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Netflix’s Announcement Of A (Second) Live-Action ‘Death Note’ Is Prompting Strong Reactions From Anime Fans

In 2021, Netflix delivered a live-action series adaptation of the beloved Cowboy Bebop anime. Let’s just say that the project didn’t go as planned, and inserting some cute corgis into a mess of clunky dialogue doesn’t fix anything. Less than two weeks after the Season 1 release, Netflix announced the swift cancellation of the show, but that hasn’t deterred the streamer from continuing down that live-action-adaptation-of-anime path.

Strangely enough, Netflix’s own botched attempt to make a live-action movie of another well-regarded anime — the very anime in question (Death Note) for this article — hasn’t quenched their thirst, either. Back in 2017, a Death Note movie starring Lakeith Stanfield and Willem Dafoe (as the Shimigami death god Ryuk), did not go over well, either. The film lacked the anime’s aesthetic and layers, the story was watered down and Western-ized, and there was a personality-free murderer on the loose for no reason. This negated every reason that the Death Note notebook even existed in the story, but that’s perhaps beside the point. Because Netflix is loading up again, and while I’d really like to know how Grimes feels about this, we gotta talk about the news.

The Duffer Brothers (of Stranger Things fame) have launched their own production company called Upside Down Pictures. Not only will this churn out possible spinoffs of their principal series, but (according to a Netflix press release), there will be “An all-new live-action television adaptation of the renowned Japanese manga and anime series Death Note.” Here’s what the pair envisions for their production house:

According to The Duffer Brothers, Upside Down Pictures will “aim to create the kind of stories that inspired the Duffers growing up – stories that take place at that beautiful crossroads where the ordinary meets the extraordinary, where big spectacle co-exists with intimate character work, where heart wins out over cynicism.”

Here’s Netflix’s tweeted form of the Death Note news.

And here’s how fans of the original manga and the anime responded.

Well, at least the Duffer Brothers are heavily involved? Maybe they can prove people wrong, and we can keep a sliver of hope alive.

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