L: Change the WorLd (also known as Death Note: L, change the WorLd or Death Note III), directed by Hideo Nakata, is a spin-off film and a sequel to the Death Note film series. The series is based on the manga Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata, but follows an original storyline. The film was released in Japan on February 9, 2008, Hong Kong on February 7, 2008, Singapore on February 21, 2008, and the United Kingdom on December 29, 2008.
Two versions of the film were shown in the United States on April 29 and 30, 2009. The first version of the film shown was in Japanese with English subtitles and the second version shown was dubbed in English with the same voice actors from the English dubbed Death Note anime like the US release of its predecessors. The film will be released on DVD in the US on August 18, 2009.
Ken’ichi Matsuyama reprises his role as L from the previous Death Note films. The film chronicles the final 23 days of L’s life, as he solves one final case involving a bio-terrorist group that aims to wipe out much of humanity with a virus with one-hundred times the virulence of Ebola. He takes a boy he names Near, the sole survivor of its use in a village in Thailand, and an elementary schooler named Maki Nikaido under his wing.
Dr. Nikaido, a research doctor, has received news and a sample of a deadly virus which affected a now destroyed village in Thailand. He discovers that the virus is one-hundred times stronger than Ebola. His seemingly trustworthy assistant outs herself to be the leader of the organization that created the virus, which is still incomplete due to the lack of an antidote. Dr. Nikaido, who had managed to create an antidote, refused to give her the antidote and preferred to be dead rather than endanger the world. Realizing that she could not get the antidote from the doctor, the assistant kills him, now convinced that his daughter Maki has a deciphered formula for the antidote.
Maki, who had witnessed the murder, runs away in fear, eventually finding L’s headquarters. Soon after she finds him, the bio-terrorist group tracks Maki down, forcing L, accompanied by Maki and Near, to runaway to a high-tech truck concealed as a sweets delivery truck dubbed “Angel Crepe” with the help of a Japanese-American FBI agent. L seeks the help of Dr. Nikaido’s research partner to create a antidote for the virus. Eventually finding that Near contains the secret to the antidote, L manages to acquire a quantity of the antidote just as the bio-terrorist group is about to take an infected Maki to Washington in America to try to spread the virus. L manages to stop the plane before departing Thailand and giving all infected passenger, including the bio-terrorist, the antidote. The movie conclude with L leaving Near at Whammys House and giving him his “real name” to Near and his toy robot which is shown in the main Death Note series.
Shunji Fujimura also reprises his role as Watari, though the character dies early in the film as prior the events of The Last Name. The major characters of the main plot such as Light Yagami (Kira), Misa Amane, and Shinigami Ryuk all have brief cameos in the film.