Scrolling through social media it has become apparent that Netflix will be making their own film of the well known manga Death Note.
Now, I’m not one to comment on the actual plot of Death Note I’ve never read it or watched the anime (I will get round to it), so I’m taking a full outsiders perspective of this.
The first thing that has been flagged to me is that one of the characters called L is being played by a black guy namely Keith Stanfield. Many of the comments from people on social media is that L shouldn’t be played by a black guy and that he wasn’t black in the manga ect ect ect.
So what!? This is the world we live in? Because a character is written as white or asain then he should be played by a white or asain person? I’m sorry but his acting skills and his ability to depict a character should not be judged on the colour of his skin.
Just putting it out there that for the stage play of Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, Hermoine Granger was played by a black actress, even though the films had previously portrayed her as white. J K Rowling even said that she was happy with this and thought it was great.
Another massive controversy is that an asain actor named Edward Zo has claimed that Netflix didn’t give him the role of L because he is asain.
I highly doubt this is the case. It is probably because they had someone in mind for the role of L in this adaptation and Edward Zo didn’t fit it and who knows he might not have been cast for a number of reasons. It’s not racist and to say it is, is obsurd. Correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t see any non-asain people being cast in the live action Japanese adaptations of manga or anime.
In addition to this after a little research L isn’t even fully Japanese anyway. The writer of the manga Tsugumi Obha has even discussed this.
When asked about L’s ethnicity, Ohba responded saying “I think of him as a quarter Japanese, a quarter English, a quarter Russian, a quarter French or Italian, like that
The key word here is adaptation. It’s not going to be true to the manga or the anime and nor does it have to be or even look like it. This is going to be set in America, which is going to give it an whole new perspective. Whether that is a good perspective we will have to wait and see. And if you’re really that bothered there is a Japanese Live Action Film of Death Note already released.
People are never going to be happy when it is something they enjoy, I kinda get it, if you’re a massive fan of Death Note and seeing L being played by a black person may be hard to come to terms with.
I don’t think we should judge this upcoming film until it is released and I definitely don’t think people should be going into it thinking “this isn’t true to the Manga” because that isn’t what it’s all about.
I’m definitely not going to pick up the manga or watch the anime until I have watched the film as I don’t want it to cloud my judgement. Just like an anime adaptation of a manga, it isn’t going to be everything you wanted when you are a massive fan of the manga.
I’m honestly pleased that anime and manga are getting recognised over in the western side of the world and we are hopefully going to see more of these types of adaptations in the future.
Also Willem Dafoe as Ryuk!? Awesome!
The film is due for release August 2017.