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Sunday, 26 July 2009

Adaptations: East meets West!

I can see that I am getting quite a few Americans to my blog so I'll post this up for people who are into Marvel comics and Halo. I'm not particularly into either of those but I did like Spiderman when I was kid. Also to Canadians out there, your country has a catchy name. So catchy that I think that's the main reason why I hear so many Canada jokes on tv. Other than Canada I also like the words "Taco", "Tako", "Pangolin" and "Pastrami". There are a few more but those are the ones I can right remember right now.

Basically for those of you who do not follow the news of the anime world, Marvel has decided to make anime adaptations of several of its titles including X-men, Wolverine, Cable, Hulk and Iron Man. There were two more announced with Iron Man and Wolverine when I first heard about it sometime last year I think but I've forgotten what they were. These anime are slated to premier sometime next year as 12 episode shows done by Madhouse. Incidentally this isn't the first time Madhouse has made an anime adaptation of western entertainment as they have made a Stitch anime as well. And for reasons I do not understand my cousin missed the fact that Powerpuff Girls Z was an anime from japan so let's just make that clear. Also, several studios are making short clips of an anime version of Halo called Halo Legends like the way Gotham Knight was done.

This also applies to manga. I bet you guys aren't aware that there are manga versions of these comics and that the creator of Spiderman, Stan Lee, has actually worked with the creator of Shaman king to make a manga called Ultimo. Heck there's even a manga version of High School Musical and also a soon to be released Manhwa(Korean Manga) version of Twilight. God knows how much I loathe that story but it serves as too good of an example not to use. I do not look forward to whatever backlash that it will create on the internet but I am interested to see whether or not there will be lots of complaints about it being inferior to the books since Stephenie Meyer is actually overseeing the series before it gets released. To add to that, I just discovered that there's a light novel version that is getting bad reviews on the art style while looking for the link to the manwha's info. Apparently standard shoujo art clashes with a trashy romance stories, who knew?

On the flip side of this coin, Hollywood has been looking to adapt more and more of Japan's softpower export as Hollywood movies. They've done Speed Racer, Dragonball and Blood: The last vampire and are planning to make a movie of Cowboy Bebop, Old Boy and Fullmetal Panic. From what I understand they are still producing an english version of Death Note but the fan reaction has not been good. I myself liked the Speed Racer and Dragonball movies and I'm more than willing to give a chance and see Hollywood's take on these stories but their track record for adapting stuff hasn't been all that good. The fact that they're importing story ideas can only mean that they're running out of fresh ideas to use so it's rather obvious why most fans won't like seeing Hollywood grab hold of their favourite anime and turn them into potential trainwrecks. When it's the other way around though, people usually sing praises and wait with high expectations.

Following my logic, he reasons for this double standard concerning cross culture adaptations are:
  1. Anime adaptations of stories are expected to have high budgets when they're based off famous stuff but are normally given low budgets when anime are adapted into live-action movies. Keep in mind a low budget Hollywood movie (30M) still beats a high budget anime (0.5M) by a huge margin.
  2. The ratio of good to bad anime are roughly equal but the ratio of good to bad movies are favouring the bad.
  3. Anime has plenty of controlled variables that the staff are able to change as long as they have the budget for it while live-action movies are limited by the actors, physics and time constraints regardless of budget.
  4. Anime adaptations usually turn out good and exceed expectations but Hollywood adaptations will NEVER match up to the original no matter how much better it is in terms of storytelling. The Fandoms are severely tight-assed about that. Much more so than those newspaper critics(Trolls who get paid to troll) who like to slam popular stuff just to be different.
  5. Hollywood is known for milking cash cows but anime is still a struggling industry despite the rapid globalization in recent years.
That's about it for my thought on the matter so please enjoy these trailers of the anime adaptations of IronMan, Wolverine and Halo. And yeah, I don't get why Wolverine has long hair in the anime but Iron Man WILL be, to quote Danny from Hot Fuzz, "Off the Fu*kin' Chain!!".

Iron Man Anime PV

Wolverine Anime PV

Halo Legends Anime PV


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