Recently, the teaser trailer for “Death Note,” a Netflix exclusive movie, was released to the web and anime fans got into a frenzy. From what we have seen around the web, many fans of the anime adaptation are not pleased with the direction the movie has taken.

The main reason is due to the casting. Apparently, many were expecting a cast of all Asian actors, but this is not the case. In the movie, Natt Wolff (white) plays Light Turner, and Keith Stanfield (black) plays the character, L.

In the anime adaptation, both characters are Asian; in fact, the majority in the anime TV series were Asian. With that being the truth, one can understand why fans are angry, but I’m not in the same boat, and that’s coming from a huge fan of the series.

Wait, wasn’t there a Japanese movie?

Fans seem to have forgotten there was a Death Note movie back in 2008 that was herald from Japan and featured an all-Japanese cast. Furthermore, there was another in 2016 known as “Death Note: Light Up the New World,” so from what I can tell, so there are enough Death Note movies out there with an all-Japanese cast.


In all honesty, there doesn’t need to be another, especially when the film is being made in the United States. Folks need to realize the Netflix movie has a diverse cast, and while I am never one to pick up arms over something such as diversity, the creators made the right choice.

America is not Japan, it’s a country with diverse races and cultures, and as such, the movie could not feature an all-Japanese cast. Yes, there shouldn’t be an ounce of problem with the main character being white and the secondary being black.

Caught up in race and political foolishness

Folks are so caught up with the current political climate that they will find an issue with everything that doesn’t slither down their ally. It’s foolish, really, because there’s nothing wrong with different races playing popular characters when these same characters have been represented as expected several times in the past.

Do you have a huge problem with the casting of Netflix’s Death Note? Well then, the Japanese movies are available. There’s no requirement to learn Japanese seeing as English subtitles are available, so what’s your excuse?

At the end of the day, the American populace and the world at large need to keep politics and the constant problem of race out of entertainment when it’s clearly not needed. Furthermore, as fans of the anime, we should support Netflix’s take on Death Note.

[More: “Ghost in the Shell”: A Revival of the Prominent Japanese Anime]




  1. I don’t mind an American interpretation of Death Note without Japanese actors. But American doesn’t mean white. So the fact that a film with so many Asian faces always gets whitewashed in American interpretations is a real issue. As you said, there’s nothing wrong with different races playing popular characters. It IS a problem when all popular characters are played by white actors to the invisibility of all other races.

  2. Are we going to ignore the fact that “L” is played by a black actor? It doesn’t matter if one of the main cast is white. America doesn’t mean white, but it also doesn’t mean black, Japanese, Mexican, etc. It’s a diverse nation and Netflix’s Death Note has a diverse cast. So why should it matter which race is the lead?

  3. Would you be okay if Superman and Batman were black? Of course you would. Everybody would be pissed.

    L being black was a terrible casting choice, he was more European then anything.

  4. Merely one character being black doesn’t mean the movie is diverse. I don’t know why a movie with one black actor is considered diverse. Yes America does not mean black, Japanese, mexican. etc. But there is none of those races on the show seen so far. Every movie or television show with one black character seems to play the diversity card and it just isn’t. A cast filled with asian, arabic, pacific islander, or indian actors is diverse since those are the races never seen on television. Since the original source material was Japanese it would have at least been a nice thought to fill the cast with Asian american actors.

  5. why your speaking on behalf of others?
    if any other ethnicity has a problem with this they would say something(but then again we all got used to Hollywood casting white now).
    i have to agree with the author here, there is already Asian movie for death note..i would personally like to see western take on it

  6. It’s no different then Attack on Titan and Full Metal Alchemist’s movies beings cast as all Asian. Anime fans are just living in an extreme double standard right now.


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