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‘Death Note’ S1E1 “Rebirth” (Review)

Credit: Takeshi Obata; Edited/Designed by, The SPARX Team

Rule 1: The human whose name is written in this note shall die.

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It’s been quite some time since I’ve provided a review for a particular anime and me and my team decided it’s time to do more. This collective of reviews will be directed towards the upcoming American adaptation of pop-culture’s favorite anime, Death Note. For 37 days, I’ll provide my thoughts and insight on the anime’s 37 episodes as the American adaptation fastly approaches its release. Enjoy.

This episode was a slow pace one as it gave you a clear cut vision on what’s going on with the characters who matter; although some didn’t debut in this episode. You had Light’s ego grow to a point where he simply lost the sense of being a human and you had Ryuk who’s suppose to be the Shinigami find such a simple aspect of human activity intriguing. Believe it or not, this main catalyst is the Death Note as it proves that its power can manipulate even the purist ones who focus on working hard to succeed. The episode has the drama, violence, suspense, and thrill to excite the die-hard and especially those who’ve watched this anime for the first time.

Ep #1: “Rebirth”

The episode opens with a Shinigami named Ryuk preoccupied in the Shinigami Realm while other Shinigamis are busy relaxing and gamble. However, despite Ryuk being “a little preoccupied” his boredom gets the better of himself and we simply get into “trouble” when boredom happens. Meanwhile, high school student Light Yagami is a student that doesn’t see the world like others but has a high opinion of the world. On his way home, Light listens to the news via a public television, as various crimes are being broadcast. This only fuels Light’s disdain for how rotten the world has become but he’s not alone as Ryuk shares the same thoughts about his own world, seeing the other Shinigami just becoming a complacent entity. It’s only until the next day while Light is in class as they discuss the extinction of certain species due to them not being fit for their surroundings. Light’s attention on the topic didn’t seem to catch his eyes as he sees a notebook falling to the ground; his intrigue grew slightly about what it may be about.


Credit: Takeshi Obata

After nobody seems to pay attention to the notebook falling out of nowhere Light’s curiosity got the better of him as went to retrieve the notebook after school. Light would open the note and would read the first line present, “The human whose name is written in this notebook shall die.” Light would only chalk this up to being a joke followed by him putting the not back on the floor. However, despite his hesitating nature towards the book he would come back for it anyway as if it was calling out to him.

Back at home, Light would go over the rules written in the notebook, observing that you can make someone suffer or die peacefully. Still thinking the notebook is a juvenile prank, Light lies on his bed with the notebook laying on his desk. Before trying to ignore the note; only to come back to it the thought occurred to him, “If someone actually dies, would that make me a murderer?”. His thoughts would cause doubt as he wrote off any notion of the notebook even working.

Light’s first test of the book would come from writing down Kurou Otoharad’s (a criminal who has held a group of children hostage) name into the note. 40 seconds lapse and nothing happens to Kurou, however, once Light decides to turn off the television before the criminal’s run out of the building. It becomes apparent to Light that Kurou has died and the reporter confirms this thought as Kurou dies of a heart. Light’s shockingly revelation of the notebook has come true.


Credit: Takeshi Obata

With the proof right there Light wouldn’t be completely impressed until he tests the notebook again but this time he elaborates the way in which the individual dies. He hesitates to kill him but Light sees a gang abusing a young lady; not that it matters to him personally. After hearing the name of the leader, Takuo Shibuimaru, Lights walks into a shop and writes Takuo’s name down in a number of variations, to make sure he spells his name correctly. To further test the notebook, Light writes in the cause of death to be a traffic accident. After Takuo is struck by a passing truck, Light shockingly says, “The Death Note… is real!”

Rule #2: This note will not take effect unless the writer has the person’s face in their mind when writing his/her name. Therefore, people sharing the same name will not be affected.

Rule #3: If the cause of death is written within 40 seconds of writing the person’s name, it will happen.

Rule #4: If the cause of death is not specified, the person will simply die of a heart attack.

Rule #5: After writing the cause of death, details of the death should be written in the next 6 minutes and 40 seconds.

Rule #6: This note shall become the property of the human world, once it touches the ground of (arrives in) the human world.

Ryuk decides to come looking for his notebook knowing that his time in the human world will be interesting. Light has written down countless names of those he deems unfit to live in the new world he intends to create. Exclaiming to his mother he “already has what he wants“, Light is interrupted by Ryuk laughing in the window having to be pleased with his work. Ryuk introduces himself and mentions that he is the Shinigami who dropped the notebook. After Light fell out of the chair at Ryuk’s presence he collects himself and tells the Shinigami he knows who he is and isn’t surprised by his presence.

Rule #7: The human who uses this note can neither go to Heaven nor Hell.


Credit: Takeshi Obata

Ryuk would answer all of Light’s questions without hesitating and seems extremely impressed as to how Light has used the Death Note unlike many humans have done before. Ryuk then explains how boring his world has become and sees that the notebook is in the human world as fun. Ryuk would ask why he wants to pass righteous judgment in the first place. Light simply answers that he was bored too. After a night with the Shinigami, Light has convinced himself that he’s the only one that is able to do such a thing and that only he can cleanse the world. Afterward, a series of criminals die via the Death Note. Light would express that even the most minor criminals will be killed. Ryuk would reply that if he were to do this, then the only bad-hearted person will be Light, himself. Light merely brushed the comment and tells Ryuk that he will reign over a New World as God.

The episode closes with Ryuk believing that humans are indeed interesting.

Rule #8: The owner of the note can recognize the image and voice of its original owner, i.e. a god of death.

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