Reviewby Michelle Yu, Nov 25th 2008
Death Note V3
For genius detective L, Light's behaviour is too perfect to be true and to get closer to him he enrols at the same university and even invites Light into the investigation. The murders continue but with a new twist, there appears to be a second Kira at work! L has Light pose as the original Kira in order to lure out the copycat and Light agrees hoping to divert suspicion from himself. But he's surprised to discover that this new Kira has an ability even Light himself lacks...
How close is too close? For the prodigious detective L it is his only way into the life of his greatest nemesis.
In the third volume of the Death Note series, L takes going undercover to a previously unforeseen level by enrolling in the same university as Light, even going as far as sitting the entrance exam just a few rows behind Kira himself. Therefore, as smart as L is revealed to be, he is still a cop and Light is innocent until proven guilty. This is only the tip of the iceberg when compared to the suspense that Death Note Volume 3 showcases. Although L has had no real evidence to outright accuse Light of being Japan's most notorious anti-hero, Light's luck is tested as L draws closer and closer. Viewers will finally have the pleasure of seeing this seemingly composed mastermind, sweat.
Things are also made interesting when a so-called “second Kira” appears to the public. But this Kira-clone is not just another copycat criminal. This killer seems to supersede Light's power, almost as if they could kill with one glance. Also unlike our original Kira, the second appears to not have the same ability to distinguish between the innocent and the guilty. Light's FBI massacre was bad enough, but this newcomer puts a new spin on the murders. This twist incites a “Case of the Kira Knock-Off” investigation, with ironic results.
As mentioned before, the surfacing of the copycat killer is something different and the irony of L's solution could force some chuckles. However it felt a little forced in some ways. There was no real need to bring in a twist when the story was already travelling so well. It may not have been a completely unwelcomed disruption to the daily life of Light and L but it was a disruption nonetheless. Like a fork in the road preceded by a speed hump, it changed both the pace and direction of the plot dramatically.
Despite the unusual change, viewers are still graced with Light's characteristically great acting skills. Some of the best examples of suspense in this volume arise from seemingly normal exchanges between acquaintances, and the enthusiasm of a zealous son. Those who come to the series with no preconceptions or hints will be rewarded with a little plot surprise in this volume as well. A chorus of “who would have thought?” should be expected from these open-minded souls.
As usual, everybody's favorite blue-skinned God of Death provides a bit of a chuckle with his incurable apple addiction (which is now satisfied occasionally with the help of Light.) On the topic of characters, and characterization, it should also be mentioned that after the unmasking of L, it is entertaining to see just how alike he and Light are. Their shenanigans on campus grounds leads to a tennis game that rivals many of the professional televised deals that the general public are fed. Not to mention that it serves as a fabulous metaphor. In terms of character-building, this is the most revealing installment of Death Note yet.
So far it seems that Death Note has survived the transition from manga to anime. In manga, readers have the opportunity to take in the story at their own pace, hear the characters' voices as they wish to hear them, and draw their own conclusions from all that they are missing when presented with only still pictures and the written word. Death Note on the screen has seemed to have survived much of the criticism that is directed at manga-turned-anime series, and with good reason. Its passive-aggressive action, unique storyline, and constant suspense and unexaggerated drama has earned the series a cult following.
Overall : B+
Overall (dub) : B
Overall (sub) : B+
Story : B+
Animation : A
Art : A
Music : B+
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