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18 June 2006 @ 20:09
Saw the Death Note movie.

Since I've never read the manga, I can't speak with any authority on characterisation or faithfulness to the source material, but I will say that you can enjoy it without having read it.

I'll give a description of the movie characters and my impressions and you can decide for yourself how much they resemble the manga. Contains massive spoilers, of course.

It opens with a confusing flashback/flash-forward sequence that jumps around a lot. The very first thing you see, other than the notebook being dropped, is a man being killed before he kills someone else as his name is written below. Then, I think, there are more deaths where they seem deserved. These all happen in the opening sequence, pretty quickly. By the time you meet Raito, most of his good deeds have already been done -- in flash-forward.

Once this sequence ends, if I recall correctly, one of the first killings you see him deliberately do is that of the leader of an international group who wants to catch Kira. He's a mere figurehead, but he insults Kira and so Raito writes his name in the book in the street.

(Speaking of which, there're actually a lot of foreign faces in the sequences set in Tokyo, which surprised me. Film representations of Tokyo are rarely so cosmopolitan.)

So, soon after that, I quickly lost sympathy for Raito, although there's always another justified murder to maybe make you think again. That is, until the penultimate sequence, which is fantastic.

Utter sociopath, which wasn't really what I was expecting, since so many people seem to like him. I honestly thought that if he was writing down the names of people that deserved to be killed, I'd probably agree with him, even if the movie didn't want me to. But he was stupid in how he went about it. For a start, he never had any reason to attract attention to himself. He didn't need to taunt anyone. If he's just a student writing people's names in a book, there's zero reason for the police to suspect him. It was his own egotistical desire to be part of the drama that drove him to partially reveal himself to detectives. And if he hadn't done that, then there would've been no need to kill them. Of course, there wouldn't've been a manga or movie either.

(Btw, I got the impression you need to write down the person's name in the original script (e.g. Roman alphabet, kanji, katakana...). Is that so? Just wondering.)

Raito has an amazing voice, I thought. I notice these things.

No, I've no idea how to spell his name, sorry. The first time I saw him in the movie trailer, he terrified me. I'm glad I knew what to expect for his actual appearance.

He's actually a pretty funny character, although sometimes a little difficult to understand because they've put a bass effect on his voice (though nowhere near as bad as computer!L). Best moments included him going mad for apples, walking through a convenience store and telling Raito that he's the Devil. Great line, btw.

Oh, and if we're talking about pairings, Raito x Ryukku. If I knew the manga and could figure out a way to include apples in it, I'd definitely write it!

And while we're on plot points, at some point he tells Raito that he could have shinigami eyes if he gives up half of his life. At least, I think so. Did I mistranslate that...? It never went anywhere in the film, so maybe I misheard.

For what it's worth, even though somehow the CGI doesn't work (I'm not sure why -- the movement are intentionally jerky, he blends into the background well enough and he's nicely detailed), he still scares me a little.



L is love! I fear he might've given kuroe some bad ideas about cake kebabs though. He's cute and vulnerable, likes sugar and is just on the right side of insane (we call it “quirky")... ah, so cute. I liked the scene where he's fallen asleep and one of the detectives puts a blanket over him.

Anyway, about that ending. There's this brilliant sequence where Raito's girlfriend dies tragically and Raito finally shows feeling for another person, screaming and crying and getting in one last kiss before her death. And then it's revealed that... *evil laugh* Really, I'll let you see that sequence for yourselves (although presumably it's in the manga?). It was beautiful.

Then L shows up and he and Raito face each other. L is eating the same brand/flavour of crisps that Raito used earlier in the film. They face each other and...

Black screen.



I'm not kidding. At this point, no one in the cinema moved. We waited until the end, looking for more. And there is. You hear Ryukku's voice and an advert for... the second half.

I've never heard so much talking after a film has ended once the lights went up.

So, how close to the manga is it...? I went to a local book shop today and ALL but a handful of the latest volumes had vanished.

Poll #750552 Death Note

Who's the most right?


If I had the Death Note...

I'd use it all the time!
I'd use it quite often, but I'd think carefully about every death.
I'd use it on special occasions only.
I'd want to use it, but would know I shouldn't. I'd destroy it.
I'd never use it.

"I could use the Death Note better than Kira."

I agree.
I disagree.
Sharon: Death Note Lsharona1x2 on 18th June 2006 11:43 (UTC)
"I could use the Death Note better than Kira."

I said I disagree, but I really meant that I would never use it. There's a small part of me that would be tempted, but the bigger part of me wouldn't. ^_~

It makes me so happy to see his name as Raito. I hated when the official name was changed to Light for the manga.
Williamgenkischuldich on 18th June 2006 11:49 (UTC)
I think I'd probably use it. But I like to think that I'd do better than Kira. :)

Actually, I just called him Raito because that's what I can hear when his name is said (luckily, L's name is written down on a computer screen). But Light does make sense, because Kira can also mean light... Viz did Death Note, didn't they? I despise their translations. ^^
sardiussardius on 18th June 2006 12:51 (UTC)
Thanks for the summary! I'm kind of disappointed they didn't show the beginning when Light found the DN. I was hoping they would show why Light decided to keep killing criminals because he thought he was doing justice. That was kind of my favourite part.

I can't remember he cried for his GF. I only know he had Missa in the manga, but she had never died, but then I haven't read the manga for ages. ^^;

Yep, at one stage R told Light to exchange eyes but that means it will shorten Light's lifespan. Light wasn't dumb enough to accept the offer. ^__^

I kind of liked Light's old name too. But then I got confused why they had called him Raito. Isn't the kanji in his name means Light? And I remember reading something about that it was done on purpose that Kira had meant Light too.

Okay...so maybe I'm the only DN fan here. ^^; Sorry for rambling!
Williamgenkischuldich on 21st June 2006 07:12 (UTC)
They did show the beginning where he appears to be doing it for justice. On the other hand, you soon realise that Light is a wee bit evil and perhaps isn't as interested in Justice as he appears.

Light cried very dramatically for his girlfriend indeed. Except he wasn't exactly sincere. :)
Iczer6iczer6 on 18th June 2006 13:01 (UTC)
I agree with you about Kira, I think he's an arrogant hypocrite who's just as bad as the people he wants to save the world from.
Williamgenkischuldich on 21st June 2006 07:13 (UTC)
Yeah, but I still think I like him a little. ^^ In a sort of love-to-hate kind of way.
Rae: Light Yagami// Proverbs 7:2guiltyschu on 18th June 2006 13:57 (UTC)
That's where it ends? Wow, that's evil. ^^

It sounds like the movie is sort of branching away from the series a bit. Not that that's a bad thing, I think it's nice that they're putting their own surprises into the script. Light's girlfriend was an original character they made up for the movie, I believe. In the manga, Light really only went out with girls if he thought he could use them for something. ^^;

Ryuuku is ace. :D It sounds like he's going to be awesome in the movies. Yay! You translated the eyes thing correctly by the way- I don't know about the movies, but it was a pretty big deal in the manga. ^^ If you're really interested in Ryuuku/Light fic this is the closest I've ever seen to it. You could get away with not reading the manga to read it as well. ^^

Utter sociopath, which wasn't really what I was expecting, since so many people seem to like him

I think the appeal of Light (for me, anyway) is that he is a bit of an anti-hero. I love him because I hate him. ^^ He is a sociopath, but that's why the series is fun- it's nice to watch him slide from brainy-but-normal kid to vigilante to mass-murderer-with-a-messiah complex, and still be the hero of the story. ^^

L is way cooler though. /fangirl

Thanks for the review! I've been hanging out for this movie for some time, and it's nice to hear that it's going to be something I'll enjoy! *can't wait for the DVD to be released now*
Williamgenkischuldich on 21st June 2006 07:21 (UTC)
That's where it ends until sometime like October/November, when the rest comes out.

Thanks for filling me in on all those details! :)
Hi-chan (火ちゃん): Me - Death Note Misiahinoai on 18th June 2006 14:16 (UTC)
Light didn't even have a girlfriend in the manga, that was to make him more evil. I am totally and completely in love with it!!! OH MAN, and where it ended!!!! *fans self* I don't think that it could have ended better!!!!!!! ♥

LOL Light IS a sociopath, and that's why we hate him. But that's also part of the reason, that we all see a little bit of Light in all of us.

The details that you missed are all in the manga. I really think that it's better if you've read the manga first, since you can see Light's transformation into who he becomes a lot more clearly, and the reasons behind why he's writing the names in the book. And why he wants attention (it doesn't start out that way)

As for the way of writing, I'm not sure that it has to be exactly right, they never say in the manga.

And you were right about giviing up half your life for the eyes. It plays a BIG part in the later parts of the manga, that's why it was introduced but never played out upon here. If they had left it out, some things that will happen in the next movie won't make sense.

As far as following the manga, it did and it didn't, kind of randomly. But I think that the changes they made mostly made it better than detracted from it. ^^ I love this movie, I can't wait to see it again!!!!
Williamgenkischuldich on 21st June 2006 07:22 (UTC)
Haha, it was so good... BUT why did it have to end there!

I think I will read the manga... when the bookstores around here stock up again, that is.
Viridian5: L (100%)viridian5 on 18th June 2006 14:20 (UTC)
That ending would have made me nuts.

In the manga Light starts to change the moment he gets the Death Note. At one point he gives it up for a while to confuse his pursuers and completely becomes his original self all over again, which leads to some lovely fanservice of him and L being very friendly (and handcuffed to each other for a while).

I'm told that the writer was very specific that he is "Light."

Yep, half his lifespan handed over to get shinigami eyes to help him use the Death Note to kill easier with. Over the course of the series he manipulates a few other people into taking the deal for him to help him.

He never cried over a girlfriend. Or just about anyone else. Not genuinely.

I love L. *g*
Williamgenkischuldich on 21st June 2006 07:25 (UTC)
Oh... I would LOVE to see L/Light. There was no slashiness between them at all -- not of course that there could be, based on the time frame that the movie chose to play with (up until their first meeting). Your fanservice ref made me squee just a little.
(no subject) - viridian5 on 22nd June 2006 00:12 (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - genkischuldich on 23rd June 2006 05:50 (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - viridian5 on 24th June 2006 20:35 (UTC) (Expand)
Viridian5: Mello (skull)viridian5 on 18th June 2006 14:25 (UTC)
Dang. Forgot a few things.

I meant that Light doesn't take the "half your life" deal himself, just had other people do it for him.

My "I could use the Death Note better" was that I wouldn't use it.

I read an online fan scanlation, and the names and information were written in Roman alphabet. I don't know whether that was the original or their change. I do know that the manga says a lot of the information the shinigami wrote on the book (the rules and such) was in English, since that's a language a lot of the world's people speak.
Williamgenkischuldich on 21st June 2006 07:26 (UTC)
Oh, that's interesting. I guess I'll have to read the books myself. Although, in the film, they were always in the original script.
thirdshade on 18th June 2006 15:19 (UTC)
Raito is not an egotistical sociopath at first, but he becomes one once he decides to use the Note. He goes from wanting to do the right thing to achieve a greater good to arbitrarily deciding who has or not the right to live according to his private utopia. Too much power corrupts too fast, etc.

As for people who love him... I can totally, completely respect people who love him despite or because he becomes a worst monster than the ones he was trying to eliminate. Not my cup of tea, but I understand and respect it. What really creeps me out are the other people who either agree with and support his philosophy of cutting evil by the root without realizing the neonazi implications of deciding for yourself who gets to live and who gets to die in a perfect society, or much much worse, the people who excuse or overlook the huge number of murders Raito commits because he's too "cute" and "pretty" to be a bad guy (I kid you not, I've heard that).

As for the "I could use the Death Note better than Kira" question, I had to stop and think if there is really any justifiable way to use a Death Book. Still trying to come up with a serious good way, but I guess you could at the very least use it for mercy killing in situations where death is inevitable but is happening too slow and painfully, so I voted "agree", even though I'd rather not use it at all.
Williamgenkischuldich on 21st June 2006 07:30 (UTC)
I think one of the interesting things about the DN movie is that half-way through you wonder why he's taunting the police like a regular insane serial killer. And that's because... well, he is. I kinda like him though, but I prefer L. And viridian5 above has got me all intrigued by talk of L/Light fanservice. That would be interesting.
windavatarkaze_no_ko on 18th June 2006 15:20 (UTC)
Thanks for the review! It sounds like the movie did a fairly good job of adapting the manga; I'm always iffy about live-action films/dramas.

Everybody else has already said so, but Raito never has a true girlfriend in the manga. Unless you count the incident with his ex-girlfriend from college--I'm not too sure what happens since I haven't gotten to the rest of the volumes.

And damn, they sure do know how to end the movie AND make sure that people come back for the second half that's going to be ALLLL the way in October. Talk about marketing tactic.
Williamgenkischuldich on 21st June 2006 07:32 (UTC)
No problem!

He may not have had one, but they do great things with this one in the movie! *evil delight*
apelectroworld on 18th June 2006 15:23 (UTC)
I didn't know this movie was out already :o

I'm still making my way through the manga and I'm totally looking forward to it
Williamgenkischuldich on 21st June 2006 08:24 (UTC)
It is indeed! And I don't think you need to have read all the manga to enjoy it, becuase I certainly did. :)
nekojitanekojita on 18th June 2006 15:52 (UTC)
I personally can't stand Light and had to stop reading the series because of him. Gah. L is utterly awesome and I'm glad that the movie does him justice. Very disappointing ending for the movie, but a way to make people come back to see the second part, I guess.

The thing w/ the shinigami eyes is in the manga and they do something w/ it there.
Williamgenkischuldich on 21st June 2006 08:28 (UTC)
Ah, so what happened? I'm curious as to what Raito could do to put you off him.
(no subject) - nekojita on 21st June 2006 15:52 (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - genkischuldich on 23rd June 2006 05:46 (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - nekojita on 23rd June 2006 14:58 (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - genkischuldich on 24th June 2006 16:17 (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - nekojita on 24th June 2006 16:28 (UTC) (Expand)
Unseelie: l - heart heartunsee1ie on 18th June 2006 18:02 (UTC)
not that you need scanlations {jealous, me!} but if you want quick access; this scanlation site has a fast server so the dl's are ultra-painless. they've got up to chapter 59.

Williamgenkischuldich on 21st June 2006 08:25 (UTC)
Thanks! All the bookshops nearby have sold out. Although I'm unable to download because my camera has gone missing... I usually save all files onto it.
菖蒲eye_ame on 19th June 2006 07:05 (UTC)
0 votes for Kira against L! ;)
Williamgenkischuldich on 21st June 2006 08:27 (UTC)
Which is reassuring, I suppose!
Nnokiirat on 20th June 2006 19:13 (UTC)
thx for the review. sounds pretty good. only read one semi-negative review so far.

psst...(in case someone hasn't commented yet...)ryuuk's a female.

can't wait to see it...but seeing how i'm not in japan, i'll have to wait til the dvd.

i think part 2 is out in november. will you be there to see that?
Williamgenkischuldich on 21st June 2006 08:30 (UTC)
Where was the semi-negative review? I'd be interested in what they said.

Ryuuk's female? Hah, no one mentioned it. I guess I asked so many OTHER questions... Thanks for the info!