Reasons behind the success or failure of live-action remakes of popular anime

Recently several popular anime shows have been remade into live-action versions, e.g. Death Note (in several versions), Itazura-na-Kiss, Dragon Ball Z, etc… Many have been either unsuccessful and disappointing to fans (the example that comes to mind is the Avatar the Last Airbender!) or, more recently, have engaged in the unfortunate cultural appropriation of characters aka "whitewashing". What is behind the apparent difficulty of successfully remaking these fantastic stories into live-action form – is it the difference in mediums? Is it idiosyncratic to the directors/creators? Is it pure coincidence that no examples of a successful adaptation in popular cinema/television come to mind, or is this a systematic trend?

  • Using examples from my own memory, I feel it is both medium and a disconnect between directors and fan-base that can result in a failed remake. Often times, it is the animation style that aids in both delivery and overall success. Also, sometimes directors/creators can miscalculate what aspects of a show are responsible for its success. For example, a show that gains popularity for its wit and character development can be poorly mistranslated so that the action aspect of the show overpowers other components. – BreannaWaldrop 7 years ago

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