Have you ever had a feeling that you might have seen the plot of a blockbuster in an anime before? Did you even recognize some of your favorite series hidden in the story of these movies? Well, no surprise that movies inspired by anime appear on the big screen from time-to-time and the genre serves as an inspiration for generations of Hollywood directors.
Even 80s anime had the capabilities of telling stories of fantasy or sci-fi that both technology and western movie trends were not capable of. Among many others, these eight cult anime movies and series found their ways into the scripts of the Dream Factory, so they deserve to be known as inspirations.
Read on to find out which 8 movies inspired by anime have become Hollywood blockbusters!
8. Inception – Paprika
Entering the mind and dreams of people is a long-standing concept, but most movie fans would think it was Inception, which came up with the idea of letting people enter, modify and alter other’s dreams. However, also admitted by Christopher Nolan himself, his movie was based on Satoshi Kon’s last masterpiece: Paprika. There were even rumors for a while that Paprika gets a western movie adaptation, but the idea was scrapped with Inception’s release. Nolan considers himself a massive fan of anime and even referred to adopt the story of Akira at one point in his career.
Paprika’s story revolves around the deep psyche and dreams of people. Thanks to a device called the Mini DC their mind could be entered by psychologists, to help them overcome their fears, mental illnesses and traumas. As impressive and groundbreaking it sounds as modern human medicine, this technology comes with great responsibility as well. As expected, the device gets into the wrong hands. Atsuko Chiba and Kosaku Tokita, the protagonists of the story and the scientists, who developed the Mini DC needs to find the culprit behind the strange and dangerous events tied to their invention.
7. Pacific Rim – Gigantor
Well, you might think Pacific Rim is based on the highly acclaimed, cult anime series, Neon Genesis Evangelion, but you are a bit further away from the truth. In fact, the base of PR’s plot comes from Gigantor, a classic anime of the 60s. Even Guillermo del Toro, the director of Pacific Rim confirmed that fact. Being a huge fan of anime and Japanese culture in general, de Toro took inspiration from many of the cult and classic mecha animes and kneaded them into the delicious pastry of western robot-blockbuster, Pacific Rim became. Still, we need to give credit to the primary inspiration, which is Gigantor and also bow to del Toro’s movie as it was highly praised even by the Japanese audience. With other films like Pan’s Labyrinth and Hellboy, he knows a thing or two about directing.
Gigantor, or as also known Tetsujin 28-Gou takes place after WWII when the late scientist Dr. Haneda’s son, Young Shotaro Haneda discovers the existence of the last three survivors of a robot-army his father developed. Two robots, the 26 and 27 are active and used by a crime group, and they are searching for the last of the trio. Shotaro steps up to prevent the final and most crucial mecha falling into evil hands and steps up against the crime, his father’s other two invention causes.