Death Note fans must watch the music adaptation
Death Note: The Musical isn’t just a unique animated musical, it is perhaps one of the best ways to experience the source material.
When you think of a night at the theater, you probably don’t think of Death threat, the super popular anime and manga series that made waves in Japan and America. However, like many anime and manga franchises, Death threat had a theatrical adaptation. And this adaptation is the best way to uncover history and a great way to immerse yourself in the world of animated musicals.
Death Note: The Musical tells the first arc of the manga, following Light Yagami as he finds the Death Note and lashes out, while Detective L tries to find him and put an end to the killings. However, unlike many other animated musicals, Death Note: The Musical was first written in English. The main screenplay was written by Ivan Menchell, Jack Murphy handled the lyrics, and it was all written by prolific stage music writer Frank Wildhorn. Wildhorn is known to bring books such as Jekyll & Hyde and Dracula to the stage, then Death threat was a natural fit for him.
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The original English screenplay was written in 2013, then in 2014 a performance workshop was held in New York. However, while these shows were in English, they were not open to the public. Rather, they served as a proof of concept for Korean and Japanese producers. This was followed by a recording session where the cast recorded an album containing 19 of the songs from the show as a reference for the translators. Once this was done, international distributors began to organize performances of the show.
The show debuted at the Nissay Theater in Tokyo, Japan, in April 2015. While this show had both the script and the songs translated into Japanese, eight of the songs from the workshop recording in English were released. online to generate hype for the show. Later in 2015, the show opened in Korea, using a Korean translation of the script. Since then, the show has had numerous staging in Japan, the last one taking place in 2020. It also had a brief stint in Russia, where it was presented in concert form. Alas, the show was never performed in America or in English. However, HoriPro, the company behind the musical, has expressed interest in an international tour and screenwriter Ivan Menchell has said that an American performance is in the works.
Death Note: The Musical is one of the best ways to find out Death threat history. The original manga is already extremely dramatic, and the musical format of the scene enhances that in the best way. The clever use of harmony and dissonance in the songs also gives a unique take on Light and L’s rivalry. On top of that, the short runtime means the action is fast-paced, which prevents the story of hanging out. This makes for a great way to dip your toes into the franchise. It’s also a great way to get started with animated musicals, as although it’s based on a Japanese franchise, it’s billed as a traditional Broadway musical.
This accessibility can be attributed to the fact that Frank Wildhorn had not heard of Death threat before being approached to do the musical, and he only accepted the job at his son’s insistence. Thus, the musical assumes that the viewer is also new to Death threat. Musical numbers quickly introduce the world and its characters while drawing the audience into the story and setting. This is something that many manga musicals struggle with, as it assumes audiences already know the story and skip important details, leaving newcomers out of the loop.
Death Note: The Musical is a must for Death threat fans and newcomers to the franchise. We can only hope that the US tour ends so that more fans can have a chance to experience it and the fans can hear all the songs in English. Fortunately, due to Death Note international popularity and the fact that the English script is already written, it seems that an American tour is inevitable.
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