Death Note is the first #anime I have ever watched. It was recommended to me at a 98% match on #netflix, so I decided to see what it was. To my surprise, it was not what I pictured Anime as being. I always thought it was something with action and magic, but this is not the case. Death Note is one of the best shows I've ever watched. It's smart, well-written, and incredibly suspenseful. I'd love to see it in a live-action form, but I'm wondering, is a Netflix film the way to go?
Death Note: What is It?
Death Note follows the life of a high school boy, Light, who one day discovers a notebook, called Death Note, after watching it fall to the ground from the sky. Out of curiosity, he opens the book and reads the first rule, which explains how the notebook works. The book belongs to a God of Death (Shinigami) who follows the human around until he or she loses possession of the book or dies. You write a human name into the book and that person will die. Despite being apprehensive at first, he takes the book with him and continues to read the rest of the rules. In order for the person to die, the person writing the name must know both the name and the face of the person he or she intends to kill.
Light starts out using the book only to kill the horrible people who ended up on the news for murder and other heinous acts. However, he soon becomes addicted and starts to view himself as a God getting rid of the filth of the world, thinking that he will make the world more peaceful place for only the good. In a way, he could do this, but he ends up drunk off of the power the book brings him, murdering anyone who stands in the way of his killings, including innocent investigators and people who love him. He is known as 'Kira' to the world and his influence starts to impact the world in a negative way because people begin to act differently, not from becoming good, but out of fear they'll be killed by Kira for stepping out of line at all.
Things become increasingly hectic because Light's father is the police chief of the investigation who is investigating Kira. Light becomes part of the force after a Second Kira begins killing others in the hope of meeting the real Kira. The top investigator is brilliant and goes by the name L. In the end, finding out who Kira is becomes a war between two brilliant minds, pure L and evil Light.
Will the Film Follow the Anime?
From what I'm seeing, the film version is much different from the Anime version. Obviously, none of the main actors in the film are Japanese, which seems stupid, but it is what it is. Also, the storyline seems less involved than the Anime storyline. The only elements that are the same include the Shigiami, the general use and purpose of the Death Note, and the original want of using the book to rid the world of evil. The film is definitely not going into as much detail as the Anime version did, which is expected due to the story being told in a shorter amount of time. A miniseries would have allowed for more of the story to be played out.
Is it Still Worth Watching?
Yes, I believe that the film version will still be worth the watch. It's action packed and seems interesting. The issue will be for those who have been exposed to the genius of the Anime series. The film doesn't seem to focus on the genius of Light or L, which for me was one of the best parts of Death Note. It focuses more on the thought of a teenager being the one with the power from the book and how dangerous that could be, even if his intentions are to rid the world of evil.
However, the director is a fan of Anime and Death Note, so I don't think he will ruin the premise of the Anime. He is taking the idea of Death Note and doing his own thing with it instead. I hope that he stays true to the thought-provoking and psychological aspect of the Anime/Manga.