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Film / L: change the WorLd

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This film contains unmarked spoilers for Death Note and Death Note: The Last Name. You Have Been Warned!
"I too have sacrificed lives. But I cannot abandon this life in front of me."
"No matter how gifted, you alone cannot change the world. But that's the wonderful thing about this world."
L Lawliet

L: Change the WorLd is a spinoff from the Death Note Series, and was released in Japan on February 9th, 2008.

The legendary detective L, having written his own name in the Death Note as part of his plan to expose Kira, now has 23 days left to live. Approaching death's door, he uses his remaining time to solve crimes all over the world. When a young girl and boy come to him for aid, L is soon faced with what may be his most difficult case yet: stopping a group of corrupted scientists from spreading a lethal virus throughout the earth.

L: Change the WorLd contains examples of:

  • Advertised Extra: Ryuk is on the poster, even though he only appears in the opening scene.
  • Affectionate Gesture to the Head: L does this a couple of times to Near.
  • Big Heroic Run: L attempts one when he realizes Maki's gone, but is too late to find her.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Compared to the first two films. Several innocent people, including children, die of a virus that makes their skin and eyes bleed, with their skin also boiling, with one person getting burned. Whereas in the first and second films, most people (only adults) died of heart attacks and blood was rarely present throughout both films.
  • Body Horror: Maki's dad injecting himself with the virus, while simultaneously being burned to death by K. Maki's probably going to be dreaming of that for a good long while.
  • Canon Character All Along: The Thai boy who travels with L throughout the movie is unnamed until the final scene, whom he names "Near." The scene where the boy is enamored with a toy robot is foreshadowing for this.
  • Carrying the Antidote: Blue Ship are rendered unable to use the virus near the beginning when the antidote is destroyed and therefore if they released it they too would die. Though in the end, the leader releases it anyway because (unbeknownst to their henchmen) they are willing to die for their cause.
  • Child Prodigy: Near, who is a math genius and solves Maki's homework for her.
  • Children Raise You: Maki and "Boy" do this for L, although he doesn't get to find true love. At the end of the movie, L names the boy Near.
  • Continuity Nod: In The Stinger, L is seen eating a golden foil-wrapped chocolate bar. The chocolate hints that this entire scene is set directly before L's last meeting with Sochiro, and death in Death Note: The Last Name, as he was eating it at the time.
  • Cool-Down Hug: Surprisingly enough, L gives this to Maki after she refused to kill K.
  • Death Is Dramatic: Dying from the virus certainly is.
  • Depopulation Bomb: The point of the virus. Blue Ship wants an antidote handy so that they can get rid of most of the world's population but not themselves, naturally.
  • Empathy Doll Shot: When Maki runs away to find K by herself and is kidnapped, L rushes out to try and find her, but the only thing left behind of her after the kidnapping, is her backpack with her precious teddy bear inside it.
  • Friend to All Children: Despite having no people skills, L quickly forms a bond with both his young charges.
  • Heel–Face Turn: While not evil, the only reason Suruga is helping is to gain L's trust in order to get the Death Note for the US government. When L reveals he burned them, Suruga decides to help him anyways, proving L's trust well-placed.
  • The Hero Dies: L, of course, assuming you've already seen the other two Death Note movies. The movie is an Interquel that takes place just before the ending of the second film, and much of this film's conflict is L using his remaining time to solve one final case before he dies.
  • Hero Stole My Bike: After being caught on the train, L, Maki and Near have no choice but to avoid public transport. In the next scene they are cycling away on bikes that are clearly not theirs.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Subverted in that K is perfectly willing to die from the virus so long as it achieves her goal of ridding the world of humanity. L doesn't let her.
    • K, at least, is willing to die from the virus. Matoba? Not so much.
  • Innocence Lost: Maki watches her father kill himself violently in defiance of the terrorists' threats. This prompts her to want to murder them in revenge.
  • Interquel: This movie is a sequel to The Last Name, but all of the events take place after Light's defeat and during L's final 23 days. The Stinger is set immediately before his death in the aforementioned film.
  • Like You Were Dying: L puts up his best front for Maki and Near, even holding a picnic together while in hiding.
  • Living on Borrowed Time: L gives himself 23 days to live in order to beat Light, but his death is sealed from the moment he writes his name down.
  • Marked to Die: Much of the conflict comes from the fact that L will die in 23 days and that only gives him a limited amount of time to solve the case and save humanity.
  • My Death Is Just the Beginning: The aversion of this is a driving plot point. The ecoterrorist Big Bad has a super-virus that will wipe out humanity, but he is not willing to die along with the rest of us. However, the scientist who created a vaccine destroys it and kills himself after learning of the villain's plan rather than let the plan succeed, causing the villain to go after the scientist's daughter, who has notes on the vaccine and who L takes in.
  • Mythology Gag: Near, an Alternate Continuity version of the manga Near.
  • The Plague: The virus that was created is a mix of ebola and influenza, highly contagious, and quick to mutate. Naturally finding a cure before it wipes everybody out is the main plot of the movie.
  • Papa Wolf: L.
  • Peaceful in Death: L writes that he will die quietly of a heart attack, standing in contrast to Light's Undignified Death.
  • Race Against the Clock: In a twist, it is the heroes' unfortunate actions that are time sensitive. Maki is the one who injected herself with the virus to begin with, and it has to be cured before it becomes active or she could kill innocent bystanders. L likewise is at the last of his days having written his own name in the notebook and has to get the problem solved before he dies.
  • Red Right Hand: One of the principle terrorists has a cloudy blue left eye.
  • Riding into the Sunset: More like "walking into the sunset". L does this in the film's final minutes, as he realizes that he wanted to live longer.
  • Sliding Scale of Cynicism Versus Idealism: Surprisingly falls well on the side of idealism. No matter how horrible the actions of Blue Ship are, humanity's capacity to solve its own problems and choose healing over revenge wins out in the end.
  • So What Do We Do Now?: With Watari dead, the Kira case solved, and only 23 days left to live, L falls into this, trying to pass the days solving as many cases as possible despite his despondence. After the Blue Ship case is over, he realizes he did want to keep on living.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Title: The first and second movie adaptations of the franchise are Death Note and Death Note: The Last Name. L: change the WorLd is the third in the series.
  • The Stinger: A short scene is set just minutes before L's final meeting with Sochiro and death, with L closing his case book and leaving his desk. The screen goes black, and these words appear:
  • Synthetic Plague: Blue Ship manufactures the virus in order to wipe out humanity and restore balance in the ecosystem.
  • Title Drop: "No matter how gifted, you alone cannot Change the World".
  • Took a Level in Kindness: L.
  • Undignified Death: Ryuk tries to stop L from burning the Death Notes, telling him he will die anyways, and reminding him that Light thought he could become a god with them. L asks whether Light died like a god, and burns them without regret.
    • Dying from the disease definitely counts.
  • "Wanted!" Poster: K goes on TV and declares Maki to be a medical patient with a deadly virus who must be detained at all costs. This, along with the posters plastered everywhere, makes it very difficult for the group to move, especially since K is an acclaimed scientist, so no one doubts the story.
  • When He Smiles: L smiles a couple of times here and it is adorable.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: What do you expect if L is involved?
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: L apparently does this so he can pass as Maki's mother at one point.
  • You Killed My Father: This ultimately the result when Maki's father is Driven to Suicide and refuses to help K.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: Since it's an Interquel that takes place in the 23 days before his death in the second film, much of the tension comes from L trying to stop a group of eco-terrorists from wiping out humanity with a deadly virus before he meets his own imminent demise.

"Watari, I want to live a little longer in this world."