Thoughts on Death Note

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*Spoilers ahead*

I put off watching Death Note for a while and now I’m finally finished watching it.

A god of death named Ryuk drops a notebook called a Death Note to earth, curious as to who would pick it up. The idea of a notebook in which you could write names and the people mentioned would die was fascinating as a concept. The fact that there are so many precise rules about using the Death Note was also interesting.

Light Yagami, an intellectual high school student with a strong sense of upholding justice is the one who does and so embarks a journey centered around the battle between Light’s concept of justice and the police’s concept of justice. As Light kills criminals (similar to Dexter in ideology minus the blood spatter and plastic wrap) he comes to be known as Kira by the citizens of the world as well as the media.

Shinigamis that accompanied the notebook as it dropped down to earth helped merge the fantasy elements and realistic elements of the story and that was what I enjoyed about the series. I could see how the concept had so much potential but as the series progresses it is clear that is had been squandered. Sadly, most of the 37 episodes were preoccupied with the investigation meant to apprehend Kira which is where the plot was lost and dragged on longer than it should have.

Misa is portrayed as a ditzy girl in love with Kira and willing to do his bidding while Light never gives her a second thought. Ultimately, this made me very disinterested in their relationship and led me to question why Misa was even integral to the show in the first place. Clearly the most captivating character of the show was L and the fact that he does not survive until the end was a disappointing plot twist.

Also, through out the series, Light is constantly under suspicion of being the real Kira and it gets tedious how no matter how many times Light tries to prove his false innocence, L and the rest of the task force are like a dog with a bone, insisting that it is still him. The fact that Light’s own father investigates him is a bit much, especially how he has no normal reaction as a father who discovers his son may be a potential murderer.

However, despite its flaws, what I enjoyed was the initial half of the show when Light was still a high school student evading suspicion and taking matters into his own hands to do. Essentially, I thought it was better when L and Light were separated and didn’t work together on the Kira case. I loved L and Ryuk as characters and the end was appeasing after all the pandemonium ensued along the way. Light’s death, resulting from Ryuk writing his name in the death note is a fitting end that gives viewers closure.