A shinigami, as a god of death, can kill any person—provided they see their victim's face and write their victim's name in a notebook called a Death Note. One day, Ryuk, bored by the shinigami lifestyle and interested in seeing how a human would use a Death Note, drops one into the human realm.
High school student and prodigy Light Yagami stumbles upon the Death Note and—since he deplores the state of the world—tests the deadly notebook by writing a criminal's name in it. When the criminal dies immediately following his experiment with the Death Note, Light is greatly surprised and quickly recognizes how devastating the power that has fallen into his hands could be.
With this divine capability, Light decides to extinguish all criminals in order to build a new world where crime does not exist and people worship him as a god. Police, however, quickly discover that a serial killer is targeting criminals and, consequently, try to apprehend the culprit. To do this, the Japanese investigators count on the assistance of the best detective in the world: a young and eccentric man known only by the name of L.
Death Note is definitely one of the best anime series of all time, for it presents a deeply unique and compelling story rivaled by few. I can truly say it is one of the best, if not the best anime I've watched.
Story: The story is unique. A notebook falls from the sky, and the human who writes a name in it is capable of killing the individual pictured in his mind (I left out the details that you don't care about). This presents the viewers with a highly debatable theme based on morals and justice. Yagami Light, who obtains this power to kill, utilizes it in hopes of creating a utopia in which he is god. Criminals, and only criminals, are to be punished in hopes of a perfect society. Is this however, right? Is it right to kill individuals who have done wrong, and will do wrong again? Can they be reformed? Death Note presents the viewers with questions such as these, questions which cannot be easily answers. This series challenges the viewers morals and for that, it deserves highly.
But this debatable topic isn't the series strong point. Death Note gets a 10 in the story department, because of the way the plot unravels. With great and power and ambition, Yagami Light is forced to play a chair gripping game of cat and mouse with those who seek to detain him. The way L attempts to persecute Light is something I have never witnessed in an anime. The first 15 episodes will magically draw you closer and closer to the scene as suspense hangs over their individual methods for identifying the other. You will not be disappointed.
The flaws begin once it is apparent that there will be a second arc. This to me, seemed like an unnecessary way of drawing out the anime, although arguably a change in situation was required to break the dead lock between Light and L. Anyhow, the series being to lose some of its luster at this point, and if I were to rate both arcs separately, the first would receive a 15/10 and the second a 9/10. Anyhow, this intelligent story deserves an overall 10/10 in my books.
Characters: Light and L are the most interesting and intellectual characters I've ever seen in an anime. Although both are geniuses, they each possesses that certain something that will make you root for one of them to win the game. Light's charismatic, yet extremely demented character gives you reason to watch his conquests and failures. L's quirky, yet highly intelligent qualities does the same for him. They are both unique and likable in their own ways. Character development is also seen, particularly with Light as you witness his calm, calculating figure being to crack into a maddening and reckless mess. Obsessed and overtaken by his dream of conquest with the Death Note, he changes greatly from the beginning of the series. This change can be seen in various other characters as well, although not as notable. Anyhow, the characters are definitely interesting enough to give this a: 9/10
Sound: Yet another brilliant aspect of Death Note. I truly believe that if not for the soundtrack, the anime would not be where it is. All of those quick decisive moments with lives on the line are made intense, and the calm calculating ones even more so as the characters attempt to read each other. The opera, holy-like music also adds greatly to Light's character and goal of becoming God in his new world. The only flaw here resides in the second opening which at first, may seem disgusting to you. But as you continue to watch the series you will notice just how well it fits Light's demented mind and how everything he has achieved beings to shatter around his feet. 9.5/10 (rounded to 10)
Art/Animation: And again, amazingly done. The dark colors suit the anime perfectly, and the characters and scenery are all done amazingly well. I mean, the anime made writing with a pen look cool. The way they made it zoom across that piece of paper ... In terms of animation, the pen wins. It truly does. But seriously, there isn't much action going on here, so there wasn't much to animate. Most of the scenes consisted of the characters talking or thinking, but the scenes there were filled with action (car chase and such) was done very well. A 10/10
Overall: I was watching the series since it first started coming out, and those weeks of waiting killed me. That was how good this anime was. The suspense was amazing, and it got me thinking. Anyone who finishes this anime will be forced to wonder about what they would have done with a Death Note. Many of them will question and argue about the actions of Light. It is this talkable and complexity that makes the anime shine, in addition to its ability to carve suspense and anticipation into its viewers. I have never seen an anime as good as Death Note, and I highly recommend this anime to be watched. You may hate it (although very few seem to), but it is definitely an anime you must TRY. 10/10read more
Overall, Death Note (1-26) is without a doubt a masterpiece!
It pretty much should have just concluded there. Unfortunately, they had to introduce L's B-Team, Near and Mello, which fucks this idea up, making the 10 episodes left not even worth considering. Why did it even need to be there? Till this day, I will never know as I still feel it was already made perfectly.
I am not going to quote the last 10 episodes of how I feel since it felt like filler BS (honestly). Also, for the last 10 episodes, the character development was bad compared to the first 26 episodes which sucks big time!
The ending to me wasn't very moving or good and lacked any decisive conclusion compared with the manga. Another thing is that the shinagami Ryuk's motives are so dumb and lackluster which gives a pathetic look to death gods as a whole.
Not to mention a lack of emphasis on the shinagami world, which I felt could have been touched upon a lot more for a supernatural, psychological thriller, but even that was lacking as well with a lot of uninteresting tedious scenarios.
Now don't get me wrong, I love this anime almost like if this was my own disrespectful son here, but I will CLEARLY say that this anime isn't a 10 at all! Not by any means.
However, episodes 1-26 as a whole was. Characters are amazing, the setting is great along with the premise and to me, for a Shonen Jump anime, this is very unique.
All and all, this show totally deserves its popularity but for an overall high score on MAL, well I guess that can be questionable considering what I mentioned since I don't rate the last 10 episodes at all.
To this point, I think a lot of people already know where the anime should have ended which leaves me rewarding Death Note with an 8.25 out of 10.
P.S Don't use your death note on me! I already have a son who's plotting to kill me, damn it!!read more
Death Note is a solid series with some brilliant moments in it, but some equally ridiculous ones too. Most of it is pretty much the same thing: a long-ass cat-and-mouse game that keeps taking turns going for and against the two lead foes. Early on it's rather boring as you watching everything take it's time to pick up, and there's even an episode that consists almost entirely of two characters wandering around aimlessly that get real boring real fast. Once the big twists start happening they're mostly impressive, but you almost get kind of sick of them after they keep coming over and over and they start to get a little repetitious. The last few episodes leading up to a major character's death are really good, but after it actually happens the plot goes off the rails and just winds up repeating a good portion of everything that's just happened before. But despite getting rather ludicrous at the end, the finale is a good payoff.
The silliest thing about it is whenever the big, epic music starts playing everything is made out to be SUPER intense and over-the-top...and most of the time it's just someone writing down names, so instead of seeming super epic it just comes off as painfully cheesy.
The characters are generally pretty stiff and don't change much, and when they do it's normally pretty sudden and doesn't have much, if any, build-up to it. One of the exceptions to this seems to be Aizawa, who is one of the few characters for whom you actually get a glimpse into the outside life of, even if it is small. L is impressively intelligent and deductive, but outside of that there really isn't much to him. Light is a sociopath with a god complex and anytime that might change it just turns out to be part of a monster scheme. Near and Mello are really forced characters, and Mello doesn't even stay the same character in his short stay and ends up becoming a mess of identity (he's seriously, like, three different people in his short time on the show). When it comes down to it, the best and most interesting characters in the show are the Shinigami.
I'm not a huge fan of the overall artistic style and the general presentation, and the crazy colour changes get old after a while, but it's nothing too off-putting.
In the end, though, I did enjoy the series. I can see why it's so popular, but I do think it's rather overrated.read more
I wanted to like this. I really did. And I did for about the first 10-15 episodes. Death Note is probably the most popular anime ever, and when I read the summary, I could see why. After viewing 27 episodes and reading a summary of the subsequent 10, however, that opinion has changed a little bit.
First, a review of the things I DID like:
A) The Concept. Notebook that kills whoever has his name written into it, death gods that love apples, and two genius teens: one a student with a god complex, and the other a highly famous detective with a strong sense of justice and a wide variety of quirks. Who wouldn't want to watch this?
B) Protagonist/Antagonist Switch. Stories where the protagonist is the bad guy and the good guy is the antagonist are more in-depth. It makes you think more about whose side you should be on as opposed to the normal setup, where it's obvious that you should be behind the protagonist.
C) L. He's a great character, period. I love how the creators made him a quirky, unattractive genius instead of an attractive, pretty boy genius (*cough* Yagami Light! *cough*). This makes his likability depend on his personality and mannerisms instead of his looks. This so defies any male protagonist guidelines in general, and I love when authors have the brain capacity to create a likable character without making them look like they belong on the front of a magazine.
Now for the things I DID NOT like:
A) The Plot Randomness. After the first 10-15 episodes or so (and especially after 26), the plot seemed to have this "made up on the spot" feel to it, as if the author made the story up as he went along instead of mapping it out before he started writing it. Stories like that tend to tell me that the author is either overconfident or too lazy to plan it out beforehand. While this story had a few plot twists, none of them were really that twisty (except for the unpleasant one I'm about to mention in point B), considering that I wasn't really surprised by any of them and that I was thoroughly bored by episode 18. So if you like spur-of-the-moment plot development, this is the show for you.
B) They Killed L. Seriously. Many of you are probably saying, "It's good that the author was willing to kill off the main good guy. It's a great plot twist, and you don't see many stories where that happens, so it's creative." I do agree that it's a good plot twist, but IT'S L. The creators are quoted as saying that L is "the smartest character in the series," but yet, he gets outsmarted and dies. Not to mention that in the episodes leading up to this, Light wasn't exactly getting the upper hand. In fact, somewhere right before the middle of the show, Light seemed to start drifting away from his previously praised intelligence. L was so close to connecting all the pieces, when BAM! And why did he die?
Because no one seems to realize that Light's girlfriend is the most annoying creature to inhabit the universe.
I mean, really. Two death gods fall in love with her (not to mention one is a girl), Matsuda idolizes her, Light's sister loves her, and everyone else acts as if there isn't a little pest buzzing around the room. Honestly, how can you not make her want to shut up? I hated her 30 seconds after she first showed up. She's not even necessary to the story, to be perfectly honest, and it would probably be 10 times better without her. But still, L dies because of a shinigami's misguided love for her.
And then they try to replace him with children, one of which is an obvious ripoff of L himself (dark circles under the eyes, crouching position, black eyes, calm demeanor, etc.). And they don't even offer something like a clever he's-still-a-genius-because-he-planned-his-death solution, which would have made sense considering how smart he's supposed to be. The authors also made L's death out to be unimportant. No one grieves for him or gives him a funeral. Everyone's just like, "L's dead, we need a replacement." Instead they just killed him off and pretended that nothing major just happened.
Overall, it was a great concept with a great start that spiraled into a bunch of random not-so-well-thought-out plothole coverups. I can see why most people like it, but it got way too boring and unoriginal to me.
Finally, I would like to say that this is my opinion. Everyone has them, so I'm sorry if mine is unsatisfactory to you, but I'm just sharing why I think a very popular show is a bit overrated.read more
Action is awesome, romance is sweet, but when it comes to making you think nothing beats psychological anime. These top psychological anime will turn your perception of anime upside down. Prepare to have your mind blown.