10 Terrible Live Action Anime Adaptations

Where Dragonball: Evolution isn't even the worst film on the list.

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Toei Pictures

Film adaptations of another medium are inherently tricky things. Video games, for example, have proven near impossible to adapt successfully, usually because the film turns an interactive experience into a passive one.

This has resulted in weak sauce movies like Super Mario Bros, Max Payne and Doom, which bore little resemblance to their source. Outside of video game movies though, it’s hard to think of another genre that’s more critically reviled than live action anime.

It’s never a good idea to take a medium that’s based on larger than life characters and visuals, and then trying to recreate those scenes on a low-budget with bad actors. Still, a lot of studios have tried to cash in on the anime fanbase by adapting popular series, but outside of the occasional gem like Oldboy or Crying Freeman the pickings are slim.

With Ghost In The Shell coming in 2017 and Akira threatening to get a greenlight any day now, maybe live action anime can redeem itself someday. Until then, here are some of the worst movies the genre has to offer.

10. Fist Of The North Star

Attack On Titan Wall
First Look Studios

Fist Of The North Star was a unique Asian take on Mad Max, which followed a lone wanderer through a post-apocalyptic wasteland. This chap was also a master in a special martial art that targeted pressure points in the body, allowing him to explode heads or people if they made him angry.

The anime was gory, exaggerated affair that was very much suited to animation, though with the right approach a live action version could have worked. Unfortunately, the producers of the movie didn’t have the right approach – or the budget – to make it work.

Gary Daniels plays the lead, and while he has an impressive physique and fighting ability he’s not much of an actor. The sets look like they were slapped together on a budget of ten quid, and the makeup effects used to depict the exploding bodies are downright embarrassing.

More than that the film is a joyless trudge and despite the odd fight scene or hammy performance, it’s a remarkably boring affair.


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