Directed by Shusuke Kaneko/Produced by Toyoharu Fukuda, Takahiro Kohashi, & Takahiro Satō/Music by Kenji Kawai/Starring Tatsuya Fujiwara, Kenichi Matsuyama, Erika Toda, Asaka Seto, Shidou Nakamura, Shigeki Hosokawa, Shunji Fujimura, Takeshi Kaga, & Yuu Kashii/Based on the manga by Tsugumi Oba & Takeshi Obata
Around the world, criminals are being punished as never before. Those who might once have worked the system and escaped justice are now being mysteriously killed, and the world is taking notice . . . and taking sides. Some laud the perpetrator–whom they dub “Kira”–as a savior, protecting the weak and reducing crime in the name of justice. Others see Kira as simply a mass murderer, using “justice” as an excuse for his wrongdoings. College honors student Yagami Light has his own opinions on the subject . . . but he might be a bit biased.
As a long-time fan of Oba-sensei and Obata-sensei’s amazing manga and of the anime based on it, I found the live-action movie version of Death Note to be an intriguing take on the story. Certain plot elements are changed–for instance, Light starts out as a college student and has a steady girlfriend instead of being the playboy he is in the manga. The focus is a bit different also–you don’t even meet Light at first, or see L until nearly the end. Still, I think the choices they made stay true to the spirit of the story and work well in movie form. The casting was very well done, and I’m looking forward to seeing more of L and Misa in the sequel/conclusion. My one complaint is that the CG on Ryuk (the shinigami) looked kind of off and video-gamey, but what can you do? Personally, I’d say read the Death Note manga first, but do also check out the live action movie–it’s quite good.