Upcoming Anime To Live-Action Adaptations We’re Afraid To Watch

What’s more terrifying than live-action adaptations of video games? How about of anime? As anime continues to captivate audiences around the world, the trend of adapting beloved animated series into live-action films and television shows has gained momentum but more often than not… 

While some adaptations have successfully brought anime to life, more than enough have left fans disappointed and fearful of what the future holds. Join us in exploring some of the upcoming anime to live-action adaptations that have fans feeling apprehensive.

Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead

Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead is a young adult zombie apocalypse manga known for its unique take on the genre. The manga series is written by Haro Asō, who also created Alice in Borderland which went on to receive a successful live-action adaptation. This spawned an anime series that premiered on Netflix on 9 July 2023.

Recently a live-action film version of Zom 100 was revealed, aiming to recreate the series’ blend of humour and horror, and capture the protagonist’s journey to complete his bucket list amidst the undead chaos. The film’s initial trailer appears to be missing the darker themes of corporate exploitation and strong emotional undercurrent, which may result in an overly-comedic production that fails to encapsulate the series’ offbeat charm.

The live-action Zom 100 film will stream worldwide on Netflix on 3 August 2023.

One Piece

One Piece is one of the most popular and longest-running anime/manga series of all time, known for its expansive world-building, vibrant characters, and epic pirate adventures. With its upcoming live-action adaptation, fans worry that condensing the first saga of the original series into eight episodes could lead to rushed storytelling and underdeveloped characters.

Furthermore, the intricate details, unique powers of the characters, and imaginative settings demand a substantial budget that poses a daunting challenge for this adaptation.

The teaser trailer to the series has given us a peek at what the adaptation will look like, and there are already elements to be worried about: Just how goofy will Luffy’s powers look on screen? Why does Buggy the Clown look creepy and menacing instead of like a bombastic buffoon? What happened to Usopp’s trademark long nose?

Eiichiro Oda, the creator of One Piece, has said that the series won’t be released until he’s satisfied with the production. We’ll just have to wait and see if it truly lives up to expectations.

One Piece sets sail on 31 August 2023 on Netflix.

Yu Yu Hakusho

Yu Yu Hakusho is an action-comedy about a high school delinquent who dies and then comes back to life with a mission from the Underworld to take down demons. A live-action take is in the works, helmed by a Japanese creative team that has some appreciation for the source material.

Only the cast for the main characters — Yusuke Urameshi, Kurama, Hiei, and Kazuma Kuwabara — has been revealed so far, with no footage in sight and a vague December 2023 Netflix release date. It’s certainly not good news for fans, especially when the character posters look questionable at best.


A live-action Gundam project is in the works at Netflix, with Jordan Vogt-Roberts (Kong: Skull Island, The Walking Dead: World Beyond) directing and Brian K. Vaughan (Saga, Y: The Last Man) as the writer and executive producer.

It doesn’t bode well that the project was first announced way back in 2018, and all we’ve gotten so far is a single image that may very well be concept art. Then again, the appearance of a Gundam in Ready Player One proved to be one of the best moments in that movie so…Plus, this will not be the first attempt at a live-action adaptation of the mecha anime series. G-Saviour, released in 2000 by Canadian company Polestar Entertainment, failed to make a lasting impact with its abysmal IMDb rating of 4.2. Perhaps Gundam simply doesn’t belong in the realm of live-action.

City Hunter

City Hunter is a popular manga series created by Tsukasa Hojo, known for its thrilling mix of action, comedy, and romance. The manga’s success led to multiple adaptations, including an anime series and several live-action films and TV shows.

With the announcement of a new live-action film adaptation, fans are filled with a mix of excitement and trepidation. Recreating the charismatic and skilled detective Ryo Saeba, the humour, and the chemistry with the female lead, requires careful casting and faithful storytelling. Ryohei Suzuki (Hentai Kamen) and Misato Morita (The Naked Director) have been cast as Saeba and his female partner, Kaori Makimura, respectively. The duo might look the part in the official images, but it remains to be seen if they’ll be able to capture the spirit of the characters.

The project is expected to premiere in 2024.

Bonus: Will it even come out?

As we delve further into the world of anime to live-action adaptations that are currently in the works, there are many projects that appear to have troubled development, questionable creative choices, and uncertain release dates. It certainly begs the question whether these projects will ever see the light of day, or if they’ll end up surreptitiously cancelled:

While live-action adaptations of anime have the potential to introduce beloved stories to more people, audiences often approach these projects with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. Balancing the unique elements of anime, capturing the spirit of the original works, and satisfying the expectations of passionate fans is certainly a daunting task for any creator.

What’s more, projects such as Netflix’s Death Note and Cowboy Bebop have given fans reason to doubt if the transition from anime to live-action will necessarily be a successful one. Only time will tell whether these adaptations listed above will live up to the source material and alleviate fans’ fears or leave them disappointed and longing for the anime originals.