I watched the first episode of Mars, a live action adaptation of the manga by Fuyumi Soryo . The tv show is currently airing in Taiwan, I think. It just goes to show, if something has geeky appeal, you can find it on the web! (via TokyoJupiter)
Mars was the first multi-volume ‘teen romance’ shoujo manga that I read from start to finish (thank you, interlibrary loan!). I just got hooked reading the trials and tribulations of Kira (a withdrawn, sensitive artist with a tragic past who fears men) and Rei (an outgoing, delinquent motorcycle racer with a tragic past who is a bit of a playboy). Both the manga and the tv show are pure melodrama. The TV show features much tormented crying, traumatic flashbacks, mournful piano music, and heartfelt love songs, with some humor thrown in so things don’t get too heavy.
The live action version is excellent and manages to pack a lot into one hour, Ling (aka Rei) and Qui Lo (aka Kira) meet first meet at a park. She is sitting on a bench sketching when he asks her for directions to a nearby hospital. His friend and mentor in motorcycle racing is recovering from an injury. Qui Lo isn’t able to speak to him, so she tears a page out of her sketchbook, quickly draws him a map, and runs away. Ling discovers a drawing on the back of the map, and when he finds himself in class with Qui Lo when college starts he is extremely persistent in his attempts to get to know her.
They gradually begin to form a friendship despite the problems (tragic pasts!!!!) that continue to haunt them. The tv show does a good job portraying two people who are totally different in personality who are drawn together and compliment each other in a union of opposites. The costume and production design always places an elemet of red near Ling– a shirt, backpack, carpet in his apartment, set backgrounds– which is very fitting considering what he symbolizes in the show. Qui Lo is always dressed in more muted neutral and pastel colors, which suits her retiring personality.
The story shifts its setting from high school to college, and some of the plotlines that were introduced over time in the manga are alluded to immediately, in the form of flashbacks (the tragic pasts!!!!). Still, many of the scenes are very faithful adaptations of episodes that took place in the Mars vol 1. The tv show and the manga are pure melodrama, but in a good way!
Other live action versions of anime/manga that I can think of at the moment:
Lone Wolf and Cub, Guyver
You’ve got Pretty Gaurdian Sailor Moon (which features Sailor Moon destroying rubber monsters by pirouetting), Great Teacher Onizuka, Peach Girl TV show from Taiwan, the future live action version of Neon Genesis Evangelion, Crying Freeman the movie, You’re Under Arrest, and City Hunter.