The people out there who demand faithfulness in adaptations and remakes should be pleasantly surprised, even if not outright delighted by this script; sure, a few elements are slightly watered-down, Hollywood-ized, Americanized – but there is no outright wrecking, ruining, or childhood raping going on here. All things considered it is shockingly faithful to the source material, at times reading like a flat-out transcript/description of the animated movie, and even incorporating aspects of the original manga that were left out of the anime version. It is faithful not only in plot and character details, but in tone. It retains the darkness, the violence, the epic qualities and even some of the themes, though they’ve been tweaked, Americanized, and updated to apply to current events. They are also maybe a bit less complex, but still this is admirable. This adaptation actually retains a lot of the style and, more surprisingly, substance of the original. If you are already a fan, you will probably like this adaptation, because a lot of the same things are good about it. The other side of that coin, though, is that it’s not bringing many fresh ideas or perspectives on the material to the table. What I love about good remakes or adaptations, what in fact makes some of them good, is that they are opportunities for artists with distinct voices and visions to take already existing works and re-interpret them, pay respect to them but use them to say new things and make them their own. There is very little of that happening here. Don’t get me wrong, as much as I’m talking about how faithful it is, a lot of that reaction is due to my surprise that it’s not a complete bastardization. We’re not exactly talking Gus Van Sant’s Psycho levels of slavishness here. But it’s not a particularly fresh take either. Neither infuriatingly dumbed-down nor invigoratingly creative and exciting, it just kind of exists - at least as a script.