‘Death Note’ might just be one of the best psychological anime of all time.
The premise of ‘Death Note’ is nothing short of a stroke of genius. A mysterious notebook falls from the sky, and its user can kill anyone whose name is written in it as long as they have a clear mental image of the person’s face. What begins as a seemingly straightforward concept evolves into a complex and morally provocative narrative.
Yagami Light, the brilliant but morally ambiguous protagonist, acquires this power and embarks on a quest to create a utopia where he reigns as a god, using the Death Note to eliminate criminals and rid the world of wrongdoing. This seemingly simple concept delves deep into a morally debatable theme, challenging viewers to grapple with questions about justice and the ethical consequences of absolute power.
Image Courtesy: IGN
But the true brilliance of ‘Death Note’ lies in its storytelling. It deserves a perfect 10/10 in the story department because of the way the plot unravels. Yagami Light’s cat-and-mouse game with the enigmatic detective L is nothing short of breathtaking. The first 15 episodes are a relentless rollercoaster of suspense as these two intellectual powerhouses engage in a battle of wits.
However, the show does have a minor hiccup in the form of a second arc, which some might view as unnecessary. It does seem to stretch the story, albeit for a good reason: to break the deadlock between Light and L. Nevertheless, this transition marks a slight dip in the series’ quality.
Image Courtesy: Crunchyroll
The characters in ‘Death Note’ are a true highlight. Light and L are two of the most compelling and intellectually stimulating characters in the anime world. Both are geniuses in their own right, and each has that certain something that makes you root for one of them to emerge victorious in their psychological battle.
Light’s charismatic yet extremely demented character gives you reasons to watch his ascent and eventual descent into madness. L’s quirky, highly intelligent qualities make him equally captivating. The character development, particularly in Light, is a sight to behold as you witness his transformation from a calm and calculating figure into a maddening and reckless mess.
Image Courtesy: MovieWeb
The art and animation of ‘Death Note’ are great. The dark colour palette suits the series perfectly, and the character and scenery designs are executed flawlessly. The animation may not involve many action sequences, but it excels in portraying the characters’ intellectual confrontations and critical moments. Even simple acts like writing with a pen are made visually striking, a testament to the animation’s attention to detail.
‘Death Note’ is a unique blend of genres. It’s a mystery, but unlike conventional mystery stories where you follow a detective, you’re in on the answers here. The main character, Light, is the solution to the puzzle, and you come along for the ride as he navigates the complexities of absolute power.