Death Note is based on the popular manga and loosely based on the anime series of the same name. It is a fairly popular franchise and I am surprised it took this long to appear on the site, but regardless, here it is. Death Note reflects why imperfect human beings should not a high amount of power because men are fallible, vulnerable to desires and prone vanity. You see an almost accurate telling of one persons corruption and descent into madness. The suspense is more cerbral than visual with a very solid structure.
A hardcore and brilliant student of criminal justice is shown as our main character, as he uses his power to erase the vermin of the world, serial killers, child rapists and gangsters. For the most part, his actions are praised, but he is still a murderer in the eyes of the law, and needs to be brought down. The premise is very clever, and the plot twists are simply brilliant. Of course, I think the real appeal of a story like this is that there are actually two protagonists in fierce conflict with one another. I’d have to say that I’m impressed by how closely the films were able to match the original storyline while adding some new flourishes that can only be seen as improvements. This movie’s best feature is it’s respect for the original story. This is what every film adaptation should strive to be.
I ended up watching this movie several months after I finally got around to watching some of the anime series. The first thing I noticed is how the english dub version has the same voice actors of main characters as the english dubbed anime version did which is a very nice touch. Of course, I do recommend watching it in Japanese with subtitles though. This way you can get a feel of the emotions and acting better from the original voices rather than the dubbed over voices. Touching upon the story arc again, the way our main character later kills some innocent people later in the movie shows that he’s not above abusing the note book for his own gains and in turn is no longer a champion of justice but just a serial killer with a megalomaniac mentality.
I am reviewing a lot of films that have sequels. This one is no different as I will be covering the sequel in the coming weeks but once you watch this film you’ll want to track down part II immediately. The only concern I had was the pacing. Death Note takes place over the span of 12 episodes in the anime, which comes out to about a running time of a little over four hours as compared to the two hours of the movie. Needless to say, I was afraid the plot or characters were going to be underdeveloped and it would all fall apart under the weight of what it was trying to accomplish. A bit uneven here and there, but overall, still a fun ride. A must see and own for any anime fan, let alone, any Death Note fan.