10.31.2009

Death Note / Re-Light Vol 2 : 3 of 5

I know you're wondering how I could possibly watch even more Death Note, but since I kind of enjoyed the first Re-Light DVD, which condenses the entire anime into a movie-length story, I pretty much had to watch this second part of the saga. While the first movie did its best to cram nearly all the major plot points into two-hours, this time around they went crazy with editing and simply chopped out huge sections of the story! I have to admit that while I was watching it I just decided to enjoy it and not worry about it, but afterwards I couldn't believe that giant dramatic segments like the death of Light's dad and great character backstory like Mikami's childhood were completely missing. Although it's a shame that so much good material was lost, Re-Light Vol 2 moves along at a much more even pace than Re-Light Vol 1, even finding time for things like Misa's dinner with Takada (one of my favorite scenes). Some of the editing may have been a good thing, since I kind of liked the way Near's SPK members are killed through Light's actions, rather than by Mellow's somewhat overly complex mafia subplot. There are only a couple of truly new scenes (not nearly as effective as the new material in Re-Light Vol 1), including L talking with some kids at the Whammy House (plus a look at Near's thought processes as he plays with a million dominos), and of course the new SPK killings (which is pretty intense). As always, I enjoyed the animation and Japanese voice acting, but it was a little obvious that the new scenes didn't have quite the same quality of the original anime. This DVD doesn't include any bonus material with the editors - it would be interesting to see if the same team worked on this film, since their methods are so entirely opposite. I've always thought the first half of Death Note is better than the second, so I guess the butchering of this half didn't bother me as much as it will some fans, and I still had a good time watching such a fantastic anime in a new way. As far as I know, there's no other Death Note incarnations left for me to see, so I guess this is truly the end!

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