Anime-to-live-action adaptations have both delighted and puzzled fans for years, but some are truly awesome, like the Rurouni Kenshin franchise (Netflix/Warner Bros.)

Live-action adaptations of popular anime and manga have long been something fans have hoped for, but also feared could go wrong.

Countless manga and anime have been adapted into live action over the decades, some have been very bad (if you look at it, Attack on Titan and Fullmetal Alchemist), others have been excellent.

Read more: Everything you need to know about One Piece

The next highly-anticipated release is Eiichiro Oda’s legendary One Piece, coming to Netflix as a TV show on August 31st. Ahead of its release, Yahoo UK looks back on some of the best live-action adaptations to date.

Jacob Romero Gibson as Usopp, Mackenyu as Roronoa Zoro, Emily Rudd as Nami, Iánaki Godoy as Monkey D. Luffy, Taz Skylar as Sanji in One Piece (Netflix)

The best anime-to-live-action adaptations ranked

Popular anime series like “Cowboy Bebop” didn’t translate well to the big screen, while “Akira” has long been debated as a possible live-action adaptation, but there are a few that have worked well.

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Here are some of the best anime to live action adaptations.

7. Bleach (2018)

Bleach (Netflix)

Bleach is an iconic manga and anime series first created in 2001 by Tite Kubo. It is about the teenager Ichigo Kurosaki who becomes the Soul Reaper, someone who can protect people from evil spirits, and is then recruited into Soul Society.

The manga was adapted as anime in its original run from 2004 to 2012, and in 2022, a new anime series began airing with the adaptation of the final story arc. In 2018, the manga was also adapted into a live-action film.

While not perfect, the live-action film features some interesting action sequences and did well with the cast of Sota Fukushi and Hana Sugisaki as Ichigo and Ruika.

6. Immortal Blade (2017)

Blade of the Immortal (Warner Bros.)

Takashi Miike brought his unique vision to Blade of the Immortal when he directed a 2017 live-action adaptation of Hiroaki Samura’s seminal work.

The action film follows the immortal samurai Manji (Takuya Kimura) who becomes the bodyguard of the young girl Rin Asano (Hana Sugisaki) and helps her get revenge on those who killed her parents.

The story goes on

Blade of the Immortal is an action-packed film that draws on Miike’s provocative style, thanks to its extremely violent sword fights and extensive characterization of Samura’s characters.

5. Deleted (2017)

Deleted (Netflix)

Kei Senbei’s heartbreaking manga and anima adaptation received live-action adaptations twice, once as a film and then as a Japanese drama on Netflix. Although both live-action adaptations are good, it’s the second that we recommend today.

Read more: One Piece creator Eiichiro Oda has asked AI to write the next chapter of his manga. Here are the results (NextShark, 4 minute read)

The story is about Satoru Fujinuma (Yûki ​​Furukawa) who develops the ability to send his consciousness back in time and change the past. When his mother is murdered, he returns to his childhood to save his mother and help prevent his friends from being kidnapped.

4. Bakuman (2015)

Takeru Sato and Ryunosuke Kamiki co-star in Bakuman, a live-action adaptation of the manga and anime of the same name (Alamy Live News)

Based on the manga series of the same name by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata, Bakuman follows two college students as they team up to make their dream of becoming a manga artist a reality.

Starring Takeru Satoh and Ryunosuke Kamiki as artist Moritaka Mashiro and writer Akito Takagi, the film is an uplifting and compelling story that brings the world of manga to life with a great soundtrack and unique visuals.

Bakuman might not be as widely recognized as Ohba and Obata’s iconic work Death Note, but Bakuman showed her ability to do something different and take a closer look at the manga industry and its flaws.

3. Death Note (2006)

Ken’ichi Matsuyama and Tatsuya Fujiwara as L and Light Yagami in Death Note: The Last Name (Warner Bros.)

Netflix may be trying to re-adapt Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata’s hit series with the Duffer brothers, but there’s already a great live-action adaptation out there for fans. In 2006, two films were released, Death Note and Death Note 2: The Last Name.

Read more: Any upcoming Hollywood anime live-action adaptation will inflict stress on the fans (Kotaku, 11 min read)

Starring Battle Royale’s Tatsuya Fujiwara and Ken’ichi Matsuyama as Light Yagami and L, the film follows the exciting game of cat and mouse that begins between them after Light acquires a Death Note and decides to take the turning the world into a utopia committed crimes only to become a megalomaniac himself.

Although the live-action adaptations made some major changes to the original storyline, they are still the best live-action adaptations of Death Note to date.

2. Orange (2015)

Director Kojiro Hashimoto and the cast of Orange (Alamy Live News)

Based on the manga of the same name by Ichigo Takano, Orange is a heartfelt drama about high school student Naho Takamiya (Tao Tsuchiya) who ten years in the future begins receiving letters from herself asking her to to address their biggest regrets about new transfer student Kakeru Naruse (Kento Yamazaki).

The film tells the original’s moving story of grief, loss and regret in a touching tale that leaves viewers speechless.

Technically, the live-action film predates the adaptation of Takano’s manga into an anime series, which was released in 2016. However, the film’s strength makes it a must-watch for anyone looking for a great live-action adaptation.

1. The Rurouni Kenshin franchise (2012 to 2021)

Takeru Satoh as Himura Kenshin in Rurouni Kenshin (FUNimation Entertainment/courtesy Everett Collection)

The Rurouni Kenshin film franchise is the best example of a really successful live-action adaptation of an anime.

Directed by Keiishi Otomo, the franchise adapts Nobuhiro Watsuki’s classic manga about former samurai assassin Himura Kenshin (Takeru Satoh) who vows never to kill again after helping bring about the Meiji era in Japan and the must face several enemies from his past.

There are five films in the franchise released from 2012 to 2021 – Rurouni Kenshin, Kyoto Inferno, The Legend Ends, The Final, The Beginning – and they bring the source material to life with thrilling sword fights, stunning set pieces and a massively talented cast under the direction of Satoh.

Tatsuya Fujiwara and Takeru Satoh as Makoto Shishio and Himura Kenshin in Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends (FUNimation Entertainment/courtesy Everett Collection)

For those eagerly awaiting One Piece, Roronoa Zoro actor Mackenyu appears in the final two films of the Rurouni-Kenshin series as Enishi, a young man who seeks revenge on Kenshin for the role he played in his sister’s death has played.

The manga originally ran from 1994 to 1999 and inspired an anime series from 1996 to 1998. A new anime adaptation aired this year and will be streamed simultaneously on Crunchyroll. The live-action movies can be viewed worldwide on Netflix.

Watch: The trailer for the Netflix series One Piece.

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