Hollywood Ruins Anime For Us All

It’s no secret that I love Japanese Anime. While most of what the world regards as Anime are the child-like attractions of Pokemon, Dragon Ball and Naruto. Those shows hardly do them any justice. For the most part, Anime is as diverse a world as your average TV series, if not more. You have different genres aimed at different age groups. There are Animes that are meant for kids and the kid at heart and Animes that will blow the adult mind away. Their concepts can range from true-to-life plots to science fiction and fantasy. Some even dare to blend it all together in a way that just makes your brain go “what just happened?”, but in a good way.

Yet like what you see on the small screen, there are good and bad Animes. Some of them you just can’t bother watching after the first episode, some, you just wish there were more and because it caters to a wide range of audiences, what hardcore Anime “otakus” consider to be good or not, is entirely subjective because Anime plots, despite it’s animated premise will always have a solid, if not convoluted and mind blowing plot. Then Hollywood comes along.

Recently, Hollywood has been increasingly interested in turning Animes into live-action movies. I have no idea how this happened. I can only assume it’s because of the recent comic-turned-movie trend which lead some Hollywood execs to think that Animes and comic book characters are the same, but that’s the way it has gone down, literally. It sends shivers down my spine that the crap-tastic live-action version of Dragonball was one of the first in a (hopefully short lived) line of Hollywood directions. To my knowledge, they have made, or are going to turn into film, pretty good Animes like Blood: The Last Vampire, Cowboy Beebop and Full Metal Panic, then ruin them all. From the trailer itself, I already know they pretty much butchered Blood: The Last Vampire.

Basically they turned it into a female version of Blade and retained the classic “Japanese high school girl wielding a katana, bathed in the blood of all she has killed” bit for audience purposes. Most of what was mentioned in the trailer has nothing to do with the original plot, which is the point.

The heart of an Anime has always been the plot. The way they bring out the premise and underlying conflicts. While is has become somewhat predictable to me over the years, there is still no doubt that concepts and storyline in an Anime has always been much more original than those on TV series. There in lies the problem. because Hollywood isn’t well known for it’s story writing. Overall, plot development on the big and small screen has been a hit, miss and copy thing with Hollywood. Now they are gunning after our Animes, stripping them from all that makes it enjoyable to watch. Sure I do understand that some things are limited by real world physics, like say every time-stop-philosophical action scene or Goku’s insane hairstyle in Dragonball, but if you take away the plot of an Anime, what’s left?

Nothing, that’s what.

That’s exactly what Hollywood is doing to our Animes. Ruined it by recreating them as a live-action big screen as an excuse to hide the fact it’s run out of ideas. I don’t mind if good directors do with Anime what they have done with recent comic books like the Iron Man and Batman films, but way things are going, all we’re going to be stuck with is some half-assed movie that shares its name with a great Anime and several of its characters. It’s painful to watch.

The only solution I can think off is to at least deny the existence of live-action Anime films. At least until someone says it’s worth watching. If people stop going to watch crappy shows and instead watch the original ones, despite the fact that it’s animated. I think that Hollywood, may, just may, get the point. In the mean time, I’ll just keep doing what I do with my Animes, get people to put aside their misconceptions and enjoy them for what they are, a triumph of what makes a show worth following. Its story, and all that goes with it.

8 thoughts on “Hollywood Ruins Anime For Us All

  1. i prefer death note anime more than the movie version..
    totally agree with you.. dragon ball wasnt fantastic either.. =D

  2. The live action Death Note movie was at least true to the original, it follows the cannon and can be written off as alternate endings, plus they were created by people who at least probably watched the Anime and not by Hollywood. When it’s totally produced by Hollywood, that’s when it all goes to hell.

  3. I find there were blanks when you mentioned, “It sends shivers down my spine that the crap-tastic live-action version of _____ was one of the first in a (hopefully short lived) line of Hollywood directions.”

    I have no idea what it is, but I have no doubts that it is traumatic enough that my brain has blocked out all words associated with that particular series.

  4. Saw the trailer for the death note movie, wasn’t bad, seemed to stay true to the original plot. But I don’t think it would do justice to the original.
    I’m a big fan of live action movies, all the unbelievable fights and what nots, My imagination is over active so seeing something that seems real and isn’t just in my head is quite exciting.
    But I won’t lie either, Hollywood has ruined comics and anime, DragonBallZ was a load of rubbish, same with The Spirit and the other one that was very similar…. er… Watchmen, Don’t know whether to blame Hollywood for that one though, its wasn’t completely appalling.
    What ever happened to the good old movies with original scripts and witty lines.
    I miss Film Noir.

  5. It’s like they are trying to make Avatar into a movie… I know it’s not strictly an animie but I’ve only seen the cast list and I know that it will be one of the worst film adaptations this world has ever seen.

    Then again, having said that I’ve always heard of the animes you mentioned above, but I’ve never gotten round to watching them. Now, this trailer makes me want to see the animes, so maybe it’ll be good as it’ll open up new audiences to the awesome world of anime =]

  6. Naoko: Of course you do. You know it all too well.

    Aj: Ahh, a film noir fan. And here I thought I was one of the few people left that enjoys 1930’s, 1940 black and white crime fiction. The thing about the Death Note movies was that it was created by people who weren’t in Hollywood. People who actually are Asian enough to understand the Asian influences behind it. That’s they the live-action movies were not bad. They were quite enjoyable in fact because it was true to the anime despite alteration to the general plot. Watchmen was actually quite good considering, then again, comic adaptations are much better than Anime adaptations thusfar because the cultural influences behind them both are much more different.

    Rhiannon: That is the upside to it, it could open mainstream audiences to the world of Anime, but I don’t know if that’s a good idea. I’m all for sharing the beauty of anime to the world, but only time will tell if the mainstream audience will actually damage Anime for what they are.

  7. Well I am a fan of Dragonball, I watched it since I was young, I am fairly disappointed with the trailer that I saw for the Dragonball movie, and I haven’t even went to go see it because of that. And plus… it’s got very low ratings overall and many Dragonball fans have had the same sentiments.

    My favorite Anime of all time though is Saint Seiya 🙂 I hope Hollywood doesn’t touch that, hehe.

  8. I can’t agree more, not only they ruins Anime, but also Games by adapting them into movies.

    The best way for me to watch those movies is to not to relate the movies with the actual Anime/Game. Well, at least in that way I can let myself watch those movies.
    Lots of my friends who watch anime yelled out when they watch these movies :p I wonder why they even care to watch 😀

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