YuYu Hakusho to One Piece: The Best Live-Action Manga Adaptations That Will Blow Your Mind

Calling all manga lovers! Are you ready to see your favorite characters come to life on the big screen? Live-action adaptations of manga have become all the rage, and it’s no surprise why. They offer a unique opportunity to experience the magic of these beloved stories in a whole new way. From epic battles to heartwarming romances, here are some of the best live-action manga adaptations that will leave you begging for more.

Tokyo Ghoul (2017 & 2019)

Let’s step into the dark and twisted world of Tokyo Ghoul. In this series, we follow the life of Ken Kaneki, an ordinary college student who becomes a half-ghoul after a near-fatal encounter with one of these flesh-eating creatures. As Ken navigates his newfound identity, he is thrown into a world of ghouls, investigators, and a constant battle for survival.

Tokyo Ghoul is known for its gritty atmosphere, complex characters, and thought-provoking themes. It explores the blurred lines between good and evil, as well as the struggle for identity and acceptance. With its intense fight scenes, psychological battles, and heart-wrenching moments, Tokyo Ghoul keeps viewers on the edge of their seats.

YuYu Hakusho (2023)

One of the Top shounen manga series at its time by Yoshihiro Togashi, where you will step into the world of spirits and demons. YuYu Hakusho follows the story of Yusuke Urameshi, a delinquent teenager who is killed saving a child from a car accident. He is given a second chance at life and becomes a Spirit Detective, tasked with investigating supernatural events and protecting humans from demons. Watch how the story protagonist builds new friendships with humans and demons alike. Series 1 captures only a small part of the full manga plot and I definitely hope there is more to come. 


Rurouni Kenshin (2012 – 2021)

“Rurouni Kenshin” is a live-action adaptation of the beloved manga series by Nobuhiro Watsuki. The film tells the story of Kenshin Himura, a former assassin turned wanderer who seeks redemption for his past crimes. One of the best swordsman manga ever, there are a total of 5 movies that form up the legendary assassin’s story plot. The various sword fighting amongst the key characters is honestly one of the most intense battle scenes i have ever seen. So intense that Mackenyu (who also acted in many live adaptations such as Zoro in One Piece) had stated that he couldn’t walk for a week after filming an action scene in Rurouni Kenshin.

Attack On Titan (2015)

Based on the wildly successful manga by Hajime Isayama, “Attack on Titan” is a thrilling live-action adaptation that brings the intense action and heart-wrenching drama of the original series to life. Set in a world where humanity is on the brink of extinction due to giant humanoid creatures known as Titans, the film follows the story of Eren Yeager and his friends as they join the fight against these terrifying monsters. With stunning visual effects and a gripping storyline, “Attack on Titan” is a must-watch for fans of the manga.

Bleach’s (2018)

Another blockbuster manga that went via the live adaption route, it didn’t disappoint. Set in a world where soul reapers protect the living world from evil spirits, this series follows the life of Ichigo Kurosaki, a teenager with the ability to see ghosts. When he gains the powers of a soul reaper himself, Ichigo is thrust into a world of danger, adventure, and jaw-dropping battles.

Bleach is known for its epic sword fights, intricate plot twists, and a vast cast of characters. From the stoic and powerful Captain Byakuya Kuchiki to the mischievous and lovable Kisuke Urahara, each character brings their own unique flavor to the story. And of course, who can forget the iconic protagonist, Ichigo, with his fiery orange hair and determination to protect those he cares about?

Gintama (2017)

“Gintama” is a hilarious and action-packed live-action adaptation of the manga series by Hideaki Sorachi. The film takes place in an alternate version of feudal Japan where aliens have invaded and samurais are no longer needed. The story follows the eccentric samurai Gintoki Sakata and his friends as they take on odd jobs and get caught up in various comical and action-filled adventures. With its quirky humor, dynamic action sequences, and lovable characters, “Gintama” is a must-watch for fans of the manga looking for a good laugh.

Death Note (2006 and 2007)

“Death Note” is a dark and thrilling live-action adaptation of the manga series by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata. The film follows the story of Light Yagami, a high school student who discovers a mysterious notebook that grants him the power to kill anyone whose name he writes in it. As Light becomes consumed by his newfound power and embarks on a mission to create a utopia free from criminals, he attracts the attention of a brilliant detective known as L. With its thought-provoking themes and mind-bending plot twists, “Death Note” is a must-watch for fans of psychological thrillers.

Blade of the Immortal (2017)

Get ready for a thrilling samurai tale that will leave you breathless. Blade of the Immortal follows the story of Manji, a skilled warrior who becomes immortal after a mysterious encounter. With his newfound immortality, Manji embarks on a quest for redemption, battling countless enemies along the way. This anime series is a must-watch for fans of intense sword fights and captivating storytelling.

One Piece (2023)

Spanning 1000+ chapters since 20 October 1999, this blockbuster of a manga finally made it to the live adaption screen. Creator Eiichiro Oda has the ability to forecast his storytelling many many chapters in advance and this One Piece series follows it tightly. Set in a world of pirates and marines, and follows the adventures of Monkey D. Luffy and his Straw Hat Pirates as they search for the legendary treasure known as “One Piece” and become the “Pirate King.” Get drawn into the many wonderful characters with their past to be emotionally connected to them. 

Mackenyu Arata as the swordsman Zoro, Netflix

Inuyashiki (2018)

Won the “Best Special Effects” back in 2018 and it’s not hard to see why. Inuyashiki tells the story of Ichiro Inuyashiki, an elderly man who is transformed into a powerful cyborg after a tragic incident. With his new abilities, Inuyashiki becomes a hero, using his powers to protect the innocent. This anime series explores themes of morality, humanity, and the power of compassion. Prepare to be moved by its emotional storytelling and stunning animation.

Parasyte (2014 & 2015)

Parasyte takes you on a thrilling ride into a world where alien parasites invade human bodies, taking control of their hosts. The story follows Shinichi Izumi, a high school student who becomes infected by one of these parasites but manages to retain his humanity. With his newfound abilities, Shinichi becomes a defender against the invading parasites. This anime series combines action, horror, and thought-provoking themes to create a truly unique viewing experience.

Alita: Battle Angel (2019)

Based on the manga series by Yukito Kishiro, Alita: Battle Angel takes you to a dystopian future where cyborgs and humans coexist. The story follows Alita, a cyborg with no memory of her past, as she discovers her true identity and fights against the oppressive forces that control the city. With its stunning visuals and exhilarating action sequences, Alita: Battle Angel is a must-watch for fans of cyberpunk and futuristic worlds.

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond Is Unbreakable Chapter 1 (2017)

Prepare yourself for an epic adventure spanning multiple generations. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure follows the Joestar family as they battle supernatural threats using their unique powers known as “Stands.” With its over-the-top action, memorable characters, and stylish visuals, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure has become a beloved anime series that continues to captivate audiences worldwide.

Alice In Borderland (2020)

Good news! Alice in Borderland season 3 has been confirmed by Netflix. This Squid Game, Hunger Games like series is unique in its own ways. It throws a group of Tokyo friends into a deadly game where they must compete in twisted challenges to extend their visas and avoid being erased from existence. The captivating premise, well-developed characters, and high-stakes games make it a must-watch for fans of survival thrillers and anyone who enjoys a show that makes you think.

Assassination Classroom (2015 – 2016)

Just like its manga series, Assassination Classroom is a light hearted, hilarious and heartwarming show about a class of students who are tasked with assassinating their alien teacher (Koro-sensei) before he destroys the Earth. With its lovable characters and unexpected twists, Assassination Classroom is a must-watch for fans of action-packed comedies.

GSC Movies

Knights of the Zodiac (2023)

Also known as Saint Seiya in Japan, the manga series tells the story of how the knights of Zodiac defend the reincarnation of the Olympian goddess, Athena, against other gods. In this movie version we see the main character of Pegasus Seiya pit against fellow Bronze Saint Phoenix Ikki. Although the film’s review and sales didnt come in as expected, I suspect the addition of it’s more “important” characters such as other fellow Bronze Saints buddies as well as the top tier Gold Saints, will add more lively characters into this fantastic manga by Masami Kurumada.

Fullmetal Alchemist (2017 – 2022)

“Fullmetal Alchemist” is a visually stunning live-action adaptation of the popular manga series by Hiromu Arakawa. This trilogy consists of 3 parts: Fullmetal Alchemist (2017) before the 2022 conclusion of The Revenge Of Scar and The Final Alchemy. One of the most unique story plots and manga of all time. The story tells of Edward Elric and his younger brother Alphonse committing the grave sin of performing Human Transmutation to resurrect their mother Trisha after she dies of illness, causing Edward to lose an arm and Alphonse to be binded to a suit of armor. They then begin on their journey to find the legendary philosopher’s stone to repair their bodies. With its impressive special effects, compelling characters, and a captivating storyline, “Fullmetal Alchemist” successfully brings the rich and complex world of the manga to life.


The Promised Neverland (2020)

The Promised Neverland takes you on a thrilling journey into a world where children are raised in a seemingly idyllic orphanage. However, they soon discover the dark secrets behind their existence and must find a way to escape. With its gripping plot, psychological suspense, and well-developed characters, The Promised Neverland is a must-watch for fans of mystery and suspense.


So, whether you’re a die-hard manga fan or just curious about the world of live-action adaptations, these films are guaranteed to leave you entertained and wanting more. From epic battles to mind-bending mysteries, intense sword fights to futuristic worlds, these adaptations bring the magic of manga to life in a way that will blow your mind. So grab some popcorn, sit back, and get ready to be transported into a whole new world.

By Ace

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