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Mythology Gag / Death Note (2017)

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Despite being an American adaptation of the series, Death Note (2017) avoids being an In Name Only take on the franchise, and a number of nods are made to other iterations of the franchise.

  • Light uses the alias 'Kira' to trick the police into thinking he's based in Japan. In the original they use the name because they are speaking Japanese. This allows the film to use the name 'Kira' without it becoming The Artifact.
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  • This version of L still has a knack for sweets and candy, and even retains his habit of squatting into chairs rather than sitting. He also wears his iconic white sweater at one point.
  • When L contacts James for the first time, his signature L logo (taken straight from the manga and anime) appears on the latter's laptop during their chat, a nod to the original L's introductory scene.
  • Light's mother is dead in this version, as she was in the 2015 TV drama.
  • The ending is reminiscent of that of the first Japanese live action film. Light uses the Death Note to manipulate events, resulting in the death of his girlfriend - Shiori Akino in the Japanese film, and Mia Sutton in this version.
  • At one point Ryuk comments that "humans are so interesting", one of his manga catchphrases.
  • During the brief Tokyo-based scene, L talks with a detective named Sasaki. In the original manga, Sasaki was the name of the driver whose bus Light controlled minor criminal Kiichiro Osoreda into hijacking.
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  • Soichiro's counterpart James lives to the end and finds out about his son being Kira, as Soichiro did in the original live-action films and musical.
  • Light's characterization is more in line with the live action drama. He initially starts using the Death Note with more good intentions and he legitimately has feelings for Misa's counterpart.
  • The man who murdered Light's mother is noted to have gotten free because he was rich, possibly referencing a line in "Where is the Justice?" from the musical adaptation.
    "Every time a high-priced mouthpiece starts to talk, his client gets to walk; tell me where is the justice."
  • Light and James have a strained relationship not unlike that of their TV drama counterparts.
  • An out-of-character moment from a main character ends up playing a role in Light's unmasking, a la Teru Mikami in the original manga and anime, and Raye Penber in the first Japanese live-action film. Mia controls Watari's fate, and his sudden uncharacteristic behavior tips L off that something is wrong.
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  • Ryuk's original design is seen in a book Light is reading at a diner, before his confrontation with L.
  • A part of Light's plan at the end is reminiscent of his plan during the Yotsuba arc of the manga. In the original story, Light gives up ownership of the Death Note, along with his memories of being Kira, and surrenders himself to L's custody so that he can be observed 24/7 - while the Death Note is passed on by Rem to another person who acts as Kira. This leads to Light being cleared of suspicion. At the end of this film, Light arranges for the Death Note to be taken by someone who will act as Kira, while he's placed in a medically-induced coma at the hospital, under constant observation, leading to him being cleared of suspicion.
  • Light's first two kills are similar to his first two kills in the 2015 Japanese TV drama. In both cases, his first victim is a bully at his school/college. And in both cases, his second victim is a criminal in some way connected to his mother's death - in the Japanese show, it was a criminal who his father was busy arresting while his mother died in hospital, while in this film, the criminal in question was the one who murdered his mother.
  • "We can change the world.", a line spoken by Mia, is the title of the 3rd live action Death Note movie L: change the WorLd.
  • Light meeting with L in a diner brings to mind the coffee shop scene from the anime.
  • Watari's Death Note instructions in the film are very similar to Naomi Misora's Death Note instructions in the source material. Just replace "obsessed with committing suicide in way that hide the body" (Naomi's) to "obsessed with revealing L's real name"(Watari's).
  • The ending hints that L may use the Death Note, as Near is heavily implied to have done in the manga.
  • Light discovering a loophole that the death of somebody whose name he wrote down can be prevented if he destroys the page before it happens. It's possible that it could be seen as a nod to the Death Eraser from the pilot chapter.
  • One of the Death Note's victims dies of a heart attack, Kira's preferred method of killing criminals in the manga.
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