Posted on 27 June 2007 with categories: Anime Reviews, Death Note


Death Note: Yagami Light finds himself a notebook, dropped by a Shinigami: the Death Note. If you write down the name of a person in this Death Note, he’ll die, no matter what. With this new Death Note, Light begins to create a perfect world, killing off all criminals. Then, a detective who goes by the name of “L” gets assigned to catch him.

Let me first state that Death Note is unique amongst shounen-anime. There are nearly no fights, and nearly the entire anime consists out of people planning and plotting to outsmart each other. Through the course of the anime, Light makes optimal use of the Death Note, and he comes up with a number of really smart and careful plans.

Because of this, the main good points of Death Note, especially in the beginning, are its surprises. Some plot twists are ingeniously incorporated in the storyline, and they make sure for maximum shock-value. This makes sure for a number of really intense episodes, even with the lack of fighting or other forms of physical action.

The graphics and music only contribute to this. The art that is used in Death Note is unique, and incredibly detailed. The animators made some really creative “action”-scenes, which you won’t be seeing in any other anime, and they really makes sure that these scenes are as creepy as they can get. The music consists out of a number of very addictive choir-songs, which fit the mood perfectly.

Still, despite the awesome climaxes, this series didn’t make it in the 90/100-range for a reason, as it’s got quite a few humps and bumps along the way. The most obvious one is the middle part of the series. Death Note has an excellent beginning, and an awesome ending, but the Yotsuba-arc in the middle was so bad that it made me almost lose my faith in the series. The climaxes stop being interesting, and the creators turn the series in some kind of joke of itself. Luckily, the anime picks up again with episode 24, and delivers an awesome climax, but the thorn remains. The beginning is also filled with a couple of nasty coincidences, for example Light’s father being the police-officer who is in charge of catching Light.

There are also a number of rather annoying characters in this anime. I’m referring to the ones that mainly exist for comic relief like Misa and Matsuda. They usually have no purpose at all, and they whine too much to really become interesting. The characters that are introduced later in the series also need a lot of episodes to get enough development to stop getting annoying. There are also quite an amount of people that lack a bit of background. To give one example, we learn just as much about Aizawa’s (a minor character) background as L’s (a major character) background, and believe me, that isn’t much. There’s also a time-leap somewhere in the middle of the series that just lacks proper development as well, with the result that it makes no sense in lots of areas.

Still, despite this, there are a lot of good characters with enough background to become interesting. Light himself is a fascinating person, and it’s interesting to see how he develops and eventually declines. Some temporary and side-characters also turned out really touching, and L, despite his lack of background is well developed and turns into a really enjoyable character.

Overall, it’s not the best anime out there, but it’s definitely worth a watch. It has awesome climaxes, but the fairly low rating comes from the fact that it just has too many areas that could have been improved.

Posted on with categories: Death Note


And so we’ve come to the end of Death Note. I’m going to post a bit of random sentences in order to avoid some major spoilers from showing up in the blog-aggregators, in order to avoid me spoiling people. I can’t imagine that there’d be souls alive that weren’t spoiled somehow about how this anime would end by the manga-fans, but you’ll never know. Okay, this should be enough.

So, Light dies. I have to say, that even though I knew what was going to happen, I really enjoyed this episode. The ending was quite good, especially for a shounen-show. The only thing it lacked was an aftermath. I would have loved to see how the survivors went on with their lives. But ah well, you can’t have everything.

My favourite moment of the episode was Matsuda, I did NOT expect the guy to shoot Light, who tried to kill Near in a final desperate attempt. Seeing the once so confident Light finally cornered with no way out was also really nice to see, overall it made sure for a great episode. In the end, Near did notice Mikami’s strange behaviour, we just didn’t get to see it. It feels a bit cheap, though, but the reaction of the characters definitely made up for it. That’s why Mello was so down when he kidnapped Takada, he was doing it in order to get killed, and make Mikami do an unnecessary move.

I must praise Death Note for being the ONLY shounen-anime whose main character declines, instead of grows. Every other shounen-anime features a main character who keeps getting new powers in order to be able to handle stronger opponents, but Light is different. As the anime progresses, he gets more careless and more careless.

I just wish Ryuk had a bigger role in the second half of the anime. But then again, his role was more of an observer and to introduce the elements of Death Note. He’d indeed become a bit obsolete when everything is known and clear about it. Overall, it’s been a nice anime, with a number of bumps here and there, but also with a number of awesome moments.

Posted on 20 June 2007 with categories: Death Note


GOD DAMMIT!!

That’s got to be the worst cliff-hanger EVER! How can the creators expect me to wait for an ENTIRE WEEK FOR THE NEXT EPISODE?!?!

Agh, this is going to be a short entry, because I refuse to spoil what happens, but let me tell you this: THIS QUITE POSSIBLY WAS THE BEST EPISODE OF DEATH NOTE YET! It’s been a long time since an episode had so much tension as this one. If you excuse me now, I need to relieve my frustration on some unfortunate object.

Posted on 14 June 2007 with categories: Death Note


I must say… that was an amazing episode! I didn’t think Death Note would be able to surpass itself, but holy god, it did! I never expected this to happen to Mello and Takada at all. The people who say that the second half sucks really need to see this episode.

Mello, who started out as an annoying brat totally received my respect after this episode. He also shows that he’s only human, he knows that Near is about to get Kira, and he himself hasn’t been getting anywhere with Misa, so he decides to go for one final attempt to defeat Near, and he makes mistakes which cost him his life. He never knew that Takada possessed a few pages of the Death Note, and he had to pay for this. All the bad things I’ve said about him, I take them back after this episode.

And Light finally demonstrates how cruel he can be. If Takada gets discovered, it’ll mean that Near finds out about her, holding the Death Note and his plan will be gone, so he makes use of the fact that she was abducted by Mello to make her commit suicide. The question remains: will Near buy it? I think, though, that he’s become so focused on his plan that he won’t be able to notice this.

While I originally believed that this would turn into a “calm before the storm”-episode, it turned out magnificently. I doubt whether the next two episodes will be able to beat it, though we’ll see. This isn’t the first time that Death Note surprised me. I’m glad to see that after a bodgy middle part, Death Note managed to redeem itself completely, and I can’t wait to see the next episode!

Posted on 8 June 2007 with categories: Death Note


Strangely enough, I’m beginning to like Near more and more. He first was an annoying brat, but during this episode, he grew on me. Probably because he finally showed some signs of actual action, rather than just continuous research.

Anyway, Death Note seems to be heading to quite an interesting ending. I mentioned it before, but this series has gotten way more consistent, and the past episodes all have been really enjoyable to watch, without any obvious bad points. When you compare this to the horrible Yotsuba-arc, it’s definitely an improvement.

With this episode, it indeed is clear now: Light is out of it. For the past five years, it’s been so easy to keep himself concealed that he got lazy. In the first episodes, he thought up some incredibly clever tricks to avoid being detected, like the bag of chips, or the method to keep the death note safe. However, as he kept getting closer to L, he actually found that using L’s name was actually the perfect way to clear any suspicion of him. He became too much used to this. So, what tricks does he use in the current episodes? How does he make sure that he gets his messages to Takada? Well, meet her in a room, on regular basis, and get rid of any video-cameras in order to talk to her via notes.

Obviously, it has to raise suspicion when you keep enforcing this rule, even though it’s perfectly possible to install some hidden cameras without Takada even noticing it. Still, this is not necessarily a bad thing. Heck, “Good Light” was far more annoying than “Grown-up Light”. It’s interesting to see the downfall of a former genius. It goes quite against the usual shounen-formula which dictates that main characters must keep growing stronger.

Obviously, Light is going to have a few more tricks up his sleeve. It looks like Near is going to execute his plans next time and we’ve still got three episodes left. Mello probably also is coming in action now that the person he’s been observing has been captured (and he’s been given enough time to come up with a plan of some sort). I’ve already been spoiled about Light’s fate, but unlike with L’s death, I’m actually really curious about how this anime will turn out. Who will survive? Who’ll die?

In any case, the final three episodes are promising to turn into something very interesting. I can’t wait. :)

Posted on 1 June 2007 with categories: Death Note


I love how this episode had lots of different focuses, instead of just spending all of its twenty minutes on Near. I’m really glad to see that despite its bugs in the middle, the ending is shaping up to be something really good. This episode also introduced lots of questions, which actually can all be resolved in the final four episodes.

Near, while silent in the previous episode, finds out quite a few things in the current one: all of Light’s plans, up to the end of the previous episode. Now all that’s left is for him to catch the him, though Light isn’t sitting still either, as Near was arrogant enough to inform Kira that he knows all about him. Light’s plan was to turn Mikami in yet another decoy. He would walk around with a fake Death Note, while Takada cleans the world of criminals with five pages of the Death Note she received. At the end of the episode, we get a small demonstration of how well this works, when Mikami seemingly kills someone in front one of Near’s henchmen, while he in fact made a phone call to Takada, who really killed him. But then again, it probably won’t take long for Near to figure out about this as well. What’s going to be your next step, Light?

Near also showed something very interesting this episode, apart from his doll fetish: he thinks that L would never use murder in order to solve his cases. He never knew that L was actually about to use human lives as a guinea-pigs for his investigations. Heck, he never knew that L’s very first move on Kira was made possible by the sacrifice of Lind L Taylor.

Another surprising focus of this episode was Misa. I believed that she was just written out of the show when she lost her memories, but she’s actually still important to the plot. I’m not sure how, but her little date with Takada must mean that something is going to happen to her in the future. I was quite surprised by all the things Misa said while drunk, and on second watch I realized this too was all a plan by Light. I first thought that this was meant for Takada to give Misa her memories back, but it was actually to confuse Near, since Takada had one of her bodyguards, whom she knew was one of Near’s henchmen standing right next to her. The question remains: why was this necessary?

Another question: what has Mello been up to?

Posted on 25 May 2007 with categories: Death Note


When I first learned about Mihael and Near, I feared that the two of them would be the only two new characters for the anime. The past episodes have really surprised me with Takada and Mikami, two new major characters. So far, I like them better than the two of Mihael and Near. It’s probably because they really do what they believe in, and they stand for that. M and N are just playing a treasure hunt, trying to beat each other while using finding Kira as a goal. They don’t really have ideals that they stand for, unlike L, for instance. But then again, they are just children.

Perhaps that’s why I liked this episode so much. Mihael only appeared for two seconds, and Near was entirely gone. Instead, it focused on flashing out Mikami and Takama. It’s interesting, Light may have found an ally with Mikami, who is completely on his side, the fact does remain that the guy is obsessed with justice. The scenes where he wrote down his victims’ names showed this, and his background, which got shown at the beginning of the episode, does explain the source for his behaviour.

Takama also turned out very interesting, it’s a clever trick for the first half to have shown a bit of her, only to really use her in the later half. I wonder what turned her to side with Kira so easily. We know Mikami’s background now, but I’d like to know a bit more of her as well. I do hope, though, that she won’t turn into a damsel-in-distress. Remember that Near is currently suspecting Light Yagami. He’ll probably rejoice when he finds out the guy has a girlfriend. It’ll be quite easy to get information out of her, unless she somehow proves that she knows what she’s doing in the future episodes.

This episode did an excellent job in building up. Even though it wasn’t anything exciting, it set a good base for the finale to begin. It’s hard to imagine that there are only five episodes left. I’ve already been spoiled about the ending, though I do wonder how it’ll happen. If I had to guess, then this was the last of the slow episodes, and the pace should really start kicking in, in all shounen-series fashion.

Posted on 17 May 2007 with categories: Death Note


Okay…

I didn’t see that coming…

You know, that new plot twist was quite good, and surprising as well. I never thought that Light would give away the only Death Note he had left to someone he didn’t even know personally. I suspect that he’s found a way to continuously keep touching either a couple of pages torn out of it or just a snippet, but the fact does remain that he doesn’t have the faith of the world in his own hands anymore.

Especially Misa shocked me. She’s horrible when she’s not serious, but when she gets involved with serious events she turns out very interesting. I can’t believe she’s just returned to a regular housewife like this. And suddenly, she wrote herself out of the show. We probably won’t see any major role from her until after the aftermath, or something.

Still, I’m glad that Light finally made another move like this, that is risky but brilliant at the same time. I can’t believe he actually believed that he’d get Near with the plan he came up in the previous episode. Even when Near didn’t have the possession of such an amount of money, or even if he didn’t manage to contact the police, he just could have used a secret underground stairway, or some kind of helicopter and Misa would’ve never seen his face. Luckily, when he realized that Near actually got away Light fortunately got a bit back to earth, and finally acknowledged Near as an enemy he should take serious. Near’s going to have a hard time proving that Light will be Kira with the notebook gone.

Also, we’ve got a new hair-colour: green! I think that this shows that Aizawa is on neither’s side. I do wonder what he’ll do from now on, after Mikami killed everyone on Demegawa’s show. After all, Light could never have known the names of the people Demegawa selected, since they were shown on TV for the first time.

Posted on 11 May 2007 with categories: Death Note


You know, one major change between the current Light and the eighteen-year-old Light is that he’s much more reckless now. He’s taking a lot more risks, and his plans are no longer as careful as possible. His previous plans left nothing to the coincidence, but this episode made him reveal his identity to Near, even though he wasn’t fully sure that Near was the real culprit. I mean, what if the guy has some way to escape underground? Or comes out, wearing a mask?

Still, the part of the episode that made the biggest impression on me was the one shown at the beginning, where we see random scenes of the people who’ve gotten used to Kira, and are actually threatening each other with death. Especially the phrase “Lord Kira, please kill them”, followed by the scene of a woman crying made a lot of impact. This episode was definitely meant to illustrate this.

Also, only now do we see how large the impact of Shidoh’s visit was. Even though he himself wasn’t really doing much, the fact that some of the rules on the death note were fake has now been spread to all of the major characters in this anime. Still, I do wonder how Near found out about these fake rules in the first place. All of L’s data was supposed to be erased when Watari died, so he had to start all over. If Near had access to L’s data, he would have been easily able to figure out about Light.

One of the things I also liked was how this caused the people inside the investigation-team to start thinking about Light’s credibility. Finally they’re getting some brains of their own again. Especially Aizawa is going to have a major role in the future episodes.

I also am surprised to say that for the first time, Near actually became the most annoying character of the episode. Mello has definitely changed after the previous episode, with a huge scar on his face as a nice present. If I’m not mistaken, his voice also turned a lot lower since we last heard him.

Posted on 3 May 2007 with categories: Death Note


I don’t understand why people actually claim that the second half of Death Note sucks. This episode was great, and L’s absence didn’t really hurt it. In fact, the Yotsuba-arc was far more annoying than the current one.

The focus of this episode was Light’s family. His sister may not have been physically hurt by the shots, fired at her, it did destroy her mentally. Because of this, Light’s father especially is put in deep thoughts. When Light then comes with the plan of revealing himself as Kira, after having found out Mello’s location, and give the police a second Death Note, so that they can make the eye-deal and kill Mello by only having to look at his face, he just feels obliged to be the one to do it. He really had to find a way to become useful, and this was the perfect way, even though he’d die himself. It’s quite interesting how he turned out.

His death alone wasn’t really spectacular, but everything around it was. Yet again was Light incredibly close to killing off his opponent, but just like Misa got caught before Light could reach her, Light’s father went to depend on his morals, and tried to arrest Mello, instead of killing him. Because of this, Mello could act back and kill the guy. Light wasn’t happy at that point.

On his death-bed, Light also lost his cool for probably the first time in the entire series in front of others. I’m not sure whether this was because he just was angry that he missed an important chance of murdering a threat, or that there was a tiny bit of sentiment in this.

It’s quite interesting, Near is now left with only two assistants, while Mello, or Mihael Keehl is all alone now, now that his former companions are either dead or arrested. I assume, though, that he’ll get them out of jail soon enough. I mean, if he can take over a plane, busting into a prison would be nothing for him. It’ll be interesting for Light now, this quite possibly is the first time that he actually knows a name, but not a face. Apparently, the drawing of the guy isn’t enough for this.

Meanwhile, we’ve still got Near as well. This means that if Light does kill Mihael at one point, he has to do this very carefully, or Near will find out that Light could have been the only one to do this. But then again, it’s quite possible that while he did know that L possessed a death note at one point, he probably never heard that Light was the main suspect of being Kira.

Also, what was up with Shidoh? He really surprised me. Don’t get me wrong, I loved his part in this episode, but I really expected him to have a really dark role in the future episodes, in which he would help Mello get even closer to Light, but in the end, he only had two roles: remove one Death Note from the game-board (this just leaves Ryuk’s original Death Note, still with Ryuk, Rem’s Death Note, now with the police and Misa’s Death Note, who now continuously touches Light in order to prevent him from forgetting everything), and the second role is to inform Mello that Kira has actually messed with the Death Note and added two fake rules. This will probably be used in the future.

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  • Friend
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 06:14 AM)
    @Bam thank you for that :], I try to let the viewer take a step back and absorb everything on their own rather than having things immediately pop out. Like this satirical piece I did some time ago: http://fc02.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2014/187/0/d/kriege_sind_bunt_by_friendist-d7piwgz.jpg
    But I might try a flashier piece my next time, thanks. :)
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 06:10 AM)
    The water details are also lush, and I can already see that you have much experience with these types of sceneries. I would loved to have seen the serpent’s body crawling between the building as if constricting the town and hence nit immediately noticeable, but that’s probably just me.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 06:07 AM)
    @Friend: honestly amazing. Love how the church turned out, and I was a fan of the windmills from the get-go.
    Very nice contrast of blue and red. The serpent is also very cool. My minor personal gripe is to have the subject matter so classically in the center, but it serves its function.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 05:41 AM)
    The romance angle was cute enough too I suppose. Its an acceptable extended episode conclusion to a show I didn’t especially have any strong like or dislike towards. That said I watched this as a light thing to watch after three horror films.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 05:41 AM)
    You know had wicked not told me the reception the tamako market movie was getting I’d never have bothered looking into it, kind of wasn’t pushed to even after hearing that but I ended up watching it anyway. If you want to watch this and you liked the show, the bird unfortunately isn’t in it really all that much , beyond that I guess it was typically well produced, it mildly amused me, I guess I enjoyed it more than the show itself.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 05:34 AM)
    =) I left you a comment on deviant art friend =)
  • Friend
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 05:19 AM)
    @Bam @k-off @ninja @Emma: Finished :)
    http://fc06.deviantart.net/fs71/i/2014/293/3/7/kernion_falls_by_friendist-d83ltlp.jpg
    I’m very rusty so it didn’t turn out exactly as I’d imagined. Still fairly pleased with it though.
  • k-off
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 04:45 AM)
    @Bam They certainly don’t come in rapey hentai form though.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 04:22 AM)
    I don’t know, I’ve seen some rapey dogs that certainly don’t mind banging people’s legs, or the people themselves for that matter.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 04:17 AM)
    I just can’t imagine the animal willingly accepting a person doing that to them.

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