Show ends on a death note

Netflix Anime remake is a let down


Photo by Netflix

Story by Emilee Slayton, staff writer

As rain and wind roll into a Seattle high school, a teenage boy sits outside on a tabletop, noticing a strange black notebook fall from the sky. He walks over cautiously. Picking up the notebook from the muddy ground, he flips it over to reveal its title: Death Note.

Death Note is a 2006 Japanese manga series about a teenage boy named Light Yagami who finds a supernatural notebook. The Death Note condemns anyone whose name is written inside to die, with certain rules of course. Death Note belonged to Ryuk, a Shinigami or “Reaper” who dropped the notebook to Earth so people would write names in it. After making contact with the notebook, Light meets Ryuk.

Light becomes crazed with the idea of becoming a god and getting rid of criminals, wanting to make a new world where he lets people live through his decisions.

Critics say that the movie was rushed and contained multiple plot holes that didn’t really connect with the original series. Rotten Tomatoes dubbed Netflix’s version a measly 42 percent. This is similar to the IMDb rating of 4.6/10, a considerably low rating. Surprisingly though, some critics thought the movie wasn’t that bad, as IGN gave it a good review of 7/10.

While the movie’s lead went downhill, the supporting cast did an excellent job with their roles. Willem Dafoe as Ryuk helped the movie a lot even though he wasn’t really seen as much in the movie compared to the series. Dafoe definitely was spot on with making Ryuk a fearsome, morbid, apple-obsessed Shinigami that we all know and love.

L is a character from the original Death Note who is a genius and only wants to figure out who Kira is and how Kira is killing all these people. Kira is actually Light, the teenager who found the notebook. Kira (Light) is hiding his real identity from the world so everyone can think he is a god or so he won’t be recognized by authorities.

In the series, L is calm, collected and knows all the right things to say or not to say. He is also very obsessed with candy and sugary foods due to his insomnia. In the movie, L is somewhat obsessed, crazy, even a little paranoid to the point where he was never calm or collected. L just wanted to kill Kira without justice.

Showing more teenage drama than the original series, we get to know the character Misa, who was a model and thought Kira (Light) was her grateful savior. She thanks Kira for killing the man who murdered her family. Eventually, Misa finds out who Kira is and wants to help out Light to uncover L’s real identity.

In the new movie adaption, Misa is called Mia, a high school cheerleader who doesn’t really care who L is and just wants to write down people’s names as she becomes obsessed with the Death Note instead of Kira.  

Altogether, I was disappointed with the movie. I felt as if the writers of Netflix could have chosen Japanese actors and could have turned the movie into a live adaption series so it wouldn’t feel so rushed. In this case, the viewers could have time to compose themselves and process what was happening.

If you know that you will probably be disappointed with the movie, then just watch the original Death Note series. The movie or the anime will leave you on the edge of your seat because of the great drama it provides.

As the character, L would do, grab lots of sugary candy for Death Note and enjoy.