Netflix has dropped a newer longer trailer for its movie adaptation of the much beloved anime franchise, Death Note, giving us our first full look at the other major characters.
We see the genius detective L played by Lakeith Stanfield in front of a podium, his mouth concealed by a cloth, making a statement about the mysterious mass murderer Kira, who is the alter-ego of Light, the main character and owner of the Death Note played by Nat Wolff. The trailer also shows more of the Death God Ryuk, voiced by Will Dafoe, lingering in the shadows and making ominous remarks.
Watch the new Death Note trailer
Twitter is not pleased with the whitewashing
The atmosphere is dark and borders on frightening while Light strides around like the stereotypical teenage outcast. It certainly piques the interest, but fans of the original manga and anime were not too impressed, and they took to social media to air their sentiments. The same kind of backlash rose after the first trailer dropped in March.
japan should have never allowed america to make a remake of death note, it's a mockery to the manga and anime, I hope it flops— ? (@obvsbangtan) June 29, 2017
why does Netflix wanna ruin death note :(— froy (@froynextdoor) June 30, 2017
After watching the new Death Note trailer pic.twitter.com/YK3ULNTDXK— Stan Lewis (@StanLewis_) June 29, 2017
Death note has been whitewashed and Americanized. He shouldnt even be called light anymore but mike or chad. pic.twitter.com/Zk3afQhWTK— Genesis (@Genesiskerr068) June 29, 2017
The backlash comes amidst accusations of whitewashing and cultural appropriation that has been lobbied against the Netflix adaptation. The original manga and anime borrowed heavily from Japanese folklore and tradition. It told the story of Light Yagami, a teenage genius who found a Death Note, a supernatural book that could cause the death of anyone whose name is written on it. Later he would meet the original owner of the book, the shinigami Ryuk, a Japanese death god who acts as a sort of confidant.
As the series progresses, Light becomes more of a sociopath and sees himself as a god who would cleanse the earth of evil, but he meets his match with the genius and eccentric detective L.
Here's what the Death Note director has to say
Director Adam Wingard has tried to explain why the adaptation would feature so many changes.
“It’s one of those things where the harder I tried to stay one hundred percent true to the source material, the more it just kind of fell apart… You’re in a different country, you’re in a different kind of environment, and you’re trying to also summarize a sprawling series into a two-hour-long film," he said.
He also stated that the characters would be radically changed from their anime counterpart. "Ultimately the personalities of the characters a quite a bit different… L isn't the same. There are a lot of similarities — he likes candy, sometimes he romps around with his shoes off. Those kinds of things, but at the end of the day the take on L and the escalation of his character is very different.”
So essentially cannibalizing the source material in order to meet western cultural norms. What do you make out of all this though: is the backlash justified or are fans just overreacting?
Death Note premieres on Netflix on August 25.