Death Note Re-light #1: Visions of a God
"See through the eyes of a shinigami… Light and L have battled to the bitter end over the Death Note-but what does the story look like from Ryuk's point of view? When rogue shinigami Ryuk deliberately drops his Death Note in the human world out of boredom, he has no idea how far the human who picks it up will take his newfound power. With the Death Note in hand, brilliant high school student Light Yagami vows to rid the world of evil, and when criminals begin dropping dead one by one, genius detective L steps in to track down the elusive killer known as Kira. An epic battle of wits pitting one brilliant mind against another unfolds-with the very future of humanity at stake! Ryuk's not bored anymore… Go back to where it all began and watch the epic battle from a new perspective-through the eyes of the one who started it all! "
The dark fantasy series Death Note (2006) proved so popular that audiences refused to let it end: two rewritten and re-edited versions of the ending were broadcast in Japan in 2007 and 2008. The story has been adapted into three live-action films, and Re-Light, a two-hour TV special, aired in 2009.
Except for the opening and closing bookends of the bored, alienated Ryuuk talking with another Shinigami (god of death), Re-Light consists entirely of re-cut footage from the TV series. Brilliant high school student Light Yagami finds the Death Note, a notebook Ryuuk drops into human space. If anyone writes a person's name in the notebook, that person dies. After testing the Death Note's powers, Light launches a grandiose vigilante campaign: he will rid the world of criminals to create his version of a perfect society. The most exciting parts of Death Note pit Light against the eccentric but brilliant investigator known only as "L." But cutting the 37-episode series into a two-hour special reduces the plot to so much animated coleslaw. Characters and subplots appear and disappear: the filmmakers include part of the sequence in which L has himself handcuffed to Light, but they don't explain why he does it or why they're unchained in later scenes. Fans of Death Note who want to see more of Light and L will have more fun with the live-action features Death Note, Death Note Movie II: The Last Name, and Death Note 3: L Change the World. (Rated T+ Older Teen: suitable for ages 15 and older: grotesque imagery, violence, violence against women, alcohol and tobacco use) --Charles Solomon