SMAC! Web Magazine

Movie Adaptions, Movie Adaptions Everywhere!

We’re quickly closing in on the release date of the Attack on Titan movie! Thinking about those weird looking giants running around in a live-action film sends a chill of excitement down my spine! Just watching the trailer really puts you in the mood!

ATTACK ON TITAN

Divided into two parts, the movies will be released consecutively on 1st August and 19th September in Japan. Offers from other countries are pouring in, and the movies will be released overseas in due course. For those of you who are asking “Can’t I watch it in my country?” don’t worry! It’s only a matter of time!

But not limited to Attack on Titan, Japanese movies based on manga are booming! Romance, period dramas, action, mystery, horror, fantasy, sci-fi… there are great works from every genre. The panels in Japanese manga are just like movie storyboards, so they’re relatively easy to adapt.

In the first 6th months of 2015, we’ve already seen almost 20 movies based on manga, such as Parasyte, a sci-fi action masterpiece, and Umimachi Diary (English title: “My Little Sister”) which was formally submitted to the competition section of the Cannes Film Festival. There’s also a great lineup for the next 6 months, starting with Attack on Titan, and followed by BAKUMAN, a seishun drama about two boys who want to become manga artists!

BAKUMAN

https://youtube.com/watch?v=AjuyrRTqfkE

Of course, movie adaptions for manga are nothing new! But back in the 80s, it wasn’t so easy. Love stories or sports dramas could be made without spending too much money, but sci-fi and fantasy were a bit more difficult, partially due to technological limitations.

From the beginning of the 21st century, VFX and CG technology have been advancing in leaps and bounds, while costs have been lowering, meaning that the creation of movies that were once impossible… are now possible! DEVILMAN, The last love song on this little planet, DEATH NOTE, GANTZ…  

There have also been cases of Hollywood setting its eyes on Japanese manga. A prime example is the movie DRAGONBALL EVOLUTION, which was released in 2009. 20th Century Fox spent a huge budget on the creation of this movie, and originally planned to make 2 sequels. Unfortunately, the first movie flopped, and so the sequels were never made.

One Hollywood adaption that’s currently in the works, and is worth keeping an eye on, is AKIRA. Under Warner Brothers’ Studios, this project has been cancelled and restarted several times, but it was recently announced in The Hollywood Reporter that they’ve finally decided on a script-writer. It looks like they’re finally making progress!

It’s difficult for Japanese companies to make large budget productions on the same scale as Hollywood. That being said, Japan has great CG technology, and more importantly, it has a huge archive of manga masterpieces to draw from! Parasyte was originally going to be a Hollywood film, but like AKIRA, it kept getting stalled, and in the end it was made in Japan.

Due to the failure of DRAGONBALL EVOLUTION, there are many Japanese manga fans who feel negatively about Hollywood producing manga-based moves. Perhaps because of this, there are more and more manga movie adaptions being created domestically, and sent to the rest of the world.

The only problem is the casting limitations of the Japanese film industry. The world of Attack on Titan doesn’t look at all Asian, but the main cast will still be played by Japanese actors. So Eren, Armin and Sasha will all be Japanese! We’re very interested to see how people in other countries receive this movie!

Article: Korosuke Narasaki
Translation: Andrew L.


Taiyo Nakashima

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