List does not include Suicide Squad or Batman vs. Superman.
We’ve had our fill of Hollywood opening the animoo jar for new stories and concepts for a while now, whitewashing aside, we’ll flip the script around and look into seven movies from the West we’d love to see adapted into anime.
“Fuck me gently with a chainsaw, do I look like Mother Theresa?”
Dream studio: Madhouse
Format: 12 episode TV series
The 1989 Michael Lehman cult classic was born on the big screen and lives on on Broadway. I didn’t pick this movie just because it’d be lit to see an anime girl fake the suicide of all the popular kids in Tomiko High School in sailor uniforms with happy music playing in the background, but because realistically, it could totally work.
Think of Another meets comedy plus Mean Girls. Actually, scratch the Mean Girls if you want and just keep the gritty humor. Heathers is a hilariously charming movie that’s a couple of steps of becoming an outlandish anime plot. If I had it my way, either Madhouse or Mappa would animate it. Director doesn’t really matter to me, because if it goes bad, it’d be a campy, burning trainwreck.
Ferris Buellers Day Off
“Life goes pretty fast, if you don’t stop to look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
Dream studio: Ghilbi
Somebody get Ghilbi on this and make it a beautifully animated, touching tale about growing up and friendship with lots and lots of comedy in a story that happens in one single day. Surely Ghilbi wouldn’t condone skipping school, but it would definitely condone the message of ‘time goes fast, boo’ with charming characters and a smartass protagonist. The 1986 classic was definitely not the only hit director John Hughes has had, and any self-respecting movie fan would know that – from Breakfast Club to Sixteen Candles and Pretty in Pink, every release except the last is well loved. Even if Sixteen Candles was trash.
Pump up the volume
“Eat your cereal with a fork and do your homework in the dark.”
Dream Studio: Don’t care
Format: 12 episode TV series
Starring 90’s badboy sweetheart Christian Slater, Pump up the Volume (1990) would be that weird anime that would absolutely tank in sales but have a massive following full of nihilists feeling ten percent more suicidal after watching it. Pump up the Volume is as uplifting as it is depressing because it is not afraid to go there when talking about depression and suicide. I would want the same people who worked on Aku no Hana to work on this, I don’t care what any of you think, it’d definitely be something else.
Thelma and Louise
“So how long till we’re in goddamn Mexico?”
Dream Studio: Manglobe
Format: 24 episode TV series
Even if you haven’t watched the movie itself we all know the scene where the girls ride off of a cliff surrounded by cops all too well. It’s not like it hasn’t been parodied or paid homage to in every serie ever. It took me far too long to actually sit down and watch it, but now that I have I can safely say that this would be amazing as an anime movie, Manglobe style (rip) with lots of lesbian undertones and semi-realistic art like Michiko to Hatchin. Unfortunately Manglobe died and I can’t think of any edgy studio who could possibly re-create a story about two friends running away from an abusive home, shooting a rapist by accident and getting chased by the police to Mexico better than Manglobe could. Too bad, I’ll have to be satisfied with re-watching Michiko to Hatchin.
“When motherfuckers get scared, that’s when motherfuckers accidentally get shot.”
Dream studio: Brains Base or Manglobe
Format: two 12 episode seasons
Although all of the previous movies should be in your library to begin with, I’ll forgive you if you haven’t. I won’t forgive you if you don’t know Pulp Fiction, though. Don’t worry, it took me forever to watch it, too. Ignoring my opinion on the movie (the first and last scene are all that actually matter) tell me it would not be dope and fit in just right in the Ryohgo Narita universe with Durarara and Baccano. Do the visuals wrong, I don’t care, but give me a 24 minute long episode of anime Samuel L. Jackson being a badass and saving the entire cafetaria from being hostages in a blood stained white shirt and turning into a faithful believer of Jesus Christ himself. Pulp Fictionononon!!!!!!, coming soon to you by studio Brains Base.
Sid and Nancy
“Well, you know what, I don’t really give a fuck what the general public thinks.”
Dream studio: Madhouse
Format: Long ass tv series
First get Ai Yazawa to pen it up, 2007 Madhouse to animate it, Masao Maruyama to produce it and Morio Asaka to direct it. Boom, Nana vol.2 better than ever and actually has an ending. The only reason I put this on the list is because Nana exists and to be fair, Nana has a lot of Sex Pistols references and the entire story is punk as fuck. Sid and Nancy is the only movie of which I don’t know whether I like it or not. It makes me uncomfortable, it’s haunting and strange and extremely gray in colour. It’s sad and the tone never switches. Regardless, it’s an interesting movie, and considering Nana’s history, I’d love it if Madhouse adapted this the exact same way they did Nana and Paradise Kiss.
Me Earl and the Dying Girl
“I made a film so bad, it literally killed someone.”
Studio: Not A1.
Format: TV Series or movie, either works
I just realized all the movies on this list are pre-2000 and I swear it’s not to bump up my hipster credibility to any of you all. For the last film we’ll go for a recent one which was released last year and was criminally overlooked. In the same vain of Dope and a (much better, less cringey and white) The Fault in Our Stars. Getting a standing ovation at the Sundance festival and all, Me Earl and the Dying Girl would be a wonderful anime movie with rich, vibrant colours and fun characters. The problem is that I can’t come up with a studio which could pull it off. Ghilbi is a little too high on fantasy for a story like this and any other studio recognized for their realistic movies are a little too dramatic to do this justice. Correct me if I’m wrong, but we’ve never had a wacky story like this in anime, exception maybe being The Girl Who Lept Through Time, animated by Madhouse and directed by Mamoru Hosoda who coincidentally also directed Summer Wars. Maybe this would be the best match.
That’s my list, even though there are a ton of other movies that I’d love to see animated so I’ll probably be down to do a part two of this sometime. What movies do you think would work as an anime, what studio and in what format would it work?