Yesterday, Funimation Entertainment announced at Anime Weekend Atlanta that it licensed three of the four live-action Japanese Death Note films: Death Note, Death Note: The Last Name, and Death Note: Light Up the NEW World. Funimation will release the films on Blu-ray Disc, DVD, and Digital combo packs on January 22, 2019. The first two films which premiered in Japanese theaters in 2006 will be bundled together. However, all films will be subtitle-only releases.
Death Note and Death Note: The Last Name were based on Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata’s manga, but featured significant changes to story’s conclusion. The films spurred the 2016 sequel, Death Note: Light Up the NEW World, an original story featuring new characters fighting to obtain six Death Notes. The cast for the first two films included Tatsuya Fujiwara as Light/ Kira, Ken’ichi Matsuyama as L, Erika Toda as Misa Amane, and Shidou Nakamura providing the voice of Ryuk. The cast would reprise their roles in the 2016 sequel as cameos.
Viz Media originally screened the first two films in the United States in 2008, and released both on home video with an English dub; the dub consisted of the official Viz Media cast that dubbed the anime. In addition, Viz Media released the spin-off film, L: Change the World, that debuted in Japan in 2008. However, Funimation has not confirmed if they acquired the license for the spin-off film. Furthermore, this will be the first official release for Death Note: Light Up the NEW World in North America.