Hey, everyone... Walk here. You know, Hollywood seems to have this problem: making live-action versions of anime that usually end up taking themselves FAR too seriously. I've given a few examples of this sort of thing before, such as the recent White-washed Ghost in the Shell, Fist of the North Star, and both Guyver films. But in Japan, making a live-action version of a popular anime isn't always taken with all seriousness, and seriousness isn't always what makes a good live-action adaptation. Case in point: Cutie Honey, a film that brings to life the previously animated exploits of Honey Kisaragi, super secret agent and cyborg. Cutie Honey can change into anything, with her power known as "Honey Flash". Yeah, it's hard to take something like that seriously - but I'm sure the super serious artsy-fartsy directors over here would. The live-action movie plays just like the anime, never taking itself seriously for one second. It's like a super sentai show crossed with a comedy series. No, really. It's cheeseball fun, ramped all the way up to 11. Definitely a must-see. Cutie Honey is also one of the true classics of anime, going back to the 70s and 80s. Her creator is Go Nagai, who also gave the world some of its most memorable super robots, such as Mazinger Z and Getter Robo G. Nagai was also the father of Devilman and Violence Jack as well. He does make a Stan Lee-style cameo in the Cutie Honey film, so keep your eyes peeled. You can really tell that they had fun on the set the whole way through, and it shows in the way the actors don't seem to lack energy or just sort of go through the paces. That's another key to making a good anime film. Always make it fun for the actors, to keep them involved. Another live-action film based on classic anime is Leiji Matsumoto's eternal saga of Space Battleship Yamato. The movie is a condensed version of the story that's told over 3 seasons of the anime series, but it doesn't skimp on the action, and never lets the pace drop one bit from start to finish. You actually feel as if the earth is in danger and there's not much time left. The effects are very well done, and so is the acting. Top notch performances turned in all around. The only real problem I had with this film was the end theme, a sappy one-off tune by the uber-pretentious Steven Tyler, ex lead vocalist of Aerosmith. (His best work was with Aerosmith, and when he went solo, he got so full of himself it wasn't funny.) My advice to otaku? Avoid ANY american-made anime live-action fims like the plague. Unless you're like me, and only have them to prove that "It happened before"... Happy viewing , everyone!! Today's films - Cutie Honey and Space Battleship Yamato are available on DVD in the US from Bandai Entertainment and Funimation.