8 Big Changes The Death Note Remake Made
Sometimes, change isn't for the better.
There’s no kind way to say it: the Death Note remake crashed and burned.
When Netflix announced the release of an American adaptation, it was instantly met with outrage over whitewashing, which became more intense when fans discovered how little the film represents the manga.
Whilst the original story is a ‘battle of wits,’ the remake is about a boy in a situation way over his head, and the decision to drastically alter the narrative was likely down to setting and limited runtime. Somewhere in the translation from manga to remake, the film lost all the charm and magic of the source material among the multitude of changes.
Perhaps if the film hadn't been an adaptation of a beloved manga, it would have been enjoyable. There are definitely a few aspects which are worthy of praise. The cinematography is great, there are moments of genuine humour, plus Willem Dafoe and Lakeith Stanfield put on brilliant performances. It's just not the Death Note we're familiar with.
Beware, spoilers for both the manga and the remake lie ahead.
8. L Is Irrational
L was originally an eccentric genius, determined to solve the Kira case. Since he was trained specifically to be the world’s leading detective, he is necessarily logical and detached from his emotions.
The American remake introduces L as a character reasonably close to the original by showcasing his quirky mannerisms and love of sugar. However, the death of Watari triggers a drastic instability. He becomes irrational, and eventually decides to murder Light with a gun.
This is the most problematic change, since it’s the polar opposite of the original character, who is determined to best Light intellectually, not physically. All this change did was provide an opportunity for a chase sequence, which was actually very dull.