Ani-Meh: 9 Anime Hollywood Messed Up (And 10 It Should Never Touch)

Hollywood can be a bit touch and go -- sure, there’s plenty of great pieces of cinematic wonders, but there’s also plenty of movies that never make sense and are, unfortunately, a waste to watch. Of course, this will always be up to a viewer’s personal choice, but everyone has seen a bad movie at one point or another. Recently, the bad side of Hollywood, has been taking more interest in different kinds of media where they can create new films -- namely, they’ve been looking more and more at anime.

Don’t get us wrong, it’s not entirely unheard of for an anime to get a live-action piece, but we typically see this in Japan where anime and manga originate and will always have a strong following. The U.S. has always had a relatively large fanbase for anime, but the voices never seemed strong enough to really infiltrate the mainstream media. Now it seems as though current nerd culture has brought the change of live-action adaptations to the West, and we’re not sure how we feel about it; especially since Hollywood can never seem to get it right, even in their originals. Already, Hollywood has a string of live-action remakes that didn’t do very hot. From controversial casting to poor acting and even poorer re-telling of the original stories, there’s a list of things that have certainly gone wrong. So here are 10 that Hollywood has most certainly ruined, and 10 classic anime series we hope it never gets its hands on!

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Evangelion is one of the most popular sci-fi classic anime series out there. Fans of anime, regardless of their personal tastes, have at least heard of this show in their lifetime. If you love giant mechs and complex storylines with awesome fight scenes, this will most certainly be the kind of show you want to watch.

Shinji Ikari lives in a futuristic world that is just barely hanging on for dear life. With crazed alien beings called Angels to fight, he must use his mech, the Evangelion, to fight and help save the world. As an older anime, it’s been a part of the fandom for quite a long time; we would hate to see such a classic ruined!


We’re not even sure to really begin with this movie; just from the cover alone, you should be able to tell that it’s not exactly a hit. Not only was the movie very little like the original content, but it’s strange casting choices and low-budget quality made it almost campy, at best.

Reviews will tell you that the CGI was particularly bad for this film; we can understand when you have a low budget, but when it comes to such a hit like this, it’s better to just leave it. The lead actor also got some backlash for his portrayal of the beloved character Goku. Seriously, this just shouldn’t have been made.


There are a few reasons why Hollywood should never attempt to recreate One Piece as a live-action film, but the biggest reason is also that it’s a fan-favorite film. For starters, One Piece is such a long anime with a very detailed storyline that we already know any remake would take out too much by trying to condense the world.

In addition, the film would need to have a large budget in order to show off the Devil Fruit powers more accurately. We can already see the poor special effects and we want nothing to do with them. Since it has been a classic anime for fans, we’d advise Hollywood to stay far, far away from it.


There are probably a few live-action remakes on this list you might not have ever heard of before. This is probably the one that everyone has actually seen in the news; Ghost in the Shell was big news when fans heard it would be getting a live-action remake.

For once, it looked like an anime was going to get a proper, well-budgeted and high definition film. And then… Hollywood messed up. The film’s biggest grievance was the whitewashing of characters, especially when Scarlett Johansson was cast as the lead character. With so much controversy in the film’s roots from day one, it got quite a bad rep.


If the anime gods are looking down upon us, we hope that they can protect us from the evil Hollywood would reign if it were to do a Naruto live-action remake. Even if you’re not very familiar with anime in general, almost everyone has heard of the ninja-filled classic series. There are very few anime series that not only get a proper ending, but several spin-off and follow-up series!

There is no way Hollywood could do Naruto justice. Much like One Piece, it’s another series with a world large enough to have to condense. It also has a lead protagonist that we’re not sure could ever be cast properly.


The Speed Racer movie was strange, which might be a compliment compared to the film we saw. While the anime was a very old classic that many older fans grew up with as children, the movie’s attempt to bring back nostalgia translated odd.

While a lot of the strange things that happened in the anime seemed like common place, like a child with a strange monkey for a friend, seeing it in real life just felt a little weird. However, we will say that this certainly isn’t the worst movie on our list -- there is a small fanbase that is dedicated to how wholesome the experience can be when you’re not too critical.


When we say Hollywood shouldn’t touch this series, we mean any of the Gundam series. All of the variants have been a staple in the anime community, especially those who enjoy giant mechs, fighting and even figure collecting! Unless this movie can get itself to Pacific Rim standards, we’re not sure we want to see it.

Unfortunately, there has been some confirmation that a Gundam movie is in the works. Luckily, Hollywood will not be the one to produce this project, but we’ll have to hold our breath until the film is completed to see just how bad, or good, it really is.


Look, we love Samuel L. Jackson. Everything about that man is wonderful, and we’d never want to disappoint him, but how could he do this to us? Not even his appearance in this movie could save an already ruined live-action adaptation.

Kite is one of the worst adaptions we’ve ever seen. Released in 2014, it had a very low-budget film feel about it and seemed to keep in a lot of strange scenes that would have been fine for the anime, but perhaps not for a real film. Honestly, if we could turn back the hands of time and make sure this one wasn’t a thing, we would.


My Hero Academia is a newer shounen manga that has had fans around its finger for a while now. It’s a fantastic anime filled with everything from compelling characters and well thought out plot to fight scenes and dialogue that you could rewind and watch for days. We just hope that this hype hasn’t drawn the wandering eyes of Hollywood.

My Hero Academia would be an excellent candidate for a live-action film, surprisingly. It’s about superheroes with special powers; a film type that’s certainly in right now. But, unless the right studio picks it up to produce it, we highly doubt it’ll be anything like a Marvel film.


If we’re being honest, we kind of feel bad roasting this film in 2018; the live-action adaptation of the classic anime series, Fist of the North Star, was released in 1995, so some of its storytelling methods and graphics were understandably bad.

But even by 1995’s standards, this film did not do too good. It was fairly campy, and the acting didn’t do so hot. Again, the original anime was released in the late '80s and this film didn’t have a lot going for it already with its time frame, but we would have expected more for such a great show.


If you’re a fan of magical girls, or of twisted storylines that come out of nowhere, you would love Magi Madoka. What seems sweet and innocent at first turns into an all-out blood bath. As great as this is for an anime, we’re afraid that this would be a complete problem later on.

Having the right actors for the kind of movie this would be not only could create some serious backlash but would also make it a little dark; which is saying something, since this is Hollywood. We’re not sure this is the kind of story they’d pick, which makes us pretty happy.


If you’ve been in the anime fandom long enough, you’ll know that there has been serious discourse over whether or not Avatar: The Last Airbender counts as an actual anime. Whether or not you personally agree with this, we can all bond over the fact that the live-action adaptation did not do the original series justice.

The original series was incredibly thoughtful in its storytelling and its art, plus animation, was key to making the overall experience beautiful. From the 6% on Rotten Tomatoes, you can tell that this movie just wasn’t ready to uphold such a legend.


Hunter X Hunter is one of those anime series that is exceptionally popular among people who really enjoy anime. Whereas some of the other entries on this list, such as Naruto or One Piece, are more common, even among your non-anime fan, Hunter X Hunter is a popular shounen that really has a fanbase of its own.

Our concern with Hollywood trying to make a live-action version of this particular show is that it’s very action-based. Fighting happens all the time in this show and we’re not entirely sure Hollywood could actually keep up with it. Put that alongside the strange looks to most of the characters, and we’d see a real train wreck of a movie.


We roasted Fist of the North Star pretty hard, despite it being an older film, but going back just a little farther, we had The Guyver. This particular adaptation was exceptionally strange in both its special effects and odd editing. Being released in 1991, we can’t get too harsh with some of these reasons, but it doesn’t mean it’s any less bad.

If you were to go and watch this movie, you’d probably find it incredibly cheesy in its fight scenes and perhaps even the storyline itself. Like some of the other entries, this was just one of those shows that shouldn’t have been turned around in a realistic setting.


Your Name is a stellar anime move that was released in 2016 featuring a love story not many could rival. Not only was it character-driven and incredibly enticing to watch, but the animation, art style and various colors made it look like you were watching a painting the entire time.

This is already a perfect movie. There really shouldn’t be a need to do anything more to this, but we could see that being the exact reason why Hollywood would want a live-action version. There is no way that actors and CGI could be more beautiful than the hard work the original creators put into it.


If you’ve been on Netflix lately, you may have seen a new series called Death Note; both the anime and the live-action version are up and available. If you’re struggling to figure out which one you should be adding to your watch list, we can assure you that putting the live-action anywhere near your account would be a grave mistake.

The live-action not only completely changed the narrative of the original story, but it also glorified the main character Light as a troubled young man who seemed to be lashing out. In the original, Light is completely crazed in his quest for justice and has a huge god complex. This kind of direction made it a difficult series to watch.


When it comes to classical anime movies, Spirited Away is usually near or at the top of the list. Let’s make one thing clear: Hollywood should never, ever, touch a Studio Ghibli film. Hayao Miyazaki’s work is herald as masterpieces in the anime community, and there’s no way a live-action could give us those same feelings.

Spirited Away is also very specific and whimsical; set in a magical setting, it would take a lot of CGI and special effects at a high-budget level to get even remotely close. Between this and the obvious potential for Hollywood to cast the wrong people, we’re not sure we could handle this kind of heartbreak.


We know we mentioned Gundam a little earlier, but G-Savior is very different from the anime series. This particular entry is not actually Hollywood’s fault for once! However, it’s still and English adaptation that came from Bandai Visual, so it’s still a massive part of the problem. G-Savior came out of Canada in the 2000s; it’s technically a part of the Gundam franchise.

However, many fans will tell you that you shouldn’t watch the film if you’re really interested in Gundam. It doesn’t have the same spirit that Gundam has and the suits just didn’t seem to do well in their cheesy CGI.


Through some of the entries we’ve seen here, you should know that there are some anime series that simply don’t transfer over very well from a storytelling perspective. Gurren Lagann would definitely be one of those movies. The anime series is certainly beloved and definitely well produced, but if we’re being honest, it’s a little too weird for Hollywood.

Not only is the premise and goal constantly changing to a certain extent, but it takes a long time for the show to actually get to some of its more important parts. Hollywood would certainly have to rewrite the entire story into something unrecognizable in order to make it perfect for a film.

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