Why Are Anime Live-Action Adaptations Failing to Reach the Same Popularity as Anime Series and Manga?

Why Are Anime Live-Action Adaptations Failing to Reach the Same Popularity as Anime Series and Manga?

Live-action anime adaptations showcase the popularity of anime series and manga in a nutshell, also confirming that anime has joined the mainstream waters to some extent. With anime getting more popular year to year, Netflix has produced and funded several live-action anime adaptations, which include Death Note and Cowboy Bebop. We also had a chance to see a live-action adaptation of the popular Ghost in the Shell and Dragon Ball: Evolution.

None of these live-action adaptations had the same treatment as the original manga and anime source, most probably because they fail to resonate with the core of the story penned by manga artists. Anime is a special and specific form of art and entertainment, which is why it may be difficult to bring the same quality contained in the original story to live-action adaptations.

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Cowboy Bebop is the most recent live-action adaptation of anime, originally produced by Netflix and streamed on the platform. The live-action series was canceled shortly after the first season was released. With great expectations from a fantastic anime classic and an amazing story, Netflix got major disappointment as Western audiences didn’t buy in as expected.

When you are watching anime series or reading manga, you can’t miss noticing the diversity and details revolving around unique fantasy worlds – everything counts the sound, music, atmosphere, style – which is difficult to mirror in live-action adaptations. All these elements play a major role in bringing a fictional world to life alongside creating believable characters.

Finally, live-action adaptations often fail in following the source material, which takes many important elements that support the original story. That is why true anime fans can’t seem to accept live-action adaptations, while western audiences also appear to show little to no interest in these adaptations either.  

  • Robert is the co-owner of Fiction Horizon and a lifelong fan of movies, TV shows, comics, and video games. Especially fascinated by Marvel, he enjoys every aspect of the franchise.