"Death Note" is an animated TV series. I thought that since I scarcely watch any animation these days, it would not be a very appealing series, but just a few episodes into it and I am an admirer. Despite poor print and shoddy animation at times this series has intelligent plot. The twists and turns are all well thought out and prime potagonist, along with the prime antagonist(who's who, is up to you; saw the rhyme?) run the show.
It shows how a dilligent, smart and bored high school student by chance gets his hands on a mysterious book called "Death Note". This book turns him into a power maniac, meticulous executioner of criminals, but such is the vehement force of his urge to act God-like that he crosses all the limits between good and evil, in order to kill anyone who comes in his way. The music in the beginning of the episodes as well as in the end is so impressive and cheering in my opinion. Sound Tracks used in between are also good at times. Dubbing into English is masterly.
I have written about Thanatose in Japanese culture. This TV series is just another reinforcement for the proposition. There is hardly any other culture in my knowledge where as many synonyms for death and suicide have been invented. Shinigami, Kira and Harakiri are terms related to death which come to your mind every now and then as you watch this show. Death is seen as an inevitable reality in most of the cultures, whereas some believe that death, like birth, is an illusion. But Japan looks at death in a certain gloomy way. I cannot express it eloquently, but I feel that literature, TV and cinema do reflect this expressed Thanatose--the urge to die-in Japanese society.
Show is not necessarily for teenagers, but if you say that it's, it should not be completely wrong in my opinion. It also underscores Japanese stress on academic performers who are prime characters in this series. They're nerds and heroes and they don't detest study, in fact they keep on devouring more and more of it, every single day. Shinigami affects me at times and it makes me feel a strange nostalgia. In short, this is a very good show for mystery lovers.