Death Note is regarded as one of the greatest animes of all time, but does its reputation really precede itself? A lot of Death Note fans actually take a step back when they revisit this show, saying that the story did not age well. Is it really good or is it overrated? We did a poll, and this is what we found out!
Death Note is not overrated. It has an original story that may have been too early for its time. The second half of the show may have been rushed and did not have the same quality as the first half, but the ending was fair albeit getting hate from fans.
No anime is perfect, which is why there are some reasons as to why people think that Death Note is overrated. In order to back up this answer, we held a poll to see what the majority of people think about it. The result may shock you (or not) so keep on reading!
Death Note Is Not Overrated
Even if Death Note gets a lot of flak in the anime community due to its bad portrayal of what should have been a unique story, it is still beloved by many. In the poll that we conducted, there were more than 100 participants and the gap in the result is astounding.
With this, we can justify that even though Death Note has its faults, the show can still hold its own among modern and classic animes.
In a way, Death Note holds its value by having a different take on the stereotypical protagonist of a shonen. Further, one really cannot deny the intricacies of its plot.
On the other hand, we cannot help but think about the reasons why even Death Note fans think that it is overrated.
For someone who has watched Death Note numerous times, I sometimes zone out even during critical scenes as I felt the script and even the motivations of the characters are too repetitive.
Why Some People Think Death Note Is Overrated
So let us take a look at some of the reasons why Death Note is deemed to be overrated by some people.
1. Characters In Death Note Are Not Fleshed Out
This may be intentional or not, but Death Note does not really get into the nitty-gritty of its characters. We will know of their backgrounds and their justifications as to why they turned out that way, but it is never to an extent that one will truly know the character.
If it is intentional, then it fits the theme of “world domination” being the number one priority. However, even if this was the case, there should always be something to back that up.
Villains are not usually born as one. Villains are made. The same goes for heroes.
In Death Note, you will definitely encounter a lot of “whys” behind the characterization of a character. It is a flat-out war between the bad and the good, distorted by other people’s perception of what is good and what is bad.
There are moments when you feel for Light and you can stand by his purpose of simply killing bad people since the system is a joke and offers delayed justice.
But at the same time, when he goes into his egotistic tendencies, the message is drowned. Other side characters are also portrayed this way, you cannot feel for them as you do not understand completely where they are coming from.
Female Characters Of Death Note Are Terrible
We can certainly say that the female characters in Death Note is a demonstration of shallow writing bordering on misogynist thought.
Misa was turned into a misguided sex object. Takada was this powerful woman who was torn to shreds due to her false belief of love.
Then there was Naomi who proved to be interesting as she was sure to caught on Light’s involvement, for her to only break character and exhibit stupidity. Well, we all know where that got her.
Again, this can be intentional as these characters were made to be used as “pawns” to achieve the vision of Light.
But at the very least, Death Note would have benefited from having sensible female characters. Even if to attain balance with the scurrying men who are also lost in the investigation.
2. Death Note Has An Inconsistent Tone
The Death Note universe resembles today’s society. There is too much crime and corruption. Justice can only be attained by the rich. Therefore, its tone is dark from the beginning.
The problem is the tone shifts into this “slice of life” theme when there is not too much action happening. In between the the cat and mouse chase of Light and L, the setting turns into a shojo anime set in a school.
This could have been acceptable if we get a peek into the personal world of the characters, but the sequences really do not add anything to their character arcs, so what was the point in the shifting of the tone?
3. Light Yagami Is A Terrible Protagonist/Antagonist
A lot of Death Note fans mentioned this before, and we will mention it again. Light Yagama is a half-baked protagonist/antagonist. Many follow his ideals to rule the world via Death Note by imposing judgment to those who deserve it.
He may also have this god complex wherein he thinks he is the best person suited to do god’s bidding. But then again, why is he that way? We simply do not know. Why is it so easy for him to kill people? We do not know. Is he a psychopath? We also do not know.
These information were simply not provided. We were just bound to accept Light as who he is. Again, this would have been easier to accept were it not for the fact that he breaks character by the ending.
This huge inconsistency in his character is just unforgivable.
4. The Artwork Of Death Note Cannot Save Its Pacing
The budget of Death Note for just one episode is a whopping one million dollars. This can also explain as to why its artwork, design, shading, lighting, and the likes are top-notch.
However, this great quality of animation is still no match to its terrible pacing.
Some fans think that the pacing was too fast for the first half, while the second half was rushed. This can also be attributed to the fact that even though there is a fast pace, we really do not not see the characters for who they really are.
So really it is a bad combination of such a fast pace as well as poor character backgrounds.
When bingewatching the show, one cannot help but be desensitized to what is happening as new developments in the story just keeps hitting you, not giving you a chance to take everything in.
This is understandable as it has always been a chase between the two major characters. But the chase no longer has the same effect as every sequence follows the same fast pace. By the time new characters join in, the feel is too monotonous.