Is Death Note: Light up the New World a worthy successor?

It’s been eight years since the last Death Note film came out. Now the series is back with a new Light and L in Death Note: Light up the New World.


By Jason Yu
Last updated on



It’s finally here, the 2016 Death Note Light up the New World is out. And many fans are both excited and skeptical of this long-awaited remake.

To any anime or manga fan, Death Note is near and dear to their heart. The manga originally came out in 2003 and became an instant hit. The mind games between the series’ famed characters, Light and L, made Death Note memorable. The moral choices the series brought up was also a key point to the series.

To say the series is iconic would be an understatement.

Death Note has become very popular in pop culture today. It has spawned an anime, manga, TV series, game, and live-action films.

Death Note has become very popular in pop culture today. It has spawned an anime, manga, TV series, game, and live-action films.

From the manga’s big success, Death Note was adapted into an anime, TV series, a game, and a couple live action films.

The three live action movies were released in 2006 and 2008. But after 2008, there was an eight year period where there were no new films on the iconic series.

But now with the new 2016 Japanese release, Death Note Light up the New World, as well as a 2017 US remake, the Death Note series is coming back in full force.

What is Death Note?

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The shinigamis are back in Death Note Light up the World.

The story, in a nutshell, is a young genius, Light, discovers a notebook called Death Note (note: he’s a high school student in the anime and university student in the live action films). He soon finds out that if he writes a person’s name in the book and sees their face, he can kill them seconds later.

He adapts the alias Kira to hide his true identity and begins to test the Death Note’s power.

While he feels he’s doing the world a service by using the Death Note’s power to kill people he sees as evil — corrupt, bullies, and heartless people — the police think otherwise.

The Death Note series pits one of the most memorable showdowns in anime and manga history: Light vs. L.

The Death Note series pits one of the most memorable showdowns in anime and manga history: Light (Kira) vs. L.

The police and Kira’s (Light) critics see him as playing God. They argue that no one person should be able to kill a person without a fair trial. Kira’s morality directed clashed with Kira’s critics, which would lead to a manhunt for Light.

While Kira is one dangerous person, the police have their own ace. They enlist their own genius, L, as Kira’s foil to put a stop to Kira’s activities.

Thus starts the cat-and-mouse match between Kira (Light) and L to see who dies first.

Is Death Note Light up the New World a worthy successor?

In a word: yes.

While many Death Note fans were skeptical, feeling that the 2016 follow-up would tank, it actually is a good movie (much better than the 2008 spinoff L Change the World).

The film definitely follows the spirit of the originals and avoids the “bust” label.

Toda Erika reprises her role as Misa Amane in Death Note Light up the New World.

Toda Erika reprises her role as Misa Amane in Death Note Light up the New World.

To find out more about the film, do check out our film review.

Ray breaks down Death Note Light up the New World in the video review above and answers questions like:

  • What is the story’s like?
  • How are the main actors’ acting?
  • How do the movie’s main actors compare to the original cast?
  • Are there any cameos from past Death Note movies or Easter eggs in this film?
  • And most importantly, why the film is a worthy successor of the Death Note name?

Now over to you

If you haven’t seen it yet, what do you expect from this film? And do you think the film will exceed your expectations?

If you’ve seen the film, what’s your take on the movie? Did you enjoy it?

We’d love to hear your take in the comments below!


About the Author

Jason Yu

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Jason is all about Asian films, as he especially likes the horror, thriller, crime, and war genres. For some odd reason, he likes bad movies too. When he's not watching Asian movies, he's playing video games or working in the Korean music industry as media in Seoul, Korea. If you're interested in Korean music, check out his other site at Popsori.

  • Anton

    Will it ever come to America? Hate subtitles, if I want to read I’ll grab a book.