Jason M’s review published on Letterboxd:
OK, so yeah. We must keep two things in mind... it's an adaptation, which means that Wingard had to transfer it all to the USofA because most American audiences* are ignorant when it comes to reading subtitles and following stories in foreign languages. Second, it's an adaptation and being set in the USofA, there's really no need to keep the Japanese characters, as this all take place in USofA and in a highschool setting. OK we all good there?
Of course the Japanese two part movie is better as it spends almost five hours telling the tale that took almost eighteen hours in it's anime form based off the twelve volume manga written by Tsunami Ohba to unravel. Cramped into just over 100 minutes it's not going to be a rich in texture, but you know what, this is an adaptation, and I have to say that as far as making it an Adam Wingard movie, Adam WIngard did everything right.
The style, the form, the pacing, the sudden bursts of graphic violence, the soundtrack, yeah it's all Wingard and I have to say that I quite liked it.
If nothing else, it works as a great gateway to the Japanese versions, which easily can be watched after this and be enjoyed throughly.
*of course I don't mean all you guys and gals who already watch global genre and do so all the time, but as far as the mainstream - big audiences, big cash - viewers go, they'd pass on a foreign movie. That's a statistical fact and if there's anything we hold at the top of the pyramid of truth over here in Sweden it's statistics.