Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Live Action Manga Blues [The Dilemma Of Playing With Iconographics - An Intro]

I suppose this was only a matter of time.

A few Twitter chats have taken place over the last few weeks that have brought a particular phenomenon to attention here at the labs, and now I'm hoping to better illustrate my concerns with how Japan treats its modern myths. Once was a time where like so many before me, Japanese cinema was sort of a bold alternative to domestic released bland, and a much regarded jolt of energy when regarding trash cinema. These days however, it has been pretty tough to rekindle such a flame. And I'm sure it isn't merely me. Something is genuinely missing, especially since the manga and anime worlds have long had their day in the international spotlight. And in a time where stateside films like The Dark Knight, and others have reached world class status, it only feels so much more tragic when looking at concepts that perhaps could prove expansive in a three dimensional universe.

Or is it just too iconographic a line to grasp?

Really have been considering taking a crack at this since adaptations of drawn projects have run such the gamut over the years, and can be considered a mastered form in the west. Can the same be said regarding our Japanese counterparts? A part of me would love to think so. But to be honest, more than several years of manga/anime adaptations have proven to be a challenge to properties with often provocative themes, and a film industry eager for a "hit". And even when the mentioned property can be considered light in nature, it rarely seems to be the most successful transition. Could it really be an issue of disconnect between the originating creators, and the film production brass? Endless compromise? Or could it just all be attributed to bad luck?

So what I hope to shed light on in the coming weeks is a series of posts dedicated to live action manga & perhaps find some diamonds in that particular rough.

We'll start with a look at some of the last decades biggest adaptations from violent seinen favorites like Ichi The Killer (Koroshiya Ichi), to even lighthearted shoujo fare like Lovely Complex. Either way, this is guaranteed to be an interesting exploration.

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