Death Note (2007-2008)


Death Note (2007-2008)

Director: Tetsuro Araki
Studio: Madhouse
Starring: Mamoru Miyano, Kappei Yamaguchi, Aya Hirano
Episodes: 37

Brilliant but bored high schooler Light Yagami comes across the mysterious Death Note, a notebook with the power to kill. At first, he dismisses it as a hoax, but when he tests it out and kills a criminal, he embarks on a mad quest to become the ultimate arbiter of justice, the god of a new era of his design, but there's one problem. The world's greatest detective is on the case and hot on his trail.

I can't believe I could've been watching this during its original run in Japan. It's one thing to miss out on the shows on TV Tokyo because they don't carry it over the air up in Touhoku, but I'm pretty sure I had Yomiuri TV. Anyway, I started watching this a few years back but never finished it. I then bought the series and let it sit a good year before making a point to sit down and watch through it. Good timing, I suppose, because I can review it without having to reserve another 15 hours to go back through it, not that I would've begrudged the experience as this show's worth it.

Light Yagami is one of the great villain protagonists. You'll probably find yourself forgetting what a monster he is because he's so magnificent that you almost want him to win. This boy doesn't just jump off the slippery slope. He takes friggin' rocket skis to zip on down and do an acrobatic loop de loop right into the fiery pits of Hell. His machinations and manipulations are a treat to watch and the best part is that he's not infallible and is constantly having to play Xanatos Speed Chess with his nemesis L. Speaking of L, there's an interesting character. Real odd bird, that one, but I feel a sort of kinship with him because we both share an extreme sweet tooth. Before I start going into essay mode, let me just say that not only the leads but the supporting cast as well are fun to watch. Solid characterization here.

The story can broadly be divided into three arcs and while I'll admit that the third arc pales in comparison to the first two, it's not so dramatic a drop that you're left with a bad taste in your mouth when the finale rolls around. Ironically, I think the setup in the live action movies was a little better, dispensing with the problems the third arc presents. Nevertheless, even the third arc has a number of compelling aspects to it that are bound to keep you watching.

Long and short of it: Go watch this if you haven't already or your name is going in the book next. Meanwhile, I'm going to take this potato chip... and eat it! ^o^

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