Death Note

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Genre: Mystery, Supernatural, Police, Psychological, Thriller
Episodes: 37
Personal Rating: 9/10

Oh boy… it´s time to talk about Death Note. Most of you have probably heard about this show. It´s one of those “must watch” shows for anime fans. It also made anime very popular in the west (Europe and America), and, though it came out back in 2006, it´s still one of the most popular shows out there. A week ago, I was skimming through my Plan to Watch list, and I finally decided to watch Death Note. 

Story (9/10): What would happen if you found a notebook that had the power to kill anyone you wish? That´s basically what happened to our main character, Yagami Light. When he was walking in the school campus, he found a notebook with the words “Death Note” written in it. After reading the “How to Use” part, which basically said that, if you write a person´s name down, and IF you know that person´s face, that person will die. One has 40 seconds to write the cause of death after the name, and 6 minutes and 40 seconds to specify the death itself. If it isn´t physically impossible for the person to satisfy these coniditons, the death will occur as written. If a cause of death isn´t specified, the person dies from a heart-attack. Yagami Light, hating crime and bad people, decides to use this notebook to punish several criminals, some already on death row, and some that escaped prison somehow. Light´s intention is to become the God of the his ideal world, which is basically a world without criminal activities, and where everyone can live peacefully. However, a detective named “L” is eager to catch the culprit responsible for the criminal´s sudden deaths. From here, an intellectual battle between “L” and Light, who is known as Kira since no one knows Light is the culprit, will start. Who will win these battle between two geniuses? 

Art (8/10): Fitting for a psycholgical thriller show, the art is amazing, the filters added in some scenes (like when Light and L are having their intellectual battles) are great, and even though the anime is 7 years old, the art is much better than most stuff we see today. The animation is also very good (based Madhouse animation). Even though this isn´t an action-packed show, the animation works almost as if it is, which is an amazing thing to pull off. No bad stuff to talk about here.

Soundtracks (9/10): I am in love with the first opening. Seriously. The first opening is phenomenal. The second opening is good, but its a disappointment after watching the first one 15 times. The endings are okay, but nothing too impressive. The insert musics are amazing, the way they used said soundtracks was awesome, the mystery OSTs were amazingly executed during L and Light´s battles. Some of them really sound like action-anime OSTs, which is awesome. Again, the first opening really caught my attention, it´s one of my favorite songs overall. The first opening + the amazing mystery soundtracks = epicness!

Characters (10/10): You may read 1000 reviews on Death Note, but one thing is certain: the characters are what made the anime truly amazing, and they are the main reason as to why the show is so popular. Yagami Light, as stated before, is the main character of the show. While he seems like your usual genius outside, he actually has very strong ideals regarding the changes he plans to make to the world using the Death Note. He plans to build a world without crime, and for that, he intends to become a divine being. Light was who made the show really enjoyable for me. As for the Light´s enemy, we have “L”. He is also amazing as a character, he has unique traits, like his obcession for sweets and the way he sits down, the way he uses probabilities when he talks about something is also unusual: when he says a person has 5% chances of being the culprit, he really means he´s positive that the person is guilty. Overall, we have two superb character battling their brains off, which is something even Code Geass couldn´t accomplish (remember, I hate Suzaku and love Lelouch, but in DN´s case, I loved both L and Light). You might be wondering: where is our female lead? The truth is: there isn´t any female lead until later on, so you will have to check her out for yourselves. Also, alot of the police officers are important in the anime, and each have their own ideals to wanting to pursue and arrest Kira once an for all. Each character is different and unique. Its without a doubt Death Note´s strongest point.

Enjoyment (10/10): I started the anime in one day, and finished it in 3 days. The show was epic: it truly represents what anime is all about. Being a fan of psychological thrillers, I really enjoyed all 37 episodes, but the enjoyment factor decreased a little after episode 26 (you will see why if you watch the show). Nonetheless, this didn´t affect my rating on the anime at all, as I still think Death Note is one of the most enjoyable shows out there, you will have lots of fun watching the show and L´s unique traits as a character. I can´t give the Enjoyment anything below a 10, because that´s what it truly deserves. 

Overall (9/10): I was tempted to give this show a 10 after I finished it, but the truth is, the show is flawed, its kinda forced how everyone seems to know Light is Kira (though some of them have good reasons to assume that), and some of the stuff that happens in the show seems out of place. This, however, is a minor detail: the show itself is superb, so  be sure to check it out if you haven´t, you wont regret watching it if you´re into psychological thriller shows with amazing character development. It´s a must-watch show for all of you anime fans out there!

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4 responses to “Death Note

  1. Ah, Death Note. One of the most popular series out there, and though I personally do find it to be a tad overrated I must at least admit that to a good extent, it IS deserving of its popularity and it’s a very much enjoyable series. DN is a weird case for me because I’ve seen almost every part 1 episode at one point or another over the span of the past few years and a few random part 2 episodes, though mostly the final episode multiple times. I also saw the live-action movies, which I enjoyed quite a bit. Strange thing is that even though I saw a bunch of it and knew pretty much the whole story for a while, it wasn’t until a couple years back I decided to complete the manga and to this day I actually haven’t really “finished” the anime in terms of a full watch through.

    Anywho, I can definitely say this is an enjoyable one. Good psychological factor and of course this is the series that many anime fans look to as an example of the whole wit-based battle type story. There are some I find stronger in this area, but I’ll admit that Death Note is a lot easier to get into than most of those. Very compelling story and just like you said, the later stages of the series weren’t quite as enjoyable but I felt still not bad enough to lessen my overall experience. As for the characters though, I personally disagree, I actually think the cast is one of the weakest parts of the series. It’s funny how Light, the character I despise the most in the series, is who I feel is the most well-written and receives a lot of development and in all honesty is probably the “best” in terms of depth, though I found his personality to be unlikeable. L, my personal favorite of the cast, is quirky but doesn’t really have all too much depth nor development, and that seems to be how almost everyone who isn’t Light is in this series. Personally I’m a huge character development freak, and while I can say that Light’s was brilliant in a twisted way, it seemed like there was almost none for the rest of the cast and many of them felt almost one-dimensional to me, only being there to progress the story (which, admittedly, IS what fans see Death Note for to begin with, but more depth and growth for the cast would’ve been ideal).

    That said, however, I also gave Death Note a 9/10 by the end, and the fact that a series that hardly impressed me characterwise still managed to get such a high score from me is an accomplishment in itself.

  2. Pingback: Death Note ~ Movies You Might Have Missed. Watch In Full! | Lily Wight

  3. Pingback: Death Note, Misterius dan Thriller | Juliah Utami - SPARKYU'S BLOG

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