When I read a manga or watch an anime (admittedly rarely), it’s because someone has recommended it to me so effusively that I couldn’t ignore it. In the case of Death Note, it was also a character design that for whatever reason just got to me: Ryuk, the bored Shinigami — creator Tsugumi Ohba’s interpretation of a death demon.
Others love the cat and mouse game between Light Yagami, a bored teen genius who discovers he literally has the power to kill anyone, and his opposite number “L”, the detective determined to bring Light to justice.
It’s been adapted to live-action in Japan before, and long promised for American audiences. Finally, director Adam Wingard has done it, bringing it to Netflix with Nat Wolff and Margaret Qualley. And of course, the perfect casting of Willem Dafoe as Ryuk — though the character appears to be CG, and not Dafoe in make-up. (Netflix also has the anime available.) I’m sure a lot of changes have been made — it’s a sprawling epic story getting condensed to under two hours. Will Wingard make it more like The Ring, and be about the notebook and Ryuk instead of about the Americanized Light?
Let’s keep an eye on Netflix — it’s a streaming service, but between this movie and Will Smith starring in the Orc buddy cop movie Bright, if you get a TV big enough, they’re really turning to film distribution, just not the way it’s been traditionally done.