10 September 2011

'Death Note'

(CREDIT: to the two men who drew and wrote this series)
RANK: 2.3 out of 5
Tone down the "god" complex

Just as I wish there were mystic beads to put around one's neck and treat them like a dog, having a death note would be kinda cool. I'd wipe out assholes, criminals, and anyone who "deserves" to die. The first victims on my list are those who personify the pretentiousness of this series.

Don't get me wrong, here: Death Note is not terrible. If anyone got a taste of what anime is through this show, good for you! (Yes, that's for you, Tenebris.) This is a great gateway into what is Japan's great medium of entertainment and art. Death Note presents itself very well technically with beautiful animation, brilliant voice acting in English and Japanese, and darkly atmospheric music. Best of all, it brings a great discussion of the concept of justice and morality to the table, whether you agree with Light or L's principles.

But that is all Death Note is. I am no expert, but I can see why some otaku run away from this series in fear or disgust. To know where I stand, my opinion of Death Note is less grudging and more tolerant than my view of Evanescence. Both are overrated, feel cheap, and seem bigger than they really are.

When you take out the debate about justice, Death Note is simple and empty for a thirty seven episode series. Only one conflict stands dominant - the cat and mouse chase - and anything else lies around as spare string. Since Light and L are the main players, the rest of the cast are disposable pawns with very little influence and relevance. The prime example is Misa. 


Many fans have complained before, but Misa is so ****ing shallow, stupid, and fake I want to punch the "cute" and "blond" out of that chick. This might be nitpicking a bit too much, but for anyone who is or is not goth, does anyone notice how she looks like the poster child for a "spooky" Hot Topic advertisement? With her behavior, attire, and "air", she looks like a plastic doll with a billboard sign that says "I dress like a mallgoth, just to piss off the subculture!"

*sigh* Sometimes I seriously wonder why female characters are so detestable in shonen anime. 


Watching this show was almost as painful as watching Paranoia Agent. Although to Death Note's credit, the creators  might had some expendable plot points and characters but the overall story attempted to make them likable. Yet at the end of the day, I still cannot bring myself to finish this series. The first seven episodes instantly engaged me and held onto me; but very quickly everything felt stretched out to the point I often asked "is it over yet?" Sadly, the interesting premise began running into a dead end very quickly. Once everyone noticed this, the characters slowed down significantly as new "devices" fell from the sky to attempt to delay the ending.

Death Note should have been a short story, or better yet, a thirteen episode series. If the story went with a different angle, began in medias res, or stayed with one simple plot, this would have been a more solid and well executed story. However, this only serves as a fun anime gateway to the curious, an amateur eyesore to various otaku, and an overblown god to the diehard fanboys and fangirls. Seriously, the series is bad enough with it trying to be mature and "genius", a particular bunch of fans blow it up to epic proportions and give Death Note a bad name. This is just simply pure fun, not ground-breakingly deep.

A beautiful anime with a god-like status that deserves some credit but needs to be clobbered every now and then. I will recommend this only for the curious for the fine presentation, but good luck if you like the premise and story.

Geez... this is what I chose to watch after being amazed with Inuyasha? I need to readjust my high expectations...

BONUS: Just in case you want a different opinion from a superior reviewer and otaku, click here.


Tenebris In Lux said...

I hate Misa too >_<

A lot of my friends love Inuyasha, so I might take a look at that.

And eh, I'm not mad at this review. There is a lot of repetition in the series. But for a first anime series, I suppose it isn't terrible.

Melanie~"Fangirl"~Light said...

seriously, I might have been pretty hard on this show, but Death Note is a great gateway compared to Naruto or Bleach. for those two, suicide must be avoided, no matter how pretty the option may look. lol

Inuyasha is long, a bit repetitive, but it's entertaining. give it a try. ;)

EschaTheMadReaper said...

indeed death note was way too long. i do think thirteen episodes is a little too short... maybe twenty? at least give mikami enough time to be added darn it, because i love him for reasons unknown.

YES DEATH NOTE IS OKAY BUT NOT AS GOOD AS EVERYONE MAKES IT SOUND!!! i think it was both the pacing and the portrayal that ruined it. and some of the characters. i too hate misa.

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