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Death Note - Volume 1 (Episodes 1-8) [DVD]
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The first eight episodes of the supernatural thriller based on the manga by writer Tsugumi Ohba. Bored student Light Yagami's life is turned upside down when he finds himself holding the power of life and death in his hands in the form of the Death Note, a notebook dropped into the human realm by Ryuk, a rogue Shinigami god of death. With any human dying when his name is entered into the book, Light decides to rid the world of evil by killing off criminals in a one-man vigilante action. Soon, however, Light's actions come to the attention of the police and a mysterious investigator named 'L', who promises to track down Light and bring him to justice. Episodes comprise: 'Rebirth', 'Confrontation, 'Dealings', 'Pursuit', 'Tactics', 'Unravelling', 'Overcast', 'Glare'.
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Top customer reviews
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.
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!
Most recent customer reviews
As soon as you start watching this, you won't want to stop!