The Rurouni Kenshin live action trailer has been out for a couple of months now and even though I’m not a big fan of anime, I am excited to see how well the whole crew behind this movie brought many of the elements of the original manga and anime onto the big screen.
The character first started out as るろうに剣心 -明治剣客浪漫譚- Rurōni Kenshin Meiji Kenkaku Rōmantan, then branched off of there. You can find the full story here
While, I’m definitely looking for accuracy, any smart movie-goer will tell you there are just some things that you cannot translate from a fantasy story to actual people. Therefore when making projects such as these you have to pick and choose what to keep and not. Unfortunately there is where a lot of things can get lost here.
Me personally a shining example of how someone has successfully translated a story is Peter Jackson and his Lord of the Rings. I’ve also read the book and although it missed a large part and PJ had to change a lot of things, himself and his team were able to keep the original spirit of the book alive in the movie. Which in my opinion was the reason why the movies were so great.
I’m hoping that will be the case for our eternal wondering samurai here. What are your thoughts?
It is well known that Hollywood’s main unofficial mission to have people of white (caucasian) skin color and ethnic background play the roles that were originally of different people(s) when it comes to topics that are not related to American history or European history as a whole.
Examples such as The Last Samurai back in 2003 with Tom Cruise, the gambling movie 21 (2008), and Speed Racer (2008) are only some of the few recent examples of how original stories that starred people of Asian or Americans born of Asian descent. Though most people would not care regardless, this subtle “race-bending” not only distorts the authenticity of the original story, but it also takes away what truly the original worth watching – the original “essence” is taken out. Imagine a movie about the 442nd Infantry Regiment with all Caucasians! That’d be shameless and classless to say the least.
Which brings me to my point; I ran across an article detailed how the live-action Akira movie is going. CNN did an article on how the movie is whitewashing the characters. Here’s the original link, I will let you read it yourselves.
So what do you think? Is Hollywood purposefully “white-washing” stories that originally Japanese (or Asian in general). Is this type of rebranding benign or is Hollywood just playing a marketing game? (rebranding a product to fit the tastes of the local populace).
If you dare white-wash, this man will hunt you down!