Death Note: The Last Name (2006)


This film debuted in Japan five-months after the previous film's release, and once again topped the box office, but this time for a reported four weeks. The movie eventually became one of the country's highest-grossing Japanese films in 2006. Continuing immediately where the first left off, this time a second death note is introduced, and found by a female pop-icon right before she was nearly attacked and killed by an obsessed fan. The movie delivers a little more back story into the Shinigami world and revealed some interesting new facts that we didn't know in the first. Normally sequels tend to be worse than their predecessors, but not in this case. In fact, it pretty much remained true to the style of the original (not surprising since the whole cast returns), and it almost seems like the movies were in fact one entire film.

Whether that were the case or not, I found myself enjoying this every bit as much as the first. Now our lead Kira has been proven innocent and is working with the police and his nemesis "L" (who revealed himself in the first movie). Since a second death note is in the human world, Light Yagami has little to worry about. That is, until it turns out that the pop-idol is also a fan of Kira when it's revealed that he wrote a criminal's name down in the past that the idol hated (for reasons explained in the film). She decides to give up her book and joins forces with Kira, which gives him both an advantage and disadvantage -- if the police catch on to her as being the new "Kira" they'll see that she's connected to Light. On the other hand, she was given the "eyes of a Death God", which grants her the power to see someone's real name and time left for them to live above their heads in exchange for half her own lifespan. This could prove useful for Light.

The movie throws new twists and ideas at us, which actually kept me guessing. I wasn't able to predict the outcome like I was with the first, which is a definite plus, but the movie somehow didn't capture me as much as previous did. One of the new ideas revealed was an interesting sequence involving a live news broadcast that had the new "Kira" pick off those that opposed her ideals as the fools yelled into the camera. With a second notebook comes a second Shinigami named "Rem". This time he's all white and made mostly of bone. Unlike Ryuuk, this new Shinigami has more compassion for humans (namely the idol) and offers more suggestions than the passive Ryuuk. Silly as it may sound, I was hoping for some kind of battle between the two Death Gods, but that would have definitely made the movie a bit too cheesy. We actually rarely even see the two together in the same room. Due to the success of both films a spinoff is in the works based around the character "L" that's said to be set in the US. Sounds like an interesting film, but I have no idea how it can continue. I'm there, either way.

Equally as good as the first film, and offers new twists and ideas that weren't touched on before. Check this out!
Equally as good as the first film, and offers new twists and ideas that weren't touched on before. Check this out!