We’ve seen some predictable interpretations of this iconic manga, from a Japanese anime series to an American Netflix remake, but when 'Death Note: The Musical' was announced in 2013, it caught some fans off guard. Following a workshop performance in New York, the musical later premiered in Tokyo in 2015 and it was a success, with overseas shows in South Korea and Taiwan. And now, 'Death Note: The Musical' is returning to Tokyo in January 2020 with an all-new cast.
'Death Note' is a 12-volume manga series written by Tetsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata, originally published in 2003. The story follows Light Yagami, a bright but dissatisfied student who is bored from lack of intellectual stimulation. One day, Light comes across a discarded notebook which leads to the death of anyone whose name is written in its pages. Light is quick to decide what he wants to do with the notebook, taking justice into his own hands and setting off to fill the notebook with names of the nation’s wanted criminals.
The series was so popular that it was only a matter of time before someone decided that a rampant teenager with a thirst for vigilante justice and a demon by his side would make excellent musical theatre material, thus ten years after its initial release, 'Death Note' was turned into a show-stopping musical production.
The original score was done by Frank Wildhorn, a renowned American composer who wrote scores for the musical 'Dracula', as well as 'The Scarlet Pimpernel' and 'Jekyll & Hyde'. For this 2020 reprisal, the role of Light Yagami will be played by Ryouta Murai and Shouma Kai, L by Fu Takahashi, and Misa Amani by Sakura Kiryu. The show's director is the famed Tamiya Kuriyama, who was formerly the artistic director at the New National Theatre. In 2005, he won the Asahi Performing Arts Award for his work on 'Mourning Becomes Electra' by Eugene Gladstone O'Neill.
'Death Note: The Musical' will be performed in Japanese at Brilla Hall from January 20 to February 9. Tickets start from ¥6,000 for adults and ¥2,000 for those under 20 years old. Book your tickets here.