Anime: Hollywood’s Newest Cash Cow

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It’s well known that the American film industry has tapped into Asian-based media for remakes and adaptations.  For a while, Hollywood has been content on making crappy re-dos of Asian horror movies, but it looks like audiences can gear up for a wave of live-action anime remakes.  Some might turn out good, more will be bad, and one might never make it to production.

Let’s start off with the movie with the highest buzz: Dragonball Z.  Oh lawdy, lawdy.  This is going to be more of a trainwreck than Speed Racer.  I’m hoping that it’ll at least be a Code Geass-kind of trainwreck (amusing in its horrible nature).  First off, DBZ is among the worst pick that you could choose for a live action movie.  Not because it’s a bad story, but because 80% of the story is not feasible in the real world.  So the movie is going to be CG-ed to hell and back, which is expensive to do but cheap to look at.

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Second issue is the casting and character designs.  Right off the bat, it’s easy to see that Goku looks nothing like his anime counterpart.  Was it really that hard to find a muscle-bound actor?  It’s not like Goku’s line require someone to deliver deep, emotional lines; most of it is just screaming.  I will laugh till my lungs give out if they shove him in a fake muscle suit or CG muscles on him.  Oh, and they couldn’t take the time to at least dye his hair black?  I can only wonder what excuse they’ll give for a nerdy white guy like Justin Chatwin having the name of “Goku”.  “My parents were hippies”?  Anyhow, regardless of all this tomfoolery I know that I’ll end up seeing this in April just to laugh at the whole thing with other anime fans.  I feel bad for the people who will see it that haven’t watched DBZ;  there’s no way they’ll be able to watch in peace.

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On the other hand, this next movie that might come out a month before Dragonball looks seriously awesome.  I only recently found out that a Blood: The Last Vampire live-action was being made in the U.S., but the stills look amazing.  I’m surprised that there isn’t a trailer out yet, but I guess the director feels that the movie doesn’t need the over-hype.  It will be hilarious if this knocks the shit out of Dragonball’s box office, and I think that quality will rival Japan’s live action version of Death Note.  I’m also glad that they kept Saya as an Asian character, which tells me that they won’t stray too far from the original story.

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Cowboy Bebop and Neon Genesis Evangelion are the two other possible adaptations that could be produced in upcoming years.  Cowboy Bebop has a better likelyhood of getting done since Keanu Reeves is involved and he’s not one to back down on a project after making hype about it.  Eva’s been on the backburner for years now, and that’s mostly because of the budget required for such a blockbuster series.  The original budget was more than 100 million dollars, and I don’t think many studios can afford a project like this until the U.S. recession ends.  It might be for the better; a lot of the story was being Americanized and fans flipped shit.

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