Death Note official site: http://wwws.warnerbros.co.jp/deathnote/
Wooohoo… I am fashionably late again. But well… this is a well worth to recommend movie. Then again… this movie arrive to Malaysia very very very late. Death Note was premiered in Japan on 17 June, 2006. However it was only shown in Malaysia on 9 November, 2006. Talk about me reviewing it like a month after watching it.
Well.. don’t really blame it. I watch this show when it was almost out from the cinema screen. I heard a lot about this movie. Saw the trailer many times but not many people is willing to watch this movie with me. Why? You ask me why? Coz it’s a japanese movie and they speak japanese. Don’t ask me why… I don’t know why. Many people around me just think it isn’t worth watching asian movies in the cinema. So yeah, I finally found someone who is willing to watch this movie with me.
Death Note started of as a manga series written by Tsugami Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata. The manga was then adapted to an anime based on the manga and a Light Novel. So yes… the success of Death Note was proven when it was also adapted to the big screen and gained lots of positive feedback.
Death Note starts of with an incredible opening. With lots of handwriting opening. The movie started of by showing how Light Yagami (Tatsuya Fujiwara), a smart and intelligant high school student is bored living in this world full of corruption and crime. What angers him more is when criminals don’t get punishment they were suppose to receive for their acts. His life was about to change when he found a mysterious notebook, known as the “Death Note” in the middle of the road while he was on his way home.
Light read through the notebook only to notice that there were instructions stated that if a human’s name is written in this note, he/she shall die. At first, Light thought this was like some chain letter and think of it only as a prank. After experimenting with it and killing a few criminals.. he got a shock of his life. He knows this “Death Note” is for real.
In one ocassion after killing a criminal with the “Death Note”, he met the true owner of the “Death Note”. Originally, the “Death Note” belongs to a Shinigami (death god) named Ryuk (Shido Nakamura). A Shinigami is death gods that writes names of humans in their “Death Note”. The Shinigami will take away the remaining life-span of the person and this shall prolong the Shinigami life-span.
Apparently, Ryuk wrote some of the rules and instructions of how to use the Death note on the first page in English because he believed that English is the most widely used language in the world. After he met Light, he started to explain more about the rules. The first rule that Light learned about was ” The note shall not take effect unless the writer has the subject’s face in their mind when writing his/her name. Therefore, people sharing the same name will not be affected”.
Light was soon obsessed with killing all criminals which he belives should die. In his mind, he wants to create a world without crime… a utopia world. The sudden death of the criminals in the country gets everyone’s attention. The public starts to think and thought this was an act of justice by Kira (derived from the Japanese pronounciation of the word “Killer”). Light was somehow happy when everyone thinks of him as a god of humanity.
His girlfriend, Shiori Kashino (Yu Kashii) on the other had doesn’t think Kira’s act was right. This has made Light hides a lot of things away from her. He never did mention anything about the “Death Note” or what he has been doing to Shiori.
The sudden deaths has also caught the attention of the police. However the police have no clue of what is happening and thought of it only as coincidence. A top-rated yet mysterious detective known only as L (Ken’ichi Matsuyama) was then hired to track down and arrest Kira. Being an intelligent person, he quickly tricked and scope down Kira’s location. L finally located Kira and know he is in Japan. He even concludes that Kira can kill anybody without laying a finger on them.
It provoked Light even more when he knows L is his greatest nemesis and he is all out to prove their mental battle. The team of Japanese police officers led by Soichiro Yagami (Takeshi Kaga, more famously known as Chairman Kaga from the series Iron Chef) was quickly demotivated when many left the team fear that it would be their death soon when Kira finds out their name. The remaining of the team was frustrated as they only communicated with L through Watari (Shunji Fujimura) and a laptop. They then insisted to meet L.
The first time they met L, they got a shock of their life. L was younger than they thought. When the team first introduced themselves, they were quickly shot down by L telling them that Kira can kill them easily because he needs the person’s name and know how they look like in order to kill.
While working with L, they notice L has many quirks, such as sitting in a odd manner , his fondness for sweets is amazing and he hold items very delicately. He even likes to play with forks and sugar cubes. They were in a great battle as Kira is getting more professional as he has learned more about the “Death Note” such as “If the cause of death is written within 40 seconds of writing the subject’s name, it will happen. If the cause of death is not specified, the subject will simply die of a heart attack.” “After writing the cause of death, the details of the death should be written in the next 6 minutes and 40 seconds”.
The battle between Kira (Light) and L begins when Light finds out that L has sent FBI teams to Japan to investigate the Kira killings. Light manages to trick one of the agent, Agent Ray (Shigeki Hosokawa). Agent Ray was then forced to revealed the other agent names. He was then killed by Light as well.
Naomi Misora (Asaka Seto), Ray’s fiancee and also a FBI agent is all set to find out and prove to the world who the real Kira is. The ending of the battle was sort of interesting… however a little twisted from the original plot from the manga… which of course I ain’t revealing. They also briefly bring in Misa Amane (Erika Toda), who is a famous actress, model and singer who madly falls in love with Kira although she never met or know who Kira is. It is obvious there will be a part two as it ends of with Misa getting the second “Death Note”.
And it’s true, Death Note part two is about to show… er.. actually it was shown in Japan already. It is said to be showing on cinemas in Malaysia on 28 December,2006. But well well.. I guess we will have to wait for it and I will be patiently waiting for Death Note: The Last Name.
Conclusion about the movie, of course it is good. Or else you think they would score a incredible 9 out of 10 from me? I read a few chapters of the Death Note manga and no doubt.. they really do stay true to the manga except for some change. Well… I wasn’t shocked with the changes as to put a 108 chapter manga to the big screen… seriously.. we all know something’s gotta go.. and something’s gotta be added and changed here and there.
I think Ken’ichi Masuyama’s acting as L was perfect to the dot. The manerism, the habits.. wow… he really can potray the weirdness and coolness of L. The best part… the CGI of Ryuk was cool. Right… some might no agree… but I think it was great. It looks exectly as in the manga. Of course it doesn’t look realism.. but like I say before, I never like 3D stuff to mimic real stuff as it was not meant to mimic so.
Overall… a must not miss movie. Get a copy of DVD… er… okay lah.. VCD… whatever… just watch it!