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In 2003 was born one of the stories that would remain in the hearts and minds of many; bringing fantasy to reality and completely changing the way we see the world. Death Note, a Seinen that confronted even some of the most elaborate and primitive ethical rules with the true thoughts and the human being’s conceptions about good, evil, and everything around them.
This manga was written by Tsugumi Oba, a mysterious author who has never shown his face and uses his name as a pseudonym to hide his identity. The only thing we know about him (or her) is that his personality is very similar to the characters. Despite having had incomparable success and raised millions with just one series, the author hasn’t demanded recognition before the public.
The most curious thing is that Death Note has become a cult anime all over the world, thanks to its adaptation in 2006 by the famous animation house Madhouse. Thousands of people have admitted having the same ideology of extermination that the protagonist loudly proclaims and the sale of related accessories has not diminished over the years; achieving various adaptations and a One-Shot.
Arguably there were only 37 entertaining chapters, but the reality is that his philosophy marked young and old alike, making death and life have another meaning, and his most loyal fans hold in his heart the hope of earning a real Death Note to themselves.
What is Death Note?
The story begins when Ryük, a Shinigami (God of Death), tired of his boring life, let it fall to earth the notebook with which he can extend his life. And although the Death Note has the appearance of a simple notebook, it has a great power that defines the death of human beings whose names are written between its pages.
Light Yagami, a high school student, finds the strange notebook and takes it home and discovers its function. Ryük approaches him and explains how much he could do with the notebook; resulting in a great opportunity for the boy, who wants to convert the world in a better place to live at any cost.
As the story progresses, Light transforms into Kira, an anonymous God who mysteriously annihilates every criminal and corrupt person who endangers the new society that he wants to create. This new world is Light’s dream; a dream in which he will dominate the destiny of the people and will punish all those who harm others.
But such a dangerous being needs to be chased, and it’s here that one of the world’s most famous investigators, L, appears and initiates a strategic pursuit to uncover Kira’s secret and catch him.
What makes the series extremely interesting is not only the fantasy present in it but the extreme intelligence with which each of its characters fulfills its objectives. Regardless of who they have to sacrifice, Kira and L will go out of their way to defeat themselves, in a fight in which the collateral damage matters little and only the most intelligent and ruthless will win.
What About The Animation?
Being a production with adequate doses of mystery, thriller, fantasy, and psychological terror, Death Note has an enviable quality of animation and a development of plot and characters that not even Madhouse or his cartoonist, Takeshi Obata has been able to match.
The dark and mysterious style was perfectly captured and each stroke with which the different characters elaborated can evoke their complex personalities. Unjust deaths: many, but all for a greater purpose; perfectly reflecting the cruelty of the protagonists and the despair of their victims.
Aspects such as the soundtrack and the course of the story had a great impact on the success of the series. Planned voids and audio inputs at the perfect times managed to keep the audience awake throughout the story; not counting on the speed at which everything happened, which made it impossible to stop paying attention to it.
For these reasons (and many others) Death Note has become a symbol of quality for the production house Madhouse and the goal of many in the world of Japanese animation.
How Was It?
Overrated? Not one bit. Definitely, Death Note is an anime that has cut the human story in half, causing a stir that happens only a few times in society and is coming to stay.
Without a doubt, a production of this quality has every right to be called epic. Many were dissatisfied with the end it had. Others wished that this “new world of the God Kira” would become reality beyond the screens.
But the moral that this anime legend leaves us, is that you cannot do anything without suffering the consequences of your actions and all those passions that you feed and use to harm, sooner or later will turn against you.
What Does It Represent?
I consider Death Note one of the few series I’d see at least 2 times in life. Despite the fact that the producer committed the evil of “unnecessarily lengthening” the series, each chapter was decisive for the development of the story, covering many details and psychosocial problems that plagued each of its characters.
It’s a plot enriched with various nuances, in which you will love and hate all those who are related to the plot. You will not be able to avoid questioning your own moral system and ingratiate yourself with the way Kira and L see the world and you will feel sorry for those who don’t deserve it.
There is no doubt that Death Note has earned all the titles as one of the best series of this new millennium; setting a new ideological guideline in many of the current productions and will continue to influence everything related to life, death, and justice.