Live action adaptations of childhood cartoons such as “Garfield,” “Avatar: The Last Airbender,” “Dragonball Evolution,” and the in-progress “Smurfs” have left me rather cynical about the practice. 2D artistic media rarely translates well into 3D live action either due to the character designs suffer from an uncanny valley effect or the effects in the cartoon do not translate well in real life.
But through the cable television network Starz, Sam Raimi of “Spider-Man” fame along with Rob Tapert-both worked on “Xena: Warrior Princess” together-are working together to create a live action adaptation of the Japanese anime “Noir.” Unlike other anime titles like “Dragonball: Evolution,” “Noir may actually be a perfect fit for live action.
I boast “Noir” as a personal anime favorite of mine. Its plot revolves around two female assassins traveling around the world for various hits under the code name Noir. As they work together, the two women unravel the past that connects the two together and the significance of Noir itself. “Noir” the anime featured steady pacing to set up the mood, a story that grips the viewer on a wild ride, balletic gun battles throughout the series, and a haunting soundtrack that literally drives the plot.
The anime already feels like a live action film noir mixed with strong females that feel like a chip off “La Femme Nikita” with dashes of Chow Yun Fat’s bullet ballets. The characters are normal people with no superpowers that require special effects to render. They dress in every day clothes. So all the live action adaptation really needs are some good actresses who look like the anime counterparts and they can pretty much use the anime for their storyboards for the live action.
It is currently unknown whether the live action “Noir” will be a single film, a series of films, or a weekly series. Given the slow pace of the 26 episodes of the anime, the same treatment may best work for the live adaptation. Or one film covering the beginning self-contained arc can be used to see if there is an interest in doing the rest of the story.
The renewal of “Noir” is wonderful after last week’s announcement that Funimation got the rights to re-release the anime. Perhaps some tie-in marketing will strengthen the brand into American audiences.
I just hope that they keep the killer nuns from the final episode. That was just awesome.