How can we have the best of both worlds? Anime and live-action. Do you think it is possible to create a good anime live-action film, that even non-anime lovers would able to enjoy? To find out, we will be reviewing live-action anime movies that are on Netflix Singapore. We understand that it will be bias if we love anime and judge those live-action films. So, we came out with a (hopefully fair) rubric.
- We will judge the movies based on:
- How similar it is to the anime
- Whether we are able to watch/understand the movie as a standalone without knowing the anime
- How enjoyable the live-action movie is
Death note (2017)
First up, Death Note. Death Note (anime) is loved by millions of people around the world. We can even say it is one of the classics, that all anime lovers love. In 2017, this was the talk of the town. What were people saying? Basically, they were saying that it was trash. Why would Netflix create an American version of something Japanese? And why would Netflix decide to create this extremely frustrating live-action movie? We will never know.
Death Note (live-action) took on the original idea of how the physical death note works and the 2 main characters. But decided to change everything else. So, if you did not watch the anime, we guess that it’s totally alright. But, that’s where the problem comes in. Death note (anime) lovers, please bring forth your pitch forks and attack. The characters and plot in the live-action film are so different. Different personalities, different mannerism and just straight out different. It is disappointing, like eating your favourite plate of noodles without any seasonings.
As a standalone movie, we would say that you would be able to grasp onto what the movie is trying to tell you: Boy with book that can kill people if he writes their name down. Boy tries to be a vigilante but police doesn’t deem him to be one. If you are looking for a simple Spider-man movie with poor character development, there you go. But, the most important question… is Death Note (live-action) enjoyable? NO. A big fat NO. It is a gory, B-grade movie that Netflix should just quickly remove and pretend that it never existed. Death Note (2017) live-action is BRUTALLY DISAPPROVED.
Black Butler (2014)
Black Butler or Kuroshitsuji, the lesser known anime. It’s popular enough to get a live-action movie but not many knows of the anime. Luckily enough, Black Butler live-action is in Japanese instead of American (Ahem, Death Note). True to its anime counterpart, the main character stays exactly the same. What’s even more amazing is the action in the movie. If you’ve ever seen the anime, it is ridiculous. For example, the skill of cutting or injuring someone with a butter knife. It may seem entertaining for an anime but you might raise your eyebrows if it is in a live-action movie. However, Black Butler did it tastefully that even we somehow believed that we could injure someone with a butter knife too (but do not try it at home).
We can safely say that as a standalone movie, it is amazing. A great combination of action and gratifying plot that leaves you wanting more. Even if you’ve never watched or even heard of this anime before, you would still be able to enjoy it. We might even go as far as to say that you may even want to watch the anime after watching the live-action version.
Is Black Butler enjoyable? It definitely is. Anime lovers who are trying to convert your non-anime friends into loving anime, Black Butler would be a good start. So grab some popcorn and catch it on Netflix. Black Butler is BRUTALLY APPROVED.
Fullmetal Alchemist (2017)
Everyone who watches anime knows of Fullmetal Alchemist. It was voted the most popular anime of all time in Japan. With such a huge following, did Fullmetal Alchemist live-action movie live up to its expectations? No, it did not. Yes, we are not even going to hide our disappointment.
Instead of being a live-action movie, it felt like it was a huge cosplay festival. As for how similar it is to the anime, we would have to say that it followed the anime really well. We could recognise the scenes and everything felt familiar. In a sense, it is good because it stuck to the original. However, as a standalone, we do not think that it is worth watching. Let’s not ruin Fullmetal Alchemist for people hasn’t watched the anime. If non-anime lovers watch this movie, they might run for the hills because of how bad it is. Yes, it is that bad. It would be better to go to an Anime Expo and take photos with cosplayers dressed up as Fullmetal Alchemist characters.
Is Fullmetal Alchemist (live-action) enjoyable? No. Maybe live-action films released in 2017 are just not that good (Death note was released in 2017). Maybe, we should say something nice about the movie. Let’s see, the movie have vibrant colours? Ok, that did not help at all. Netflix, please remove Fullmetal Alchemist (live-action) because 2020 has been challenging so far. We only need the good things to remain. So, Fullmetal Alchemist is BRUTALLY DISAPPROVED.
Here comes another cult classic, Bleach. Everyone knows Bleach. Even those who doesn’t watch anime heard of Bleach. At least, we are going to confidently assume that that is the case. Bleach is an action anime with monsters and spiritual powers. So, it can go either ways: a major flop because the graphics are bad or amazing because of the awesome graphics. And, it was amazing.
Bleach (live-action) is a great summary of the anime, at least the first season of the anime. It did not try to be too creative with them and actually followed the anime. Which could be one of the reasons as to why the movie was great. Bleach (live-action) is a great standalone movie. You do not need to know the anime to understand and enjoy it. The action is classy and a touch of ridiculousness to remind you that this is from an anime. There is a good balance of fantasy and real life which makes it all the more enjoyable.
Maybe you wouldn’t watch the anime after watching the movie. But we are certain that as long as you like action and Japanese films, you would enjoy Bleach (live-action). We are so glad that Netflix brought Bleach (live-action) into our lives. Not to mention, all the non-anime lovers would be able to experience a small part of anime and actually enjoy it. Is Bleach (live-action) enjoyable? A big YES. Bleach is BRUTALLY APPROVED.
If anime or Japanese films isn’t your thing, read our review on Rotten tomatoes worst Netflix movie ratings: Are they true? for more movies that you can enjoy.