Death Note Director Adam Wingard Talks Films Rating, Akira and Gore.

death note

Kind of talks like your fourteen year old cousin saying he’s grown because he saw a beheading in a movie once.

No tea or shade intended.

The Death Note baton has been passed around more than a highschool animoo relay race and it’s up to Netflix to cross over the dashing finish line and show us all who’s boss. Adam Wingard has been the chosen man, and with people freaking out more about anime sweetheart L being played by a black man than they are about Light being played by a white man, it’s been a long wait.

“We can do whatever we want,” Wingard says in an interview with news website Collider. “To me, the thing about anime is that it’s so adult-oriented. I remember going to Suncoast growing up and you see Akira there with the little “Not for Kids” sticker on it. That always made an impact on me.”

Well, at least the man has heart for what he’s adapting, though it begs the question, is his knowledge of anime limited to the fact that ‘it’s not for kids?’ because in that case we’re set up for edge on top of edge on top of edge. In case anybody wants to call me out for using buzzwords, I hope we’re all on the same page as to what edgy means in this case – violence, sex and nudity for the sake of it.

“So, doing my first live-action anime thing, to me it was important that you have those adult themes. So, it’s got nudity, it’s got swearing, it’s got a ton of violence.” He continues, adding that his ‘good friend’ Mr.Director of Hobo with a Shotgun Jason Eisener is the second-unit director.

Nudity, swearing and a ton of violence. This presents a dilemma for me personally, because Death Note is definitely more than nudity, swearing and a ton of violence. Yes it has violence and it’s ‘Murrica we’re talking about so we will include the word “fuck!” in every couple of sentences – because it’s fun to say meanie words – that is not the issue.

The issue is that limited exposure to what anime is will bring senseless gore because it’s supposed to be cartoons for big manly adults who love dismembered limbs and lots of fucking – or that’s what Mr.Wingard seems to think.

One look at any work of either directors and we know it. On the other hand, if this were adapted by the more commercial folks in Hollywood a lá Ghost in the Shell, it would have been testosterone filled, faux epic speeches and a lot of explosions. In this case, we’ll have blood, heads flying, nudity and a lot of swearing.

Neither is what Death Note truly is. No one expected anyone to adapt it accordingly.

We’ll continue to moan about it, and if I had to take away anything remotely positive out of this is that I’d rather have an edge fest which has a chance of being slightly experimental than a Hollywood recipe of disaster. At least this one might bring in more people into anime. Which is good or bad, depending on who you ask.

I’m looking forward to it. It’ll give us something to talk about, if nothing else.


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