10 Best live action adaptations of anime you must watch

30 most popular shows on Netflix in December
Credits: Netflix

Anime is popular among fans for its larger-than-life stories with its incredible action and fantasy elements. Live-action adaptations fail to impress fans often because of their inability to fully incorporate the believability factor of anime. But over the last few years, some live-action adaptations have emerged that have satisfied fans and critics alike with their perfect casting and portrayals.

From Netflix’s One Peace live-action series to the action thriller movie, Alita: Battle Angel, live-action adaptations have been doing well financially as well as winning the hearts of anime fans all over the world. Pick your favorites and add them to your waitlist.

One Piece

Stream on: Netflix

one piece

One of the best live-action adaptations of anime to date, One Piece, Netflix’s fantasy TV show, takes you on an adventure in the world of pirates, marines, and sea monsters. The premise centers around Luffy, a young man who has a strong will to become the King of the Pirates’ by crossing the perilous Grand Line and finding the coveted treasure of Gold Roger. He embarks alone but slowly he finds his own loyal crew while also making some terrifying enemies on his way to Grand Line.


Stream on: Viki

映画『NANA』予告 出演:中島美嘉/宮崎あおい

Based on Ai Yazawa’s manga and anime, Nana is a 2005 movie that follows two women who have the same name but very different backgrounds and ambitions in life. Nana Osaki wants to break out in the scene of rock and roll while Nana Komatsu just wants to live simply with her boyfriend. The two women cross paths when they move to Tokyo to complete their dreams.

Blade of the Immortal

Stream on: Amazon Prime Video

blade of the immortal

A samurai assassin, Manji is saved on the door of death by an old lady and gets to live as an ageless immortal. After half a century goes by, a young girl named Rin Asano comes looking for him, pleading with him to become her bodyguard and help avenge her father’s death. Blade of Immortal is full of violent action scenes with heavy drama portrayal, a good justice to the anime it’s adapted from.

Alita: Battle Angel

Stream on: Hulu

alita battle angel

Dr. Dyson Ido revives Alita, a cyborg made for battle fighting but he discovers that even if she has vicious fighting skills, her soul inside seems to be of a teenager. Alita then starts on a journey to find her origins and what might be her true identity actually be. The 2019 action/ sci-fi movie stars Rosa Salazar, Lana Condor and Keean Johnson.


Stream on: Tubi TV, Plex

Gintama Trailer #1 (2018) | Movieclips

An action comedy, Gintama is a thrilling and hilarious adaptation of the anime Gintama. The premise centers around Gintama and his bunch of friends who are living in feudal Japan and it’s getting hard to make a living as a samurai. But their lives change when they are entrusted by a master swordsman to look for a sword, Benizakura, which is cursed, and find it before it falls into the hands of any person with malicious intentions.

Death Note

Stream on: Amazon Prime Video

Death Note (2006) English Trailer [HD]

One of the classics, Death Note’s 2006 live-action anime adaptation movie satisfied the fans with its focus on the genius rivalry between L and Light. The premise of The Death Note follows a young and brilliant high school boy who gets a shinigami’s death note in his hand that has given him the ability to kill anyone he wants. At first, he is filled with a sense of justice while killing criminals, but then the power immediately corrupts his mind and he starts using it to satisfy his ego.

Grand Blue

Stream on: Disney +


Grand Blue is a slice-of-life comedy movie that has the same quality as the anime while retaining the refreshing feeling of youth and drama. Iyori wants to attend a University near seaside and get his wish fulfilled. He starts living with his uncle and befriends a bunch of young scuba divers who only think of fun and games. Life couldn’t be better for Iyori, except maybe if he can get himself a girlfriend.

Let Me Eat Your Pancreas

Stream on: Disney +

LET ME EAT YOUR PANCREAS Official Trailer | In Cinemas 14.09.2017

The bittersweet live-action adaptation of the anime, Let Me Eat Your Pancreas did justice to both the anime and the manga, exploring the story with depth and more human connection. The story follows a girl who is suffering from pancreatic cancer but she has hidden her terminal illness at school, still smiling and pulling through. It is not until she accidentally meets a schoolmate, a cold-looking guy, that she finds someone to share her thoughts regarding her impending death.

Rurouni Kenshin

Stream on: Netflix

rurouni kenshin

Himura Kenshin, the protagonist of Rurouni Kenshin, is a samurai who is looking for redemption after taking part in the Bakumatsu War in the Meiji era of Japan. Formerly an assassin, he has now become a wanderer who helps people in his way with their needs. The movie went on to produce a franchise of 5 more movies after its successful reception by fans.

Alice in Borderland

Stream on: Netflix

Alice in Borderland

Alice in Borderland is a Netflix TV series that is based on Haro Aso’s manga. The premise follows three friends who find themselves trapped in a world that looks like Tokyo, except there are no people or animals. Made to go through deadly survival games in this science fiction thriller, the live-action anime adaptation is easy to follow for non-anime fans.