As the old saying goes, “good artists copy, but great artists steal.” That’s why we see so many damn remakes, reboots, and sequels these days.
Sometimes you don’t even know when a movie is based on something else. Anime has served to be a huge inspiration for several big Hollywood films over the years. Here is list of 9 Anime Films That Were Ripped Off By Hollywood.
1. Inception = Paprika
Christopher Nolan’s story of operatives invading and stealing from a person’s dream was one of the most original Hollywood blockbusters in years. But Inception owes some of that credit to the Japanese film Paprika, based on a novel by the same name.
The stories differ, but Paprika was also built on the idea of misusing dream technology, breaking into patients’ minds as part of a dream therapy. Nolan admitted the anime was used as inspiration for his film, even if it didn’t go quite so far in bending reality.
2. Pacific Rim = Neon Genesis Evangelion
In the 1990s, the Japanese anime scene was in a bit of a slump – until Neon Genesis Evangelion came along. Audiences instantly fell in love with the show’s young hero, using his mind to pilot a massive mech in battle against enormous alien monsters.
If that plot sounds familiar, you’re probably a fan of Pacific Rim, a movie that drew from too many anime and mecha stories to count. The director and writer claim they never saw the original anime… but the similarities seem a lot more than just coincidence.
3. The Matrix = Ghost in the Shell
Some movies steal their ideas or style from an anime hit and keep it quiet. But the Wachowskis have always been open about the debt they owe to Ghost in the Shell, a cyberpunk tale of futuristic cyborg agents. The plot may not be a match, but the action, style and setting are.
Apparently, the anime was actually the entire pitch for the film: the Wachowskis simply showed it to producer Joel Silver, then told him their hope for The Matrix was to just make that film in live-action. The deal was done, and comparing the two movies, we would say the directors pulled it off.
4. Dark City = Akira
Released just a year before The Matrix, this dark tale of a dystopic future has also been pointed to as a source of inspiration for the Wachowskis, with the films even sharing some of the same sets. But director Alex Proyas has actually pointed to one world famous anime as a direct influence.
The original manga and anime versions of Akira became iconic hits, and Dark City’s climactic battle is an obvious nod to the final battle in the animated film too. The director calls it an homage, but put the scenes side by side, and fans might see a stronger similarity.
5. Van Helsing = Vampire Hunter D
In Bram Stoker’s original Dracula, Abraham van Helsing was introduced as an aging, science-minded man of action. It was only later versions that made Van Helsing a seasoned vampire hunter, but the Japanese anime Vampire Hunter D created a truly original and unmatched hunter of the undead.
In a world mixing steampunk, magic and science fiction, the half-vampire D looked more like a cowboy, with a long black cloak, and large hat and hair to protect him from the sun as he hunted down monsters of the dark.