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Answerman - Is Hollywood Pillaging Anime And Manga For Material?


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Whis-pur



Joined: 26 Jul 2015
Posts: 129
PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2016 12:11 pm Reply with quote
I'd say wishful thinking. Ever since Jaws Hollywood has been banking more and more on the bluckbusters, and especially now they're grabbing comic book properties, book properties, and other IP because they can generate money without a debate. They already have fans, Hollywood is a business before artistry. There are still very creative films out there, just not marketed as heavily as those tent pole films.

Specifically for anime/manga properties? Don't get your hopes up. Anime and manga is growing in the West, but it's still a niche that many people in the general public don't get. Hollywood is making films for as many people as possible, the general public. Translating these fantastical worlds are big. Naruto would be a big budget film. So would Bleach, or any other popular Shonen story out there. Very few anime/manga are in the right area to be adapted into a live action film, and even then the studios have to think how the general public will understand this. Would this be too fantastical? Would they go out of their way to watch a film that takes place in Tokyo? The only reasonable way for them to do this is to take something like Ghost in the Shell, or Monster, or something that's more grounded and set it in the West so that Americans can relate. Is this wrong? Sure, but this is a very tricky topic when thinking about two cultures and trying to adapt one of them for another.

My personal opinion? It would be cool to see a live action movie or show from an anime or manga, but it doesn't' need it. It's animated, and to me very few properties would benefit from transitioning to live action.
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Lemonchest



Joined: 18 Mar 2015
Posts: 1771
PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2016 12:19 pm Reply with quote
I think it's potentially a great time for anime as far as Hollywood adaptations go. Action sci-fi films are pretty much the only blockbuster alternative to superhero & nostalgia reboot films atm, & anime & manga from the late 80s-90s are great for adapting into that kind of thing. Dunno if many will end up getting made, but it's as good a time as any to see it happen.

As for the GITS film, so long as it's as good or better than the Aeon Flux film, I'll be fine with it. If it's on the level of Serenity or District 9, even better. At least we'll get a big budget action film with some philosophical pretensions rather than a transhumanist dissertation interspersed with action scenes to stop you falling asleep like the original GITS film.

With regards to the actress debacle, I think it's telling that Takeshi Kitano has been cast for GITS, since he's one of maybe three Japanese actors (Sonny Chiba & Ken Watanabe being the other two) who have any real international recognition. There are no Japanese actresses who could carry a Hollywood film. Heck I'm not sure there are any who could carry a Japanese film with a budget like what this version will be getting. There's certainly problems with the Hollywood system, but the decline of Japanese cinema (& problems with their studio & agency systems) certainly doesn't help with regards to expanding the pool of available talent.
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Beatdigga



Joined: 26 Oct 2003
Posts: 3556
Location: New York
PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2016 12:23 pm Reply with quote
We've had all of one good manga/LN adaptation and it was sold on the idea of "Watch Tom Cruise die in increasingly hilarious ways!" (Which it delivered on so money well spent). It's hardly a trend like superheroes. As it stands, anime/manga adaptations haven't even gotten to Tim Burton Batman level in development yet.
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Themaster20000



Joined: 05 Aug 2014
Posts: 806
PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2016 12:38 pm Reply with quote
The thing I can't stand most from this "controversy" is the double standard being thrown around. I don't see these same people complaining about the casting of Idris Elba as the lead in the upcoming Dark Tower film(great choice BTW).
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Mr Adventure



Joined: 14 Jul 2008
Posts: 1598
PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2016 12:42 pm Reply with quote
Wasn't Pacific Rim originally going to be the Eva movie? There are definitely a lot of basic similarities between the two.
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mglittlerobin



Joined: 28 Aug 2008
Posts: 1070
PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2016 12:49 pm Reply with quote
Well considering the fact that the only Japanese thing about Motoko physically is her brain, I have no problem with Scarlet Johanon playing her as long as she does a good job. Her brain is the only human part of her left, so wh does Motoko have to be played by a Japanese person?

Last edited by mglittlerobin on Wed Apr 27, 2016 1:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Hoppy800



Joined: 09 Aug 2013
Posts: 2927
PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2016 12:54 pm Reply with quote
Yes, they are, Hollywood has been out of ideas for a while now and we're seeing the unfortunate implications of them being out of ideas. I wouldn't mind them doing so if they at least respected the purity of these series.
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Utsuro no Hako



Joined: 18 May 2012
Posts: 1012
PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2016 12:58 pm Reply with quote
Themaster20000 wrote:
The thing I can't stand most from this "controversy" is the double standard being thrown around. I don't see these same people complaining about the casting of Idris Elba as the lead in the upcoming Dark Tower film(great choice BTW).


The two situations are not symmetrical. There's no shortage of roles for white actors in Hollywood, whereas people of color are grossly underrepresented. Casting a black man in a role that otherwise would've defaulted to white is increasing diversity, whereas casting Johnny Depp as Tonto, or Benedict Cumberbatch as Khan Noonien Singh, you're taking away one of the few roles that could've gone to a Native American or Indian actor.

That being said, I don't think GITS is a good example of the problem. It's more like The Vanishing, Insomnia, and Let the Right One In, where Hollywood takes a foreign property and transplants it to an American setting. It'd be nice if they included some Asian-American actors in prominent roles, but using white (and black or Hispanic) actors is something you just have to take for granted.
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Lemonchest



Joined: 18 Mar 2015
Posts: 1771
PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2016 12:59 pm Reply with quote
Beatdigga wrote:
We've had all of one good manga/LN adaptation and it was sold on the idea of "Watch Tom Cruise die in increasingly hilarious ways!" (Which it delivered on so money well spent). It's hardly a trend like superheroes. As it stands, anime/manga adaptations haven't even gotten to Tim Burton Batman level in development yet.


Edge of Tomorrow (& Pacific Rim) were decent hits in Asia, though. If GITS can do likewise, I think these kind of action sci-fi films either adapted from or inspired by Japanese media could be sustainable, even if US audiences remain lukewarm to them. Of course it'll probably only take one flop for everything to be shelved, but lets hope this won't be that.
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MajorZero



Joined: 29 Jul 2010
Posts: 359
PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2016 1:19 pm Reply with quote
I like how people talk about creative bankruptcy of Hollywood when stuff like Psycho-Pass can easily 'pass' as a bastard child of Blade Runner and Minority Report mixed with random quotations from western philosophers just for the sake of appearing smarter than it really is.
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VoidWitch



Joined: 14 Mar 2016
Posts: 157
PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2016 1:22 pm Reply with quote
Some great points have been made here. Over time I definitely had to check in with my position on GitS controversy and ultimately change it to "I don't mind". The whole cgi thing is indeed gross and seeing more diversity would still be very nice. Are there any English speaking Japanese actresses who could possibly handle the role? I wonder. Would it be ok to cast Chinese or Korean actress instead? I highly doubt so. I can understand why people frustrated though.
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omegaproxy





PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2016 1:39 pm Reply with quote
How about stop putting GITS Liveaction movie discussion on to daily news, I'M SICK OF HEARING ABOUT THIS
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Jonny Mendes



Joined: 17 Oct 2014
Posts: 994
Location: Europe
PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2016 1:49 pm Reply with quote
This movie and other American manga/anime adaptations is not made for the anime fans. Is mostly made for people that don't even know that this was a anime/manga adaptation and many don't even know what anime or manga is.

So using a white/black/asian/native american/latino actor is not really important. They even can use a martian for all i care.

If i want to see a good anime/manga adaptations there is always the Japanese Live Action moves
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EricJ2



Joined: 01 Feb 2014
Posts: 4016
PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2016 1:55 pm Reply with quote
Beatdigga wrote:
We've had all of one good manga/LN adaptation and it was sold on the idea of "Watch Tom Cruise die in increasingly hilarious ways!" (Which it delivered on so money well spent).


A screenwriter could license All You Need Is Kill, since it was easy to pitch: "Groundhog Day with aliens...and Tom Cruise!"
But it wasn't exactly an iconic anime title like Akira, Death Note or Dragon Ball.

The reason we did get the movies we did was the old developing factor of "These are the titles old-fogey Lexus-driving studio execs have heard of." Like expecting Donald Trump to be an Attack on Titan fan.
When the mid-late 90's first figured out that "the new kids were into this Japanime thing", Hollywood wanted to jump onto it, but in those mid-90's days, being over 30 and talking about anime--if you weren't joking about how crazy Sailor Moon looked--was saying "I remember Speed Racer! And Astro Boy! And Gigantor!"
Legend has it that US Disney execs in Tokyo in the late 80's were surprised to see how much of an animation industry Japan had of its own, wondered about importing a title, and of all the iconic Gundam, Ghibli and Takahashi characters they saw around them, which did they respond to most?--"Look, there's Kimba! Anime smile "

Later on, in the early 00's, anime became defined by What the Kids Are Watching on Cartoon Network.
Which meant, in studios' minds, that All Anime consisted of Cowboy Bebop. And then Witch Hunter Robin. And then Death Note. Earlier, Fox wanted to make an "epic running saga" to compete with New Line's Tolkien, thought DBZ only consisted of two arcs, and wanted to make that.
And, of course, the Akira movie will never die, so long as there are execs thirty years later who STILL think All Anime consists of that.

As for Battle Angel Alita, that goes all the way back to the late 80's, when you could only find anime in the comic book stores next to the manga, and "Cyborg girls with guns" was coin of the realm, especially for misogynist directors for girls-with-guns fetishes.
But we're only getting it now because he doesn't want it anymore.


Last edited by EricJ2 on Wed Apr 27, 2016 5:15 pm; edited 2 times in total
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TheAAA



Joined: 03 Feb 2016
Posts: 59
PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2016 2:13 pm Reply with quote
I think it's worth noting that the promotional materials for the movie have never referred to her as "Major Kusanagi", just "The Major". They know they're not fooling anyone, and I won't be surprised at all if her name ends up being Major MacDowell or something and it's set in NYC.

Either way, the internet is for getting unreasonably angry. The so-called people who care about social justice will do it for the casting choices and the turbonerds will get mad that it's being made at all and sullying their pseudo-motherland's glorious media. It's nice to see a well-reasoned, largely neutral article like this one.
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