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Death Note II: The Last Name
Death Note II The Last Name
Actors: Kenichi Matsuyama, Tatsuya Fujiwara, Erika Toda, Takeshi Kaga
Director: Shusuke Kaneko
Genres: Indie & Art House, Mystery & Suspense, Anime & Manga, Animation
UR     2009     2hr 20min

DEATH NOTE: The Last Name is a sequel to the movie DEATH NOTE, which closely follows major plot elements from the original manga series, while featuring several new key story differences. The story begins on the heels of t...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Kenichi Matsuyama, Tatsuya Fujiwara, Erika Toda, Takeshi Kaga
Director: Shusuke Kaneko
Genres: Indie & Art House, Mystery & Suspense, Anime & Manga, Animation
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Mystery & Suspense, Anime & Manga, Animation
Studio: VIZ Pictures, Inc.
Format: DVD - Color - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 02/10/2009
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 2hr 20min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 4
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English, Japanese
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

Thrilling and full of suspense, if you enjoyed the first fil
Dennis A. Amith (kndy) | California | 02/08/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Based on the manga and anime series that has captured the attention of viewers worldwide, "Death Note" the live action film makes its way to the US on DVD.

"Death Note" is an adaption of the popular manga series written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata and stars Tatsuya Fujiwara (known for his work in the popular "Battle Royale" films), directed by Shusuke Kaneko (known for the 2006 hit film "Gamera") and another theme song "Snow (Hey Oh)" by the popular band RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS.

The sequel is the conclusion to the thrilling cat and mouse chase as the murderer Kira (Light Yagami, who has attained a large cult following for killing off criminals) tries to find a way to kill his nemesis, the top investigator in the police force known as L. While L suspects Light Yagami as being Kira.

The film is 140 minutes long, pacing was indeed well done and overall, despite being different from the manga and anime series, both Shusuke Kaneko and Tetsuya Oishii managed to come up with a thrilling, dark and gripping storyline that remains faithful to the overlying theme of the film.


The film is featured in 16×9 anamorphic widescreen and was originally shot in 35mm (1:85:1 ratio). My main interest was to see how the CGI would be for the shinagami Ryuk and Rem. And how that would translate on film and the two shinigami look exactly like it does in the anime and manga series but Rem seems to look more less detailed than Ryuk. But overall, the CG works with the film.

As for audio, the film is featured in both English and Japanese via digital 5.1 and 2.0 stereo. I typically dislike English dubbing of Asian language films but what brought a smile to my face was that VIZ used the original voice actors of the anime series (which had great English dub work) on this series. So, for those who are fond of Brandon Swaile's Light, Alessandro Juliani's L, Brian Drummond's Ryuk, Shannon Chan-Kent as Misa and the other English dub voice actors will be happy to know that they did the English dub for the live film. That surprised me and definitely major kudo points for Viz Media for keeping things consistent in the voice acting.


Special features in the film include the Death Note anime trailer, the Japanese and US trailer and Viz Pictures Presents. The primary featurette is "the Making of Death Note II", a 23-minute featurette which includes interviews with the director and the main talent involved with the film. Definitely good insight of what the talent felt about the characters and the challenges that they faced. For example, Ken'ichi Matsuyama (L) having to constantly eat sweets. He mentions that he had to do it so much that he couldn't tolerate it anymore and couldn't swallow. He just spit it out after the shot. Also, explanations by director Shusuke Kaneko on differences from the live film and the manga version. Overall, a solid featurette.

"DEATH NOTE II: The Last Name" was extremely popular in Japan. Having been #1 in the box office for five weeks and earning 5.5 Billion yen in Japan, the film was indeed a success.

I enjoyed the film a lot and the pacing was much better with the second film but if anything was amazing, it was Tetsuya Oishii's screenplay. It is challenging to get so much storyline from the manga and making a live action film. There is so much story in the "Death Note" manga that it would be difficult to translate all that in two films. So, there had to be major differences in the live film versus the manga and unfortunately, for many films based from a long manga series, they don't succeed because they try to condense everything into one film.

As for "Death Note II: The Last Name", Oishii manages to create a new storyline that is so different from the manga series but yet manages to stay within the confines of the main focal point. Kira vs. L and finding a right conclusion.

Having the storyline so different from the manga, I was pleasantly surprised by it but by the film's end, I was rather pleased. Both Kaneko and Oishii pulled it off.

What I love about this film is that Kira and L are two individuals who are intelligent and the way they try to outdo each other, is always amazing. In a way, it's like a chess game between these two as they do what they can to outwit each other.

Also, I enjoyed seeing how many other characters were integrated into the overall storyline. And knowing how different this film is from the manga and anime series, I was satisfied with the conclusion of the film and overall, I really enjoyed the sequel. Good storytelling by Oishii and managing to pull of a storyline that is just as satisfying as the manga but yet quite different.

If you enjoyed the first live film, then you will definitely want to pick up the sequel. "DEATH NOTE II: THE LAST NAME" is a thrilling, suspenseful and enjoyable film. Highly recommended!"
WOW....I was surprised!
M. King | Gainesville, Florida | 11/11/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"My 14-year-old son got me hooked. He got free tickets to see it in the theatre. Snce he doesn't drive yet, dear old dad had to take him. I thought since this was vol 2, I better see vo1 1 first. I watched the first and was impressed....very cool movie. I was actually lookng forward to the second. I was not disappointed...OUTSTANDING movie. I personally can't wait for it to come out on dvd so I can watch them back-to-back. Definitely worth it and btw...I am a middle aged college grad. Watch it too and you wil be hooked. Now I can't wait until Feb."
The End
Zack Davisson | Seattle, WA, USA | 01/13/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Far more a continuation than a sequel, "Death Note: The Last Name" follows the immensely popular and entertaining Death Note. The agile game of cat-and-cat continues between Light (Tatsuya Fujiwara) and L (Ken'ichi Matsuyama). Tables are turned, fortunes are reversed, and a new Death Note and shinigami comes into play.

The story continues almost exactly where "Death Note" left off. A young and popular idol, Misa, gets herself a Death Note and an accompanying shinigami, Rem. An devoted fan of "Killer", she decides to follow in his footsteps, even though she lacks the genius and finesse of execution. She is much more of an emotional wild card than Light's calculated style. L is still in hot pursuit, and he gets to show his stuff a little more in "The Last Name", demonstrating why he has the reputation he has. There are quite a few twists and turns, but the pace is good and the film never gets slow or bound up in it's own mythology.

All of the original cast has returned, including director Shusuke Kaneko. Matsuyama, as L, is particularly good, and it is no wonder that his performance spawned a spin-off flick "L: Change the World". The new shinigamis each have their own individual look and personality, and are animated well enough that you soon forget they are CG characters. Light is a little bit too steadfast, because we all know exactly what we would do if we had an admirer like Misa, but I guess that is the price you pay for being a cold, calculating genius/killer. Still, he is a man of absolute steel, as he shows more than once.

For fans of the comic series, it isn't the literal adaptation they might have been hoping for, but it is still an excellent series in its own right. "Death Note" and "Death Note: The Last Name" are both great flicks, and it is almost a shame to see them end. Live-action animation adaptations are rarely done this good."
Stick to Post-Its, they're less dangerous
sft | UK | 05/04/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)

"This movie is something of an oddity. On the downside, the plot is too convoluted, with numerous instances of the notes being swapped from one person to another and then back again, memories being lost and regained in the process, and new notes popping up out of nowhere. Some of the acting is a bit flaky, with characters breaking into hysterics one moment and then quickly accepting the appearance of Death Gods the next. The movie also implies that there are a lot of homicidal folks working in the Japanese media. But the main problem lies with the direction, which is too flat for such an imaginative source material. On the positive side it's engagingly quirky, it's always entertaining, it looks good, and the CGI is impressive. The story is ingenious despite its over-complexity, and there is never a dull moment. With stronger direction this could have been a great movie."