There’s yet another anime that’s being adapted to live action. The latest news from Variety reports that the directors for the Hollywood version of Kite have been chosen. Kite is probably the oddest choice of all the anime series being adapted to film. I think it’s the first Hentai flick ever to see that kind of mainstream attention.
Kite tells the story of Sawa, an orphaned young girl that was taken in by a corrupt police officer. The officer trained her to be an assassin for his own purposes, but he also used her to satisfy his own physical desires.
The live action adaptation is being led by Rob Cohen. Cohen’s been in the business longer than I’ve been alive, he even worked on Mahogany with Billy Dee Williams and Diana Ross back in 1975. Cohen’s most recent work was the last xXx movie. He’s not a real huge name in the biz, but he may be able to put a good spin on Kite.
The big news released today was that Cohen has picked his directors for this film. Mexican brothers Jorge and Javier Aguilera will take on the task. The brothers have mostly directed commercials and short independent films. I’m not familiar enough with their work to have a well-formed opinion on this decision, but we already know for sure that the directors/producers have decided that the live-action adaptation will not have the graphic sex scenes of the anime.
Kite is a very naughty Anime.
I’m not really surprised by this news, nor am I upset. Umetsu’s work usually has a lot of sexual content, though his movies usually are backed by great storylines. Kite had a great story. So did Mezzo Forte, another movie that has some really really graphic hentai scenes. Umetsu also did an episode of Cool Devices, a series of rather kinky and sometimes disturbing hentai short films.
Yasuomi Umetsu’s works have received praise and criticism over the years. Some argue whether or not his “adult-oriented” works should really even count as Hentai, but anything that shows graphic intercourse at least several times fits in that category in my opinion. I personally am a fan of Umetsu’s stories, especially his character designs. Umetsu has a way of rendering the young female form that I find to be both beautiful and erotic. My only problem with Umetsu is that the sex goes so far that it turns off the mainstream crowds and therefore limits the fanbase. I’ve always felt that if you took the sex out of Umetsu’s movies completely, you’d still have great stories and great action. Umetsu’s action scenes can rival the best of what John Woo and other Hollywood action directors have produced in terms of portraying the “dance” of a fight.
Umetsu’s character design is panty…I mean pretty darn good.
It’ll be interesting to see how this crop of American Live Action Anime movies works out at the box office. It’s really hard to predict their future as most are just in the concept phases right now. There’s also been talk of a DragonBall Z live-action adaptation in addition to Evangelion, Battle Angel, and Kite. I don’t know if this will expand the Anime fan base or piss off the current ranks of fans both here and Japan. Time will tell.
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