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 I proudly present the EAW Anime Reviews

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Azumi Goto
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PostSubject: I proudly present the EAW Anime Reviews   I proudly present the EAW Anime Reviews EmptyJanuary 3rd 2016, 3:14 am

So at this moment (1:00 in the morning) I should let my anime knowledge come to life with these reviews. At this time I think it's a pretty good idea.

So let's start with something I know while start an argument. DEATH NOTE!!!!!!

Many anime fans consider Death Note to be one of the best anime of all time. I am not one of those fans. I feel that while Death Note is a good show, it has some very glaring issues. I have no problem with the people who love this show, but I am simply going to cast my opinion into the mix. I will try not to spoil the show too much, but I will have to divulge a few plot points of varying importance to get my point across. These spoilers will mainly occur within the story and character sections of this review.



Story (Potential Spoilers):

For the 3 of you who don't know Death Note's story, Death Note takes place in the present day. One day, a high schooler named Light Yagami finds a notebook on the ground called the Death Note. This book allows the user to kill any person by just writing the person's name down. There are other rules and stipulations, like having to know the person's face, but that is the gist of it. After using this book a couple of times, the owner of the book, a shinigami named Ryuk, meets up with Light for an exposition dump. Armed with his notebook, Light goes on to rid Japan and the rest of the world from crime. Light becomes known as Kira, and becomes know all throughout the world for killing criminals. Eventually, the mass killings attract the attention of a world class detective named L. L decides that he is going to catch Kira, no matter the cost. The show ends up becoming a game of cat and mouse between L and Light, where you are never really sure who the cat and who the mouse is.

After reading this synopsis, you're probably thinking, "This show looks pretty good, what is so bad about it?" And you're right, if this was the entire show it would be pretty amazing. IF it was the entire show. At the halfway point of the show, Light gets his memory of being Kira wiped. He then teams up with L to beat a new Kira. Most of the drama and intelligence from the first half disappears during this arc, and is more lighthearted and funny. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but it is a bit big of a tone shift. If I wanted to watch a lighthearted and funny series, I would go and watch something like that. But for a show to go from a darker show to a much lighter one is a bit jarring. Eventually, Light does regain his memories and we are treated to a very satisfying conclusion. Or it would have been if it was the conclusion.

L eventually gets replaced with a new character called Near. Near attempts to capture Kira as well, but his battle against Light is just not as entertaining. Near just comes across as annoying, and is nowhere as To cut to the chase, the third arc that ends off the series isn't very good. The series tries to go back to the drama and intelligence the first arc had, but fails miserably. There isn't much to like in this part. The ending of this arc and the entire show is a cop out very underwhelming. The losing party in the ending loses not because the other party outsmarts the other, but because the plot demands it.

In conclusion, this show's plot starts off really well and deteriorates over time. The first arc is really good, with a ton of intelligence and drama. These qualities are lost over time, and lead to an unsatisfactory conclusion. The story gets a 6/10.



Art:

The art in this series is alright. It has a nice, muted color pallet. The character designs are pretty good, especially L's. The art commands a suprising amount of realism, and adds to the atmosphere of the show. The art was not the focus of this series, and it didn't need to be. The art gets a 6/10.

Sound:

The music in this series is pretty good. The openings are both excellent, even if the second one is quite silly. The background music is also very good, with L's theme in particular standing out. The background tracks added a lot to the thoughts and inner dialogues of both L and Light. The sound gets a 7/10.



Characters (Potential Spoilers):

One problem I have with Death Note is the lackluster characters. L is the only one who has actual depth and develops throughout the series. I will be describing each of the important characters and giving my opinions on them.

Light: My biggest problem with Light is that he has only two real qualities, he is smart, he is egotistical, and he is evil. Throughout the entire series, we see his intelligence in his battle against L and Near. We also see how evil he is, as he evades capture even if he has to kill people. He also always brags about how he is a god and how smart he is. Other than that, he has nothing. You could say he has compassion since he kills criminals, but he more does it to make himself feel like a god. He even says that he is trying to make a world where he is a god. His motivations never change. Light may be entertaining to watch, but he lacks much depth.

Ryuk: Ryuk is the shinigami who owns Light's notebook, and he says he dropped it in the human world just have some fun. Ryuk likes to have fun, and does not care what happens as a result. He is often used for comic relief, but can be sinister at times when his apathy of others is shown. Ryuk was a pretty decent character.


Misa Misa: Misa is a model who gets a Death Note as well, and uses it to help Light. Her entire character is that she is an airhead who just wants to help Light. Many people find her to be incredibly annoying. I didn't mind her, but she wasn't interesting to watch. She basically is pretty bad all around.

Rem: Rem is the shinigami who gave the second Death Note to Misa Misa. Rem is a pretty lifeless character, however, she is hellbent on protecting Misa. Rem would do anything to help Misa, and her entire character is based upon that.

Near: Near comes into to replace L in the hunt for Kira. Near main goal is to surpass L and show how smart he is. and he is indeed a cool, calculating, and intelligent person. However, that is basically his entire character. He shows no other real traits throughout his time. he also is not as entertaining as L is. I was never super engrossed when Near was thinking and solving problems, or at least not as engrossed as I was with L's thinking. Overall, Near is pretty shallow and not very entertaining.

Mello: Mello is Near's... brother? I don't know. The two of them grew up together. Mello grew up in the shadow of Near, and basically insanely obsessed with surpassing Near and capturing Kira before him. Mello eventually kinda works with Near, but not really. Mello just didn't really have a lot to him.

Soichiro Yagami: Light's father and one of the police officers working with L to capture Kira. Soichiro is a bit more fleshed out, as he sanctimoniously wants to capture Kira but doesn't want to find out that his son is Kira. He is very devoted to his work, and puts all his effort into catching Kira. He's an alright character.

Matsuda: Matsuda is one of the police officers looking to capture Kira, and basically serves as the comic relief. He has a little development at the end when he is angry that Light is Kira. There is not much as else to say.

Aizawa: Aizawa is one of the police officers looking to capture Kira. We find out that he has a family. He wants to capture Kira, but he doesn't want to leave his family alone if Kira kills him. This leads him to leaving the Kira Investigation Team for a while before coming back. He is probably the only member of the police force to suspect Light of being Kira. Aizawa is a decent character.

L: I saved the best for last. L is by far the best character. He is extremely intelligent, and it always entertaining to hear his deductions. However, he also has his quirks. Unlike Near, who is always cold and lifeless, L knows how to have some fun. He also experiences the most development as a character. He ends up becoming friends with Light when they work together, and ends up not wanting to find out that Light is Kira. However, it is heartbreaking when Light doesn't feel the same way. L basically saves the show from complete mediocrity.

Overall, the characters get a 5/10. While L is a joy, the other characters don't compare as well.


Enjoyment:

The first arc I found very enjoyable. Light and L's mind games were extremely fun to watch. It becomes less enjoyable when Light and L begin to work together and the show gets lighter. At that point, the show becomes more focused on comedy. In the final arc, any semblance of enjoyment I had was snuffed out. The show tried to emulate the first arc but could not compare.


Conclusion:

Death Note started off great, but worsens as time goes on. The characters and stories vary in quality, with the story and characters of the third arc being dreadful. The music and art do their job well, but are nt masterpieces. Overall, Death Note gets a 6/10.


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PostSubject: Re: I proudly present the EAW Anime Reviews   I proudly present the EAW Anime Reviews EmptyJanuary 3rd 2016, 8:57 am

Though I haven't rewatched Death Note in years and was equally dismayed as most of the fans by the second season/post-L Death Note, it wasn't necessarily because of L's absence that it drew my ire. I feel the relationship, the battle of wits, and the dynamic Light and L shared complemented each other perfectly in a way that made things consistently fresh and interesting, and while I don't agree about Light being a one-dimensional character, Light made several uncharacteristically dumb mistakes in the second season and it struck me as odd that the same guy who outwitted and defeated L (albeit with the supernatural on his side) had fallen victim to his own hubris when matched with a character that was basically a poor man's L. I always admired Light's strong sense of justice (even if that was twisted into injustice), his resourcefulness (when I first watched the Naomi scene, my anxiousness was palpable, it was amazing), and let's be honest, had the Death Note never fallen into his lap, Light probably would have went on to graduate college en route to a very successful career in police/detective work. The fact the dominos fell in exactly the right way to plant the seeds for the monster he would later become was somewhat miraculous in contrast to what he *could* have been. I also think Light's perception of humanity, while of course a far more extreme stance than most actual humans are willing to take (at least publicly), mirrors the underlying thoughts of a lot of us, the things we're afraid to say, and while that obviously isn't true for everyone or even most people, it is significant enough that a good porton of the fanbase was able to empathize with Light even when understanding the gravity of his misdeeds. In my mind, that's what makes Light such a compelling character, but I understand if others/you feel differently. Very interesting write-up.

Death Note has always been the gateway to other anime, in my opinion. If I'm recommending a show to someone who has never watched anime before that wants something which will probably instantly appeal to them (the average viewer), I recommend them Death Note. Even if it's objectively not the best series (I would disagree that it's mediocre, I mostly just feel that way about the second half, IMO the first 20 episodes or so features some of the most captivating storytelling I've seen in a show/anime), it's good enough that a lot of viewers get instantly hooked and have to see what happens next, myself included.


Last edited by Y2Impact on January 10th 2016, 10:23 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: I proudly present the EAW Anime Reviews   I proudly present the EAW Anime Reviews EmptyJanuary 3rd 2016, 9:55 am

I thought South Park was a pretty good anime this year tbh.


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PostSubject: Re: I proudly present the EAW Anime Reviews   I proudly present the EAW Anime Reviews EmptyJanuary 3rd 2016, 10:34 am

@TLA wrote:
I thought South Park was a pretty good anime this year tbh.
I was kinda surprised you didn't say Fresh Prince of Belair was actually an anime.


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PostSubject: Re: I proudly present the EAW Anime Reviews   I proudly present the EAW Anime Reviews EmptyJanuary 3rd 2016, 3:25 pm

I agree with most of what you said. The middle arc is kinda dull and some characters (especially near and mello) were not as compelling as they could've/should've been. The only parts I disagree is the end and light. I feel the ending was better and more appropriate than you're letting on, as you make it sound simple. Also I feel light has more I won't say depth but growth. It's subtle but if you watch closely in the third arc light has become increasingly more insane and even careless than he was before, which is a kind of growth for a villain. Overall I agree it has its flaws but I still love its animation, unique story, and how they made mind games tense and exciting
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