Genre: Suspense / Drama / Supernatural
Parental Guidance Recommended
Credits: 2003 Tetsuro Araki, Takeshi Obata, Tsugumi Ooba, Madhouse Studios, NTV, Shueisha, VAP
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Meet Light Yagami, a brilliant but bored high school student whose life is changed when he finds the Death Note, a notebook dropped by a rogue Shinigami, or god of death, named Ryuk. When Light discovers that any human whose name is written in the book dies, he vows to use its power to rid the world of evil. But every action has its consequences, and Light soon finds himself in a life or death battle of wits with the mysterious genius detective called L. Humanity itself becomes the battleground to determine what form of justice will prevail!
Death Note and Sailormoon have something in common… >>> by skysenshi (06.04.2008)
Both are addictive despite the gargantuan plot holes.
The story begins with a seemingly innocent straight A student in a seemingly ordinary environment. Light Yagami, 16 years old, picks up a Death God's (Shinigami) notebook lying on the school lawn. Written on it are rules about how to kill people: write their name on any page and they will die of a heart attack in 40 seconds. If the death note owner manages to write a method of death within 40 seconds, he is then given an additional 6 minutes and 40 seconds to discuss the details. At first Light believes that a prank is being pulled. Upon testing it on a petty criminal, however, he quickly fits himself into the role of judge and executioner. He begins murdering high profile criminals, disguised by the moniker Kira, in order to rid the world of evil...
In comes a renowned investigator, who goes by the name of L. At all the world's leaders' behest, he forms a team of investigators intent on uncovering who the mysterious mass murderer is. This hide-and-seek scenario is the entire life of Death Note's premise.
When I first got hold of this title, I wasn't so sure how it could be stretched into over thirty episodes. The rules seemed pretty simple at first. They get complicated with every arc that's added to the series. I found myself engrossed with Light Yagami's obsession -- his creative ways of killing and hiding his tracks. L, however, seriously pursues Light Yagami as he becomes hell bent on proving that Light is Kira. This is when Death Note starts to get ridiculous. There's a vicious damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don't cycle that develops so no matter what Light does, L thinks that this proves that he is Kira. (L's thoughts are always filled with, "Ah, if he opens this door, he is Kira because... If he doesn't open this door, he is Kira because..." Or something to that effect.)
Plot holes the size of Jupiter also abound, which is typical of an anime that tries to be overly profound. I don't know if these were just oversights or the creators actually thought we viewers were idiots. It's a shame, though, because Death Note really has very interesting characters. I think this is the reason why it's hard not to do a Death Note marathon. Most of us end up wanting to see how L and Light's symbiotic relationship will progress. We also wait in anticipation for Light to eventually fall in love with his admirer, the gothic Misa Amane. Or watch if he will choose the smart and sexy ex-flame Kiyomi Takada. The Shinigami are even more entertaining than the humans. Devoid as they are of emotional attachments, they still have a lot of eccentricities that walk the thin line between cute and creepy. Ryuk, the main Shinigami, is a manipulative and curious creature that obsesses about apples.
Death Note is actually a great watch. I just wish they had stopped production somewhere around 20-25 or before the inconsistencies became too obvious.
Individual Rating: Art/Animation 8; Story 6; Characters 10; Sounds 8