Whether you like reading or not, I honestly and whole heartily say, read the manga first, though the storylines are almost exactly the same, this series is all about guessing what happens next and its general storyline works so much better as a literary story, rather than a film based one. This is simply because you can then feel so much more intune with the characters and the feel of the story itself as you move at own pace and lose self completely in its plots and ideologies without anyone elses interpretations, assumptions or visualisations of the story effecting your own.
However that being said, this is still a great Anime, which follows young and flawed genius Light Yagami in his quest for justice against the injust and peace in the name of the peaceful. It starts with the beginnings of his one man crusade to destroy all evil doers once and for all, to help those who are undefended and weak in our world, but quickly becomes so much more. As if the starting premise was not cool enough.
Enter L AKA worlds greatest detective and the only man who can stop Light in his plans and thus the greatest war of the greatest minds our world has ever seen, begins.
I will not say anymore on the story front as why listen to me talk about it, when you can watch or read it for yourself, so what will say is why should watch it, even if not yet convinced by the story.
Being a law student and someone obsessed with the ideologies and theories of right and wrong verses interpretation of good and evil, this series is almost too perfect for me, as it asks that as its very core question, who can judge right and wrong? And even more importantly who has the right to judge right and wrong?
However even if not a saddo like me, this is a idea anyone can engage with if they so choose, because lets face it, I think we have all, whether mean it seriously or not, said at one time or another that person should die for what he did!
These are strong words normally said with little conviction behind them, but this story then looks what happens when someone actually takes that idea and puts it into practise with profound and unsettling effects.
Whether you are a pansy liberal like me or hardline conservative executor like my mate ,was joke, this will make you question the very foundations of not only our societies, but your own ideals and morals as well and if nothing else makes you watch this, that should.
There is so much more I can and want to say about the characters, plots and profound philosophises presented in this series, but I must restrain myself as to do so would grossly unfair on you as it will bias your views on these things and I feel that something like this, needs you to go in with own views to be made and challenged, not mine and that is probably the greatest compliment I can give it.
As for other things people below have gone into, well in short, the pace of the Anime is hit and miss, as some parts are to quick and others not quick enough, especially in the second half of the series, where things little less solid all round and this why love manga more.
However that being said, it has still been brilliantly done, with music that fits, wonderful art work to make smooth but dark world, voice actors who care and is one of the few animes, where the dub gets same praise as the sub, though I did find Ls voice actor little too mature and bland personally, but that personal taste, lots love him.
So all the things we look for objectively are great, which why this one of the few great stories which is delivered in great way as well, however still say read manga first, will find it even more fulfilling.