Classic schoolgirl sex slave assassin anime Kite is to be the victim of a Hollywood movie adaptation, to start filming in 2012 and be directed by David R. Ellis.
According to Variety, a Kite adaptation had been planned but dormant for some time, but now the project has been firmly reactivated with filming due to begin in January of 2012.
The movie is to be directed by David R. Ellis, director of such memorable classics as Snakes on a Plane, The Final Destination and Shark Night 3D.
For those wondering what all the fuss is about, animator/director Yasuomi Umetsu’s distinctive visual style and fastidious animation, coupled with his favouring at times explicit sexual content and violence, have given him quite a reputation, with his signature works of course being Kite (1998) and Mezzo Forte (2000), both classic nineties-style adult-themed anime.
He is also noted for having a hand in a scores of other anime in various capacities – frequently his style is very noticeable:
Kite (“A Kite” in Japan) and the similar Mezzo Forte are also noted for apparently having a somewhat better reputation overseas than in Japan – in fact, the decision to make a movie of it is prompting as much bewilderment as approval amongst Japanese anime fans:
“What’s the point?”
“It’s just an ero-anime…”
“I thought it was just an ero-anime but then I watched it and saw the fight scenes and my nose started running.”
“This is one you’ll write off as an ero-anime, but then actually watch and find out is good fun. Luc Besson apparently loves it and it was a big influence on his films.”
“I’d rather they do Mezzo rather than Kite.”
“For an ero-anime, it’s well made, but I don’t think the content is anything special.”
“It’s sexy, but is that so interesting?”
“This anime turned me into an NTR lover. I also became picky about animation quality as well.”
“Yasuomi Umetsu’s animation is always fantastic, but his style is very distinct so characters drawn in it always look like his characters.”
“You’d be surprised at just what stuff this guy has done…”
“Only animation quality obsessives like his stuff.”
“I used Mezzo Forte so many times. Can’t they make ero-anime of this quality any more?”
“This genre is already their speciality. Like with Noir, what’s the point of going to the trouble of getting the rights to a Japanese anime?”
“This is probably just going to be a B grade Hollywood adaptation like King of Fighters or Legend of Chun-Li.”
Some severe double standards seem to be at work, considering the content of the average late night anime hardly puts its viewers in a position to demean other works for including sexual content.
If Hollywood can be relied upon to preserve the gratuitous sex scenes (presumably scenes of gratuitous violence are in no danger), it may finally have a hit anime-to-movie adaptation – although its less than stellar record so far rather cautions against such optimism.