Death Note: R2 – Relight 2: L’s Successors

Death Note: R 2 – Relight 2: L’s Successors
Release Date: 22nd August 2008
Director: Tetsuro Araki
Rating: 15
Mad House, Manga, Viz Media

Relight 2 is the second half of Death Note, taking a huge batch of episodes and condensing them into an hour and a half with some new footage on top. The first one only had a few new scenes and was only really a worthy quick look version for fans of the series, thanks to plot points breezed over and the same applies this time which makes even more cuts and some rather unfortunate changes. Ryuk only pops up twice for a start. What’s up with that!?

Relight 2 starts with a recap of the first part, which introduces the characters and the story so far, then we move onto the real show as four years have progressed and Light is in control of the police force regarding the Kira case. With a brilliant disguise for him to operate, what with him being Kira the Death Note killer himself, he can run the police hunt in circles while he gets some followers to do his bidding. Everything is going swimmingly till the two successors to ace detective L appear. Near is a teenager who likes to play with toys and play things logically without any emotion, while Mello is the more aggressive ancestor and hides in the shadows. The main failing of Relight 2 is Mello hides a bit too much. They’ve gone and ripped out his first move with the Death Note and leave him to the finale, which is an incredibly poor showing. Quite simply, the character was shafted to let things move with a simpler story they’ve put in place.

Order of scenes have been altered to make the shorter length provide a quicker flowing and easier to understand story. Unlike the manga and anime, Light has already recruited lawyer Mikami to do his killings at the start, which is vaguely explained why he chose him in this version, and beautiful tv news presenter Takada is already in dealings with being Kira’s spokeswoman. Little back story and simpler scenarios lead to a less satisfying outcome, though some of the new scenes look great. By the second half it stays close to the original material though and the ending is largely untouched. Things move forward with some patchy understanding, but the core material still stands strong.

The second half of Death Note may be weaker than the first, but it still has some amazingly dramatic and tense scenes, especially the incredible ending. It might be enough for new viewers to pick up both Relight collections instead of the main series, but they will only be getting the lighter skim view edition. Not bad to see the story once more without pushing through thirty-seven episodes, even if they are the more enjoyable experience. The lesson, recaps will always be cash ins and weaker than the full series. Maybe we need to write the word down in a Death Note and hope we’ll get less.

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