Hollywood has a strange history with Japanese adaptation. Cultural changes should be expected, but showing less concern than current comic book adaptations are going to bother the anime fandom, some of whom are almost as self-interested given they seem to want to exclude new people, use random Japanese words and think they’re being kawaii (spoiler: that means cute and no, they’re not), and will tell you all American animation is terrible except when they like it. Avatar: The Last Airbender has no Japanese connection at all and thus makes me question how they actually describe “anime” versus “animated”. And don’t dare call it a “cartoon” because you get the anime elitists AND the animation elitists who think the term is important to describing maturity. Sorry, where was I?
Oh right, bad anime adaptations. They may or may not come from anime as an origin point. Some were manga or light novels but if it’s got an anime adaptation Geoff Thew of YouTube channel Mother’s Basement slapped it on a list of Hollywood adaptations of Japanese animated classics (in the West at least) and even ranked them. I need to get something out fast and it’s a long video so even if you disagree with his list you may like to know what else is out there. NOTE: Some swearing, though not a lot, and some graphic violence.
Catch more from Mother’s Basement on YouTube
I haven’t see all of these. The Last Airbender (again, not Japanese) didn’t impress and Speed Racer has those weird transition effects that get aped way too often as people who don’t understand anime try to give a live-action work an anime or comic feel. I think The Spirit did the same thing, which Frank Miller should add to the list of things he needs to apologize for but won’t. Many of them aren’t for me or on Netflix so I can’t see them even if I want to…and there’s a few I don’t want to on general principle. I have reviewed a couple of these productions however:
- Alita: Battle Angel
- Ghost In The Shell (and both the original and remixed animes if you’re curious)
I could have sworn I reviewed Astro Boy but I can’t get the review to come up. I actually liked it though I can’t negate many of Thew’s issues with it. Someday I want to go into my disagreements on the Guyver movies, but the second is indeed better made. I just have some me-related issues with Dark Hero.
Anyway, takeaway from me is Hollywood’s hates American animated works, as seen with Disney’s live-action demakes and the burying of the animated movies in award shows have proven, and I’m not surprised that transfers over to Japanese animation. If they hate it so much that they don’t understand it, maybe they should leave it alone and save it for someone who cares. You’re not improving it, you’re ruining it…and making some people think that’s the actual goal. Stick to what you’re good at…and go back to being good at it.