25 Must Watch Japanese Live-Action Adaptation Movie Recommendations (Manga/Anime)

Which live-action adaptation from anime or manga series is your all-time favorite worth binging? Which favorite Japanese actor is on the list?!

9 min read
25 Must Watch Japanese Live Action Adaptation Movie Recommendations (Manga/Anime)

What gives fans the absolute pleasure is to see their favorite series turned into live-action.  Every manga and anime fans rejoice when their favorite series gets a live-action adaptation. If you’re into Japanese series then Shun Oguri, Yamazaki Kento, Miura Haruma, Mackenyu, Satoh Takero,  and Ryo Yoshizawa are some of the popular names you will come across famous adaptations. Interestingly, Yamazaki Kento is in most of the live-action adaptations.

Do note that it’s a randomized list with no rankings. No ratings are taken into consideration either. The list is based on the overall appeal. Enjoy the live-action movies list and do check them out if you haven’t watched it yet! Let’s proceed with the list quickly.

25. The Liar and his lover (2013)

The Liar and his lover (2013)

This movie is based on a manga of the same name. Undoubtedly, the Japanese version is a better adaptation than the Korean drama. No hate towards the K-drama, but the Japanese version is the best!  The main casts include Satoh Takeru, Sakurako Ohara, Shohei Miura, Ryo Yoshizawa among others.

24. Wolf girl and black prince (2016)

Wolf girl and black prince (2016)

The anime was hilarious and amazing. Will the movie be at the same level? Why not check it out and find out?! There’s also Yamazaki Kento and Ryo Yoshizawa reunion from Kingdom, or is it the other way around?! The other casts are Fumi Nikaido, Nobuyuki Suzuki, Ryusei Yokohama, and others.

23. Your lie in April (2016)

Your lie in April (2016)

The manga/anime series is turned into a live-action movie. It’s a nice movie to watch especially if you like teenage romance. And of course, because Yamazaki Kento plays the role of Kousei Arima. Other casts include Suzu Hirose, Anna Ishii, and Taishi Nakagawa.

22. Bleach (2018)

Bleach (2018)

It was the greatest gift from Warner Bros and Japan to make the live-action adaptation of Bleach. Bleach needs no introduction; this series has been immensely popular for over two decades. Well, the final season of anime will be out soon, so why not check out the live-action for fun! The casts include Sota Fukushi, Hana Sugisaki, Kingdom, and Gintama famed  Ryo Yoshizawa in main roles. Bleach is available on Netflix so you can rejoice!!! Happy Binging!

21. Nobunaga Concerto (2016)

Nobunaga Concerto (2016)

If you like feudal Japan and History, you cannot miss Nobunaga Concerto. Shun Oguri is back as Nobunaga Oda. He can play so many diverse roles and as a fan, watching his movies is always entertaining. This movie has a good mixture of comedy and serious elements.

20. Lupin The 3rd (2014)

Lupin The 3rd (2014)

Based on the manga of the same name, Lupin the 3rd is one of the best heist movies that is highly recommended. Shun Oguri flawlessly plays Lupin the third. Do check out this amazing must-watch live-action movie!

19. I want to eat your pancreas (2017)

I want to eat your pancreas (2017)

If you’ve watched the anime movie,  watching the live-action is a must. The movie made some changes from the movie, but it didn’t spoil the movie. It has a good flow and the movie is highly recommended. This is another Shun Oguri movie. Other casts include Keiko Kitagawa, Takumi Kitamura and Minami Hamabe in main roles.

18. Gokusen: The Movie (2009)

Gokusen: The Movie (2009)

The comedy movie is adapted from the manga series of the same name. Gokusen has an anime series and live actions TV series. The TV series has 3 seasons with an excellent star-studded cast.

What to do in Japan? x
What to do in Japan?

Gokusen: The Movie is connected with season 3 and as a fan of this series, it’s one of the must-watch live-action movies. Nakama Yukie reprises her role as Kumiki Yamaguchi. The cast also includes Late Miura Haruma,  Kamenashi Kazuya, and many cameos from the actors of all the seasons. Gokusen might seem cringe but it’s definitely worth your time!

17. Orange (2015)

Orange (2015)

If you’ve watched Orange anime, you surely can’t miss the live-action movie.  Everyone is familiar with this series, do check it out!  Yamazaki Kento, Tsuchiya Tao, Ryusei Ryo , Yamazaki Hirona and Sakurada Dori are the main casts of Orange.

16. Fullmetal Alchemist (2017)

Fullmetal Alchemist (2017)

This movie is a treat for all the Fullmetal Alchemist fans. This movie needs no introduction. Either you’ll love it or you won’t. Check out the movie available exclusively on Netflix! The casts include Yamada Ryosuke as Edward Elric, Dean Fujioka as Roy Mustang, and Tsubasa Honda as Winry Rockbell.

15. Space Brothers (2012)

Space Brothers (2012)

The 2012 movie is adapted from the manga of the same name.  The anime series Space Brothers has 99 episodes that ran from 2012-14.  This movie was absolutely beautiful and delicately portrayed the life of astronauts and sibling bonds.  The cast stars Masaki Okada and Shun Oguri in the lead roles.

14. Chihayafuru Part I, II  (2016)

Chihayafuru Part I,II  (2016)

The popular Shoujo manga-tuned movie is a must-watch live-action movie. Chihayafuru movie has 3 installments and all of them are highly recommended. It has a star cast of Suzu Hirose, Shūhei Nomura, and Mackenyu as the main cast of Chihayafuru.  Part 1 was released in 2016, March followed by Part II in 2016, April.

13. Gantz ( 2011)

Gantz ( 2011)

The 2011 Gantz is based on the manga of the same name. If you’re still not familiar with this series, just know that it’s an amazing concept for those times.  The main casts include Kenichi Matsuyama, Kazunari Ninomiya, and Yuriko Yoshitaka. It has a sequel and that is highly recommended as well.

12. Kimi ni Todoke (2010)

Kimi ni Todoke (2010)

This movie is memorable for most of the fans who have seen the anime. Kimi ni Todoke is an amazing movie that everyone must watch! The movie features Late Miura Haruma and Mikako Tabe in the main roles.

It’s a good movie to watch with everyone. From Me to You or Kimi ni Todoke is a cult classic Japanese movie you can’t miss out on! Miura Haruma played the role of Shota Kazehaya who took interest in the odd girl in their class. The movie was emotional, heartfelt, and simply too good for friends. Do add Kimi ni Todoke in your list!

11. Donten ni Warau (2018)

Donten ni Warau (2018)

Laughing Under the Clouds or Donten Ni Warau is one of the most aesthetic anime series. The series was created into a live-action movie following the story of Kumoh Tenka trying to prevent the revival of the mythical snake and protect his brothers.

After their parents passed away, Kumoh Tenka took care of his siblings and inherited the Kumoh Shrine. Donten ni Warau is a well-adapted movie with very few changes. Do check out the movie starring Sota Fukushi, Ren Kiriyama, Yuki Furukawa, Yuma Nakayama, and others.

10. Chihayafuru Musubi (Part 3) (2018)

Chihayafuru Musubi (Part 3) (2018)

If you’ve watches the 2016 Chihayafuru part 1 & 2, you possibly can’t miss  Chihayafuru Musubi. The new part introduces some characters and you’ll surely love them. The main casts reprise their roles. Additional casts include Hayato Sano and Kento Kaku.  Suzu Hirose, Shūhei Nomura, and Mackenyu are back in this part too!

9. Tokyo revengers (2021)

Tokyo revengers (2021)

The live-action movie Tokyo Revengers is based on the manga and anime series of the same name Tokyo Revengers follows the story of Takemichi Hanagaki who goes back 10 years in time to save the person he loved. In order to do so, he must join the most dangerous Gang.

The cast of Tokyo revengers is amazing. The main casts include Takumi Kitamura, Naoto Tachibana, Gordon Maeda, Ryo Yoshizawa, Yuki Yamada, and others. If you love the anime series, watching Tokyo Revengers is a must.

8. Death Note & Death Note 2: The Last Name (2006)

Death Note & Death Note 2: The Last Name (2006)

Out of all the Death Note live-action adaptations,  the 2006 movie is the best. Death Note needs no introduction and is self-explanatory! Do check out this amazing movie, the first of the kind in this franchise! Tatsuya Fujiwara stars as Light Yagami and Kenichi Matsuyama stars as L.

7. Rurouni Kenshin: The Final & The Beginning (2021)

Rurouni Kenshin: The Final & The Beginning (2021)

The fourth and fifth installment of the Rurouni Kenshin Series was released in 2021. The Rurouni Kenshin: The Final was an overall conclusion to the series (but we hope not). Enishi (Mackenyu) was back for revenge. Rurouni Kenshin: The Beginning served as a prequel showing how the infamous Battousai came into existence and how he met others. Totally a must-watch on the list.

6. Gintama 2: Rules are meant to be broken (2018)

Gintama 2: Rules are meant to be broken (2018)

Our famous Yorozuya Trio and Shinsengumi guys are back. This movie will be memorable and emotional for late Miura Haruma fans. Shun Oguri,   Masaki Suda, Kanna Hashimoto, Yuya Yagira, and Ryo Yoshizawa are back in action! Zura- famed Masaki Okada had very few scenes but that’s ok! This movie is a visual treat for the eyes. Kudos to everyone for playing their roles with exceptional acting skills.

5. Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends (2014)

Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends (2014)

The second part of the series,  Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends will leave you speechless. This is a must-watch live-action movie. Do I need any more to convince everyone to watch this masterpiece? Another surprise Death Note famed Tatsuya Fujiwara is one of the main antagonists!

4. Gintama (2017)

Gintama (2017)

Words won’t be described how happy fans are. The 2017 Gintama is a must-watch live-action movie that everyone should definitely watch. The movie was faithful to the manga/anime adaptation.  

You will end up laughing, getting emotional, and sentimental watching Gintama. Gintama has an elite star cast. Main casts starring Shun Oguri, Masaki Suda, Kanna Hashimoto, Masaki Okada, Yuya Yagira, and Ryo Yoshizawa. The entire cast did an exceptional job portraying the manga/anime counterparts.

3. Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno (2014)

Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno (2014)

Satoh Takero is back in action for the third part of the franchise. Part 2 was left in a cliffhanger, so watching the third part will give most fans closure. It was enjoyable to see the Shinsengumi in action. Tatsuya Fujiwara was a delight to the eyes (No pun intended, you’ll know why!).

2. Kingdom (2019)

Kingdom (2019)

Kingdom was the highest-grossing movie of the year at the box office. The movie adapted from the same manga/anime is a visual treat for the fans. The movie stars Yamazaki Kento,  Yoshizawa Ryo, and Kashimoto Hanna in lead roles.

It was absolutely loving to See Yamazaki play the role of Xin.  Yoshizawa Ryo seems familiar, right? Gintama’s Sougo stars as Ying Zheng in Kingdom.  It’s a must-watch live-action movie and is highly recommended. Following the success of the movie, a sequel is planned too!

1. Rurouni Kenshin (2012)

Rurouni Kenshin (2012)

This series is a cult classic and fan favorite of Japan. Whether you’re a fan or not, this is the must-watch live-action movie. You can’t miss it! This famous franchise has a total of 5 movies, two of them are released in 2021.

Now feels like a good time to catch up with this movie! Satoh Takeru stars as Kenshin Himura, and is absolutely adorable!  Other casts include Emi Takei, Yu Aoi, Munetaka Aoki, Yosuke Eguchi, and Koji Kikkawa.