Saturday, 1 October 2011

Death Note

Title: Death Note
Distributor: Madhouse Studios
Genre(s): mystery, supernatural, drama, fantasy
Age Rating: TVMA (violence)

Episodes: 37
Aired: October 3, 2006 - June 26, 2007
Official Site: at

Authors Rating: 9/10

Ryuk is a Shinigami. To those of you who don't know Shinigami translates in English to 'Death God.' This particular Death God became bored of his eternal existence taking the lives of humans when their time was up, and when I say 'time is up' I mean it in a literal sense, for Death God's are only permitted to take the life of a human when fate has decided they have lived long enough. Each Shinigami has their own 'Death Note.' A death note is no more than a small black notebook that has the power to kill. If you are unfortunate to have your name written in it you will lose your life. The manner in which you do so is dependant upon the person writing your death. A simple name will result in death from heart failure, however, these deaths can be much more lavish and even impact upon the deaths of others, effectively taking control of the individual named. One particular Shinigami, due to his lack of excitment decides to play a game where by he will be the observer. Ryuk drops his Death Note in to the human world straight in to the path of our main character, Light Yagami. 

DeathNote_How To Use It

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

The story focuses on 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 give the user a power which enables them to see name of their proposed victims floating above their heads. It's the perfect killing device.

Light Yagami decides to serve justice by passing judgement upon those deemed evil through using the death note. He starts by testing the powers of the death note on convicted criminals that have been sentenced to death, but later, as many do, becomes addicted the power it gave him and starts to take the lives of more and more people for less and less, invoking fear in to the general public. As more die under his silent rule, the police are having a hard time with their investigations as there is no evidence of a criminal, except that those convicted or with a criminal history just keep dying of the same cause, a heart attack. As fate would have it our main character's father is a high ranking inspector in the local police force, yet Light is always one step ahead. Due to the lack of leads the police have to hire in external help. Enter 'L' our teenage secret detective who has never failed to solve a case and only takes up those that interest him. The psychological battle begins and a silent war is waged between the two characters. Who will come out on top? Light or 'L'?
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.

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