Throwback Thursday: Death Note

I got the chance to watch Death Note for the first time recently. Initially, I was avoiding this series like the plague, due to the hype around it for so many years. With the many movie adaptations, the live action plays and the upcoming Death Note Netflix Series, I thought now is the time to share my thoughts. I only watched the series out of pure boredom mostly to help me get through dungeons in World of Warcraft but I was both pleasantly surprised and disappointed with myself that I missed out on this series.

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Light Yagami from the Netflix Adaption of Death Note

This anime has been out for years now but I will indulge those who have no clue what this series is about. Although shame on you. Get out from under that rock. This series is revolving around a popular, studious high school student named Light Yagami. Light stumbles upon a book in all black labeled “Death Note.” Light reads the instructions of the book to learn that anyone he names in it will die.  Being absolutely disinterested with the mundane life he lives, he decides to test it.  When his test succeeds he goes about slaying criminals and even catching them before they are convicted. Light finds himself, with a shinigami named Ryuk, in a cat and mouse game with world famous detective who goes by the name of L. The only way Light can win is by learning L’s name and jotting it into the Death Note, while L works to find who is “Kira”, Light’s serial killer alter ego, and bring him to Justice.

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Very interesting concept. I’ve always been a very huge fan of Detective Stories and, as you may know, my favorite anime of all time is Detective Conan. With a series in this format, a weekly serialization will eat this up. I can’t imagine being one of the fans when this series first began watching/reading weekly. The suspense would have killed me! Never mind, I still have the end of the story to do that part for me. I’ll come back to that.

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Death Note really follows through and meets your expectations. You are constantly guessing what will happen next. Trying to follow all of Light’s plans to figure out how he will get out of the next trap either the FBI or L lies for him. A high school kid outsmarting the FBI, constantly being overlooked because his father is a part of the investigation. There are quite a few scenes that truly present Light’s brilliance only to perpetually be outperformed by L who was prepared for every move he made. Quite the exhilarating story…or so I thought.

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With a great cult classic series such as Death Note, there will always be a reason why it was not as great to others. This series has a major issue with the second half.

Spoilers Ahead! You have been warned.

This series takes a huge turn for the worst when L is killed by Light. The way Light defeats L is not terrible but what happens after is the problem. The time skip into Light becoming a detective is what lead to the series’ downfall. If the series was completed at the end of L’s Arc, Death Note would have been one of my favorite anime series I have watched. Because of everything that happened after L, I cannot give the show anything higher than a 7 out of 10. That is me being generous. The two characters appointed to take L’s place were very underwhelming. It does not help having Light become one of the most unintelligent characters in anime in one arc of a series. It is extremely obvious that the series received a very premature conclusion due to its lack of popularity as the series continued after L’s demise. It’s unfortunate for a series like Death Note which had so much potential.

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Spoiler Free! Here on out.

This is still a one of a kind series that anyone can find greatness in. Especially myself, after I learned that one of my favorite manga, Bakuman, was created by the same mangakas. Yes. I said mangakaS. Death Note was written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata. I feel that having one person do all of the art while the other puts all their effort into their storyboards, you would have a more effective manga. But there are people like Eiichiro Oda, creator of One Piece, who shows he can do it all with his number one spot in Shonen Jump for years.

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So to summarize this article, Death Note is great. I don’t believe it met its full potential but I believe it is a ride everyone should experience. Most of the characters are very interesting but not as noteworthy as other series. This is the reason I didn’t bother with them. The only characters that truly matter in this tangled web are Light, L and Ryuk. Seeing how they interact with each other with no clue as to who’s on who’s side is intriguing enough to grasp your attention. Thank you so much for reading! Let us know what you think about Death Note? Do you feel it should have ended sooner? Was the series great as is? I promise I won’t fight you in the comment section…but I will write your name in my death note!

 

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