Death Note Vol 1 : 5 of 5
Since I completely enjoyed reading the entire series of Death Note manga, I've been watching the anime on Cartoon Network and marveling at how well the story has been adapted to animation. But of course, I have a big problem with the English dubbing (Light's voice isn't too bad, but L's voice is horrendous), so I decided to rent the series on DVD as well. As I expected, it's so much cooler watching the series in Japanese - everything just has the right feel and emotion that I don't think a dub can ever capture. The story itself is just as fascinating as I remember, and I'm really enjoying seeing it unfold even though I know everything that's going to happen. The anime is able to grab the viewer in ways the manga couldn't, especially in interesting scenes like Ryuk's journey from the Shinigami world to the human world, or via some masterful montages (my favorite is when Light really gets going on writing names in the Death Note, with huge arm gestures and quick cuts to the suffering criminals that flow perfectly with the dramatic music!). The artwork is completely on-model compared to the manga, and often uses interesting camera moves and lighting that I know must be a pain to draw! In this volume I thought the exciting bus-jacking scene (where Light manages to get the name of the FBI agent Raye Penber) was well done, as well as the explanation of Light's trick hiding place for the Death Note. Overall, the series has really captured the same tone as the manga (and the cool opening and closing themes don't hurt the mood either), so I'm looking forward to the rest of the series!