Death Note: A Comparison of the Anime vs The Live Action Versions

Which one should you watch?

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Death Note: A Comparison of the Anime vs The Live Action Versions

Death Note started out as a manga series by Tsugumi Ohba and remains one of the most timeless and well loved series. Light Yagami is the main protagonist who discovers a magical notebook that he can use to kill anyone by just writing their name down in the book.

The manga has successfully been translated into both an anime series and a live action version in 2006 and 2007. For the sake of clarity, we will only be focusing on the live action film made in Japan, and not the recent Netflix English language film which largely received negative feedback.

via MyAnimeList

To start of, there were actually two live action films released at the same time as the anime, namely Death Note and Death Note 2. Both of them starring Tatsuya Fujiwara as Light Yagami and Kenichi Matsuyama as L.

Meanwhile the anime version ran for 37 episodes with several TV specials.

The anime tells the story in a much more detailed and drawn out way, and you get the benefit of an in-depth explanation. This is crucial if you want to understand the complex rules of the Death Note itself. The anime also has many complex story arch that didn't make it into the movies.

The two movies are actually one continuous story, and the first thing you'll notice is the strong chemistry between Light and L that doesn't come across in the anime. The outstanding performance of the cast, especially by Matsuyama as L, makes this two early movies outstandingly incomparable to any other Death Note interpretation to the big screen since.

So in conclusion, please watch both. Start with the anime first to understand the complicated storyline, and then watch the movies to enjoy the excellent chemistry between the two male leads.

Cover image via DreadCentral

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