Death Note ★½

The horrendous amount of teen angst cringe slathered onto this adaptation proves how beneficial animation was to stomaching Death Note's story. I can accept Light's smug self righteous angst if the world it's set in can balance these moments of painful tone deaf introspection with the palatable tropes of anime framing it. The play between the silliness of its subject matter with the intensity of its story and gore is what made Death Note a well planned series. Here, it's all goofy nonsense that has its tongue mistakenly placed in its cheek at the wrong moments and lets its angsty bullshit shout into the void.

Even as anime adaptations go this misses the mark. It removes so much of what the series strengths were (the gore, the cat and mouse game, the look at teenage megalomania) and replaces it with "contemporary teen" humour which just grates against the ears. It's surprisingly tone deaf and props up much of its narrative with weak story threads that go under explained and confusingly piled on top of one another. Plus nearly everyone in it is terrible (aside from Dafoe resurrecting his Green Goblin voice which I was very much here for).

Not good. Should never have been attempted. Fails at both being faithful to the series feel or carving out a feel of its own. Its a slight recommend though because as train wrecks go this one is at least funny to watch go down.