This Live-Action 'Death Note' Short Film Has Anime Fans Buzzing

This year, Death Note resurfaced in a big way after Netflix released its live-action take on the series. The big-budget adaptation didn't wow audiences like many had hoped, but there is one fan-film out there hoping to show Hollywood how its really done.

If you head over to Youtube, you will find a new channel has joined the anime community. Re:Anime launched recently, and its goal is simple. The channel hopes to put real anime fans and industry professionals together to show Hollywood how live-action adaptations could go right. So, filmmaker Nik Shaw decided to give Death Note a go.

The 12-minute film gives fans a glimpse at what Hollywood could do with anime if it took the risks needed to do the medium justice. The film forgoes any whitewashing with its inclusion of Kento Matsunami, a Japanese-born actor from Tokyo. The actor was tasked with bringing Light Yagami to life, and the film's dark visuals feel more in-line with what anime fans had hoped to see from Netflix's take.

The film begins with Light going through his ordinary life, but the student comes to a crossroad when he stumbles upon a Death Note. After being faced with society's injustices, Light uses his Death Note to kill off a crazed student holding his peers hostage, and the character's thirst for justice only grows from there.

The film isn't perfect, but fans do agree this Death Note film shows the true potential of authentically made adaptations. The project was made with a budget of just $5,000, so the hazy visual effects surrounding Ryuk can be forgiven. The tone of this fan-film did what Netflix's pricey feature failed to as it set up the cat-and-mouse game which the detective L plays with Light. And, don't worry - no ferris wheel stunts were needed for this movie.


With Death Note up for review, Re:Anime hopes to tackle another live-action anime adaptation soon. The channel is currently fundraising money to adapt Erased, a thrilling anime tale about a boy and the journey he goes on to save his loved ones from a serial killer. You can check out the channel's Kickstart campaign here.

Are you hoping Hollywood gives Death Note another go? Hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to let me know and talk all things comics, k-pop, and anime!