Revisiting Death Note deculture!

Going back to one of the Golden Years of anime.

Honestly, 2006 was one hell of a year for anime. We had Haruhi, Eureka 7, Black Lagoon, Higurashi, Mushishi, Ouran and Noein. It’s disturbing to see that the last few season in the last year or two have had such lacklustre animes. There’s a few stand out animes here and there sure, but for the most part, the anime industry is in a stagnant state.

Of course, a lot of the above mentioned animes are based on mangas, and they just happened to be made during that time; we could well have another such year where all these kickass mangas get made into animes. I hold my breath every time I read upcoming season previews on Anidb or watch the first episodes myself. And so, with nothing much to watch on a regular basis nowadays I have returned to some of the great old (not that old) animes of yesteryear, which nicely fills out the gap. Not only that, for the most part I have forgotten key plot points, so I watch them with renewed vigour. Planetes being one recent example.

Anyways, back to Death Note. I made a huge mistake way back in the summer of 2006 of actually reading the entire manga from start to finish. Back then I was feverishly trying to get all of the chapters one after another, I simply couldn’t stop reading the damn thing! At the time it was truly one of the most revolutionary mangas I had read. Revolutionary in the sense that such level of thought and detail into each and every point I had never seen before. Obviously there were some liberties that were taken which would otherwise be pretty much impossible to pull off in the real world, like watching a small TV and writing something on a paper inside a packet of chips! (I don’t care how big a family sized pack that was, this shit ain’t happening!)

Soon after the anime started to air during the Fall season of that year, I realised how I had completely ruined the experience for myself by reading the manga first. Unlike most anime adaptations of a short running series, Death note followed the manga frame by frame. This obviously meant that I knew everything that was going to happen, and for me there was no magical moment when sudden discoveries were made. What I was watching was beautiful in motion, and the epic soundtrack really added to the atmosphere, but I just didn’t feel the same sugar rush as I did when reading the manga.

Now, three and a half years later, I revisit this series and am truly amazed at how well each and every aspect of the anime still holds up. The animation is ultra smooth, but of course, this is Madhouse we’re talking about, and the music still delivers the chills as one expects. Apart from a few key sequences and flashes of scenes in my memory, I have pretty much forgotten what all happens inbetween. For instance I knew Light was gonna kill off Ray Penber’s fiancée, but I completely forgot how about he goes on doing that. The tension that builds up truly held my attention. I’m literally rediscovering this anime and am really enjoying it now, unlike my first viewing.

Alright, this post has gone way too long and I wanna save some stuff for a mid-series analysis.

1 Response to “Revisiting Death Note deculture!”

  1. June 4, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    2006 was the first year where I started watching seasonal anime as they aired. I was completely blown away by Death Note too, but I had not read the manga prior. I recently rewatched it again in late ’07/early ’08. I still regard it as having one of the most unique stories of all anime I’ve seen.

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