Everything You Need to Know About Death Note


“Humans will all eventually die and never come back to life, so let’s give it our all while we’re alive”

Netflix premiered the teaser trailer last week for their live-action movie slated for later this year, and if there’s one thing fans can all agree on, is that Willem Dafoe is perfect casting.

Death Note is a Japanese manga series written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata. The story follows Light Yagami, a high school student who discovers a supernatural notebook from a Shinigami named Ryuk that grants its user the ability to kill anyone whose name and face he knows. The series centers around Light’s attempts to create and rule a world “cleansed of evil” as “God” using the notebook, and the efforts of detective knock as L to stop him.

Light is being played by Nat Wolff in the Netflix movie.

Nat has starred in a number of teen dramas including Paper Towns, The Fault In Our Stars, Palo Alto, and Ashby. I have really enjoyed his screen presence and think he will make an excellent Light.

L is played by the incredible Lakeith Stanfield.

Seriously this guy is a hit machine. Short Term 12, Straight Outta Compton, Get Out, Atlanta. Here’s hoping he keeps that streak going!

Willem Dafoe is providing his voice for Ryuk, the owner of Light’s Death Note. He’s one of the most interesting characters in the series.

Adam Wingard is directing. He is the brains behind last years Blair Witch, the eerily creepy You’re Next, and The Guest.

It was also just announced that Atticus Ross from Nine Inch Nails is scoring the movie!

Death Note was originally conceived as a weekly story in Shueisha’s manga magazine Weekly Shonen Jump, all 108 chapters would later be published into 12 volumes and be released from May 2004  to May 2006. A television series followed in Japan from October 3, 2006, to June 26, 2007. It was composed of 37 episodes and developed by Madhouse and directed by Tetsuro Araki.

Video game publisher Konami has also released various Death Note games for the Nintendo DS. Unfortunately, these games are only available in Japan and there is no english translation.

If that’s not enough Death Note for you, there is also a Light Novel based on the series that came out in 2006, a three-part live-action film series, a television drama, a miniseries entitled “Death Note: New Generation and most recently a fourth live-action film that came out last year.

In April 2005, Death Note was licensed for publication in North America by Viz Media, and the first English-language volume was released on October 10, 2005.

Us Canadians got the chance to watch Death Note on YTV’s Bionix anime block while our friends in the United States could have caught it on Adult Swim. Death Note was originally set to air on September 7, 2007, but was pushed back until October 26, 2007, at the very last minute. The US premiere was the week before on October 20th. The show didn’t last long in Canada, ending in July of 2008, but it continued to air on Adult Swim until the contract expired in 2010.

In 2015, the collected volumes of the Death Note manga had over 30 million copies in circulation.



It’s going to be interesting to see a North American take on such a beloved franchise.

The core plot device of the story is the “Death Note” itself, which is a black notebook with instructions (known as “Rules of the Death Note”) written on the inside. When used correctly, it allows anyone to commit a murder, knowing only the victim’s name and face. According to the director of the live-action films, Shusuke Kaneko, “[t]he idea of spirits living in words is an ancient Japanese concept… In a way, it’s a very Japanese story”.

Artist Takeshi Obata originally thought of the books as “Bible-like… Something you would automatically think was a Death Note”. Deciding that this design would be cumbersome, he instead opted for a more accessible college notebook. Death Notes were originally conceived as changing based on time and location, resembling scrolls in ancient Japan, or the Old Testament in medieval Europe. However, this idea was never used.

 Death Note the animated series (2006-2007) is now available for streaming on Netflix. The English voice acting is pretty great if you don’t want to read subtitles. I do recommend turning off the subtitles if you’re going watch the English version as they don’t match up at all.

The original Netflix adaptation that comes out August 25, 2017, promises to be violent and deal with mature themes and I’m getting pretty excited to see some craziness on screen. Jason Eisener, who did the kick-ass Hobo With A Shotgun is a second-unit director on the project. What are your thoughts? Drop a comment below.

Brock McLaughlin

Brock McLaughlin

Brock McLaughlin 🕹 🎮 Twitter @brockmclaughlin New Media (B)Rockstar. Blogger. Video Gamer. Podcaster at the Game Moose. UnBrocxer. Host/Producer at @comedygamers4u. Somewhat Charming.

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