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What The Movie Needs To Do To Succeed

While anime has been a popular genre of animated content for several decades now, its transition to streaming platforms has heightened the number of people viewing it globally. Not only has streaming allowed more people from more places to access translated versions of countless anime shows and movies, it’s also made entire series accessible and, thus, easy to binge-watch. With anime being so popular among younger generations, the demand for anime continues to grow. This, of course, leads to established anime companies pumping out more content, but also leads to streaming companies and companies from other countries wanting to contribute to the anime market.

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The film industry has a tendency to follow trends and to invest in content that is definitely making money. In this case, that goes beyond creating new anime shows and movies, and extends to adapting pre-existing anime stories into live-action features. As many American animation companies, like Disney, have proven, people love to revisit familiar stories through a new perspective, which is why live-action adaptations continue to be made. One popular anime that has recently announced its intention to jump on the live-action adaptation train is One-Punch Man.

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The success of One-Punch Man was inevitably likely to attract the attention of writers who wanted to transition its story to a live-action format. It began as a popular webcombic in 2009, that received positive feedback almost as soon as it was posted. From that point, its popularity proved its potential. It was adapted to manga in 2012, and then anime in 2015. With the success of each of these adapted forms of the story, the tale was then translated into other languages ​​and dispersed to other countries. Needless to say, the growth of its global success was relatively quick, considering what many manga/anime stories before its time had to go through to achieve the same thing.


Even if One-Punch Man had not received the same amount of attention as quickly as it did, its story alone would likely have resulted in the eventual live-action film. The story takes place in a world riddled with monsters and the heroes that fight them off, and among those heroes is one with the ability to defeat opponents with a single punch. The creator’s intention was to examine a new perspective of superheroes through having a character that was so powerful through his one seemingly unimpressive attack that he was bored with fighting.

Much of the world is already enamored with superhero storylines, as DC and Marvel continually prove, and so any storyline that falls into the hero genre – especially one that offers a new perspective – boasts of potential in the field of film. This, partnered with the demand for anime content, made One-Punch Man a shoo-in for being adapted to live-action. However, whether or not the film does as well as the previous adaptations of the tale, depends on how the structure of the story, the characters, and the graphics are approached.


It’s certainly promising that a company as big as Sony has taken on the project of creating the live-action movie, and being directed by Justin Lin of the Fast&Furious franchise seems to automatically offer potential in terms of the action in the film. It’s also already been announced that the filmmakers involved intend to take their time with creating the film, which hopefully means they’ll be putting full effort into the feature.

All of that said, what has anime fans concerned isn’t the potential of this movie: it’s the failed attempts of past anime live-action films. The 2017 live-action adaptation of Ghost in the Shell is a prime example of how these movies can fall flat when they fail to find a balance between believable content and staying true to the franchise. Many times, when a manga or anime series is adapted to a live-action feature film, it loses some of the story’s effect through translating it to real life. Also, sometimes the story’s pacing is thrown off, because the entire series’ worth of content must be condensed into just a couple of hours.


In a response to these concerns among fans, the creators of the One-Punch Man must carefully consider the pacing and preservation of the franchise when creating this fim. As with any adaptation, who the characters are and what is at the heart of the original story – the theme – are the most essential components to preserve from the original storyline. On that note, there will inevitably be changes made to the story, but they shouldn’t hurt the message of the tale. If the creators use their time wisely, they should be able to map out the most essential moments in the story and weave them together to achieve a natural, exciting rhythm of events to make up the plot.

If the film captures all the most important story beats, the flipped hero perception and the theme of the tale, they will be able to accomplish a movie that is both intriguing to new fans of the story and satisfactory to pre-existing fans. At this point, the creators of One-Punch Man have all the necessary tools to create a successful live-action adaptation, but whether or not they do can only really be determined by watching the completed film.

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