Last night I praised the return of the Death Note anime voice actors for the movie, so of course they had to throw me a curve ball for the sequel. This movie kicks off with a Shinigami that has a different voice from the anime, but that's not the worst part. The voice was male instead of female! Talk about a major change for a character. This gave me a completely different feeling from the anime, and I came away much less attached to this character. This particular Shinigami was a favorite of mine, but the interpretation this time around just didn't click with me. The same look but a different portrayal...it really weirded me out!
It was that change that really set the precedent for the movie, because there's a TON different in this adaptation. The first film definitely took its own path with a few things, but this time around we're talking about wildly altered content. I understand that there were reasons for making content cuts, but this was like a completely different series. I don't know if it's just me, but when I see a live-action adaptation of an animated feature, I like the source material to be closely adhered to!
I will admit that there were some necessary changes and additions that actually played out well. I like the anime/manga version better, but when liberties were being taken, some of the decisions weren't that bad. The real problem is just how different you feel by the end of the movie. Trust me, you'll come away with a completely different take on the situation. I don't know if that's a good or bad thing...but it definitely threw me for a loop.
Speaking of liberties, changes absolutely major plot points from the anime. We're talking about rocking the boat until it tips over! I am still reeling from some of the absolutely huge differences that this film exhibits when compared to the source. This is so hard to talk about without using spoilers, but I really don't want to ruin the wild take this second feature puts on the anime.
Is Death Note II: The Last Name worth your time? If you're a fan of the anime or manga, I really do think you should check it out, if only to see just how different things are. It's definitely not the best film I've seen and it's nowhere near as good as the anime. With that said, I guess you have to respect the path that was chosen in order to fit this much content into two films.