Did I like it?
It was not bad.
The Death Note franchise is ‘fractured’ to say the least. We had an amazing manga, an even greater anime, two average live action adaptations and a decent spin-off. The rest is simply not up to par. Death Note is one of those stories you siimply should leave ‘as is.’ Just leave the source material be and let it rest. Otherwise we get things like the American Death Note on Netflix. Where gore and style goes over subtlety and substance. Now we have another installment, this time Japanese. It had superb acting, great direction and a solid script. Let’s dive in.
+ Kick-ass premise
Without spoiling anything, I can present you the premise: The King of Death was delighted by Light’s actions that he purpesely drops 6 Death Notes in the human world. And a rule says, that only 6 Death Notes can be active at the same time. This premise is simply amazing. This leaves so much room for either a war for supremacy and deceit, or, as the plot handles it, psycholigical warfare for finding all six Death Notes. I think the writer handled it smartly and made the best out of this premise. Still not as good as Tsugumi Ohba himsel, but it’s decent.
– Too short and too long
The downside is its bloated plot. It tries to handle way too many characters and does not focus on its protagonists and antagonists. I mean, it surely does, but not in the best way it could be done. Some characters have a vast backstory, others have no single line explaining their origins. It may make sense in terms of storytelling i.e. ‘it has to be like this becauseof the character,’ yet it kills suspense and tension since I don’t know the characters motivation due to lack of backstory. You don’t need an entire book to explain things. I know. A few lines of expositon would have helped a little. In the original manga the only backstory of Near was his life in Whammy’s House. Just as an example of how to add a backstory for a character.
Bottom line: Too bad there won’t be a concluding threequel.