Manga has had a substantial and pervasive impact on the world of pop culture, even though its impact on a popular culture outside of Japan is mostly due to animated adaptations of manga rather than the comics themselves.
To this day, there are a plethora of movies and television programs that are either based on or inspired by manga, and the quality varies drastically from one rendition to the next.
If you simply want to witness the best of the greatest, the lineup of superb adaptations of the game-changing manga series below is a great place to start.
Despite its moniker, Black Jack is not the greatest gambling manga of all time. The emphasis is primarily on telling remarkable anecdotes about medical discoveries, self-sacrifice, and the need of being humble in the face of great successes.
The first full-length film adaptation, released in 1996, does an excellent job of bringing these themes to life. Black Jack: The Movie is a unique and visually remarkable artifact from a time when Japanese animation was mostly unknown in the West. It may not have the same harsh edge as some of its contemporaries, but it is an intriguing and stunning relic in retrospect.
Translation of Ghost in the Shell
Ghost in the Shell was another anime adaptation from the 1990s that pushed the creative limit with its graphic style and visual effects. This adaptation undoubtedly outperformed the manga on which it was based.
When you watch the film now, it can be difficult to understand the impact it had on people when it was first released. It’s not surprising that this film, along with Akira, was regarded as one of the key inspirations for the Matrix film series, given it contains the origins of many of the themes that have now become standard in our culture. The more recent live-action remake, if at all, should be discussed as little as possible.
The One-punch Man
The debut of the first season of One-Punch Man in 2015 was like a breath of fresh air. It stood out from the swarm of cookie-cutter anime by masterfully parodying and skewering a vast number of concepts, all while squeezing in some fantastic action set pieces and mega-scale conflicts.
One-Punch Man has an undeniably ridiculous tone, but it embraces it while avoiding the po-faced earnestness that may spoil many of the other more modern manga adaptations that are currently making the rounds.
More than three decades after its initial release, Akira remains an industry powerhouse. It is largely regarded as the most famous manga adaptation ever made, and it has unquestionably gotten the highest accolades from critics.
Its ability to blend political criticism and sci-fi smarts with brutal action and meaningful character development helps to justify its fans’ high appreciation. Fans admire it because it is capable of achieving all of these things. At the very least, it established that even the most sophisticated manga could be adapted to the format of a full-length feature film without necessitating any sacrifices throughout the process.
The Alchemist in Fullmetal
Fullmetal Alchemist’s steampunk world has been converted into a variety of media, including many anime series, two animated movies, and the inevitable hit-or-miss live-action version that comes with every popular manga series.
While it’s not normally a good idea to see hand-drawn characters played by real people, the animated versions of Fullmetal Alchemist do significantly better than the live-action versions of the show. As a matter of priority, the first anime should be seen first. This is because it takes the story in a different direction than the manga, and as a result, it contains a lot of surprises.
The Crybaby Devilman Game
Although initial reactions were mixed, Devilman Crybaby has received positive reviews in recent years and is now regarded as a faithful adaptation of a classic manga series that has once again proven to be popular with Western audiences, who accounted for the vast majority of Netflix viewers when the show first premiered in 2018.
Once again, it may successfully study a wide range of intriguing issues and topics, providing arguments on topics like sexuality and growing up without coming across as preachy or overly simple. Of course, the unrelenting intensity of the various set pieces revealed that current manga adaptations can still go hard when the circumstance calls for it.
This is the North Star’s Fist
The Fist of the North Star franchise is not the most sophisticated, but the amazing strength and unchanging composure of its protagonist, Kenshiro, make it compelling.
Several adaptations have been made, one of which, an animated feature film released in 1986, is gloriously violent and over-the-top, just as fans would hope.
Check into these works as examples, and then look into the other manga adaptations available. The realm of manga adaptations is vast and growing.