Earlier today, Death Note slipped its way into news-feeds everywhere when a trailer for Netflix’s adaptation dropped. The site is set to debut its live-action take on Death Note in August, leaving anime fans to squabble over the film. Otakus have already criticized the movie’s decision to alter its leads, but Death Note’s director i now explaining why that choice was made.
Recently, Adam Wingard sat down with IGN to talk about his tenure on Death Note. The director nodded to his love for Tsugumi Ohba’s work, but Wingard felt Netflix’s Americanized take on Death Note needed to shifts its characters’ personalities.
“At its core, it’s taking the themes of who the characters are but it's exploring them in a new context,” Wingard explained.
“Ultimately the personalities of the characters a quite a bit different... L isn't the same. There are a lot of similarities — he likes candy, sometimes he romps around with his shoes off. Those kinds of things, but at the end of the day the take on L and the escalation of his character is very different,” the director continued. “He’s still a weirdo. It's the same for almost all the characters across the board. Probably the only character that comes off as the same way as he does in the anime is Ryuk.”
When Death Note’s first trailer dropped, fans were quick to spot how different Light and L came off from their anime predecessors. In the original series, Light is the definition of a ‘Good Kid’ thanks to his pristine grades and lovely disposition. The front makes it all the more shocking as fans watch the student turn into a cultic serial killer. As for L, the quiet prodigy does his detective work from the shadows and prefers mind-games to all-out warfare.
The trailer for Netflix clearly shows the changes which Light and L have undergone. The live-action hero looks a bit grungy, and his greasy hair contradicts the put-together image of Light from the anime. As for L, the detective has his odd quirks, but his interest in the spotlight has fans scratching their heads.
Netflix’s Death Note will not be a shot-by-shot recreation of Ohba’s series; Fans should go in knowing the adaptation won’t be a literal one. Still, the vision which Wingard has painted may still capture the spirit of Death Note yet. And, at the very least, Ryuk looks like his bit in the film will be a breakout one.
“Light Yagami is an ace student with great prospects—and he’s bored out of his mind. But all that changes when he finds the Death Note, a notebook dropped by a rogue Shinigami death god. Any human whose name is written in the notebook dies, and Light has vowed to use the power of the Death Note to rid the world of evil. But will Light succeed in his noble goal, or will the Death Note turn him into the very thing he fights against?”
What if you had the power to decide who lives and who dies? We suggest you obey the rules. Based on the famous Japanese manga written by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata, Death Note follows a high school student who comes across a supernatural notebook, realizing it holds within it a great power; if the owner inscribes someone's name into it while picturing their face, he or she will die. Intoxicated with his new godlike abilities, the young man begins to kill those he deems unworthy of life.0comments
Death Note will be available to stream on Netflix beginning August 25, 2017.