10 Best Live-Action Anime Movies

The best anime movies - Blade of the Immortal, Death Note, Alita: Battle Angel and more!

Alita Battle Angel
20th Century Studios

Hearing the words 'live-action anime movie' is often likely to inspire fear in anime fans.

Throughout the history of cinema, there have been countless attempts to repackage successful animated projects into live-action to help them reach a wider audience and create something new. But, more often than not, they end up being genuinely disappointing movies that fail to capture what made the originals so special.

Flicks like the live-action Attack on Titan series, Netflix's Death Note and Terra Formas have brought their properties into the limelight and made them look weak.

However, while it's easy to think of live-action anime adaptations as a constant source of failure, there have been some truly magnificent movies that do a great job of capturing the essence of their source material and giving new viewers a fun ride.

Part of what makes anime tough to adapt is that the medium's lavish visuals, overt goofiness and niche style doesn't translate well to real-life. With that being said, the following movies work because they either embrace the chaotic feel of their material, or adapt it in just the right way.

10. Bleach

Alita Battle Angel

When it comes to thinking of some of the most influential anime in the medium's history, many people might think of Bleach. It's almost the black sheep of anime fandom as it's respected and lauded for its striking spectacle and the well-crafted world but criticised for its repetition and familiarity.

Still, seeing it in live-action is a thrilling experience, as this movie takes all of the kick-ass elements of the anime and packs it into a tight runtime.

Bleach's story follows a teenager named Ichigo, who can see ghosts. He soon encounters a mysterious sword-wielder named Rukia who brings him into the world of Soul Reapers - those being fighters who help guide the dead to the afterlife and purify remaining souls that have become perverted into monsters called Hollows.

The adaptation successfully captures the big action feel of the series. The visuals on display and kickass weaponry make it an easy watch, and while the world-building is a little tough to grasp all at once, it does an excellent job of bringing unfamiliar viewers into the world smoothly.

Simply put, seeing Hollows get torn apart with giant swords is awesome, and that's mostly what you'll get in this flick. You can watch it easily on Netflix right now.


Michael is my name, overanalysing comedy is my game! Anime, wrestling, TV, movies and video games all live in my head rent free!