The Mediocrity of Netflix’s DEATH NOTE

I tried. Seriously… I tried. But like all American adaptations of great Japanese anime, it has disappointed me in more ways than one.

I did, though, tried.

I tried to watch it as it is supposed to be – an adaptation. However, it still failed to deliver. I must stress that everything that made the original great and remarkable was non-existent in this film. I wondered what was going through the minds of the writers, producers, and director during its production.

Have they watched the original anime series? How about the Japanese movie adaptations? Has any one of them read the manga as well?

It may be just an adaptation, an American version of the original, but why take away a big factor of what makes Death Note extraordinary and create something so cliché and mediocre?


The characters have no chemistry. Lack character development. Entirely Lacklustre.

I find it a total shame not to have seen in this film one of the reasons (if not THE Reason) that made the anime so great – the chemistry between Light Yagami (in this case, Light Turner) and L. Two geniuses clashing brain power is electrifying to watch, it keeps you at the edge of your seat as you wait to see how each one would try to overwhelm the other. Two chess players patiently deliberating strategies and moving at their own pace until one cries checkmate.

You won’t see that in this movie.

Unlike the cool, calm and collected genius that Light Yagami was, Light Turner turned out to be a loser in high school who just happens to be quite smart (total American high school cliché). Of course, we don’t really have much proof of his supposed genius because of lack in character development, but he did get a chance to use his head by the end of the movie; albeit in a rather uninteresting way.

Also, they made him into a pathetic fool, controlled by a psychotic girl who is just plain annoying and with no depth in character whatsoever. An extra on the side who is mainly there to serve its purpose then discarded afterward. Totally unlike the sweet Amane Misa.

L, whose actor I’ve been initially disappointed with and mentioned HERE, was not as enthralling as the original one either. Though I did like the contrast in his clothing from the original L, the character is just lacking in so many ways. And when he started being overly emotional and acting like an immature brat, I just gave up and just wished the film to end.

L and Light

Willem Dafoe, who played the death god Ryuk, and whom I thought would be this film’s saving grace wasn’t enough either. They’ve turned Ryuk into a manipulative monster who doesn’t really add much spice to the story.

He doesn’t appear much either…

The storyline was too fast-paced for its own good. The two main characters (who basically are the core of the story) have suffered greatly due to this and the way they’ve concluded the story was too rushed to the point where it seemed like the people behind the film just wanted to get it over and done with.

The result? The ending didn’t leave me wanting more… I was just glad it ended.


Overall, Netflix’s Death Note is an utter let-down and an entirely forgettable version of a great anime series.


Netflix’s live-action Death Note and Horrendous Casting Choices

So my sister just tagged me a video posted by GameSpot on Facebook titled “Death Note – Main Cast Comparison” (see video HERE). There is no easy way to say this, but it left me horribly stunned and…


…yeah, that expression.

As a long time fan of the manga, the anime, the japanese live-action movies and live-action jdorama, Hollywood aspiring to make their own live adaptation of Death Note is just NO! It brings back those Dragon Ball Evolution feels again. The wrong kind of feels if you have watched DBE back in 2009. It’s just so bad it’s tragic!

And do you know what really scared me the most? It was Netflix’s casting choices. I’m not going to give a detailed account of all the characters already cast in their respective roles; however, no one is going to prevent me from giving my two cents on the actors chosen to play Light Yagami and L Lawliet (most especially L).

NAT WOLFF as Light Turner

Nat Wolff as Light Turner (Light Yagami in Japan)

Nat Wolff, well-known to have played the lead role in Paper Towns, is honestly not so bad in the acting department. Nevertheless, playing an iconic anime character as big as Light Yagami, I’m still not convinced whether he could give justice to the role. There’s just something in his appearance or body stance that just didn’t fit well with Light’s character. Here’s to hoping for those in charge of his clothes and makeup to make him look the part and hoping to see that dark side of Light in his acting.


l lawliet
Keith Stanfield as L Lawliet

Oh God No. Seriously…. No! This is not being racist nor do I have anything against Keith Stanfield, but let’s be real here for a second. Give yourselves a moment to ask and answer this glaring question: Why would you cast a black person to play the role of one of the palest anime character in the history of anime?

L is seen for the most part of the series, in a plain white shirt and blue jeans. He lacks footwear at all times, and seems to have a certain disliking for socks. He has a plain, impassive face, with eyes that bare deep shadows beneath them. His hair is black and he wears it long and to the back, with spikes. Physically, he is slim and pale. He is around the same height as Light, standing at 5 foot 8, though he never stands straight so it would be impossible to tell for sure.

When asked about L’s ethnicity, Ohba responded saying “I think of him as a quarter Japanese, a quarter English, a quarter Russian, a quarter French or Italian, like that”.

I could clearly post a whole rant about how wrongfully L’s character was casted, but unfortunately, it is done and I have no idea how it can be undone. They should have chosen asian actors/actresses. Or better yet, they should have created a different film altogether and claim to have it inspired by the Death Note manga instead.

Kenichi Matsuyama as “L Lawliet” in the live-action movies

Yes, Kenichi-san. I am sad too. 😦

Anyway, the Death Note film will be directed by Adam Wingard (The guest, You’re Next) and will premiere streaming in 2017.