Anime Vice News

Almost Otaku: Bootlegs, Live-Action & What Keeps Me Coming Back

What keeps YOU coming back?

  A lot of you weren't feeling this. And, coincidentally, this looks like an HK bootleg.
 A lot of you weren't feeling this. And, coincidentally, this looks like an HK bootleg.

We’ve got a trifecta of questions this time…

Constanzadellarosa: How do you feel about live action adaptations (Japanese and American ones)?

This was something I actually covered a while back. My opinion’s maybe fluxuated a little bit after enjoying SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD so much. Generally, I’m a believer in medium-specific storytelling and I’d really rather see something new and original than something I’ve already seen before. I rarely get to the end of an anime and think, “Wow… I really need to see this in live action.” If it’s good enough as is, then what more do you need? That being said, this is really a case-by-case thing. There’s just many examples of two artistic visions meeting and producing something noteworthy as there are examples of somebody totally botching the translation.

I’m actually going to be watching the live-action DEATH NOTE movies on Blu-Ray over the weekend. I haven’t read the manga, but I’ll be curious how they compare to the show.   

N15PCA Have you ever bought a Hong Kong DVDs of an anime before? 

Like a bootleg? I did when I was kid living in Singapore. I didn’t know what was what back then. There were bootlegs of everything. Although, I’ve been noticing that they’ve been slowly getting phased out at conventions over the years (although you’ll still find them in abundance in China town.) I really don’t like to get boots, out of principal. Are HK DVDs a big deal? Please elaborate.

D34dM4n What is it about manga and anime that keeps bringing you back to it?

This question actually ties back to the first one. Watching and reviewing anime for this site has been a real breath of fresh air, creatively. What I’m really enjoying is that this is all relatively new ground for me. Western entertainment can all-too-often be predictable and over-developed, but everything I’ve watched so far has been a revelation because I simply can’t predict where it’ll go. None of these shows can fit into a box and, as I’ve said, the Japanese are generally less constipated about suspensions of disbelief.

That can be all the questions we have left. I’m sure you Anime Vice lunatics must have more. I’m sure you have hundreds, so keep the questions and topics flying. I’ll answer and address them here. C’mon… this is too much fun to stop. Keep going! Participate!

Tom Pinchuk’s the writer of HYBRID BASTARDS! & UNIMAGINABLE. Order them on Amazon here & here.   

AgentJon Aug. 20, 2010 at 12:41 a.m.
What characters in particular have you either enjoyed unfolding or related to the most?  
 Based on what you have heard from friends and Animevice users, what show or series are you most excited to dive into in the future? (SEE BECK: MONGOLIAN CHOP SQUAD) 
Could we get a list of what you've already seen? 
You mentioned that western entertainment is often predictable and over-developed. What are your favorite aspects of Japanese comics that diverge from what you are used to in American Comics?
hitsusatsu11on Aug. 20, 2010 at 12:48 a.m.
I generally find all live action anime adaptations to be horrendous. 
 
The exception is the film version of 20th Century Boys. 
The Death Note film was fun to watch just to hear Ocean Studio's dubbing live action. 
 
As far as DB evolution, avoid at all costs. 
 
If you must have a live action DB experience, then I suggest this: 
 

 
 



Its far better than Evolution
FoxxFireArt moderator on Aug. 20, 2010 at 2:35 a.m.
Ugh, Dragonball Evolution. A movie that ranks up there as an anime war crime. Along with the 4Kids edits of One Piece.
 
I just don't understand the concepts that run through Hollywood's puny mind. They make movies based on comics, movies, and other such properties based on their popularity. Yet, when they make a live action movie. They change everything. It's popular for a reason. If you read the book Jurassic Park: The Lost World, then see the movie based on that book. There are about two scenes that are from the book. The rest was made up. Even the purpose for being on the island was changed.

It's one of the many reasons I hate VIZ so much. We aren't getting the actual story. We are getting someone else's version of it.
 
In the manga, Goku is a happy and energetic idiot who doesn't even know what girls are even for. The movie changed him to an emo-high school kid who was bummed he couldn't get a date. Goku didn't even go to grade school.
 
Ohhh, I have quite a few questions. I just keep most of them to myself. My mind goes a lot of places if I give it half a chance.
natsumehiragion Aug. 20, 2010 at 3:31 a.m.
coment
Kuma_From_Argentinaon Aug. 20, 2010 at 4:40 a.m.
I kinda liked Casshern and Devilman Live Action, the Prince of Tennis one is more over the top than the series, the one of Casshern haves plot-hols (which I ignored after watching some kick-ass fighting sequences) Devilman is really cool, is a shame they didnt got too much budget, and the effects seemed to be mostly viusla nad cheap (in some cases)
reinon Aug. 20, 2010 at 7:02 a.m.
@hitsusatsu11: who's the guy with his shirt supposed to be. (I"m guessing the guy dressed in white is yamcha, so is the other guy supposed to be tien?)
PenguinDuston Aug. 20, 2010 at 10 a.m.
This is a kind of timely question for me.  My blog today mentions Macross: Do You Remember Love? and the English edited dubbed version, Clash of the Bionoids.  The VHS tape that I had of that movie in the 80's was a HK bootleg.  It was funny watching a Japanese movie, dubbed into English with Chinese subtitles at the bottom of the screen.  I'm not even sure if I knew of a legal version at that time.  Besides, this was when anime was super niche and fans gathered in the basements of libraries to watch raw videos and exchange paper-text translations. 
 
The few live-action movies I can recall were pretty bad.  Fist of the North Star (1995) and The Guyver (1991) were adaptions to popular manga recast with English speaking actors.  The later had Mark Hamill, so you know it's quality.  Then there was a Chinese live action version of the anime Wicked City (1992).  I also saw the horrible Dragon Ball movie, and the less said about it the better.   Not everything has been bad though.  Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword of Vengeance (1972) was part of a series of films drawn from the classic mange. 
YotaruVegetaon Aug. 20, 2010 at 10:41 a.m.
The reason you liked Scott Pilgrim so much is due in part toEdgar Wright being a legit fan of comics, and being a good film and comedy director. Does anyone even know who the hell directed Dragonball, or what he said about it? 
 
Having someone who isn't a comics fan isn't a surefire failure for a live action adaptation, but I think it has to be done by someone who doesn't feel simply just like work for hire. 
 
Oh, Dragonball Evolution, I wish I didn't watch you, and it's sad that you failed on so many levels.
D34dM4non Aug. 20, 2010 at 1:49 p.m.
Dragonball: Evolution was an atrocity. i was never even that much a fan of the series. when it was airing i didnt have a really good tv guide and i could never remember what time it was on, but still, it was one of the worst things i have ever seen. at least i didnt pay any money to see it
 
@YotaruVegeta:
James Wong directed Evolution. He apparently worked on The X-Files, wrote and directed Final Destination and The One, and produced the Willard and Black Christmas remakes.
Papasanon Aug. 20, 2010 at 3:19 p.m.
@hitsusatsu11:
Awwwesome. Pic of Master Roshi: SAVED. 
 
Thanks for that. It made my day. 
 
YotaruVegetaon Aug. 20, 2010 at 4:19 p.m.
@D34dM4n:  Oh yeah, James Wong. When they first mentioned him as director, I held onto that knowledge. See where he is in my memory now.
constanzadellarosaon Aug. 20, 2010 at 9:07 p.m.
That Roshi was as awesome as the Scott Pilgrim movie.
 
I watched the Death Note films and thought they were pretty close to the original (to my surprise). I really enjoyed them.
sotyfan16on Aug. 20, 2010 at 10:27 p.m.
@FoxxFireArt said:
"Ugh, Dragonball Evolution. A movie that ranks up there as an anime war crime.

I agree. I mean, come on, $45 Million? You don't do such a hot title and make it with that kind of money. I don't know jack shit about making movies and I think I could do a ton better with double the budget. 
 
I keep being hopeful of live-action adaptations in waiting of Cowboy Bebop and Akira. The Last Airbender was wrong on many occassions (yes I only just watched it) but it was worth a watch. Haven't seen Scott Pilgrim yet but plan to as it looks cool.
hitsusatsu11on Aug. 20, 2010 at 10:36 p.m.
@rein: They call em different names, like Yamucha is Westwood (yes hes in the white) Tenshinhan (or Ten equivalent) is not in it. The villains are based on the ones in Curse of the Blood Rupies (Legend of Shenlong) the first DB film.
FoxxFireArt moderator on Aug. 21, 2010 at 1:12 a.m.
@natsumehiragi said:
" coment "
What's so funny about this? Not only did you believe this was an appropriate comment. You also misspelled it.
 
@sotyfan16 said:
" @FoxxFireArt said:
I keep being hopeful of live-action adaptations in waiting of Cowboy Bebop and Akira.  "
Cowboy Bebop was DOA the moment they announced who is playing Spike.
YotaruVegetaon Aug. 21, 2010 at 3:07 a.m.
@FoxxFireArt: 
 
Between now and 2011, the cast could drastically change. You never know.
Mezmeroon Aug. 21, 2010 at 9:30 a.m.
The first Battle Royal movie is pretty incredible.  Another good adaptation I've seen was the Great Teacher Onizuka live series.  The show does a decent job utilizing the surprisingly deep source material and the actors are pretty good at portraying the characters from the franchise.  It works well with the dramatic stuff but the action you see in these cartoons is second to none.   I really liked the Liar's Game manga so I thought about watching that live show since the material seems too low key to have made into a cartoon.   I've never seen the live action Death Note either.  Generally though I just hate most of the movie adaptations of most things comic book related.
 
My only experience was renting bootlegs when I still lived in the Marianas.  There was a shady Japanese owned video store set up at a hotel.  After school I would swing by and rent these cheesy box sets   Today's big shows were just being aired back then and I had access to stuff like One PIece, Naruto, Hunter X Hunter and some more really obscure stuff.  In the middle of the freakin' ocean no less!  The thing that bothered me the most was some timing issues with the subs and how poorly the subtitles handled names of characters.  Phonetics don't really mean anything to bootleggers I guess, but other times they couldn't seem to tell the difference between a name as a proper noun or if it meant it's actual meaning in Japanese.  As a kid I couldn't really complain.  It was an experience that makes me feel like I have knowledge to drop when called upon to do so.
 
I keep coming back to Anime because the writing and animation is fucking insane almost all of the time.   All other mediums have a ton of boring crap that makes me want my time back.  At least when Anime is bad it feels almost transcendental by the end.  There's something rather pleasant about a terrible cartoon that makes me say "What the fuck?"
sotyfan16on Aug. 21, 2010 at 3:31 p.m.
@FoxxFireArt:
No love for Keanu Reeves? Neo is The One and can do anything!
Kelleth moderator on Aug. 21, 2010 at 4:11 p.m.
@hitsusatsu11 said:

" I generally find all live action anime adaptations to be horrendous. 
 
The exception is the film version of 20th Century Boys. 
The Death Note film was fun to watch just to hear Ocean Studio's dubbing live action. 
 
As far as DB evolution, avoid at all costs. 
 
If you must have a live action DB experience, then I suggest this: 
 

 
 


Its far better than Evolution "


Screw that movie too!! Go for this!!

     Saiyuki: The adventures of SuperMonkey
 Saiyuki: The adventures of SuperMonkey

Its a movie for the remake of Monkey Magic which was an Japanese live-action adaptation of Journey to the West, the same source as Dragon Ball!!
You'd think this would be closer to that then to DB but that not true at all!! Tripitaka & Co travel the Gobi desert on the way to India. on their way they enter a little country that's in turmoil because their  Emperor and Empress where transformed in to turtles by powerful demons. The Princess of that country bids their help in escorting her to someone who has a cure. Half way the journey 3 of the 4 become suspicious of the princes and decide to leave the quest when they hear the truth. But being a stone Monkey of his word Sun Wukong (Goku) sticks with the Princess because he just can't break a promise. The rest of the movie is basically Dragonball, it involves an Dragon orb that the demons want to summon an eternal dragon and Goku does go in to his real form like a Super Saiyan!! A bottle like the container technique in DB, o and best of all A DRAGON!!! (see the full movie for the rest)
 
 
      
  
 
 
And so this move owns both of that bullcr@p!!! :P
  As for Live-Action movies of anime. I can only watch it if its made by Japanese!! Hollywood screws EVERYTHING up!!
Supermutanton Aug. 22, 2010 at 12:56 p.m.
I know I will get blasted for this but what the heck I actually thought Evolution was better then the TV.  Of course I am no fan of the tv show so.  I haven't seen mention but Live Action sailor moon tv series.  I liked it but I have heard mixed things (remember critic of the monsters where right out of Sentai/Power Rangers).  I got to agree the first Battle Royal movie is really good and then the characters from first are terrorists in squeal?  Actually saw Guyver and Fist Of North Star Movies before I knew they were anime.  Second Guyver movie is a better.   By the way also I plan to hopefully see Scott Pilgrim next weekend.  I have Death Note Movies but haven't watched them.  I been meaning to get 20th Century Boys.
Now when it comes to bootlegs I plead the 5th.  That all I will say that I may or not have bought them before they were licenesed and maybe bootlegs of harder to find titles but I won't say if I really have or not.

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A live-action film loosely based on the Dragon Ball manga and anime.

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