[PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS REVIEW STILL NEEDS CONSIDERABLE EDITING FROM THE TIME I HAVE ORIGINALLY UPLOADED IT BACK IN 2013, DUE TO LACK OF DETAIL IN SOME AREAS]
Star Rating: 5 Stars
Overall Precise Rating: 9.5/10
The purpose of a psychological, mystery story filled with constant suspense is to keep the audience gripped from the start til the end. Characters and emotions must be deep, as it flows nicely with a dark atmosphere.
When I initially heard of Death Note, I immediately decided to see for myself if a conclusion could make me think twice about what the whole plot conveys: The rights and wrongs of absolute justice. This anime, from my POV, effectively blurs the typical righteous sense of morality as a struggle for justice occurs for the majority of the storyline, between two strong believers of justice, namely Light Yagami and L Lawliet.
Allow me to explain what I meant by "typical righteous sense of morality". Well, I'm sure that it's normal to think that the world is better off without people who have committed the bad, to create a land of peace, trust, honesty and compassion? That's exactly what our protagonist, Light, has been trying to achieve. Yet, Death Note introduces the idea that even killing all the worst of the bad, is evil. More onto all this later.
Death Note is by far, one of the most recognized and well-known franchises in the japanese media, as well as the anime and manga industries throughout the globe. It deserves a lot of respect, and is also great for people who are new to anime, since Death Note covers all the necessary components that make a good anime, into a considerable degree.
Today, the legacy of the franchise remains at large - it's not likely that we'll ever witness something as awe-inspiring as Death Note for more years to come. And for good reason.
Oh, and Death Note also ensures that potato chip eating and writing in notebooks can never be more epic! :D It's all serious business!
As I said before, Death Note focuses on people's views of justice, and can even mold our own ideas! There are plenty of intense, dramatic moments, and we also witness scenes of intelligent planning, logic, puzzle-solving and betrayal.
Light Yagami is a smart, popular, yet bored college student who's constantly disappointed in the current justice of the world (as a result of the crime and corruption throughout the globe). And this indeed, opposes as to what Light wishes for.
In a case of serendipity, or in a case of zemblanity, he finds a notebook called a "Death Note", which is pretty much the ultimate weapon of mass destruction. :S It allows the author to kill people simply by writing their names down in the notebook, assuming that the author also recognises the victims' faces. Light was initially hesistent to test its powers and use it properly, but eventually decides to go for it and rid the world of criminals. His goal? To "become the god of the new world" populated by only the honest and the kind. At this point, I imagine the majority if not all of us are on Light's (or Kira's) side right? :D
What follows however, is a clash between himself, and worldwide investigation teams that call Kira's actions "evil". Kira's actions have ultimately attracted the attention of L, the world's greatest detective. Throughout the story, Light has used his awesome wit and intellect to escape from L's clutches. But this is the point where it becomes difficult in providing further details without giving away the plot too much.
I suggest you see for yourself what Light and L's fates respectively turn up as! This anime is very deep, it's not worth spoilng much more.
To conclude, the story itself is by far, one of the best I've seen in the history of anime, as well as Death Note's strongest selling point.
Not a lot to say here really. The characters help define the anime itself. Pretty much all the noticeable characters have a distinctive purpose. :S
Light, or Kira, is awesome for his intelligence, planning and analytical abilities. As time goes on in the storyline, he develops a crueler personality; he becomes devoid of compassion and mercy, and considers all his actions to be justified regardless of how inhuman they may be. Despite all this, I was still on Light's side since after all, his objective in creating a peaceful utopia hasn't changed. I was wavered about his God complex - on one hand, I can see that it's bad to consider yourself a god when you're using a god's (or shinigami's) powers. But Light has still done all this with good intention. Hmmmm.... XD
L - despite being the main antagonist of the show, has also become the most popular member of the cast (as well as literally the TOP MOST LOVED CHARACTER OF ALL TIME on this website!!! XP). He's super clever, and yet he has his quirks (sweet tooth, crouching habits, etc) - interesting isn't it? :)
I'll bring in a disnourable mention in the form of Near. He's actually the main problem that I have with Death Note and serves to exist as such an unlikeable character in my eyes. For the sake of spoilers, I won't go into too much detail asides from that I think he's a lazily made, uninspiring and downright uncreative character in contrast to everyone else. This is made worse by how he influences the climax of Death Note, it almost drove me nuts.
Last character I'll briefly mention is Ryuk. Pretty cool shinigami. :D LOVES APPLES. It was thanks to him dropping his Death Note in the human world that the events of the story were set in motion. Bored of the Shinigami Realm, he decides to stay and amuse himself with Light's actions in ridding injustice. We could be here for a lot longer with discussing all the characters that mattered at all, so I was at least compelled to mention the ones that mattered to me the most.
Death Note's animation is amazing to the point where it immerses viewers into the anime itself. I don't know about you, but I've noticed that camera angles have been taken with precision to make facial expressions more prominent. The animators have also made incredible use of shading effects.
Overall, the animation really suits an anime as serious, emotional and dark as Death Note. Honestly, you couldn't really ask for better could you?
Once again, practically the entire soundtrack suits the whole of Death Note. Not to mention the voice actors for characters such as Light and Ryuk. :3 I'm also a fan of the original opening song. :D However I am quite disappointed with the other songs, although I rarely pay attention to them anyway.
EXECUTION OF GENRES 9.5/10
This area needs a lot of editing because it's a bit hard for me to describe this particular section. I'll cut it short by saying that Death Note executed its themes and concept almost perfectly. Almost.
Death Note has been among my top favourite anime for the longest time, and if we're discounting films and OVAS, then this is honestly my no.1 favourite anime of all time.
There is a point in the storyline when I found that things went somewhat downhill; things became a bit well...repetitive. For the sake of avoiding major spoilers, I'll only say that it occurs from episode 27 onwards. You might see what I mean when you get to that point or so. The ending was well...pretty emotional for me yet it seemed right somehow. Again, you might see what I mean when you get there.
Putting all that aside, I'll rephrase one of my previous statements from my overview.
If you watch Death Note, then I assure you, nothing will be as inspiring in the same way as this anime. I myself was really impressed by the end of it all, and for goodness sake, if you call yourself an anime person and haven't watched Death Note, then I demand you rethink that claim! X3