Netflix is probably one of the greatest things to happen to streaming entertainment. With a wide variety of TV shows, movies, and original content, Netflix has introduced the idea of binge watching to a wide range of viewers. After all, how can you resist the urge to spend your days off camped out on the couch, surrounded by your favorite snacks, with all the blinds closed and a full Netflix queue, right?
More than just bringing us our favorite local shows and movies, however, Netflix has also done something that TV stations and local distributors have been hesitant to do for years: provide us with easy access to the live-action movies based on popular anime in Japan. While the anime itself is easy to find, the live-action movies generally get a limited release. Thanks to Netflix, we can share what’s on our queue with you!
Based on a popular anime ang manga series, Bleach follows the story of a young man who is recruited into an organization that fights evil spirits and other supernatural horrors that plague the world. If you’re a fan of older anime like Yuyu Hakusho or Samurai X, then Bleach definitely has stuff you’ll enjoy. Fortunately, that was carried over to the movie as well.
The movie uses its special effects budget well, keeping things believable and fun without trying too hard to be hyper-realistic (which usually backfires). While you’ll lose a lot of backstory, of course, enough is carried over to the movie to keep the characters familiar to fans of the anime, but without eating up too much of the movie’s runtime so newcomers can still enjoy the action.
An anime that really caught people off guard, Kakeguri is an anime about a n elite school whose social structure is based entirely on gambling skills. The better you are at gambling (whether by cheating or not), the higher you are on the social food chain. The story revolves around a girl whose cute outward appearance hides an almost insane addiction to gambling: the higher the stakes, the better!
While the actors and actresses in the live version aren’t as cute as the ones in the anime, they get the facial expressions pretty close (as close as a human face can get, at least!) to the iconic expressions in the anime. A lot of the story is condensed of course, since they have to cram a whole season into a single movie, but it’s still highly entertaining.
Full Metal Alchemist
Full Metal Alchemist was one of the most popular anime of its time. From fun and iconic characters to making what appears to be a permanent mark on memes with one of its more heartbreaking story arcs (E-e-e-Edward?), Full Metal Alchemist is a must watch anime that has a great mix of comedy, drama, action, and philosophy. The same goes for the live action version as well.
The live action version stays as true as it can to the anime, with scenes and costumes that are as visually close to the anime as they can be unlike a lot of other live-action versions that take liberties with character and costume designs. The special effects are pretty good as well; you’d believe that Alphonse Elric’s armor body was right there in the scenes with them rather than being added via special effects!