Death Note is not your average Anime. In a world in which most shows seem to revolve around the premise that yelling will make you stronger, and if you yell long and loud enough you can eventually acquire enough power to blow up the planet, Death Note is a breath of fresh air. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t be who I am today without Dragon Ball Z, and Naruto has made great strides at bringing Anime into the mainstream. Nothing really compares to what Death Note was able to bring to the table. For an anime based on a supernatural notebook that can kill anyone whose name is written in it Death Note is able to captivate an audience in such a way that I don’t think was ever really done before in the anime world.
So much of what makes Death Note such a great show is with its main character Light Yagami, who assumes the name of Kira, a God like forces extracting justice on criminals who under normal conditions would have gotten away with their crimes. This is one of the only shows whose main character is the antagonist, but it’s written in such a way that you can’t help, but root for him. Light’s intellect, calm, cool, and collected personality, and what starts off as noble cause make it hard not to like the guy. He’s slow slip into madness is not only understandable, if you can wield the power of the Death Note and remain completely sane at the end you were probably already insane to start with, it’s almost admirable. To sacrifice yourself to evil in an effort to make a better world, is something most people wouldn’t do. Most would probably just get rid of the local school bully, or try and find a way to make some kind of profit off the Death Note’s powers.
Aside from the unique point of view of having the main character be quite possibly the most twisted person in the show, Death Note is able to capture the audience’s attention with mental duels between Light and equally gifted detective known only as L. Every episode is a skillfully engineered chess match, with Light trying to stay 10 moves ahead of L and the entire international police force, while L tries to connect every piece of seemly impossible evidence to prove that Light is Kira. This is definitely an anime to watch if you want an intelligent anime that will keep you on edge every episode.