Death Note is one of the best shows that Anime has to offer. Its dark, murky tone, combined with the battle of wits between Light Yagami and L is absolutely captivating. Currently, Death Note sits at the #1 most popular show on MyAnimeList, and no one would dispute why. The central conflict of playing god, and making choices for the greater good is a message that deeply resonates both with teens and adults. Simply put, Death Note is an incredible experience, and when Netflix announced they were making a film based on the property, I was excited.
Yet it seems that excitement was misplaced. The initial teaser trailer was middling at best, and the new trailer debuted by Netflix today is no different. There’s a clash between tones happening here that rubs me the wrong way, and given how masterfully crafted the Death Note anime was, its sad to see a new adaption showing such little promise.
There’s this emphasis on blockbuster moments and thrilling encounters in the trailer that just isn’t present in the anime, save for a few choice moments where the suspense finally culminates in things going down. And I can’t shake the feeling that neither Light nor L feel all that interesting to watch. They have such a weak screen presence compared to Ryuk (voiced by Willem Dafoe) who was the saving grace for this trailer. Ryuk stays cloaked in the shadows for nearly the entire trailer, which is a good choice on the part of Adam Wingard, and Dafoe’s cackling voice sells me on his performance at the very least.
We’ll have to wait until August 25th to see Death Note. Hopefully the finished product is better than these trailers.[via YouTube]