Anime: Death Note V2
Last month I was introduced to the intelligent, supernatural series, Death Note. I was quite honestly taken aback by how much I enjoyed the four episodes included on the volume one release, so when the opportunity to review the second volume presented itself this month, I jumped at the chance.
If you’re not yet familiar with the series you can check out my initial impressions here.
Once again, the four episodes on this second volume release do not disappoint. Light continues his descent towards becoming an absolute sociopath and begins to shed any semblance of like-ability. While the reclusive L draws the dwindling investigative team closer to him, finally revealing his identity.
Despite attempts to keep details to a minimum, spoilers follow:
Episode 5: TACTICS
After tricking the FBI agent, who had been following him, into revealing his identity, Light orchestrates an elaborate plan. In its execution Light crosses a moral line that, even for him, borders on unthinkable. His actions have repercussions throughout the investigation into the Kira murders and the task-force is reduced to a handful of agents. While most would see this as a huge setback for the investigation, L decides that now is the time to reveal himself to the reduced team and draws these trusted agents to his secret (and continuously changing) location.
Episode 6: UNRAVELLING
L’s outstanding deductive skills allow the skooby gang to narrow down the list of potential suspects to those previously being investigated by the FBI agents who Kira murdered. A chance encounter with Naomi Misora, a woman with information which may help crack the Kira case, shows once again how both charming and devious Light can be. He must think fast to prevent Naomi from getting her information to the task-force.
Episode 7: OVERCAST
Light continues to distract Naomi in an attempt to keep her from going to the police. This episode demonstrates just how much of his humanity has drained away as he openly mocks his latest victim. The investigating team is complete once they are joined by L’s assistant Watari and they begin employing methods (and gadgets) to keep their identities hidden.
Episode 8: GLARE
After deducing which of the murdered FBI agents they believe to have been compromised, the investigating team is shocked when L announces that they’ll be installing surveillance equipment in the homes of key suspects. Ryuk (the Death God) is devastated when Light discovers that the house is under surveillance, as it means he wont be able to eat apples without being detected. For the first time Ryuk helps Light by finding the hidden cameras… But Light needs to somehow continue his work as Kira without detection.
To some this series may be a slow mover, however for mine it is a beautifully crafted, character-driven story which, by design, unravels meticulously. Sure it isn’t wall to wall car chases or gun fights, but this is a thriller, not a thrill ride.
Along with the four episodes covered above, the Death Note V2 dvd also includes a Production Art Gallery, Part 2 of the Behind The Scenes featurette (focusing on the voice work for L by Alessandro Juliani [Battlestar Galactica]), an interview with series director Tetsuro Araki and character designer Masaru Kitao, and an audio commentary track by Jiro Okada (associate producer) and Asaka Seto (voice of Naomi Misora) for episode 7: Overcast.