Finally, an anime that doesn't fill my soul with loathing
But just this summer, not only did I manage to tolerate an anime show, I fell in love with it. Enter Death Note, an incredibly engaging anime that just wrapped up its run in Japan three months ago.
The series is based on the manga of the same name and focuses around a young student, Light, who comes across a supernatural notebook (the Death Note) that will kill anyone whose name is written in it. He plans to use this notebook for good by ridding the world of wanted criminals but quickly becomes drunk with power. Aided by his death god, a sort of bizarre goth-rock monster, Light attempts to carry out his mission without getting caught by the super-mysterious super-genius, L, and his team of detectives.
I'll just stop right there because simple description doesn't really do it justice.
What I love most about this anime is not its unpredictable twists and turns and amazing characters, but... it's not annoying. That was the biggest problem I had with most animes: I could not sit through more than ten minutes before feeling the need to stab myself in the eye because of some stupid big-boobed character with an obnoxiously high voice flouncing across the screen or a "giant sweatdrop" gag or something equally cliche and ridiculous. It's not a comedy, but the jokes are funny. The characters are who they are for very human reasons, and even when Light is at his most heartless, it's strange how easily it is to understand why he pushes himself the way he does. Plus, it's incredibly refreshing how the characters are not drawn as the same face but with different hair (yeah, Sailor Moon, I'm talking to you).
Thanks to the magic of the Internet and devoted fans who are fluent in both English and Japanese, there are fan-subbed episodes uploaded everywhere for streaming. Of course, I only resorted to the Internet because the anime is not currently available in America. A Region 1 DVD with bilingual subs will soon be available. For those who are too lazy to read, a dubbed version will probably come out soon as well, because the English voice cast has just been announced. Naturally, I'm always wary of dubs. I'd rather go through the trouble of reading subtitles than deal with bad manipulation of dialogue to fit moving mouths. However, this announcement also means that the show will be more easily available to English-speaking viewers and that can only mean good things.
Anyway, I urge you all to check it out. It's not just a fantastic anime, it's an excellent television show.