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Animation Ardor: On Death Note, The Manga Turned Anime

Death Note – one of the most phenomenal dark Manga series of all times, has really made it big and been adapted in almost all forms now. From Manga, it went on to become an Anime, a novel, a series of video games, a live-action movie and very recently, a music album.

When Death Note turned an Anime, it was a rough, bumpy transition it had. Some accepted it readily while others found flaws. Some declared the Manga series to be more engrossing and the new Anime to be less interesting. And there even was some slight shift in the storyline that angered the fans. Here’s a detailed analysis of how Death Note differed in the two forms:

Dialogue or less dialogue?

The Manga version lacked excessive character movements and so did the Anime. But, the former was a heavy, wordy series with less expressions and more dialogues. The latter had a few episodes trimmed and was rich in character expressions along with a cut-down on dialogues. Sometimes, the expressions said it all in the Anime.

Aren’t some characters overly expressed in the Anime?

The characters of Death Note Manga were clear with Detective L’s obsession for sweets shown subtly. But, the Anime exaggerated this obsession unnecessarily, almost forgetting to portray L as a calm and rational being. Light Yagami, the Kira, too, was portrayed shouting around about almost anything. Where was the mysterious young boy we knew from the Manga gone?

Everything seemed to be largely about religion. No?

Okay, Yagami found the notebook that could kill people and a bored Shinigami was behind it. So, essentially the entire plot was about the act of God. But while the Manga exhibited this only in a washed out way with Gothic designs, the Anime had to yell it out loud for everyone to hear it all the time.

The Manga resolution wasn’t very powerful.

Light Yagami is a coward, the kind of guy that would easily stoop down in front of Defeat. His death in the Manga, but, could not evoke much emotion. On the other hand, Yagami dying alone upon a staircase is a more powerful and symbolic ending in the Anime.

The voice actor casting was of course better:

Here’s a second flaw I found with Death Note Manga. The voice-over was not up to the mark. In fact, it was painful at times with L speaking in a wailing tone and Ryuk, the Shinigami, sounding more childish than godlike. The Anime, however, had a better, more soothing voice-over cast.

But, because of its originality and nascence, the Manga will forever be a favorite. After all, the Anime was only a copy of it with a twist here and a twist there, sometimes irrational and sometimes way too expressed. When you pick up both and compare, you find a hell lot of differences besides the one I have mentioned. But, at the end of the day, it’s originality which always wins.


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