Anime That Would Make Great Live-Action Adaptations

Anime live-action adaptations are becoming more common. Although off to a bumpy start with the likes of Speed Racer or Ghost in the Shell, Hollywood has shown that it can make a good manga/anime adaptation such as Alita: Battle Angel. With the anime industry being so massive, there's a treasure trove of series that would be shoo-ins for the next blockbuster hit. Adapting anything from mediums such as video games or anime can be tricky, but with the right casting, writing, and directors, it can be done well. Here are a few anime choices for Hollywood's future consideration.

The Big O

the big o

1999's The Big O did better in America than in Japan when it first premiered on Toonami. Following the adventures of Roger Smith and his cohorts -- an android named Dorothy and his trusty butler, Norman Burg -- The Big O is a love letter to American detective stories and film noir. The premise revolves around Roger, an ace negotiator for Paradigm City. In this megalopolis, every citizen lacks a recollection of anything that happened 40 years before what has been dubbed "The Event." Roger's job is to quell any disputes that come about, but despite his gadgets and sharp mind, some of what happens is too big even for one of the richest men in Paradigm City. When a problem gets out of Roger's control, he calls upon Big O, a giant robot who can help with even the strongest of foes.

The Big O is what happens when Batman obtains a giant robot, and it's drawn in a similar style to Batman: The Animated Series with an art-deco/film noir vibe that makes it instantly recognizable. The plot is also filled with intrigue reminiscent of detective movies from the 1940s and '50s. Seeing a live-action version of Paradigm City on the big screen would be epic, and considering his work on the 1989 Batman movie, Tim Burton could be the perfect director.


The immortals, mobsters, and misfits of Baccano cross paths

Baccano! is a rip-roaring ride through the prohibition era of 1930s America and includes the blood, booze, and battles that were expected of such a violent time in history. Unlike most series that tell their stories in a linear path, Baccano! is a set of mob stories, a mix-up of tales, and a plethora of characters that all converge toward the end to make sense of the chaos. It would be challenging to tell such a plot in a standalone film, but broken up into two or even three movies would make Baccano! a good candidate for theatrical viewing.

Mob movies are a dime a dozen in Hollywood, but Baccano! would bring new blood (literally) to the genre. This type of hyper-violent gangster movie would be perfect for someone like Quentin Tarantino. However, it would take some getting out of his comfort zone since he has no experience making a film involving the paranormal. Even so, Baccano! has more than enough gunfights, blood, mobsters and witty dialogue that he would feel right at home behind the camera crafting such an adaptation.

Michiko and Hatchin

Michiko from Michiko _ Hatchin

There aren't many animated series where South America is the setting, but Michiko and Hatchin boldly took a foreign culture and gave viewers a strong impression that they were visiting such a place. A live-action version would be no different, melding vastly different cultures together to make something exciting. Michiko and Hatchin is set in a fictional South American country inspired by Brazil and revolves around Michiko Malandro, a criminal who escapes prison to kidnap her former lover's daughter, Hannah Morenos -- and saves the girl from her abusive foster family in the process. The two go on a wild road trip across the country to find Hannah's father, Hiroshi, and along the way, they learn about each other and what freedom truly means.

Making a road trip action movie filmed on location in Brazil would be a beautiful adventure to behold. Anyone watching Michiko and Hatchin can tell the director of the original series, Sayo Yamamoto, had a strong affinity for the place and showed its beauty in a massive scope. Putting her in the director's chair for the live-action adaptation would be a good choice. It would also be interesting to see a big-budget action movie based on an anime where everyone is speaking Portuguese.

Vinland Saga

vinland saga warrior

If the History Channel's smash hit Vikings is any indication, viewers are fascinated with the history of the ancient Norse people. Vinland Saga tells the tale of the historical Viking explorer Thorfinn, the son of a murdered ex-warrior who serves under the group of mercenaries who were responsible for his father's death. A story of revenge, Vinland Saga spans several arcs and can be told effectively through a few films.

Vinland Saga would be an awe-inspiring film to watch, with plenty of gruesome battles and an accurate glimpse into how harsh the world of the Norse people was. There is a market for period pieces for films, primarily if they deal with war and the testosterone-fueled warriors who wage them. This adaptation could also take a few pages from the manga, which delved a little deeper into the day-to-day lives of the Viking people when they were not out plundering and pillaging. Whether the audience comprises history buffs or action fans, a live-action Vinland Saga would have something for everyone.

The Vision of Escaflowne

The Vision of Escaflowne was prevalent when it hit American shores in the late '90s, but it has fallen by the wayside since. Introducing a live-action adaptation might give Escaflowne the boost it needs to put a worthy series back in the limelight. The story is about a high school girl named Hitomi Kanzaki, who begins receiving strange visions after reading her tarot cards. Hitomi begins seeing frightening sights of a world on fire, and one day during a track meet, she meets an unexpected warrior named Van. Van whisks her away to another planet called Gaia, where the two become embroiled in a war as the Zaibach Empire attempts to take over.

A story so massive in scope and magnitude would be awe-inspiring to see on a giant theatrical screen, evoking the kind of excitement delivered by other fantasy epics such as Lord of the Rings. Additionally, to hear Yoko Kanno's wondrous score blaring in surround sound while munching on popcorn would have many fans of the original series overjoyed. The Vision of Escaflowne is a daring series that blends science fiction, fantasy, and a magnanimous story about destiny that deserves retelling in a big-budget, live-action format.

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