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11 Great Anime That Deserve Live Action Movie Adaptations

Updated November 5, 2019 6.0k votes 1.3k voters 33.6k views13 items

With the Ghost in the Shell movie coming in 2017, it's time we looked at some other anime that deserve live action movie adaptations as well. This list examines some popular anime that would make great live action movies here in America, especially with a big budget. Sure, series like Death Note and Attack on Titan already have live action movies, but we want to see what American writers and directors can do with some of these masterpieces. From action anime to horror anime, these are the top anime that deserve to be made into movies.

What criteria went into making these picks? For starters, most of the shows on this list wouldn't require too much CGI as a live action film. The reason why Dragon Ball Z will never be a great movie is because you can't imitate what the animations do in real life, and the character design would just look ridiculous if you tried to match it. Another criteria was simply the quality of story, and whether or not it could be easily adapted into a 2 hour film.

We're going to allow you to add your own shows to this list, but please provide an explanation as to why you believe the anime would make a good live action movie.
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  • Americans love zombies and femme fatale characters, so why not give them both at once? Highschool of the Dead was only a 12 episode series, so it wouldn't be too hard to translate it into a 2 hour live action film. Sure there is gratuitous fan service in the anime, but the movie doesn't need stuff like the overtly sexual bathing scene to be good.
    • Actors: Ayana Taketatsu, Jouji Nakata, Yoshiko Sakakibara, Yukari Fukui, Eri Kitamura
    • Premiered: 2010
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  • Berserk
    Photo: Berserk

    When's the last time you saw a really good medieval action movie? With the popularity of shows like Game of Thrones, it's time that Guts, Casca, and Griffith got a chance to show why Berserk is one of the best anime ever made. Guts is a larger than life protagonist with a giant sword to match, while Griffith is the pensive thinker who will do anything to ensure the success of his army. I don't want to spoil anything if you haven't seen the series, but just know that it sometimes gets dark in a weird way that even GoT fans would appreciate.

    James Gunn has a horror movie in the can scheduled for a November 30, 2018 release, and fans are speculating it may be a Berserk adaptation. Gunn dropped several hints on Twitter suggesting the Sony film could be that or an adaptation of the comic Nameless or the video game Bloodborne.

    • Actors: Nobutoshi Canna, Unshô Ishizuka, Marc Diraison
    • Premiered: 1997
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  • 7

    One Punch Man

    If you haven't heard of One Punch Man then you just lost major street cred in the nerd community. The concept of the show is simple - the protagonist Saitama is a man who can destroy anything with just one punch. The jokes are hilarious, the character design is unique, and as a protagonist Saitama is super likable and marketable. The show can go from lighthearted to incredibly intense with the snap of a finger, so don't think this series is only for a younger audience.
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    • Fairy Tail
      Photo: Satelight
      • Actors: Daisuke Namikawa, Kouichi Toochika, Katsuyuki Konishi, Aya Hirano, Daisuke Kishio
      • Premiered: 2009
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