Death Note movie: The Last Name review

The second part of the "Death Note" movie series, "the Last Name" starts from where the first one ended. Yagami Light, who uses God of Death's notebook, the Death Note, to kill criminals has joined the team of his father, Inspector Yagami, and the world's greatest detective, L, to capture Kira. Light, who is Kira, is motivated by his need to discover L's true name, so he can get rid of the detective. Meanwhile L is certain that Light is Kira, but without evidence he can't do anything but wait and see. As if things aren't bad enough, a Second Kira appears out of nowhere, to help Kira. Second Kira is Amane Misa, a rising idol, who worships Kira and has her own Death Note. Things move to their conclusion.

"Death Note: the Last Name" is a great improvement when compared to the first movie. Where first film was still somewhat slow and uncertain, the second part keeps the viewer interested its whole length: nearly two and half hours! The second part is also more faithful to the original manga than the first one. Greatest difference would be removing the character of Higuchi and replacing him with Takada, who in manga didn't appear until much later. The second movie is also the concluding one, which might be confusing since both movies together only tell the first half of the manga events. Still the finale has been cleverly turned faithful to manga, and I personally like it even better than manga ending.

I already commented the performances of Tatsuya Fujiwara(Light), Ken'ichi Matsuyama(L) and Takeshi Kaga(Inspector Yagami) in my review of first "Death Note" movie, so I'll just comment the new parties here. Erika Toda surprised me with her role as Misa. Although, like many other manga fans, I too would have wanted to see blonde Misa, the hair colour was the only complain I could come up with. Her Misa is naive but not as annoyingly air headed as in the manga, but actually makes her a believable. Nana Katase makes an okay role as an ambitious Takada, although I feel she could have done better.

The complains are the same as previous: the minor characters of police investigators are left in the background and the Death Gods look ridiculous, but this time the dynamic moving of the story saves a lot.

What can I say? A definitive improvement to the first film and a great ending to the story.

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