Netflix’s Death Note falls flat

Wingard’s film upsets many fans by stripping key elements of beloved anime to create a bad live-action movie.


Photo: Wikimedia, 9/12/17

Alondra Urizar, Writer

A condensed, gory onslaught

Having watched several different animes, I wondered how the Netflix adapted version of “Death Note” would turn out. I heard rumors far and wide it would be terrible and not up to par with the anime. I decided to give the new version a chance, curious as to how American horror film director Adam Wingard would spin this must-see anime.

The original anime centered around Light Yagami, an intelligent and popular Japanese high school student who happens upon the Death Note, a notebook which can kill anyone whose name is written inside. With this knowledge, he meets Ryuk, a Shinigami or death god, who follows Light to watch him fulfill his desire to become a god and punish all the criminals who avoided punishment.

Being a show with a total of 37 episodes, the directors had much more time to explore the different characters and their interactions with each other. Throughout the episodes, viewers found themselves watching and rooting for Light as he makes a new name for himself as “Kira.” However, L, a great detective arrives to discover the true Kira and eventually, the two characters meet. From there, the race to outsmart the other begins and continues over the course of several years. Light goes to great extremes to keep his Kira identity quiet and to resume bringing justice to those who were not given justice, while using and manipulating others to keep everything in order.

Meanwhile, the Netflix version condensed everything down to a gory one hour and forty one minutes. Characterized as a troubled teen in Seattle Washington, Light Turner seeks to restore justice to his mother’s murder. He finds the Death Note and Ryuk quickly, using the notebook to kill his first victim, the school bully. He gains the attention of popular cheerleader Mia Sutton and as soon as she learns of his new ability and powers, manipulates him with love and sex to control him and the Death Note.

A dissapointing comparison

The disappointing comparison of the movie with the show shines through as Light becomes easily manipulated by Mia and never becomes friends with L with the intent to outsmart and eventually kill him. The movie limits interactions to the two protagonists and their relationship in a disappointingly typical American way.

While Light out maneuvers both L and Mia near the very end, the plot has many holes, leaving viewers with questions and unsatisfied with the ending.

Despite the movie’s disappointments, fans should not have backlashed to the point where Wingard needed to delete his Twitter. Fans should have engaged in a respectful but insightful conversation instead of resorting to online bullying to prove their point.

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