One of the more interesting and thought-provoking anime
shows to come along in a while wraps up with Death Note Vol. 9.
It is the final showdown between Light and N
and the future of world lies in the balance.
It's a little sad that the show has come to an end, but it ended
the right time. The show was still
intriguing up to the last, though the cat-and-mouse games were getting
tiring at the end.
Light Yagami is a brilliant high school student who discovers
a Death Note, a notebook that allows him to kill people by simply
name down while picturing their face. He
uses this god-like power to transform the world and rid the earth of
criminals. Soon the police take notice
of this killer dubbed Kira by the public and bring in the master
known only as "L".
L and Light play an intricate game of cat and mouse.
Both are brilliant and both deeply believe in
their cause. Ultimately however, Light
manages to have L killed and it looks like there will be no one
between him and his perfect society.
In this second season, which takes place five years after
the first, two new prodigies pop up to hunt Kira: Near
and Mello. These two were raised in the
same facility as
L, but they have very different methods and are in a competition to see
bring Kira to justice first.
The world Kira has created is definitely low in crime, but
it's a place ruled by fear instead of the utopia Light imagined. As this last volume opens, Near knows that
the end game has started and goes to Japan to conform the new "L",
he firmly believes is Kira. He forms a
intricate and convoluted plan involving following people that are known
contact with Kira. After a while Near
gathers enough evidence to discover who has the Death Notebooks and
Meanwhile a member of the Japanese police taskforce who are
still, unofficially, hunting Kira discovers that Light is lying about
something. His suspicions raised, he too
starts to think that Light is really Kira.
When Near informs Light that he's in Japan, Light
starts to come up with his own plan. He
knows how Near thinks, and can anticipate what the young genius is
do. Light devises a plan to finally rid
himself of his nemesis too. Both
geniuses end up in a deserted warehouse and spring their traps, but who
I really enjoyed this series, and though it ended pretty
mush as I expected it to, it was a fun ride till the end.
Having said that, the series ended none too
soon. The constant maneuvers and counter
maneuvers between Light, Mello, and Near were getting a bit tiresome an
tad repetitive. The first half was more
engrossing, and this season played out like more of the same. More of the same excellent series, but it had
a déjà vu feel to it.
This disc comes with both the original Japanese audio track
as well as an English dub, both in stereo.
I alternated language tracks with every episode and found them
equally good. The English voice actors
do a good job and don't ham it up as sometimes happens.
Given the nature of the show, mainly dialog
based without any big action sequences, the mix is adequate. There's some use made of the front sound
stage, but not a lot. The voices are
mostly anchored on the screen, but that's not really a problem. A solid sounding show. One
thing I did notice is that there isn't an
option for translations of the signs only.
This was a pain when watching the dubbed version since there are
and such that move the plot forward that are never read aloud.
The 1.78:1 anamorphically enhanced image looks very
good. A lot of the story takes place in
Light's dark room, and the image is intentionally a little soft, but
serves to enhance the mood of the story.
The colors in the daylight scenes are bright and solid, and the
range of grey tones are well defined.
There isn't much in the way of aliasing or banding, making this
nice looking show.
This disc has another behind-the-scenes featurette with one
of the English voice actors. Then
there's also a commentary track to the final episode with Karl Willems
Director), Brian Drummond (Ryuk) and Brad Swaile (Light).
There's also a production art gallery and a clean
opening and closing.
This was a fun series and if you've stuck with it up to this
point you've just gotta buy this final volume to see how things wrap up. This well thought out series stays
the end and doesn't falter just as it gets to the finish line like some