To say that Death Note could have been a better anime adaptation is quite the understatement. Fans everywhere have hit Netflix's movie hard with major critiques, and things aren't looking good for the future of the property. But it should have a future.
Heavy spoilers for Death Note follow.
Death Note leaves the audience without an answer to whether or not L (Lakeith Stanfield) actually wrote Light's name down in the torn-out page of the Death Note book. The final scene of Death Note closes to black right before an answer is given.
Ryuk was also looming ominously in Light's hospital room, giving us the impression of death swiftly approaching. This open ending is reason alone to justify a sequel.
It seems unlikely that Adam Wingard and Netflix would make Death Note without a plan for a sequel — especially with this cliffhanger ending. Even if the adaptation has plenty of problems, fans need answers to some big questions.
Would A Sequel Depict Light Actually Dying?
Light escaped Ryuk's grasp once — after Mia wrote his name in the book — but it doesn't look like Ryuk is going to let Light escape this time around. With Ryuk stalking Light in a hospital bed, and L moments away from writing Light's name down again, Light's death seems all but certain. However, Light has much more story ahead of him, if the anime and manga have anything to say about it.
Those adventures could be the focus of a Death Note sequel — but there's the distinct possibility that a sequel would go in a different direction altogether.
Could L Take Over Light's Position As Owner Of The Death Note?
If Death Note continues to break away from the original source material, it's possible Light will be dropped for another character to take over as the titular anti-hero. With the ending hinting at a grim fate for Light, he could be killed off and L could become the new owner of the Ryuk's Death Note ... unless more death gods are introduced.
There's a very good chance that more of the death gods in the original Death Note series would show up in a sequel. We've only been introduced to Ryuk so far — but Rem, the other most pivotal death god in the series, has yet to be seen. His introduction would make for a compelling fight with Ryuk. And since they're both death gods, their ability to manipulate the world would likely lead to a battle of wits being waged between them and their books' owners.
Where Else Would A Sequel To Death Note Go?
Apart from the scenarios mentioned above, a potential sequel could explore the numerous plot threads from the anime and the manga that have yet to be explored. Rem's whole character was scrapped for the movie, so he could be introduced as a secondary antagonist if Death Note 2 comes about. Light's character arc as part of the Kira Task Force could also be the focus of a sequel.
Either way, a sequel to Death Note is still possible — even if the reviews are saying otherwise.
Death Note is now streaming on Netflix.
What did you think of Death Note? Do you think a sequel should be made? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!