As an Anime fan throughout the odd 24 years of my life I have seen a vast number of live action adaptations that have come and gone. They have either split the anime community in two or have had a universal agreement, whether as a success or failure.
Anime has become a big part of pop culture it now ranges from Studio Ghibli’s power-house titles such as 'Spirited Away' to the shonen anime 'Dragon Ball Z'. It has grown from being a medium that is the norm in Japan to a moneymaking giant worldwide.
Anime adaptations have been done for decades. Some have been brought to the masses such as China’s 1992 City Hunter with Jackie Chan as the lead role, which had a good fan reception. The very successful Japanese Adaptation of Death Note spawning 4 films have gained a huge fan-base. It had praise and backlash for its portrayal of the story and certain characters.
Anime adaptations are not new however when a big film actress and Hollywood are behind the film it gets a lot of peoples ear directed to it and therefore to its source material.
The anime adaption in question is of Ghost in the Shell which is set to hit cinemas in 2017 directed by Rupert Sanders, who has directed Snow White and the Huntsman. Big Hollywood star Scarlett Johansson will be portraying the iconic Major Motoko Kusanagi. Having production from Paramount Pictures and Dreamworks it is one of its first to have been made as a blockbuster that is not from Japan. This has lead to it having a lot of sceptics and optimistic people awaiting for it's release. It could be the birth of more anime being created as live actions.
Anime has seen many flops like Dragon Ball Evolution, which was a western attempt of the popular Dragon Ball Series. There was the forgettable American Fist of the North Star and the panned American version of the Korean manhwa Old Boy, which people felt did not need to remade on the big screen. Live action versions of anime have not gone down well with some audiences, especially if story or characters are changed to suit a western demographic.
With the success of American comic book films now becoming frequent summer blockbusters it puts a responsibility for Ghost in the Shell to succeed critically and financially . It's success could be the spark of more anime adaptations brought to a bigger audience and raise awareness to the new and old anime. Already we have seen how the Ghost in the Shell trailer has brought a lot of attention to the franchise and hopefully will make it a global phenomenon once again.
I can't wait to watch it.