Regarded as one of the most iconic anime series of all time, Death Note has a special place in every anime fan’s heart, even more so as this is most likely to be every otaku’s first anime. With its compelling story and a one-of-a-kind premise, the series is immensely popular among seasoned anime veterans, but what comes as a surprise is the fact that this show is also the number one recommendation for those just starting out on their anime-watching journey.
Considering Death Note’s elaborate plot and heavy under-tones, many would assume that this thriller series would be a bit too much for first-time anime watchers. The reality, however, is quite the contrary as the show offers the perfect hook for first-timers, captivating them with the series’ thought-provoking dilemmas and uniquely charismatic characters. The show perfectly captures the essence of anime, without incorporating too many overbearing anime cliches, resulting in a series that checks all the boxes for being the perfect starter anime.
Death Note Jumps Right Into the Plot
Unlike other shonen anime that start off slow, Death Note delves right into the main plot, pushing readers directly into the story’s mayhem. The first episode of the series reveals the complete premise of the show, along with the suspense and thrill that the anime is renowned for. By keeping viewers on their toes right from the beginning, the series ensures that they have no other choice but to get hooked.
Since many people tend to be impatient while trying out something for the first time, a starter anime must have a fast-pace with a steady character development – and Death Note fits the bill perfectly.
One of the reasons why Death Note stands out in an ocean of impeccable series is its unique narrative and thought-provoking nature. Unlike conventional anime with a definite protagonist, Death Note offers a morally ambiguous situation, where there’s no clear ‘good guy’. This aspect of the anime has viewers divided to this day on whether L is the actual antagonist of the series.
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Since the primary theme of the anime is ‘justice’, there is no black and white answer to the show’s hard-hitting questions. On one side, punishing criminals for their misdeeds is just, but on the other, killing them off without giving them a chance of rectification also seems rather unfair. The complexity of this theme challenges the viewer’s morals and principles, in-turn allowing them to become all the more engrossed within the series.
The Story Isn’t Dragged Out
Another aspect of Death Note that makes it the perfect beginner anime is its length, as the anime only spans about 37 episodes – a fairly small number compared to other shonen anime. The show’s short duration allows newer fans to be able to finish the story without getting overwhelmed with hundreds of episodes left.
The show doesn’t drag out the plot either, as the anime sticks to the main story without any deviations throughout its runtime. Otherwise, newer fans would find it extremely difficult to start off with an anime that features hundreds to thousands of episodes, such as One Piece and Naruto.
A Good Dub
Since newer anime fans are not accustomed to both the Japanese language and subtitles, the dubbed version is the default recommendation. However, that’s a domain where most anime fall short. More often than not, the dubbed version is unable to capture the essence of the original scene, leaving viewers dissatisfied.
Death Note, on the other hand, is one of the few anime out there that has a dubbed version that can rival its subbed counterpart. The English voice actors have done an incredible job in the series, perfectly depicting the emotions and sentiments of the characters that is just as good as the original version.
Challenging Anime Stereotypes
Another reason why Death Note is the perfect introductory anime for newcomers is its stereotype-free plotline. Most people tend to be apprehensive about anime due to a few preconceived narratives such as stating that anime are for children, there’s nothing compelling about the premise, and the good guy winning is inevitable.
Death Note offers the complete opposite, taking away any skepticism that first-timers may have with its heavy undertones and an overall harrowing theme. The anime also does a great job at avoiding anime clichés, leaving no room for cynicism. Fanservice is kept to a minimum as well, fortifying the viewer’s focus on the actual story.
Moreover, Light and L’s compelling personalities defy the notion that anime characters have no depth. All in all, the series perfectly portrays the true essence of anime, ensuring any first-timer is bound to become a die-hard anime fan, making Death Note the perfect starter anime for skeptics and newcomers alike.
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