The Difficulty of Making Manga Turned into a Feature Film

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Bakuman, the manga about making manga is getting a live-action movie adaptation. Check out the trailer (with English subtitles).

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As seems to be the ever increasing trend of live-action adaptations of popular manga/anime, the next upcoming movie is Bakuman, based on the manga of the same name by the authors of Death Note, Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata.

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Check out the trailer below with English subtitles by Toshi Nakamura.

The story follows two high school classmates who set out to become manga artists and create a hit series for one of Japan’s biggest manga publications, Shonen Jump. Their final goal is to have a hit series that will get an anime adaptation – a rather meta plot considering the original manga got its own anime adaptation.

The original manga spanned 20 volumes and the subsequent anime series had 3 seasons with 75 episodes total, so there’s a substantial amount of content to fit into what looks to be a single movie – a fact that immediately sets off warning klaxons in my head. Who knows, hopefully it’ll be good.

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The live-action Bakuman movie is slated to hit Japanese theaters on October 3rd. No word on an international release.


Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.

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To contact the author of this post, write to cogitoergonihilATgmail.com or find him on Twitter @tnakamura8.

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DISCUSSION

Maybe the central romance will seem a little less creepy when they’re forced to cut the run time so severely...

These types of adaptations are always somewhat weird. They can’t just be good, the content they’re depicting is supposed to be really good as well. Like say with the series Beck (which similarly started with manga, got adapted into an anime, and later a live action movie), you go from a silent medium insinuating the band is incredible to a medium where if they aren’t, the whole thing sorta falls flat.

Bakuman I think had some similar problems where the manga they were creating wasn’t all that interesting (or worse, they’d create something interesting, but then purposefully aim for a more shounen appeal and dumb it down. They spend an inordinate amount of time creating effectively seinen manga for an ersatz Shounen Jump, and having to change their ideas to fit the younger demographic.)

Still, probably worth a look to see how this turns out I guess. If they went for a more metaphoric route with the creation process (like all the ink splattering about) it might be unique at least.