What I’ve Watched Recently

I haven’t posted in a while and I guess that’s cause I’m super busy with the 3rd year of my degree, but I really just wanna write down my thoughts about some movies and TV shows I’ve watched recently. These are all anime based, two studio ghibli films and two anime’s that I’ve watched all the way through. WARNING: there will be spoilers in this post, so if you want to watch these at some point either don’t read this post or only read the very beginning and very end of each paragraph.

Whisper of the Heart:

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Whisper of the Heart is the first ghibli film I’ll be discussing. This is one of those ghibli films that I recommend to those people who like anime but don’t like some of the weird or non-logical aspects of anime and the ghibli films. If you’ve watched other ghibli films, like Spirited Away, then you’ll know what I mean about the weird sort of aspect of anime and the ghibli films, but this film is just a simple film for escapism. It’s about this girl called Shizuku who loves to read and write, but lacks confidence to achieve her ambitions and this is becoming more of a concern as she is currently taking her exams to get into high school. One day she meets a boy named Seiji and at first he teases her a lot consequently making her dislike him, but then they bond over his grandfathers antique shop. It is through this that she finds out that he wants to become a master violin craftsman, and is planning on going to Italy to study with the best craftsmen in the world. Inspired by his determination to achieve his dream, Shizuku decides to write a book before he comes back from Italy. She names this book ‘Whisper of the Heart’ (hence the title of the film) and it features the cat that she saw inside Seiji’s grandfathers shop. Once finished, though the book isn’t perfect, she is encouraged to continue writing as everyone can see her potential and they know it is what she loves to do. When Seiji get back from Italy, he tells Shizuku that although he was good enough to continue studying in Italy he has decided to stay in Japan and go to high school with Shizuku. Naturally over time they have fallen in love with each other and the audience is left with the couple going forward towards their dreams together into high school, all living happily ever after. It’s so wholesome and cute, and it’s just about normal problems and situations that everyone goes through and that’s why I recommend it to those who just want to immerse themselves in some typical school drama and love.

Howl’s Moving Castle

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Howl’s Moving Castle is one of those ghibli films that I don’t recommend to people who don’t like the weird aspect of anime and studio ghibli. Basically it is the opposite of Whisper of the Heart, if you liked watching Spirited Away then you’ll like Howl’s Moving Castle. It’s about this girl called Sophie who works in her father’s old hat shop and she always concerns herself with others before herself, and she has never seen herself as beautiful. One day after work she runs into Howl who is a wizard and is known for eating the hearts of beautiful women. At first she didn’t know it was Howl and plus he seemed like the last person to eat a girls heart, as he was so charming and sweet. A witch finds out that they had interacted and she gets jealous as she is in love with Howl, and therefore curses Sophie to make her an old women. Unable to talk about her curse to anyone and no longer able to be seen by her friends and family, she goes off into the hills to find Howl and to break the curse. She finds Howls Moving Castle and meets a series of other characters, who soon become her new family as she learns who Howl really is. She finds out that Howl is under his own curse and together they both work to break their curses and to stop the war that is currently ragging on between two kingdoms. It ends with them both breaking their curses, the war coming to an end, and Howl and Sophie falling deeply in love as they continue to live in the moving castle with their newly found family. This film is full of action, its tense at times, its humorous, and Sophie is a strong female lead who we all aspire to be. With How; being a wizard their are a lot of weird aspects with magic and such, but he is a sweet character who learns to find himself along with Sophie and they both find a purpose for living, which is each other ❤ its cute I loved it.

Your Lie In April

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Your Lie in April is the first of the two anime’s I’ll be talking about, and like most anime’s I got so emotionally invested in the story and characters that I was so sad when it was over. This is an anime that again I would recommend to people who just enjoy watching anime for some cute, teenage drama and love. Its about this boy named Kōsei who is an incredible pianist but vowed never to play piano again after his childhood trauma. This is until he meets Kaori who is an amazing violinist who wants Kōsei to be her accompanist. He chooses not to play piano anymore due to his mothers pressuring him to play perfectly and beating him when he didn’t. Eventually, she died of a terminal illness when he was younger and after that he choose not to play again, yet everyone he meets remembers him for being the best pianist that inspired so many people. Eventually Kaori persuades him to accompany her on stage, and although her methods are unconventional she is by far the best in the competition. They end up practising together and continuing to play their instruments, but Kaori is hiding a secret. She is extremely ill herself and she is trying to hide it from Kōsei, but eventually it becomes too much. As well as coming to terms with his mothers death in the past and learning to let go of her overbearing shadow that still lurked around him, Kōsei is now having to confront the fact that he is now losing another person that means so much to him. Eventually, Kaori dies too and in her final letter to Kōsei she confesses her love for him and he was the one to inspire her to become a violinist in the first place so that one day they could play on the same stage as each other, and in the end her dreams were fulfilled. It is so emotional, but it has a lot of real life issues that we all go through in our lives and all the characters together create a truly beautiful but realist picture of the reality that teenagers go through. It’s an amazing anime, not too long which is good, and the message of pursing your dreams and living life to the fullest remains with you long after the anime is over.

Free! – Iwatobi Swim Club 

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I have been wanting to watch this anime for so long, and now I’ve finished the whole thing within like two days and I absolutely love it! So I would recommend this to my female friends who are into high school anime’s and you’ll soon see why. Free is about a high school swimming team so naturally there are a lot of toned anime bodies in swimming trunks all the time. Not gunna lie, was very aesthetically pleasing but the story is great too. It is about these 4 guys: Haruka (main character black hair centre), Makoto (brown hair behind Haru), Nagisa (blonde hair looking forward), and Rei (blue hair at the back with glasses), who are all part of Iwatobi high school’s swimming club. Haru, Makoto and Nagisa start the club together and have been swimming for years and used to compete competitively. They used to swim with their friend Rin (black training suit with purple hair) who now goes to a different school and has seemed to be more bitter than he used to be when e was younger. They all used to compete in the relay with each other and they were an amazing team but Rin went to a different school to the others in Australia to become a better swimming, when he changed attitude towards swimming and the guys but no one knows why. In order to compete and to swim again, Haru, Makoto and Nagisa have to create a swim club at their school, but for it to be official they need a fourth member. Nagisa decides that the best person would be Rei, a high intelligent athlete who only participates in athletics because that is the only sport he deems as beautiful. However, he is eventually persuaded to join them but in order to compete in competitions again and to gain the club some prestige they need to work hard together on their individual events, and to persuade Haru to participate in rely as he claims he’ll only swim “free”. Haru doesn’t care about times or improvement, he just wants to swim, but he is the best and the other admire him so much that participating in relay with Haru is their dream. They also have their work cut out with Rei who despite joining the club in the end doesn’t know how to swim. This anime is all about these guys working hard at something that they love, rekindling their passion for swimming, and achieving their dreams together. It’s also about friendship and the bond that they all share with each other through swimming, even their bond with Rin who they were such good friends with when they were younger. It’s funny, it adventurous, its tense, and exciting, and being a person who loved sport so much when they were younger it really connects with me on that level as I remember what it was like to train, work as a team and eventually win. I loved Free and it has a second season too called Free! – Eternal Summer, which get slightly more serious as Haru, Makoto and Rin approach graduation and have to start considering their future. It relatable and it’s just fun to watch to see, again, characters working together and encouraging each other in their passions and dreams.

 

That’s it, these are the most recent films and TV shows in the world of anime that I have watched and I will be re-watching all of these at some point I am sure. Hope this was a fun read for you all and if you’ve watched these, or are planning on watching them then let me know what you think in the comments. Hope you’re all having a fabulous day and I’ll see you next time 🙂

Alice xxx

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Naruto Episode 1 – 100

SPOILER ALERT!!!

I am loving Naruto! I know it’s been around for a while, but I thought I’d start watching it now since I have the time and I’m so glad I did 🙂 So this blog post is my opinion on the anime and its characters so far 🙂

 

Naruto Uzumaki

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Naruto is obviously the main character in the anime and you follow him on his journey to become the greatest ninja ever. My first thoughts on Naruto: this kid is an idiot! Is this still my opinion on him after the first 100 episodes? Yes, but he’s warmed up to me a lot more. He’s had a hard life, living with no family and being shunned by society because he contains the demon that almost destroyed their village inside of him, he has had a tough time. However, he has a fighting spirit and is still determined to be the best no matter what people say, which is something I admire about him. He’s not my favourite character though, why? Because although I feel sorry for him, he still has a lot to learn about growing up and being the best. I also feel that he is the strongest character so far within the anime. That may come as no surprise since he is the main character, but if you have watched the anime you may be shocked at that statement. Yes, there are other characters and they are very strong, but Naruto has developed the most out of them all in my opinion and therefore I think he’ll be ok 🙂 He has some healthy competition with the other ninjas, which I’ll speak about soon enough, and this only makes things more interesting. He’s doing well so far and has grown up a lot since he first became a Genin (first rank of ninja) which is why I like him more, but still he has a lot to learn and he still needs to get stronger. I have high hopes for Naruto and I have no doubt that he’ll achieve his dream of becoming Hokage one day. If he can master difficult Ninjutsu like the A-ranked Rasengan, created by the fourth Hokage, even when he’s still a kid, he must be destined for great things 🙂 I’m interested to see how this number one, hyperactive, knuckleheaded ninja will grow an develop over the coming years, BELIEVE IT!

Sasuke Uchiha

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Sasuke is sassy! This guy thinks he’s the best and knows he’s the best! Actually, I don’t think he’s the best but he is mighty strong. Sasuke has had a rough start to life too with his entire family clan being killed by his older brother Itachi, who I have only just met in the anime. Due to this it has become Sasukes goal to become strong enough to kill his older brother and avenge his family. His brother is a strong fighter however and I think this will be more of a challenge than expected for Sasuke. Either way he trains hard to improve his strength and he is learning how to use his Sharingan to the best of its ability. The Sharingan is a desired trait to have as it is an awfully powerful tool to use in battle, and our bad-guy of the series has already set his sights on obtaining its power. Sasuke is young though and has time to learn like everyone else, he can already use a powerful Ninjutsu called Chidori that his sensei taught him which shows Sasukes strength. Not only is he a powerful ninja and the rival of every other ninja in the anime, including Naruto, but he is also a babe magnet! All the girls love him, and as shallow as it sounds that factor alone causes rivalries between them! Does Sasuke care though? Nope, but if he wanted a girl he could get one easily haha :-p

Sakura Haruno

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SAKURA IS THE MOST USELESS MAIN CHARACTER I HAVE EVER MET! As a girl myself, I like to see the female characters stand their own ground and be super strong and amazing, but Sakura is beyond useless! She’s done nothing! At all! WHAT! During the Chūnin exams, Sakura really had a chance to prove herself! Sakura and fellow  team mates Naruto and Sasuke had made it to the preliminaries before the final round and she had a good opponent. Not someone too strong, someone who was about her level and was her biggest rival too! This definitely caused some fighting spirit and I really wanted Sakura to kick ass and for the whole team to go to the finals, but what happens? SHE LOSES! BEYONG USELESS! Now Naruto fans out there are probably having a secret go at me now, because she probably ends up becoming an amazing ninja, but right not all she’s done is stood around and fan girled over Sasuke! I hope she develops into an amazing, strong character because so far I’m not seeing it which is a shame 😦 Although to be fair her sensei hasn’t helped her a lot, he’s been rather preoccupied with Sasuke :-/ She intelligent, definitely smarter than the other two, but she really needs to work on her practical skills and get in there! Come on Sakura!

Kakashi Hatake AKA Kakashi Sensei  

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This is Kakashi Sensei. Look how freaking cool he is! Kakashi is the sensei training Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura. He has a Sharingan, like Sasuke, but only in one eye (the one that’s covered by his band) and I have no idea how he got it. However Kakashi has proven himself to be a strong ninja so far, cocky at times but strong nonetheless. He worked closely with his team and has been on missions with them, but its obvious that he has a soft spot of Sasuke. They are very similar in character and they have the same set of skills, and since Sasuke is a huge target for any ninja, I feel like Kakashi wants to help him so that he s prepared for anything. The amount of attention he gives Sasuke annoys Naruto greatly and has left Sakura without guidance but I guess everyone is learning how to work as a team. Kakashi is a great character, so cool and calm yet awesomely strong! I’m excited to see how the relationships form between him and his team. I’m also excited to se what his goals and aspirations are for the future, I think there is a lot more to Kakashi then meets the eye…get it! Oh gosh I should never do that again haha XD

Now that I’ve spoken about the main characters within the anime, I’m going to talk about a few other interesting people who have popped up 🙂

Hinata Hyūga

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Hinata is the cutest character and by far my favourite female 🙂 Is she the strongest? No. Has she beaten anyone? No. Well she sounds just as useless as Sakura then! NOW HOLD UP! This is different, because Hinata has a family name and history that she cant get away from. There has been a huge divide within the Hyūga clan and Hinata had a lot to live up too. However, she’s not the strongest, she’s very shy, and she’s doing the best she can to make her family proud of her! Now if that’s not admirable then I don’t know what is. I believe she’ll find her own path and become the ninja she wants to be, no matter what family reputation there is. Hinata has something called the Byakugan, which give her a 360 degree scope of where she is, it allows her to see up to 50 metres and further with training, and she can also see peoples Chakra points which is what they use to perform Ninjutsu or Genjutsu. These eyes are bad ass and I hope she’ll be able to put them to good use in the future 🙂

Ino Yamanaka

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I don’t really have a lot to say about Ino, again she is a pretty useless character and hasn’t been all that amazing so far, but she has an undeniable rivalry with Sakura. Ino is the one who battled Sakura an this proves how useless they both are, you ready, I told you Sakura lost but guess what? So did Ino, it was a draw! The only thing making Ino slightly better is that she has a technique called the mind transfer jutsu which is signature to her, and is a good technique for battle. Ino needs to develop more, like Sakura, and they both need to stop fussing over Sasuke, because although it creates healthy competition between the two of them, he really doesn’t care hahaha XD

Shikamaru Nara

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Shikamaru is extremely intelligent, with an IQ over 200! But he is the laziest person ever! With an IQ like that, he is a great strategist and with some hard work he could be an amazing ninja, but that’s the problem he hates work! I feel like is he finds a motivation he’ll do great, but again its finding that motivation that’s the problem :-/ Shikamaru is close friends with Naruto mainly because he sees himself on the same level as him. In the Chūnin exams, Shikamaru made it to the finals, but was shocked by the performances of the other competitors, especially Naruto as he won his match against a strong ninja called Neji, who I’m not going to speak about yet as I don’t see him as interesting enough, but maybe we’ll see. Shikamaru has a lot of potential and has great skills to be a team player. I hope they continue to develop his character from now on.

Konohamaru Sarutobi  

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Konohamaru is the grandson of the 3rd Hokage, so quite a big deal then. I like Konohamaru, because as he’s so young when you first meet him, we’ll be able to see his development the most. He is close friends with Naruto and he admires him a lot. One day he too wishes to be Hokage and to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather 🙂 I think he is adorable and I’m looking forward o seeing him grow into a great shinobi 🙂

Rock Lee

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I LOVE ROCK LEE!!!!!!!!!!!!! …oh I need to say more? Oh ok I just thought that because it’s Lee we could leave it at that, oh alright then I’ll brag about how great Lee is then 😉 Lee is a ninja who has absolutely no talent whatsoever, yet he is still one of the strongest ninjas out there! Lee only uses Taijutsu as he has no luck with Ninjutsu or Genjutsu, and he strives to be the best ninja ever even though he is disadvantaged. He wants to prove that he can be just as good as ninja as anyone else, with only Taijutsu. When I first met Lee, I thought he was a bowl haired weirdo but after to episodes I was converted and my love for Lee has only grown since then 🙂 He is absolutely amazing and will push himself to the limit every time. He is so dedicated and he admires his sensei greatly. Lee is also super fast and amazingly kind and I want to see him more! By far he is my favourite character and I just love him 🙂 When Lee fought in the Chūnin exams, he was told that he could never fight again after sustaining the injuries that he did and this was me: “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO THIS CAN NOT BE THE END OF LEE!!!!! I LOVE HIM YOU CAN’T DO THIS HE’S AMAZING! WHAT ABOUT HIS DREAMS?! COME ON! LEE NO! *cries for hours*” this is how serious a problem I have haha XD But seriously, Lee is an interesting character and I would love to see more of him in the anime 🙂

Gaara

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This is a more controversial view of mine, but I actually really like Gaara. Her comes from the village hidden in the sand and like Naruto, he too has a demon inside of him. They sacrificed his mother so they could make Gaara into some type of weapon for their village and when they realised they couldn’t control Gaara, they tried to kill him! Gaara never asked for this! Yet everyone hates and fears him, he isn’t loved and because of that he believes that to feel alive he has to kill others. This naturally scared Naruto as he and Gaara are the same, and he realises that if his friend had never come along, then maybe he’d be thinking the same way Gaara does. I think he will change though, not much but a little. Gaara is amazing strong with this sand spirit inside of him always protecting him, but I think we’ll hopefully see a more caring Gaara develop and he’ll find more of a purpose for living then just killing others. He interests me and I want to see him get some love in his life, I don’t know we’ll see 🙂

Might Guy AKA Guy Sensei

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Well this guy looks awfully similar to someone I know…hmm let me think…OH YEAH ROCK LEE! Guy is Lee’s sensei and role model 🙂 He is absolutely hilarious, but dedicated to his job and what he believes in. He loves Lee like a son and he wants to help Lee achieve his dreams. That’s why he has taught Lee some secret Taijutsu and has trained him hard so he can be the best. He has developed a strange rivalry with Kakashi, but nonetheless it helps Guy to stay motivated and determined to improve. He shows the same favouritism that Kakashi shows Sasuke and since he is Lee’s sensei naturally I love him haha 🙂

Hiruzen Sarutobi AKA the 3rd Hokage

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This is the 3rd Hokage and the protector of the village hidden in the leaves, where our heroes live…he’s dead OPPS huge spoiler alert!!! Yeah he die not too long ago, ummm real sad…I had no attachment to the Hokage. I thought he was cool, I thought he was kind and strong, especially for his age, but the fact that he died didn’t really bother me. He’s old and he died doing his duty so it doesn’t surprise me at all. As soon as he started fighting the bad guy (who you’ll met in a second) I was like: “he ‘s dead, he has no chance, I’m sorry” and look who was right. I don’t know it was going to happen eventually and it just so happened to be really early on. He was great, but time for something new (and you’ll meet them in a second too)

Orochimaru

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This is our bad guy people, meet Orochimaru! He kind of looks like the bad guy doesn’t he? With this white face thing he has going on and them eyes, man he looks like he’s going to eat your soul! Then again though Gaara looks rather scary…still Orochimaru, old pupil of the 3rd Hokage and the one to eventually kill him. Well something seriously wrong there didn’t it?! I  him as a bad person yes, and clearly as the villain of this anime, but I mean the main thing he wants to do is crush the leaf village. I mean really? Is that it? Your goal is to crush one village? Come on Orochimaru step up your villain game! This guy is trouble, no doubt, but he needs to be a bit more evil for me. I like my bad guys to settle for nothing less than world domination and god-like status haha XD

Jiraiya 

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This is…not the next Hokage, BUT he was offered the role! Jiraiya (or otherwise known as the pervy sage by Naruto) is one a Sannin and is one of the most powerful ninja in the entire world, yet he is more interested inbeing with young beautiful laddies -.- Jiraiya is the worst role model to have, but he is good at what he does. You might be thinking “Oh so he can beat up Orochimaru then” and he problem with that is, Orochimaru is also a Sannin and so hey are as strong as each other :-/Jiraiya is also known as the toad sage as he works alongside toads in battle, and everything is rather toad related with him haha :-p Jiraiya is currently teaching Naruto and he has a tough love relationship with him. They don’t get along all that well, but there is no doubt that Jiraiya has helped to make Naruto stronger. In fact, Jiraiya purposefully took Naruto off Kakashi’s hands, and hopefully we’ll see how he impacts Naruto and the village in the future.

Tsunade

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This ladies and gentlemen, is the 5th Hokage, Lady Tsunade! First of all, awesome its a female! It’s good that they are mixing it up here! Secondly, she’s a healing ninja, that is plain cool. She’s helpful and strong! what more could you ask for in a Hokage? Sure she was reluctant at first, and she has a huge gambling problem, but she has the potential to be great I think 🙂 You may also be wondering what else qualifies her to be Hokage, well she is the third legendary Sannin of the hidden leaf village, yep she will kick your ass! Naruto inspired her into the role of Hokage and I think she’ll do all she can to be the best she can be, for him. He reminds her of her lover and younger brother who died years ago, and their dream was too be Hokage too so she wants to continue the dream, for them. I think that’s a worthy cause 🙂

AND THAT’S IT! Wow that was a lot to say, but I guess I had to explain characters too as this is and introduction as well as my thoughts haha 🙂 comment below your favourite Naruto character if you’ve watched the anime and ‘ll speak to you soon 🙂

Alice x

Death Note

SPOILER ALERT!!!

Ok, so I may be a little late to jump on this train, but I’ve just finished the anime “Death Note” and it was amazing!

As a Philosophy and Ethics student, I was naturally interested in the issues that were raised in the anime about right and wrong, and who deserves to die and live. Whether there is such a thing as “Gods” or if everything can be solved logically. I loved following the characters of Light, L and Ryuk the most.

Light Yagami started the series as a teenager who discovers a book of death known as the “death note.” The idea is that once you write a name in the death note, that person will die. That is the basic premise of the anime and Light brings it upon himself to clear the world of all criminals in order to create a perfect new world. I wont go into anymore detail than that as I want to discuss Light as a character. At first you realize that he is an extremely intelligent individual, with a strong sense of justice, but seems to be confused about how much someone should be punished for what they do. As the story continues, you slowly see Light becoming more and more obsessed with the death note in an attempt to create this new world, without being discovered. Due to this, the public give Light the nickname “Kira.” The way he acts throughout the anime creates a convincing display in proving to the police that he is not Kira, which makes him even more interesting. His intelligence and skill allowed him to go undetected for so many years, until the pressure finally corrupts him leading to his inevitable capture and death. You see how much Light changes in the last episodes of the anime, as usually he is able to keep his thoughts to himself, but by desperately wanting to win he is careless and that is how you know that it is finally over.  However although Light individually is a strong character, it’s his relationship with the character L that makes the anime different to me.

L is known as the best detective in the world, solving every case he has faced alone, so naturally the “Kira case” (as it was called) was one he wanted to take on. L was a cautious character at first, protecting his identity at all cost to prevent being killed, but with this case we finally see who the real L is. This created a sense of mystery to the character for me, and what was better was his undefinable likeness to Light. Although having different ideals, they both claimed to be “justice” and with regards to characteristics they weren’t that different. L was also extremely intelligent and when teamed up with Light, they seemed unstoppable. Although L suspected Light of being Kira the entire anime, he still classed him as his one true friend. L ended up being killed by Light, yet L still occupied Lights mind even to his dying day. The events that these two go through are unbelievable, but their relationship is the best one to follow in the anime, in my opinion.

Finally there is Ryuk. He is a shinigami, meaning “god of death”, and he is the owner of the death note that Light ends up finding. He can only be seen by people who have touched the note book and he will remain in the human world until the new owner dies or they relinquish the note book willingly back to the shinigami. Ryuk knows that to live, he must kill humans before their time to obtain the years that person never lived. However, what makes him fascinating in the anime is that he was simply bored and was just a spectator to whatever Light did. He did not assist him unless necessary and most of all, he couldn’t care what happened at all, he just wanted to be entertained. Therefore to me, Ryuk represents the audience watching the anime. Like us, Ryuk doesn’t know what is going to happen and is happy enough to just watch events unfold, which is what makes him my favourite character.

Well there you have it, that’s my take on Death Note and some of the main characters involved. I would highly recommend this anime to anyone as its short, gripping and thought provoking, which is what makes it entertaining. If you want to leave a comment with your thoughts on Death Note, i’ll reply asap 🙂 Have an awesome day and I’ll be writing again soon 🙂

Alice x