On August 25th Netflix is releasing Death Note, a new movie based on a japanese manga about a young man coming into possession of a supernatural notebook that grants its user the ability to kill anyone by simply writing his name in it. There have been several iterations of the story over the years, including an anime TV series, novel and other live action films, but this represents Netflix’s attempt to capitalize on its understated popularity. In the tale, the Death Note finds its way into the hands of a high school student named Light, who sees the item as an opportunity to rid the world of criminals and make the world a better place. Soon though, the power of life and death begins to further corrupt his seemingly good intentions, and a faceless, nameless detective referred to as “L” seeks to determine who Light is and stop him from committing any additional killings.
I’ve watched the first few episodes of the anime series (which is also currently on Netflix as well) and, despite thinking the story progression was almost too quick and a little sloppy, I enjoy the premise and originality behind it and figure it’s worth continuing and also worth checking out the upcoming movie. Although, some may not agree with me – Netflix will no doubt get bashed (or are already getting bashed) for being yet another contributor of entertainment “whitewashing” due to a number of the significant characters, including Light and “L”, being of non-Asian descent. Nevertheless, I’ll be checking it out when it’s released next month but admittedly with reserved anticipation – after all, there was Ghost In The Shell with ScarJo, and I think this movie is going to try to wrap up the whole story in about 100 minutes – not exactly promising lead-in circumstances.
So, for those that might be even casually interested in checking out Death Note a la Netflix, be sure to mark your calendars – August 25th will be on us before we know it.