Two major film adaptation trailers dropped this week, one for the highly anticipated fan-favorite cyberpunk manga Battle Angel Alita and the other for the cyberpunk novel Ready Player One.
While Battle Angel Alita is receiving mixed reviews from viewers so far (largely due to the questionable decision to give Alita cartoonish anime eyes which, ah – just don’t translate to live action), we are still hopeful that we will see a more successful film than we did with the recent Ghost in the Shell attempt at live action. So far, Hollywood doesn’t seem to grok what American audiences love about Japanese cyberpunk – hopefully we will eventually get a live action adaptation that is worthy of its anime or manga counterpart.
Regardless, we still love Battle Angel Alita and are excited at the prospect of introducing more people to the franchise – hopefully the film convinces viewers to at least pick up the manga. Ghost in the Shell has a much larger audience than Alita, who is well known only within the hardcore anime enthusiast and cyberpunk crowds, and we’d like to see lesser known franchises still get their chance on the big screen – but that largely depends on the success of these heavy hitters, first. Maybe the trick would be to, I don’t know, have more actual Asians involved in telling these stories?
What Hollywood DOES seem to have a handle on is American storytelling (surprise! white people understand white stories). Ready Player One looks like it is going to be a fantastic film that rivals the bestselling book by Ernest Cline. With how quickly tech has been advancing, the reality it presents doesn’t feel too unlikely – which makes the story all the more compelling.
Which film are you excited to see?