Death Note Anime Review

Hello there! How are you? I’m sorry that there has been no blog post for about two weeks, but I was on holidays, and I am super lazy on my holidays, even more so then I already am. But that was the past. This is the now!  Let’s get on with this slightly rambly review of the incredibly popular DEATH NOTE, and vomit some of my opinions into your brain. BEGIN!

Story

Death Note is the story of Light Yagami, an incredibly bored high school student and genius (because of course he is) who one day notices a notebook FALL FROM THE SKY! But this is no ordinary note book, this book is the the titular DEATH NOTE, a book that enables it’s user to kill a person with a heart attack, simply by writing their name in this book. But where did this notebook come from you say? Well, as a matter of fact, it was dropped there by Ryuk, a shinigami (death god) who is also incredibly bored, and wants to cause a bit of chaos in the human world.  When Light initially discovers the book, he dismisses it as an elaborate prank, but after testing it on a criminal on TV and discovering it works, he decides that , after a bit of horrified awe and denial, he is now JUSTICE, and will be the god of a new world of peace and order. But not everyone likes this, one of those people being our other primary protaganist L, the worlds greatest detective. I could tell you more, but I’ll refrain from doing so as it will bog down this already way too long paragraph. What you really need to know is that what follows is a series of pshycological battles between our two primary protaganists, and it is immensely entertaining. Well, at least until the last 17 episodes. Then the show does a thing that pissed a lot of people off, and takes a flip and goes even more batshit insane. 

Over all, I found the story of Death Note to be highly entertaining, especially the first 20 episodes or so, where all the mind games and insanity happens. There’s alway some kind of twist or cliffhanger that will make you want to keep watching, and watching, and watching, right up to the highly controversial twist kind of thing, where the show becomes, depending on who you’re talking to, a horrible hell spawn of a thing, or becomes even better then it already was. Personally, I didn’t mind that second arc, though it definitely wasn’t as good as the first. Either way, I found the story to be very enjoyable, even with its flaws.

Grade: A

Characters

The characters of Death Note are, for the most part, pretty great. Our anti-hero, Light, is one of the most enjoyably horrible characters that I have ever had the pleasure of viewing, with his crazed laughter and grand plans. As well that, unlike one of his closest counterparts in anime, Lelouch Vi Britannia, he is pretty much irredeemably horrible, yet strangely your probably going to find yourself rooting for him more then once, as, like most psychopaths, he is incredibly charismatic. Though that could be because of Ryuk, the shinigami who hangs around Light for the vast majority of the show. Ryuk is arguably the best character in the show, providing some much needed comedic relief, as well dropping exposition dumps about all the various rules of the Death Note.

And finally, we have L, the worlds greatest detective. L is calm, controlled, and secretive. The vast majority of his prior life is kept secret, to the point that even his true name is never revealed. He is also highly eccentric because reasons,sitting strangely and having an affinity for sugary things being some of his more recognisable traits. He’s on slightly higher moral ground then Light, but like most of the characters in this show, he can be kind of awful at times as well. He’s also a lot of a fun to watch.

I don’t have time to cover the entirety of the supporting cast, but just go forth knowing that for the most part, they are pretty great. Except Near. Screw Near.

Grade: A

Animation

The visuals for Death note are absolutely great. There’s not much else I can say about them other then that. The designs are creative, it’s supremely well directed, and it’s generally just a massive pile of win.

Sound

The music for Death Note is appropriately dramatic. It contains lots of Latin choirs and orchestral sounding music that fit the show very well. My only problem with it being that some times it can get a little silly, with the most blatant example of this being the infamous potato chip scene, where Light eats a potato chip in dramatic slow motion with the quote on quote “epic” music playing. I presume the creators intended this to be dramatic but it just comes off as absolutely hilarious. There are several moments like this, but they sort of just add to the show’s charm. Also, I would be much remissed to not mention the shows second opening. I do not know what kind of drugs the animators were on when they made this, and the same goes for the musicians. What I do know, however, is that it’s freaking amazing. And the first opening’s pretty good as well.

In regards to sub vs dub, it really is a matter of personal preference. In some regards, I do prefer the dub, mainly for the portrayals of L and Ryuk, but the sub has Mamoru Miyamo as Light, and Mamoru Miyamo is frigging amazing. So, in the end, it’s up to you.

Grade:

Music: B

Dub: A

Sub: A

Entertainment Value

When it’s at it’s best, Death Note is extremely entertaining, particularly the physcological battles between our two main characters. And even after the main twist, the show is still enjoyable. Perhaps not as much as the first arc, but still good nonetheless.

Grade: A

Final Verdict

Death note is pretty awesome. While it’s not permanently excellent at all times, it is highly entertaining. The animation is stellar, the characters are insane, the plot is gripping. And I guess should also say something about the ending. To summarise my thoughts briefly without actually spoiling it, I didn’t think it was that bad. It could’ve ended better sure, but I can’t think how. Anyway, in the end, you have here a very enjoyable series. I highly recommend it.

Overall Grade: A

Until the next post!

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