Death Note 2016: “Consummate” actors Sosuke Ikematsu & Masaki Suda battle for supremacy; Masahiro Higashide, the casting’s weakest link?

I can’t develop feelings. That’s how most idiots screw up. – Light Yagami

The dead god of death will disappear, but the DEATH NOTE will remain. The ownership of this DEATH NOTE is usually carried over to the next god of death that touches it, but it is common sense that it is returned to the Great god of death. Only by touching each other’s DEATH NOTE can human individuals who own the DEATH NOTE in the human world recognize the appearance or voice of each other’s god of death. – Death Note Rule [ quotes taken from Wikiquotes ]

If you cast two of Japan’s most exciting and talented actors in one movie, then you would expect a lot of fireworks!

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In the case of the 2016 upcoming Death Note movie, having Sosuke Ikematsu (as Kenichi Matsuyama & Kento Yamazaki’s successor to L) and Masaki Suda (as a fervent follower and admirer of Kira; following the footsteps of Tatsuya Fujiwara & Masataka Kubota’s Light) then you got an exciting movie in the making.

Mikikazu Komatsu @Crunchyroll posted the news re: limited issue of Screen Daily distributed at the recently concluded Berlin Festival:

The 66th Berlin International Film Festival was held from February 11 to 21, and Ryuzaki portrayed by Sousuke Ikematsu from the upcoming sequel film Death Note 2016 was featured on the cover of British film magazine Screen International’s special issue for the festival. The 10,000-limited issue with the never-seen-before photo was distributed on the first day of the event, along with screening of a special preview for the film. [ read more ]

Casting update!

ANN detailed the cast:

Sōsuke Ikematsu (The Last Samurai’s Higen, MOZU’s Kazuhiko Shingai) as Ryūzaki, L’s successor and a world-famous detective
Masahiro Higashide (live-action Parasyte’s Hideo Shimada, live-action Ao Haru Ride’s Kō Mabuchi) as Tsukuru Mishima, an investigator pursuing the Death Notes
Masaki Suda (live-action Assassination Classroom’s Karma Akabane, live-action Kuragehime’s Kuranosuke Koibuchi) as Yūgi Shion, a cyber terrorist who reveres Kira

As expected, the anime portal would point out Ikematsu’s famous roles to its western audience, but Ikematsu must be recognized for his exemplary performances in recent movies where he played matured, bold roles – Undulant Fever, Pale Moon and Love’s Whirpool among others. This would be a major departure for Ikematsu, as you can see from his previous roles. Playing a detective may seem “familiar” to actors like Masataka Kubota, Kento Nagayama or Kento Hayashi, but it would be exciting to see how Ikematsu will play the role. Incidentally, he is also playing a detective/investigator in the upcoming movie After the Storm (from award-winning filmmaker Hirokazu Koreeda).

I would say they have yet to find someone as charming and captivating as Kenichi Matsuyama, but Kento Yamazaki did his best to play L with a twist. Being a new character, Ikematsu has no pressure to match the previous work of Matsuyama and to a certain extent the vibes created by Yamazaki in the recently concluded Death Note series from NTV.

Masaki Suda, who may be considered Ikematsu’s ‘junior’, is also his co-star in SetoUtsumi and in the Yuya Yagira-starrer Distraction Babies. Playing a cyber-terrorist is a perfect role for Suda, who can play any role to his liking and get away with it. Suda, as many J-movie and J-dorama insiders may agree, is his generation’s most accomplished actor. Playing a pretty lady in disguise, a bully and bullied student, a Kamen rider hero and a son of a sadistic father are some of his more famous roles. Pitting talents with Ikematsu maybe one of his biggest roles yet.

With Shota Sometani pursuing other artistic inclinations, Yuya Yagira is grabbing major roles left and right. Masaki Suda is now Yuya’s biggest rival.

While Masahiro Higashide took on the lead role in Crows Explode (previously headlined by Shun Oguri), he is the weakest link among the cast. Though considering the role as investigator of the Death Note, he maybe the go-between for Suda and Ikematsu and his role may not be as challenging compared to the other two actors.

Oh and yes, here’s the storyline:

10 years have passed since the confrontation between Kira and L. Again, Shinigami sends death notes to the ground and due to this, the world soon falls into chaos. Tsukuru (Masahiro Higashide) is a member of the Death Note special task force team with 6 other investigators including Matsuda who experienced the Kira case of 10 years ago.

Mass murders caused by the death note takes place on Wall Street in the U.S., Shibuya in Japan and other places. World famous private investigator Ryuzaki (Sosuke Ikematsu), who is the rightful successor of L, also investigates the mass murders. They discover that 6 death notes exist in the world.

A computer virus called Kira spreads in the world. A message in the Kira virus says to turn in 6 death notes.

A person who has 6 death notes overwhelms the world. The confrontation begins between the person who wants Kira’s revival and the people who want to stop it. [ AsianWiki ]

If I have to update PsychoDrama’s 10 most anticipated Japanese movies for 2016, then this movie will be one of the top 5.

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