Netflix’s Death Note Series Might Be America’s Best Live-Action Anime Yet

Death threat is a manga series that was first published as chapters in a magazine, from 2003 to 2006, until all chapters were collected and published in a twelve-part series. After that, it didn’t take long for the series to gain popularity and within a year it was turned into an anime series.

Thanks to Viz Media, the Death threat storyline exploded among North American viewers. Even when live-action Japanese film adaptations were made of the story, they premiered in a few select North American theaters and had fairly good attendance, proving how big the fanbase really was in the United States. and in Canada – and it has only grown since then.


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Because anime was slowly becoming more popular in North America, the demand for translated content grew, as did the demand for more accessible viewing platforms (beyond finding it on the internet). In order to avoid losing money due to pirated content from viewers, several major anime creators shared their content with streaming companies. Considering the accessibility of most streaming companies to create entire series of anime, many anime series have gained popularity among North American audiences.

Given the success of these stories in Japan, as well as the popularity of their translated versions around the world, the demand for anime-based content is growing. Of course, now when there is a demand for content, it’s usually the streaming companies who are among the first to meet that need. It’s no different with anime. As the popularity of anime grows, so does the number of live-action adaptations, especially with popular storylines like cowboy bebop, dragonballand Death threat.

The Death Note storyline has been adapted into live-action stories several times. The first live-action adaptation was a 2006 Japanese film titled Death threat. From there, three more live-action films were made in Japan: a 2006 sequel film titled Death Note 2: The family name, and a 2008 spin-off film with the title L: Change the world. A final film was added in 2016, called Death Note: Light up the New World, which followed a live-action miniseries, called Death Note: Next Generation and a 2015 live-action television series also called Death threat.

While the Japanese adaptations do a fantastic job exploring the story and honestly give a more honest and immersive reflection of the culture the story originates from, translated versions have been hard to come by for a long time. In response, streaming giant Netflix, which had already begun including more animated content on its platform, created its own live-action film adaptation of Death threat in 2017. The film did not receive particularly good reviews and strayed from several seemingly important details in the original manga telling the story.

For nearly half a decade, the streaming platform has announced plans to give a Death threat another live-action adaptation, this time in TV format, which will likely give them more time to properly explore the story and the world. Along with a new format, Netflix has also outfitted what is potentially, currently, their biggest asset in bringing the series to life: The Duffer Brothers. Still reeling from the success of the two-part season 4 of stranger things, the Duffer Brothers are perhaps what keeps Netflix at the top of the charts, in terms of views. The writers, whose show actually crashed Netflix’s site because of viewer usage, have more than proven their ability to bring a seemingly unrealistic world and multi-layered characters to life.

Nonetheless, despite the brothers having proven their abilities, anime fans are still skeptical of another live-action adaptation. Badass Death threat fans are probably tired of being let down by live-action adaptations that can’t capture the spooky magic of the story the way manga and anime do. What makes anime stories work so well is the fact that they’re animated and so can expand the perimeters of reality without it being corny or obvious, and that often doesn’t translate well to action. real. That doesn’t mean it can’t be done, though. That said, the Duffer Brothers seem to have a good understanding of examining dark worlds through a very realistic human lens, so if any American writers are capable of it, it’s probably them.

Maybe it’s Netflix realized where they went wrong with their original film adaptation, or maybe they felt they’d found writers who could capture and do justice to the complexity of the world in which the story takes place. Being a good thing the streaming platform has already done an adaptation of the tale as it allowed them to get to grips with the story and hear fan feedback on where they went wrong. It certainly seems like a good learning curve for the company.

There is, however, the fact that Netflix – and any American company for that matter – has yet to create a live-action adaptation of an anime story that has been well received by fans. Maybe it’s because the writing formula for Japanese anime is so different and focused on different things than TV formats in the US and Canada. This point indicates that the importance of an anime is not only the plot or the concept of the story, but also the world in which it takes place, and therefore the culture. The key to a successful adaptation is finding the vital cultural points, thematic points, and narrative points of the original story.

Anime adaptations are generally much better received than live-action retellings because they follow the manga more closely. In addition to capturing more of the manga’s description of the tale, they also capture the characters in the same or very similar artform, allowing the viewer to automatically recognize who the characters are. they read the manga. So again, the best hope for any live-action adaptation is to capture the most essential elements of the manga story and world.

The Duffer brothers have proven through their success with stranger things that they can take a complex, dark storyline and humanize each of the characters who play a part in it, while igniting the furthest reaches of the human imagination. If they maintain focus on the core components of the manga series of Death threatand in the same way they did for their 80s sci-fi horror hit, they’ll likely have everything they need to create a live-action adaptation that will satisfy old fans and attract new ones. new.

MORE: Death Note Short Stories now available in English

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