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Worst Live-Action Movies Based On Anime, Ranked

Let’s admit it: a good live-action anime adaptation is tough to pull off. This is due to the limitation of the freedom that live-action films have compared to hand-drawn animation. It could also be owing to the diluting of complicated narratives to fit the restricted screen time and emotional context that animated versions are unable to achieve. Here are a few examples of bad live-action anime film adaptations:

1. Death Note

Live-action anime adaptation of Death Note.
The cast of the live-action adaptation of Death Note.

Followers of Death Note might be better served by non-anime programs similar to Death Note than by Netflix’s film version. Light Yagami, a teen, discovers a notebook known as the “Death Note” in the manga series. The film follows identical patterns but tells the story and introduces the protagonist in a completely different way. The direction of Adam Wingard was liked by many, but the story was overburdened with dull characters who failed to pique the audience’s interest.

2. Parasyte: The Maxim

Live-action anime adaptation of Parasyte
Cover poster of Parasyte Part 1.

The anime Parasyte: The Maxim was converted into two live-action films, Parasyte Part 1 and Parasyte Part 2. Shinichi Izumi, the protagonist, and Migi, his parasyte partner, both lost their badass appearances from the anime. Despite the fact that both films exceeded public expectations with their CGI and ability to include most of the series’ key storyline themes, the overall plotline omitted many of the anime’s dramatic scenes, including some key fights.

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3. Speed Racer

Live-action anime adapted movie - Street Racer.
Live-action anime adapted movie – Street Racer.

Speed Racer, also known as Mach GoGoGo to anime fans, is a mediocre adaptation when opposed to its anime foundations.  The primary issue with this live-action anime adaptation has to be its lavish CGI animation, which makes the film appear exceedingly artificial when it should have done the opposite. Furthermore, the visual spectacle was prioritized over character development and plot. Despite its cult appeal, devotees of the anime will not accept it as a humble live-action recreation.

4. Full Metal Alchemist

Live-action anime adaptation – Full Metal Alchemist.

Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood is one of the greatest anime franchises ever made, with an incredible tale that combines magic and science. It follows the Elric brothers, who are on a quest to use the Philosopher’s Stone to restore their bodies back to life.  Netflix’s live-action anime film on this has surprisingly decent graphics, but the plot is so short that none of the enjoyable moments are ever reached. The film also squandered the villain’s time in the spotlight by failing to give him a meaningful introduction. This results in weaker motives and a less balanced interpretation of his actions. We get a shallow villain instead of the anime series’ richer characterization.

5. Dragonball Evolution

The cast of the live-action movie Dragonball Evolution.

Dragon Ball Z is without a doubt one of the most well-known anime franchises of all time. Because of the animated series’ enormous popularity, there were strong hopes that it would be converted into a live-action film. Many fans, however, believe that the live-action film adaptation of the great Saiyan’s saga falls short of even the poorest episodes from the animated series. Dragonball Evolution was a disaster, with terrible visuals, ludicrous fight scenes, a fair helping of overacting, and a weak plot. According to Forbes, even the film’s screenwriter later apologized for the live-action anime remake.

Written by Alfeeya Pathan

22. Passionate about reading, even more about writing. Come have a look at my amazing hobby-turned-career!