Death Note is a 37-episode anime that came out in 2006. It was directed by Director Tetsuro Araki in coordination with the animation studio, Madhouse. Originally, Death Note was a manga series written by Tsugumi Ohba and drawn by Takeshi Obata. Since its release, Death Note’s popularity has grown not only throughout Japan but also throughout the western countries, like the Unites States and Canada (through popular networks such as Cartoon Network and Neon Alley). What has made Death Note so popular, you may ask? Well, I’m getting to that part, starting with its plot.
The story is definitely intriguing, mainly because of the battle of wits between Light and L. Almost every episode had an ending that made you want to see more. The plans that L and Light make are definitely not cliché. If anything, the plans that they make to counter each other are very clever and mind-boggling indeed. Some of the plans even made me go “Holy cow! He got you there!”. The only problem that I had with the show, plot-wise, was the second half of the series, where almost all the “Holy cow! He got you there!”-moments became non-existent, effectively leading the show to a dwindling road that almost sends it to hell, if not for the climatic ending. The story, and the way that it is set up, also makes you think about the ideologies and principles that the characters are motivated by, whether it may be Light or L’s or some other character, and that is always a wonderful touch.
The soundtrack for “Death Note” consists of various orchestral pieces, with choir parts sprinkled into it, effectively adding to the epic nature that the show possesses. Although some of these pieces are used over and over again throughout the series, its execution makes up for it ten times over. Combining the soundtrack with the amazing visuals of the show makes the climatic moments of the show all the more memorable. All the opening and ending themes convey the series’ supernatural and psychological theme and are…unique in their own way (I’m looking at you, “What’s Up People”) and are really fun to listen to on their own. Both the English and Japanese dubs were amazingly done as well, with the voice actors for both Light and L (for both dubs) portraying the characters in such a way that you just either love them or hate them more (in a good way, of course).
There are many reasons to love Death Note’s characters. From Light to L to everyone in the Kira investigation team all served a purpose in the show and are not just there because the director needed someone to fill up space. Both Light and L are really unique characters in their own special way, with L being the strange, socially-alien, but quirky, genius, and Light as the perfect model student with delusions of grandeur. Speaking of Light’s transition into his delusions, there are also other characters who received a good amount of character development, which makes them all the more interesting.
Seriously, these two are one of the best cat-and-mouse teams out there, almost on par with Tom and Jerry
Madhouse is, definitely, an animation company that goes the extra mile when it comes to animating their works. With a mixture of unique color palettes and superb camera angling, Death Note has made even taking a potato chip and eating it really epic. The aforementioned color palettes also deliver a stunning effect that raises the level of suspense and keeps the viewers excited for what’s going to happen next.
Death Note was my first take into the psychological thriller genre and will definitely remain as one of my most favorite anime ever. The story really entranced me with its suspenseful climaxes. Every turn, every plan, and every moment was enjoyable. Even the second half of the show was entertaining, albeit containing less suspenseful moments than the first half.
In essence, Death Note is an original, suspenseful, mind-boggling, and tantalizing take into the psychological thriller genre. With the precious combination of its gorgeous soundtrack, enthralling storyline, captivating animation, and unique characters, Death Note is definitely a must-watch! And if you aren’t interested in it by now by my review, may I please have your full name?
I hereby award Death Note with an overall score of 8 Shinigamis out of 10
Imagine seeing this guy in a 7-11…