Is Death Note Worth Watching?

By Kanishma Ray / February 19, 2022

It's hard to navigate the anime community without hearing about Death Note. The show is a household name among weebs and is the second most-watched anime of all time.

The series follows the story of Light Yagami, a genius student who comes across the power to kill people with a notebook. Excited by the idea of playing God, Light makes it his mission to serve justice by killing criminals. But when a mysterious detective threatens his reign, the lines between justice and murder cease to exist, and Light plays an elaborate game against the world.

Both the show and manga have been hailed as the best anime series of their generation, but is Death Note really worth your time?

Is Death Note Worth Watching?

Light vs L Death Note

It doesn't matter whether you're an avid anime fan or a stranger to the medium; Death Note is definitely worth a watch. The series is one of the best psychological thrillers in anime history and hands down the most intellectually satisfying shows available.

There's a lot that makes Death Note what it is, but the gist is that it's a cat-vs-mouse chase between two of the most genius characters introduced on-screen. Our protagonist Light Yagami, the evil mastermind with a God-complex, gets entangled in a battle of wits with the legendary detective L — both of whom believe that they are the ultimate hand of justice on the planet.

Even if the premise sounds enticing, trust that it doesn't do the show justice, especially to fans of the genre. Death Note keeps you on the edge of your seat with your heart beating in your palms, and the show delivers in every aspect.

Admittedly, a few episodes after the first arc might disappoint some of the audience (depending on the characters they choose to "kin" with), but the last two episodes more than makeup for it.

In fact, the show's fantastic ending is part of its charm.

READ MORE: Death Note Ending Explained!

If you enjoyed shows like Money Heist, Dexter (the drama series), Code Geass, and Sherlock Holmes, Death Note would definitely be worth your time.

How Long Will It Take To Finish Death Note?

It depends on your streaming habits. The show is 37 episodes long, with each episode running within the standard 20-30 minute time frame. So even if you only watch 2-3 episodes a day, you can finish it in a little over two weeks. For casual binge-watchers (who watch 5 or more episodes a day), it shouldn't take over a week.

This is a very low estimate, of course. Most of the show's audience took no longer than 3 days to finish the show. So if you have a lot of time to kill in the next few days, dive right it. (If you don't, don't feel obligated to finish it so soon. Take your time and savor the show at your own pace.)

Can I Watch Death Note: Relight 1 & 2 Instead Of The Anime?

Ryuk In Death Note: Relight
Ryuk In Death Note: Relight

The Relight series is a condensed version of the Death Note anime, told from Ryuk's perspective with some added animation and dialogue. It has two episodes (each two hours long) and serves as a recap-cum-summary of the original series.

So can you skip the DN anime and watch the Relight instead?

That's not recommended. The Relight series waters the original content down, and given that it's just a summary, it fails to do justice to the flair of the anime version.

Since the story here is retold from Ryuk's perspective, it's a fun way for old fans to revisit the series. But overall, Relight adds no extra value to the franchise. Most consider it a waste of time, and watching them first will ruin the series for you.

Should I Watch Death Note Anime Or Read The Manga First?

Both the manga and the anime have their own merits, but it's recommended that you watch the anime first. The anime is shorter (37 episodes) than the manga (107 chapters), so new viewers find it easier to get into.

Once you're done with the show, though, give the manga a shot. The Death Note manga is an un-cut version of the story, and once the plot starts going, it delves a lot deeper into details than the anime did, enhancing the overall experience. This is why the second season is better received among manga readers than the anime ones.

Of course, reading the manga after you watch the show is optional, and so is watching the show after reading it. Both mediums provide an equally amazing experience to their audience, and your choice should depend on personal preferences.

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