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Funimation Licenses Japanese Live-Action Death Note Films

posted on by Karen Ressler
Subtitle-only BD/DVDs slated for January 22

FUNimation Entertainment announced at Anime Weekend Atlanta on Friday that it has licensed the Death Note, Death Note: The Last Name, and Death Note Light up the NEW world live-action films. The company will release the films on subtitle-only Blu-ray Disc, DVD, and Digital combo packs on January 22, 2019. The first two films will be bundled together.

Death Note and Death Note: The Last Name premiered in Japan in 2006 and were based on the story of Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata's 2003-2006 manga, albeit with significant changes to the story's ending. The films starred Tatsuya Fujiwara as Light, Ken'ichi Matsuyama as L, Erika Toda as Misa Amane, and Shidou Nakamura as the voice of Ryuk.

Viz Media screened the films in United States theaters in 2008, and released both on home video with an English dub.

Death Note Light up the NEW world debuted in November 2016. The story takes place 10 years after the events of the original story, and features new characters who compete over six Death Notes on Earth.

The film starred Masaki Suda as Yūki Shien, a cyber terrorist who reveres Kira; Sousuke Ikematsu as Ryūzaki, L's successor and a world-famous detective; Masahiro Higashide as Tsukuru Mishima, an investigator pursuing the Death Notes; and Rina Kawaei as Sakura Aoi, an indiscriminate murderer in possession of a Death Note. The main cast from the first film also reprised their roles for the sequel.

A spinoff live-action film, L change the WorLd, debuted in Japan in 2008, though Funimation has not announced a license for this title. Viz released the film in North America.

Source: Email correspondence

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