(Note from Ayano: This was Not Psychotic’s last post for the month of February. Due to me moving last week I was not able to post it until today. Thank you for being patient and understanding! I hope you enjoy Psychotic’s final guest writing piece!)
We all know why comics/manga get adaptations…that reason, simply put, is MONEY. In an industry where risk is frowned upon it makes sense to create something with an already existing fan-base. That’s how companies ensure profit. The hope for these so-called live action adaptations is so that your company can make something that expands on the source material, rather than leverage fans enough so you can feed them inter-textual garbage and take their money. Apart from ill-conceived attempts at taking people’s money, there are lots of ways adaptations can go wrong. A filmmaker can pour his or her heart/soul into an adaptation and still produce an abomination. To me, these failed adaptations are far more fascinating and they are the ones I want to explore in this post.
Now when I mentioned horrible adaptations I could feel the collective woes and sighs of every Berserk fan weighing in on me. When it comes to anime adaptations there is nothing quite like the 2016 Berserk. It goes to show you that passion doesn’t always make for a good adaptation. Iagaki and Abe wanted to use 3D to replicate the effect of Miura’s surrealistic voluminous art style and well….they gave us this:
The saddest part is I don’t believe this was an attempt at a soulless cash grab. I feel like the animation team behind this adaptation had real artistic vision and it just completely failed. The concept for this just didn’t translate in the end. I don’t blame the animation team though. The mediums of manga and animation are vastly different. The reason Berserk is as beloved manga series is because Miura is a beast at everything he does. From his art style to paneling to his storytelling. All of these skills that Miura posses make for a masterpiece. In the medium of manga his art exists in a weird limbo between anime and realism. This is near impossible to capture with music and animation alone. Now for one of the most frustrating animation scenes currently:
This image from the newest season of The Seven Deadly Sins is horrendous. This scene alone made me glad I read the manga beforehand instead of waiting for the latest season. This is Toei level animation and this season deserves to get dunked on…but this also made me curious as to why a show with tons of hype around it come out looking like this. After taking a closer look into it the results were a little heartbreaking. Japanese animators are some of the most overworked and underpaid workers in the industry. When an animator’s deadline is close their workloads become unbearable and this is what eventually leads to the sub-par animation. Word has it that Toei animation is famous for this kind of problematic behavior.
Now let’s talk about the elephant in the room.
Live action anime adaptations are a crime against humanity. In this post I’ve made a case for every other form of adaptation miscarriages, but this specific one is incredibly hard to justify. The most frequent offender in this case is Netflix and it makes perfect sense as to why. Netflix has a very limited selection of anime. If your an anime fan you know this. I understand that Netflix is trying to do as much as they can with the few IP they have scraped together, but this problem wouldn’t be so bothersome if the shows they got weren’t so well loved. Like every one else who heard the news my stomach turned a little when I saw that a live action Cowboy Bebop was planned. I then saw that they were also planning a live action One Piece. My stomach straight up fell to the floor at these announcements. I couldn’t believe it. Who thought that these were a good idea?! Oda is apparently an executive producer on the Cowboy Bebop project so it should AT LEAST be a marginally entertaining dumpster fire.
Anyway I’m Not psychotic coming at you one last time. I’d like to thank Ayano for this opportunity! It has taught me a lot and I intend to use that knowledge that I have learned here on videos in the future. I would also like to shout out Always Lethargic for making me aware of this project! Your a good dude Leth! Thank you all so very much! Remember to follow me on Twitter if you aren’t already. My Twitter handle is at Not_psychotic. You can keep up with me over there if you enjoyed any of my pieces I wrote for the month of February.
Catch you all on the flipside!