Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

All The Live-Action Anime You Didn't Know Was Coming To Netflix

Netflix has built itself as the home for award-winning original shows like "Stranger Things," "Squid Game," "The Witcher," and more. As competition in the streaming world grows, so does Netflix funding for new shows and movies from all around the world. One area that Netflix has been expanding upon is its involvement in anime projects, like "Tiger & Bunny 2," "JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: STONE OCEAN," and "Edens Zero."

It doesn't stop there. Netflix has been acquiring the rights to classic anime series like "One Piece" and "Cowboy Bebop" to produce live-action movies from them, almost like they're competing with big-budget comic book movies from DC and Marvel. While certain projects, like the live-action "Death Note" movie and the "Cowboy Bebop" TV series, were critically panned by fans and critics, Netflix is still staying the course with new live-action anime projects that seem to stay truer to their source material. Here are all the live-action anime projects you didn't know were coming to Netflix.

Alice in Borderland (Season 2)

Season two of "Alice in Borderland" will premiere on Netflix in December of 2022. The show follows Ryōhei Arisu, a 24-year-old man obsessed with video games, and Yuzuha Usagi, a skilled mountain climber who lost her father to suicide, as they try to survive in a post-apocalyptic-like parallel world known as Borderland. In this alternate version of Tokyo, players are forced to compete in a variety of deadly games in the hopes of extending their "visas." If their visa expires, the player is executed by red lasers shot from the sky. The same fate befalls anyone who tries to escape from the game arena after entering. The Japanese live-action series is directed by Shinsuke Sato, the director of 2018's live-action "Bleach" movie, also currently available to stream on Netflix. Haro Aso is the writer and artist behind the original manga. There are also three original video animation (OVA) episodes of "Alice in Borderland" distributed by Sentai Filmworks.

One Piece

Back in January 2020, Netflix announced a 10-episode order for a live-action production of "One Piece." The series tells the story of the rubber-man pirate, Monkey D. Luffy, as he sails across the forbidden seas with his motley crew of pirates to search for the fabled treasure known as One Piece to become the King of the Pirates. Steven Maeda ("Lost," "The X-Files") will serve as the writer, showrunner, and executive producer of the show, while Matt Owens ("Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," "Luke Cage") is on board as writer/executive producer. Netflix has already given anime fans a look at some of the main cast, such as Iñaki Godoy as Monkey D. Luffy, Emily Rudd as Nami, Mackenyu Arata as Roronoa Zoro, and Jacob Gibson as Usopp. Recently, Peter Gadiot ("Yellowjackets") was announced as the actor who will portray Luffy's hero and mentor, "Red-Haired" Shanks, in the Netflix adaptation. While Netflix hasn't released any official footage of its take on "One Piece," the streaming giant has teased a possible update on the show for its GEEKED WEEK 2022 event on June 6-10 of this year. One thing that fans do know is that the live-action series is drawing inspiration from the manga, as the screenplay for the first episode was titled "Romance Dawn," the name for the prototype story of "One Piece." Eiichiro Oda, the creator of "One Piece," is also heavily involved with the Netflix production of his series. 


It was announced in July 2021 that a live-action Pokémon series was being created for Netflix. While the live-action Pokémon show is still in early development, Joe Henderson, co-showrunner and executive producer of "Lucifer" (which also streams on Netflix), is attached to the project. Unsurprisingly, the Netflix Pokémon TV series looks akin to the 2019 live-action movie "Pokémon Detective Pikachu," which starred Ryan Reynolds as the titular Pikachu. The film, directed by Rob Letterman ("Goosebumps"), grossed over $433 million worldwide. There's no word yet how involved Nintendo will be involved in the Netflix production, or if the new Pokémon series will be a continuation of the plot from the "Detective Pikachu" movie. Currently, Netflix is the home for the animated Pokémon TV series and films, including the recent hit, "Pokémon Journeys: The Series." The Pokémon video game series is still going strong, as "Pokémon Scarlet" and "Pokémon Violet" are slated to hit the Nintendo Switch in late 2022.

Sword Art Online

In 2016, Skydance Media announced it had acquired the rights to make a live-action version of "Sword Art Online," the popular anime series about Kirigaya "Kirito" Kazuto and Asuna Yuuki's experience as players in an extraordinary, deadly, massive, virtual reality-based, online role-playing game called Sword Art Online. Laeta Kalogridis ("Altered Carbon," "Shutter Island," and "Terminator Genisys") will write the pilot and serve as executive producer for the show. During a 2018 interview with Collider, Kalogridis said Netflix has no intention of whitewashing the Asian characters, nor erasing the Japanese origin of the property. "When I sold it to Netflix, we were all on the same page," Kalogridis told Collider. "They are not interested in whitewashing it, and I am not interested in whitewashing it. In terms of the secondary characters, because the game is meant to be global, the way it's presented in the anime and in the light novels, there are secondary characters that clearly are from other parts of the world, like Klein and Agil."

YuYu Hakusho

Coming in December 2023 is "YuYu Hakusho," a live-action adaptation produced by Netflix of the popular shonen series by Yoshihiro Togashi. The anime series followed Yusuke Urameshi, a middle school punk who shocked the world—and the Spirit World—with his selfless act of sacrificing his life to save a kid from a traffic accident. After performing a series of tests, Yusuke was given a second chance at life from the higher-ups above, but only if he became their agent for the human world. Reborn as a Spirit Detective, Yusuke Urameshi takes on the greatest threats against mankind, whether they be demons or humans. He's not alone, as he is aided by his friends Kurama, Hiei, and Kazuma Kuwabara. Despite the release date set for next year, there's currently very little known about the live-action Netflix adaptation of "YuYu Hakusho." The best chance for news at the moment will be the GEEKED WEEK 2022 event.

Mobile Suit Gundam

Way back in July of 2018, it was announced that Sunrise would be partnering with Legendary Entertainment to create a live-action American adaptation of "Mobile Suit Gundam." Skip to November 2021, and Netflix released the first visual teaser of the live-action Gundam project. Film director Jordan Vogt-Roberts, best known for directing "Kong: Skull Island" and for being attached to the live-action film adaptation of "Metal Gear Solid," will be directing the movie. Famed comic book writer Brian K. Vaughan ("Y: The Last Man," "Saga," "Ex Machina") is scriptwriter and executive producer. The "Mobile Suit Gundam" movie will be released worldwide through Netflix, except in China, where Legendary Entertainment will act as its distributor. First appearing in 1979, the "Mobile Suit Gundam" franchise has been around for over 40 years, growing to include over 30 anime TV series and films. All of these properties focus on the conflict of war that's battled through militarized giant robots known as Gundam.

Death Note 2

Despite a divisive reception, Netflix is continuing on with its Americanized live-action film adaptation of "Death Note." The original Japanese series told the story of Light Yagami, a brilliant, but bored high schooler who comes into possession of a terrible notebook known as the Death Note, which has the power to kill anyone that has their name written inside. However, in the Netflix version, the cast has been whitewashed and Japanese characters have been changed to American-friendly names like "Light Turner." The 2017 movie was directed by Adam Wingard ("Blair Witch 3," "Godzilla vs. Kong"). While there hasn't been an announcement of whether or not Wingard will come back for the sequel, Greg Russo ("Mortal Kombat") is penning the script. According to Russo's comments to We Got This Covered, "Death Note 2" will course-correct the problems of the first film by using more of the original source material. No word yet if anyone from the Americanized cast will return, like Willem Dafoe, who played the Shinigami Ryuk.

Fullmetal Alchemist: The Vengeance of Scar and The Last Transmutation

The first live-action film adaptation of "Fullmetal Alchemist" was released on Netflix on February 19, 2018. The Japanese movie, directed by Fumihiko Sori, follows the original storyline of two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric, who are hunting down the fabled Philosopher's Stone in the hopes of using it to return their bodies to normal, after a failed attempt of resurrecting their dead mother through alchemy savaged their bodies since childhood. The older brother, Edward, uses automail limbs to replace his lost arm and leg, while the younger brother, Alphonse, lost his human form and had his soul transferred to a hunk of armor. The planned trilogy will conclude with the upcoming films, "Fullmetal Alchemist: The Vengeance of Scar" and "Fullmetal Alchemist: The Last Transmutation," adapting the remaining chapters from the manga. New characters to look forward to in the new film are alchemist killer Scar (Mackenyu) and Olivier Mira Armstrong (Chiaki Kuriyama).

Kiyo in Kyoto: From the Maiko House

Set in Kyoto's "hanamachi" geisha quarter, "Kiyo in Kyoto: From the Maiko House" tells the story of two childhood friends, Kiyo and Sumire, learning to become geishas. The girls have moved from Aomori Prefecture to Kyoto to become maiko, or apprentice geishas. While Kiyo fails in her geisha training, her unbelievable cooking skill gets her hired as the new cook of the maiko house, allowing her to support her friend Sumire and other girls training to become geishas. The Netflix live-action series, titled "Makanai: Cooking for the Maiko House" in English, will consist of nine episodes. Hirokazu Kore-eda ("Air Doll") is directing the series. Other directors include Megumi Tsuno, Hiroshi Okuyama, and Takuma Sato. Nana Mori ("Tokyo Ghoul S") will play Kiyo and Natsuki Deguchi ("Kotaro Lives Alone") will play Sumire. The rest of the cast includes Aju Makita, Keiko Matsuzaka, Ai Hashimoto, Mayu Matsuoka, and Takako Tokiwa.

Mega Man

Around the 2018 video game release of "Mega Man 11," Capcom announced that the Blue Bomber would receive a live-action Hollywood movie. Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman ("Catfish," "Paranormal Activity 3") were attached to write and direct the film for 20th Century Fox. No further announcements for the upcoming "Mega Man" movie, which is simply titled "MEGA MAN," emerged. In 2018, Joost and Schulman confirmed the movie was alive and in development, and that screenwriter Mattson Tomlin ("Project Power") was helping with the script. Now, Netflix is rumored to be involved in the live-action "Mega Man" movie, as the film's production company Supermarché leaked the streaming company's involvement on their website. While the success rate of live-action video game movies has been mostly poor, recent hits like the live-action "Sonic the Hedgehog" movie have shown there's a market for these films, as long as they stay true to the source material. With Paramount already planning on expanding the "Sonic" movieverse with a Knuckles spin-off on Paramount+, Netflix could do the same for "Mega Man," if the live-action movie news is true.