Death Note II / The Last Name : 4 of 5
It's time for yet another Death Note review, so if you're tired of this stuff, tough luck! After enjoying the original Death Note movie, of course I had to get this DVD to finish the story, and I was glad this film was over two hours to contain it all (since the first movie barely got the ball rolling). A lot of the plot this time involves Misa, and although she seems slightly more tomboy-ish than she did in the manga, I still think she was cast well (although her shinigami Rem has a male voice, which was female in the anime!). Her character is developed through a gruesome flashback, and the story saves a lot of time by having her flat-out announce "I am Kira 2" on the video (no need for L to figure out there are two Kiras!). I liked the way they worked Light's sister Sayu into the incident at Sakura TV, but I thought it was a little too convenient for Misa to discover Light's identity almost by chance. Even though the entire Yotsuba plot was removed for time considerations (as well as Near and Mello, of course), the screen adaptation still managed to get the fake 13th rule into the story, which was cool. I was also fascinated by the way they combined aspects of Mikami into Takada's character, taking a well thought-out short cut by combining them into one person. But the best aspect of this movie is the huge twist ending, which completely took me by surprise! Everything seemed to follow the manga/anime ending as expected, and then suddenly the world is turned upside down, which is a wonderful treat. I'm sure they knew half their audience would already be familiar with the story, so this new ending (which I won't spoil for you) was crafted for the fans! This sequel is actually much better than the first movie, and when you combine both films into one story, it really gets across the Death Note experience (although I would still recommend the manga first and the anime second).