Please note that I haven't seen this yet myself. Death Note's TV version won't show in my country until Wednesday. No doubt I'll add my rants to the rest right about then. Until then I'm left haunting Tweets, looking for the word on the street.
So what's the deal? Let's start with the positives. All three of them.
Hinako Sano's Misa Amane
Calling Curtains on the Death Note TV Show
Nothing to do with the plot, acting nor even its actuality, but everything to do with the drapes seen in the background of an early scene. They're apparently quite popular curtains to be purchased amongst the Japanese populace.
Dozens of pictures ensued of televisions showing Death Note - and its floral drapes - alongside the exact same curtains in viewers' homes.
Apparently consumers and set designers alike visited one of the most ubiquitous Japanese home furnishing stores. Those particular drapes were perfect for purses on a budget. Colourful, economical and cheap. Hence so many people owning them.
There's one example above, as Tweeted by @ts1_ksdd. There are plenty more on Rocket News 24.
Anyone else concerned that the background curtains were what TV viewers most found to talk about? Doesn't bode well, does it?
High Kanto Viewers for Death Note TV Launch
Then the site pretty much leapt straight into reminding folk that they're streaming the show world-wide on Wednesday. So, like, subscribe to them. kthxbai.
Even those with a vested interest are struggling to support this one then.
So what's gone so wrong? Time to turn our attention to the negatives.
TV Death Note Doesn't Wow Japanese Fans
Few seemed prepared to follow their thumbs down with a detailed analysis of why they so disliked what they saw. Especially not in 140 characters. Those who did tended to focus upon the characterisations, which differed hugely from those familiar personalities known from previous canon tellings.
For a start, L is 'too pretty' with none of the quirks and general weirdness known and loved by millions.
Moreover, Sayu (Reiko Fujiwara) has descended into the realms of 'whiny brat'; Soichiro (Yutaka Matsushige) has lost his gravitas; and Light (Masataka Kubota) is simply too ordinary, a regular guy with none of the genius which fuelled the original plot-lines. His characterisation seemed 'under-developed' and his fan-boy antics over Misa's band Ichigo Berry bordered upon Otaku.
Plus the pace was rushed and the screenplay rubbish.
She went into more detail than is easily permissible on Twitter. Nevertheless the Twittosphere seemed in essence to agree with her observations.
Death Note Television Trailer
Two of the earliest trailers (reproduced on Anime News Network) openly and repeatedly stated that we'll be 'surprised' by the 'final climax'. That there is a 'new resolution', 'new ending'. None of that sardonic Near narrative in the Yellow Box then. (And still no sign of Mello either.)
Death Note's pilot episode on TV confirmed many of the direst speculations.
Light isn't an especially bright boy in this telling. He's a student of fairly average intelligence at the local university, whose greatest aspiration in life is to be a civil servant. The main excitement in his life is following girl band Ichigo Berry, those main star is Misa Amane.
Plot Changes for Death Note's TV Drama
Incidentally, there are going to be new characters. Presumably not cameo ones, if the producers have felt the need to announce them.
All in all, this new Death Note appears to be touching the familiar tale, but only by the lightest fingertip grasp. How we'll ultimately receive it remains to be seen, but the initial reaction doesn't seem too good.