Movie or live-action adaptations based on anime/manga aren’t always good; most of the time they are pretty bad. Now, when I “movies” based on anime I mean stuff that is inspired from anime in some way like Black Swan or the Resident Evil movies and we all know what live-action movies are. While the Resident Evil movies were box office successes, most of the RE games fans don’t like them.

Before I even start, let me say this – not all movies based on anime are bad, some of them are really good but, we are discussing why most movies based on anime or manga are rather bad. If you are looking for a good live-action movie, go watch Rurouni Kenshin. It’s probably the best live-action ever made.

Most anime can roughly be put into 2 groups, the ones with a lot of fighting and the ones with a lot of talking. The “talking” ones mostly do not get movie adaptations because consist mostly of conversations, it’d be pretty boring. So here are some reasons why I think that movies based on anime or live-action movies don’t usually work out.


Everything starts from here. Compared to an average Hollywood movie, a 12 episode anime costs much less to make. People generally aren’t willing to spend a lot of money on live-action adaptations which leads to bad actors and cheesy VFX. This obviously destroys the feel and atmosphere of the movie and you can’t take anything seriously because of it. Even serious moments start feeling funny. A good example of this would be Attack on Titan live-action and Dragon Ball: Evolution. Granted, there was much more wrong with those movies than just the VFX or acting.


Real people don’t look like Anime Characters

This is a really obvious one. No matter how much anyone tries, real people cannot look like anime characters. Most anime have downright unrealistic hair/eye colors. People try to look like anime characters through a lot of makeup, contact lenses, and wigs but that looks even worse. Even if you manage all that, anime costumes don’t exactly look good in real life. Because a lot of time characters wear stuff that you’d consider stupid in real life.

It is extremely hard to look like a believable anime character in real life, if not impossible. Kakegurui live action is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of costumes and cheesy-looking characters.

The animation will always be animation

Aside from character designs, there are a lot of freedoms that animations provide over VFX. Most action-based anime have highly unrealistic fights that cannot be replicated by just VFX. Even if you can replicate some fight with VFX, they will end up looking really cheesy if you want to stick to the anime. In animations you can do whatever you want but, in the case of the movie VFX you need to stay a little grounded in reality, or else they’ll look really bad. Also, some scenes in some anime are something that I doubt any actor would be willing to recreate.


~Runrouni Kenshin is one of the best live-action movies like ever.

Runtime Limitations

Unlike an anime, a movie has a very limited runtime so they need to cut some things. A simple 12 episode anime is almost as long as 2-3 average-length movies. Sometimes these cuts are really major and they take away a lot of plot or sometimes they have to remove some main characters entirely. This is one problem that really can’t be helped or fixed. Gathering money for one live-action is hard enough so they mostly don’t make a second movie.

Sometimes, the Movies forget the plot of the source material entirely

This issue is much more common in the western movie adaptations of anime. They just take the name and the setting from an anime and make the movie on a completely different plot. Heck, sometimes it feels like they didn’t even bother to read the source material properly. That is why we get things like Dragon Ball Evolution or Ghost in the Shell (the Scarlett Johansson one). I don’t know why they do this but, it’s a disappointment when they do things like this.


That is all I had to say. Let me know your thoughts down in the comments. As I said before, not all live-action movies are bad but the good ones are much rarer than the bad ones. With that said, I will take my leave here. See ya!

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