Anime Review: Death Note (2006)

Death Note anime

Death Note is actually a Japanese manga series created by writer Tsugumi Ohba and manga artist Takeshi Obata. Shortly after the manga ended in May 2006, the anime started airing in Oct 2006. Due to the immense popularity, there are now two movies and a few games. I won't be surprised to see additional spin offs in the future.

Death Note is the most thrilling psychological anime I've ever watched. There are 37 episodes and each builds on the pressure of the previous episode. A cat and mouse chase right to the end.

The story is about a top university student Light Yagami who discovers the "Death Note", a notebook dropped by a death god named Ryuk. The Death Note grants its owner the power to kill anyone just by writing their name on the book. It also has the ability to see names of people floating above their heads. It's the perfect killing device.

Light Yagami decides to serve his own version of justice by getting rid of evil with the notebook. He starts with a criminal but was later addicted to its power and started killing more people. As more die under his book, the police are having a hard time with their investigations. It just happens that Light is also the son of a police inspector so he's always one step ahead of investigations. At this point, the police has hired detective L to hunt down the elusive Light.

Many interesting characters are introduced later on and the story spans a few years. The evolving character of Light with his views on morality and justice is thought provoking. The plot is so controversial that it was banned in China to protect the "physical and mental health" of students.

The whole series is about battles of wits, mind games and traps. In each episode, viewers are shown rules of using the Death Note. These are the rules of the killing game, rules that the police have to figure out themselves in order to solve the puzzle, to nail down Light.

The popularity is probably due to how intellectual the series is. It is very involving and challenges the audience to stay ahead by constantly guessing the next move, wondering what Light will do.

Even if you're a not manga or anime fan, you should definitely check out Death Note. It's an amazing anime that will leave you wanting more when it ends.

5 out of 5 stars.

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Visit the links below to read more reviews on Amazon. There are other disc formats available also. Do note the region code for the disc and your player before buying.

Country-specific links for Death Note DVDs:

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