At the end of last month Netflix released a trailer for their adaptation of Death Note…
Apparently, everybody hated it.
At first, I jumped on the hate train, looking at the stupid names and the overall aesthetic of the trailer, but I took some time to think about it and actually, it might not turn out as badly as everybody is thinking.
I was reading around and some people brought up the whitewashing again and how the characters aren’t Asian. You have to keep in mind that this is a western adaptation so of course it’s going to reflect diversity in western countries (A note from The Editor: My beef is that most of how the plot unfolds in the original anime hinges entirely on how Japanese law works. Them trying to claim that it’s a “””Western Adaptation””” just turns it into the story of a sociopathic white boy with a god complex, which, COME ON). However the name ‘Light Turner’ is kind of dumb. And I would hesitate to call this an adaptation. Maybe more like this is based off of Death Note, because from the trailer it seems they’ll be taking a lot of their own creative liberties, which I think is fine. We saw Japan’s adaption of Death Note… fair to say, I didn’t really like it. They tried to follow the anime very closely, but trying to translate something from animation straight to live action doesn’t always work well. I think it’s good if you make some big changes from original work to make it fit the medium. Not everything is going to carrt over perfectly, so it’s something that needs to be in the back of the director’s mind.
It’s hard to make a true judgement call based solely on the trailer but there is one thing that bothered me a lot: Why is Misa a cheerleader? They had so many options to choose from, but they picked a generic cheerleader. I know they couldn’t make her a popstar since in the western world we don’t have the same type of “idol” culture that they do in Japan, but we have something that’s close to it that I think would:ve been perfect for Misa: an Instagram model. I think that’s the closest American sensationalist role to a Japanese Idol. They’re influential and live lavishly (appearance-wise, not always in reality). Or maybe even a big YouTuber… anything other than cheerleader, that’s so cliché.
And you know I have to say something about L being Black: I like this idea (A note from The Editor: But he’s going to die. They’re gonna Kill The Black Guy Off First, because that’s literally the majority of the plot). Definitely a different pick than what I thought they’d do. I’m really curious to see what type of character we get with the mixing of Black western character types and L’s personality. I’m hoping we get something truly unique. If he doesn’t have an eccentric personality at the very least, I’m going to be super upset. No pressure, Netflix.
Kind of disappointed in their pick for Light… He’s supposed to be super good looking, right? Not attracted to this guy in the least, but I guess that’s up to personal preference, so maybe a lot of people think he’s attractive and I just can’t see it?
Although after all that, I do have to admit that it wasn’t a very good trailer.
Let me know what you thought about the trailer when you saw it!