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While Death Note has many sophisticated elements to it's story found in more adult anime of the mystery and psychological thriller genres it is still very much a shonen anime. Shonen anime is anime generally directed at young boys. It is usually characterized by fighting with supernatural powers or ones gained from advanced technology. Usually the protagonist is a young boy who is somewhat extraordinary. He is typical in most senses of the word so he is easy to relate to but there is always something immediately awesome about him be it his personality, intelligence, or strength. The whole point of a shonen anime is to create a character young boys can relate to but at the same time one they want to be. In Death Note Light Yagami is a student who is revealed to be in the top of his class so right off the bat we see this character is extraordinary in some way. We also notice notice that he is extremely bored at school. This is something a lot of children  might be able to relate to. Light is still able to seem like a somewhat good role model because he is bored not because he is dumb and doesn't understand what he is meant to learn but because it isn't challenging in the slightest. So right away we have a character that is easy to relate to and we can sympathize with his boredom. Now to give him a cool super power. A pretty common thing to happen in shonen anime is something magnificent randomly falling out of the shy and changing the protagonists life. In Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann the main character lives underground in a cave until a girl falls through the roof and changes his life. In Hikaru No Go the main character randomly comes across a haunted go board  and the ghost haunting it makes him the best go player in the world. 
While Death Note has many sophisticated elements to it's story found in more adult anime of the mystery and psychological thriller genres it is still very much a shonen anime.

Shonen anime is anime generally directed at young boys. It is usually characterized by fighting with supernatural powers or ones gained from advanced technology. Usually the protagonist is a young boy who is somewhat extraordinary. He is typical in most senses of the word so he is easy to relate to but there is always something immediately awesome about him be it his personality, intelligence, or strength. The whole point of a shonen anime is to create a character young boys can relate to but at the same time one they want to be. In Death Note Light Yagami is a student who is revealed to be in the top of his class so right off the bat we see this character is extraordinary in some way. We also notice notice that he is extremely bored at school. This is something a lot of children  might be able to relate to. Light is still able to seem like a somewhat good role model because he is bored not because he is dumb and doesn't understand what he is meant to learn but because it isn't challenging in the slightest. So right away we have a character that is easy to relate to and we can sympathize with his boredom. Now to give him a cool super power. A pretty common thing to happen in shonen anime is something magnificent randomly falling out of the shy and changing the protagonists life. In Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann the main character lives underground in a cave until a girl falls through the roof and changes his life. In Hikaru No Go the main character randomly comes across a haunted go board  and the ghost haunting it makes him the best go player in the world. 

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