Sunday, October 30, 2011

Review: Death Note

Title: Death Note
Language: English & Japanese
Genre: Psychological mystery
Episodes: 37

In the beginning, I had a really bad relationship with this series. My friend was obsessed, America was obsessed, and then awful, annoying cosplays were born from it. During the hype, I avoided this series like a plague, but after skimming comments while watching Monster...I was tempted to give this series a second chance.

Light Yagami is an honor student and practically bored with life, until he sees a notebook drop from the sky. When class is over, he investigates the notebook labelled "Death Note" and is skeptical of its power, after reading over the rules on how to use it. Once he goes home, he sees a hostage situation on TV and decides to try out the Death Note on the criminal. Surprisingly, the hostages are free and the criminal suffers a heart attack. Still a bit skeptical of the note's powers, Light tries it again on a man harassing a woman outside a convenient store. Once again, the note takes affect and the enemy gets hit by a car. Light decides to use the note to vanquish evil and become "God" of the new world.

As mentioned before in the Monster review, I questioned whether I would give this series a second chance and surprisingly, I made it through...somehow. The only similarities I noticed between the two was pointing the question of "what is evil?" or "who is the real monster?". Other than that, there's still more similarities between Monster and Trigun, which I may do later if anyone is interested.

Death Note has a very intriguing concept and apparently had a huge impact on the world to the point that some people got in trouble with the law for mimicking it. It is very dark and there's a few mind games for the viewer. So, I enjoyed the story, but it was very frustrating to watch. When an episode ended, I wanted to continue moving on because of pure curiosity, but the way they ended bothered me in a totally different way that Monster did.

The core of my frustrations lie with the characters with a great emphasis on Light and Misa. Light for obvious reasons as he has a major "God" complex that annoyed me instantly from the first episode. Strangely, I heard that I was suppose to sympathize with this character yet I was counting down the episodes until his demise instead. Misa also made me instantly dislike her as well. Her voice and presence were simply annoying and honestly, I was counting down the episodes until she would die off too. Next in line would be Light's followers or believers who were pretty much soulless puppets. I wasn't particularly attached to any characters emotionally like Monster, but there were characters I liked.

I will admit that once a certain turn of events occurred, the story became weak and uninteresting. I had to force myself to continue and find some sort of positive point to keep me in. The end was partially satisfying for me and I kinda understand why this series had such an impact, but it's no where near Monster.

Despite my frustrations and waning interest, I did manage to enjoy the series. I might watch the movies for lulz. It hasn't triggered any interest to read the manga. Nonetheless, I liked it, commend the unique storyline execution, and it wasn't a complete waste of time. If you don't mind a delusional, clever main character in a crazy cat and mouse chase, then this a good series for you.

Rating: 3/5

1 comment:

Ophelia said...

Your review of Death Note is pretty dead on with my own thoughts on the series. Misa and Light are both just as annoying in the movies. Misa's hair is dark though which I suppose was an attempt to try to make her seem a little darker personality wise. Anyway, I'm looking forward to seeing what you review next!