If there is one thing anime has yet to crack, it is the world of live-action adaptations. Time and again, the medium has floundered when it has moved beyond the realm of animation, but the demand for big blockbusters is not budging. With series like Netflix’s One Piece on the horizon, all eyes are on the world of live-action anime, and one fan just proved Naruto is more than doable with a bit of patience.
As you can see above, the project comes courtesy of Diego Woods over on YouTube. The fan has gone viral in the past for their live-action anime adaptations, but their most recent one is the best yet. After all, they brought Kakashi Hataki to life using CG effects and video editing. And if we are being honest, it looks damn cool.
The final footage from Woods as Kakashi appears towards the end of their video, so you can find it at the 4:00 mark. From there, fans can see the Copycat Ninja as a young adult well before he took Team 7 under his wing. Dressed in his basic ANBU uniform, Kakashi is a lethal menace in this shot as we see him cut down several foes. And in the end, we even get a close-up shot of Kakashi using his Sharingan.
The footage may be short, but the final look proves the Naruto anime can be done in live-action. Kakashi looks epic in this shot as a whole, but the adaptation comes to life with its visual effects. One of the most challenging elements of adapting shonen anime for live-action film is its action sequencing. Naruto has some wild jutsus that work in animation but are incredibly hard to make realistic using visual effects. Diego overcame that challenge in his new Naruto short, and it has fans desperate to see more.
Of course, Hollywood has a number of live-action anime projects in the work, and Naruto is among them. Lionsgate snagged live-action rights to the franchise years ago, and the film was in development the last fans heard. Most immediately, Netflix and Sony Pictures will challenge the anime world with its anime pictures. One Piece is expected to drop sometime this year on Netflix, and Sony is working with Toei Company to release its live-action adaptation of Saint Seiya: Knights of the Zodiac next month.
What do you think about this fan’s take on Naruto? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB.