I recently stumbled across someone on the internet who had taken it upon themselves to try to transcribe my Death Note audio drama Pattern Recognition. I figured it would do no harm to put the actual script online for curious readers, rather than lead to the usual drifts in meaning and intent. I’d rather you saw what I actually wrote, rather than what someone thinks I did.
I wrote the 12-part audio adaptation of Death Note in 2017-2018. It was released by Audible in both German and French, and although I was contacted two years ago by an Audible producer looking for casting advice for an English version, I have heard nothing since, so I have no idea what’s going on there. But for those who might be interested in seeing the script for the first episode, here it is. I’m not sure I can get away with posting all twelve, but you get the idea.
This first episode is a good indicator of the changes that I started making to the original in order to reflect a different time and different medium. My Death Note is more of a police procedural than the anime (and yes, it was specifically an adaptation of the anime, not the manga), and also deals with certain changes in technology that would have otherwise ruined some elements of the original story — this is played for laughs in episode two, when Light goes in search of a “pocket television” and has to deal with a salesman determined to give him a smartphone. It also gender-swaps some characters and introduces some new ones, specifically Paula Virilio, the head of Interpol, who is parachuted in to help staple some scenes together, but also to add a stronger female voice to the sound mix.
I am, perhaps, as surprised as you to discover that my 12-part audio adaptation of Death Note, released in German in 2018, has suddenly been released in French. The French version, available from Audible, seemingly uses the voice actors from the French anime dub, a nice little extra touch. Still no news on an English version; your guess is as good as mine.
“Pour éviter les foudres, des fans — qui n’ont pas épargné l’adaptation de Netflix — le choix de ces conteurs a été soigné,” says the Manga News website. “En effet, le site d’informations Manga News souligne que les comédiens que l’on retrouvera dans ce livre audio sont les mêmes qui avaient participé à la version française de l’anime.”
My Death Note audio adaptation is finally available for sale in Germany.
Already out in German are:
1: Pattern Recognition
2: Collateral Damage
3: Frenemy Mine
Coming next month:
4: Virtue Signal
5: Deal Breaker
6: Gray Scale
And in 2019:
7: Double Agents
8: Live Feed
9: Legacy Code
10: Karma Police
11: Old Flames
12: Apex Predator
At the moment this is a German-only production. There are supposed to be English and French editions in the works, but I haven’t heard any details of those yet.
I’m on the BBC World Service discussing the latest backlash against Death Note, and the love-hate relationship between Chinese fans and Japanese products. More on the story here.
To Belgium, where one of the most chilling stories in the manga world continues to bubble beneath the surface. In late September 2007, two walkers in the Brussels Forest district’s Dudenpark investigated a strange smell. They stumbled across the mutilated remains of a human body and called the police.