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Will the bleach live action movie for Japan be another failure?

Posted by Jason on November 20, 2017 at 4:40 AM

Bleach has been a mainstay for over a decade in the Manga world. Shonen Jump has produced 74 anime volumes and almost a hundred episodes of Ichigo defeating the Hollows who threaten the living world.

Bleach began in 2001, and quickly became an important icon within Japanese anime. Warner Brothers Japan announced the live-action movie, Bleach will be released in 2018.

The story of Bleach is the type of tale American audiences love. A young outcast named Ichigo has a gift to see the world of the monstrous Hollows (ghosts).

Ichigo finds his purpose besides a warrior or Soul Reaper named Rukia Kuchiki. Rukia Kuchiki is charged with slaying evil spirits with his sword.

Both Ichigo and Rukia Kuchiki practice death-defying Zanpakuto sword-fighting techniques to kill the lost souls who strive to lay claim to the human and physical realm.

Creating a live-action movie from a beloved anime series has the potential to become a major money earner, but does Director Shinsuke Sato have what it takes to bring Ichigo to the big screen?

Let's look at Shinsuke Sato's Directing Credits

2011: Gantz

2013: Toshokan Senso/ Library Wars

2014: All-Round Appraiser Q: The Eyes of Mona Lisa

2015: Toshokan Senso/ Library Wars: The Last Mission

2016: I am a Hero

2016: Death Note: Light Up the New World

Sato has produced a credible body of work. Yet these titles do not compare to the iconic Bleach series. There are so many questions concerning how the tale will be told.

Bleach is a story about Ichigo, a hero with orange hair, a very big sword and a gift for seeing Hollows. Ichigo will be played by the actor Fukushi Sota.

Sota played Tezuka Hikaru in Shinsuke Sato's Library Wars series and also played the protagonist, Yamato Kurosawa in Danten ni Warren.

The 38th edition of the Japan Academy Prize was awarded to the Fukushi Sota in 2014 for Best Newcomer of the Year. The award is bestowed by the Nippon Academy-Sho Association to honor exceptional filmmaking.

Sota Fukushi is a deft and precise actor, which is remarkable considering he's only in his early twenties. Fukushi's previous credits and collaborations with Bleach's director (Sato) should encourage faith in Bleach fans.

The writer of Bleach, Tite Kubo has concerns about the production nailing the correct orange hue of Ichigo's hair, which is Kubo's only worry about the film.

Fans are not so certain about the live-action version of Bleach. Many Bleach aficionados are eager to fill the empty space the final chapter will leave in the Manga world, but Warner Brothers Japan is banking on Bleach being a financial success.

Yet, raking in profits can be tricky when recreating a live version of an anime icon. Many popular Manga and anime projects have attempted the leap from drawings to flesh and have failed to impress Manga readers and anime fans.

Hopefully, Shinsuke Sato will take the time to consider the cultural impact of Bleach and how the series reaches past Japan's borders into the global market.

So far, there hasn't been a release date for a western Bleach premiere. One has to ask if the live-action film will be able to negotiate the age gap between Bleach fans.

Understanding the iconography of Bleach, it's ability to attract massive audiences abroad, as well as the historical importance of being one of the longest-running series in Japanese Manga will be crucial to the live film's viability.

It's entirely possible that Warner Brothers won't provide the budget necessary to appease Bleach's most dedicated fans. However, the production company made solid choices selecting Sato as the director. Shinsuke Sato is clearly an artistic and articulate director who strives to honor the story without being too heavy-handed.

The Bleach movie has many characteristics that encourage audiences to greatly anticipate the film's release. The director and protagonist are both emerging leaders in Japanese cinema and the production has the added benefit of being a beloved cult classic.

If the film is created with the natural aesthetic of the anime series and is carried forward with the original storylines, then the Bleach live-action movie may not be another failure.

Finger's crossed.


Categories: Gaming and other topics, Movies and entertainment

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