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Upcoming anime to live-action adaptations that you cannot miss!

From Bleach to Death Note, from Naruto to Tokyo Ghoul, it is all being done and right now, anime fans everywhere have reason to celebrate.

Anime fans aren’t really the most optimistic when it comes to live action adaptations. Thanks to duds like Dragonball Evolution and Speed Racer, fans are apprehensive when it comes to their favorite anime and manga going down the live action road. Suffices to say, when Hollywood does it bad it goes really bad. Compared to their Asian counterparts, who actually do justice to anime stories, western studios focus more on altering the stories and messing up the casting and depictions to suit an audience comprising of anime-fans and newbies alike.

Ghost in the Shell movie
Some of us actually loved the movie

Just take a look at the high budget Ghost in the Shell which was surrounded by a whitewashing controversy. The movie, even before it was out, was hounded by bad reviews and negative publicity that eventually led to it being declared a dud.

But does that stop us anime fans from anticipating live action adaptations? Absolutely not! The trend is just picking up and we can deal with a few duds for a greater good. Be it American or Japanese, there are quite a few adaptations on the way. These are the most popular ones that we are definitely looking forward to.

Death Note

This franchise is no stranger to live action adaptations. In fact, most of its earlier live action outings have been quite good. In fact, the Netflix project due to premiere on August 25 has been surrounded by its own controvery over casting an African-American male and a Caucasian male as the antagonist L and the protagonist Light respectively. The entire story is being ‘Americanised’ reportedly, with characters being depicted as being of American origin (Light Turner, for example). The only hope that we honestly have so far? Willem Dafoe as the voice of Ryuk. Check out our detailed trailer analysis here.


Surprisingly, Warner Bros. Pictures actually leads the live-action anime adaptation area in the Japanese movie industry. And not surprisingly, they have taken up the responsibility of bringing the popular fantasy anime Bleach to the big screen.

Any true Bleach fan would remember when this was announced in 2012. Fairly recently, images have surfaced of the principal photography being done near Sagami-Ono station in Kanagawa Prefecture, according to Kotaku. While the images themselves are a bit disappointing in terms of quality, we should not forget the magic that VFX has brought into most of our favourite Hollywood movies. Don’t believe us? Check out this teaser that looks too legit to not be official!

Sota Fukushi is playing Ichigo, the protagonist and the adaptation is being directed by Shinsuke Sato. The movie is expected in 2018. If you’re still worried about how it will turn out, you would like to know that Bleach creator Tite Kubo himself is involved with the project.

Sword Art Online

Fans of this series know how awesome a live-action adaptation could be. Combining anime and gaming, this story explores the fate of Kazuto “Kirito” Kirigaya, along with 10,000 other players, who find out that the game they logged into won’t let them log out unless they complete all levels, or risk dying in-game and in real life at the same time.

Sword Art Online
Sword Art Online

Skydance Media, an independent television company, currently has the rights for the adaptation, and according to Anime News Network, Laeta Kalogridis of Avatar and Terminator Genisys fame is working on the script and also acting as the executive producer alongside David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Marcy Ross of Skydance. Stay tuned for further details.


This one needs no introduction. An American live action adaptation was announced back in 2015 and since then, details about the creator Masashi Kishimoto being involved and the SFX being handled by Michael Gracey have emerged.

Not much else is known about the fate of the live action outing of the “number one favorite knucklehead ninja”


Facing a casting issue of a different kind, FullMetal Alchemist is also getting a highly anticipated live-action adaptation. While the entire manga is based on medieval europe, the live-action seems to have an entirely Japanese cast. The director has claimed though, that this will have no bearing on the experience of the audience. We surely hope so, considering that FMA is often included in the top 10 animes that everyone must watch. Oh, and by the way, Warner Bros is behind this one too. The film is due to premiere on December 1 in Japan. You can check out the trailer below.


Science fantasy anime Gintama has had a pretty loyal fan base since its debut in 2005, and that very fan base is all excited for the live action movie that is releasing this Friday on 14th July 2017 in Japan! Set in an alternate late-Edo period, this anime deals with a Japan where aliens called Amanta have taken over and banned the use of swords. Former Samurai Gintoki Sakata starts an odd jobs company with teens Shinpachi Shimura and Kagura. Take a look at the trailer below.

The adaptation looks like it has retained every minor visual detail from the original anime. More of these, please!

Tokyo Ghoul

This is another one on the list that is set to release this month. And the anticipation is definitely high for this one – afterall, you don’t get a live action adaptation of one of the top horror anime ever made everyday. Interestingly, the protagonist’s role is being played by Masataka Kubota, who has also played the protagonist in the TV adaptation of Death Note. Talk about good acting credits!

The anime explores a world where humans are being devoured by ghouls. The protagonist Ken Kaneki becomes a half ghoul after receiving organ transplants from ghoul Rize Kamishiro after a fatal accident. Now he must survive with his identity while keeping it a secret from his human friends.

Attack on Titan

Perhaps one of the most anticipated members of this list, Attack on Titan has already seen live action adaptations in Japan that have received mixed reviews. Fans have waited over three years for the second season of this highly acclaimed anime and have kept themselves occupied with numerous OVAs and the two adaptations that we mentioned earlier.

Attack on Titan
Anticipatory heavy breathing

Now, Warner Bros. is reportedly trying to get the rights for Hollywood remakes of those two movies and has already appointed David Heyman of Harry Potter and Gravity fame to lead the project.

So, what do you think of all these anime’s being turned into live action? Are you overjoyed or terrified? Which anime would you see adapted into live action, that is not already on this list? Let us know in the comments below.

Arnab Mukherjee

Arnab Mukherjee

A former tech-support desk jockey, you can find this individual delving deep into all things tech, fiction and food. Calling his sense of humour merely terrible would be a much better joke than what he usually makes.