Casting Choices and Anime Movie Adaptions

Casting Choices and Anime Movie Adaptions

What makes an anime adaption a success? Can the US ever make a successful live-action adaption of our beloved anime series? A few days ago, the main cast of Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop was announced. The main choice that has been under debate online was John Cho being cast as Spike. I have some thoughts about this casting choice and just how we as anime fans interpret news like this. After, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this casting decision and let me know if you can think of any successful live-action adaptions.

Image result for cowboy bebop cast

Before we jump into talking about Spike I did want to give my honest opinions of live action adaptions. I’ve been one to always be negative about any news of a possible adaption and that’s mostly because like many of you I watched DragonBall Evolution. What a fucking trainwreck. After that film, I really didn’t watch any live action films, that changed my opinion on this subject. I feel that Japan has brought us some decent live action adaptions. Obviously, some improvements can be made on those but I actually thought they were okay. Now let’s talk about some very recent adaptions developed and produced in the US.

Death Note

When I first heard that we were going to have a Death Note live action film, I can’t lie, I was super excited. I thought to myself ‘how can they fuck this up?!’ boy was I wrong. The movie was hard to watch as a fan of the series seeing how little they cared about the subject matter with the only saving grace of Willem Dafoe as Ryuk and LaKeith Stanfield as L. These actors truly cared about the role and really presented the spirit of these characters. It was disappointing.

Image result for Ryuk live action

Ghost in the Shell

Ghost in the shell was something I had no hope in and probably many others in the community felt the same. This mostly due to the casting choice of Scarlet Johnansen as Major. At this time, whitewashing roles was a big discussion point so no one was happy with this especially when we had so many Asian-American actresses who could pull that role off. What I will say is, Ghost in the Shell was a step in the right direction. Production value was fantastic. Lots of great props and CG that made me forget about some of the poor choices. If they went with a script that actually followed ONE storyline from the series and cast to be more true to the subject matter, we could’ve seen a great live-action adaption.

Image result for ghost in the shell live action


I can’t speak about Alita since I haven’t watched it yet but what I’ve heard and seen up until this point makes me believe that it is probably one of the best American made anime live-actions to date. We are making progress. So now that we got that out of the way, let’s talk about my thoughts on Cowboy Bebop.

Cowboy Bebop

I feel pretty good about these casting choices. I feel that Netflix is going to be very careful with how they handle this title and it shows. John Cho is a great actor. If you have only seen him in Harold and Kumar movies, you should check out his other films. He can handle any role you throw at him. As much as some may look at him as solving the whitewashing problem, I think there can even be an argument that Spike doesn’t NEED to be Asian.

Unfortunately, all of the big anitubers have sounded off on this choice and are giving it so much shit. I know that we as fans have been burned many times but if we can’t be hopeful, then you will go into the series as a bad adaption out the gate. Perception is kind of a bitch. I’m also happy that this will be a Netflix series instead of a film. Cowboy Bebop just doesn’t work as a film, to be honest.

Image result for spike cowboy bebop

Final Thoughts

I will agree that John Cho doesn’t really ooze cool quite like Spike does in Cowboy Bebop but I have a feeling that we will be pleasantly surprised. I also want to mention that Netflix is also working on another live-action series, Avatar The Last Airbender. They are actually working with the creators of the series so I’m hopeful that Netflix has learned their lesson with Death Note.

As I mentioned earlier in this post, I would love to hear your thoughts on live-action adaptions and if you can think of one that you thought was great, leave it in the comments below! Have a great day guys!


3 Replies to “Casting Choices and Anime Movie Adaptions”

  1. But… Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop is a series, not a movie.

    Also, Am I seriously the only one that liked Netflix’s Death Note? It was a decent WESTERN adaptation and laid a decent foundation for an actually different take on the franchise.

    1. I didn’t like the Netflix Death Note adaptation as “Death Note.” It was fine as a stand-alone film, but all the changes they made kind of ruined the experience for me.

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