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.