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Upcoming Live-Action Anime Projects That Flew Under Your Radar

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In the ’90s, Western children were introduced to Japanese animation through a variety of sources, but none was as culturally penetrating as Pokémon. Whether it’s through the manga, the hugely popular anime series, the trading card game and merch, or video games, “Pokémon” is a real phenomenon. In fact, according to Statista, the brand is “the most valuable media franchise in the world with an estimated combined turnover of $100 billion.”

The series is set in a world mostly populated by creatures known as Pokémon – creatures with different abilities that can shrink to fit in your pocket. These Pokémon are often caught by Trainers and used in battle tournaments, with winners gaining Pokémon Master status. The main anime series – which first aired in 1997 – largely followed Ash Ketchum and his Pokémon companion Pikachu. Since then, both the anime, the manga and the games have gone far beyond this framework and brought in other characters as well.

With such a huge franchise, it’s surprising that the only live-action content released for it in 2019 was Pokémon: Detective Pikachu — a hybrid live-action and animated film that was an unlikely hit with viewers. In 2021, however, it was announced that Netflix was teaming up with “Lucifer” showrunner Joe Henderson for a new live-action offering (via Variety). We have yet to learn what aspects of the Pokémon universe the live-action series will adapt, but it will certainly be interesting to see the future.



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