Thursday, February 23, 2012

Live-Action Bleach Movie On The Way. This Can't End Well...

When it comes to iconic Shōnen anime titles, few (that aren't Naruto) can hope to compare to Bleach. Beginning humbly as a manga back in 2001, Tite Kubo's supernatural sword-and-shinigami saga quickly became a fan favorite and was adapted into an Anime in short order. After numerous merchandizing opportunities and spinoff videogames (not all of which good), Bleach is now poised to officially jump the shark with a live-action movie.

...and it's being directed by the guy who did Get Smart.

Do. Not. Want.

If you're nervous about the announcement, you have every right to be. History has shown that live-action adaptations of anime fall somewhere between disappointingly bad and just plain hokey and there is little reason to believe Bleach will be any different. The first problem facing this project (other than its existence) is the story of Bleach itself. With its current manga storyline stretching over 469 chapters spread across 53 volumes and 363 anime episodes currently released, the plot is- to put it mildly- expansive. Any attempt to condense more than the first 2-3 episodes into a movie will provide nothing but a cursory glance at some rather important plot elements and limit major characters to bit cameos.

The next issue working against Bleach ties into the first: for any of the more impressive action elements to be put on screen (bankais, anyone?) they will require either an extensive setup of expository dialog or a cursory explanation that will upset hardcore fans and confuse a casual audience. Thus, all audiences are likely to see during the Bleach movie is a bunch of actors in kimonos smacking CG shadow monsters with glowing blue Katanas and overacting as if the fate of the free world depended on them chewing as much scenery as humanly possible.

Say what you will about that premise, but it's still ten thousand times better than the treatment Aang and friends received at the box office...