Top 10 Worst Live Action Anime Films

Written by Arschel Morell We dreamed of seeing these Anime in real life. How did we get nightmares instead? Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Worst Live Action Anime Films. For this list, we’re looking at films produced both in Japan and the US that brought beloved Anime and manga stories to life…and failed miserably. Special thanks to our users Ashjbow, CedrikD, and Karl_mikael for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Written by Arschel Morell

Top 10 Worst Live Action Anime Films


We dreamed of seeing these Anime in real life. How did we get nightmares instead? Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Worst Live Action Anime Films.
For this list, we’re looking at films produced both in Japan and the US that brought beloved Anime and manga stories to life…and failed miserably.

#10: “Black Butler” (2014)


One of the most popular Anime out there, a live action Black Butler was inevitable. While the choice of actor for Sebastian himself isn’t terrible, the rest of the film failed to live up to fan expectations. Most of the blowback falls on the complete character change of Sebastian’s master, Ceil, or rather Kiyoharu in the movie. Why is she a girl, and not a boy. but still retains Ceil’s look? Factor in some less than stellar action scenes and tons of boring dialogue and you’ve got a dish that needs to be re-served properly or not at all.

#9: “Speed Racer” (2008)


The Speed Racer Anime is a simple, fun concept: Speed takes on the most dangerous races across the globe. When it came to the live action movie it gets a little messy. The CGI is so overblown it makes you think you’re watching a movie length Hot Wheels commercial. The visuals take priority over characters and a jumbled plot but cant really save it. We feel a little bad for including this one, since the film has developed a cult following. But still, it’s by no means a great live action Anime film – the Wachowskis probably should’ve stayed out of this race.

#8: “Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky” (1991)


Sentenced to prison for 10 years for avenging his wife, martial artist Riki takes the law into his own hands, delivering a more gory fashion of justice. For a movie with such a serious set up, you’d be surprised to find Riki-Oh is more…funny than anything else. The acting is bad but not nearly as bad as the horrible English dub. The action defines over the top and not in a good way. Some of the kills here are just way too silly. Is this really what fans of the Anime and Manga wanted to see? Probably not.

#7: “Casshern” (2004)


When a robot revolution begins, it’s up to one cyborg with daddy issues to save the world. The previews looked visually stunning and action packed. Sadly, while the film is both, there isn’t much else going for it. The characters aren’t engaging. The plot has so many holes you’ll be falling through them with each passing second. Not to mention, it’s incredibly boring. Plenty of Anime have the flaw of looking too pretty to cover for a lack of good plot… Live Action adaptations should never follow this trope as well.

#6: “Kite” (2014)


Many filmmakers, including Quentin Taratino, have a soft spot for the Kite Anime, especially for its action. We’re not sure they would have the same love for the almost action-less live-action feature. The lead character may have a tragic history but her portrayal is pretty dull. The story isn’t so impressive and has twists you’ll spot from a mile away. Not even Samuel L Jackson himself could save this film from its dismal 0% on Rotten Tomatoes.

#5: “The Guyver” (1991)


One young man and his alien bio armor are all that stand between alien invaders and total annihilation. While the monster make-up isn’t the worst ever, this live action take on the popular 80’s Anime looks more like a Power Rangers pilot than a serious movie. Probably the biggest crime here is the fact that, while he receives top billing, Mark Hamill isn’t the one to don the alien bio suit. That’s a total missed opportunity.

#4: “Devilman” (2004)


We all love a good monster throw down as much as the next person. But when the visuals look like this? It’s more cringe worthy than scary. Based on the 70’s Manga and Anime of the same name, Devilman attempts to paint a faithful recreation of its source material. The story tries to fit in more information than it can but fails. The acting is beyond God awful. And, again, these are the visual effects they used to bring Devilman and his demonic opponents to life?

#3: “Attack on Titan (Part 1 & 2)” (2015)


Attack on Titan is one of the most epic and acclaimed Anime of the last decade. And with the promise of an awesome looking CGI Colossal Titan, this two-part movie should have worked. So what went wrong? The director took way too many artistic liberties, showing little to no understanding of the main cast, especially fan favorite, Mikasa. The tone is so sporadic you don’t know if you should be laughing or crying when someone dies. The special effects are inexcusably poor and it honestly looks more like a fan film than anything else…

#2: “Fist of the North Star” (1995)


Fist of the North Star is a well-regarded Anime classic the 80s, with a mix of Mad Max style setting and blood splattering martial arts. The live action movie fails to impress on almost every level of that premise. Everything else feels sub par compared to the Anime, from the acting and sets to the rather tame action scenes. To be fair, they at least tried to stay faithful to the source by using Kenshiro’s signature phrase, but that’s probably the best praise anyone can give this film.

Before we reveal our Top Pick, here are a few Honorable, or in this case Dishonorable Mentions:

“Blood: The Last Vampire” (2009)

“City Hunter” (1993)

“Gantz: Perfect Answer” (2011)


#1: “Dragon Ball: Evolution” (2009)


The horror. The horror. Terrible casting, weak visuals, weaker action and a spiritless story. And that’s just scratching the surface of everything wrong with this adaptation. We’ve have waited forever to see Goku and Vegeta lock fists on the silver screen. Instead, we’re stuck with Dragon Ball Evolution. The fan backlash against this film was so great, the world saw a sudden boom in the Super Saiyan population. Seriously, there are few movies so offensively bad that their own director has had to make a public apology…
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