One Piece, Rurouni Kenshin & More

Capturing the essence of iconic storylines, anime live action adaptations over the years have added a unique perspective to the plots. The following is a list of some of the most popular live action anime series that have won over viewers’ hearts in the recent years.

One Piece (2023)

Becoming a massive hit on Netflix, One Piece is based on Eiichiro Oda’s manga of the same name. With an ensemble cast, the live action adaptation unfolds a fantasy adventure, taking the viewers on an exhilarating journey. The series revolves around the Straw Hat Pirates and its captain, Monkey D. Luffy.

The Pirates embark on various adventures across the seas in order to find the legendary treasure, called One Piece. With critically acclaimed visual effects and an impressive display of the narrative, Matt Owens and Steven Maeda earned a big reputation as developers of the series. The One Piece live-action adaptation exceeds fans’ expectations and makes it one of the best anime live action adaptations.

Rurouni Kenshin (2012-2021)

The Rurouni Kenshin movies span over five theatrical adaptations, which were released between 2012 and 2021. These are based on fans’ beloved manga series Rurouni Kenshin by Nobuhiro Watsuki. The movies revolve around a famous assassin, Kenshin Himura, who was formerly known as “Battousai the Manslayer”!

However, trying to escape his past, he wanders around with the motive to seek redemption. He transforms into a swordsman who is there to extend a helping hand to those in need of protection. The first film, along with its sequels, pour action and drama into the narrative, and follows Kenshin’s journey of internal struggles with respect to his difficult past.

Nana (2005)

Kentaro Ōtani directed Nana based on Ai Yazawa’s namesake beloved manga. In the movie, Aoi Miyazaki plays the role of Nana “Hachi” Komatsu, and Mika Nakashima plays Nana Osaki. While the former aspires to have a fresh start with her lover, the latter focuses on her ambition to have a breakthrough in the rock and roll industry.

The movie highlights how the two women who share the same name carry contrasting aspirations. Moreover, they shift to Tokyo and embark on their respective journeys, wishing to fulfill their dreams. The narrative takes a turn when their lives intertwine in a dramatic way. This bittersweet story captivates audiences’ attention, but, to their frustration, leaves them on a cliffhanger.

Death Note (2006 & 2007)

A globally famous supernatural thriller manga, Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata’s Death Note has a well-received movie adaptation. The adaptation revolves around Light Yagami who finds the mysterious Death Note. The Death Note is a notebook that allows the wielder to kill anyone by merely writing their name in it. Though there are many rules of Death Note, Light Yagami uses it quite effortlessly.

Light uses Death Note to eliminate criminals from the world. But, his ambitions come to a pause when a brilliant detective “L” joins the task force to catch Kira aka Light. As such, the protagonists indulge in a psychological battle and the movie takes the audience on a thrilling adventure. The film acquired global acclaim, thereby leading to two sequels. Death Note still remains one of the most loved thriller movies of all time!

Let Me Eat Your Pancreas (2017)

Directed by Shō Tsukikawa, Let Me Eat Your Pancreas originates as a Japanese romance story, based on Yoru Sumino’s novel of the same name. With a compelling narrative, the film revolves around Haruki Shiga. He is a coy boy who gets his hand on someone’s diary at a hospital. As it turns out, the diary belongs to one of his classmates, Sakura Yamauchi, who is fighting pancreatic cancer.

When Sakura discovers that her secret is out, she requests Haruki to fulfill her wishes before she succumbs to death. Though Hiraki is initially hesitant, he agrees to help out his ill classmate. Eventually, the protagonists go on an emotional journey, filled with melancholic moments and a gripping storyline. As such, fans agree that Let Me Eat Your Pancreas is one of the best anime live adaptations of all time.

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