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Anime vs. Movie: The Movie Will Make It To Yagami’s Death Note

by Pallavi Narang
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Death Note

Death Note is one of those anime that everyone has watched or at least heard of. The masterpiece has etched a permanent place in our hearts with its gritty setting, on-point execution, and characters that we cannot help but love. The adaptation of one of the greatest shows in history came out in 2017 with the same name. While the Death Note movie is just an adaptation of the original work, it still failed to convince the fans. 

The Death Note movie, a commendable project of Adam Wingard, was just that. Commendable. He tried to retell a story that is wildly loved, but alas, he failed. The sprawling and twisted world of Death Note could not be captured in just 100 minutes, and what it resulted in was cringy, ludicrous, and full of plot holes, misshaped screenplay. Here we compare the great anime to the movie to see just what tied the rope around the Death Note movie’s neck.

Light’s Character: 

Light Yagami, in the manga and anime, is a charismatic guy. From the start, we know he is intelligent, cunning, popular, and entitled. When he finds the Death Note, there is a natural transition of a studious boy turning into a megalomaniac, cold-hearted serial killer. He has a cold motivation, a reason whom he should kill, and how. 

Light Turner of the Death Note movie had an attitude that seemed one-dimensional and out of place. He was a loner, completely opposite of his original character. He killed people ruthlessly; his motivation was never made clear. We see him planning gory, sickeningly detailed deaths that were not necessary. All in all, the charm of the original character was murdered in the Death Note movie. 

Misa’s (or Mia in the Death Note movie) role

Anyone who has read the manga or watched the Death Note anime can vouch that Misa’s character plays a significant role in the story. She was the second Kira, an accomplice. She was portrayed as someone who can plot schemes and charm someone’s pants off at the same time. Her devotion to Kira’s aim was justified. 

And in the Death Note movie? Her character was just a whiny girl who has no reason behind following Kira’s plans. Their love feels like a scam, a lie so plain that we are left in disbelief. There is no chemistry between them, not any sense why they are making out and killing people simultaneously. 

The Cat and Mouse Game 

What we loved about the Death Note anime were the relentless and equally challenged cat and mouse chase. It made us twitchy watching Light escape L’s snares every time, but still, L seems to catch his facade. The real thrill and brains of the show were the part of the chase between the antagonist and the protagonist. 

In the Death Note movie, though, when L, with all his brains and charms, is introduced, we know that there is no way Light can escape. There is no competition, no brawl of brains between the two. The whole movie loses its point because of this. 

I had some hope with the Death Note movie. After all, Adam Wingard knows how to portray a scene that justifies the genre. And Nat Wolff has a small part of my heart since Paper Towns and TFIOS. But what we got was a movie that leaves us angered and cringed. At the end of the movie will make it Light Yagami’s list death note for being as horrendous as it was.

If you need a cleanser after watching it, check out these anime.

What did you think of the Death Note movie? Let us know in the comments below.


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