Which Manga Series Should Be Turned Into A Movie?

Anime series are sometimes original works, while most others are based on existing media, such as manga series or light novels. Over time, countless manga and light novel series, both major and obscure, have been adapted into wonderful anime series, but there is still more ground to cover. Plenty of manga have yet to get an official anime adaptation, including the short series. If the shorter series don’t have enough material to become an anime series, then they could become an anime movie instead.



Anime movies often rival full-blown anime series in terms of sheer popularity and quality, and movies are more accessible and convenient to digest than series, are, too. Anime movies also boast excellent animation and production values, as the works of Studio Ghibli and director Makoto Shinkai show. The world of anime movies would feel much richer and more diverse if some relatively obscure and totally underrated manga series got an anime movie to tell new stories.

Read Our Review

10 Western Franchises You Didn’t Realize Had Manga Adaptations 

Many beloved American franchises, like The X-Files, Star Wars, and Cloverfield have made the jump to manga.


9 Golden Sheep Is About Teens Trying to Discover Themselves

The Golden Sheep

The Golden Sheep

After spending six years away from her hometown due to family circumstances, Tsugu Miikura is excited to be reunited with her childhood friends Yuushin, Asari, and Sora in high school.

Release Date
September 25, 2017

Author
Kaori Ozaki

Artist
Kaori Ozaki

Genre
Slice of Life

Where to Read
Monthly Afternoon

Chapters
16

Volumes
3

Publisher
Kodansha, Vertical

Golden Sheep Scores:

  • MyAnimeList: 7.38
  • Anime Planet: 3.78/5

Golden Sheep is a short but intriguing drama manga series by author Kaori Ozaki. In this brief manga series, protagonist Tsuru Miikura returns to her hometown for the first time in years as a young woman, and she hopes to reconnect with her childhood friends and pick up where they left off. Unfortunately for Tsuru, her friend group is splintered, their innocent unity long gone.

Some of Tsuru’s friends have lost hope or have even become bullies, so Tsuru believes there isn’t much else for her in this town. She and her friend Sora will then embark on a trip to Tokyo to start fresh, but not even that will be easy, and Tsuru may have to face the drama if she wants to heal her wounded heart. She can’t just lose herself in Tokyo and hope that her friends’ personal baggage will conveniently go away.

golden sheep manga cover featuring the heroine

8 Solanin Shows a Young Woman Struggling Against Her Boredom

Solanin

Solanin

Ever since graduating college, 23-year-old Meiko Inoue has believed in one thing: there is a demon lurking in Tokyo. This evil’s presence has made her bored, aimless, and missing the excitement of her youth, leading her to contemplate what she truly seeks from life.

Release Date
June 30, 2005

Author
Inio Asano

Artist
Inio Asano

Where to Read
Young Sunday

Chapters
28

Volumes
2

Publisher
Shogakukan, Viz Media

Read Our Review

What Makes Goodnight Punpun One Of the Highest Rated Manga Of All Time?

From its realistic but extraordinary characters to its captivating story Goodnight Punpun has knocked the readers sideways.

Solanin Scores:

  • MyAnimeList: 8.22
  • Anime Planet: 4.11/5

The popular author Inio Asano is famed for his hard-hitting drama manga Goodnight Punpun, which is his masterwork. That said, Mr. Asano has other worthwhile works to his name as well, including the two-volume series Solanin, which was released in the West as a single omnibus volume. Solanin is a quietly intense slice-of-life drama about a lost young lady named Meiko and her aspiring musician boyfriend.

Meiko quits her office job early in Solanin‘s story and lives off her savings, savoring her newfound freedom until a creeping sense of dread and emptiness sets in. She and her boyfriend must carve out a new niche in the world and figure out their own destiny, because no one, least of all an office manager, can simply give Meiko a new purpose. With the power of love, music, and sheer determination, Meiko just might find a way.

7 Mizuno and Chayama Shows Young Love in a Conflicted Town

Mizuno and Chayama

Mizuno and Chayama

Mizuno and Chayama are student who live in a rural town that has become divided over the years, one part believes that the local tea industry is polluting the water, and the other believes the money brought in by the tea industry is too important to the local economy hamper it with pollution concerns.

Release Date
October 12, 2018

Author
Yuuta Nishio

Artist
Yuuta Nishio

Where to Read
Comic Beam

Chapters
15

Volumes
2

Publisher
Yen Press, Enterbrain

Mizuno and Chayama Scores:

  • MyAnimeList: 6.77
  • Anime Planet: 3.60/5

Mizuno and Chayama is an omnibus manga series that tells a short but meaningful story set in a remote Japanese town named Asaba. Far from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo, life is slow and intimate in towns like Asaba. Mizuno and Chayama are two teenage girls who belong to families who feud over local politics, but those two girls see things differently.

Mizuno and Chayama may build a strong friendship despite their parents’ clashes, and their friendship might soon become something more – if they can work it out in the middle of all this drama. Mizuno and Chayama is an obscure but fascinating yuri love story that ought to get an anime movie to give anime fans something new to watch besides rom-coms set in Tokyo high schools.

mizuno and chayama manga cover

6 Secret of the Princess Is an Underrated Yuri Love Story

Secret Of The Princess

Secret of the Princess

After witnessing the school’s volleyball club superstar, Fujiwara, damaged the costly vase belonging to the principal, Miu asks for Fujiwara to be her practice prince exchange for keeping quite.

Release Date
November 30, 2012

Author
Milk Morinaga

Artist
Milk Morinaga

Where to Read
Shinshokan

Chapters
7

Volumes
1

Publisher
Shinshokan, Seven Seas Entertainment

Secret of the Princess Scores:

  • MyAnimeList: 7.33
  • Anime Planet: 3.79/5

Secret of the Princess is an obscure yet delightful yuri romance manga series set in a typical high school setting. The heroine, Miu Nishie, was told by her mother to be a typical princess, a beautiful maiden who would one day attract a “prince” to love her. Miu attends an all-girls’ school where there aren’t exactly any princes to meet, and Miu may not need a cliché knight in shining armor, either.

Miu looks up to Nagasa Fujiwara, a tough and kind girl known for her somewhat boyish charms at the all-girls school. Miu and Nagisa will soon become much more than friends, all while discovering a new side to themselves and each other with the power of love and kindness. It’s a fairly straightforward but heartfelt love story that would definitely entertain many more fans if it became an anime movie.

the cover of the manga secret of the princess

5 All You Need is Kill Is the Original Story of Edge of Tomorrow6

All You Need is Kill

All You Need Is Kill

Strange creatures known as “Mimics” have invaded Earth, sparking a global war that has humanity fighting for survival.

Release Date
January 9, 2014

Author
Ryōsuke Takeuchi

Artist
Takeshi Obata

Genre
Action , Sci-Fi

Where to Read
Young Jump

Chapters
17

Volumes
2

Publisher
VIZ Media, Shueisha

Read Our Review

What Makes Goodnight Punpun One Of the Highest Rated Manga Of All Time?

From its realistic but extraordinary characters to its captivating story Goodnight Punpun has knocked the readers sideways.

All You Need is Kill Scores:

  • MyAnimeList: 7.77
  • Anime Planet: 4.08/5

The original All You Need is Kill manga did get a movie adaptation, but not an anime movie. All You Need is Kill was transformed into a Western live-action adventure starring Tom Cruise as the sci-fi hero in a desperate war against deadly aliens called Mimics. It was a solid movie, but the original manga is arguably better, so it needs an anime movie adaptation, too.

All You Need is Kill is set in the near future, depicting armored soldiers fighting desperately to fend off the deadly Mimics all over the world. The twist, which the manga reveals early on, is that protagonist Keiji Kiriya is stuck in a time loop. He keeps reliving the same day and the same battle, giving him a chance to improve his fighting style and actually defeat the Mimics for once.

4 Ibitsu is a Twisted, Hidden Gem of Horror

Ibitsu

Ibitsu

While taking out the trash one night, Kazuki Itou sees a dirty girl in a gothic lolita dress.

Release Date
October 2, 2009

Author
Ryou, Haruto

Artist
Ryou, Haruto

Where to Read
Young Gangan

Chapters
15

Volumes
2

Publisher
Yen Press

Ibitsu Scores:

  • MyAnimeList: 6.99
  • Anime Planet: 3.57/5

The horror genre does not always translate well to the anime medium, since anime’s visuals are too colorful and cartoony to feel gritty and frightening, but with the right material, anime horror can still work. Fans enjoyed the anime version of author Junji Ito’s works, after all, so a fresh new horror movie may be what fans need. The Ibitsu manga, an obscure but gripping read, should provide the right material.

Ibitsu is set in the modern day, where the male lead, Kazuki Ito meets a strange girl with a dirty umbrella on the street. The girl asks “Would you like a little sister?”, and when Kazuki answers, he invites his own doom. The umbrella girl is far more than she seems, a new kind of yandere who wants a big brother to love – a brother she will torture and kill people to get.

Ibitsu mang acover with the villain and her umbrella

3 Inside Mari Shows a Dejected Man Living a New Life in a Mysterious Girl’s Body

Inside Mari

Inside Mari

When Isao Komori moved from the Gunma countryside to the bustling city of Tokyo for college, he believed this to be an opportunity to start his life anew.

Release Date
March 6, 2012

Author
Shūzō Oshimi

Artist
Shūzō Oshimi

Where to Read
Manga Action

Chapters
80

Volumes
9

Publisher
Futabasha, Crunchyroll

Read Our Review

Why Was Flowers of Evil Such a Reviled Anime?

Flowers of Evil was one of the most poorly received anime of the last ten years, but does the series really deserve its bad reputation?

Inside Mari Scores:

  • MyAnimeList: 7.50
  • Anime Planet: 3.76/5

Author Shuzo Oshimi is best known for his heavy drama manga The Flowers of Evil, which became an anime series with highly experimental visuals that fans didn’t necessarily like. Until fans get a new, more conventional anime for The Flowers of Evil, they can check out Mr. Oshimi’s manga Inside Mari and see why it’s worth adapting into an anime movie.

A man named Isao Komori is the very image of a lonely loser, skipping college classes so he can play games in his dirty, cluttered apartment while wasting his life. Then he meets a teenage girl named Mari, and somehow, Isao ends up in her body, with no sign of where the real Mari went. Isao will then embark on an emotionally charged quest to find Mari and find out how and why he ended up inside her mind, and the final answer will be a real shocker.

the cover of inside mari's japanese manga volume

2 Mermaid Scales and the Town of Sand Is a Surprisingly Sad Story of Living By the Ocean

Mermaid Scales and the Town of Sand

Mermaid Scales and the Town of Sand

Tokiko “Toki” Aoyama and her father move from Tokyo to stay with her grandmother in the sleepy coastal town of Sunimori. However, under its serene veneer, Sunimori is fabled to be near an ocean full of mermaids and mermen.

Release Date
March 15, 2013

Author
Yoko Komori

Artist
Yoko Komori

Genre
Slice of Life

Where to Read
YOU

Chapters
12

Volumes
2

Publisher
Shueisha, Viz Media

Mermaid Scales and the Town of Sand Scores:

  • MyAnimeList: 7.19
  • Anime Planet: 3.67

Mermaid Scales and the Town of Sand is a drama that explores everyday life through a relatively fresh set of eyes. The heroine, Tokiko Aoyama, is an elementary school-aged girl who just moved to a small coastal town in Japan with her father, where they can move in with Tokiko’s paternal grandmother. It should be a cozy, idyllic experience, but Tokiko is troubled by the sea. She wonders if mermaids are there, because as she recalls, a mermaid once saved her life.

Tokiko keeps finding her mind on the mysterious waves, and she makes everyone worry as he fixates on the idea of benevolent mermaids. Eventually, Tokiko will learn the heartbreaking truth of what happened when a “mermaid” rescued her a few years ago in the ocean, and it will give her a totally new perspective on what the ocean is really like.

mermaid scales and the town of sand manga cover

1 The Gods Lie Is an Intimate Drama About a Broken Family

The Gods Lie

The Gods Lie

Eleven-year-old Natsuru Nanao is the ace of the soccer team, yet has trouble speaking to girls because of a certain event following his transfer to his current school.

Release Date
March 25, 2013

Author
Kaori Ozaki

Artist
Kaori Ozaki

Where to Read
Afternoon

Chapters
5

Volumes
1

Publisher
Kodansha, Vertical

The Gods Lie Scores:

  • MyAnimeList: 7.89
  • Anime Planet: 4.09/5

The Gods Lie is a short but fascinating drama manga by author Kaori Ozaki, same as Golden Sheep. This story is even shorter than Golden Sheep, an intimate drama told from the innocent, naive perspective of tween-age children who never really know what the adults in their lives are thinking or doing. It can be frustrating and even scary or saddening for kids like them when the adults don’t live up to their promises, but that’s just how life is.

Natsuru Nanao is the star player of his elementary school’s soccer team, but he will soon have more on his mind than sports as he meets a girl around his age named Rio Suzumura. Natsuru will befriend Rio and meet her younger brother Yuu, and the brother and sister live in miserable conditions that no one is even aware of. How the Suzumuras got that way, and where they should go from here, are things Natsuru will have to learn for himself.

the gods lie manga cover

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