Is Bleach going to be Bleached?

Bleach may be getting a live action movie courtesy of Warner Bros. Clearly, Warner Bros. is looking for the next Harry Potter franchise. The various superhero movies may or may not fill the void. The question, of course, is whether or not Bleach can fill that void. Given the lack of success of manga and anime live action adaptations, I am not sure. Indeed, I am extremely pessimistic about Bleach’s chances.

Can Bleach even be adapted for live action? I am not so skeptical as some. The key is adapting the manga rather than the anime. No filler. Do not make the movies into filler like the animated feature length films. I can see the first three to five volumes being a first movie then adapting each arc as a single movie. Gran Fisher would, I think, make for an excellent first antagonist for that movie.

The question is whether or not the screenwriter(s) think they can do a better job of it than Kubo. Obviously, the lessons that should have been learned from the failure of Dragon Ball and other manga live actions will be taken to heart. Do not assume that you, the screenwriter, are better than the mangaka.How many millions of volumes of Bleach have been sold?

Another problem is the threat of Americanization. The protagonist is Ichigo Kurosaki, a Japanese teenager living in Tokyo. Do not move the action to the United States, do not make Ichigo American. Or white. There is a stupid assumption that film goers will not watch movies that do not star white people. I think the controversy over The Last Airbender and the panning of Dragon Ball should give the casting department pause. Do not sacrifice the setting to appease your own biases. Although given what has been rumored about Akira, I am not holding out much hope.

Can manga be adapted to live action? I do not know. All of the evidence thus far argues against it. But perhaps if Bleach is done well and is a success, maybe the common assumption will be overturned. But from what I am reading, I am not holding my breath.



Posted on February 27, 2012, in Manga, Movies and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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