Death Note, a short lived yet profoundly impacting Japanese animation, is now reemerging as a live-action remake by Netflix. Netflix released the trailer on Wednesday, creating both die-hard fan hysteria as well as harsh criticism.
The hysteria, if one is a Japanese anime fan of a decent caliber even, is naturally expected. However, the criticism of the show being that which whitewashes the initial all Japanese design is what is grabbing attention.
One obvious element, besides the conversion of cartoon to human and Japanese to White, is the westernized name change; the name of the protagonist in the original, Light Yagami, has been converted to Light Turner. The whitewashing of previous Asian works along with this new Netflix Special has fans expressing distaste to the situation on Twitter.
Netflix reportedly spent $50 million for the production of this remake. Possible speculation about Netflix’s plans concerning the production of a live-action remake may be about minimizing the costs of regional distribution licenses whilst creating an even more stronger demand of its services. Netflix also intends to release several new high profile originals in 2017, including a new Scorsese movie starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci and Harvey Keitel.