Top 5 Anime That Would Not Work as Live Action Shows
Image Courtesy of Crunchyroll

Anime Live Action adaptations have been a mixed bag over the years. The recently released One Piece Live Action had a very successful launch, but others from the past prove that there are significant challenges in translating the essence of the source material into the live action medium. Let’s look at the Top 5 Anime That Would Not Work as Live Action Shows.

Top 5 Anime That Would Not Work as Live Action Shows

5. Gintama

Gintama is known for its unique blend of action, comedy, and satire, set in an alternate-history Edo period. The fast-paced humor, absurd parodies, and fourth-wall-breaking humor are integral to its charm.

These elements, however, would be exceedingly hard to replicate in live-action. The 2017 live-action adaptation did its best to capture the spirit of the series but faced criticism for its inability to fully capture the comedic essence and exaggerated character expressions of the anime.

4. Assassination Classroom

top shonen anime protagonists
Image courtesy of A-1 pictures

Assassination Classroom is a unique anime that blends action, comedy, and heartwarming moments in a school setting. The central character, Koro-sensei, is a yellow, tentacled creature with superhuman abilities.

Bringing such a character to life in a believable manner in live action would be a monumental task. The 2015 live-action adaptation made use of CGI for Koro-sensei, but it was met with mixed reviews.

3. Neon Genesis Evangelion

Neon Genesis Evangelion is widely regarded as one of the most iconic and influential anime series ever created. Its complex psychological themes, intricate character development, and surreal mecha battles make it a daunting prospect for a live-action adaptation.

The abstract and philosophical aspects of the series, which delve deep into the psyche of its characters, would likely be challenging to convey effectively in a live-action format. The 2007 live-action adaptation attempt was ultimately canceled due to budget constraints and creative differences, further highlighting the difficulty of translating this anime masterpiece to live action.

2. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (JJBA)

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure has unique art style
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure [David Production]
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is a series that thrives on its distinctive art style, over-the-top battles, and supernatural elements. The exaggerated poses and intricate Stands are central to its appeal.

Translating these fantastical elements into live-action would require a massive budget and innovative visual effects. While there was a 2017 live-action adaptation, it received mixed reviews, with fans expressing concerns over the portrayal of Stands and the loss of the anime’s unique visual flair.

1. Food Wars!

Food Wars! is an anime that centers around intense cooking battles and the sensory experiences of the characters as they taste various dishes. The dramatic and exaggerated reactions of the characters to the food they eat are a signature element of the series.

Capturing these culinary moments and their impact on the audience in a live-action setting would be incredibly challenging. A potential live action is bound to face criticism for its inability to convey extravagant foodgasms and sensory experiences effectively.


While the allure of bringing beloved anime series to the live-action format is enticing, certain anime present formidable challenges due to their unique storytelling styles, fantastical elements, and iconic visuals. Existing live-action adaptations of these series have struggled to capture the essence and magic of their anime counterparts.

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Sanjay Bharath is a Computer Science graduate with a peculiar knack for eloquence and a mind that loathes the mundane. As someone who encapsulates all facets of his passion through weaving words and breathing life into them, Anime resonates with him the best. To experience the full extent of his content, check out Spiel Anime as well!