Anime Gone Bad - When anime attempts live action stardom
By Amy R Zunk
I was sitting watching some old anime and cartoons (think Mighty Orbots and Galaxy High) with a friend of mine. We were having a good time; laughing at series we first saw when we were kids. Feeling old beyond our years. Then, the horror happened. He pulled out an old VCR tape and pushed play. I was witness to something I never thought I would see. It was almost too much.
What was it? The trailer for the proposed Sailor Moon live action television series and film. I think I will need some serious therapy to get over that travesty.
In all seriousness, what is with American television executives need to take a decent Japanese anime series and turn it into live action garbage? Have they run out of ideas? Have all of the US writers suddenly have an epidemic of writer’s block?
The trailer I saw was awful. The actresses playing the Sailor Scouts looked ridiculous. It’s hard to emulate those large anime eyes on a real person; and lets not even get started on the hair or the clothes. They did intersplice some of the original anime series (well, the Americanized version) between live action bits, but it was strained. And then there was musical numbers. Since when did Sailor Moon and company turn into Jem and the Holograms? The film issues were just as bad. Can you picture Geena Davis as Queen Beryl?
Now while I am not a Sailor Moon fan, I was seriously offended by what I saw. And from what I was told when this trailer aired, I wasn’t the only one.
Sailor Moon, the live action show, never came to fruition. If you want to read up on what did happen, check out the following links:
Maybe the television execs realized they could never turn anime into live action. But then, I saw this anime news story:
Live Action Akira film http://www.joblo.com/movienews/1021.htm
This nearly knocked me out of my chair. Akira was my first exposure to Japanese anime. I love that film. I own the VCR tape, laser disc and special edition 2 DVD set. How in the world are they going to take such a well known and much studied classic film like Akira and make it live action? The director for this project is the same one who did Blade. Blade was originally a comic before it was adapted into the Wesley Snipes’ Blade. Are they thinking it’s going to be a similar experience? Are they banking on the latest wave of comic book turned live action films such as Spiderman and the soon to be released Hulk and Daredevil to be their guide? And how are they going to do Tetsuo’s transformation and make it believable? CG work and then some? I am just not a happy camper.
Anime turned live action is not something I think many fans are going to be supportive of in the long run. American movie audiences are only now starting to accept anime into their culture (i.e. Princess Monoke and Spirited Away). Fans do not like it when their classic anime is messed with, all for the sake of profit.
What do you think? If you would like to talk more about this topic, look for me in the AnimeMetro.com forum under the name CyberDragonne, or email me at email@example.com.
Amy R. Zunk is a freelance writer for several online publications doing editorial commentary and product review. Her column on Geek.com, "Backwards and in 4 inch heels", addresses women in the technology industry. She is an anime fan from way back. Her favorites include Robotech and Cowboy Bebop. Amy wants someday to own her very own veritech.