Jul 21, 2011

Which manga was best adapted into a live action drama?

It has become a recent trend within the past couple of years for popular manga series to be adapted into a live action drama. Manga series have rich story lines, but because most fans have strong impressions of the manga they commonly are disappointed with the result of a live action adaptation. Of course there’s many exceptions to this and ORICON STYLE polled 1,000 people and asked the question, “Which manga was best adapted into a live action drama?”

Popular music manga, ‘Nodame Cantabile‘ starring Ueno Juri and Tamaki Hiroshi ranked number one in the poll. The comical essence of the drama on top of the real orchestra performances was more than people expected.

‘Nodame Cantabile’ is a manga written by Ninomiya Tomoko, and follows the story of a strange yet very talented pianist named “Nodame” as well as the people she associates with in this musical comedy. A poll taker commented, “The acting of the cast members playing these unique characters perfectly matched” proving that the exquisite casting did justice even to a fan of the original manga. However, the performance scenes, which the cast learned and practiced for, was the main thing that impressed everyone. What could not be brought to life in the manga was made a reality through the drama series bringing out the music within the story. Nodame Cantabile brought about the “classical music boom” and changed the impression and stereotype of classical music.

The second manga chosen by fans was the teen love story of ’Hana Yori Dango‘ by Kamio Yok. The manga itself is very popular internationally and has been adapted into a drama even in the neighboring country of South Korea. In the Japanese adaptation Inoue Mao plays the character of Makino Tsukushi, a strong willed and sturdy young girl, and Arashi’s Matsumoto Jun plays the character ofDomyouji Tsukasa, a high and mighty heir to a major corporation. The chemistry between the duo was brilliantly brought to life just like it is in the manga. A poll taker remarks, “There were parts that were slightly different from the manga, but as a drama it was very amusing“. After it’s airtime in 2005, the series came back with a sequel and even released a movie.

The medical history manga series that sold 6,800,000 copies in total, ‘JIN‘, ranked in third place. JIN follows the story of Dr. Minakata Jin, played by Osawa Takao, who goes back to a time where medical practices were not highly advanced and learns the preciousness of life. This year in May it won the “15th Tezuka Osamu Bunka-sho Manga-sho” and has also received much praise. The realistic surgery scenes and the historical being incorporated into the story “made it exciting to watch the following week.” The series, loved by both men and women, finished it’s final episode with an average viewership rating of 26.1% and was praised with satisfaction.

When it comes to manga series being adapted into live action dramas, fans become very strict and critical. Although the popularity of the manga could mean it’ll become a hot topic, but it could also mean that with one mistake the drama will be referred to as a bad drama. In the midst of that pressure, the top 10 dramas below have been adapted well enough to receive the approval of many fans and may even be considered “masterpieces”. With this increasing trend in bringing manga characters to life, it will be exciting to see which character will be next to appear on the television screen in live action.

Check out the top 10 for “Which manga was best adapted into a live action drama?”

1. ‘Nodame Cantabile’ by Ninomiya Tomoko (Starring: Ueno Juri & Tamaki Hiroshi)
2. ‘Hana Yori Dango’ by Kamio Yoko (Starring: Inoue Mao & Matsumoto Jun)
3. ‘JIN’ by Murakami Motoka (Starring: Osawa Takao & Ayase Haruka)
4. ‘Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo’ by Amagi Seimaru, Kanari Youzaburo, and Satou Fumiya (Starring: Doumoto Tsuyoshi, Tomosaka Rie, Matsumoto Jun, and Suzuki Ann)
5. ‘ROOKIES’ by Morita Masanori (Starring: Sato Ryuta & Ichihara Hayato)
6. ‘Gokusen’ by Morimoto Kozueko (Starring: Nakama Yukie)
7. ‘Dr. Koto Shinryoujo’ by Yamada Takatoshi (Starring: Yoshioka Hidetaka & Shibasaki Kou)
8. ‘Umizaru’ by Sato Shuho (Starring: Ito Hideaki & Kato Ai)
9. ‘GTO’ by Fujisawa Toru (Starring: Sorimachi Takashi & Matsushima Nanako)
10. ‘Tokyo Love Story’ by Saimon Fumi (Starring: Suzuki Honami &Oda Yuji)


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