The 4 worst possible live action anime adaptations

So we all got our fill of live action anime adaptations last year, right? After the wild ride that was Cowboy Bebop’s – now cancelled – live action show, surely we’re not getting more. Its not like they’re planning a Netflix live action version of One Piece or anything. That would be a disaster of unmitigated proportions.

Of course, because we don’t live in a sane or just world, we’ll probably have to sit through a whole host of live action anime adaptations in the next few years until TV executives have thirsted on enough weeb tears to fulfil whatever dark rituals are going on behind the scenes. So rather than consider which anime and manga properties should get the Netflix treatment (none of them), lets focus on which shows would be the worst choices for their catalogue.

So here are our picks for the worst live action anime adaptation choices possible. Netflix, if you’re listening, please don’t take this list as a challenge. I don’t need that evil on my conscience in 2022.

Chainsaw Man

Worst live action anime adaptations: Chainsaw Man

We’re already getting an anime version of the manga, so it is unlikely we’ll end up with a live action version any time soon. However, the show, which is releasing later this year, is one of the most anticipated series in the anime calendar — so you can be sure that somewhere there is a TV executive pitching the idea right now.

Chainsaw Man is all about the outlandish character designs and the off-the-wall action — perfect for animation, but would look cheap and confusing in a live action anime adaptation.

One Punch Man

Worst live action anime adaptations: One Punch Man

Speaking of action, there are few people in the world of manga who do action better than the artist known as One. Though the plot of the manga has been slow at times, there is no denying that One is able to draw fantastical character designs doing incredible things without making a mess for the reader to follow.

Half the fun of both the manga and the anime is the way that Saitama’s character design changes from goofy to serious at the drop of the hat, something that simply couldn’t be replicated in a live action anime adaptation.

I also do not, under any circumstances, want to see how they design and cast a character like Blackluster.

Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt

Panty and Stocking live action anime adaptation

Let’s be honest. This would just be porn and there are already plenty of places to find that on the Internet.

This is another show that uses dramatic, ridiculous shifts in art design and even medium to accentuate the humour and out-there character designs and have fun with anime tropes. But it also relies heavily on the chemistry between the cast to make the punchlines land.

If you haven’t seen the English dub of this show, you absolutely should. It is hard to imagine anyone bringing these characters to life quite like they did.

One Piece

Worst live action anime adaptations: One Piece

Yes, I know this live action anime adaptation is already in the works, but it is worth mentioning that it is likely to end badly for everyone involved.

No matter how good the cast looks on paper or if Oda has personally approved their casting, there is going to be a moment in the first episode of the show where Luffy reaches into his mouth and pulls his lips two feet to the side in that iconic image we all have of him. That moment will be meant to be a fun nod to the anime, but in live action it is just going to come across as a body horror image.

And that is before we even get to the Buggy the Clown arc.


Those are our absolute worst picks, then. What anime or manga series do you never, ever, ever want to see adapted to live action? Let us know down in the comments or via the usual social channels!

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