All Netflix live-action anime adaptations
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Here’s the List of All Netflix Live Action Anime Adaptations

In order to make anime accessible and comprehendible for wider audiences, Netflix commissions live-action feature films and shows to appeal to those who aren’t particularly sold on the traditional style. This includes some of the most famous anime ever made, which certain viewers may argue should never have received such adaptations. Regardless of whether or not they should have been made at all (that’s still up for debate), it has a whole catalog of live-action anime adaptations, many with which you’ll be familiar, even if you aren’t an avid manga reader or anime watcher. Here’s a brief overview of all the subscription service has to offer in that department.

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All Netflix Live-Action Anime Adaptations Available so Far

Rurouni Kenshin Part One: Origins (2012)

The Rurouni Kenshin manga, which was written and illustrated by Nobuhiro Watsuki, might very well be the underdog of the anime word. It might not get as much international attention as One Piece, let’s say, but if you look hard enough, there’s a whole community dedicated to Watsuki’s work. Despite controversy surrounding Watsuki’s personal life, Rurouni Kenshin has released five live-action anime films, the other two (not included on this list) are Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno and Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends, which adapt the Kyoto arc of the manga.

All live-action Netflix anime adaptations

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Death Note (2017)

Based on the best-selling and widely revered manga and anime of the same name, Death Note follows Light Turner (Light Yagami in the traditional manga and anime), an American high school student who finds the titular Death Note, a mysterious book capable of killing anyone whose name is written within its pages. Under the alias of Kira, Light uses the Death Note to murder criminals and restore order to the world. Meanwhile, a detective by the name of L tracks him down.

Fullmetal Alchemist (2017)

Based on and covering the first four volumes of the manga series of the same name by Hiromu Arakawa, Fullmetal Alchemist was originally released by Warner Bros. in Japan before debuting internationally on Netflix. The story follows Edward Elric and his younger brother Alphonse, two self-taught alchemists who embark on a quest to find the Philosopher’s Stone after an attempt to revive their dead mother using the forbidden technique of human transmutation goes awry. Edward must find a way to restore his younger brother’s body after the taboo ritual takes his entire body as penance.

All Netflix live-action anime adaptations

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Bleach (2018)

Tite Kubo’s manga inspired Netflix’s live-action anime adaptation of Bleach, a story about teenager Ichigo Kurosaki, who inherits the powers of a Soul Reaper (essentially the Grim Reaper) and takes on the duties of defending humans from evil entities, as well as guiding departed souls to the afterlife. Throughout the film, Ichigo encounters monstrous beings called Hollows, particularly the one who injured fellow Soul Reaper Rukia Kuchiki, known as Fishbone D. Kubo initially showed no interest in a live-action adaptation, but decided to get involved to ensure the movie’s faithfulness to the manga.

Kakegurui (2019)

The Kakegurui manga and anime are widely respected among the community, so while Netflix’s live-action adaptation doesn’t quite tick all the boxes, it’s a neat introduction to the sub-genre of Japanese films, should anyone be more interested in physical actors than cartoon drawings. Adapting the works of Homura Kawamoto and Tōru Naomura, Kakegurui was directed by Tsutomu Hanabusa and follows transfer student Yumeko Jabami as she arrives at Hyakkaou Private Academy, a school where students are ranked by gambling winnings, and proves that she’s got what it takes to rise to the top.

Alice in Borderland (2020)

Haro Aso’s Alice in Borderland finally inspired a live-action TV series in 2020, under the watchful eye of Director Shinsuke Sato. Often compared to Netflix’s like-minded hit Squid Game, this science-fiction thriller/drama centers on two allies by the names of Ryōhei and Yuzuha — played by Kento Yamazaki and Tao Tsuchiya — as they navigate an abandoned Tokyo while competing in dangerous games to extend their “visas.” The difficulty and context of each game is determined by playing cards, and anyone who loses suffers an immediate death by laser.

All Netflix live-action anime adaptations

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Cowboy Bebop (2021)

Developed by comic book writer Christopher Yost, who worked on Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World and Thor: Ragnarok, and with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles screenwriter André Nemec as showrunner, the Cowboy Bebop series sought to adapt both the 1998 anime and 2001 film of the same name. The series follows a group of bounty hunters who chase down criminals on the Bebop spaceship. Netflix canceled the series just a month after it aired, and the original anime’s director, Shinichiro Watanabe, publicly criticized the show for being disloyal to the source material.

The Ingenuity of the Househusband (2021)

The Ingenuity of the Househusband (isn’t that a mouthful?) is adapted from the anime of a similar name, The Way of the Househusband. The show follows an an ex-yakuza member who retires from crime to become a househusband (otherwise known as a stay-at-home dad). The Ingenuity of the Househusband stars Kenjirô Tsuda, who also voices the main character Tatsu in the anime. The slice-of-life comedy focuses on Tsuda as he performs daily meticulous household tasks, such as cooking dinner, making coffee, dusting knick-knacks, and so on. There are no other actors, and each episode is extremely short.

Rurouni Kenshin: The Beginning (2021)

The fifth and final installment in the live-action anime adaptation of Rurouni Kenshin, the movie acts as a prequel to depict Himura Kenshin’s origins as the assassin “Hitokiri Battōsai.” The movie also explores Himura’s relationship with Yukishiro Tomoe, his eventual wife. Due to certain scenes, many viewers and fans recommend watching The Beginning before The Final due to the many tie-ins and references between the two that might be considered spoilers. This movie explores Himura’s darker side, which is something that the Rurouni Kenshin live-action franchise had strayed away from until now.

All Netflix live-action anime adaptations

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Rurouni Kenshin: The Final (2021)

The fourth installment in the Rurouni Kenshin series, succeeding Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends, adapts the final arc of the manga, the Jinchū Arc. The Final was shot simultaneously with final installment Rurouni Kenshin: The Beginning, which serves as a direct prequel. Like all the previous movies, it was directed and written by Keishi Otomo and tells the story of conflict between Shangai mafia leader Yukishiro Enishi and former assassin Himura Kenshin, whom Enishi blames for the murder of his daughter during the Bakumatsu period. This leads to The Beginning‘s eventual confrontation with the two leads and their allies.

All Netflix live-action anime adaptations

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Fullmetal Alchemist: The Final Alchemy (2022)

One of two sequels to the 2017 movie Fullmetal Alchemist, the Elric brother’s story reaches its conclusion with The Final Alchemy. During a face-off with Greed, Edward encounters his father, whom he finally accepts and recognizes. Planning to use the final transmutation of alchemists through his body, Edward seeks to revert back to a regular human, finally coming to the realization that there’s more to life than being an alchemist. Fumihiko Sori, the director behind the previous installments, returns again to close out the trilogy. He is joined by cast regulars Ryosuke Yamada, Mackenyu, and Yuki Yamada.

Fullmetal Alchemist: The Revenge of Scar (2022)

In the sequel to the first feature film, the Elric brothers find themselves facing their greatest adversary yet, a lone serial killer with a scar on his forehead. As they attempt to track him down, the pair learn a great deal of secrets about their fellow alchemists and the art of alchemy as a whole. Although the Fullmetal Alchemist trilogy doesn’t quite compare to some other anime adaptations, it’s still an entertaining watch that remains faithful to the source material. Throughout it all, the chemistry between Edward and Alphonse continuously holds your focus.

From Me to You: Kimi ni Todoke (2023)

Kimi ni Todoke, also known as From Me to You, is a romantic drama based on the manga of the same name that is written and illustrated by Karuho Shiina. The story focuses on Sawako Kuronuma (voiced by Mamiko Noto), a high school girl who is feared by her classmates because of her uncanny resemblance to the main character Sadako Yamamura from 1998 horror movie The Ring. Her classmates believe that bad luck will fall upon them if they stare into her eyes for too long. Shota Kazehaya is a ladies’ man who begins to respect and admire Sawako despite the school’s general opinion of her.

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One Piece (2023)

Ah, One Piece. Easily one of the most popular manga and anime in circulation, One Piece follows Monkey D. Luffy and a band of misfits known as the Straw Hat Pirates who set sail across the seven seas in search of the illusive treasure known as the One Piece. Whosoever possesses the One Piece will be dubbed King of the Pirates. Luffy’s body also gained rubber-like properties when he ate the mysterious Devil Fruit. He is joined by a merry band of swordsmen, cartographers, and thieves. One Piece will air its first season, consisting of eight episodes, on August 31, 2023.

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Chynna Wilkinson
For over 7 years, Chynna has been a noteworthy presence within creative media. As a self- proclaimed geek and driven by a passion for horror, comic books, video games, and modern cinema, she takes pride in providing only the best publications. She likes to label herself as an innovative writer doing what she loves, especially when it concerns her favorite interests. Aside from personal written projects, she can be credited as an award-winning screenwriter, published poet, and accomplished academic writer. She has taken the media industry by storm, producing short stories, screenplays, articles, features, and poetry that thoroughly engage, excite and thrill those fortunate enough to read them. She enjoys watching anime, horror movies, and animated shows; her life revolves around cinema, video games, and tasteful literature.