Live-Action Anime Adaptations Might Be Getting Better


There’s a Jin-Roh movie. It’s based on the 1999 anime version of Mamoru Oshii’s Kerberos manga. And damn, it looks pretty good!

GIF: Warner Bros.

The movie was announced back in 2012 and is slated for release in South Korea this winter. No word yet on an international release.

Kim Jee-woon, who helmed The Last Stand with Arnold Schwarzenegger, directed the picture.

Unlike the original manga and anime, the movie adaptation is set in a fictionalised Korea in the future. North and South Korea have decided to unify, and pro and anti-unification factions appear. Violence ensues, causing the establishment of a special police force.

Longer trailer below.

This looks better than some of the recent live-action adaptations coming out of Japan – and Hollywood, for that matter.


  • I was just talking about this the other day. It is disappointing when I get so excited about live-action manga/anime adaptations, but they just aren’t usually up to snuff. The worst part is always the CG effects. The studios don’t quite seem to have the savy (or possibly the budget) to integrate the CG with practical effects. It always looks weightless, without substance – like someone has superimposed a design over the film, or put actors in front of a green screen which disconnects them from the effect. Disappointing.

    • Considering Japan is a secluded island that speaks an exclusive language, doesn’t surprise me that they don’t have the budget to put out effects similar to something like Transformers which is on a global stage.

      Personally, I enjoyed the hell out of the Rurouni Kenshin movies and felt that they definitely show that a good adaption can be done.

      • I understand this, but it doesn’t change my feelings.I know why it doesn’t happen, but I feel like financial backing on a global release scale could make a runaway hit, if the stars aligned. Anime is a global market, not just something that appeals to Japan. It permeates popular culture and has consistently redefined modern Western media. Japanese developers backed by a Hollywood-sized budget would be a deadly combo. I assume the biggest hurdle here though is that Western backers want movies to be developed for a Western market, instead of adapting a film made for an Eastern market to suit their purposes (coughghostintheshellcough). Which is silly, because a live-action Dragonball movie with the right production would make a KILLING… Moreso than that garbage where James Marsters played Picollo. X.x

    • I can forgive foreign films having obvious CG effects due to being a much smaller market & having a much lower budget than Hollywood. What I can’t forgive is when big budget Hollywood films have terrible CGI effects like Black Panther.

      • Wha? I don’t remember BP having bad CG, but I haven’t watched since it came out at the cinema. What didn’t you like?

        • The digital stuntmen sequences, particularly the final fight between T’Challa & Killmonger. The rendering was poor & the animation was horrible. For a $200 million dollar film it was disapointing to see, even more so when in Civil War’s Black Panther appearance was of far better quality.

  • Although the series has been irrevocably damaged for a lot of people after the whole thing with the author recently, I thought the live-action adaptation of Rurouni Kenshin was excellent.

  • People can also brush up on the first 2 in the series while they wait; The red spectacles and stray dog: kerebos pander cops.
    It’s fitting it gets a live action as the first 2 films in the trilogy were live action and jin-roh was an anime due to schedule constraints.

  • I’m not really sure it’s “live action anime” that’s getting better rather than certain anime are better for adaptation than others. I haven’t seen Jin-Roh in a long time but from what I remember it was pretty grounded and didn’t have a lot of fantastical elements to it so its going to be easier to adapt than say Full Metal Alchemist. Plus Jin-Roh was already movie length so it was already written for its length while making a movie from a series requires more creative adaptation to condense several hours and plot element into a shorter timeframe.

    Really though I take them like any other movie, some are good, many are average or bad and there are many reasons why.

  • I loved the Kerberos Panzer Cop manga/films growing up in the 90s, but I don’t understand how this is going to be better if the story has been completely changed and will have no bearing on the original or it’s universe. Feels a little like remaking The Terminator but casting C3PO as the Terminator, who’s not out to kill John Conner, but to deliver him a belated birthday present, or something.

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