Anime is one of the most fascinating forms of entertainment. A movie or series can provide laughter, scares, and some of the most impressive action ever seen. In Japan and even America, anime has been adapted for live action movies and television series. Sometimes the results are impressive (Battle Royal) and other times not so much (Death Note). I decided for this article to flip the script and talk about live action movies that could be made into anime. This is not as far fetched as it seems, as some live action Western movies and shows have been adapted into the medium (Supernatural). I will be choosing a few movies and explaining why they would succeed in anime. To be eligible, a movie could have anime influences, but not an adaption of manga.

The Boogyman

John Wick was one of the greatest action movies ever. With long takes, a new form of fighting, and some of the most realistic violence ever put on screen, Keanu Reeves’ Wick goes after the men who killed his dog, a gift from his recently deceased wife. While the action might be tailor made for anime, it is the world of Wick that fits better.  Hit men seem to exist in a secret society with very strict rules and betrayal is just around the corner. Japan has created some very memorable criminal worlds and John Wick would fit right along with the best of them. This would be a criminal drama, light on comedy, with long takes of John contemplating his world without saying a word.

Best Friend

Moving from action to comedy, Seth MacFarlane’s hilarious masterpiece Ted would fit into the wacky side of anime. When he was a child, John Bennett wished that his stuffed bear Ted would come to life. The wish came true and now as an adult, John has to deal with adult problems while still living with his best friend. This seems perfectly suited for anime, where crazy situations and even talking animals can be very normal. I could almost see this in the style of a Studio Ghibli film, which the characters could make fun of. I don’t know if the jokes would have to be toned down for the Eastern audience, but it would open up the possibility of John and Ted getting into even more crazy situations.

The Strangers

In a city that never seems to see the dawn, John Murdoch has to evade both the police and some mysterious beings as he tries to find out what is happening in his world. Released in 1998, Dark City was over shadowed by the Matrix, but this science fiction movie has a lot to offer in terms of story and setting. One of the main reasons that it is on this list is that it feels like it could have been an anime. It would be a dark, almost horror anime. This would have to be a series, focusing on the other residents and the mysterious Strangers who seem to be in control. Of all the movies on this list, this is probably the one you have not seen, which I urge you to watch.

Modern Shakespeare

Our last entry will focus on the romantic and high school genre of anime. 10 Things I Hate About You, a modern retailing of the Taming of the Shrew, would be a fantastic addition to this sometimes overlooked subcategory. Cameron wants to date Bianca, but her father has set down a rule that she can only date when her older sister Kat dates as well. Cameron hires Patrick to woo the man hating Kat, and true love and a happy ending await our two couples. This is a smart romantic movie and the characters would translate easily to their animated counterparts. You could even use the anime techniques of exaggerated features when Kat gets mad or Bianca falls in love with Cameron.


So that is a few movies that I think could be translated into anime. I tried to pick some from a wide category. What movies do you think could be made into an anime series or movies? Drop me your suggestion in the comments down below. And seriously, go watch Dark City if you have not already.