I watched the movie for the first time this afternoon. If the intent was to mislead those who knew nothing about the source material, I’d say mission accomplished.
When news of the movie broke three years ago, it caused quite a stir and mainly because two Live Action films that follow the original plot had already been done in Japan and was later dubbed by the English VAs who dubbed the Anime:
…I have both of them on DVD. I’d know.
The Netflix version…I STILL can’t believe the creator didn’t sue. Nevermind the fact every aspect of the movie was Westernized including Ryuk–no offense intended toward Williem Defoe, he was prettymuch the only positive–to the point fans are left with no choice but to assume it was meant to insult the source material and even worse, mock fans of the source material.
Is this mean to Whitewash Japanese Culture? Of course, goes without saying. Just look at the cast of three of the four leads pictured. In the Netflix version, they bleached Light’s hair blonde for some reason. Misa–Mia in the Netflix version–is cast with brown hair. L…I actually don’t have a problem with him being black. What I do have a problem with is how he and Light are portrayed.
They are out of character 99% of the time. It’s obvious they went out of their way to make the personalities of the two leads as far from the source material as possible:
- Light Yagami is cool, calulating and confident. Light Tucker (yes, the last name is Americanized) is boring, whiny and a coward. Light Yagami actually spends time learning how to use the Death Note and even experiments to learn how much power he has with his targets. Light Tucker’s Death Note has all the rules written down for him but still he hesitates to use it fully and this is exemplified when Mia takes matters into her own hands.
- L Lawlett (that’s his real name) is cool, calm and calulating at all times. Netflix’s version falls apart when Watari disappears. L Lawlett demonstrates throughout both the Manga and the Anime even when the situation calls for panic, he is cool as a cucumber. The Netflix version gives in to paranoia after Watari’s disappearance and goes off, chasing Light through the streets with a gun.
- Mia–Misa Amane in the source material–is your textbook psycho poser and is actually more in line with how Light is in the source material after a certain point with shades of Misa sprinkled in. She almost saved the movie actually. ALMOST. Misa Amane introduces a second Death Note and a second Shinigami named Rem into the series. Unlike Light, Misa did the Eye Deal so she can learn a person’s name just by looking at them in exchange for half of her remaining lifespan.
- Ryuk–voiced by Williem Defoe–was the only one who was almost completely the same as the source material. He’s portrayed as a sort of bogeyman in the Netflix version as well.
I’m just gonna say DO NOT WATCH THIS if you are a Fan of Death Note or are interested in it. Watch the Japanese Live Action version instead.
…Shame on Netflix. That’s all I’m gonna say. That and I’m glad I’m not renewing my Netflix subscription now. LOL.