7 of 19 people found this review helpful
37 of 37 episodes seen
First of all, a recommendation isn’t a contest where you find similarities between shows and go on to say “Oh look this seems like it was inspired by that anime, this seems like a rip-off of this anime…” It’s about giving someone an idea of something he might like to watch if he enjoyed a certain show, something with the same feel. So why are there over 200 recommendations for Code Geass if you liked Death Note when the two have nothing to do with each other aside from a slight similarity to the main character. Seriously, one is about a cat and mouse game between a serial killer and a detective, the other about a young boy leading a rebellion against an empire. People decided that because Lelouch and Light were both darker anti-hero than they were somehow the same or even that Lelouch was a copy of Light; Light is a furious psychopath who will kill even his closest friends and thinks only of himself while Lelouch does everything for the sake of his sister and is trying to create a better world (really trying instead of just wanting to rule the world like Light). Lelouch as a noble goal and he as feelings for others so why do people seem unable to differentiate them? I’m only ranting about this because all the hype made me watch Death Note to see more of the epicness of Geass and while I truly enjoyed Death Note, it was nothing like Geass and someone seeking a similar show will be fairly disappointed. Anyway, on with the review:
Opening sequence 1: 8/10
Opening sequence 2: 1/10
Ending sequence 1: 8/10
Ending sequence 2: 1/10
My Age Rating: PT: Few instances of violence though they are bloodier than your average show, being few in numbers probably highlighted that fact as well. Slight sexual content but really, it’s hardly even worth mentioning and you probably won’t even notice it.
The story, filled with brilliance and let downs at the same time. The idea of Light Yagami inheriting the Death Note, a book that can kill anyone whose name is written in it, was genius, a truly compelling premise. Light’s goal of creating a new and better world by killing criminals and establishing fear in wrongdoers while creating security to honest citizens was simply masterful and his ambition to crown himself as god of the new world only added. His rival, L, changed things though: The idea of a rival whose sole mission would be to bring him to justice and use anonymity to do so was great, especially considering neither one could know the other’s identity since that would mean death, but they quickly ended this epic premise and made it about Light outsmarting L after they learned each other’s identity, going as far as making them stay together. The mysterious play between the two was pretty much destroyed and it became cat and mouse all over the place. And while that was well executed, I can’t feel but disappointed that the show wasn’t explored to the true potential it held. Then enters Yotsuba, after ground shaking events I won’t get into, the new enemy becomes a corporation using the Death Note’s power to further their growth; this part was presented as well as one could hope for. And finally the final arc, I won’t get into specifics in a show where plot development is this important but unlike what many believe, it is not dragging, a repeat of the first half or boring; it’s in fact more epic, as a better pace and more interesting characters overall.
The theme, this is one of my major complaints, they wanted to throw a lesson, moral, theme at us and did so too hard, compromising some of the show in the process. Needless to say, everything that follows in this paragraph is a huge spoiler so just skip it if you haven’t seen the series. They wanted to show us that using the Death Note’s power, even for good intentions, was wrong as no one should have the right to kill. To do so the made Light a psychotic inconsiderate manipulator and called it quits. Doing so only managed to tell us that Light was unworthy of the Death Note, not that the Death Note itself was an evil tool; had the main character not been willing to kill the innocents and had he cared about his friends genuinely, then I’m pretty sure people would have had an entirely different take about the entire ordeal. It was entirely possible for them to demonstrate why using the Death Note was wrong but purposely making Light this evil acted as a deterrent as it made it seem as if they don’t have grounds to stand on if the Death Note’s wielder isn’t mad.
Also, did they manage to show us that the Death Note is evil? In the end Light had managed to reduce crime by 70% worldwide and wars were virtually non-existent, if anything they only made a strong case of showing why the rule of the note book would benefit humanity. Also, by considering Near and L’s logic if one destroys evil by committing another evil than that method is wrong, with that being said killing Light (Kira) would only send the world into chaos: After the death of Kira is announced riots and clash between his supporters and the governments are sure to follow, crime will rise like never before to levels even greater than previous to Kira’s rule and wars are sure to start once again. With that being said killing/arresting Light knowing of this outcome, doesn’t that make Near a criminal even worse than Light Yagami himself? Purposefully sending humanity into a dark age of crime and war over his own ideal of justice. But of course they made it clear Near was never interesed in justice, he was in it for the game and avenging L so I can at least forgive them that.
The characters were fairly good, L was strange but interesting, though not half as interesting as most of the other cast and most notably his successor Near. Light was the best character of the bunch as they worked on him more than the others and if you forget how they used him for the sole purpose of giving us a huge moral message at the end, he’s a pretty good character if not a fairly despicable human being. Mikami, one of Light’s partners, was also a very interesting and, even if not complex, a pretty well written character. Misa was a good character, she brought some light heartedness to the series and had a pretty good personality too. She had major problems relating to her mental state but that only made her more real. The remaining cast isn’t very exemplary for the exception of the Shinigami, Rem being my favorite.
The voice acting was delivered with just the right intensity that was required of this series so they are no complaints here.
Basically Death Note should be watch for the sole reason of how popular it is in the first place. After that it is a great psychological anime and a decent cat and mouse anime. I’d say I thought it was very good, as my rating indicates, which means I really liked it, but I’m not certain how it would fly with everyone, I guess it’s hit or miss with this one.