Death Note

Death Note

In Theatres: 
May 20, 2008
Running Time: 
2 Hours, 30 Minutes

Light is a hardworking, intelligent student that is growing sick of watching horrible criminals walk due to technicalities. So when he finds a notebook with “Death Note” wrote on the front he picks it up. Inside are instructions stating that if you write the name of a person while picturing their face in the notebook they will die of what looks like a heart attack unless otherwise specified. But it is not until Light tests it out with the person standing in front of him does he believe that the notebook actually has power. Soon he is introduced to the demon Ryuk behind the Death Note, one that asks nothing from him other than to observe the emotions Light feels. With the power of the Death Note, Light feels that his fate is to rid the world of all those that do wrong in his eyes by bringing down the judgment of death and going by the name Kira.

The police at a loss of explaining how hundreds criminals are just dropping dead they bring in L. L is a genius detective that keeps his identity a secret communicating only through a computer. That is until he finds a small group of police that he trusts and is willing to finally meet in person. What they find is not at all who they imagined L would be; but he is just the person to hunt down Kira.

When I first got this in to review I had never seen the anime; however after watching the movie I was so interested in the story that I bought the first three volumes and have watched them all. Now I am even more impressed with the movie. They cast brilliantly for both Light and L. They use the same hairstyles, clothes, mannerism (like how L holds a phone), even some of the same music. Next they take most of the big scenes in the anime and act them out almost word for word, action for action up to a point. Now this could sound boring if you have already watched the anime; but trust me it’s not. I even went back and re-watched some of the scenes in the live action movie after finishing the anime. Some how it brings even more to the story. They do change a few things with the story and move a few things in the timeline. For those that may be upset and think that they perhaps left something big out I did find out that there is a sequel live action movie which picks back up around the 11th & 12th episode of the anime. 

Now if you haven’t seen the anime, the story is very intriguing. Having two people so certain that they are right in their beliefs of what is right and wrong and both searching for justice in very different ways is interesting. Some of the plans that are put into place are hard to see coming and offer many twists. And the characters are fascinating, quirky in all the right ways, and are relatable (I am now a huge fan of L). There is really a lot to get from the story and it doesn’t come off really that anime as it does caper/thriller.

The one issue I see this movie facing though is with one character, Ryuk the demon. If you have seen the anime you will probably understand what I am saying better than those that haven’t. Imagine taking the animated version, making him that almost 3D CGI effect and then just throwing him on the screen. The first scene that Ryuk appears made me cringe. It just sticks out looking pretty bad; but it stays true to the appearance in the anime. And after another scene with him in it I was able to overlook the bad effect. However I can see people possibly being taken out of the story, so just be prepared and overlook this one thing because the story and other actors are really worth it.

Overall this is a movie that I would watch again and would recommend. I mean it got me to buy 3 DVD’s and I will be buying the rest of the anime series and I already re-watched a good portion of the live action movie. But I can say with certainty if you like the anime you will like the movie (or perhaps even fans of the TV show Dexter). It not only gave me a movie that I thoroughly enjoyed it introduced me to a new anime that I will be adding to my collection.

Review by Pandora
Follow him @ Twitter