- by Toshio Nakatani, Manabu Tamura and Masao Maruyama
- 37 episodes (1 season)
- based on a manga
The anime is about a high school student named Yagami Light who discovers a notebook with the title Death Note. This notebook was dropped by a Shinigami named Ryuk into the human world because of boredom. The notebook says: The human whose name is written in this note shall die. Being sceptical, he starts writing names of criminals in it, who really dies after few seconds. The notebook consists of many rules as depicted in the following picture:
Light begins experimenting with the Death Note and realizes how powerful he has become.
As the police discovers the actions of the mass murder called Kira, who extinguishes criminals, they want to stop him. Therefore, they are getting help from the best and world famous detective who is only known under the capital letter “L”. In fact, L only presents himself to the police over a monitor with this letter:
One of the main themes in Death Note is clearly justice: Is it right to kill people who have done wrong? Is it right to play therefore God? The anime is very interesting because it also makes you wonder what you would do if you were Light. Would you kill these people or would you let them live even though they have done wrong and hurt others? Those questions definitely arise while watching Death Note. In fact, the anime also shows very good how power can and will change a person. Therefore, it also contains a good character development. The idea of Death Note is comparable to the death penalty: a decision of who should die for his crimes and who should live.
The most entertaining and interesting part in the anime is the cat and mouse game between L and Light. It shows both intelligent but contrasting characters: L uses his intelligence to solve crimes whereas Light uses it to kill people. Every step of both characters is thrilling and it is exciting to see what will come next. L and Light do not trust each other and they have a guess of knowing each other’s real identity. L wants to know if Light is Kira and even suspects him. On the other side, Light wants to find out L’s real name to write it in the Death Note. A further interesting aspect are the fight scenes between both, especially as they are handcuffed.
We are really fond of the anime, but we do not like the second part. Indeed, it is interesting to see that L has already chosen two successors, but Mello and Near are as far not as intelligent as L. Near is a copy of L who even copies his representation by calling himself “N”. Another negative aspect of the second part is that Light starts making many “dumb” mistakes which is not common for him, because he is supposed to be very careful. This happens after “L” dies, which was, to be honest, very sad and hard to cope with. However, we decided to watch it till the end.
Before we are going on to our favorite characters, we start with the most unpopular ones. Firstly we have Misa who is Second Kira and Light’s so-called “ girlfriend”. We find her very annoying from the start till the end. She did not only annoy Light but also the audience like us. The other character is Shinigami Rem, Misa’s Shinigami. He falls for Misa and starts making unpopular decisions like SPOILER ALERT killing L .
L is known as the best detective in the world and a very intelligent young man. He can be described as a quiet and eccentric person who is obsessed with solving crimes. Indeed, he quickly presumes that Kira can only kill people by knowing their name and face and so he is very good in always being one step ahead of his enemies. With his lack of social skills, he appears very peculiar who mostly avoids contact to the outside world. Even though he is a genius, his behavior and appearance seem unusual. Due to insomnia, he has distinctive physical features such as the white skin and the dark rings under his eyes. In fact, he mostly sits in a quite unusual position with both feet on the chair and has the habit to hold things with only 2 fingers. Other habits are his inappropriate manners like fingernail biting and talking with a full mouth. Moreover, he asks the police officers and detectives to call him Ryuzaki as a safety measure whereas his real and full name is never revealed in the anime of “Death Note” neither in the manga. As a genius and best detective, L quickly suspects Light being Kira. However, we think that he somehow does not really want him to be the mass murder because he considers Light as a friend because Light is the only person who is similar to himself.
He is a student at the Daikoku Private Academy and is a genius. He is calm and good with problem solving. His classmates, friends and family praise him which raise his arrogance.This arrogance becomes stronger after he found the Death Note. He is always prepared for the future: calculates what will happen next to avoid any mistakes. Light plans every step especially of his killings. These killings are named by people as the work of ‘Kira’. His personality changes drastic after the discovery of this notebook. He turns from being a normal student with a normal moral standard into a cold hearted murderer. He starts becoming a lunatic after earning the absolute power of killing people. He sees the world as a rotten place and wants to make it better by ‘cleaning’ it from the evil people. His goal is to create a ‘new’ world without crimes and injustice, where he considers himself as God. His strong sense of justice remains but in an immoral and evil way. His justice is based on: ‘an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth’: Killing those who had killed or have done wrong. However, he considers also people as evil who turn against him even his own family. He is obsessed by the Death Note.
Please do NOT watch the Netflix movie. We have not seen it yet, but the trailers were enough. The movie will give you a wrong perception of the anime. It destroys the idea of it. Many important details are left out which ruined the whole concept. If you want to watch a non animated movie of Death Note, we would recommend the Japanese Live-action movies (we also have not seen them yet).
All in all, Death Note brought us into anime. We really like the anime serie, it is one of the best we have seen so far with the exception of the second part. The concept of a Death Note is fascinating and it is amusing to see what people would do if they could play ‘God’.