Japanese anime is an international phenomenon and has only grown more popular than ever, globally, in the last few years. Seeing this massive spike in popularity, Hollywood and other western movie-making machines have tried to capitalize and adapt several of these franchises while they were at their peak.
Unfortunately, the results have mostly been sub-par movies at best, disappointing fans and critics for various reasons. Low budgets, poor casting and a general lack of fidelity to the source material have tainted Hollywood anime adaptations in most fans' eyes. Western fans' general dislike of these Hollywood anime adaptations is shared by Japanese viewers, according to a recent poll showcasing a similar sentiment. Disappointment is as universal as our love of anime, so let's look at the survey results.
Japanese Anime Fans Aren't Interested In More Hollywood Remakes
This poll was conducted by a company called Viviane, owner of the Japanese streaming service, One Screen, and reported on by Yahoo Japan. It asked anime fans which series they'd like to see adapted by Hollywood into live-action next. Options included Demon Slayer, Jujutsu Kaisen, Naruto, My Hero Academia and other current hits in the industry. "None" was also an option, which led to a somewhat embarrassing poll result.
From a sample size of 1,000 people, Demon Slayer came in second, receiving a total of 60 votes, with most of the other options failing to have more than 20. An overwhelming majority, with 456 votes, went to "None." While this isn't a sweeping poll of the general consensus in Japan, it speaks volumes about how some audiences view Hollywood's treatment of iconic Japanese franchises.
Made in Japan, Ruined By America
This result likely stems from the less than successful track record that Hollywood has with anime adaptations. These films, namely infamous movies such as Dragon Ball Evolution and the Netflix adaptation of Death Note, have several issues with them as adaptations of the source material and generally. Often the more over-the-top or difficult-to-replicate elements of the source material are watered down.
There is a constant disregard for authenticity and whitewashing of characters that Asian actors should portray. As a result, the movies barely resemble the anime and manga that they're based on, leaving all parties -- namely all the global fans -- disappointed.
While, in general, anime live-action adaptations typically struggle, the ones that come out of Japan tend to yield more favorable results, including Death Note -- not the Netflix version -- and Attack on Titan, which had live-action films and TV specials. Though they usually have even smaller budgets than most Hollywood attempts, this doesn't make the directors shy away from utilizing and adapting a series' more over-the-top elements. While things might not look great in terms of special effects, the franchises' spirit is respected much more -- something foreign studios have yet to reproduce in a crowd-pleasing way. And if polls like this one are to be believed, those crowds don't have much faith in America's ability to keep trying.