Netflix’s live-action adaptation of Death Note comes out this Friday, and Wisecrack on Youtube has gone on to analyze the philosophy and hidden meaning of the original Death Note anime. The series is actually chock-full of symbolisms and allegory, and its central theme aims to answer the meaning of one thing: Justice.
Looking at the protagonists Light and L, the two actually have clashing ideologies of what it means to have Justice in society. In Light’s viewpoint, he has an ideal society in mind where there are no more criminals and society is living peacefully thanks to him. He’s a very “means-to-an-end” type character. As for L, he sees justice as a way to balance out injustice. He doesn’t have an ideal society in mind like Light does, but he knows injustice being committed when he sees it.
In its heart, Death Note is not just a thrilling cat-and-mouse chase between Light and L, but also a series that seeks to elaborate on the different viewpoints on Morality and (again) Justice. The manga and the anime were able to portray those two themes well in their execution, but we’ll just have to wait and see if this live-action adaptation will hold up to its source material.
And before you go on complaining about whitewashing, there’s already several Japanese live-action adaptations of Death Note made by and for Japanese people, so you don’t have to keep on bashing this movie.
Death Note comes out on Netflix Aug. 25.