Light Yagumi is a straight A student with a normal life, which he soon becomes bored of. He finds a black book titled "Death Note". The instructions to the book explain that if a persons name is written in the book, they will die in a specific amount of time. Curious and also in serious doubt. Light gives the book a test run on a criminal and realizes it's far from a hoax. He then decides to rid the world of all criminals, with intentions on making the world a better place with him as the God. The government soon gets involved, and they enlist the services of a detective named "L" to stop him. This begins a battle of wits between Light and L, where the losers life is at stake.
Death Note First Half
Death Note Second Half:
Light's memory along with Misa's have been wiped clean of the Death Note. The two possess absolutely no knowledge of ever using the killer notebook or its powers. In fact, they have completely forgotten how "Kira" kills. L still isn't convinced of their innocence, and he's keeping both of them under 24 hour surveillance with Light handcuffed to him, despite Light wanting to work the "Kira" case with him anyway. L and Light have come to believe there is in fact a third "Kira". The trail leads them to a business company called Yotsuba Corporation.-summary
Here goes the final season half of the Death Note anime series directed by Tetsuro Araki, which is based on the manga by Tsugumi Ohba. Araki did a great job following the manga and delivering a very solid finale. Even though there are slight differences later in the series, and there is a small decline in areas where the series excelled at previously. It never becomes incoherent or a chore to watch, because the series pretty much sticks to the things it has been doing well. To include, in the seventh volume, an event takes place which completely reshapes the story, and thus, new characters are injected into the fray.
The series still does an outstanding job when handling the music. There are a couple of new songs added to the BGM, and each of them stood out to me when enhancing the intensity and drama in very important scenes, as well as in character interactions. I mentioned once before that I didn't care for the opening and ending themes during the first half. My feelings still haven't really changed much because the new opening features a heavy metal song, that gives off a very awkward feel and it just doesn't fit the style of the anime at all, plus I plain just don't like it.
The ending theme on the other hand called Billy in Despair, which is performed by Maximum the Hormone is a very good song to me, and it goes down as one of my favorites. But I'm still out in limbo concerning how it fits with the personality of the series. The animation is a step down when compared to the first half, but it's kind of hard to notice. Many of the character designs and some of the artwork really aren't of the same quality, and at times the CG did come off a bit goofy looking to me. Despite the flaws, the visuals are still strong, with the camera work providing the necessary assist. There is also a small bit of fan service delivered via Misa Amane in some overly sexy outfits.
Although it started out as an excellent series, unfortunately, the greatness didn't last. This second half pales in comparison to the beginning in almost every category. Almost everything that gave the series that very special feel appears to be toned down quite a bit. The characters that are later introduced really aren't developed that well, and come off a little bit more as filler characters and plot devices. The educated guesswork which was also worked to perfection in the beginning, was reduced more to blind speculation on one occasion, that really didn't seem right and felt a bit too ridiculous. There were also some pacing issues, such as a majority of one episode used as a recap, along with forced character development on a new character. However, the series does manage to reclaim its greatness before the ending, and does deliver a very good ending in the process.
Death Note has its flaws, but it's still a great series and I can't really imagine anyone becoming bored at any time. The storytelling is very sharp for the most part and the characters are very memorable. I believe this series can even appeal to the casual anime fan. It's very easy to get into, and it doesn't make any attempt to intentionally put the viewers brain in knots. I highly recommend this one. Also I have to mention, don't come into this series expecting action galore. Blood and explosions is not what this series is about. It's mainly a character driven drama that can be dialogue heavy at times. There is very little brutal violence here.
To those who read the manga first, I recommend setting your expectations low or come into this completely ignoring the source material. The character and plot development is seriously lacking when compared to the manga in the second half. I can understand any fan of the manga who would feel cheated. But, it still delivered from where I see it. I also recommend completely avoiding the Death Note: Re-Light series. It's completely worthless in every way imaginable. It's nothing more than a cheap tactic to cash in on the Death Note name.
Those who saw the series, but are interested in the manga should do so, because it's definitely worth checking out. However, to those who are only interested in seeing what was left out, then I recommend skipping most of the series and go straight to Volume 8. From that point on, it will feel like a totally different story. Also, visit the live action movies if your crave is still strong, or if you're not a fan of anime and manga. Death Note is an incredibly hyped series, but this is one of those rare occasions where the average otaku didn't cheat me. This final half contains volumes 6-9, episodes 21- 37, with a 415 minute runtime.
-High in tension and suspense, music score, ending
-Not as strong as the beginning, minor pacing issues
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