What is it?
The tale of a brilliant student, Yagami Light, who finds a Death God's notebook. By writing down a person's name in it, he can kill that person. He decides to enterprise his own brand of justice by killing of criminals in waves. It doesn't take long before the world notices this trend and before the hounds start circling in on his identity, in particular a prodigic world-renowned investigator going simply as "L".
What's good about it?
Plenty! The main characters, especially in the opening half of the series are extremely likable and impressive characters. Their analytical battle of wits really carry the plot and make for addictive watching with many episodes ending in cliffhangers. The animation style is very manga-adapted which is awesome.
What's bad about it?
Just a few points. L's succesor, Near, isn't nearly as engaging as L and the rivalry with Light suffers because of it. Also, the other character's besides the leads are not very perceptive as they seem to just watch and hardly know what's going on half the time. This is partially corrected towards the end as the amount of apparent coincidences becomes obvious, even to them. Though the ending is conclusive and, in most respects, appropriate, I felt there was a plot twist or two too little, definitely less than what we had gotten used to.
Thoroughly enthralling series which remains high-paced from start to finish. A must-watch no matter what genre of anime you like watching. The criticisms I have are mostly generated by my adoration of the series (I would even bother trying to find faults in some lesser series) and personal tastes and should not be mistaken for fatal flaws.
Though I, as I often do, wished to see the vilain win, I don't hold it against the series that he doesn't and neither should you!
Our Protaganist, Yagami Light
His brilliant counterpart, "L"