For a list of televised episodes, see List of Episodes.

Death Note (デスノート, Desu Nōto) is an animated television series directed by Tetsurō Araki and animated by Madhouse. It is an adaption of the 2003 manga series Death Note.

First broadcasted on October 3, 2006, to June 26, 2007, it has a total of 37 twenty-minute episodes.[1] The series aired on the Nippon Television network "every Tuesday at 23:34".[2] The series was co-produced by Madhouse, Nippon Television, Shueisha, D.N. Dream Partners, and VAP.[3]

International ReleaseEdit

United States and CanadaEdit

In North America, the series has been licensed by Viz for residents in the United States to use "Download-to-Own" and "Download-to-Rent" services while it was still airing in Japan. This move is seen as "significant because it marks the first time a well known Japanese anime property will be made legally available to domestic audiences for download to own while the title still airs on Japanese television. The downloadable episodes contain the original Japanese audio track and English subtitles,[4] and is available through IGN's Windows-only Direct2Drive service.[5] DVDs of the series have also been released,[4] containing both an English dubbed audio track, produced by Ocean Productions, and the original Japanese audio track with optional English subtitles.[6] Viz announced at Anime Expo 2007 that the first DVD was officially released on November 20, 2007, in both regular and special editions,[7] and also confirmed at Comic-Con International 2007 that the first 15,000 copies of each DVD contains collectible figures.[8]

Death Note was slated to make its North American television premiere in Canada on YTV's Bionix programming block on September 7, 2007, The Canadian premiere was pushed back to October 26, 2007, at 10:00 p.m., when it finally premiered. Death Note premiered in the U.S. on October 20, 2007, at 11:30 p.m. on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim,[9] until January 10, 2010, when the contract expired.[10] The last episode aired on Canada's YTV channel on July 4, 2008, and on Adult Swim two days later. YTV took away the show on July 5, 2008, with the last airing being the last episode rerun at 1:30 a.m. ET, as part of YTV moving the Bionix block to a 2-hour only block on Saturdays.[11] The show also streamed online for free on Adult Swim Video, with a new episode available every Saturday afternoon, on the day of its broadcast premiere.[12]


The series was later condensed into two films: Death Note Relight 1: Visions of a God, which covered the first part of the story, and Death Note Relight 2: L's Successors, which covered the second part. The first film aired on TV in Japan in 2007, and the second aired in 2008.

Content was heavily revised to make the films feature-length. The films notably includes a few new scenes, such as Light visiting L's grave, and Near recalling a time when L spoke to the children at Wammy's House.


Tom S. Pepirium of IGN said that Death Note's "heavy serialized nature" is what "makes the show so engaging and discussion worthy." Pepirium, saying that translating Death Note is "no small task," said that Stephen Hedley created a dub with "nothing clunky." Pepirium added that Karl Willems, director of the dub, assembled a "stunning voice cast of professionals" with a "solid tone minus some of the cheesy yelling and screaming of other dubs." Play magazine named Death Note as the best anime of 2007 in their "2007 Anime Year in Review" feature.


Tetsuro Araki, the director, said that he wished to convey aspects that "made the series interesting" instead of simply "focusing on morals or the concept of justice." Toshiki Inoue, the series organizer, agreed with Araki and added that, in anime adaptations, there is a lot of importance in highlighting the aspects that are "interesting in the original." He concluded that Light's presence was "the most compelling" aspect; therefore the adaptation chronicles Light's "thoughts and actions as much as possible." Inoue noted that, to best incorporate the manga's plot into the anime, he "tweak[ed] the chronology a bit" and incorporated flashbacks that appear after the openings of the episodes; he said this revealed the desired tensions. Araki said that, because in an anime the viewer cannot "turn back pages" in the manner that a comic reader can, the anime staff ensured that the show clarified details. Inoue added that the staff did not want to get involved with every single detail, so the staff selected elements to emphasize. Due to the complexity of the original manga, he described the process as "definitely delicate and a great challenge." Inoue admitted that he placed more instructions and notes in the script than usual. Araki added that because of the importance of otherwise trivial details, the notes became crucial to the development of the series. Araki said that when he discovered the Death Note anime project he "literally begged" to join the production team; when he joined he insisted that Inoue should write the scripts. Inoue added that, because he enjoyed reading the original comic, he wished to use his effort.

Manga-to-Anime DifferencesEdit

  • The story begins in the year 2006, instead of 2003.

See alsoEdit


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