Death Note is one of those few anime that captured me right from the beginning. As being someone very selective, and particularly repulsive of anime this was something different for me, a tight fast packed story line gripping right from the first episode. I highly recommend this to fans of animated series or to horror/thriller fans. This is a well-written, artistic and dark anime indeed.
As depicted in the story line, Shinigami, the gods of death prefer to use note books, or death notes to cause human death. And occasionally, they lose their notebooks accidentally-on-purpose so that a human can find it. That is the beginning of Death Note, a story of a genius student named Light who finds this strange notebook and decides he wants to change the world into a utopia by killing all of the world’s most horrible criminals without any suspicion to him. All he does is write their name in the death note and they’re dead.
The description above sounds dark, and this story is very dark. The lead character seems to have little care for those he kills and in fact finds some enjoyment in the unique ways he can bring about their death. His Shinigami shadow, Ryuk, bound to him because Light now owns the death note, guides him only to the point just beyond complete ignorance but otherwise lets Light do as he wishes. Thus, even despite the fact that it’s nearly impossible to trace the murderer, suspicion does rise. This is when the true horror starts, as we begin to see what Light is willing to do to get him free of suspicion.
Anyone familiar with Shonen Jump’s Hikaru No Go will recognize the artwork here. There is a deep theme of morality VS. Immorality hidden beneath the storyline. While watching, you have to decide, based on your own personal beliefs, what side Light is actually on, moral or immoral, good or evil. Certainly, at face value, Light is a decent human being, studying hard to become a top student, helping his sister with her homework, talking cop-business with his father, but it’s in those moments of inspiration that Light has when you’ll begin to wonder.
And yet, it’s his anti-hero love-ability that makes you keep watching, no matter what your beliefs are. You want him to avoid suspicion, to do away with the criminals, and to get rid of the cops tailing him.
Apart from the thrilling storyline, intellectual encounters of Light with ‘L’, bits of romantic humor thrown away by the character of ‘Misa Amane’, another great thing is the soundtrack, its simply superb, the background score and the themes of Light, Ryuk and Death Note are simply awesome.
In short a must watch for every anime fan, A short (just 36 episodes), gripping and extremely likeable tale… Don’t miss it.