Anime Corner: Death Note

Jamie-Ann Aranda, Staff Writer

Netflix’s 2017 Death Note is a westernized film loosely based off the famous Japanese manga anime sharing the same name. Death Note has a worldwide fan base setting the bar ridiculously high for the new 2017 version.

To start off there are many differences between the main characters Light, L, Misa, and Shinigami Ryuk. Light Yagami is exceptionally smart, manipulative, and able to keep his emotions under control. L  Light was perfect in the sense of being a criminal and mass murderer. In Netflix’s adaptation we don’t really see that. Light Turner has more emotion, and if anything has more of a good guy thing going. Always planning several moves ahead, anticipating his opponent’s every move.

Misa’s name was ultimately changed in this adaptation to (well who we assume to be her,) Mia Stradford. Unlike the anime Misa the Light ultimately controlled her with her having no say whatsoever, Mia calls some shots. Mia seems to be more like Light Yagami than the character based off of him Light Turner. She has the ruthlessness of Yagami and doesn’t second guess her decisions, for they are all made to avoid suspicion. Original Misa was more infatuated with Light than the Death Note itself. Mia on the other hand has a love for gore (something not seen in the anime) and power, ending up with the power of the note corrupting her as it did Light.

L – Light’s prime opponent with whom an iconic cat and mouse game is played. Not much to say in difference personality wise. His love of sweets, sarcasm, odd sitting stance, and incredibly high deductive reasoning skills remain from the anime. However, this L goes out in public and is more hands on with his work: investigating crime scenes, a public announcement, showing half his face, etc. Though perhaps the only real key difference to his character is the fact that he even shows emotion at all. Never, at any point in the anime did L show emotion. Emotion clouds reason and L’s entire judgement is based on reason. Never does he confront a problem with brute force. There is always reason behind his decisions.

Another character with narrative importance is Ryuk. His character design was fantastic and voice was amazing. What really impacts the story is not that he was bored and so just decided to drop the Death Note and see what happens, if anything interesting would arise from that. It was that he was the puppetmaster. He didn’t just watch from the sidelines with his catchphrase “humans are so interesting.”

As seen, there are various changes with the characters being more involved with their emotions and contributing more to the story as a whole rather than patiently waiting or on the sidelines.