Sep 4, 2017

Movie Monday: Death Note TV versus Movie

Movie Monday is a new feature at Cover2CoverBlog where I talk about Book-Movie Adaptations. If you have any recommendations let me know in the comments. 

This feature may contain SPOILERS to both the books AND the movies so read carefully (and in this case the TV Show)

Today's comparison is... 

Death Note
Death Note screenshot    DeathNotePoster.jpg
Image sources: Anime-Planet and Wikipedia   
Death Note
Studio: Madhouse
Run Dates: October 2016- June 2017
Death Note
Distributed by: Netflix
Release Date: August 25, 2017

 SPOILERS AHEAD! Loads of them!
So just a note right off - I have NOT read the Death Note manga series (I need to and would love to). There was a time in my life when I watched A LOT of anime though and Death Note was one of those series. I recently started re-watching it when it arrived on Netflix, completely forgetting that they were going to do a 'movie' adaptation. It is a great anime and it is one that you can watch a few times and still pick up on new things.

So when the new Netflix movie was available I watched it that weekend and while it was ok it wasn't the best adaptation. I had a few issues ...

1. You almost never really see Ryuk in the movie - why? He is so much fun to look at and he is a very entertaining part of the tv series. He is terrifying and they put a lot of work into generating him for the movie so why not show him off more.?!!?! That being said, Willem DaFoe lending his voice was pretty amazing and I loved that aspect.

2. Obviously there was whitewashing, it is an Asian series with Asian characters being recast in Seattle with a predominantly white cast. From what I understand this takes away from a lot of the cultural references and background that is needed for the story to really work. Granted, I have seen the series and so maybe I already have the background needed to watch the movie without feeling like I am missing that. Even still, I was surprised there weren't many Asian/Asian-Americans in the cast.

3. Light - this character, oh my gosh so frustrating. In the movie he is an outcast trying to do good things with the Note. In the series he is kind of crazy-pants. He is a kid that thinks he knows what is best for the world and has the superiority to implement it. So instead we are supposed to feel for the new Light? - no, sorry, that is weird.

4. Misa is replaced with Mia - Misa is famous in the series which lends to other issues with helping Light. In the movie, Mia is a popular teen... This is fine, I understand they had to cut down certain aspects to have a decent length movie but I don''t understand why this girl would fall for Light even after bring shown the Note in action. Why she wants to help is never really explained...

5. AND THAT'S ANOTHER THING - He shows it to her right off the movie was barely a half hour in, WHAT?! Light, you idiot!!

6. L and the game - the TV series was this incredible game of back and forth between L and Light, it was creative and like a game of chess almost, the movie really cuts into that and goes for a more to-the-point case and I think that it bastardized the whole thing for me.

All in all, I am glad I watched it but it is not worth watching again. I wanted more Ryuk and more of the cunning maneuvers you got in the show between L and Light. I am a little sad about it but I will happily keep re-watching the series. 

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