Review

by Michelle Yu, May 19th 2009

Death Note V5

Synopsis:
Death Note V5 DVD 5

After fifty days of confinement, the killings continue and Light and Misa are released only to face the ride of their lives with a seemingly crazed Soichiro. Then Light rejoins L in the investigation and notices a strange connection between the recent Kira murders and a business outfit called the Yotsuba Group.

Misa agrees to pose as the Yotsuba Group's spokesperson with the eager Matsuda playing her manager. But Matsuda may be getting himself in too deep when he decides to do a little snooping at the Yotsuba Group's Tokyo headquarters...

Review:

Light and Misa are incarcerated, so why are people still dying?

In 1998 there was a film released in cinemas called There's Something About Mary. Assuming that followers of the Death Note series have grown to know the series well, I believe there could easily be a parody based on the abovementioned 1998 release. Because there must be Something About Misa. Something that makes gods of death sacrifice their lives for her, and bend to the will of man like slaves in order to save her. While physically beautiful, it has been said before that Misa is either a character that viewers either come to love or hate. It is not surprising to conclude that the majority of her fans are male. Nevertheless, In Death Note Volume Five, Misa plays a vital role in the events that follow.

After noticing that the suspicious deaths have continued during Light and Misa's confinement, L agrees to release his prisoners back into a world of great uncertainty. After an Oscar-worthy show of drama, L agrees to release Light and Misa on the condition that Light stays with L at all times and that Misa agrees to continue being under surveillance due to continued suspicion that she is the Second Kira. It is here where the iconic handcuffing of Light and L takes place.

Although L proves his incredible prowess as an investigator, all his correct deductions as to the identity of Kira have borne no answers. He believes that his conclusion of Light being Kira and Misa being the Second Kira is incorrect. While not overtly obvious, viewers should begin to notice how powerful a force Light's strategic mind is when he enters the headspace of Kira. He has caused doubt in the mind of the greatest detective in the world, in L himself. Despite L's somber mood swing, a show of aggression between Light and L actually helps more to lighten the mood for viewers, rather than instill the feeling of tension.

Almost as though Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. had not caused enough trouble for the world, a large corporation named the Yotsuba&! Group has entered the field with connections to the new “Kira.” It is here where Misa uses what acting skills she does possess as a teen idol to infiltrate the company as their new spokesperson. The excitable rookie Matsuda joins her by playing her manager and bodyguard, but feels as though he is of little use otherwise to L's investigation. Aside from Light, Matsuda is the youngest of the investigation team and clearly reflects the frustrations of many young people in entry-level positions in large companies. Matsuda fits more into the mold of a teenager on work-experience than a full-fledged police officer. At least he gets his own episode just before the change in opening and ending theme songs.

The episode titled “Makeshift” starts with a new theme song “What's Up People?” that sounds more like something heard at a Norwegian black metal concert than in an anime series. The ending theme song is softer in comparison, but “Billy In Despair” still has some of the raspy vocals heard in the opening theme. Both new theme songs are by the band Maximum The Hormone.

Further to the change in music, it could be said that the new hectic additions to the soundtrack reflects the nature of the story and its current direction. The underlying cat-and-mouse game still exists, and the goals of uncovering L and Kira's identities are still constant. However the addition of what seems to be yet another Kira and even more stakeholders in this big game has viewer attention going everywhere. It cannot be denied that the series is indeed becoming interesting again, but there come times once in a few episodes where (younger) viewers may have to watch parts more than once to understand the true meanings of the portrayed events.

Grade:
Production Info:
Overall : B+
Overall (dub) : B
Overall (sub) : B+
Story : B+
Animation : A
Art : B+
Music : B

+ New, visually interesting opening sequence, and new direction in the plot.
Odd song choice for new opening theme.

Director:Tetsuro Araki
Series Composition:Toshiki Inoue
Script:
Toshiki Inoue
Tomohiko Ito
Yasuko Kobayashi
Shoji Yonemura
Storyboard:
Takashi Anno
Tetsuro Araki
Makoto Bessho
Michio Fukuda
Toshio Hirata
Tomohiko Ito
Shin Matsuo
You Moriyama
Ryosuke Nakamura
Minoru Ohara
Shinsaku Sasaki
Yuzo Sato
Shinji Satoh
Kiyoko Sayama
Norimitsu Suzuki
Toru Takahashi
Junichi Takaoka
Kei Tsunematsu
Takashi Watanabe
Sayo Yamamoto
Mitsuhiro Yoneda
Episode Director:
Oyunamu
Hironobu Aoyagi
Tetsuro Araki
Makoto Bessho
Naoyasu Hanyu
Naoto Hashimoto
Takayuki Hirao
Hideki Ito
Tomohiko Ito
Mitsuyuki Masuhara
Shinji Nagamura
Ryosuke Nakamura
Eiko Nishi
Yukio Okazaki
Tetsuhito Saito
Hisato Shimoda
Hiroyuki Tsuchiya
Kei Tsunematsu
Tokio Yamauchi
Mitsuhiro Yoneda
Unit Director:
Tomohiko Ito
Mitsuyuki Masuhara
Norimitsu Suzuki
Kei Tsunematsu
Music:
Yoshihisa Hirano
Hideki Taniuchi
Original Manga:
Takeshi Obata
Tsugumi Ohba
Character Design:Masaru Kitao
Art Director:Mio Ishiki
Art:
Mio Isshiki
Ayu Kawamoto
Hideaki Kita
Tetsuhiko Nagashima
Masami Saito
Masato Shibata
Shinji Sugiyama
Harumi Suwa
Mayu Usui
Norihiko Yokomatsu
Chief Animation Director:
Takahiro Kagami
Masaru Kitao
Animation Director:
Mariko Aoki
Atsushi Aono
Takehiro Hamatsu
Yoshitsugu Hatano
Masaki Hyuga
Shin Jae Ick
Hideki Inoue
Hideki Ito
Kim Dong Joon
Takahiro Kagami
Hiromi Kato
Yuki Kinoshita
Masaru Kitao
Akemi Kobayashi
Hideto Komori
Hirotaka Marufuji
Yutaka Minowa
Shinichi Miyamae
Kosuke Murayama
Terumi Nishii
Takashi Saijo
Kim Dong Seek
Takuro Takahashi
Junichi Takaoka
Koushou Yasuno
Mamoru Yokota
Shin'ichi Yokota
Jang Kil Yong
Art design:Shinji Sugiyama
Sound Director:Tomoaki Yamada
Cgi Director:Daisuke Kusaka
Director of Photography:Kazuhiro Yamada
Producer:
Masao Maruyama
Toshio Nakatani
Manabu Tamura

Full encyclopedia details about
Death Note (TV)

Release information about
Death Note (DVD/R4 5)

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