Death Note

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Death Note
Death Note

Original Manga Tsugumi Ohba (Story)

Takeshi Obata (Art)

Director/Artist Toshiki Inoue
Format Anime (TV), Manga
Made By Madhouse
Episode Length 23 minutes
# of Eps/Volumes 37 (Anime)
12 (Manga)


Mystery, Suspense, Crime Drama

Sum it up in a Sentence:

An extremely intelligent high school student has a book from another dimension that allows him kill people with only a name and a face. The world's various law enforcement bureaus investigate. Will he be caught?


Due to a slip-up by the gods of death in another dimension, a book capable of causing people's deaths lands in the hands of Light, a high-school student. When Light secretly begins executing dozens of people from his bedroom desk, the police calls in an anonymous detective known only as L.

Although the manga is already licensed and being released, the anime has also been licensed by ViZ. Downloadable episodes (in subtitled Japanese) should be available soon prior the Region 1 DVD release. Death Note also has a live-action motion picture (in Japanese, naturally) and hopefully someone who knows more about it will add information here.

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Personal Opinions


Death Note is almost certainly the best anime to arrive in 2006. Haruhi fans will probably want to murder me for that, but that show is another slice of life story at it's core while Death Note is something that could help anime evolve in mainstream North America. There's something very infectious about how it develops, as the viewer watches Light not only turns into an executioner overnight, but tries his best to stifle his paranoia and cover his tracks. The director has managed to build a lot of various plot threads without turning the show into a complete mess and leaving gaping logic gaps. One flaw is that there's plenty of "oh well that's a rule we just made up and didn't mention until now. Even so, those kinds of twists serve to keep the viewer guessing what's going to happen next without breaking the show.

Clanpot Shake

Death Note is definitely one of the better animes out there. The show is a great cat and mouse game between Light and L - two young geniuses - one trying to rid the world of evil, the other, doing well, basically the same thing. We get to watch Light's descent from average high schooler to remorseless serial killer, sacrificing people like they were pawns. One thing the show doesn't do well is express the passage of time. The show actually takes place over almost a decade, but it never feels that way. The ending to the show is great too.

Avocado Pigeon

This show had me hooked at the start, but a little after 1/3 through, it stumbles a bit and never quite recovers afterward (except for one amazing scene - if you watched it, you know which one). The characters at the end just weren't as interesting or fleshed out and the ending seemed rushed. At first, I kept watching because I liked it very much and wanted more. By the end of the series, I was only sticking around due to a need for closure. I wouldn't say it gets terrible at the end, but the strong start of the show only exacerbated the ending's weaknesses. Overall, I still enjoyed it. 8/10


I don't know why it took me so long to check out this show. Maybe because of its immense popularity I believed that its ability to appeal to such a wide audience was driven by a dumbed-down, mediocre approach. Boy was I wrong. The show has quite a strong start and gets rather deep into semantics early on. The depth spoke for itself as I found myself feeling more and more compelled to watch the next, and the next, and the next episode. It was oddly easy to relate to some of the ideas they expressed about sociology, yet I never thought that I would find myself rooting for the villain. Some of the animation is a bit stiff at times, but I could certainly see them going for a "let your mind make the scene" approach in this dark world. More importantly, this is a show of plot twists. Every fucking twist you could imagine. Bam. If you're looking for a compelling and deep show, then I suggest you should definitely give this one a shot.