The best way to describe Death Note (デスノート) would be to think of a mash-up of Showtime’s Dexter with the over-the-top exposition yet cutting social commentary of Satoshi Kon’s Paranoia Agent (妄想代理人). Originally a manga by Tsugumi Ohba, Death Note is about a high school male named Yagami Light who happens to find a relic from the realm of the Death Gods (死神) that grants him the ability to kill anyone as long as he knows their name and face. He also can specify the means by which this person will die, granting him godlike powers and the ability to dispense his own version of justice on the criminal world.

Calling him “Kira,” society largely rejects Yagami Light’s vision of a just world and the police try to hunt him down. At times parody and at other times a terrifying look into the effects of obsession and paranoia, Death Note is a thoroughly enjoyable anime that helps exemplify the genre’s ability to encompass themes like violence, social commentary, parody, and murder mystery so well. We will definitely follow up with episode synopses and analysis as soon as we can. Until then, be sure to watch Death Note and let us know what you think.

Death Note on Amazon