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Unread 01-17-2011, 10:24 AM   #1
Kasinator
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Why do you think movies based on manga/anime are often worse than comic book movies?

I find it odd that comic book movies like spider man do well compared to live action anime/manga when often manga tells the story in a span sometimes as short as one or two volumes, while the western comics are ongoing sagas that have a lot of ground to cover in comparison.

My main theory is despite similarities, anime and manga are handled much differently than comic book movies. Often because they are less recognizable to westerners as compared to ... say superman, who is more iconic and recognizable. You could easily explain the character despite what little you know about him compared to hardcore fans. Whereas the characters in anime and or manga have creative liberties taken to shoehorn them to be more "related" to common audiences.

Lets take the example of dragonball. I'll try to make this tolerable. XD In the manga son goku is a happy go lucky ten year old, that is blissfully ignorant to whats really going on, but knows when to get serious when conflict arises. To an American screenwriter, this doesn't sound compelling in the least, and therefore not someone to relate to, which is important for a main character. So to make him more compelling, Have him be older, and a nobody in high school. Then by the end f the movie we can establish him as the big hero he is supposed to grow up into.

This sort of thing happens a lot in movies. Take for instances forein imitations of popular movies. Bollywood is full of them. Bollywood often takes the idea of a pre-existing plot with a few changes to the movie and releases it to Indian audiences. Well why not make their own original idea? Because its better to work with an idea they already know was successful. All they have to do is make a few changes in names and characters and make it more relevant to their local audience.

But wouldn't people know it's a rip-off copy of a much better movie? That is the part that surprises more people than you would think. Bellow I listed A bunch of movies released that were US released but are really foreign remakes:

True Lies

Twelve Monkeys

Three Men and a Baby

The Departed

Shall We Dance

City of Angels

Dinner for Schmucks

Vanilla Sky

Bangkok Dangerous

The Magnificent Seven

The Lake House

So while we may or may not have enjoyed these films. The people who saw the originals might have an entirely different opinion than you simply because they know the original. Anime and manga are still the obscure entertainment fields despite growing popularity. But when it becomes something more recognizable to people worldwide, live action adaptations will become more central to the original concept.

That's my thoughts on this. How about you folks?
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Unread 01-17-2011, 10:55 AM   #2
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...manga tells the story in a span sometimes as short as one or two volumes, while the western comics are ongoing sagas that have a lot of ground to cover in comparison.
I actually think that this is the reason why movies based on comic books are more successful. The characters have been around for a long time and have gone through many versions and storylines so movie makers have more flexibility. They can use and build on the things that will work well on film and ignore things that won't. But because the characters have been around for so long, there is name recognition even for people who are not huge comic book fans. Some hardcore fans will complain that the movie violates canon, but the vast majority of movies goers won't care.

I'm actually not familiar with live action anime/manga movies but for comparison, let's take The Last Airbender. The fans of the cartoon series knew every little detail of the single story arc so any deviation would be met with howling. But not everything that works well animated, on TV, over three seasons is going to translate well in telling the story live action on the big screen. Personally, I think that it is much harder to adapt something from one medium to another and have it be any good than to develop something original for a specific medium. Quite honestly, I don't understand why everything has to be a movie and a TV show and a comic book and a video game and a card game.... Well, expect of course to milk a single IP for absolutely every cent with as little creative effort as possible.

I think that the question of remakes is a little different, especially remakes from one country to another. I'm not against them in principal, but again, I do think that a lot of times it does come down to wanting to make money with less creative effort. If you are a film maker, why not come up with an original idea? (Well, except for the obvious reason - see above). And I can't think of a remake of a foreign movie that I thought was an improvement. I like The Magnificent Seven but don't think it's as good as The Seven Samurai.
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Unread 01-17-2011, 11:23 AM   #3
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Frankly, I think quite a lot of western comic-to-movie's are god awful too, but I digress. -ahem-

A lot of anime, like the above mentioned Avatar series, is not something easily adapted out of animation. Regardless if something is western (like batman ) or a manga (like Death Note) it can and is difficult to be true to your subject matter and make it flow appropriately on screen. Even taking something as popular as Harry Potter and adapting it into films has shown itself to be horrifically difficult and fragile, almost anyone who's read the novels left 'Half-Blood Prince' feeling something like rage and indigestion combined. So taking anything from one form and squishing it down into another is a hard task on its own.

As for remakes, It's terribly unoriginal and creates a frankenstein monster of a movie. Do you know how many jackasses stomped out of 'Pans Labyrinth' because they didn't 'pay to read'? (The film is in Spanish for those who haven't seen it) My mother actually liked that movie so much when I told her about the subtitles bugging some of our fellow patrons she looked at me puzzled and said "Wait..there where subtitles?" and actually argued with me about it xD She got SO into the movie she didn't even realize that she was reading subtitles!
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Unread 01-17-2011, 12:43 PM   #4
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Frankly, I think quite a lot of western comic-to-movie's are god awful too, but I digress. -ahem-
So YES I cannot even fully articulate how YES this statement is. Number of comic-to-movies I hated vastly outweighs the ones I liked.

Ultimately, skipping between media is HARD. Adaptations are HARD and are often done really badly. You can turn a serialised manga of fifty-odd chapters into a twenty-six episode anime or drama much easier than you can cram that material into a two hour movie (Animated OR live-action). The problem is that a lot of movies want to stand alone, so you can watch it without having seen/read the original, because they think they'll get a bigger audience. I think this is a load of crap. My favourite (FAVOURITE) serial-to-short so far is actually the second 'Kuroshitsuji' musical, which I think did an awesome job of creating something that you didn't strictly speaking NEED to know the characters and the story, but gave out so much more if you did.

Adapting foreign movies into English is a wasted effort, IMHO (I beat my head against a sign board for five minutes after I realised they'd remade 'Let The Right One In'. No one messes with my vampire movies, damnit!)
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Unread 01-17-2011, 01:50 PM   #5
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The DeathNote movie was amazing. I watched it with my brother, whose a big fan, and he shooshed me when I moved. lol. Im so glad they did not go through with the Cowboy Bebop live action. I think most people that try to tackle anime live action movies don't do enough research. Just my opinion. O.O
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Unread 01-17-2011, 02:20 PM   #6
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The DeathNote movie was amazing. I watched it with my brother, whose a big fan, and he shooshed me when I moved. lol. Im so glad they did not go through with the Cowboy Bebop live action. I think most people that try to tackle anime live action movies don't do enough research. Just my opinion. O.O
So happy I read that about the Cowboy Beebop movie. The thought of Keanu Reeves playing Spike made my stomach turn. *shudders*
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Unread 01-17-2011, 02:27 PM   #7
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So happy I read that about the Cowboy Beebop movie. The thought of Keanu Reeves playing Spike made my stomach turn. *shudders*
Same here, I was so happy when they called it off. There were a lot of rumors of Megan Fox playing Faye. I think they were just trying to pick any bad actor for that movie. ><
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Unread 01-17-2011, 02:56 PM   #8
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Same here, I was so happy when they called it off. There were a lot of rumors of Megan Fox playing Faye. I think they were just trying to pick any bad actor for that movie. ><
I had not even heard about this, but ooooooooh, the pain...

I have a sudden sense of a humongous catastrophe barely avoided.
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Unread 01-21-2011, 08:39 PM   #9
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Actually the first time I saw Constantine I couldn't help but think what a good Spike Keanu Reeves would make. *ducks*
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Unread 01-21-2011, 09:08 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Kasinator View Post
I find it odd that comic book movies like spider man do well compared to live action anime/manga when often manga tells the story in a span sometimes as short as one or two volumes, while the western comics are ongoing sagas that have a lot of ground to cover in comparison.
A huge, HUGE exception to this are the Ghost in the Shell manga/first film, and the AKIRA film/manga.

Both are examples of manga taking FOREVER to get on with it, yet still managing to produce assrapingly gorgeous icons of cinema. In fact, the AKIRA manga wasn't even finished when the film was released.

Maybe some Japanese directors should tutor other filmmakers looking to dabble in the comic-to-film field?
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Unread 01-21-2011, 09:15 PM   #11
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I dunno. Western bias?
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Unread 01-21-2011, 09:39 PM   #12
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So happy I read that about the Cowboy Beebop movie. The thought of Keanu Reeves playing Spike made my stomach turn. *shudders*
That was how I felt when they cast him as Constantine. I just had to completely put Hellblazer out of my mind and pretend it was something totally new and different to enjoy the movie at all.
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Unread 01-21-2011, 09:43 PM   #13
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I still refuse to see Constantine. Didn't they make him a demon killer employed by the Vatican or something?

It should never have been made.
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Unread 01-21-2011, 09:54 PM   #14
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I still refuse to see Constantine. Didn't they make him a demon killer employed by the Vatican or something?

It should never have been made.
It's been a long time since I watched it, but he had his usual American accent, so right off the bat, it was NOT John Constantine. Then they sort of muddled up the bit and made it incomprehensible about his relationship with upstairs and down below. It was like seeing a crayola cartoon of the Mona Lisa. Might be interesting in its own right, but not a very good caricature of the original.
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Unread 01-21-2011, 10:22 PM   #15
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It would be hard to have a proper Constantine film that wasn't rated...whatever the rating above R is.

I wish they'd have got someone with a thick accent, too. Trying to figure out what the hell people were saying through all the slang and vernacular in the older 90's Hellblazer stories was part of the fun for me.
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