The reception of the general audience with live-action adaptations of our beloved anime series has been, to say the least, ambivalent.
Netflix is not exactly known to have a loving history with its previous titles that attempted to put justice to live-action adaptations. The likes of Avatar: The Last Airbender, FullMetal Alchemist, and Death Note all garnered mixed reviews from the audience but never really stood out as a crowd favorite.
Even if you remove Netflix from the picture, we’ve had disasters previously, like Ghost in the Shell, Black Butler, and the infamous Dragonball Evolution. Needless to say, not even the pull of our nostalgia can bring us to like these failed attempts to cash in on our childhood memories.
Most reviews argue that the failure of the live adaptations is mainly because of the movies/series’ decision to stray away from the source materials’ storyline. Albeit, others attempted to follow the source material but still failed to make a mark in the industry.
Based on the legendary Japanese manga of the same name by Yoshihiro Togashi, the fan favorite has sold over 50 million copies in Japan alone. It follows Yusuke Urameshi, a junior high school student, and his friends in their quest into the realms of the spirit world.
According to Netflix, they will follow the manga (a relief, I know) as Yusuke falls to his early demise after trying to protect a child from an accident. Botan, a woman who ushers souls to the other side leads Yusuke to be an Underworld Detective as his passing conflicts with heaven and hell. He was a known delinquent but died after a selfless act, making him a hero. After being revived, he is given another shot at life. This is where his adventure starts.
A promising cast
Takumi Kitamura will be playing as Yusuke. He is best known for his works in Let Me Eat Your Pancreas and Tokyo Revengers. Jun Shison is a beloved character in Battle of Supreme High and Bubble. He plays the demon member of the team, Kurama. Kanata Hongo will play the mysterious Hiei. He made his mark in the movie Attack on Titan. Lastly, Shuhei Uesugi will assume Yusuke’s school rival and soon best friend, Kazuma Kuwabara.
If the live adaptation strictly follows the manga, Yusuke mother, Atsuko will also appear in many scenes in the first part of the show. However, this is different from the anime, as she was barely seen, and the story focused mainly on the spirit world.
The Netflix live adaptation will be directed by Sho Tsukikawa, best known for directing Let Me Eat Your Pancreas.
Netflix has yet to post the release date, trailers, and other details. However, if they are banking on nostalgia, they might keep the soundtrack of the anime “Smile Bomb” by Mawatari Matsuko. The opening song came with the anime as it sends us back to our childhood.