My test for any live-action adaptation of an anime or manga is simple: Can I walk into this cold and not feel like I came to a stranger’s family reunion, where I have no idea why people are fighting or embracing? That was the problem I had with Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children — it wasn’t made for anyone who wasn’t a fan, and boy did the fans ever know it.
Thankfully, that hasn’t happened with the live-action adaptation of Death Note. I knew just enough about the series to get in the door but nothing beyond that, and in the end it scarcely mattered. By the one-third mark I was intrigued; by the halfway mark I was enthralled; and by the time it was over I was hankering for the follow-up. If you’ve been avoiding the series because it seems like a lot to swallow at once, the movie serves as a nice crash-course introduction to the goings-on.Read more