Welcome back, Militia! You might remember a few months back we had a two part discussion comparing the anime and live action adaptations of Erased. That was fun, right? Right! Today we are going to compare the anime and the 2017 Netflix adaptation of Death Note… only this time the comparison is going to fare a little differently.
First of all, let’s take a moment to remember the unique psychological thriller that is the anime. Death Note the anime was based off of the manga created by Tsugumi Ohba. It follows a high school genius who takes it upon himself to rid the world of evil when a mysterious notebook with the power to end a life at will falls into his hands. Each episode takes the viewer deeper and deeper into his chaotic unraveling as he desperately spins lies and more slayings in order to hide his true identity while also continuing his self-proclaimed destiny. Death Note is a staple amongst most darker anime lovers and I have loved this one for a very long time. So imagine my… surprise… when I discovered Netflix was releasing a live action adaptation.
Netflix dropped the controversial title in 2017, directed by Adam Wingard. Instead of Japan, this story takes place in Seattle, Washington. Light’s surname changed from Yagami to Turner. Don’t get me started on what they did to my girl Misa (Mia, seriously?!) Anyway, I’m sure this movie is delightful for those who have never seen the anime, or they can somehow appreciate an AU telling that is miles apart from the original plot. There are bits and pieces I did enjoy from this movie, believe it or not. I happened to find humor in unexpected places… like when Light loses his ever loving mind when he first meets Ryuk.
As if the blatant white washing wasn’t controversial enough, the adaptation takes it just a step further by featuring footage from an actual train collision. Images from the Halle train crash in Belgium were used in the film and upset many who found this to be in poor taste, as many passengers lost their lives during this collision.
All in all, I can personally say that I am not a fan of this film. I know many who do enjoy it for reasons beyond comparison to the anime and the manga and that is great. There is also talk of a sequel being released soon with promises that it will follow closer to the manga. I suppose we will just have to see how that plays out!
Tell us what YOU think about Netflix’s Death Note! We love hearing your take so leave a comment below! ✌