Thursday, 19 May 2011

Death Note

Recently I bought the anime series Death Note on DVD. It was bought because it appeared on HotUKDeals and every comment was something similar to 'THIS IS AWESOME!!!!!!'

And you know what, they were right.

This series had me hooked from episode one. The basic plot is that a boy finds a book and whoever's name you write in it dies. Pretty simple set-up. What becomes apparent very quickly is that the series isn't really about the Death Note, but about two very intelligent people trying to outwit each other.

It's incredibly clever - not in a Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 'I'm going to bombard you with ideas that you'll probably never understand' kind of way, but where the two main characters are very intelligent and logical in their reasoning.

It's a bit like Columbo - if Columbo was both the detective and the murderer.

I found it instantly engaging and it was all I could do not to keep watching the next episode and the next and the next...

Until somewhere around the mid-point where it all went a bit odd.

If it hadn't been based on a comic (sorry, we're supposed to call any comic from Japan Manga), then I'd have thought it was padding. 'Oh heck, we've got to do x more episodes but we've run out of story'. It then takes a while to get back into as the story has shifted away from what it was.

(Also the theme tune goes a bit...odd. The change in end theme is fine, but the new one at the beginning... Hmm...)

I have yet to finish it, having just got to the part where the 'main' story has kicked back in (still with the odd theme tune).  Actually, I've just reached the point where xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.

Yeah, that would have been a big spoiler.

Anyway, I would really recommend anyone who has an interest in intelligently written television (I'm sure there must be a couple of those sort of people out there, despite what the schedulers assume) to check this out. Even my wife has been engrossed and she missed the first few episodes.

In the meantime I have a couple more discs to watch and the complete manga boxset should be arriving shortly. Then there're the live action films...

This post should be read before this one, but for some reason it's now after it.

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