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Do you know the Animes that inspired these famous movies?

Kimba, the White Lion: Kimba struggling to to fall off a cliff
Kimba, the White Lion || Credits: Kimba Fandom Wiki

“Comics are an international language, they can cross boundaries and generations. Comics are a bridge between all cultures”, Osamu Tezuka (as quoted in Transnational Perspectives on Graphic Narratives).

Isn’t it a wonderful experience when you go to a movie theater to watch your favourite anime? I, personally, LOVE IT!

As an otaku, I’m being told, “You deserve to watch what you enjoy like everybody else! And have some popcorn, too!”. (It's almost the same happiness I feel when I get home to a new anime box waiting for me! 😂 )

What if I told you this happens more often than you think?

It’s not so obvious, but there are Hollywood movies and TV shows inspired by anime!

And I’m not talking about coincidences, like how the manga Battle Royale, by Koushun Takami, and the novel The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, show teenagers forced to fight each other while the rest of their countries watch.

I’m talking about anime that heavily inspired American films, such as…

Perfect Blue (1998)

Perfect Blue, Movie || Credits: Perfect Blue IMDb

This anime movie is a psychological drama by Takeuchi Yoshikazu and revolves around Mima Kirigoe, a former member of a J-pop idol who wants to become an actress.

However, Mima's life begins to change for the worse. For starters, her career as an actress becomes more demanding, making her feel uneasy. Then, an obsessed fan begins stalking her.

These and other events make Mima increasingly disturbed and unable to distinguish reality from fantasy.

Does it ring a bell? Director Daren Aronofsky bought the rights to the movie and based not one but TWO movies on it: A Requiem of a Dream and Black Swan.

Paprika (2006)

Paprika, Movie || Credits: Paprika IMDb

In short, Paprika is about a group of doctors working on a device that allows them to enter their patient's dreams and explore their minds. What could go wrong? 😂

When this technology is stolen and people around them start acting strangely, the doctors need to search both the real and dream worlds for a mental terrorist.

In Inception, a thief steals a dream-sharing device and is “given the inverse task of planting an idea into the mind of a CEO.”

We can see references to different works in this movie, and, as confirmed by the director Christopher Nolan, Paprika is one of them.

Akira (1988)

Akira, Movie || Credits: Akira IMDb

Akira is a classic! I can say it has influenced all kinds of works since its debut, including songs, several movies, and key visual arts with a motorcycle in it.

Western productions like Looper, Dark City, and even the series as Stranger Things are examples of stories where you can notice this influence.

And what is interesting is that Akira was also influenced by what was trending back in the '80s.

If you haven't had the opportunity to watch it yet, Akira tells how an explosion caused by a young boy with psychic powers leads to World War III. To prevent any further destruction, he is captured and taken into custody.

Years later, the delinquent Tetsuo Shima gets involved in an accident and develops mysterious abilities, which could cause another disaster.

The Other Way Round

When we think about anime and manga, we can also list several titles that are inspired by, or based on, western titles!

A few examples are the movie Belle, a modern adaptation of the classic Beauty and The Beast and Miyuki-chan in Wonderland, a yuri manga with clear references to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

And come to think of it: That’s a beautiful thing! This way, incredible stories will always evolve and adapt to different audiences and will never be forgotten!

Images from IMDb and Jungle Emperor Leo Fandom Wiki

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