Adaptations are usually a hit or a miss. Anime is generally unrealistic and showing that “in real life” often looks strange and ridiculous. But, here are five adaptations based on either an anime or manga that were ridiculously good.
Death Note (2015)
There are multiple Death Note adaptations, but my favorite one is Death Note (2015). No, I haven’t watched the Netflix one, and I don’t think I ever will.
I did watch the Death Note (2006) starring Toda Erika as Misa. I thought that one was okay. I was skeptical of a newer adaptation, but this one blew me away.
This one stars Masataka Kubota as Light and Yamazaki Kento as L. What I love about this adaptation is the realistic CGI and the acting.
When Light finally goes insane at the end, Kubota’s acting was so convincing. For me, that part was the best scene of the entire series.
While I watched this for Yamazaki Kento, this drama put Masataka Kubota on the radar for me. I started checking out more of his stuff after watching this drama.
I also enjoyed the twist they put on Near and Mellow. In the manga and anime, Near and Mellow are two different people. However, in this adaptation, Mellow is like Near’s alter ego. It’s interesting to see the actress go back and forth between these different personalities. Yes, the character is played by a female, and she does a great job.
I think I watched this twice since it came out. And, I can definitely see myself coming back to it soon.
Liar Game (Japanese Adaptation)
I loved Liar Game as a kid, and I still love it as an adult. When I first watched this, I didn’t know it was based on a manga.
I love the chemistry between the two main leads played by Toda Erika and Matsuda Shota. Their chemistry feels very natural, and both of them suited their character so well.
I also watched the Korean version, and I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. The Japanese adaptation has a lot less drama and focuses on the games.
I thought the Korean version was too dramatic, and some changes didn’t quite make sense. For example, in the Japanese version, the games are kept extremely low-key and away from the public eye. This makes sense because it’s technically an illegal business.
In the Korean version, the games are broadcasted across the nation for everyone’s enjoyment with something like live interviews for the contestants. I ended up dropping the Korean version without getting halfway through.
Prince Of Tennis (Chinese Adaptation)
I’ve watched a lot of PoT adaptations, even the musicals. But, the Chinese version was the best out of all of them. They made subtle changes that gave more character depth to our main cast, and the CGI effects weren’t exaggerated.
In a way, the CGI effects give you just the right impression that something happened without it turning into a Dragonball Z-Esque tennis fight.
In regards to characters, they kept their personalities extremely similar to the anime and manga but giving them more… life. They highlighted Taka-san’s struggles with juggling tennis and helping his father, which was largely ignored in all adaptations. I also liked how Ryoma and Taka-san had more of a bond here too.
They feel more human while staying true to their personalities from the anime. I also enjoyed the cultural references in the dialogue.
There were cute Ryoma and Sakuno moments in the Chinese version too. While the focus isn’t centred around them, they do have scenes and development that show their budding friendship, which was never focused on in the anime.
I liked every single character in this adaptation. While some had more character development than others, it was a great series.
The Kindaichi Case Files
There are so many adaptations of this anime, each with a different main cast. I enjoyed them all. But, if I had to pick a cast that best represented this series, I would choose the 1995 and 1996 versions.
The chemistry between Domoto Tsuyoshi and Tomosaka Rie was terrific. They also suited their characters very well. I also enjoyed the cases that they covered back then too.
When Yamada Ryosuke from Hey! Say! JUMP played Kindaichi, he was also phenomenal. I really enjoyed his chemistry with Kawaguchi Haruna. In 2014, they filmed a Kindaichi special that featured Nichkhun from 2PM, a personal favorite.
Kimi ni Todoke
I was a big fan of the anime, so when I heard about a movie based on this starring Haruma Miura, I had to watch it. And I was not disappointed. The acting and chemistry were on point.
Haruma Miura was born to play Kazehaya. I wouldn’t be surprised if the author based the character’s looks on the actor. Looks aside, Haruma is an amazing actor, and his skills really shone in this movie.
This film also brought my attention to Mikako Tabe. She’s an incredible actress, and I instantly went to check out more of her stuff after watching this.
When these two starred again for Boku no Ita Jikan, I had to watch it.
And… That’s It!
At the end of the day, I think chemistry between the leads are the most important to make a show enjoyable. I’ll probably rewatch these during the New year weekend.
What are some anime adaptations that you enjoyed?