20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Dark and compelling,
This review is from: Death Note Complete [DVD] (DVD)
Death Note is an excellent example of how well anime writers can adapt a small idea and create something original and imaginative. The story is based around the idea of Shinigami, Death God(s), who in this series use humans' deaths as a means to prolong their own lives. They are depicted in different ways in other anime.
The main character is Yagami Light- an intelligent and ambitious teenager who stumbles upon a "Death Note" in the middle of his schools courtyard. Inside the book are written instructions on how the book works, which he tests on some thugs that are assualting a woman in the street. When Light realises that he has the power of a "God" in his possession he decides to start killing off all the criminals who have committed the worst crimes.
Light believes that fate has given him his calling, to be the Leader of a new order where people will live obedient and peaceful lives, free of crime and war. The city begins to stir, through both fear and admiration, that there is someone who is willing to step up to the responsibility of getting rid of scum that the law protects. He is subsequently given the name "Kira" (to sound like killer). However, the police department see his actions as nothing but cold blooded murder and a huge task force is set up to hunt and catch him.
I will stop there as I only want to give you a general idea of how the series begins, if I go into any more it will spoil the experience when you watch it. The series is an extremely clever game of "cat and mouse" as Light strives to continue living his normal life but also adopting his alter ego as Kira, doing his utmost to avoid police detection.
What's also interesting is the realistic, yet alarming, change that a person goes through in order to simply survive. Human nature's ability to adapt simply for self-preservation is shown in shocking and (at times)breath taking form. Death Note will take your mind through several twists and turns as you struggle to figure out how things will work out. Ultimately, you pose the question: how much power can one handle?
The series is relatively short, there are only 37 episodes spanning the nine discs. It won't take you long to watch them all but it is thoroughly enjoyable and gripping, and you will be surprised how your views change towards each character as the fast-paced action reaches a climax.