The Lowdown: Netflix On Death Note

Image Source: Netflix US & Canada

A huge trailer dropped this week. If you missed our previous post, the Netflix live-action adaptation of Death Note is actually coming.

Death Note is an undeniable staple of anime—one that everyone seems to watch early on and cements people into viewing anime as a legitimate genre. In Japan, Death Note has been adapted from a manga into an anime, four live-action movies, a live-action TV show, and a musical. Of course, with Death Note getting the American treatment, people are getting into a hissy fit about every detail released so far (albeit a couple). And like everyone else, I’ve got some major reservations about this adaptation (albeit a couple).

1. The Setting

Out of every gripe, I absolutely understand this one the most. Why the hell is this set in the United States? My guess is so that they can do this in English. I can’t wait for them to explain Ryuk. My guess is that he’s won’t be a “Shinigami.”

2. The Casting

I’m going to use this portion to play devil’s advocate.

If you’re okay with Scarlett Johansson playing Major Motoko Kusanagi, then using the same argument, you’re okay with Lakeith

Image courtesy of Netflix US & Canada.

Stanfield playing L. It’s an adaptation, right? If Nat Wolff can be Light, then all the rules are out the f*cking window. Seriously, though. Why does Light look like everything that went wrong Peter Parker in Spider-Man 3? Why the terrible dye job on the blond hair? Why Nat Wolff?

I can hear you typing now. “But Motoko is a cyborg!” “Her body isn’t even her original body!” “But Mamoru Oshii says she’s the perfect casting for Motoko!”

All fine arguments. But Motoko should still be an Asian actress, and you know it—just as Light and L should be young Asian men.

The one thing I don’t understand the most about the outrage over casting is the targeting of Lakeith Stanfield. Have you seen Lakeith act? I guarantee you he will not be the weak part of this movie.

3. This Film will be a Hard R

While most people are just now aware of Netflix doing Death Note, Netflix actually acquired the rights back in April of 2016. In September of 2016, director Adam Wingard said this; “…Doing my first live-action anime thing, to me it was important that you have…adult themes. So, it’s got nudity, it’s got swearing, it’s got a ton of violence.” See the interview here.

I feel real weird about the nudity, but I’m pumped for everything else. I hate films that should be R-Rated but are bumped down to PG-13. Death Note deserves to be an R. I’m glad it is.

4. Ryuk

Willem Dafoe is THE perfect choice for Ryuk. I mean, look at him! He was born for this role.

Image courtesy of

Death Note will be released on August 25, 2017.

How do you feel about the live-action adaptation of Netflix? Feel free to yell in the comment section below.


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