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#ThrowbackThursday: Death Note, an Anime to Die for

So, I’m a pretty big anime fan. I started watching anime when I was five years old and caught random episodes of Dragon Ball Z or Pokémon playing on my TV. I would sit on the floor and calmly watch them for whatever time they were on and just fall asleep. I’ve always admired the animation and storylines behind anime, watching any of the ones I could find on cable, even if the plot of the episode was half-way finished and I had no idea what was going on. When I was eleven though, I got access to an Internet connection: this magical thing that now allows you to read this article and back then allowed me to watch any anime I wanted. Some more time passed after this, and eventually, the reason for this #ThrowbackThursday article finally happened; a friend told me to watch Death Note.

For those of you who do not know, and honestly, how dare you, Death Note is a 2006 psychological-thriller anime series based on the manga of the same name written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata that began its original run in 2003. It tells the story of seventeen-year-old Light Yagami, a teenage boy whose boredom leads him to murder. Okay, it’s much more complex than that, but the fact that it can actually be summarized like that is hilarious. 

gif from Death Note
Nippon Television Network / Giphy

After school one day, Light finds a notebook called, you won’t believe it, the Death Note, with instructions in it stating that whoever’s name you write on it will die. At first he thinks of just ignoring it, but he eventually decides to take the ominous journal with him and test it out. This is the start of one of the greatest psychological thrillers of all time.

My friend didn’t even tell me anything about it when he suggested I try watching it. He just told me to watch it because he knew I’d enjoy the show. I thought it was weird at first, but going into Death Note without knowing much about the plot is a complete ride. It was the first show I ever binged-watched. 

I fell in love with Death Note since the first episode. It made me laugh at how serious the characters took themselves, yet also made me ponder the justice system. I also cried every time a character I liked died (which is not a spoiler, because it’s called Death Note, not Alive Note), and it made me look at anime again as if I were my five-year old self discovering it once more. Although five-year-olds should really not watch Death Note, any older person should at least try to watch this anime once in their lifetime.

gif from Death Note
Nippon Television Network / Giphy

If it wasn’t obvious before, I really love Death Note. It quickly became, and still is, my favorite anime. As I mentioned before, it truly is a fantastic show, blending comedy, drama, thriller, and horror aspects without being too campy or overcomplicating itself. Even if a person has never seen anime, it would still be a great recommendation, as its main storyline details the complexity of humanity and deconstructing the typical ways we think of justice. The plot grabs a moral compass and just swings it all over the place, never letting the viewer know if any side of the argument is right or wrong, just showing that each one has valid points. 

So there you have it, my best effort at not spoiling every single thing I genuinely adore about this anime. As soon as you watch it, give me a call and grab some potato chips; it’s going to be a long day.

Melanie graduated from the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus, from a Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences with a major in Psychology and a second major in English Literature in the summer of 2021. In her free time she enjoys reading, writing, watching shows, and playing video games.
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