SciFi Japan

    DEATH NOTE II: THE LAST NAME Press Notes

    Misa Amane (Erika Toda) is guarded by the shinigami Rem in DEATH NOTE II: THE LAST NAME. Photo courtesy of VIZ Media. © 2006 [Death Note] Film Partners

    Hit Japanese Film to Play in 400 US Theaters Source: VIZ Media Official Movie Site (Japan): Death-Note-Movie Official Movie Site (US): Death Note Films

    US poster art for DEATH NOTE II: THE LAST NAME. Photo courtesy of VIZ Media. © 2006 [Death Note] Film Partners

    VIZ Pictures and NCM FATHOM present a special two-night, multi-city event — DEATH NOTE II: THE LAST NAME at nearly 400 theatres across the United States on October 15 and 16 at 7:30pm local time. The theatre event will also feature an exclusive behind-the-scenes look about the creation of this breakthrough live-action event, an in-depth interview with director Shusuke Kaneko, who also directed DEATH NOTE, and a unique profile of the cast. For complete details on the DEATH NOTE II: THE LAST NAME U.S. Theatrical Event, please see the earlier report on SciFi Japan.

    DEATH NOTE II: THE LAST NAME

    Directed by SHUSUKE KANEKO Based on the best-selling Japanese Comic by TSUGUMI OOBA and TAKESHI OBATA Starring: TATSUYA FUJIWARA as “LIGHT” KENICHI MATSUYAMA as “L / Ryuzaki” Genre: Suspense/Teen/J-POP 2006/ Japan/ 35mm/ 1.85:1/ Dolby Digital SRD/140min.

    Introduction

    DEATH NOTE and DEATH NOTE II: THE LAST NAME are based on the best-selling supernatural action mystery manga written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata. With 26 million copies sold in worldwide, the hit manga has finally been adapted into the live-action feature films DEATH NOTE part 1 & 2! Both live-action films were directed by Shusuke Kaneko, known from the popular “Gamera” monster film series, and were released in 2006, becoming smash hits in Japan. DEATH NOTE knocked off THE DA VINCI CODE as the #1 hit movie in Japan, grossing over $28 million with 2.3 million tickets sold. DEATH NOTE had a huge success at US nationwide two-night theatrical screenings at 302 theatres in May 2008.

    Story

    The story begins on the heels of the first movie as Light Yagami joins the investigation team in pursuit of the serial killer known as "Kira." While L still strongly suspects that Light is "Kira," Light tries to uncover L`s real name so he can kill him with his Death Note. Confusingly enough, a new rash of murders all around the world are taking place, with a "Second Kira" claiming responsibility. Light learns the identity of the Second Kira and suggests they join forces to get rid of L. Will L be able to catch "Kira" before he is killed?

    The rules for DEATH NOTE. Photo courtesy of NTV. © 2006 [Death Note] Film Partners

    How to use the Death Note

    -The human whose name is written in this note shall die. -This note will not take effect unless the writer has the person’s face in their mind when writing his/her name. Therefore, people sharing the same name will not be affected. -If the cause of death is written within 40 seconds of writing the person’s name, it will happen. -If the cause of death is not specified, the person will simply die of a heart attack. -After writing the cause of death, details of the death should be written in thenext 6 minutes and 40 seconds. -This note shall become the property of the human world, once it touches the ground of (arrives in) the human world. -The owner of the note can recognize the image and voice of its original owner, i.e. a god of death. -The human who uses this note can neither go to Heaven nor Hell.

    Cast

    Tatsuya Fujiwara stars as Light Yagami. Photo courtesy of VIZ Media. © 2006 [Death Note] Film Partners

    Light Yagami (Tatsuya Fujiwara) The straight-A college student who winds up with the Death Note Ryuk drops from the sky. With his intellect and strong sense of justice, he uses the Death Note to create his own version of a better world. Born in May 15th, 1982, Tatsuya Fujiwara made his acting debut at Barbican Theater in London. Since then he has worked in plays, films, TV programs and TV commercials. He was awarded Best Actor at the 27th Japan Academy Awards for his role in 2001’s BATTLE ROYALE (directed by Kinji Fukusaku). In 2005, he made his New York debut with the critically acclaimed play MODERN NOH PLAYS (SOTOBA KOMACHI/YOROBOSHI). L / Ryuzaki (Kenichi Matsuyama) The mystery genius detective who solves world-level crimes. L is commissioned by Japan’s police force to solve the complicated case of “Kira, the invisible killer.” Using calculated processes of elimination and statistical analysis, he quickly narrows down the list of suspects.

    Kenichi Matsuyama plays L. Photo courtesy of VIZ Media. © 2006 [Death Note] Film Partners

    Born in Aomori on March 5th, 1985, Kenichi Matsuyama made his screen debut in BRIGHT FUTYRE (2002), directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa. Recently he has appeared in popular films such as NANA (2006) directed by Kentaro Otani, LINDA LINDA LINDA (2005) directed by Nobuhiro Yamashita, and YAMATO (2005) directed by Junya Sato. He is one of the most promising actors in Japan. Ryuk (voiced by Shido Nakamura) The rogue death god who, at his height of boredom, decides to drop his Death Note down to Earth to see who picks it up. To his surprise, Light, who finds the Death Note, takes to it way more than imagined. Obsessed with apples and entertained by human behavior, Ryuk hangs around Light. Born on September 14th, 1972, he is a kabuki and film actor. Born into a family of kabuki actors, he made his debut on the kabuki stage at the age of eight. In 2002, he made his film debut in Fumihiko Sori’s PING PONG. At the 2003 Japanese Academy Awards, his debut film won him a Best Newcomer award. In 2004, Nakamura gained international attention when he was starred in the film BE WITH YOU (Ima, Ai ni Yukimasu).

    J-idol Misa Amane (Erika Toda) gets her own Death Note. Photo courtesy of VIZ Media. © 2006 [Death Note] Film Partners

    Misa Amane (Erika Toda) A TV personality idol who worships the way of Kira. Her whole family was murdered in cold blood, and Kira has given her the revenge that she would have otherwise never attained. Born in Hyogo on August 17th, 1988. Erika Toda made her debut in the morning TV drama series AUDREY (NHK) in 2001. Her performance in the TV drama ENGINE in 2005, which earned high viewer ratings, led Toda to play the larger role of the protagonist’s beautiful and smart girlfriend in MAKEOVER (Nobuta wo Produce), a TV drama adapted from a bestseller novel. This drama further increased her popularity to the points that she is one of the hottest young actresses working today. Watari (Shunji Fujimura) L’s right hand man and sole contact. Born in Kanagawa on December 8th, 1934, Shunji Fujimura studied pantomime in Paris for one year. He started to work as a choreographer after he came back to Japan and choreographed for TV shows and TV commercials. He got a regular part in TV series as an actor for the first time in 1996. Since then, Fujimura has been working actively in various fields as TV variety shows, TV dramas, feature films, theatre and more.

    The death god Rem. Photo courtesy of VIZ Media. © 2006 [Death Note] Film Partners

    Rem (voiced by Shinnosuke Ikehata) The female shinigami (death god) who watches over Misa because of a promise she made to another shinigami Gelus. Born on August 8th, 1952, he is a well-respected actor and a singer. He uses the name Peter as a singer and in 1969 debuted with the song “Between Night and Morning" (Yoru to Asa no Aidani). The same year he made his film debut in Toshio Matsumoto’s FUNERAL PARADE OF ROSES (Bara no S?retsu). In 1985, he appeared in Akira Kurosawa’s RAN and solidified his status as a great actor. Soichiro Yagami (Takeshi Kaga) A high-ranking detective assigned as Chief of the Task Force for the Kira case. He risks his life to catch the cold-blooded killer. Born in Ishikawa on October 12th, 1950, Takeshi Kaga started his career at SHIKI theater company and made his theatrical debut with JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR. He has been working mainly in theater but also acts in films and TV shows. He is widely known by North American audiences as theflamboyant host of TV’s IRON CHEF.

    Nana Katase plays reporter Kiyomi Takada, aka Kira III. Photo courtesy of VIZ Media. © 2006 [Death Note] Film Partners

    Kiyomi Takada (Nana Katase) A news reporter who works at Sakura TV and is a Kira supporter herself. Born on November 7th, 1981, she is an actress that appeared is various TV series and also has a career as a singer. DEATH NOTE II: THE LAST NAME is her debut performance in a film. Saeko Nishiyama (Sakura Uehara) The news anchorwoman for Sakura TV that always reports the Kira news. Born on March 31st, 1977, she is an actress and a singer. In 2004, she published her first essay The Conclusion is Horrible!! (Ketsuron wa Saiaku!!) and had the popular manga writer Ai Yazawa do the illustrations. Demegawa (Magy) The director of Sakura TV. He is always trying to find ways to increase ratings for his news broadcast. Born on May 12th, 1972, he began his career as a comedian in 1998 but switched to acting and screenwriting in 2002. In 2001, the film SHOKOKI! became his debut film as a film director. He has starred in films such as SONG OF THE SUN (Taiyou no Uta) and MEMORIES OF MATSUKO (Kiraware Matsuko no Isshou).

    English Voice Actors

    Brad Swaile (Light Yagami) Alessandro Juliani (L/Ryuzaki) Brian Drummond (Ryuk) Chris Britton (Soichiro Yagami) Shannon Chan-Kent (Misa Amane) Ron Halder (Watari) Micheal Dobson (Rem)

    Staff

    Director: Shusuke Kaneko Born in Tokyo on June 8th, 1955, Kaneko graduated from Tokyo Gakugei University before he joined Nikkatsu Corporation. He directed his first film in 1984. Since he left Nikkatsu in 1985, he has directed films in various genres over the years, including the critically successful Heisei Gamera Trilogy: GAMERA GUARDIAN OF THE UNIVERSE (1995), GAMERA 2: ATTACK OF LEGION (1996) and GAMERA 3: REVENGE OF IRIS (1999). His recent credits include AZUMI 2: DEATH OR LOVE (2005) and WHEN YOU SING OF LOVE (2002).

    DEATH NOTE director Shusuke Kaneko. Photo courtesy of VIZ Media. © 2006 [Death Note] Film Partners

    Theme Song by Red Hot Chili Peppers In selecting a theme song for DEATH NOTE, producer Takahiro Salute sent a proposal together with an English translation of the manga to the band, which promptly gave him the “go” sign. In choosing a song from their latest album, the Peppers decided on “Dani California,” as the tune’s catchy and dynamic melodies added flamboyance to the film. In regards to this tie-in project, band leader Anthony Kiedis commented, “Don`t be afraid to check out our song, ‘Dani California.’ It`s a theme song for the movie, DEATH NOTE.” Added bassist Flea, “We are very proud to be involved and happy to be involved.” The band’s other members include John (guitar) and Chad (drums). Tetsuya Oishi (Screenplay) Born in 1965 in Fukuoka prefecture. Oishi started his career in films in 1994 with the video Hikinige Family. In 1995, he received the 1st Yomiuri TV Scenario Award for OTOME NO MIKOKORO. Recently, he wrote for the smash hit TV drama ONE MISSED CALL (2005). This is his second work for feature films following MUSCLE HEAT (2002). Kenji Kawai (Music) Born in Tokyo in 1957. Kawai is widely known as a composer for Mamoru Oshii’s animated feature film GHOST IN THE SHELL (1995), AVALON (2001) and INNOCENCE (2004), as well as Hideo Nakata’s RING (1998), RING 2 (1999), CHAOS (1999) and DARK WATER (2002). His work has also appeared in the famous animated TV series MAISON IKKOKU and RANMA ½, as well as live-action TV dramas.

    Ad for US theatrical screenings. Photo courtesy of VIZ Media. © 2006 [Death Note] Film Partners

    Kenji Takama (Cinematography) Born in Tokyo in 1949. In 1981, Takama was selected to join an overseas residency program and studied cinematography in Hollywood and New York. He applied his unique style to acclaimed movies like 12 GENTLE JAPANESE (1991) and HOTEL HIBISCUS (2002). Takama also works regularly for the director Kaneko, shooting his SUMMER VACATION: 1999 (1988) and CROSS FIRE (2000). Masamichi Uwabo (Chief Lighting Technician) Born in Tokyo in 1951, Uwabo began his career at a company specialized in lighting for PR and industrial movies. Later he became doing freelance work for TV programs and commercials. In 1993, Uwabo worked on his first feature film production on the set of THE SONG OF THE DUCKS CAN BE HEARD (Ahiru no uta ga Kikoete Kuruyo, directed by Makoto Shiina). He has joined movie productions such as WELCOME BACK, MR McDONALD (Radio no Jikan, 1997), NABBIE`S LOVE (Navi no Koi, 1999) and IDEN & TITY (2003). Hajime Oikawa (Production Design) Born in Akita in 1954, Oikawa made his debut with TV commercials, and as special effects man on TAN TAN TANUKI. His other works include the Bakayaro! series, the Gamera series, ALL`S QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT (1991), SCHOOL GHOST STORY 3 (1997) and PLATONIC SEX (2001). In 2003, he received the Best Art Direction Award at the Japan Academy for his work for SPY SORGE directed by Masahiro Shinoda.

    Credits

    © 2006 [Death Note] Film Partners

    Cast Tatsuya Fujiwara (Light Yagami) Kenichi Matsuyama (L/Ryuzaki) Erika Toda (Misa Amane) Shunji Fujimura (Watari) Takeshi Kaga (Soichiro Yagami) Nana Katase (Kiyomi Takada) Magy (Demegawa) Sakura Uehara (Saeko Nishiyama) Staff Director: Shusuke Kaneko Original Story: Tsugumi Ohba / Takeshi Obata Screenplay: Tetsuya Oishi Music: Kenji Kawai Theme Song: RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS “SNOW” (Warner Music Japan) Executive Producer: Seiji Okuda Producer: Takahiro Salute / Toyoharu Fukuda / Takahiro Kobashi Planning: Masana Takahashi / Atsushi Sato Cinematography: Kenji Takama Lighting: Masamichi Uwabo Production Designer: Hajime Oikawa Sound Recording: Masayuki Iwakura Editor: Yosuke Yafune Assistant Director: Koji Yamaguchi / Shinji Ihara / Tadashi Otsu Casting: Takefumi Yoshikawa Line Producer: Yasuyuki Otsuka CG Producer: Yusaku Toyoshima CG: Digital Frontier Original Soundtrack: VAP Production: Nikkatsu Studio Planning & Production: NTV Production Companies: SHUEISHA / HORIPRO / YTV / VAP / KDE-J / SHOCHIKU / NIKKATSU © 2006 [DEATH NOTE] FILM PARTNERS ________________________________________________________________________________________________________ For more information on DEATH NOTE and DEATH NOTE II: THE LAST NAME please see the earlier coverage here on SciFi Japan:


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