How to make Netflix’s Death Note an acceptable adaption

How to make Netflix’s Death Note an acceptable adaption

Okay. I’m going to just say it. If you thought this movie was going to be good or REMOTELY provide some justice to its source material, you’re an idiot. There’s nothing wrong with being hopeful but I feel like we need to move on from this abusive relationship that we as anime fans have dealt with. How many times can we get our hopes up with slightly interesting trailers and decent casting choices? As much as Hollywood wants to invest into these stories, they don’t make the effort to at least keep the current structure of the source material which leads us to the Death Note Netflix Movie.


I understand that we’ve seen so many different renditions of Light and L’s battle via multiple live actions films, live plays, and the anime/manga but there’s only so much that you can do to make this story “fresh.” As the Death Note movie was announced, I don’t think any sane person truly believed that it would be a direct adaption BUT that doesn’t mean that they’re allowed to banish what makes the series great in the first place. If you want to completely divert from it and make your own tale, I think it’s time for you to get more creative and use completely different names. Light Turner doesn’t count.

It’s difficult to really pinpoint or place blame on one person. Everyone played a part in this shit show but I also can understand it’s appeal to people who’ve never watched the original Death Note Series. So when someone does ask me about it, I tell them to give it a shot BUT watch the anime after you’re done. It’d be disappointing knowing that this is your overall perception of a wonderful series.


This movie would be an acceptable adaption if they had a better understanding of the characters they are utilizing and their relationships to each other. It’s frustrating to see how gutted these characters become whether it’s Light and his father in the initial parts of the movie or L when he takes this extremely silly path of vengeance towards the end. If only they put more time into developing light and L’s cat and mouse games that were so well done in the source material. Not only that but those kills that made Light shine before meeting L like his defeat over Raye Penber and his fiance. It’s a damn shame.

The relationships between characters are what bothered me the most. We all know that Light and Mia’s relationship was just bullshit Hollywood love story but that just damaged Light’s character entirely mostly because, in the source material, Misa is a tool to Light. Light is portrayed as an intellectual, bored with life given with this power to, in his opinion, make the world a better place by ridding it of evil. As funny as Light’s reaction to seeing Ryuk for the first time was, there weren’t any interesting interactions between the two. It’s almost as if Ryuk had no interest in Light at all.


I’ve always been optimistic about anime live action adaptions but I can’t help but feel that this may be one of the best we’ll get out of Hollywood. I say Hollywood specifically because Japan has been able to pump out some quality live action adaptions. I just hope that whoever works with any future anime/manga source material in Hollywood, actually takes the time to analyze it and keep what is necessary. As Pablo Picasso once said, “Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”


2 Replies to “How to make Netflix’s Death Note an acceptable adaption”

  1. Can’t say I disagree. I think what bothers me the most is that, on its own, it just isn’t all that interesting; I mean, there’s a death god in this! It should at least be interesting. I didn’t care about what any of the characters did, let alone about their relationships. Looking at what the film makers were going with (Light using the Death Note to exact justice all around the world), they could have really delved into more detail about finding these different political leaders, as well as how Light decides which ones should be killed. Why kill an army official in North Korea when you can kill the dictator? Had the movie focused on things like that rather than Light’s relationship with Mia, I think the film would have been for the better.

    There’s also stuff that just doesn’t make sense: how can Light successfully enter Watari’s name in the Death Note? Doesn’t he need a first AND last name? Isn’t Watari supposed to be an alias, anyway? Why does the movie hint at L being smart, yet have him act carelessly? I understand time limitations, but it’s all about what you do with the time given, and, quite frankly, they didn’t do much.

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