Tatsuya Fujiwara and Kenichi Matsuyama: Japan’s Real Life Kira and L

  • Are you team Kira or team L?
    Following the recent reports on the upcoming manga update of the hit anime series, Death Note, featuring the human-angel story dynamic, many can’t help but recall how the entire story began. From Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata’s Death Note manga first published on 2003 up to its imminent anime adaptation in 2006, avid followers were hooked on the fascinating mix of mystery and detective story with that of the supernatural realm as represented by the shinigami (death gods).

    With its long-standing popularity, it didn’t come as a surprise that the live movie adaptations were produced: Death Note (2006), Death Note 2: The Last Name (2006) and L: Change the World (2008). Just July of this year, a Death Note tv drama has been aired on NTV. But while commendable at some points, there were notable changes in the characters and story flow from the original story that made some fans wince in disappointment.
    Undeniably, it was in one of those live action movies mentioned above that we got the chance to see what the protagonist-antagonist Light Yagami (Kira) and the world-class, sweet loving genius detective L would really look and act like if they were real.
    Let’s get to know these two ultimate rivals whom many of us came to know with them being on the verge of getting ahead of each other in a fast-paced, complex, battle of the minds!

    Tatsuya Fujiwara (藤原竜也 / Light Yagami / KIRA)

    Even before he became cool and cunning Kira, Tatsuya Fujiwara, first was the survivor, Shuya Nanahara, of Battle Royale movie. It was in this action thriller film that we got to see his potential as he portrayed the role of a typical student who ended up trapped on an island along with his classmates who were tasked to annihilate each other in a span of 3 days. It was a survival of the fittest game – one, which he played really well. Six years after, we meet him again – as KIRA.
    Before his movie acting career, Fujiwara was first involved in theater plays. Plays like Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet were ones of those he played in.
    He starred in many other movies and television shows. But his major notable role as of recently was the main villain of the 2014 live action Rurouni Kenshin movie (Kyoto Inferno and Legend Ends) where he played the role of the notorious Shishio Makoto.

    Kenichi Matsuyama (松山ケンイチ / L)

    The idea of having some prodigiously-talented detective with a cool alias, and a shady identity plus minimal appearances on screen is nothing new. It’s pretty much a favorite theme of many detective stories. It adds to the mystery. And the more mysterious they are, the more interest they draw from the viewers.
    L’s character is nothing short of interesting. He is fascinating. He’s extremely intelligent. And his cute love for sweets is something.
    If Kira likes a game of deception, L’s more of a code-breaker, seeing through layers and blank spaces as essentials to read through the lies. He’s the perfect counterpart to Kira. And Kenichi Matsuyama has undeniably brought him to life really well.
    He started his movie career in 2002 and has managed to bag several prestigious awards. The following are just a few highlights:

    • Best New Actor for the Japanese Academy Awards (Death Note)
    • Best Actor for Mainichi Film Awards (Ultra Miracle love story)
    • Best Actor for Nikkan Sports Film Awards (Norwegian Wood)

    There might be some other upcoming adaptations for the anime. But when it comes to the live action films so far, Tatsuya Fujiwara and Kenichi Matsuyama have undeniably made names for playing Kira and L.

    For updates on their latest activities, you can check their official Facebook pages, follow them on Twitter or check out their websites:

    Tatsuya Fujiwara Official

    Kenichi Matsuyama Facebook
    Kenichi Matsuyama Twitter

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    Death Note: Perfect For Those That Love the Darker Side to Anime