From its creation in 2003 to now, theDeath Note manga has sold over 30 million copies, and the anime series garnered even more popularity, especially in America. Death Note has already inspired three Japanese live-action films, and in 2017, Netflix will release the first American live action-adaptation.
If we’re lucky, some of the magic which we love from the original will transfer over to the newest adaption. Here are a few things we’d like to see rub off on Netflix’s Death Note.
L and Light’s battle of wits
The success of this show is most definitely the dynamic between these two characters and their highly entertaining game of cat and mouse. Watching as they try to outwit each other and catch each other off-guard is thrilling and suspenseful.
Yes, the Death Note and all of the Shinigami are awesome, but if not for the driven and ever-constant battle between these two, the show most definitely would’ve faltered. And in the stretch of episodes where L isn’t present, its pretty unanimous that the show loses its appeal. So making sure to keep that dynamic in the forefront of the show is the most important part that needs to carry over.
What kept minutes upon minutes of internal dialogue between the two characters interesting was the art and cinematography of the anime. Just in the first episode, we see the scope of the art direction in how the creators make Light penning the names of his victims into the Death Note the most epic thing ever. With a wide swoosh of his arm, a man careened to his death off of the side of a building, and with a forceful tap on the page, another’s heart stops and he collapses and falls into glass. It’s cool and fast-paced and a testament to how breathtaking and suspenseful a scene about a physically simple task can be. If the director of the new film can have as much fun as these guys did with tennis matches, the opening credits, heart attacks, minutes of intently thinking, we’re in for a treat.
There have been and will be plenty of eccentric geniuses in fiction – and L is no exception – but in order to make him stand out from just being another Sherlock or any other observant and skilled detective from the slew of crime dramas dotted throughout the networks, his mannerisms and quirks should transfer over from the animated original to the live action version.
The Japanese live-action version actually does a wonderful job of faithfully portraying what L would be like if he were lifted out from two-dimensions to three. Now, the new one doesn’t have to be so detailed in the portrayal that he needs eyeliner and no shoes and socks, but – as hopefully with every character – some of the traits and oddities will define his character beyond just being another socially inept genius. L is one of the most colorful characters in the show, so as long as they make him as fun and witty as before.
The potato chip scene
This one shot has almost become a staple for the series for being ridiculous – with Light’s proclamation that he’s going to take a potato chip and eat it with all the hair-flipping flourish we’ve come to expect from our favorite serial killer – and amazing for making his snacktime so monumental. This particular scene has even appeared in the Japanese live-action version as well, so there’s a chance.
Equal parts supernatural and real
Even though the series is more based upon the crimes themselves and Kira coming up with elaborate plans in order to continue doing his work, the supernatural and fantasy elements are pretty crucial in explaining how the crimes are committed in the first place. Although writers could come up with a different way in which to kill people off without the Shinigami, the characters of Ryuk and Rem are an integral part of Death Note, not only for plot purposes, but for their entertainment value too. Ryuk and his love for apples is a pleasant distraction from the seriousness of the show, but he’s never too distracted to remind us that hes a God of Death.
When Warner Bros. was first getting the rights to Death Note and the script was transferring between hands as it was in its beginning stages, the company initially wanted the element of the Shinigami scrapped. That didn’t go over well with the director at the time, and now we have a faithful adaptation in regards to the supernatural elements — and hopefully one in all of the ways that matter.