The new Death Note movie has arrived to Netflix and I decided that before I watched it I decided to watch the previous movies that were released in 2006 in order to see how both adaptation portrayed the story of Death Note.
The story of this movie focuses on the first half of the “L” arc in the Death Note series. Where Light Yagami finds a notebook called a Death Note that is able to kill any person, whose name is written in the death note. By finding this notebook Light decides to bring justice to the world by killing the criminals who are committing crimes by killing them with the Death Note. However, because of the surge of deaths the Law Enforcement community is trying to track down who this killer who is able to kill so many people if and how they are accomplishing it. To figure this out they ask the World’s Greatest Detective who is only known as “L” to find the killer.
This movie does a faithful adaptation to the source material, however they change scenes or add scenes in order to flesh out characters or explain more about certain events because of its limited run time. An example of this is Light hacking into the police database in order to see how criminals are being prosecuted to find that many criminals, just have their case dropped or for them to remain unsolved though they have the identity of the perpetrator. He goes to the bar where he frequents to learn more about him and hears him laugh about how the parents cried when he was set free. The killer then confronts Light and Light runs away. After this you can see how he has lost faith in practising law when he throws away his law textbook. However, after he throws it away we can see a familiar notebook on the ground that while it is raining everywhere in the spot around the Death Note it is completely dry.
This series of events is not in the original story, but I feel explains better onto why Light would become Kira. This scene destroys his faith in law and gives him new laws that he can follow. In comparison to how Light acquire the Death Note the original series, where he sees it land at school, tests it out and figures out he can bring justice. This scene is more fleshed out explaining that after learning of these instance where the law fails he would more readily accept the Death Note that could implement the laws he truly believes in.
An additional event that they ass is how Light’s girlfriend Shiori dies and the series of events leading up to Raye Penber’s fiancee Naomi Misora dies are changed. Shiori was not in the original series, however the creators decided to add her to show the audience Light’s negative aspects. Naomi is now used to clear up suspicions of Light being Kira and in turn used to kill Shiori. The whole thought process behind how he accomplished this and why he did this shows more of character within limited timeframe.
Overall, the movie is great it is a faithful adaptation of the source material, while keeping all the great elements from the original and trimming the fat to make it more streamlined for people to watch. However, that does not mean that there is nothing negative to say about this movie. The first aspect is that the CG for Ryuk does not hold up in any regard, its pretty bad. The other part is how streamlined the movie is we do miss the inner monologues from both Light and L, where they go into depth about their thoughts which was always an enjoyable part for me and I am said to see them not here.
This movie is a good adaptation and embodied what Death Note was about while staying faithful, but at the same time taking liberties with the source material in order to streamline the story.