Death Note has such an interesting premise, and is dark, and very suspenseful, but the things turn at a wrong turn... after everything basically goes to shit. Not much else to say right now. I've heard that this was a good anime, and it was, but some of the execution could have been better done.
The first half of this series is wonderful and filled with all kinds of suspense. Light is such a fuckface, but it's intriguing on how I was actually rooting for him in the end? Anyways, the story is relatively simple. Light Yagami is walking home from school, and finds a book called the "Death Note." Whenever a name is written in the Death Note, that person will die.
There are rules to the Death Note, however. One of the most important ones, is that they have to know the face of the person they want to kill, to avoid any conflict with whoever has the same name. What also seems like an incredibly obvious rule, is that they need to know the name of the person. That's where the main conflict is, for lots of the series. It's a game of cat and mouse against Light and L first, and then Light and a detective boy person named Near.
This game of cat and mouse is a very good concept and is able to add suspense. Episodes are built around Light trying to find out other people's names. For example, an FBI agent, that agent's wife, and primarily, L.
Light is so manipulative, and that is explored in the story well. Light joins the investigation team, completely double crossing everyone without them knowing it, and this gets him one step closer to achieving victory...
Unfortunately, things start to turn bad after, (spoiler alert!) L dies. Light essentially is voted by his comrades on the investigation team to be the new "L," since L was just a codename. It sucks that L died, but then things just start to turn slightly boring. The main conflict in the last 1/3 of the series is the battle against Near, but nothing is explored as good as the first arc. Lots of things were just dropped into place and not as neatfully crafted, where as the first arc was suspenseful, and left me thinking, "what would happen next?" The second arc was more like, "just tell me already so I can stop watching." I was getting bored.
This is tolerable though, and the rest of the storytelling is brilliant. I think what I'm trying to say is, this series could either have explored the relationship between Light and Near better and all the undertones in between, or it could have just been made shorter. Period. I think I would have preferred the second option, since I'm not good with long anime series.
ANIMATION & ART: 8/10
There's nothing in this animation to write home about. There's nothing really special to talk about. Action sequences are kept to a bare minimum, since, well, this isn't an action series at all. Sometimes it doesn't feel fluid. But I'm keeping in mind this is a 2006 anime.
The animation is still very well done. But IMO I don't feel it deserves a whopping 10/10 like some people I know do.
The environments are very generic too. It's a town. Lots of anime artists can draw towns. Tall buildings are well done though.
The characters are mostly well done in "Death Note." Near and Mello were probably one of my least favorite characters, but I didn't hate them.
What's very nice is the characterization of Light. He's the protagonist but he's a complete asshole. He's a cool asshole though -- I was actually rooting for him at the end. I didn't want him to get caught! IDK why, the series just managed to direct it to me that way. I also liked L alot, but a problem came when I thought that Light and L were a little too smart? When we are hearing monologues of what the characters are thinking, it feels very unnatural sometimes when they are basically just repeating each other in their brain.
Ryuk and the other Shinigami were probably my favorite in the series. Ryuk was fantastic as the comic relief of the series, with his apples. Unfortunately though, he appeared much less in Season 2, which disappointed me since I thought he was the funniest character.
Misa Amane was... okay. I didn't hate her, but she is definitely sort of boring. She's there to act as a weapon for Light. At times, I did sometimes feel bad for her that she's just being used by Light, but she manages to be a little annoying at times that, I just forgot about my sorrows for her and just, eh.
The supporting characters are, dull. They are policemen, so it doesn't have a good effect for me.
The soundtrack and OST are very well done in this anime. It's dark, gothic, and orchestral, and it's composed very well to help boost up the suspense of the anime and the situation that Light and L and who the hell ever is in.
The openings I thought, were weak though. The visuals for the first were dull, and the song was okay, but I could not bring myself to like the vocalist that much. His voice seemed a little to ghastly for me. The second opening however, was super strange. The visuals look very cool in the second opening, but the song selection was so odd. Not saying I hated it, and I guess the heavy metal fit into the situation they were in, but... it was strange.
Total Score: 31.5/40 (79%)
Final Score: 7.5/10
+First 2/3 of the anime smacked with suspense, main characters mostly interesting, soundtrack well done.
-End of the anime started to bore me (except the final two episodes), supporting characters stale, first opening was dull and second opening was odd.
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