I’ve just been informed of the great news that a live-action Space Battleship Yamato movie is in the works. It’s also known as Star Blazers for you non-otaku. It’s being produced by Skydance Productions who produced True Grit. I didn’t see True Grit because I hate westerns, but my parents seemed to like it. I’ll take that as a good sign. If they can make Leiji Matsumoto’s classic appealing to even my conservative parents, I’m all for it. Many a time I’ve tried to convince them to watch Galaxy Railways and Captain Herlock unsuccessfully. This could finally bridge the gap. Granted, there was one released in Japan, but my parents hate subtitles (those bakas).
If you couldn’t tell, I’m all for live-action American adaptations of anime. It helps get the word out about how awesome anime really is and that American audiences should give them a chance. Take a look at the last two we’ve had: Speed Racer and Dragonball Evolution. Both were extremely faithful to their source material. Speed Racer finally got people to take the classic anime seriously again. Even though I don’t really like anime made before the 1990’s, I didn’t like everybody mocking anime by comparing it to the lackluster dubbing. Granted, the animation is awful and dated, but I acknowledge that without Speed Racer we wouldn’t have the much better series Initial D. Finally, people can stop making those stupid Speed Racer jokes. The Wachowski Brothers made a sugoi looking film that was serious and embodied the true spirit of anime. I salute them for changing the battlefield in anime’s struggle to reach the American public.
And Dragonball Evolution? I couldn’t have asked for a better adaptation. The film had everything I’d ever want: Goku, Bulma, Chi-Chi, Piccolo, Master Roshi and lots of action with a great Kamehameha. When I saw Goku wield that CGI ki energy while screaming ‘KAMEHAMEHA’, I got goosebumps. It seems that a lot of people don’t like this movie, otaku included, but I don’t understand why. Only a few people were in the theater on it’s midnight showings and the other people were very rude. They kept mocking and asking questions about the movie throughout the screening. Did they even watch the show? Maybe if they did they’d understand the character dynamic better and the epic nature of the show. Clearly they just didn’t get it. But for some reason everybody loved Watchmen which required you to read the comic. I haven’t read the comic and I still don’t understand it, but I don’t hate the movie for that. I’m sure if I read it I’d understand the movie better, but I just can’t get into American comics.
So with the upcoming adaptations of Star Blazers, Robotech and Battle Angel Alita, the future of anime is looking pretty good right now. I don’t go out to the cinema often unless you count the local art house theater where I watch anime. But you can bet if these titles were adapted, I’d be hitting the AMC much more often. Who knows? Maybe a live-action adaptation of Space Battleship Yamato can revitalize my faith in older anime. But I still hold my stance on old dubs. Anything dubbed before 1990 is inaudible to me.
-Keep on Rockin’ That Dragon