Anime fans have been buzzing about a possible foreign adaptation of director Makoto Shinkai’s hit.
In recent years, it’s becoming increasingly common for anime and manga to serve as the basis for live-action movies and TV series. It’s a phenomenon that’s not just limited to Japan, as media producers from other Asian countries have also mined Japanese animation and comics in looking for their next big hit.
Titles that can appeal to a broader audience than hard-core otaku make particularly attractive candidates, as do those that take place in a modern, mundane setting. Director Makoto Shinkai’s startlingly successful anime film Your Name meets both of those criteria, which has fueled rumors that the story of body-swapping teens will be turned into a Korean TV drama.
Your Name’s impressive opening in South Korea, which occurred just this month, seems to have lent the rumors an extra air of believability. There’s also a bit of precedent in the form of the Korean live-action drama adaptations of popular anime Hana Yori Dango and Itazura na Kiss.
However, Toho, the Japanese distributor for Your Name, has reportedly denied the rumors by declaring the talk of a Korean live-action adaptation “baseless.” Moreover, from a storytelling standpoint, the fairly concise narrative of the film means that turning it into a TV series would require extensive additions to fill up its episodes. Shinkai, however, is known for being an incredibly hands-on creator with an unmistakable personal style, which suggests he’d be reluctant to have someone else tinker with his most successful work while it’s still basking in the admiration of moviegoers. And considering how many things can potentially go wrong when adapting anime to live-action, perhaps it’s for the best that the Korean drama version rumors appear to be nothing more than idle speculation.
Follow Casey on Twitter, where he sometimes forgets that the Fist of the North Star live-action movie with Downtown Julie Brown actually happened.