5 live-action adaptations to watch instead of Avatar: The Last Airbender


So you didn't quite like the idea of a live-action adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender?

There are plenty of people in the same boat as you since the Netflix original series just wasn't their cup of tea. However, there's no need to cower because we have some similar shows that may be right up your alley! Whether you're more of a romance person or just like your live-action adaptation with a whole lot of action and drama, we have something for everyone!

Without further ado, here are the 5 live-action adaptations that you should watch instead of Avatar: The Last Airbender!

The best live-action adaptations to watch

Most of our favorite live-action titles came from some amazing anime titles, so we want to preface that you might have to stream the anime (or even read the manga) before you can truly appreciate the adaptation. But once you do that, it's smooth sailing for you and these five titles.

Now that we got that out that way --- Alice in Borderland!

Alice in Borderland (2022)

Alice in Borderland is one of those titles that you often forget wasn't an original idea by the director, Shinsuke Sato, and was instead created by mangaka, Haro Aso. The reason why you might forget is that the Netflix series is so well done, it's almost hard to separate the actors from the characters and, more importantly, real-life from fiction.

In this universe, Ryohei Arisu and his friends accidentally stumble across a game where they must either complete the game successfully or suffer a fate that very well may be worse than death. Ryohei doesn't necessarily understand who is behind these evil games nor does he understand what their motive is, but he does know that he and his friends must make it to the end, or else they'll face very unfortunate consequences.

The adaptation manages to capture the dark and gory story that is in Alice in Borderland, while also keeping the show as suspenseful as possible. As for the games, the Netflix original series stayed true to making it as perplexing as possible. So much so that some fans believe these games exist somewhere out there in real life.

All in all, Alice in the Borderland is a great title to start your live-action journey.

Cowboy Bebop (2021)

When Netflix's Cowboy Bebop was first released, it was met with some lukewarm reviews, as longtime fans of the 1998 anime series weren't a fan of how the streaming platform condensed over 20 episodes of pure goodness into 10 episodes. Moreover, fans couldn't help but feel that the show was missing that future-esque vibe the anime exuded since a large part of this anime has to do with being set in a universe where you can travel to different planets.

While the show, unfortunately, didn't do too well in the pacing and aesthetic department, we still think it's worth the watch, especially because the story's core is still the same.

At the heart of Netflix's original title is Spike Spiegel, a mysterious man ridden with past regrets because his life didn't pan out the way he thought. To make things right, he revisits old wounds. But doing so proves to have more consequences than anyone could have imagined, as he still has scores to settle with his deadly foe, Vicious.

If you loved the original story, you're going to love the live-action plot. It doesn't hurt to check it out!

Erased (2017)

We know a lot was on the line when Netflix adapted Erased, as this anime was perfection from start to finish, especially when it came to keeping the eerie atmosphere going from episode to episode. Fortunately, Netflix understood the assignment because the 2017 live-action captured the mystery very well and even went so far as to nail the complex characters we had in the anime.

Erased can be thought of as a whodunnit since it features a young man doing everything in his power to uncover the answers behind the sudden disappearance of his childhood friend. What makes this show different from other murder mysteries, however, is that our protagonist, Satoru Fujinuma, travels back in time to try to figure out what happened to his friend, Kayo Hinazuki. Doing so will rewrite history and give Kayo a chance to grow up and live.

There aren't a lot of live-action adaptations that get it right. However, Erased does a good job of re-telling this heartbreaking story that it would be beside you to not stream this Netflix title.

Nana (2005)

Unlike most of the anime on this list, the live-action adaptation of Nana came before the anime. And while we know that fans are very attached to the anime because it is pure gold, we think the live-action should be regarded just as highly.

Nana was a lot of anime fans' first introduction to josei (and shojo), as it navigated the highs and lows that come with romantic relationships. The show was also a great drama because it gave us a look at how friendships and relationships can sour if boundaries are not established sooner rather than later. But above all, Nana was a perfect title for the music genre, especially for those who love a good rock and roll song or those who like melancholic songs about longing for someone you can't have.

For the live-action to be able to capture and highlight the genres of josei, drama, and music while also not putting one genre above the other is an impressive feat. It's even more impressive that the live-action was able to do that without the anime to go off of. Because of that, we recommend for those who love Nana's anime to go check out the live-action for an equally powerful story.

Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead (2023)

Last but not least is Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead's live-action. The simple reason why you should stream is because the anime is so much fun that we think it should be enjoyed once again but in the form of a live-action film!

As the title implies, Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead involves zombies taking over the world and becoming a plague to everyone and anyone. However, where the world is cowering in fear about whether they're going to live to see another day, Akira Tendou couldn't be any more excited about this apocalypse since it means he doesn't have to go to work the next day. With this newfound "freedom", Akira makes it his goal to live his life to the fullest, checking off all the things on his bucket list that he didn't get a chance to do before.

Yes, this story is very absurd, but we think it's a nice break from the harsh truths of life we all know too well. We say trade in your gloomy TV shows for this interesting, rollercoaster of a ride we call the live-action adaptation of Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead!

With all these live-action shows and films, it's safe to assume that live-actions are making a very cool comeback. Get a headstart on this movement by catching any of these titles today!

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