Anime and manga fans often tremble at the thought of a live-action adaptation. Too many times, a multifaceted story such as Tite Kubo’s supernatural Bleach saga loses its spirit when embodied by human actors and digital SFX.
So it's both something of a surprise and a relief to hear that Kubo believes Warner Bros. Japan’s upcoming live-action iteration of his bestselling Shonen Jump manga and the anime that followed it really reflects his vision.
“For the Japanese live-action version, I feel that we have come close to the original work,” Kubo recently told TBS Radio. “I am really looking forward to it."
There is something about distinctly Japanese works that are tough to translate on the other side of the Pacific Ocean, as Bleach is rooted in Japanese folklore about the grim reaper entities known as shinigami. Kubo’s vision of shinigami is much more superhero than horror, but everything from bankai to Zanpakutō emerged from his country of origin. Take the Japan out of such a story, and you might as well be draining its lifeblood.
While Bleach fans are still nervous after watching the trailer, which has seen mixed reviews so far, it will be interesting to see how they manage to bring that badass snake-baboon hybrid bankai of Renji’s to life.
So what exactly does it take to execute a live-action adaptation that gives the manga and anime three dimensions? SYFY WIRE had the chance to interview Tokyo Ghoul director Kentarō Hagiwara on how he made the flesh-eating ghouls of Sui Ishida’s otherworldly series believable.
Are you encouraged by Kubo's take on the live action Bleach?