The success and fall of Death Note

Image result for netflix death note

Netflix has opened up a world of content that I would of never discovered as I never used any platforms which had so much variety of films/TV shows. I never really got into anime as a kid, I wasn’t really into shows like Dragon Ball Z or Naruto. I was more into gaming or being obsessed by The Lord of the Rings. I guess this also followed into my teens as I just stuck with gaming and became really obsessed with YouTube and YouTube personalities.

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But, as an adult now I’ve become more aware of artists and how shows like this are made and now gives me a whole new appreciation for anime’s and cartoons. I asked my friend which anime would be good to start with and he recommended Death Note as it was newly added to the streaming service Netflix. I started watching and fell in-love with the show and concept immediately and now understood why it was such a loved anime. When I finished the show, Netflix recommended the Netflix Original Death Note and I watched it immediately. This movie adaption was inspired by the anime but wasn’t as detailed because it was a film compared to a 37 episode anime.

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But, what why was the anime so much more successful then its live adapted remake? Well, when it comes to a global audience, anime is one of the top viewed genres of content when it comes to film and television, statistics from The Anime Industry Database are great reports that show the growth of anime over the years and how much this genre is making financially. Death Note is one of the most popular anime’s made because of it’s gripping story, the main rivals and its unique characters. It was a show that not only Japan could enjoy, but a story that everyone could enjoy. Even with people who couldn’t get over watching a show in a different language, it came with an English dub so other cultures could enjoy it just as much. The global success of this show meant that a lot of corporations would get involved and make there own live version adaptions which would become very successful. “The first Death Note film earned US$25 million in Japan, and the sequel almost doubled that figure at $43 million, staying at number one in the Japanese box office for four weeks” (Goderie, 2010). This was include the streaming service Netflix.

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The Netflix adaption was not received well by fans of the series. Mainly because it didn’t stick the original roots from the anime. The movie was to rushed with only running at 100 minutes, they got the characters wrong and felt like the show was to forced. This is best explained in an article from Looper.

This is mainly from Hollywood whitewashing beloved characters. Taking from a culture and then trying to enforce there own culture into a story. The live action may have been more successful if it focused more on sticking to the original characters and plot and not trying to make it up as they go. I’m not saying that this is bad way of making a film, but at least make it a compliment to its original predecessor.

Goderie, P. (2010) “Cultural Flows Beneath Death Note: Catching The Wave Of Popular Japanese Culture in China” [Available at] [Accessed 2/9/19]


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