Viz signs ‘Death Note’ for Hawaii
It's become a bit of a running joke between tag-team partner in fandom Wilma J. and I to point and giggle every time news catches our attention about some hot anime property being screened in theaters for a limited engagement before heading to DVD.
That's because, with several movies that got this treatment in recent months -- "Bleach: Memories of Nobody," "Fullmetal Alchemist: Conqueror of Shamballa," anything "Naruto" -- we could reliably attach the phrase "except in Hawaii" to the screening announcement. New York and Los Angeles? Of course. Honolulu? Sorry, too small a market, thanks for playing, be sure to pick up the DVD later.
But a quick glance at the theaters screening the latest film to get the limited-engagement treatment, the live-action "Death Note II: The Last Name" licensed by Viz Pictures, reveals that -- gasp! -- a Honolulu location is on the list.
For those of you who might be unfamiliar with the increasingly popular "Death Note" franchise, here's a quick primer: The original manga and the anime adaptation follow Light Yagami, a top student who fashions himself into a god of sorts thanks to the supernatural powers of a Death Note that he found on the ground. The notebook, normally carried by "shinigami" (death spirits), grants its owner the power to kill off anyone whose name is written on its pages, whether through heart attack (the default death) or by some other method of the owner's choosing.
But while Light has been killing off criminals under the alias of "Kira," the sheer volume of mysterious deaths soon piques the interest of the police, chief among them the eccentric ace investigator known only as L. A complex cat-and-mouse game between Light and L ensues where the lines between good and evil become blurred.
The first "Death Note" movie, which will be available Sept. 16 on DVD, covered the events through the manga's fifth volume, with a few changes -- Light is a university student rather than a high school student and has a girlfriend, for instance. The second movie builds on this foundation and covers most of the events through the end of the series, again with some key differences -- a few story elements are rearranged, an entire story arc is omitted and the ending has been altered as a result of those two changes. Those of you who hated the characters of Near and Mello will also be pleased to know that they make no appearances whatsoever in the movie.
"Death Note II" will be screened Oct. 15 and 16 at 7:30 p.m. at the Regal Dole Cannery 18 theaters and will include special behind-the-scenes footage as part of the screening. Tickets, at $10, will be available online starting Friday at www.fathomevents.com ... or, if you signed up for the Shonen Jump online newsletter before last Friday, right now ...
Meeting roll call
» MangaBento: Remaining meetings this month for this group of anime- and manga-inspired artists are 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays at the Academy Art Center, 1111 Victoria St., Room 200. For more information, visit www.manga-bento.com
Cel Shaded, a look at the world of Japanese anime and manga, appears every Monday. Reach Jason S. Yadao