Thursday, 3 September 2015

Death Note: Live-Action Movies!

An nyoung
Ni hao

Hello everyone, this week i'm mixing it up a bit with my Thursday and Friday posts, I'm going to be talking about some anime's that were made into live-action movies and vice versa and we're kicking it off with the Death Note movies.

In 2006 two live-action movies were created based on the manga of the same name, I say two because the films were created as a two-part series, with the first film released in June and the second film released a few months later. A spin off film was also released in february 2008. All three films star Kenichi Matsuyama as the reclusive world-famous detective L with Tatsuya Fujiwara playing the main character Light Yagami in both the main movies and a cameo role in the spin off movie. Both films were directed by Shūsuke Kaneko with the spin off movie directed by Hideo Nakata.

The Manga was created by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata, I've not read the manga but I do really want to as I really enjoyed the films and I do have the anime boxset but not really watched it yet, only seen a  few episodes hence why this post is more about the live-action film. You may be wondering how I even got into the film when I've neither watched the anime or read the manga, well Andrew had the manga bought (the 3-in-1's with the black pages) and he really enjoyed, we couldn't find the anime at the time so after research found out that these films existed. We went shopping and I found the films in HMV even though I had no idea what the films would entail (Andrew had told me snippets of what happened in the manga) i was just excited that my favorite Japanese actor was starring in the film: Tatsuya Fujiwara. He may be my favorite Japanese actor but I've only seen about 5 of his films and of those five i have to say both the Death Note films for me are his best from start to finish his acting is incredible.

If you don't know anything about the Death Note series let me give you some quick info.
*this info is based on the films and may differ from the manga*

The films follow a Japanese college student called Light Yagami, whose life undergoes a drastic change when he finds a mysterious notebook titled Death Note. The Death Note is full of rules and instructions, one of which the book claims that if a persons name is wrote in the death note while they picture that persons face in their mind they will die. To test the notebook Light rights names of criminals he see's on the news etc and as each of the them die he meets the notebook's previous owner a shinigami called Ryuk, he decides he will be the god of the new world by killing those that are evil and becomes known as the notorious serial killer Kira. As the bodies continue to drop at the hands of Kira the situation takes the interest of the detective L and once L discovers that Kira is a student in the Kanto region that also can get access to police information it then becomes a race between Light and L to discover each others identities. A second Death Note is discovered by an actress called Misa and she uses her new found power to kill who do not follow and disrespect Kira, when Light appears Misa quickly indentifies him as the original Kira with her shinigami eyes (she gets this power by making a deal with the shinigami and reduces her life span by half, a shinigami can see a persons name and when they will die). Misa agree's to help Light found out L's real name so that he can kill him. Will Misa find out his real indentity so that Light can become the god he so wants to be? well to find out you have to 1: read the manga, 2: watch the anime and 3: watch the live-action movies.

I was gripped by both Death Note and Death Note 2: The Last Name and i even shed a tear at the second films ending, first time watching these films L irritated me but Kenichi Matsuyama plays him incredibly well proving that he's an amazing actor. Both Light and L are incredibly clever and you're constantly surprised with the clever ways they get to the information they want and in Lights case incredibly smart of getting the heat off his back even if it means killing someone close to him.

The spin off movie L: Change The World well all i will say is it follows L but I cant give any more information than that as it could reveal a spoiler for the Death Note films. I have this film but I'm still yet to watch it but already feel it will be a good film as Kenichi Matsyama reprises his role as L so I know the acting is going to be incredible from him.

Both Death Note and Death Note 2 include two songs from the Red Hot Chilli Peppers on it's soundtrack with Dani California appearing in both films and Snow, Hey Oh appearing for the closing credits of the second film.
Dani California 

Snow, Hey Oh

Death Note topped the Japanese box office for two weeks pushing The Da Vinci Code off the top spot, the film has also been released in Hong Kong, Tawain, Singapore and Malaysia, with also North America and England also getting in on the action. The film was described as a delightfully suspenseful 126 minutes for anyone who likes suspense, pretty Japanese boys or bad-ass female detectives, by Wired's Lisa Katayama. In the end the film earned $41 million in Japan and $1.9 million in Hong Kong. Death Note 2 was released in Japan, Hong Kong, Tawain, Singapore and Malaysia, with a two night English Dub released in North America, like the first film Death Note 2 topped the box office but this time for four weeks bringing in 5.5 billion Yen in Japan by the end of the year and making it one of Japan's highest grossing Japanese films. Death Note was also the first Japanese film to premiere in Hong Kong.

These were the first live-action from anime films i'd seen and they won't be the last, they really piqued my interest in Death Note to the point i do want to read the manga and prompted me to buy the anime so i can see how they all differ, i do think it will be hard to beat the amazing acting that i witnessed, but surely the original will beat out it all.

One thing i love about this series is it makes you think what you would do if you possessed the Death Note, would you toss it to one side believing it a haox or follow Lights lead and remove the evil of the world, what if the justice system failed would you take it upon yourself to punish those that deserved it if the notebook existed.
I find myself torn in two for that I agree with Light punishing the criminals that the system missed but agree with Light that the system would always find a way. What do you think? Who would you back? if Kira was Tatsuya I'd follow him to the end but only if I got to be by his side *winks*
See you soon! 

An nyoung 
Zai Jian 

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