Click here to return to the main site.

DVD Review

DVD cover

Death Note
Rewrite 2 - L's Successors


Starring (voice): Kappei Yamaguchi, Mamoru Miyano and Aya Hirano
RRP: £14.99
Certificate: 12
Available 15 March 2010

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 - Ryuk! Four years after Light triumphed at L’s grave, he’s taken on the persona of the “new L” and become an officer in the National Police Agency. When Kira uses fear and power to gain control of the entire world, L’s successor Near uses the forum of the SPK to name her as the new embodiment of L, and implore the Japanese Task Force to snuff out Light before it’s too late...

There are some things in life that really make you wonder what certain creative types were thinking. Death Note: Rewrite 2 - L's Successors is such an example. The manga and the anime are held in high regard, even the light novel was acceptable and so why, having gained good critical and fan reaction, would you think that Death Note: Rewrite 2 - L's Successors was a good idea?

The original Death Note series told the story of Light, an above average student, who is given a book by a demon. If you write someone’s name in the book they die, but you have to know both their name and what they look like. Being a man of morals Light starts to rid the world of anyone who he considers corrupt or criminal. Unfortunately, this power quickly goes to his head and he becomes determined to set himself up as the god of a better world. The authorities have different ideas and seek the aid of the world's most brilliant and enigmatic detective ‘L’. The narrative then tells the story of the battle of wits between these two powerful protagonists.

Like the first special, the makers have essentially condensed the second half of the 2006-2007 series, which covered about seventeen half-hour episodes. Whereas the first special told the story of the battle of wits between Light and L, the second special moves on to the conflicts between Light, Mello, and Near. Now if you haven’t seen it before, Death Note was nothing if not complex. So, the second half of the story has been turned into a one-and-a-half hour special, meaning that much of the back story and even some of the characters have disappeared.

This has created a confusing show where the narrative makes little sense, even to someone like me who loved and collected the show. In much the same way as David Lynch’s Dune (1984) there is a prologue, which is supposed to get the audience up to speed and for fans of the show this is delivered by the now deceased L. Although it was nice to see the old chap back in the flesh it did little to clarify matters and will almost certainly confuse the novice. As a comparison Dune is ideal as both took a longer piece and made what could be considered a greatest hits affair which was guaranteed to be impenetrable to any but the most ardent fan.

I feel however that in this case even those ardent fans will be disappointed by the changes. For a start Light’s father appears to have disappeared completely. There are numerous examples of things being changed and some you don’t mind if you look at the piece almost as a reimaging, some however are just plain idiotic. The worse case of this actually breaks one of the basic rules of the Death Note, that in order to write the name you have to have both the name and what the person looks like. In the new version Aizawa is able to write the name of the agents into a book without even looking through the door to see who is there, something he had to do in the original.

I had to get my old discs of Death Note out for comparison, as the initial shots of L did not correspond to my memory of how good the art work was. It looks as if they have, where possible, used the original animation and created rougher fill-ins to link them, this is most obvious in the prologue, where there is an over whelming feeling that the animation is at best average.

So, I’m a bit confused as to who this is supposed to appeal to. For fans of the show, we have a butchered version of the story which detracts, rather than adds to the Death Note experience and for people who have never seen the show, this would be an impenetrable introduction.

With the mix of old and new the disc has variable levels of animation. That said, the print is clear and free from defects. On the audio front you get a choice of either English or Japanese 2.0 with subs. The only extra on the disc is a trailer for the rather excellent live action film.


Charles Packer

Buy this item online

We compare prices online so you get the cheapest deal
Click on the logo of the desired store below to purchase this item.

£8.98 (
£9.99 (
£8.99 (
£9.47 (

All prices correct at time of going to press.