My thoughts on Death Note:R

July 27, 2008 at 5:41 pm | Posted in Anime, Music, Recommendations and Reviews | Leave a comment
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I know this Director’s Cut came out a while ago (2007-08-31), but I forgot about it for a while and only watched it recently.

For those of you who don’t know, it’s basically a recap (or Rewrite, which is what the R stands for) of the first arc of Death Note (and some angry fans may consider the only real arc) in 2 hours. Although there’s no actual narration, it’s supposed to be Ryuk retelling Light’s story to another shinigami who wanted to hear something interesting about the human world. Ryuk only really considered telling the story to pay the unnamed shinigami back for giving him and “unpalatable apple”. (hehe…) This is just a recap, but there were some minor changes here and there.

I’m only going to say this once… so…

You Have Been Warned.

I have to applaud them for being able to get around 20 episodes into 2 hours and still get the major plot points and whatnot. (Gundam SEED Destiny tried to do this and ended up with 4 specials (all longer than 1.5 hours) for a 50-episode show, which I thought was useless as there was not that much extra content)

I think one of the things I didn’t quite like was the meeting of L (the Great Detective and Worthy Opponent) and Light (the Villain Protagonist). They changed it (most likely for time constraints) so that they met alone at Police HQ to watch the Second Kira’s video to Kira. The real surprise or impact when they met in the anime and in the manga was gone, and I didn’t like that. But still, you gotta love L’s close-up inspections…

Just trying to see your reaction… right?

Oh and of course, L had the home-field advantage (note the blueness).

So, nothing too much is new (keeping in mind, I watched the actual show like a year ago now, back when we didn’t know if it was Nia or Near but one part that was definitely awesome was hearing Zetsubou Billy during Higuchi’s capture. It fit so well I can’t believe they never thought about doing it during the anime. There’s a high-speed chase going on, random gun shots, tons of panic, and all the while rocking out to Maximum the Hormone. Pure awesomeness. You can start the headbanging now because here’s the TV cut:

Speaking of songs, I also liked how they kept Misa’s song. Even though it wasn’t needed and obviously took up precious time, they kept it anyway. It’s so cute yet creepy at the same time. I love it. You can find the lyrics here.

Alright, so I’m basically gonna go straight to almost the end because everything in the middle can be seen in the anime/manga. Another scene that was changed/added was L’s funeral. This was basically a “happier” version of Light, the Knight Templar going crazy with his evil gloating on top of L’s grave and the idea that Utopia justifies the means. Seriously, with great power comes great insanity. Sheesh.

Red. Colour coded for your convenience.

So one thing that has come up a lot, because of the fairly open ending was what was Ryuk talking about and was that shinigami actually Light. Here’s the script from the sub: I’ve tried to identify who the “you”s are in Ryuk’s speech with square brackets.

Ryuk: (looks at Light’s name in his Death Note) You[Light] were not God. You were just… (Looks back to see if the other shinigami is still there) Gone already? Hehe. You[?] should go and take a look. Someone might pick up the note if you[?] are lucky. And you[?] get to see something you[?] won’t forget for the rest of your[?] life. Am I right… Light? (He looks up to the sky)

So, it’s pretty ambiguous whether he’s talking to that shinigami, to Light, or to both meaning they’re the same person. I think it is totally possible though. People who use the Death Note don’t go to hell or heaven, so wouldn’t the shinigami world be a possible place to go? They’ve never said the shinigami world was hell, so I’m assuming it’s a fourth place (the third being limbo/purgatory) which is pretty fitting seeing as one way of saying the number 4 sounds similar to “death” in Japanese. That shinigami could be Light because of this and also because he gave Ryuk an apple. I’m not sure if it’s common knowledge that Ryuk likes apples (it’s been said that shinigamis like apples, but I’m not sure if this is generic based on Ryuk’s likings), so this could be proof that that shinigami had previously met Ryuk.

The fact is that Ryuk said those last words to Light. Whether he was just saying it out loud or saying it to the shinigami who walked away is unclear, but I think that’s the whole point. It was obviously done to make us think about it, and maybe because the director thought it would have been cool if Light became a shinigami, but because the director did not write the story, he/she could not express this explicitly. But who knows…


Well, his voice is definitely not done by Miyano Mamoru (Light’s voice), but becoming a shinigami could mean changing a lot of things.

The second Death Note special, Death Note:R2 is going to air on August 22 in Japan. Maybe we’ll learn more about this then?

Oh, And I can’t believe I never realized that since L since succeeded by Mello then Near (since Near makes more of a move later), then it goes alphabetically, L-M-N! lol

Random Quote: Exactly as planned. – Light, many times in Death Note

Trope count: 11


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