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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best anime release this year?, 1 Jun 2008
By 
J. Snook "Ichigo_2020 - Anime Buff" (Wales) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Death Note - Volume 1 (Episodes 1-8) [DVD] (DVD)
Death Note is the Japanese supernatural thriller that has taken the world by storm, and rightly so, as this is one of the most engrossing and captivating television shows I have ever seen. It is adapted from the immensly popular manga by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata.

The protagonist of this anime, Light Yagami happens to come across the death note which was dropped by a bored Shinigami or death God. He soon discovers that the note has the power to kill any person in the world if their name is written in it; so long as the victims face is in mind at the time. On top of that the death note allows the user to determine the cause of death and many other things. If the cause of death is not stated, the victim will just die of a heart attack. Light is accompanied by he creepy and mysterious Ryuk; the shinigami who dropped the death note. Only Light can see and hear Ryuk. He acts as a spectator to Lights' use of the death note
Light, embracing the Death notes power, decides to use it to cleanse the world of all criminals in order to create a utopia that he himself will be God of. However, the morality of Lights' actions is a major theme for this anime. Astonished by the bizarre murders, the Japanese police aquire the help of the mysterious agent known as L (who has never failed to solve a case) in order to catch and bring Light to justice. What ensues is an epic thriller, full of unbelievable twists and turns, with L and Light locked in a deadly game of 'cat and mouse'. This is very enjoyable to watch as you are constantly guessing about who will win. These episodes seem timeless. I found myself watching all 8 episodes in a night because it was just so addictive to watch.
This anime is also very interesting as a poses many questions about human morality and makes you wonder what you would do if you had a death note.

The artwork in this anime is absolutely gorgeous. The characters and especially the backgrounds are all drawn with such attention to detail, serving us a very high quality anime. The music is pretty good in this anime too. I particularly love the opening and ending theme songs. They are from a Japenese band called 'nightmare'. The style and the feel of the music really compliments this anime well, and I've found myself humming these tunes many times.I only watch the English dub of animes and I must say that it is incredible. Brad Swaile, a veteran to voice acting, does the voice of Light brilliantly. You may recognise his voice from another Manga title Tokyo Underground, in which he plays the hero Rumina Asagi. Sci Fi fans may recognise the voice of L as Battlestar Gallactica's Allessandro Juliani
I really like the fact that Manga Entertainment are releasing Death Note in 2 volume sets. This is one of the main reasons I bought this DVD. It is really annoying having to wait months for single volume releases of other animes. So I appreciate Manga doing this, and it probably works out cheaper too. Furthermore manga have put some nice special features in this set. The best ones being interviews with the voice actors for Light and L.
If you enjoy this first helping of Death Note then you should check out the rest of the series, as well as the mangas and the motion pictures. There is also a Nintendo DS game, but it is only out in Japan. Death note absolutely rocks. If you have not seen Death note and you are looking for something new, check this out. It's really easy to get into and it is totally addictive. I can't wait for the next DVD releases now.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Anime at its very best? Hell, any sort of TV at its very best!, 22 Sep 2008
This review is from: Death Note - Volume 1 (Episodes 1-8) [DVD] (DVD)
It's difficult to know where to start on a review for Death Note - there are just so many great things to write about!

For starters, the animation is very fluid, and also includes some very impressive camera work; additionally, the characters are all detailed and well drawn. There are also some really nice cinematic touches (in the closing credits for example, it's drawn like an old film roll), and the whole thing is a pleasure to watch.

As the other reviews here state, the story is uniformly brilliant. Without giving too much away, high school student Light Yagami picks up a book (the Death Note) dropped by a bored death god, and, having discovered its powers, decides to rid the world of criminals by killing them all. His actions do not go unnoticed however, and detective 'L' vows to catch the person behind the criminals' murders. The story briefly touches on the morality of what Light is doing, but the main attraction here is the cat and mouse game between Light and the L, with each trying to outwit the other. It's well paced and well written, and crucially has the 'I'll just one more episode...' feeling in abundance. Gripping stuff.

The opening and closing themes were written by J-rockers Nightmare and put the music of most western bands to shame; the incidental music throughout really gives each scene bucketloads of creepy, uncertain atmosphere.

As far as languages are concerned, you have the choice of English, Japanese, or Japanese with English subtitles. As per usual, the Japanese with subtitles is superior to the English dub; however, the English is not as bad as in most anime. The subs are always readable against the backgrounds, and are a fairly accurate translation of the Japanese. The English dub however seems to have been rewritten quite a lot from the original (but not so that it changes the story).

As far as the packaging is concerned, it's in a single DVD box with two discs, each containing four episodes. A nice touch is that it comes with a mini leaflet describing the rules of the Death Note and short plot synopses for each episode. There are some extras, such as the usual clean opening/ending and a behind the scenes feature, and they run for about 40 minutes - a nice addition to an already fantastic package.

Lastly, a couple of notes about the rest of the series. Currently, only the first two volumes are available, with the third being released soon - together, these three comprise episodes 1 to 24. I believe this is different to the American release, where each volume contains only four episodes (hooray for European justice!). The complete series is made up of 37 episodes, so presumably there will be two more volumes released within the next year or so. Since the whole series hasn't been released yet, there's no legal boxset available in any part of the world (including Japan).

Final word? Even if you're not a fan of anime, it's highly recommendable, and I can't wait for the next set of episodes! Amazon cunningly priced the first series at about 8 to lure you in (the next two volumes are around 11), but the series is so good that it's worth any amount of money!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, 29 April 2008
This review is from: Death Note - Volume 1 (Episodes 1-8) [DVD] (DVD)
I love this series and its great thats it finally got a release in the UK.
I usually buy region 1 discs but this is better than the region 1 release because its got 8 episodes and is only 12.

I only watch anime subtitled so this is based on the Japanese version.
The opening and ending have english credits and disc 1 also includes a clean opening and closing.
The subtitles are yellow and easy to read.When Light writes in the Death Note it is translated and signs are too so there are no problems and its also cheap so there is no excuse for not owning these dvds!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even non-anime fans should enjoy this, 16 Oct 2008
This review is from: Death Note - Volume 1 (Episodes 1-8) [DVD] (DVD)
I haven't seen many anime series but was intrigued by the storyline for this series and was not disappointed. The animation is quite simple but very effective and you do end up seeing these characters as real people. The writing is very strong and before I realised it, I found that I was rooting for someone who could only be regarded as a mass murderer! Within the overall storyline, there are also a number of moral and philosophical questions raised e.g. can the deaths of criminals be justified if it leads to a safer society. It also shows that power can corupt very quickly and easily as Light moves from killing criminals to those on the side of justice to protect his identity. Some of the killings are also pretty brutal and callous.

It will be interesting to see how the story develops in future volumes.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 6 July 2014
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This review is from: Death Note - Volume 1 (Episodes 1-8) [DVD] (DVD)
Fab.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very celverly written., 6 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Death Note - Volume 1 (Episodes 1-8) [DVD] (DVD)
The storyline plot is extremely well written with every detail being thought of meticulously.
As soon as you start watching this, you won't want to stop!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping Series!, 10 Dec 2010
This review is from: Death Note - Volume 1 (Episodes 1-8) [DVD] (DVD)
This series is one of the most gripping Anime series ever! All reviews of this are highly rated. Don't take my word for it. Check it out. Brilliant!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best anime I have ever seen!, 23 July 2010
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This review is from: Death Note - Volume 1 (Episodes 1-8) [DVD] (DVD)
I've had this for a couple of years now and ended up buying every dvd series as soon as they were released. I won't go into the details about the plot or twists as I'm sure there are a number of people who already have and you can read the synopsis by amazon as well, I just want to share with you how good this really is!!

This anime really amazed me! It is so clever, dark and witty! I really would recommend this to anyone who is unsure about buying this or is looking to get into anime!

I want everyone to know how good this series and the rest of the series are!! I hope that if you are reading this that you'll buy it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The start of a great strategic battle..., 28 Mar 2010
By 
@GeekZilla9000 "I am completely operational a... (Doncaster, Yorkshire, UK.) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Death Note - Volume 1 (Episodes 1-8) [DVD] (DVD)
I'm working backwards through Deathnote - I watched the films first, now the anime, and then I intend to then watch the Manga books which started it all! The series is built around an instrument of death called the Deathnote, a book belonging to spirits and which can be used to terminate a life simply by writing the name of the victim whilst picturing their face in your mind...

This Volume contains the first 8 episodes of the series. The initial episode shows us a spirit of death and a student called Light. Both occupy two different worlds but both share a common sentiment; the world is a rotten place. When the spirit drops his Deathnote which is later picked up by Light it marks the start of a quest to change the world, and a global social phenomenon.

Within the first ten minutes of the first episode, the workings of the Deathnote are explained and by the end of the episode it is clear that Light has used it prolifically to initiate the start of a new world order where he is a demi-God. He has a vision of a Utopia, a world where serious criminals are removed, a world free of evil.

The series quickly introduces the enigmatic "L" - the mysterious crime solving mastermind whose identity is not known. We now get to see an opposing philosophy to Light's when the death of so many criminals is described as "an unforgivable crime of serial murder". This sets up a chase to the death between two brilliant minds, each of which is convinced by their own vision of justice, and both adamant in their belief that they hold the moral high-ground. The strength of the series is in the moral questions it asks of the audience, few would feel sympathy for those guilty of serious crimes, but not all would see Light's application of justice as warranted. This spread of feeling concerning the speight of criminal deaths is reflected in the series too; across the world a legend has been born by the public as they attribute the killings to 'Kira' in the absence of any other rationale. Kira represents the force and ideology behind the deaths and support is divided. As the episodes in this volume progress we experience more resistance to Kira and the public mood seems to change from reverence to fear.

Backing up the compelling plot is superb animation. The animation doesn't look thrown together and you get the impression that the team behind the series have a lot of respect for the original Manga. The dub is okay but the original soundtrack is the best way to enjoy this, and the subtitles are clear to see in a rather fetching yellow font. If you are watching with the dub then the first subtitle track can be selected to show translations of on-screen text such as signs.

In a nutshell: An excellent series which acts as a good introduction for anyone new to Japanese animation. The series brings to the screen a battle of wits between two incredible and determined minds. The great detective "L" is one of my favourite character creations ever and his powers of deduction make Sherlock Holmes look like an amateur! His way of thinking is both brilliant and childlike - the full wonder of it is apparent when we are shown the analysis behind his predictions. From the first few moments you are hooked in to a series which questions the ethics central to social justice.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!!, 6 Jan 2010
This review is from: Death Note - Volume 1 (Episodes 1-8) [DVD] (DVD)
An Abosolute great, came in great time and there wasn't a scratch in place. Thanks!
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Death Note - Volume 1 (Episodes 1-8) [DVD]
Death Note - Volume 1 (Episodes 1-8) [DVD] by Tetsuro Araki (DVD - 2008)
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