise. But it didn’t.
The terrible movie employed amateur Canadian actors to save on budget and feature terrible CGI effects for the mobile suit. G-Savior was billed as the “final” story in the UC timeline but has since been erased from history. Sunrise doesn’t even mention the movie in official guidebooks anymore.
Oldboy (2013) is an American remake of the South Korean Oldboy, which is an adaptation of a manga. The Korean movie is hailed as masterpiece filled with psychological twists and a cruel depiction of revenge. However, Spike Lee’s remake spends too much time mimicking the Korean movie while watering down the content.
Oldboy (2013) was a massive bomb and everyone involved with the movie has distanced themselves from it.
What do you think are the worst live-action adaptations of anime and manga?