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– by Joseph Jammer Medina

So 2016 may have been the year that video game movies took a big swing and a miss at mainstreaming the adaptation of their medium, but 2017 looks to be the year of the anime and manga adaptation. In a little over a week, we’ll be getting Ghost in the Shell, and if the trailers — as well as the first five minutes of the movie — are any indication, it looks to be a good time in the theaters. On a more lowkey note, however, is the release of Death Note.

For those who don’t know, Death Note is based on the popular manga by writer Tsugumi Ohba and artist Takeshi Obata. The series ran for about two and a half years in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine, and had a meteoric rise in the time since then. It’s since been adapted into a Japanese film series, an anime series, and a TV drama. However, there were many fans who were still wondering when the story would make it over to North America and get the Hollywood treatment.

The film took a long time to get going, but Warner Bros finally followed through with production, with Netflix picking up distribution, and things moved forward with horror director Adam Wingard at the helm. A couple years have passed, and earlier this week, we finally got to see a teaser for the film, but fans will have noticed a disturbing lack of L in it.

For those unfamiliar, this may require a bit of an explanation. The story follows a genius high schooler, Light Yagami, who finds a Death Note, which kills anyone whose name he writes in it. Like any genius high schooler, he goes on a rampage, writing the names of killers, rapists, and the like. This weird trend of deaths sets off some red flags in the police force, and they begin an investigation to find out the cause behind it all. To help out, they turn to a mysterious detective named L, who like Light, is a young genius. Unlike Light, however, L is kind of a socially awkward weirdo, and as such was somewhat of a likable weirdo in the series.

While I believe we may have seen a shot of him in the teaser, it wasn’t really indicative of his character quirks. If you’re one of those who have been waiting to see if they’d be adapting his quirk of squatting in his chair, then wait no longer. They totally keep it.

I’m a bit torn on this one. While it’s a fun little quirk in the manga and anime, in real life it comes across as…odd. It’s too anime-like for its own good, at least out of context of the actual movie. One has to wonder if it’ll work in the movie itself. That being said, based on that initial teaser, it’s hard to think that this film is set in anything but a hyperreality. That sort of campiness may be right at home here.

What did you think of the teaser, and what do you think of this new image? Let us know in the comments down below!

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SOURCE: Netflix

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.