Death Note

Title:Death Note
Keywords: , , , , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - Madhouse
Original Concept - OBATA Takeshi
R1 License - Viz Media (Shopro)
Light Yagami (Or Raito) is an ace student who`s bored out of his mind. One day he finds the Death Note - a notebook held by a shinigami (or Death God). With the Death Note in hand, Light decides to create a perfect world - A world without crime or criminals. However when criminals start dropping dead one by one, the authorities send the legendary detective L to track down the killer.

(summary from ANIDB)

37 TV Episodes
Animation by MADHOUSE

Series Air Date Oct 2006
Licensed By Viz - Jan 2007

In addition to two live-action movies, there is also a live-action spinoff movie L Change ... with L as the central character.
Winner 6th Annual Tokyo Anime Awards (2007) – "Best TV series."
Episode 1 (Eng-dub) - HULU (with ads)
Episode 2 (Eng-dub) - HULU (with ads)
Episode 3 (Eng-dub) - HULU (with ads)

(note: HULU only supports USA based IP-addresses.)
Episode Details 
LA1, 01, 02, 25
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Buy 9 10 10 10 10 10 Diwafiven [series:1430#3160]
I must say that I was very skeptical of this series. In my personal experience I find that a lot of animes that get as many good reviews aren't as good as they are reviewed to be. however, this series is different, I very much enjoyed it even though it is in a genre I do not typically watch. it was amazingly done. About the only thing that could have been improved upon was the artwork, and even that was an excellent A+ job. the music very much suited the show, and the story was gripping right from the start. This is the first anime I have ever watched that I can say I have absolutely no complaints about.

This is a MUST SEE for anime fans!

Last updated Monday, December 07 2009. Created Monday, December 07 2009.
Buy 10 10 10 9 9 9 Ggultra2764 [series:1430#1552]
This was quite an interesting watch. Death Note mixes mystery and supernatural thriller to create an anime that delves into the deteriorating mindset of Light Yagami and the cat-and-mouse game he plays with L as both try to figure out how to overcome the other.

This is a series that does well with its mystery genre as both Light and L match wits with each other. Both make believable and concise judgements and theories over the motivations of the other. They both know that the slightest errors in their judgements will cost them dearly so they take advantage of whatever resources they have at their disposal. With Light, he makes use of the Death Note in many ways that even bored Ryuk had to admire from the guy as well as manipulating anyone who was either a threat or he used as a tool to get the upper hand on those suspecting him. L makes use of supporting Japanese detectives and a confrontational approach to his information seeking as he keeps his eye out on the slightest errors in Light's movements and takes enough risks with himself to get results. Their cat-and-mouse game was the best thing out of Death Note as this kept me wondering just who would triumph by the end of the series.

However, events in the later episodes take a turn towards different characters who are given the task of defeating Light. While the cat-and-mouse game is still around in these later episodes, it wasn't as engaging with these new characters going after Light.

Another brilliant aspect to this series as you get a look into the mind of a mass murderer in the form of Light. Getting the Death Note gives him a serious case of God complex as Light believed that with it, he was unstoppable. Even as he killed hardened criminals, Light's morality rotted away as he had no qualms with killing anyone who investigated him and threatened his goals. As the series progressed, he even had no problem with using his close friends and family to keep his name in the clear. Even with Misa's love and the support of the detectives investigating Kira who believed Light was in the clear, Light only thought of them as tools or fools who had no place in his 'ideal world.' He only seen himself as the dominant one in the end once all criminals and those who threatened his authority were out of the picture.

In terms of visuals, Death Note has a lot of high quality to it. Character designs and scenery have large amounts of detail from the facial expressions from characters to L's unusual postures. Animation was quite fluid with this series as the slightest of movements flowed quite naturally from the movement of a pen that came from writing into the Death Note or a tennis match. Even some tense action scenes were animated very smoothly. The soundtrack to this series makes use of J-rock music and mysterious tracks to flow along with the demented nature of Light's mentality and the mystery surrounding this series.

Despite a few issues I may have with the choice of direction for the storyline in this series, Death Note still makes for a great addition to your collection. With a dark storyline and the interesting cat-and-mouse game between Light and L, I think this could be easily considered one of 2006's best anime titles.

Last updated Tuesday, December 09 2008. Created Tuesday, December 09 2008.
Unevaluated Stretch [series:1430#628]
(27 episodes watched):

I'm usually not particularly interested when it comes to horror anime, but even I couldn't avoid all the hype about Death Note. After reading about the intriguing premise in Anime Insider magazine, I decided to give it a try. Make no mistake, I'm fascinated and eager for more. Still, episode one fell a little short of what I was expecting, perhaps because I'd already read a good deal about what was going to happen and thus wasn't particularly surprised by anything. Actually, one thing which did surprise me was Light having aspirations of Godliness right from the start--I'd assumed that a genius like him would start out quite level-headed and would sink into that state as he became intoxicated by his powers and found himself competing with "L" more and more. Likewise, before you know it he's picking off policemen as well as criminals--he seemed to have no compunction about taking that leap. It seems to me that a couple opportunities for useful character development have been missed. Was Light killing criminals outside of Japan as well? Interpol seemed uncertain which country he was in at first. I've got a feeling that it would be wise to remember the "rules" of using the Death Note, as they wouldn't be spelled out so clearly if they weren't going to come back to haunt Light later on. Remember also that Ryuk seems to have a spare Death Note somewhere. He is my favorite character; the eccentric genius L is fun too, whereas Light is already kind of criminally insane and hard to sympathize with. The plot is moving rapidly, which keeps things exciting. So rapidly, in fact, that it's hard to imagine how the pace can be maintained for no less than 37 episodes. This is one series which keeps me on the edge of my seat, and I'm never looking at my wristwatch as an episode runs! How do people come up with such a weird and fascinating premise for a story? I couldn't help thinking that the author of Death Note might easily be as brilliant as either Light or L.

The trick L used in episode 18 (I think) to use Light's father to test him and whats-her-name to see if they are the Kiras had me giggling with excitement. I knew Light wouldn't get killed, but I didn't know exactly how it would work out or what the rationale behind it was. It made perfect sense! That's one of the cool things about this show, the way you are repeatedly surprised by brilliant ploys pulled by either Light or L. It makes me wonder if most anime--not to mention American TV--has given up the notion that viewers might be able to make sense of such clever moves and countermoves.

Unfortunately, something goes very wrong with this show during episode 25. I cannot fully rant and rave here without spoiling the series as a whole, so if you've reached episode 27 take a look at my episode 25 comments. I'll continue to watch, certainly, but I'm getting the feeling that Death Note may be a series which should have ended after two seasons but instead went on for three.

Last updated Wednesday, April 30 2008. Created Saturday, January 05 2008.
Unevaluated 10 10 10 10 10 10 Violet D [series:1430#1393]
Ok imagine having control of situations and peoples'lives. A scary thought? Well this is what Death Note is about and about a straight A student who finds this book and it gives him the power. At first he just starts writing all these criminal names down and has the thought with this kind of power he can make it a perfect world. But the plan starts to backfire and he starts to write people who are investigating these murders down so he won't get caught. This is when they call L in to investigate who is doing this. This is a great one to watch and it will hold your interest.

Last updated Saturday, December 15 2007. Created Saturday, December 15 2007.
Unevaluated 8 8 7 10 KBanger1 [series:1430#1694]
<i>Started 11/22/07</>

I finished the first R1 release of Death Note and right after the first episode I got hooked. Too bad it's licensed by Viz. I don't like the company. They really know how to chop a good anime to death (ie: Naruto). Of course, that's just US standards, but that's another story. What got me interested was that Light was a top notched student instead of the typical introverted kid who was always teased, etc. A student who has a clean record and who also is at the top of his game is bored with everyday life until he recovers the "Death Note" notebook. Once he starts to use it, he becomes obsessed and well let me save the rest for the full review. Probably won't happen until next year when the R1 release ends. Till then, I highly recommend this series for an early "Rent/Buy".

Last updated Thursday, November 22 2007. Created Thursday, November 22 2007.
Buy 9 10 10 8 10 10 Kitsune-chan [series:1430#2600]
An absolutely amazing series. The main protagonist, Yagami Light, as well as L, the main antagonist, are the main highlights of this anime. Their constant struggles against each other to provide "justice" for the world and the battles of intelligence are addicting and interesting to watch. Death Note is one of those series that really keep you hooked, and wondering, "When on earth is the next episode going to be out!?"

Don't miss out on this wonderful anime! It's definitely one of the best ones out there (based on a matter of opinion, but it's worth a watch, right?)!

Last updated Wednesday, May 09 2007. Created Wednesday, May 09 2007.
Unevaluated Jan-Chan [series:1430#967]
Hummm... why am I wondering if this is a Bleach death-god knock off story, with a dash of Detective Conan tossed in?

Well – I was very wrong!

What would you do if you could sentence anyone, anywhere to death without being caught? Did anyone bother you today? Were you rudely cut off on the freeway? Are these petty peves worth a sentence of death?

This series (fansubbed by those fun people at LIVE-EVIL) is darkly fascinating and very mesmerizing. I am really captivated both by the various characters and where this series might go.

I posted a summary and some snap shots of the first two episodes.

(update - episode 9 is available as a fansub)

(update - There is now a live-action movie with the same name - for more info, see LA1 in the episode details section)

Last updated Wednesday, December 06 2006. Created Wednesday, August 16 2006.

Other Sites
Official (Japanese) Series Web Site
Wikipedia Entry on the Manga & Anime Series
VIZ Media Series Web Site
Good site - free downloads of trailers and episode 1

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