And so it continues.
In E tier, we only have ONE film, and that honor goes to Terraformars (2016).
I like to characterize E tier as F tier with stronger positives. That is to say, from a technical perspective, the movie’s not bad at all. In fact, the action and the creatures are done surprisingly close to their designs in the original. Terraformars fails in one extremely important aspect to the series it is adapting.
There’s no blood.
What makes Terraformars, Gantz and other manga is it’s intense depictions of brutal violence. They make no attempts at softening the blow when characters die. The movie sorely lacks the punch that the original series had. Not to mention, Terraformars wasn’t a character drama or anything, but the characters had personalities and motivations. In here, they are nothing more but caricatures. Even the villain is just a rip-off of Gary Oldman from the 5th element, with none of the menace, and all of the ham.
At the end of the day, it was a terrible adaptation that honestly bored me more than it offended me. Movies in F tier at least have me frothing at the mouth with criticisms. Terraformars was just bland.
Now, onto the slightly more populated D tier. These movies actually offer a LOT of entertainment value, but are still awful adaptations overall.
Fist of the North Star (1995)
On the bottom of D tier, we have the really obscure but also honestly kind of awesome Fist of the North Star (1995)
I’m not gonna lie, I love this movie. Not because it’s good, but because it’s so bad it’s good. The FIRST movie on this tier list so far that I actually recommend you to go out and watch. It’s so packed with 90s era cheese and horribly butchered Japanese names that I can’t help but love it.
The action is actually entertaining in a “amateur stuntman demo reel” kind of way. The movie uses a lot of neat practical effects to mimic the ridiculous injuries from the anime.
Obviously, it butchers the source material something fierce. How I am expected to believe this clearly American man is named “Kenshiro” is beyond me. How this movie got MADE is beyond me.
But I am glad it exists because we get the most limp version of “Omae wa mo shinderou” in anime history.
Mob Psycho 100
Remember how I said Dragonball Evolution and Death Note strayed TOO FAR from the source material.
Mob Psycho 100 suffers the opposite problem.
It’s way too faithful to the source material in lots of parts, while obviously having to condense others for sake of pacing. The acting is way to over-the-top for a live action movie. Anime is a medium where you can be over the top while maintaining a sense of reality. Reality, on the other hand, makes anything unrealistic stick out like a sore thumb.
ONE’s art style is incredibly distinct and unabashedly meant to be for a drawn medium. Translating that style into real life, unfortunately, did not work out. However, I can’t say it was completely bad. For one, they stick to the story closely. The actors try their best to mimic the demeanor of these over the top personas, but again, it doesn’t always work. It gets points for trying to be like the original source material, something every movie I’ve mentioned until now can’t even claim to do so.
Speaking of direct adaptations, at the tippy top of C Tier, we have the Ace Attorney adaptation.
I mean, just look at it.
Again, same problem as Mob Psycho 100. It’s trying way too hard to be faithful to the source material at the expense of being a believable movie set in the real world. To give the movie some credit, it does try to play up the more dramatic aspects. Certain characters get a more fleshed out backstory, but unfortunately, they cut into the characterization of my favorite character in these games, Maya.
Now, I do rank this above Mob Psycho 100 for one reason, and it’s the fact that it’s actually kind of funny. They go 100% with the bombastic reactions from the game, and seeing them done in live action is funny in a so-bad-it’s-good kind of way.
Overall, it’s entertaining, but it still butchers the pacing of the original game, has strangely dark lighting for a comedy, and the costumes are just awful in a movie setting.
That’s it for today. Tune in soon for C to B tier. We’re bordering on the watchable, guys!