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Anime Review: Death Note


Light Yagami

Image via Wikipedia

Genre: Psychological Supernatural Thriller

Language: English Dub

Episodes: 37

Hubby and I finally finished watching Death Note last night. It has taken us a week to watch all 37 episodes, taking numerous breaks to play pen and paper RPGs and go shopping. It has been a difficult journey finding a series that he could actually sit through without getting bored, but Death Note managed to keep him interested all of the way through.

Death Note is the story of Light Yagami, a Japanese student that happens upon a notebook dropped by the Shinigami Ryuk in the grounds of his high school. When he opens the book, he sees a bunch of rules pertaining to how to mystically bring an end to the life of a target and/or target. At first, he resists the urge to use it. However, curiosity and temptation lead to him confirming that it is real. That same even he meets the Shinigami Ryuk for the first time. Ryuk has become bored with life in the Shinigami realm and takes an immediate interest in the rather strange young man before him. The Shinigami declares that as per the rules, he will eventually be the one to write Light’s name in his replacement Death Note. Until then, he will stick around and watch how the events play out.

This leads to Light becoming a deranged serial killer hunted by authorities across the globe due to the on-going murders of numerous villains. As the kills rack up, he is challenged by a genius investigator named simply as “L” thus leading to a cat and mouse game of epic proportions. Light also has to deal with the fangirl possessor of another Death Note, Misa Amane, and his police detective father who just so happens to still working on the case in spite of the danger posed by a mass murderer that can kill using only a face and a name. As time progresses, Light becomes more and more deranged, willing to kill anyone that he perceives is in his way of becoming the God of the New World.

The story is so well-written that it surpasses any big budget film or television show. As I watched, it reminded me of Sherlock Holmes versus James Moriarty, two geniuses trying to out-do each other. Whilst “L” has no clue about the supernatural nature of the killings, his deductive reasoning and a few deliberate clues by Light lead him to suspect the college student. Without giving too much away, it will take more than one genius to take down this supervillain, but Light will kill a lot more people before Ryuk writes his name down in his book. The twists and turns were numerous throughout, leading to a rollercoaster ride for viewers. The artwork, character design and script-writing was excellent. However, the heavy themes of the series may be a bit depressing for some viewers.

Final Score: 10/10

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Author: keikomushi

Reader, Writer, New Media Buff, Anime Fangirl, Gnome Hunter, Last Action Femme Fatale, Appreciator of Nature, Jack-of-all-trades.

11 thoughts on “Anime Review: Death Note

  1. Thanks for the review. Was searching for anime to watch, especially since the 2nd season of Nurarihyon no Mago came to an end. The comparison to Holmes v Moriarty has me really excited.

    • I have a few other series waiting to be watched as well. This includes Gantz, Code Geass, Samurai Champloo, Samurai Gun, Outlaw Gun, Ah! My Goddess, Fruits Basket and Love Hina. There are certainly some classics in the list, but I don’t mind returning to some oldies if only to see how close my impressions years later are to those when I first watched them. BTW, have you checked out If not, most listings have a linked page of recommendations with comments attached. It might help with future decisions of what to read and/or watch. 😀 As for mangaka, there are plenty of scanlation sites about the web. If you’d like me to post some links, then let me know.

      • Yeah I did check the anime list. I am mostly rewatching all the anime I have accumulated don’t know if you have heard of them, Haruhi Suzumiya, Kaze no Stigma, Nurarihyon no Mago, Samurai X.
        I do like the classic ones as well my first anime’s were Ninja Senshi Tobikage and Heidi the girl of the Alps.
        I read the scanlations from MangaFox.
        Looking forward to your reviews and also hoping to write a few myself.

      • A great selection of anime! As for the manga, I use and as well as MangaFox.

  2. Pingback: World of Keiko 04/10/2012 « Keiko Online

  3. This is definitively in my top 3 animes, Its a shame that the manga that the authors wrote afterwards did not live up to DN’s expectations, awesome review though, And I strongly recommend you to watch code Geass asap, you’ll love it if you enjoyed Deatnote’s thriller type.

    • Do you have any other anime and manga that you recommend? I am always looking for good anime and manga. 🙂

      • If you’re into anime movies at all i’d recommend you; Princess Monoke and Howl’s moving castle, there’s also a life action version of death note made into 2 subtitled korean movie which was actually really good.

      • Princess Mononoke is a classic, with enough action sequences to appeal to even the likes of my husband. Howl’s Moving Castle is another film that I absolutely adored because of the fairy tale and romantic elements. Then again, it is hard to go wrong with a Miyasaki film. ❤
        I have actually heard differing reviews concerning the live action version of Death Note, but I'll probably give it a run as soon as I find a copy.

  4. Thanks again for the review, it’s what made me watch DN. It was absolutely brilliant though I wish they’d stopped the series around episode 24. Still, it was pretty much the best thing I ‘ve watched in a very long time 🙂


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