By Juliet Faure
– Published on 02 Mar 2022 at 16:45
When a manga is popular, it’s not uncommon to see it being adapted in different ways. Animes, OVAs, Video Games, etc. The means of adaptation are not lacking. But there is one that has been getting more and more talked about lately: live action.
Live action is one of the most popular means of adapting a manga. Thanks to a cinema team and actors, fans can thus immerse themselves more in the universe of their favorite manga. Provided of course that it is done well. The attack of the Titans, for example, was entitled to his live action. And the least we can say is that the film was clearly not up to Hajime Isayama’s manga.
Lately, it is the very famous cowboy bepop who paid the price for the growing interest in the manga of netflix. The series was canceled after its first season. And more recently, the famous streaming platform netflix announced that a live-action One Piece would see the light of day. The casting was even made official in November, which did not fail to make fans of Eiichiro Oda’s work react. And it’s not the only manga that will soon be adapted into live action.
Yū Yū Hakusho, the manga by Yoshihiro Togashi
If you know the famous Hunter x Hunteryou must know Yū Yū Hakusho (if not shame on you). Published between 1990 and 1994 in Japan, the manga has 19 volumes. In France, it is the publishing house Kana who publishes Yū Yū Hakusho, a Star Edition is also in the process of being published. Of type nekketsu, Yū Yū Hakusho is both renowned for its humor and for the initiatory journey that the different protagonists experience. Indeed, the story features a rebellious teenager named Yûsuke Urameshi. Typically, Yûsuke could be the main character of a furyo he’s such a problem boy. Chaining the fights, the young man dies one day while trying to save a young boy from a road accident. He then “wakes up” as a ghost and will be offered a rather special job: that of detective from beyond. He will therefore have to fulfill the missions entrusted by Enma junior, the son of the King of Darkness. If he succeeds in his missions within the time allotted to him, Yûsuke will then be able to return to the world of the living.
It is in December 2020, a few months after the addition of Hunter x Hunter in its catalog, netflix announces the start of a live action series adapted from Yū Yū Hakusho. The project was entrusted to Kazutaka Sakamoto and Akira Morii, two producers fans of the manga and determined to pay tribute to him. For now, we have little information on the progress of the project or even on the casting. Nevertheless, its release on netflix is scheduled for December 2023. In the meantime, the anime has also joined the catalog of netflixallowing fans to wait.
The Promised Neverland, the manga of recent years
The Promised Neverland is one of the most striking manga of recent years as the story has proven to be innovative and traumatic. It is also the most recent manga that will be adapted into live action. Kaiu Shirai and Posuka Demizu’s work could easily be compared to the original tales of the Brothers Grimm. The Promised Neverland plunges us into a post-apocalyptic world where humans, and more specifically children, are raised to serve as food for demons. While Emma, Ray, Norman and all their adoptive siblings live in a breeding disguised as an orphanage in paradise, the first three discover the sad truth by chance. They thus decide to make every effort to escape, without suspecting what awaits them behind the walls of Grace Field, their orphanage.
While we were used to seeing netflix take an interest in manga, the live action adaptation of The Promised Neverland was commissioned by Amazon. These are also well-known names in cinema who are responsible for this adaptation since it is Meghan Malloy, screenwriter, and Rodney Rothman, director. Both worked on the animated film Spider-Man: Next Generation. For now, very little information is available on this adaptation and no release date has been revealed.
Sword Art Online, the infinite light novel
Sword Art Online is most certainly the series of light novel best known with Overlord. Published since 2019, ODS was quickly adapted into anime and manga, thus establishing itself as a reference of theisekai, a recurring style in fantasy manga and/or video games. The story of Sword Art Online immerses us in a modern world (more precisely in 2022) where virtual reality video games have become commonplace. Beyond being in virtual reality, it is above all a question of diving into a metaverse created from scratch, a metaverse serving as a universe for the video game. Sword Art Online is a game that many expect as the ultimate experience. Composed of a huge floating castle divided into 100 levels whose difficulty increases, players must beat the boss of the last level to finish the game. But ODS is not a game like the others since the creator of the game, a certain Akihiko Kayaba, voluntarily removed the possibility of disconnecting. If the players wish to leave the game, only two possibilities are available to them: die permanently, in-game death meaning death IRL and vice versa, or beat the last boss. A new film, titled Sword Art Online – Progressiveby the way, was recently released and the franchise has many spin-offs.
Behind the live action adaptation of Sword Art Onlinewe find netflix. And this work will be a real challenge, because in terms of reference in the theme, fans may tend to compare the result with the very popular Ready Player One. The announcement of this adaptation had been formalized in 2018 and very little information circulates about it. We do know, however, that Laeta Kalogridis, known for her work on Altered Carbon, is in the game. The latter also specified that the main roles of Asuna and Kirito will be played by actors of Asian origin. We also know that sets should fully immerse us in fantasy, drawing inspiration from major works like The Lord of the Rings Where game of thrones.
Alice in Borderland, the survival manga
This is THE most successful live action. Released in 2020 on netflixthe first live action season ofAlice in Borderland is a real success, to the point that a second season has been announced. If you liked Squid Gameyou absolutely must watch Alice in Borderland. Taken from Haro Asō’s manga, the story immerses us in a modern Japan where some people switch to a parallel world. Except that this parallel world is far, far from easy. Indeed, the participants must participate in a kind of survival game. By winning these games, the participants can then hope to return to their reality. The manga has 18 volumes, all published in France. And the first season covers until the beginning of the ninth volume. Season 2 should cover the remaining volumes.
One Piece, the manga juggernaut
We touched on the subject at the start of this article, but it’s clearly the adaptation that fans are most worried about. It was in January 2020, without anyone expecting it, that the author of One Piece, Eiichirō Oda, announces the start of the project. Until September 2021, no information is revealed regarding the progress of the project, until the revelation of the script for the first episode. Baptized ” Romance Dawn“, This episode should refer to the first arc of the manga which introduces Luffy and his first trip to the sea. In the process, several information is revealed, such as the filming location which takes place in Cape Town in South Africa. Stolen photos, showing the construction of maritime buildings and even a life-size replica of the Vogue Merry, begin to be shared on social networks. The cast of the main characters has also been revealed.
This is a particularly risky bet for netflix and this for many reasons. First of all, One Piece is certainly one of the manga, if not THE most popular manga. Published since 1997, many fans have grown up with the franchise, which has several adaptations in video games or board games. The manga not only passed the very symbolic 100th volume published overseas, but the anime also reached the 1000th episode. The main cast reveal was also the source of a lot of criticism from fans. And although Eiichirō Oda sought to be reassuring, the fans are still not reassured.