Death Note Review: Justice Battle

It’s a simple concept: a notepad that can aid the perfect crime but what would you do? Rid the world of the evil or leave it be? This is the choice Light Yagami has, the choice to become justice no matter what the cost. He chooses to live as the decider between life and death, to become Kira. The story follows Light Yagami through his journey from a smart, young student to the most wanted killer in Japan. It’s is an interesting one to say the least. Before he finds the Death Note, Light is a perfect student: intelligent in both studies and street sense, along with being very focused on his future, but being near perfect can get boring and this is when Light finds the Death Note. Being a bored, curious boy, he decides to test the powers of the Death Note and slowly comes to realise it’s true powers and how he can change the world around him for the better. However the Japanese police have different ideas and set out to capture the mass murderer the public call Kira. This is the base line for the anime which only develops further and becomes more complex as more characters are brought into Light’s world or killed by himself.


As the story follows from Light’s point of view as a primary source for most of the anime, the audience see him as the good rather than the evil in the universe created by the show. The line between the heroes and villains becomes blurry, which only gets more lost as the story proceeds. This format of creating a vague good and bad emphasizes how in life there isn’t a black and white picture of good and bad but rather the villain can be masked as the hero. This concept is referenced throughout the anime and really brings the story together. Even after L is gone and the ‘good’ has left, it’s clear that this isn’t quite the case and just creates an even more blurry image of justice. Not only does the story heavily reference the thin line between justice and injustice, it relies on the intelligence of the viewer to get though the story. Light uses highly thought out plans to hide the Death Note as well as tricking his victims into giving him the details he needs to kill them, which in turn needs some concentration from the audience. This is what separates Death Note from other anime’s that were released around the same time. Though it is true Light’s plans are complicated at times and can capture the attention of the audience, however sometimes his plans seem to be overly complicated for the sake of being complicated.


Each character that interacts with Light in one way or another have little traits and quirks that both relate to the story and either compliments or goes against Light in such a way that it creates on-screen entertainment. For example Light and L both have their own traits: Light is very smart and can keep on step ahead of the police at all times while L must sit in a certain way to remain at his peak and keep one step ahead of Kira. Both Light and L have the same traits but in different ways, which is why they have such great chemistry during their interactions.

Of course like any anime the story isn’t the only point to consider. The art style comes into play no matter what style the anime and Death Note gets it right. Not only does the art compliment the atmosphere of the plot but it also captivates the viewer, creating a seemingly plausible universe. This could also be the case with the music that hangs around in the background of the scenes. Audio plays an important part in any show and as you cannot pinpoint when and where the music starts and ends it creates an atmosphere that involves the audience with what is happening on screen.The pacing of each scene and in turn each episode keeps steady 90% of the time, however every so often an important scene will occur that is just too rushed, which unfortunately can ruin the atmosphere of the scene. This along with the blunt humour and constant direct dialogue of the characters seemed to ruin important scenes of the anime.

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