Anime and live-action movies go hand in hand. What starts as manga(comic) gets adapted to anime and then live-action. In a nutshell, live-action movies are the peak of Japanese content.
Over the years, we have seen some of the best live-action movies inspired by anime. This list will unravel some of the best live-action movies of all time inspired by Japanese animation. Starting with number one, we have Gintama.
Best live-action movies inspired by anime (January 2023)
There is denying that Gintama is one of the best gag anime of all time. The jokes are offensive, and the characters break the 4th wall every 5 minutes. The anime has been in the top 10 best anime list of all time, and the live-action is not bad either. Furthermore, Gintama live-action movies are pleasing to watch and easy to digest.
Those watching the live-action for the first time might feel awkward in the first few minutes, but after passing that awkward phase, It’s all gags and comedy. The show manages to keep up with the comedy timing of the anime and delivers a good, pleasing watching experience.
The Disastrous Life of Saiki K
The Disastrous Life of Saiki K is the modern version of Gintama and one of the best comedy anime of all time.
With an amazing set of characters, it was challenging to bring out the same comedy timing in the live-action, but Yuichi Fukuda bought everything from the anime adaption in a crazy entertainer known as The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. (film).
The cast never lets you down, and the cosplay matches the original characters from the anime, making it closer to the original animated series.
In short, The Disastrous Life of Saiki K is the perfect live-action movie for all comedy lovers. Still, normies can enjoy this movie too. After all, it has been directed in a way that is easy to digest and understandable because it’s all gag and humor.
Inuyashiki is a controversial anime. It revolves around robots who kill people, with our protagonist being a killer too. Furthermore, the anime adaption has some of the best animation scenes, which are hard to pull off in real life, but the directors and CGI experts copy-pasted the aesthetics of the anime into the live-action perfectly.
To be honest, Inuyashiki is one of the best live-action movies I’ve watched.
Furthermore, behold, if you’re wondering what this series is all about. The series is about a psychopathic character killing humans in the most brutal way possible.
The series is definitely not for kids or faint-hearted individuals. The story is described from a third-person perspective and often confuses viewers about what is right and what is wrong.
Rurouni Kenshin is the latest live-action that caught everyone off guard. For starters, it is directed by Keishi Ōtomo, the same person who directed the live-action movies like March Comes In Like a Lion, Platina Data, O Serial Killer Mascarado Film, and Museum 2016.
Rurouni Kenshin has five live-action movies, all of which are entertaining in the Japanese sense.
The first movie, “Rurouni Kenshin,” was released in 2012, followed by the later parts of the show, with the latest being Rurouni Kenshin: The Final.
Right from the direction, cast, and cosplay, you’ll love the atmosphere created with the Kenshin world and how our hero achieves atonement for the things he did in the past.
Death Note (Japanese Version)
Death Note has more live-action adaptation than fingers on both hands. The first live-action adaptation was directed by Shūsuke Kaneko, with Warner Bros. Pictures Japan being the distributor.
While it is hard to compare all the versions of live-action, fans pointed out the worst adaptation of Death Note (2017 film) directed by American director Adam Wingard.
The best part about all the Death Note adaptations is the CGI used in making the Shinigamis. Some movies crushed the CGI part with funny-looking characters, whilst some topped the charts with unmatched CGI and fluid animation.
Furthermore, movies are subjective, and people can like/dislike a movie based on their experience. To understand which movie is better, you might want to watch them all.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable Chapter I
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable Chapter I is by far the only live-action movie that enlightened Jojo fans about live-action being good. As a JoJo fan myself, I know what JoJo lovers want, and this live-action movie just gives the original JoJo vibes.
Before I overhype this movie, let’s see this from an outsider’s perspective.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable Chapter I is directed by the reputed director Takashi Miike. The same person who directed Ichi the Killer, 13 Assassins, Blade of the Immortal, Crows Zero, and As the Gods Will. The movie uses heavy CGI effects and cosplay makeup that brings out the good side of the live-action world.
However, there is no comparison between live-action and anime because anime is better when it comes to the JoJo series.
Assassination Classroom is a weird series about an unearthly being handling a school on his own. In the shonen genre, Assassination Classroom comes out as a good narrative show with elements of supernatural, comedy, and action. The story revolves around a mysterious being known as Koro-sensei.
After destroying 70 percent of the moon, he offers a one-year extension before destroying earth but with a condition.
Now enough with the narrative. Assassination Classroom’s live-action movies are great because of how good the CGI is and how fluid the animation scenes are. From Koro-sensei dodging every bullet from the student to classmates plotting a way to kill Koro-sensei, Assassination Classroom live-action is one of the most entertaining movies you can watch right now.
Alita: Battle Angel
Anime fans often complain about how Hollywood butchers live-action movies inspired by the anime medium. Just take a look at Dragon Ball and Death Note from Hollywood; you’ll know.
However, Alita: Battle Angel is one of the only exceptions that rested well with the audience.
The movie is directed by Robert Rodriguez, with Rosa Salazar being the lead. The directors have used heavy CGI work on Rosa’s face, including making her eyes larger than humans and refining her body structure.
As a robot, Rosa Salazar shows many emotions throughout the movie, and the fight scenes are a treat to the eyes.
If you’re tired of watching Ghost in the Shell again and again, then you’ll love Alita: Battle Angel because the setting is the same, and the CGI looks great on the screen.
Blade of the Immortal
Blade of the Immortal is a samurai/sword-fighting anime from the late 2000s, and it looks stunning in the animation. However, Takashi Miike did justice to the original series with a powerful live-action movie that did everything right.
The cast and the action scenes are the USP of the movie, and Tetsuya Oishi did an amazing job with the screenplay.
Furthermore, Blade of the Immortal is one of the best samurai anime of all time. So you can conclude that a classic anime would have an interesting live-action movie.
Whilst it’s hard to convince your otaku friend to watch a live-action movie, you can start with Blade of the Immortal, as the movie has everything your friendly otaku friends need from a live-action.
Speed Racer is an anime from the 60s, and not every gen z kid knows about this amazing anime. For starters, Speed Racer is like Initial D but with some professionalism. The story revolves around the 18-year-old Gō Mifune, who loves automobile racing and puts his heart into every race.
Later on, his family, friends, and girlfriend get involved with him when he switches to hardcore racing. The anime is unlike any other show you’ve watched, and it takes you back to the initial era of Japanese anime.
Furthermore, Speed Racer’s live-action adaptation came out in 2008 in the USA and became a hit among pop culture enthusiasts. The movie was so good that it even bagged a nomination for multiple film awards
Erased is one of the best live-action movies ever made. The story, characters, and emotions reveal the story’s hidden meaning. The story is about a boy who wants to save a girl from the world. The live-action looks stunning, and it is one of the only movies that perfectly captures the emotions of anime.
The movie is available on Netflix and other streaming platforms. I will leave a link to the trailer below for you to check out.
So this ends our list of the best live-action movies that were inspired by anime. Comment down your favorite live-action movies in the comment section or share if we missed some.