Yup, just watched the first part while the second part premieres today in Japan. The story's taken a different branch you could say. The start of the movie was a bit slow because they didn't really spend much time building up the tension but, it picks up after the first half an hour or so.
So here's how the story's taken a slightly different route to the original Manga - My summary and impressions of it. Needless to say, don't read on if you don't want spoilers ;)
Movie begins by diving right into the movie with Kira killing off criminals already, trying to make the world a better place. People are posting all about him on the internet through their mobiles and computers. But wait... Light didn't go around killing off bullies too because they were insignificant in the Manga. Here's someone thanking him for dealing with a bully (or bullies) in school. I guess it gives Light a more evil personality this way.
The story then goes back one month ago when Light hasn't picked up the Death Note yet. He drops into a nearby bar to get out of the heavy rain but overhears some rough guys talking about murder. He turns round to look at them only to get hassled by the guys. The leader of the group goes up to Light with a knife and says to him no one can prosecute him before leaving the bar. Light runs out and looks at his law book in anger before throwing it away.
Suddenly something falls onto the ground. The Death Note. This part's different from the original Manga since Light actually picks it up at school. He takes it home and laughs at the instructions written in it but when a news report about a criminal pops up, he tests it and the next morning he finds out it's real. The criminal's reported dead in the newspaper.
The Death Note looks too new and clean. They should have worn it out a bit.
Light runs on out to find the criminal that threatened him earlier and he comes across him at a train crossing. Standing at opposite sides, the guys see him and laugh at him. Light takes out the Death Note to write the guy's name on it and a moment later, he dies.
Still in disbelieve (or maybe he was scared), Light runs off into a quiet street where the same bar was earlier. There he encounters Luke, the Death God and Light was already expecting him. He asks what price he had to pay for using the Death Note but Luke answers there is none. If Light doesn't want it, he can pass it on to someone else then Luke will erase his memory.
Back to the present, the police are suspecting someone is responsible for all the heart attack deaths. L reveals himself through Watari but not in the ICPO conference. He does it at the police head office instead. Nice laptop setup.
Light's fallen for L's trap and L knows he's in Japan now. This part was just funny with Luke's shadow sliding across the background without moving a finger. Very fake and ruined the mood. L also only challenges Light to kill him once in a low calm tone unlike in the Manga and Anime were he says it multiple times. That would have been much better.
Next day, newspapers are selling out about what happened on TV. Light also goes on a little date with his girlfriend Shiori to the galleries. She doesn't like what Kira's doing and doesn't know her boyfriend is actually Kira. They accidentally come by another couple who are kissing passionately in a quiet corner of the museum. Light invites Shiori for them to try the same thing but Shiori shyly walks off. As Shiori walks off, Light tells Luke that he believes Shiori will understand that the world needs Kira. Luke had tagged along but only those who touch the Death Note can see him.
Light didn't have a girlfriend in the original Manga but I guess they added her in to try and reveal more of what's going on in his mind while also making him even more evil. You'll find out how later.
Meanwhile, L's established the fact that Kira is an university student by looking at the times the incidents have occurred. So, they like Macs and Light isn't a high school student anymore.
Light and Luke's getting along well. Together they take a walk outside and Light throws Luke an apple. Luke doesn't catch it or reply. It's then that Light realises they're being followed. He turns on his phone's camera and finds someone in a long coat tailing him. Light asks Luke why he didn't tell him earlier. Luke replies that he's not on L or Light's side.
As Light returns home to figure out what to do, Luke offers him the Death God's eyes which allows the owner to see a person's name and lifespan - in exchange for half the owner's life. Light doesn't want them but then he comes up with a plan.
Light invites his girlfriend Shiori out on a date and here they are waiting for a bus at Okugawa.
And what a great time to introduce Misa using a bus advertisement like this.
Light turns round to his "stalker", something he doesn't do in the Manga but the man doesn't reveal who he is or his intentions.
...Until someone hijacks the bus that is. Light tries to show Shiori a note saying that he'll go grab the man when he gets the chance but the "stalker" reveals himself as the FBI Ray.
Light pretends to accidentally drop the note and the hijacker picks it up. He sees what Light wrote in it but as he looks towards the back, he sees Luke. Naturally he panicks and starts shooting at Luke. The hijacker tells the driver to stop the bus as he runs out scared, only to be knocked dead by a passing car.
Yes, Light had it all planned to find out the FBI's name. After all, the Death Note was useless if he didn't know their real name.
Now Light plans on taking out all the FBI agents that's in Japan to find Kira. Luke questions if he's really going to kill them even though they aren't criminals.
Of course, Light couldn't let himself be caught. He lures the FBI agent onto a train and gets him to find out the names and faces of the other FBI agents.
Yay, it's Windows :P
Now this part was unexpected. After the FBI agent wrote the names Light wanted onto a piece of paper from the Death Note, he sees Luke peering in through one of the windows. Something that doesn't happen in the Manga. Ray then walks out of the train and dies with his fiancee Naomi by his side. Luckily she doesn't see Light who stares out at Ray gleefully.
With everyone at police force not wanting to get involved with the Kira case, only a few are left to work with L. They ask him to reveal himself to them so Watari leads them to a hotel. Looks like a really nice place to stay, no?
L sure eats a lot of sweets! I want some of that too XD
Here's L in the flesh. He looks a lot smaller, slouches more and has bigger glaring eyes in the Manga.
While Ray's girlfriend is going about trying to find out who Kira is, L has found himself some suspects who have access to inside police info. A group of them being the inspector's family and Light. He orders all sorts of spying equipment to be installed in their homes.
And here's Misa with her own cooking show!
Luke's fascinated by her XD
In a little interview, Misa tells about the person she looks up to and admires - Kira. But she is stopped short by her manager. Misa picks out a tissue to blow her nose and throws it into a bin as she leaves the studio. Some bald guy picks it up out of the bin and puts it in his pocket...
On the other hand, Naomi has caught up with Light. Being sure that Light is Kira, she dares him to kill her right away before walking off but because she showed Light a business card with a fake name, the Death Note doesn't work. She swears she will avenge her boyfriend who she was engaged to. Light does take a note out of his wallet but, he changes his mind.
Again, a different branch to the original story. Ray's girlfriend didn't even suspect Light in the Manga and died quickly after she had a talk with him.
Light returns home afterwards to find the lead he slipped into his door hinge broken. Someone must have been inside his room.
Sure enough, L and the other policemen are watching Light and his family's every move from the hotel.
Back in Light's room, Luke's addiction to apples is striking him again but Light won't answer when he asks for an apple. He jumps onto the ceiling and headbutts it XD
Leaving his house and heading to the convenient store, Light finally feels it's safe to tell Luke about what's happening and how his room is bugged. It means that he can't give Luke any apples because floating fruits would be too conspicuous on the camera. Luke is shocked!
L has some strange eating habits while he's watching Light on screen. Checkout the candy BBQ!
It's the 5th day and yes, his mother and sister is being watched too.
There hasn't been any killings for the past few days but, Kira's ready to strike again here with a packet of crisps.
That's right, he got his info from the news and wrote the names in the packet of crisps, hidden from view. Smart guy. But that hasn't cleared L's suspicions yet. It's made them stronger in fact.
L's former subordinate Naomi calls him and tells him that she'll prove that Light's Kira. Since she was already supposed to be dead in the Manga, none of the remaining parts of the movie actually happened in the original story but, they did a good job with this alternative story branch.
Light is forced to go to the art gallery again where his girlfriend Shiori is being held hostage. She tells him that she's at the "The Death God and the Masks" painting.
Not sure what it represents since I haven't looked it up but, maybe it shows that the Death Note owner can be anyone.
And it's showdown time as L watches to see what Light does. Naomi tries to force Light to kill her on the spot but he continues to deny that he's Kira.
Finally, Shiori breaks away from Naomi's grasp but gets shot near the waist. Shocked at what she just did, Naomi commits suicide.
But Light was the one behind the whole event, using the Death Note to control Naomi. Although he didn't know what her real name was, it was easy for him to find out. He dropped by the church to check the marriage register to find out who Ray's future wife was.
Luke sits by the upset Light. He guesses that Shiori dying was never part of Light's plan but in actual fact it was. Light wrote down that Shiori gets shot dead in the gallery and although he didn't write down who the shooter was, events written down in the Death Note has to happen naturally. And conveniently, Naomi just happened to be the one holding a gun in the gallery. Light controlled his girlfriend too so that he would call him out to the gallery.
Yes, Light has gone crazy. He had to make his own girlfriend die before the cameras so that he could have everyone watching him believe that he's not Kira. Even Luke is a bit shocked and says to Light, "You seem to be... a Death God that's above all Death Gods."
On the other hand, the movie paves the way for the next characters to enter as Misa is being cornered by her stalker. But the stalker dies and the second Death Note drops beside the dead man.
The movie ends with Light asking his father to let him join the investigation team to hunt down Kira using his girlfriend as an excuse. L steps into the scene carrying the bag of crisps that Light used to conceal his Death Note while he was under surveillance. Great comeback from L!
And that's it! A brilliant alternative story to Death Note! They could have just followed the Manga exactly but, with an Anime show doing that already we don't need the story retold again in another format like Full Metal Alchemist.
Can't wait to see the second movie for the original ending.