Japanese fans make landslide pick for next anime they want a Hollywood live-action adaptation of
Written by tokyoclub on May 15, 2021
It’s not even close as one answer tops the survey by more than a seven-to-one margin with the number-two pick.
Every couple of years, anime starts surging in mainstream overseas popularity and Hollywood producers start thinking that maybe the time is right to once again try their hand at a Western-made live-action adaptation of a Japanese animated series. We seem to be headed into another round of the pattern in the near future, what with the live-action Gundam, One Piece, and Your Name on the way.
Of course, those three franchises are far from the only hits out there, so Japanese media company Viviane recently conducted a survey asking 1,000 Japanese people between the ages of 10 and 69 what other anime/manga series they want to get a Hollywood live-action version next. Let’s take a look at the top 10 responses.
10. Hunter x Hunter (chosen by 1.4 percent of respondents)
7 (tie). My Hero Academia (1.5 percent)
7 (tie). JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (1.5 percent)
7 (tie). Slam Dunk (1.5 percent)
▼ My Hero Academia
We’ve got a bit of a traffic jam here at the start, but all four are popular shonen series with broad-demographic fan bases. Two of them, Hunter x Hunter and JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure are so popular their manga are still ongoing, and their respective fantasy/globe-spanning settings mean a non-Japanese cast wouldn’t necessarily look out of place, and in the case of My Hero Academia, one respondent said Hollywood’s steady string of successful superhero comic book adaptations would make it a good fit with overseas production companies’ strengths.
6. Detective Conan/Case Closed (1.8 percent)
5. Naruto (2.4 percent)
4. Jujutsu Kaisen (3.4 percent)
This group is a bit more of a headscratcher. “A lot of the Conan cases take place overseas, so filming on-location would give them a great sense of place,” said one supporter, but mainstream American audiences have famously had a difficult time reconciling the series’ murders and violent crimes with a cast of characters that includes many children, so Hollywood would probably be quick to toss one of those defining elements for the franchise. Meanwhile, Naruto and Jujutsu Kaisen, with their focuses on superpowered ninja and supernatural Tokyo high school students, appear to have gotten most of their votes by nature of Hollywood’s large special effects budgets making fans think they’d have awesome-looking fight scenes.
3. Attack on Titan (4.8 percent)
“The Japanese-made live-action movies were pretty meh,” said one dissatisfied fan who hopes the series gets the Hollywood treatment, apparently thinking they can’t be much worse than the profoundly panned pair of domestic attempts that came out in 2015.
2. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba (6 percent)
This one seems to have less to do with anyone thinking a story about swordsmen in Taisho period Japan battling yokai-inspired monsters is something that would work better in the live-action Hollywood format, but simply because Demon Slayer is the most popular anime/manga franchise in Japan at the moment, and fans are still hungry for any and all content they can get.
Now, if you’ve been keeping track, you’ll notice that these nine entries only account for a total of 24.3, so you might be expecting a massive landslide for the number-one pick. And you’re right, as the top response earned more than seven times as many votes as any other response. When asked “What anime/manga do you hope gets a live-action Hollywood adaptation next?”, the top response was:
1. None of them (45.6 percent)
Asked why, the reasons generally boiled down to live-action not being able to convincingly and entertainingly do what anime does in terms of visuals, setting, and tone. “Anime is fine as anime,” said one respondent in the 10-19 age bracket. A more mature participant in their 50s verbalized their worries as “If they make a series into a Hollywood live-action version, I think it will destroy fans’ dreams,” and considering some of Hollywood’s past attempts, that’s an understandable fear.