A Mini-Review of “Death Note” and Some News!

Hey guys! Figured I would do an update on my viewing of “Death Note“. Since this is a particularly lengthy series, I figured I would do a mid-way review of the series so far!

Okay, so for those who aren’t aware, “Death Note” is a story about a boy named Light Yagami who, dissatisfied with the legal system in Japan where some criminals are allowed to walk free after committing the most heinous crimes, takes it upon himself to rid the world of evil in the shadows with the help of a little notebook “coincidentally” dropped into the human world by a shinigami [God of Death] named Ryuk. If you write the name of a person in the notebook, they die of a heart attack within forty seconds [Killing you faster than a Kool filter long cigarette]. Of course, to cover his tracks, Light [also known as Kira by friends and worshipers alike] begins attacking those who try to capture him, including the police force who enlist the help of the brilliant yet reclusive detective known only as “L”. Throughout the story, we see the cat and mouse game between Light and “L” as each formulate brilliantly elaborate plans to stay one step ahead of the grim reaper that awaits either one of them should they fail. While this may sound like just another detective story like “Detective Conan“, it’s NOT. “Death Note” is a much more complex tale than that of the boy detective, but it’s just as addictive. “Death Note” goes beyond being a story about good and evil; it makes you question what exactly IS good and evil? Is Light evil for killing criminals and acting as judge, jury and executioner? Is “L” good for using whatever means to capture Kira, even if it means using morally unacceptable practices like forced interrogations? Who’s to say? That’s what makes “Death Note” so deliciously addictive; you don’t quite know who the heck to root for. Of course, you have your favorite character; heck, everyone does. But do you support what that character stands for? Just like politics: you have your favorite candidate, but do you support what that candidate stands for?

On the production side, “Death Note” is one of those shows where great attention to detail was given both in Japan and in the US.  There are all these small details that catch your eye for a split second that makes you hit the “Rewind” button on your DVD player to take another look. I’ll go into greater details in the official review, but suffice it to say, “Death Note” will earn full animation marks here. As for music…well…we’ll get into THAT aspect in the official review as well. With regards to acting in the US Adaptation, it’s nothing short of amazing. Karl Willems at the helm of the project did an outstanding job, making one of the best American adaptations in my collection to date. Each actor was perfectly directed, matching tone for tone and note for note with their Japanese counterparts.

Kenichi Matsuyama as L in the Death Note film ...

I know I’m giving high praise for a series that I’m only 1/2 way completed with; after all, anything can happen after volume seven [as “His and Her Circumstances” proved without a shadow of a doubt…] but honestly, “Death Note” is well on its way to getting a high score in the official review! Speaking of reviews, I will also be writing reviews for the three live action “Death Note” movies including “Death Note”, “Death Note: The Last Name” and “L: Change the WorLd”, so look forward to it!

In other news: in the coming weeks, I will be working on a “Best Of 2011” post, where I give praise to the best of the best in 2011; best new series, best old-school series, best actor and actress (Japanese/English) and a lot more! Now, before you guys start offering suggestions, and while I do appreciate every one that I get, these are my own picks; meaning you can suggest till the cows come home, but it WONT guarantee that I’ll pick the same thing. Fair warning!

Also, I’ll be making some changes to the main page of the site, including adding a few sections, removing a few, and just cleaning some things up, so if you notice a new section at the top of the page, but there’s nothing there, please forgive me as I’m currently banging my head on the keyboard trying to figure out what the heck I want to put there.

Lastly, I’ve got to think about what show I want to be the last review for 2011. I think I have it narrowed down, but I’m not 100% certain…not that I wouldn’t MIND ending the year with “Death Note”, but I think it would be nice to end the year on a good note, not a death one.

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2 thoughts on “A Mini-Review of “Death Note” and Some News!

  1. I hear exactly what you’re saying. They dynamics of the show change a good bit at the last quarter of the series with the introduction of the new characters. In a way, it doesn’t feel like the same show, which is both good and bad. I’ll go into greater detail in the full review.

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