Death Note

Last weekend, our whole family watched Death Note and its sequel Death Note II: The Last Name on DVD (Japanese audio with English subtitles).  I first heard about Death Note as one of the On Demand movies offered by Singapore Airlines during our recent trip to Singapore (it is a 7 hour flight from Tokyo to Singapore).

death note 1 dvd death note 2 dvd

Death Note is a Japanese manga series created by writer Tsugumi Ohba and manga artist Takeshi Obata, first serialized in 108 chapters in Weekly Shōnen Jump from December 2003 to May 2006.  It was adapted into live action films in 2006, directed by Shūsuke Kaneko, produced by Nippon Television and distributed by Warner Bros.  Death Note, premiered in Japan on June 17, 2006 and topped the Japanese box office for two weeks.  Death Note II: The Last Name premiered in Japan on November 3, 2006.  Both movies very briefly appeared in North America in 2008 and are now available on DVD. 

A 37 episode anime series developed by Madhouse aired in Japan from October 3, 2006 to June 26, 2007.  A light novel based on the series, written by Nisio Isin, was released in Japan and various video games have been published by Konami for Nintendo DS.

death note manga death note ds

The series centers on Light Yagami, a university student who discovers a supernatural notebook dropped on Earth by a shinigami (death god) named Ryuk.  The Death Note grants its user the ability to kill anyone whose face they have seen, by writing the victim’s name in the notebook.  The story follows Light’s attempt to create and rule a world cleansed of evil using the notebook, and the complex conflict between him and a mysterious detective known to the world only as L.

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We all enjoyed both movies – highly recommended.  As usual, the first one was better than the second one.  Death Note II seemed overly complicated, with (spoiler alert) two death notebooks in play, with more rules in effect.  I think we have to watch Death Note II again to figure out all the nuances of the plot.

Have you heard about, read or seen the Death Note series in one or more of its various formats?

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17 thoughts on “Death Note

  1. I read the manga as it was coming out translated in English in the U.S. I liked it a lot, but there was always too much analyzing and counter-analyzing going on. The movies follow the manga, which did have the 2 notebooks, too. The ending of the manga was a bit disappointing, when Light fell apart. But I liked most of it leading up to the end. It’s a very intellectual story. I haven’t seen the movies yet, I expect they’ll be on TV again eventually.

    • Yes, I forgot about your post … that was why Death Note was so familiar when I saw it as a movie selection in the airplane. Now I remember (I need a “memory upgrade”).

      Thanks for adding a link to your blog post.

  2. I watched the first one, it’s pretty good. Haven’t had a chance on watching the second one yet. Hey, there’s a spin off from Death Note, it’s named “L change the World”. I don’t know about this movie details, but you may want to watch it to complete your Death Note series. Enjoy.

    • Yes, we found out about that, we’ll have to rent that DVD as well during one of the weekends. I think this is about the final 23 days of L’s life.

      Thanks for commenting – hope all is well and the recent bad weather in Toronto (tornado) missed you! Not sure if that is better than earthquakes though 🙂

  3. Yes, the ending was a little disappointing but I guess appropriate as Light died when his own name was written on the notebook as he had done so with many others.;. All the best!!

  4. I’ve watched both movies, but haven’t finished watching the anime. I liked the second movie better than the first, I guess because Light died before L did, so that made me feel a lot better, especially since I’m told that’s not what happened in the anime. I do admit, it did get a bit confusing, not only with the fact that there were two death notes, but I just thought the whole idea of the whole task force being able to see the shinigamis and knowing the whole story behind the death notes kind of took the secretive aspect away from the plot.

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