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What Does a Good Adaptation Look Like?

What exactly do fans want with an adaptation of a comic, book, anime or manga. Sometimes fans are upset because films stick too close to, or deviate too much from the source material. There have been effective adaptations on both ends of the spectrum, but what is it that fans really want to see adapted to the big screen?

  • I feel like "fans" will never truly 100% agree what they want out of adaptations. Some people really do want the exact same story translated perfectly into the big screen from a book. But others do want an adaptation that is only inspired by the original work, but goes it's own direction. I think there is a balance to be found between paying respect and homage to the original work, while also trying new things that only the medium you're adapting into can pull off. – Dimitri 3 years ago
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  • I think a good adaptation needs to stand on its own, apart from the source material. Whether the adaptation sticks closely to the original source material, or it deviates into something else, it needs to be able to be viewed without knowledge of the source material. I think video game movies often make the mistake of trying to stay true to the game, and end up creating a movie that is only enjoyable (or sometimes comprehensible) by those who have played the game already. – rachelfreeman 3 years ago
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  • I agree with rachelfreeman and also think a good adaptation needs to stand on its own. That thought works really well with your title ("What does a good adaptation look like?") but quite not so well with your subsequent discussion of fans. Perhaps a better title would be "What do fans want in an adaptation?" My sense is that fans would mostly want a very "faithful" (or literal) adaptation. To me, the word "fan" suggests a strong emotional attachment, not simply strong appreciation of a work. – JamesBKelley 3 years ago
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  • The biggest complaint I see from adaptations is that a season's worth of anime content gets crammed into a movie-length live-action adaptation. There's no proper way to do that without major pacing issues and lack of character development. I don't personally believe the change in format from animation to live-action is the problem, just the limitations of the story format of series to movie and so forth. – Slaidey 3 years ago
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  • I do not think that maintaining fidelity with original work earns the adaptation brownie points. These are two different worlds. You cannot just put out a verbatim original work on the screen, due to its limited time frame and content presentation. But this does reduce the artistic creativity of the screenplay writer and the director. The movie has to adapt a different narrative technique, which all runs down to how the director wishes it manifest in the screen. – Azira101phale 3 years ago
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  • In terms of the topic and its intended title, my inclination is to say that a good adaptation is grounded in the original objective, one. Two, it thrives in its current literary climate from either perspective: fan, critic, understudy or advocate. The ultimate test is, three; does it contribute fruitfully to its own category of art as well as any periphery discipline, where one would least expect it to emerge and actually pique unlikely audiences? – L:Freire 2 years ago
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