Live-action adaptations of anime or manga series can either be a smash hit, like Rurouni Kinshin, or it can also be considered to be a complete and utter train wreck like Attack on Titan. With fans both excited and scared for the live-action film adaptation of Hiromu Arakawa’s Full Metal Alchemist manga, Gantz mangaka, Hiroya Oku, offered his opinions on the matter of live-action adaptations.

“Why are all of these poor, force-fit live-action adaptations of manga getting made? Because if you take a series with name recognition and cast a handsome actor in the lead role, even if the story and visuals are just whatever, tons of people will go see it. From the very first stages of these movies, no one is thinking about the hardcore fans of the series. Unless there’s more money to be made, no one is going to make these films.”

Oku, whose manga, Gantz, got two live-action film adaptations, also talked about the realism involved inadapting anime and manga into live-action. In another tweet, he said:

Gantz and I Am a Hero [another manga with a live-action film that opened this April] aren’t force-fit adaptations, because of their realistic elements. The main characters are Japanese, and they’re set in Japan, so filming can be done in the actual locations for the story. It’s impossible to produce a good film that recreates the entire setting and world view of a shonen manga fantasy.”

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To explain what he said, let’s take our two examples from earlier, Rurouni Kenshin and Attack on Titan. What made Rurouni Kenshin a success with fans is that even with the almost superhuman aspects of the film, the setting is in a world which is much more realistic. In other words, in Meiji Era Japan where Samurai are starting to become a thing of the part. It had a Japanese cast who are playing Japanese characters, so race-lifting is not an issue as well. As for Attack on Titan, it is set in a world where humanity is on decline, and ravaged by man-eating titans. That alone should make turning the manga into a live-action film all the more difficult. Also, Hajime Isayama made his characters European (except Mikasa), but the cast members were ALL Japanese, and this made it a race-lift issue.

This puts the upcoming Full Metal Alchemist live-action film in a bit of a pinch, if we were to use Oku’s analysis. It is a shounen anime with fantasy elements, and it is supposed to have European characters, but they will be played by an all-Japanese cast. While it may be difficult, some fans are still optimistic, because after all, we can’t judge a movie which we haven’t seen yet, right?

Source: Rocket News 24