Disclaimer before we begin: I have never seen the original Deathnote anime so I went into this show pretty blind. Of course I had seen things about Deathnote here and there but I’ve never had a deep understanding of the show. This review will be based purely on the Netflix movie and not compared to the original anime in any way. Right, let’s get to it.
Deathnote is a book that has a bunch of rules attached to it, some of which we go into. If you write the name of someone in the book while thinking of that person they will die – thus death-note. But you can go further than that and also decide how they will die and when. The only way to stop a death is to rip out the page with the name on and burn it but you only get to do this once. The death god known as Ryuk is the one who gives the book to a new owner and watches over them as they kill people. The boy the book ends up with in the movie is Light and he begins to lose his mind with power with this book.
For some weird and random reason he almost immediately shows the book to a girl he has a crush on called Mia and they start killing people together and sending each other down a very egotistical spiral. I found this part weird, I mean it’s lucky you chose a girl who was as weird as you are otherwise she could’ve immediately turned you in when all these people start dying or run away and never talk to you again.
And another thing I found strange was Light and Mia didn’t keep the fact that they had this book a secret, no; instead every time they killed someone they would have them write down the word Kira which is killer in Japanese. This then meant that these deaths weren’t freak accidents but rather something more and an actual killer was at large. I don’t get why they didn’t just stay in the shadows and kill people off, I doubt anyone would’ve been able to make a connection there.
Anyway, soon the police and FBI are looking for this phantom killer and a private detective called L comes along and starts to question everyone around law enforcement, including Light. Of course L isn’t his real name so he can’t be killed himself. This is where the movie gets interesting because it actually starts to pick up pace and you start to wonder who is the good guy and who is the bad. L is just doing his job but at the same time, for the most of it, Light is only killing criminals so isn’t really doing any harm and really doing good. It’s an interesting concept.
Then we have the ending and this was the most ridiculous thing in the world. Mia threatens to kill Light by writing his name in the book and giving him a time of death but she promises to rip out the page and burn it so it doesn’t happen, he does the same for her but says she will only die if she steals the book from him instead of deciding to leave that life behind them and start a new one together. Obviously she steals the book and subsequently dies but Light, at the same time, as they are on a breaking Ferris wheel also falls many metres into the ocean but he has made it so he can’t die by using the book and people around him to aid that. Then the book is returned to him and he seems to want to keep it, I’m unsure on that part. What I can’t wrap my head around however is how much of a terrible person he is. He could’ve saved his girlfriend, the person he’s meant to love, but instead lets her die horrifically and instead of joining her saves himself! He’s incredibly egotistical and a terrible character in my opinion. I almost wish they had both died and L found the book and he continues on the legacy because the powers to use it are too strong.
Overall I think this is an interesting gateway into the anime because, as it is a TV show and not a movie, more can be developed and you can get to know the characters better. As a movie it’s all over in that hour and a half so you don’t really get to know anyone. I found it overall frustrating and the ending was the cherry on top. I’m glad I watched it to get to know more about Deathnote but at the same time I feel like I wasted my time giving it a go.
What do you think of the Deathnote movie?
Until next time.