Death Note Vol 9 : 4 of 5

After watching nine DVDs with 37 total episodes, I've finally finished the anime version of Death Note, and it was incredible. Of course, I had already read the entire manga series, and even watched the whole anime on Cartoon Network, but I still rented all the DVDs so I could hear the original Japanese voice work, which was awesome. Actually, I've enjoyed all the incarnations of Death Note I've experienced (manga, anime, live action), because the story is so good that it's interesting to see it interpreted in different ways. But getting back to the anime, this final DVD contains the last five episodes, starting with Near's all-out challenge to Kira for a final showdown. It's fascinating to watch every subtle move of the notebook and the various tampering going on, especially when you know the outcome of the plot beforehand! The animation does an incredible job of portraying some incredibly emotional moments, including the sad end of Takada, Matsuda's explosion when he realizes his "hero" Light has been evil all along, and of course the dramatic death of Light/Kira (which is a bit different from the manga, but probably designed to generate a bit more sympathy, and I can appreciate both versions). The final warehouse scene is stretched to two entire episodes, which are for the most part characters standing and delivering dialogue, but the animators somehow transformed these scenes into a riveting experience! As usual, there are some voice actor interviews included, but I really wish there was some behind-the-scenes material about the animation itself. It's nice to finish this anime series, and even though it was tough waiting for each volume to be released, the anticipation was kind of fun!

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