It’s practically impossible to pick an iconic scene from the original Death Note anime. The series is bookended by incredible moments, starting from Light’s very first choral-backed killing spree, and ending in — well, we won’t spoil that.
But the live-action Death Note adaptation on Netflix is missing one of the series’ most stand-out scenes. And maybe that’s a good thing.
[Warning: The following contains light spoilers for Death Note]
In the Death Note anime, Light quickly falls under the observation of L and the rest of the special investigation tasked with catching Kira. He is forced to hide his use of the Death Note. One slip, and he’ll give away his secret identity.
Commence the potato chip scene.
As a super-smart student, it’s not unusual for Light to spend hours in his room studying. But unbeknownst to L, he is secretly getting the names of criminals from a miniature TV hidden in a potato chip bag, so that he can kill them with the Death Note.
The orchestral music swells. A gothic chorus chants. Light will study with his right hand! He’ll kill with his left! He’ll take a potato chip ... and eat it!
I love this ridiculous scene. I would pay money to watch poor Nat Wolff act it out. Not to mention Ryuk spends the entire sequence suffering from dramatic apple withdrawal. This is peak cinema.
But you won’t see it in the live-action Death Note. According to director Adam Wingard, the Netflix movie is more about examining the themes of good versus evil, as opposed to directly adapting the source material. He noted the lack of “good” Death Note adaptations as a motivation for branching out.
As it turns out, taking things in a new direction didn’t stop him from making a bad movie.
Death Note starts streaming on Netflix on Aug. 25.