Death Note R – Relight: Visions of a God DVD Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Feature 8.5
Video 9.0
Audio 7.0
Special Features 6.0
Total 8.5
Distributor: Madman
Classification: M15+
Running Time: 130 minutes
Reviewer:
Simon Black

8.5


Death Note R – Relight: Visions of a God

The excellent Death Note franchise, which thus far consists of a manga and an animated series as well as two live-action films, shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. 

The story, for the uninitiated, revolves around a notebook that causes the death of any person whose name is written inside.  Deliberately placed into the human world by a Death God (or shinigami) named Ryuk, the book is discovered by a brilliant high school student named Light Yagumi, who begins inscribing the names of criminals in an attempt to make the world a better place. 

Needless to say, the fact that murderers, gangsters and crooked politicians keep dropping like flies begins to concern the authorities, who slowly figure out that someone is using supernatural means to mete out justice to those they deem undesirable.  At this point the eccentric genius of a detective known only as L steps in, determined to track down and convict the vigilante and in turn bring him to justice.  At this point an epic battle of wits unfolds, with Yagumi desperate to uncover L’s real name so he can enter it into the Death Book and finally be free of his upstanding nemesis.  L, for his part, is not going to go quietly. 

This latest release from the fine folks at Madman condenses the entire anime story arc into a single two-hour feature, and is ostensibly told from the perspective of Ryuk, though he appears only sporadically.  This seems to be a popular cinematic device these days, and it works well in this context, with Ryuk recounting the tale to some of his cronies in the afterlife in an attempt to stave off boredom for another day.  The animation is first class, and the voice actors on both the English and Japanese dubs do an amazing job. 

Though the first Death Note live-action feature is, for my money, still the best representation of the series, Relight is an interesting concept that is executed with flair and drama.  The concept behind the franchise is a fascinating and compelling one, forcing the viewer to contemplate their own morality and intelligently addressing issues such as judgement, redemption and the corrupting influence of power.   

Newcomers to the series won’t be disappointed by this release, which assumes no prior knowledge, and long-time fans will also get a kick out of revisiting the story from a different perspective.  All in all this is solid stuff which cements Death Note’s place as one of the best animated series’ of the present day. 

Special Features

A 12-minute ‘Making Of’ Featuring Interviews with Cast & Crew

Original Japanese Promos






 
 



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