But there is a second layer to the issue of White Washing Light, which is saying "why does American Light have to be White? not all Americans are White?".
I read a LadyGeekGirl article. The author seems to think that because Japan isn't as "Racially" diverse as America that it has no concept of some people being more Privileged then others. And I find that offense. It doesn't matter how much you think everyone looks the same, every society has some classes or demographics who are more privileged then others.
Light Yagami is absolutely a privileged person in all Japanese set versions of Death Note. He's a Police Cheif's son, he's an honor student, he's someone women seem to throw themselves at. And he absolutely flys under the radar of the police because of that.
So if any Anime character has to be White in an American setting it's Light Yagami.
In fact I will go so far as to say it would be White Nationalsit propaganda to have an American Light be a minority. It will play into their desire to deny White Privilege while delusionally claiming political correctness is allowing minorities to get away with things, to have an Asian American, African American, Latino American or Muslim fly under the police radar the way Light Yagami does.
Light should be an irredeemable villain with no sympathetic qualities. If he's not that I"ll consider it a failure no matter what he looks like, that's my issue with the 2015 series, trying to make Light more sympathetic. So it'd actually be much more problematic for such a character to be a POC.
Some other claims from this article I want to address.
However, (spoilers for a decade-old manga) L dies. Light outmaneuvers him1. We don't know the adaptation will end that way, the first Live Action adaptation in Japan had L win.
2. Light is eventually defeated by Near and Mello, who interestingly were White men in the Manga/Anime but played by a Japanese actress in the 2015 series. So if this version carries the story to include them, we'll have to wait and see how they're cast.
Aside from the phrasing of “Justice of Kira” not sounding like fluent English, the original Japanese used Kira as Light’s serial killer identity because “kira” (キラー) is how the word “killer” is written/pronounced in Japanese. Why on earth is this white boy from Seattle calling himself that?Light is not the one who coined the name Kira in the Anime. Also what country Light is from being known was a product of L's deductions. So we have to wait and see how the name comes about here.
Watari is made Japanese in this even though he was British in the source material. I'm curious how they're going to make sense of that.