Death Note

Death Note

Death Note DVD Cover Art featuring Light and L
Death Note DVD Cover Art

Overview

Death Note is what I would consider a “beginner” anime along with the likes of Sword Art Online. By this I mean that it’s an anime which many people watch near the beginning of their anime career. It’s fairly good in the moment, but as you watch more anime you tend to realize that it wasn’t so good after all.

I’ll admit that I liked Death Note when I first watched it, but the more I’ve thought about the show over the years, the more I notice all the problems with it. If I had rated it when I watched it for the first time, it definitely would have been rated higher than it is now.

The general plot is that a high school or college aged boy (I forget which) named Light Yagami finds a Death Note, a notebook belonging to a god of death which they use to kill humans. He then decides that since he has obtained this powerful Death Note, it’s up to him to rid the world of criminals.

Normally around this point I would include a section about the characters of the anime, but honestly there’s only one likeable character and that’s the god of death, Ryuk. Some of the other characters are acceptable, but most of them are downright annoying and infuriating. So instead, we’ll move into some spoiler territory.

Misa Amane and Rem
Misa Amane and Rem

**Spoilers Ahead**

Complaints

One of my complaints is that the characters aren’t likeable as I mentioned just prior to this so I’ll skip over that here and move on to some of the bigger issues I had with the anime. The first being the plot and all of the holes in it.

I think the biggest plot hole is that Light has the ability to kill anyone in the world by simply knowing what they look like and then writing their name in a notebook, yet it still takes under half of the episodes for the list of suspects to be narrowed down to just him. I understand that L and his “colleagues” are supposed to be super genius detectives, but there’s still no logical way for Light to get caught unless he wants to be.

The other major issue I have with the plot comes right at the beginning of the show. I don’t remember if they ever give an actual name to the organization on the anime, but the group of international police that Light’s father is a part of is essentially Interpol. So my question is why does Interpol allow some random person who nobody has ever seen and whose name is unknown to assist them in solving crimes?

They just give this unknown person valuable information regarding crimes and even continue to do so after it is revealed they’re not even an adult, but a high school or college aged child. They then proceed to give this information and access to an even younger child once the older one fails.

Conclusion

If you’re able to suspend your disbelief, then Death Note is a decent anime, but once you’ve seen enough other anime, it tends to look worse and worse. Despite this, if I think of it as a beginner anime, which I do, I give Death Note a 6/10. Sure it has issues, but it’s fairly unique if nothing else and it’s not a fantasy or shounen like many other beginner anime out there.

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