In the past, people did not expect much quality when they heard about popular Japanese manga was being adapted into live-action movie. However, an important change can be observed throughout the last few years. We can see that several of Japanese popular TV dramas or movies are actually adapted from Japanese manga. All of these were made by high quality production team and performed by first class actors and actresses of Japanese entertainment industry.
Moreover, such change is currently taking its next step. So far, it is arguable that most of the high quality manga adaptations came from the less known works with more realistic elements. Examples of these works include Jin, Medical Dragon ,Umimachi Diary, and Always: Sunset on the Third Street. However, Japanese producers in the recent years are getting more ambitious in making dramas or live action from manga with more surreal elements. Rurouni Kenshin film trilogy can be listed as successful examples of such live action works. Though the manga itself include fight scenes which were considerably supernatural, the live action adaptations were praised by both manga fans and the new fans alike.
By next month, another of ambitious manga adaptation is coming to town. It is Attack on Titan, or Shingeki no Kyojin in Japanese. The story takes place in a fictional world where the giant beings called Titans roam the land and preyed on human, who have to take shelter behind the colossus walls. The main protagonists of the story, Eren Yeager and his friends, have to survive in the fight against Titans while searching for the truth behind these creatures.
Even though Attack on Titan was relatively new, as it was first published in 2009, it gained its fame within a short period of time. After being adapted into popular anime series in mid 2013, Attack on Titan was also adapted into two animated theatrical film as well as an attraction of Japan’s famous theme park in Osaka, Universal Studio Japan. This live action movie is going to be another remarkable adaptation in this franchise. It will be split into two parts. The first one will be released on 1 August 2015, while the second one will follow on 19 September 2015.
Nevertheless, it remains quite premature to point out that Attack on Titan is going to achieve the success and praises, just like in the case of Rurouni Kenshin. Rurouni Kenshin may contain several surreal swordfights, but Attack on Titan will contain more fantasy elements. Of course, there are hordes of Titans, in which the biggest one has a size of a skyscraper. Moreover, human in the series fight again Titans by using a device called Three-Dimensional Maneuvering Gear , which helps them gliding around in a Spiderman-like style. To implement these stuffs into a live action movie will require a rigorous use of CGIs. However, that field is regarded by many as not being a cup of tea for Japanese live action filmmaker. Upon watching the theatrical trailer, many fans of the series also expressed the same concerns. Several fans were also not satisfied since the live action version suggested substantial deviation from the manga. .
Meanwhile, it is still too early to say that Japan filmmakers had become established in adapting action mang into live action movie. Lupin the Third, released in 2014, was expected a lot from the fans. It was adapted from a classic manga series and starred with Japanese top stars like Oguri Shun and Kuroki Meisa. Its trailer was astonishing. The film was also released shortly after Ruroni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno, which had gained praises from fans and viewers. Unfortunately, Lupin the Third had become a failure due to poor storyline and execution.
Will Attack on Titan turn out to be the blockbuster or the lackluster? Let’s get an answer by yourself at Japanese Theaters in this August.
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