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Film / Death Note: The Last Name

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This film contains unmarked spoilers for Death Note. You Have Been Warned!
"There are times when you have to make sacrifices."
Light Yagami

Death Note: The Last Name is the second part of a film adaptation based on the manga of the same name, which was written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata. It was released on the 3rd of November, 2006, and it is the second in the Death Note Series. This film continues from the preceding instalment, Death Note, released five months prior to this film.

Having been accepted into the Investigation Team, Light sets out to destroy not only L, but the other members, before they expose his identity as Kira. He ends up finding those that can give him the advantage to kill L. They compose of the celebrity Misa Amane, who possesses a 'Death Note' as well, and her Shinigami, Rem. But when complications arise, Light is forced into pulling off his biggest and riskiest gambit yet. Will this help succeed in keeping his crimes hidden, and allow him to take his rightful position as the 'God of the New World'? Or will he finally lose to the one person who is at an intellectual footing with him?


Death Note: The Last Name contains examples of:

  • Adaptational Heroism: Misa has more of a conscience than the original, and even comes to acknowledge Light's evil nature and her Mad Love of him that, by her own admission, she just can't quit.
  • Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole: Quite a few of the rules established in both the source material and the film series were broken during the climax. Such as how L had no way of knowing where Light buried his death note, and even if he did replace it with a fake, Ryuk would be possessing him, not Misa.
  • Adapted Out: Near and Mello do not appear, as the L arc is the main focus instead.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The first shot of Sakura TV is of a short-haired news host, making manga and anime fans believe that this is Kiyomi Takada, with the same appearance from the source material. However, the host introduces herself as Saeko Nishiyama instead, and a different, long-haired worker is revealed to be the real Kiyomi.
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  • Bittersweet Ending: The Investigation Team find out Light and Misa were the two Kiras, while L decides to burn the two 'Death Notes', to ensure that they are never used again. However, L had to pull a Thanatos Gambit and die peacefully of heart attack to make it happen. Light ends up suffering the same fate as L due to Ryuk and dies, undignified and still believing in his murderous ideals. Finally, Sochiro has to lie to his wife and daughter, claiming that Light was killed by Kira. This means that the aforementioned two will remain oblivious to Light's evil nature.
  • Book-Ends:
    • The original duology, consisting of the preceding film and this one, ended with someone dying in the other's arms. The first time, Shiori passed away in his arms due to a fatal bullet wound. Now, Light ends up dying of a heart attack, with Sochiro cradling him in his last minutes.
    • L's first and last scenes involve him playing chess with himself. In the first instance, Light joined L in this game and ended up beating him. When it happens before the epilogue, Sochiro arrives but doesn't play, as he has come to thank L for his service and say his final goodbye, due to the latter's name willingly being in the 'Death Note'.
  • Chekhov's Skill: At one point, Matsuda says that although he's incompetent, he's very skilled at guns. This allow him to shoot Light's watch, which contained a piece of the 'Death Note' that he planned to write a name in, and then Light's leg, to incapacitate him during the final confrontation.
  • Crazy People Play Chess: Light and L at one point.
  • Driving Question: Who is the titular last name that is written in the 'Death Note'?
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Typically, when someone has a heart attack, they are either screaming, or silent. When L has his "heart attack", he has a short conversation with Light, realizing that he is Kira before he seemingly passes away. This is a subtle hint to the audience that Rem's writing didn't kill him; rather, L wrote his own name in the Death Note to die peacefully after a time period, as a Thanatos Gambit.
    • The main trailer kept repeating the words "The last name is...", followed by a cut to a character who could potentially suffer this fate. The first person shown is Light, who really is the last casualty of the 'Death Note', courtesy of Ryuk.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Although Misa is just as fanatical and Light/Kira-obsessed as in the manga, she's genuinely upset when she sees Light write Soichiro's name in the Death Note.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Light, in two ways. Firstly, in the final confrontation, when wounded and running out of options, he begs Ryuk to use his 'Death Note' and kill the Investigation Team and L. Instead, Ryuk writes down Light's name, calling Light out for cowardly relying on him to save his own skin. And when Light has his heart attack, screaming and writhing in extreme agony, it's divine retribution for what he did to Kiyomi: writing her name in his 'Death Note' scrap to die of a heart attack while she was bound and blindfolded.
  • Ironic Echo: Misa reminds Light that "sacrifices are necessary", after he calls her out for killing innocent policemen, despite having her family murdered by a criminal. He throws these words back at her in the third act, to justify his decision to write his father's name down in the 'Death Note'.
  • Karma Houdini: Demegawa. Despite his sexist attitude and favouring of Sakura TV ratings over human lives, he gets away with nothing more than a slap on the wrist, seen by his dissatisfaction when he calls Kiyomi on seemingly planning to broadcast a video to expose her as Kira, ordered by the Investigation Team.
  • Laughing Mad: Takada pulls one off after she is captured by the Investigation Team for being the third Kira, and later, Light after he rejoices in the notion that Ryuk can kill any of the Investigation Team members in a precarious situation. For the latter scenario, a Hoist by His Own Petard occurs instead, when Ryuk writes Light's name down.
  • Not His Sled: L's death from a heart attack appears to play out exactly like the anime and manga, where Rem wrote L's name in the second 'Death Note' to prolong Misa's life span. When he has his heart attack, he falls off his chair in slow motion and realises that Light is Kira as he dies, seemingly a pitch-perfect adaptation of the original scenes from the source material. However, the final confrontation reveals that this wasn't the case, as L had already written his name in the first 'Death Note' beforehand to ensnare Light, causing Rem's writing to have no effect.
  • Obviously Evil: By this movie, Light is sporting sinister black attire, and yet no one assumes he's actually Kira.
  • Rewatch Bonus: When L seemingly passes away from a heart attack caused by Rem, his last words are "I've made... a mistake...". After one knows beforehand that L is faking his death at the moment, they can realise that he wasn't lying with his fake final words: he was referring to Watari's death by Rem as well, the one unexpected factor in L's plan.
  • Rule of Symbolism: In the final confrontation, when Light is waiting for Sochiro to give him the Death Note after the former has written down the latter's name, the floor he's standing on has a chessboard pattern, symbolizing how he seemingly has the upper hand over the Investigation Team. However, when everything goes pear-shaped for him and Misa due to the Investigation having heard everything he's said, L reveals himself as alive, and sits on a chair that is lying on the same checkered ground, while revealing his ultimate plan that stopped Kira. That shows that L is now the winner instead of Light. Finally, when Light tries to use his 'Death Note' scrap in his watch, and fails, he ends up outside the chessboard-styled floor. This resembles a black chess piece being eliminated by a white chess spiece, solidifying his loss, and his eventual death.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Demegawa, Sochiro Yagami and Misa Amane.
  • Thanatos Gambit: At the end, L writes his own name in the Death Note to die 23 days in the future to protect himself from Rem when he confronts Light. Watari still dies but Light and Misa are caught red-handed.
  • Tonight, Someone Dies: Just look at the Tag Line acting as the picture caption.
  • Treachery Cover Up: At the end, Light's family were led to believe that he died trying to stop Kira.
  • Villain Respect:Light's inner monologue, after he has seemingly killed L with the help of Rem.
    "So long, L. You've been a good rival to Kira, god of the new world."
  • Wham Shot: So many of them in the final minutes.
    • Firstly, due to circumstances carefully planned by Light, Rem is forced to use his 'Death Note' to extend Misa's life span by writing down names that threaten her life. He writes down a name, and it cuts to an elevator with Watari and Misa inside. The sound effect associated with the 'Death Note''s heart attacks occurs as the doors open, with Watari clutching his chest and silently falling, dead.
    • However, it turns out Rem wrote two names to save Misa. The second was none other than L, as the aforementioned sound effect appears again, along with a slow-motion shot of L and his chair falling.
    • When Sochiro arrives with a suitcase supposedly having the second 'Death Note', Light gives him a eulogy towards Sochiro's impending death by heart attack, and demands the second 'Death Note'. Sochiro opens the suitcase, and it turns out to be empty. This reveals that Sochiro wasn't affected by Light's writing, for some reason.
    • The Investigation Team arrest Light and Misa, and a familiar voice calls out to Light. Light looks up and is completely shocked, as it's L.
  • Wham Line:
  • You Didn't Ask: This is Ryuk's explanation for why he hadn't told Light why, if you have a Death Note, your lifespan is hidden from a human who has traded for Shinigami-sight (which allowed Misa to discover who he is).
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: Misa ends up looking at L's face, getting his name due to her Shinigami eyes. She leaves, and Light happily declares to himself that he's won, because all he has to do is call Misa for this new information. End of film, right? Wrong, as L, like the manga and anime, secretly pickpocketed Misa of her phone when the two met, and immediately has the Investigation Team arrest Misa.


Example of: