Death Note has always been something I would notice from time to time that looked really aesthetically interesting. The big demon with pins on its back looked cool as hell and from what I loosely gathered together, the idea of the Death Note was gangsta.
There was every reason for me to watch the show but one thing always stopped me, my dislike of anime.
Shit sounds blasphemous (especially on the internet) to say that anime in general is just a dub but honestly aside from Dragon Ball Z I’ve never been able to get into the genre.
When Netflix announced that they’d be making an adaptation of Death Note I was immediately excited. I personally can’t do anime because of how long the shows run, but a 90 minute movie I can do.
When the movie was finally released on August 25th I sat down to watch Death Note for the first time ever.
Death Note, directed by Adam Wingard, is about an emotional high school teen named Light who is magically granted a book called the Death Note.
The Death Note comes paired with a death God named Ryuk who explains that with just a name and a face Light can write anyone’s name in the Death Note and cause their death.
Light decides to first kill his high school bully and then goes after a bunch of evil people doing evil things.
Throughout the movie Light goes through some teenage drama with other high schoolers concerning the Death Note all while playing cat and mouse with a wacky and genius detective named L.
This being the only medium I’ve ever seen the story of Death Note I thought the movie was pretty okay. It didn’t amaze me but I don’t think it’s as bad as the internet is making it out to be.
just watched (netflix) Death Note pic.twitter.com/95b2BxdVZN
— Frank Gioia (@CrankThatFrank) September 5, 2017
The general plot of the movie was fun to see and Willem Dafoe as Ryuk was exciting every time he was on screen. Not going in with high expectations and more as an outside observer, I think the movie did everything it wanted to do.
Being adapted not only to a new medium but to an entire audience, you’re guaranteed to lose some things in translation.
Death Note as an anime is 37 episodes long and centered in a Japanese market, the movie is condensed to just 90 minutes and was made to target the general American audience.
In America we like seeing shit explode and people getting fucked up, it’s a sad truth but generally our market gravitates more to huge aesthetics rather than deep plot. The death scenes were cool as fuck and the cast wasn’t too bad either.
The characters were all really animated almost in a Scott Pilgrim vs. the World way but worse.
Overall I sincerely believe this movie was made exactly how it was meant to be made. Director Adam Wingard managed to set a great tone for the movie and sharpened it up with beautiful shots and stunning visuals.
The story never seemed rushed and I had fun watching it unfold. Sure it’s not as deep as a 37-episode anime but that’s what we have the anime for, this film adaptation stands firmly on its own, and at the very least it’s a pretty entertaining movie.
Watch Death Note now streaming on Netflix.