Here in America, anime has had both runaway phenomena-level success and quieter niche hits. This weekend brought us the much hyped Ghost in the Shell Hollywood adaptation, which has long been a favorite of anime fans around the world. Seeing this cyberpunk world finally fully fleshed out has us at Professional Geek thinking about what property will get the next big budget treatment! Here are just 5 that I’m most excited to see:
Mobile Suit Gundam
Mobile Suit Gundam has the longest history of any of these shows, which means it’s gone the longest without Hollywood bringing it Stateside. In researching this one, I actually found out that Canada took a stab at it with G-Savior back in 2000, in a made for TV movie. That simply will NOT do! We’ve seen the Mobile Suit Gundam universe brought to life countless times via animation, from main timeline stories to spinoffs and alternate universes, but we have yet to see a live action Hollywood movie. We got to see giant robots in Pacific Rim, and seeing how most Mobile Suit Gundam series are military dramas, I think America is ready for a movie with the tone of Hunt for the Red October, but with 40 foot tall, human shaped robots instead of a submarine. I personally would love to see Mobile Suit Gundam The 8th MS Team brought to life, but there's a rich history of plots Hollywood could potentially draw from!
Neon Genesis Evangelion
Would people actually go out to see this movie? Would the general public want to go to the theater to see a post-apocalyptic world where the survivors must defend Tokyo-3 using giant robots powered by angsty, depressed teens? Are we mentally prepared for murderous monsters called Angels? Is America ready to see tons of on screen nuclear explosions, many of which resemble giant crucifixes? Can You All Handle That Ending?? All I know is that I’ll be the first in line to take it ALL in. And if American audiences make this a crossover success, all I have to say is: Congratulations!
Of all the Anime on this list, I think FLCL would be the least possible to get on the big screen, but just imagine how insane this movie would be! I would love to see modern CGI (or even better; disgusting practical effects) tackle the bio-horror aspect of machines sprouting from the main characters heads! For an American audience, too, we could get a soundtrack by Jack White to match the vibrant guitar soundtrack that The Pillows gave to the original FLCL show. And, just like the original show, this movie would be an excellent palate cleanser for audiences who left the theater after the above imagined Evangelion movie completely overwhelmed with existential depression.
I’m always shocked at Pokémon’s longevity. The series recently celebrated it’s 21st anniversary in February and, while I assumed that it had its peak back in the early 2000’s, (probably because I myself grew up) I was shocked to see equal numbers of kids and adults running around hunting for the little creatures with matching enthusiasm in the real world with Pokémon Go this last summer. Pokémon Go was just the latest in the long line of products from this series that could be classified as a genuine “phenomenon,” and it is proof positive that LITERALLY EVERYONE would go to the theater to see actual actors interacting with Pikachu, Squirtle and the rest of the, lets call it,uncountable rest of the famous creatures we learned to love way back on the GameBoy!
Cowboy Bebop is one of the biggest crossover hits that Japan has ever given us in the form of animation. I first saw Cowboy Bebop on Adult Swim around 2002, and even back then there was a buzz that it was only a matter of time before we got a live action adaptation. In 2008, there were reports that not only was there a script written, but Keanu Reeves was going to be our live action Spike Spiegel! As awesome as having Neo himself in the starring role, we have yet to see our favorite space-noir on the big screen. But anyone familiar with Cowboy Bebop can just imagine how insanely cool this movie would be. I’d like to imagine that it would have fight scenes on par with Netflix’s DareDevil, with attitude taken right from Firefly, all scored by a toe tappin’ jazz soundtrack!
What do you think? What Anime do you think deserves to be the next big blockbuster? Let us know on twitter @ProGeekPodcast!