In this article, I’ll be listing the biggest live-action anime adaptations that are currently in the works from both Japan and the US.

 

Now more than ever, anime is getting adapted into movies and TV series.

 

Series are being adapted into TV dramas and movies and the loose and low-budget nature of a lot of Japanese cinema can lead to some incredible results like 2020’s insane live-action Alice in Borderland.

 

Alice in Borderland

 

Live-action anime has been pretty common in Japan for years, but the folks in Hollywood are only just beginning to really tap into the anime live-action market.

 

It just goes to show how big anime has gotten in the west.

 

It’s a thing worth celebrating for sure, though with a track record of Netflix’s Death Note, Ghost in the Shell, and the modern classic Dragon Ball Evolution, maybe keep your expectations in check.

 

 

Then again, you have Edge of Tomorrow (an adaptation of All You Need is Kill) and Battle Angel Alita, I mean, those were… good?

 

Let’s dive in:

 

 

Kakegurui Part 2

 

 

The second part of the live-action adaptation of Kakegurui screens this year in Japan!

 

Release date: May 2021

 

 

Rurouni Kenshin Saishūshō The Final / The Beginning

 

 

Ruroni Kenshin‘s live-action movie series has been going all the way back since 2012, though it’s been a full six years since the third movie.

 

The series is ending in 2021 as a pentalogy, with two new films covering the final Jinchu arc of the original manga and completing the story with the mystery of Kenshin’s scar in The Final, along with Kenshin’s final battle against Enishi in The Beginning.

 

Yes, the titles are weird.

 

 

After the long break between films, Otomo Keishi is returning to direct the last installments of the series, and Satou Takeru will of course be back to reprise his role as Himura Kenshin.

 

Release Dates:  The Final: April 23, 2021 / The Beginning: June 4, 2021

 

Note: Films were slated for June, August of 2020 before COVID-19 delay

 

Tokyo Revengers

 

 

A live-action of one of the best-selling manga in Japan right now will premiere this year in Japan.

 

 

I love Tokyo Revengers so I’m super excited to watch this film

 

Trailer:

 

 

Release Date: July 9, 2021

 

Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai – Tensai-tachi no Renai Zunosen Final

 

 

The second live-action film of Love is War will portray the events of the original manga’s “Sports Festival and Cultural Festival” arc, focused on Yu Ishigami and Tsubame Koyasu.

 

This arc was also portrayed in the second season of the anime.

 

Trailer:

 

 

 

Release Date: August 8, 2021

 

Steins;Gate

 

It was announced just recently in January 2020 for its 10th anniversary, that the iconic time travel series Steins;Gate is getting an American live-action series, produced by Skydance Television.

 

 

All we have so far is the news that it’s happening, so we can only hope that the adaptation is in capable hands and they don’t do our future gadget lab members dirty like they did with our boy Light Yagami.

 

I look forward to the science adventures of Richard Okra Bay, Christina Mackenzie, Daryl, and Mary Sheena in the not so far future!

 

Release date: TBA

 

 

Also, check out our article about:

 

 

 

 

 

One Punch Man

 

 

Announced in April 2020,  Sony is developing a live-action Hollywood film adaptation of ONE’s One-Punch Man. Scott Rosenberg and Jeff Pinkner are writing the script. More info here.

 

Release date: TBA

 

Hellsing

 

 

Deadline reported that Derek Kolstad, the screenwriter behind the John Wick series, is collaborating with Amazon Studios to develop a live-action feature film based on Kouta Hirano’s Hellsing manga.

 

Release date: TBA

 

Sword Art Online

 

Another US adaptation coming to Netflix is the long-talked-about live-action Sword Art Online.

 

 

As far as anime premises go, SAO has one of the strongest and simplest hooks in the past decade. You’re thrown into a virtual world, you die in the game you die in real life.

 

Now add pretty A-1 pictures animation, a catchy earworm OP from LiSA, and one of the best female character designs as the love interest, and you have an instant hit, weird moments and some messy writing forgiven.

 

Now without those anime-only elements, can Netflix’s SAO succeed on its premise alone with a western spin? We’ll just have to see.

 

Release date: TBA

 

 

Naruto

 

Announced all the way back in 2015, the Naruto movie by Lionsgate seems to be stalling its production, with Michael Gracey (Greatest Showman, Rocketman) being negotiated with to direct as of 2018, though it likely fell through- you can tell he’s been busy the past few years.

 

 

Gracey has said in interviews that he isn’t very familiar with the series and he’d rather not direct the movie over the risk of taking the reins and not doing it justice.

 

Whether it turns out to be a genuinely good flick or just gets memed to hell, it’s one that’ll be entertaining either way if and when it actually sees the light of day.

 

Release date:TBA

 

 

Cowboy Bebop

 

Well this one’s a no brainer. Cowboy Bebop is getting a 10 episode live action series produced by Netflix, directed by Alex Garcia Lopez with a confirmed cast starring John Cho as Spike, Mustafa Shakir as Jet, Daniela Pineda as Faye, and Alex Hassel as Viscious. ç

 

Ein will be a Welsh Corgi, and looks very faithful to his anime counterpart.

 

 

The exclusion of Radical Edward from the cast definitely sets off some alarm bells, but she could just as well be a “season 2” kind of character. No biggie.

 

Some people are saying Ed’s being left out to make the adaptation needlessly darker, but the promotional material so far is lighthearted enough that I have faith in it.

 

On the other hand, very weird call to have a man named Spike Spiegel played by a Korean actor but whatever. Also, 12 writers? Whew, let’s not have too many cooks in the kitchen you know?

 

 

Unfortunately, Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop looks like it’ll be taking a bit longer than planned. John Cho suffered a bad knee injury on set that’ll halt production for 7 to 9 months.

 

It’s been confirmed that the team is working around the accident to keep Cho in the lead despite recasting being very much possible this early in filming. Good on them for sticking to their guns. While it might take a bit longer, it’ll be fun to see the Toonami aired grungy sci-fi classic done in live-action. What’ll be next? Big O? It’s showtime.

 

Release date: TBA

 

 

One Piece

 

Another live-action adaptation for Netflix from the same ITV Studios, One Piece is also getting the Netflix bux for its own transition into live-action.

 

 

Now this one’s iffy. I really have to wonder if you could capture the pure adventurous spirit of One Piece is not just live action but Hollywood live-action. It just doesn’t seem right, you know?

 

With 10 episodes covering at least part of the East Blue Saga, the series has been said to potentially be the highest budget TV drama in history.

 

Eichiro Oda has also said that he has a condition for the production of the live-action series, that it has to be faithful to the series’ fans that have supported One Piece for 20 years,

 

Release date: TBA

 

 

 

Mobile Suit Gundam

 

While giant robots aren’t so big in the west, as early as 1983, Gundam has been a candidate for hitting Hollywood, and this time, it looks like it’s really happening.

 

Gundam Unicorn VR at Shinjuku VR Zone
Gundam Unicorn VR

 

With a new logo dropped just recently and comic book writer Brian K. Vaughn on board for the script, we’re getting our first live-action Gundam since the cinematic masterpiece G-Savior.

 

Like it’s always been, there isn’t much info yet, but one thing’s for certain. Whether it’s an adaptation of 0079 or it does its own thing, it just won’t be the same without Tomino there to make all the characters completely incomprehensible.

 

Release date: TBA

 

 

Are you looking forward to any of these live-action anime, or with the Hollywood ones do you think we’re just getting more of the Death Note dumpster fire?

 

What series do you think would work well in live-action?

 

Tell me in the comments below!

 

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