In 2006, two live-action movies of the well-known manga Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata attracted many fans on a global scale. Then, L’s movie came out in 2008. Now, the latest adaptation has just been released and it’s about time we go over some things for folks who may be considering watching the movie!
The Death Note Live-Action Movies So Far
Death Note & Death Note 2: The Last Name (2006)
Both movies focus on the rivalry between Light and L, as Light continues to play god as “Kira” by killing off all the wrongdoers of the world and L persistently tries to stop him. The movie did not directly follow the manga, but was still enjoyed all over the world. Light was played by Tatsuya Fujiwara and L was played by Kenichi Matsuyama. Both movies were directed by Shusuke Kaneko.
L: Change The World (2008)
L is the world's brightest detective. The case that falls in his lap is a bioterrorist group that plans to release a deadly virus upon the world, and his discovery of a small boy who is immune. L’s goal is to figure out the origin of the virus and bring it to a stop. Kenichi Matsuyama reprises his role as L. This movie was directed by Hideo Kanata.
Death Note: Light Up The NEW World (2016)
This Japanese live-action film was recently released on October 29, 2016. Some characters will return while a few new characters make their debut. This film takes place 10 years after the epic battle between Light and L, and coincides with Death Note: New Generation which was a miniseries meant to explain what happened during this ten year gap. This movie is directed by Shinsuke Sato.
Synopsis: 10 years after the suspenseful ordeal between Light “Kira” Yagami and L, several Shinigami come to Earth and drop not one, but six Death Notes for humanity to find. In no time, humanity falls into chaos. Three men are now on the hunt for the Death Notes, but only two of them are striving to bring peace back into the world. First, there’s Tsukuru Mishima leading the police force that is closely following the Death Note case and following in the footsteps of Soichiro Yagami, Light’s father. A man named Ryuzaki, who is known as L’s true successor, is investigating the Death Note phenomena on his own. Lastly, Yuki Shien, a fan of Kira’s work, is a cyber-terrorist and is hoping to find the Death Notes before Ryuzaki or Mishima get anywhere near them. The fates of these three men are destined to cross as they race to see who can collect all the Death Notes. The future of humanity will inevitably rest in their hands.
The Cast of Death Note: Light Up The NEW World
Investigator Tsukuru Mishima is played by Masahiro Higashide
Higashide will be taking on the role of the lead investigator in the Death Note Task Force and will be battling against the cyber-terrorist and L’s successor. Higashide has won awards for “Best New Actor” and “Newcomer of the Year”. He reprises his role from Death Note: New Generation.
Ryuzaki will be channeled through Souske Ikematsu
Ikematsu is L’s successor who is independently investigating the appearance of the Death Notes and the havoc they’ve caused. Ikematsu is known for his 2003 role in the American film The Last Samurai. He was only 13 at the time and has starred in various feature films in Japan since then. Ikematsu reprises his role from Death Note: New Generation.
Cyber-Terrorist Yuki Shien will be portrayed by Masaki Suda
Suda will be the charming cyber-terrorist and Kira fanboy in the film. He has won awards such as “Best Supporting Actor” and “Newcomer of the Year” and he is reprising his role from Death Note: New Generation. Fun fact: Masaki Suda is his stage name. His real name is Taisho Sugo.
Also in the movie as supporting characters are:
• Erika Toda as Misa Amane. She will be continuing her role from Death Note: New Generation.
• Ryuk will be voiced by Shidou Nakamura
• A new character named Sakura Aoi will be played by Rin Kawaei. Watch out for this one. It’s rumored she’s the most ruthless Death Note user.
• A new investigator with the Death Note Task Force is Sho Nanase who will be played by Mina Fujii.
• You should recognize Touta Matsuda when he appears. He’ll be played by Sota Aoyama.
• What do you think a Supreme Court Justice would do with a Death Note? Look out for Kenichi Mikuriya who will be played by Funakoshi Eiichiro.
• A new Shinigami known as Ahma will be voiced by Miyuki Sawashiro.
• Last, but certainly not least, expect to see appearances and references of L, played by Kenichi Matsuyama, and Light Yagami, played by Tatsuya Fujiwara.
The Death Note Miniseries - 'New Generation'
If you’ve already seen the movies from 2006 and L: Change The World, then it is strongly recommended you watch Death Note: New Generation if you want a full understanding of what happened ten years later after Light and L’s battle and have a good grasp of the main characters’ backstories as they will directly link to this new film. It is a miniseries that was meant to act as a prequel to Death Note: Light Up The NEW World.
The core of this psychological thriller is observing the different sides of humanity. One side may seek true, peaceful justice while another hungers for vengeance. Some play God, some fight to remain humble, and some grab a bowl of popcorn and watch the world burn. In any case, the movie adaptations of Death Note have done Ohba and Obata's work justice so far. Lets hope this continues the tradition.