Live-action adaptations of anime and manga have always been a subject of debate. People wonder if the magic of the original can truly be captured in real-life form. But guess what? There are some incredible exceptions that break all the rules!
Let’s talk about the mind-blowing live-action TV adaptation of One Piece, which has left fans cheering. If you’re craving thrilling action and adventure, this show is an absolute must-watch. But hey, what if romance is more your thing? No worries, there’s plenty for you too! Dive into the captivating world of high school drama with Boys Over Flowers or indulge in the more mature and tantalizing What Did You Eat Yesterday?
Ready for some heart-pounding excitement? Try your luck with gripping survival game shows like Liar Game or Alice in Borderland. These shows will leave you on the edge of your seat, craving for more. The bottom line is, no matter what floats your boat, there’s a live-action TV show waiting to sweep you off your feet and give you an unforgettable experience. Get ready to be amazed!
1. Alice in Borderland
Arisu is a gamer who finds himself in an empty version of Tokyo. To escape this bizarre new world, he and his friends must participate in a competition that puts their lives at risk.
Although there is an anime adaptation of Alice in Borderland, it consists of only three episodes and doesn’t fully delve into the entire story. On the other hand, the live-action version provides a more comprehensive interpretation.
2. One Piece
When Netflix first announced the live-action One Piece adaptation, lots of fans were worried it would be terrible. But guess what? It’s actually been fantastic so far!
The actors are doing an amazing job of staying true to the characters while also bringing their own fresh take to the table. Plus, the pace of the adaptation is much tighter compared to the anime. This makes it way less intimidating to dive into the story and just enjoy the ride.
3. Erased (2017)
If you’re a fan of the ERASED manga, you might find the live-action TV series to be the best adaptation out there. Surprisingly, it might even beat the film and the anime. The reason? Well, the live-action series manages to cover the entire manga without making any major changes or leaving anything out.
Having a full adaptation is always a good thing, but in the case of this TV series, it’s especially significant. You see, the villain’s motivation is crystal clear in the original manga, but unfortunately, it’s not as well depicted in the anime. So, it’s crucial for an adaptation to effectively convey this critical piece of information.
4. Hana Yori Dango
Boys Over Flowers, or Hana Yori Dango, has been adapted into various forms of media, including light novels, musicals, video games, and movies. Surprisingly, it has even spawned four different TV drama adaptations. With so many options, there’s ongoing debate about which one is the best. If you’re a fan of the overall story, it might be worth checking out more than one adaptation.
The plot revolves around Tsukushi Makino, a girl from a working-class background who finds herself attending a prestigious school. Her path crosses with Tsukasa Domyoji, a wealthy and arrogant guy who takes an interest in her. However, Tsukasa will need to make an effort if he wants to win her over.
5. City Hunter
The original City Hunter revolves around a guy who dedicates his time to fighting crime in the streets of Tokyo, all while attempting to charm the ladies. It’s a mix of serious and silly moments that keeps you entertained.
In the Korean TV drama adaptation, the story takes on a completely different angle by focusing on terrorism related to North Korea. The overall tone is more serious, and the acting is fantastic.
6. Nodame Cantabile
Currently, there isn’t a legal way to stream the anime version of Nodame Cantabile in the USA. But don’t fret! You can still enjoy the high-quality TV drama adaptation on RetroCrush and Amazon Prime.
Nodame Cantabile is a charming love story that revolves around a talented yet disorganized musical genius. She crosses paths with a strict and serious musician who can’t resist being drawn to her. If you’re in the mood for an opposites attract kind of story, this is the perfect pick for you.
7. Liar Game
The Liar Game manga, unfortunately, hasn’t been adapted into an anime yet. However, it has been brought to life through two live-action series – one from Korea and another from Japan. And let me tell you, both of them are definitely worth checking out.
The storyline revolves around a young woman who finds herself entangled in a survival game that compels her to settle a debt using cunning and deception. Once she manages to break free, instead of leaving it all behind, she decides to dive right back into the game in a quest to make some cash.
8. Mischievous Kiss: Love in Tokyo
Mischievous Kiss, also known as Itazura na Kiss, tells the story of a teenage girl who unexpectedly ends up living with the guy who turned her down, all because her house was hit by a meteor. It’s like something straight out of a soap opera!
And guess what? The series was actually adapted into one! That’s just perfect because it means the show captures all the drama and emotional intensity that the original story demands.
9. Death Note (2015)
Death Note has had a surprisingly large number of live-action adaptations, ranging from Japanese films with Red Hot Chili Peppers’ songs as theme music to the train wreck that was the American Netflix movie. As mentioned before, the quality of these adaptations varies, but the live-action drama stands out as pretty good.
What makes it particularly enjoyable is that it offers the same level of mystery and drama as the original, but with fewer main character deaths. We won’t reveal any spoilers about who survives and who doesn’t, but it’s worth noting that a significant number of major characters make it to the end in the live-action version, unlike in the manga or the anime.
10. Bloody Monday
In this TV drama, a Russian spy’s body is discovered, and it holds a video chip containing footage related to the Christmas Massacre. This deadly outbreak claimed many lives and there are suspicions that it might have been purposely created. Fujimaru Takagi, a highly skilled hacker, is brought in to decode the chip. However, the situation takes an unexpected turn when his own father becomes a suspect in the murder of his supervisor. It becomes clear that his father had uncovered new information regarding the Christmas Massacre.
The TV show does an excellent job of building tension and keeping viewers on the edge of their seats with its unexpected plot twists.
11. What Did You Eat Yesterday?
What Did You Eat Yesterday?” is a delightful tale that revolves around the daily routines of a middle-aged gay couple residing in Tokyo. This TV drama has garnered immense praise and recognition, clinching the top spot as the most honored series at the prestigious 101st Television Drama Academy Awards.
The show’s success can be attributed to its remarkable ability to captivate audiences through its genuine and relatable storyline. It effortlessly portrays the everyday lives of its characters, making it incredibly down-to-earth and true-to-life