Kenshin Himura (Takeru Satoh) was once a legendary swordsman throughout the civil war that swept across Japan through the 19th Century. After making a name for himself as 'Battosai the Killer', Himura has settled down and taken on the life of a lone wanderer who serves whoever needs his help, although he never kills anymore. But when his successor, Makoto Shishio (Tatsuya Fujiwara), is found to have survived being burnt alive, he begins a bloodthirsty attack on the Japanese government. Himura is called back into service to save Japan, but he must ensure he never kills anyone ever again. But can he fulfil that promise?
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When the sickly young Sho (voiced by Kamiki) goes to live with his aunt (Takeshita) in the country, he spots a tiny girl in the garden, just like his mother remembered seeing when she was young. But housekeeper Haru (Kiki) denies they exist. Indeed, the girl was Arrietty (Shida), who lives with her parents (Miura and Ohtake) in a small home under the floor full of things that are borrowed unnoticed from the house above. But being seen has consequences, and even though Sho is clearly friendly, Arrietty's world is about to change.
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Both films revolve around the dreaded "Death Note," a thin paper book dropped from the heavens by a demonic "reaper," depicted in the movie as a ten-foot-tall CGI-generated winged monster that looks like a cross between the Joker and Keith Richards. Once you possess the book, you simply write someone's name in it and he dies how and when you describe. The Death Note also comes with a long list of rules and regulations that help to power numerous clever tricks and plot twists.
Continue reading: Death Note: The Last Name Review
Based on the manga with the same title, Death Note centers on Light Yagami (Tatsuya Fujiwara), a top high school student who aspires to rid the world of evil by writing criminals' names in the Death Note. There are some rules to using this notebook: While writing the person's name, you must picture his or her face; if you don't specify the cause of death, the person dies of a heart attack by default; if you possess a Death Note, you'll be haunted by its original owner -- in Yagami's case, a pale reaper who resembles Marilyn Manson with wings. Internet fans have dubbed Yagami "Kira" -- derived from the word killer in Japanese. Police, of course, are eager to arrest Kira to put an end to these mass murders.
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If you've never heard of this twisted action thriller a film that appears to have strong potential for box-office success it's simply due to American sensitivities. Since its release in 2000, the Japanese Battle Royale has been an acclaimed cult hit in its native country... but for obvious reasons of content, chances for American distribution hover somewhere between slim and none.
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The critically-acclaimed Netflix original series is making its return this October.
Check out her hilarious dance battle with Jimmy Fallon.