Behind The Scenes: Death Note & Death Note: The Last Name

Kaneko has recently scored two major hits with Death Note and its sequel, Death Note: The Last Name. The films are based on the popular manga series written by Tsugumi Ohba, which has now sold over 23 million copies.

The story follows a young law student named Light Yagami, who discovers a black notebook lying on the ground on his way home one evening. The instructions inside explain that “The human whose name is written in this note shall die.” Unbeknownst to the true powers that the book holds, Light jokingly writes the name of a criminal reported on television, and to his disbelief, sees the man’s obituary in the following morning’s newspaper. With the discovery of this new power, Light takes it upon himself to rid the world of crime and evil. Light is later joined by a strange creature known as Ryuk – the Death God who dropped the notebook in Light's world – who must accompany Light until he either gives up the book or dies.

On June 17th 2006, Shusuke Kaneko’s Death Note premiered in theatres nationwide in Japan. Proving to be an instant hit, the film went straight to number-one for two weeks, pushing the Hollywood hit The Da Vinci Code down to number-two on its way. Over the course of its theatrical run, the film took in over $24 million.

The character of Light is played by Tatsuya Fujiwara, the actor perhaps best known for his leading role in Kinji Fukasaku’s Battle Royale films. The film marks the first collaboration between Kaneko and music composer Kenji Kawai, who has previously scored Ghost in the Shell and the popular Ringu films, and also features Red Hot Chili Peppers’ song “Dani California”.

The world premiere of the sequel - Death Note: The Last Name - took place on October 28th in Hong Kong with almost one million fans in attendance, and presented by Kaneko himself. The film’s main theatrical run subsequently took place on November 3rd, and once again went straight to becoming another number-one hit, taking in $10 million during the opening weekend alone.

Look out for exclusive set photos from Death Note and Death Note: The Last Name coming soon!