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Jul 23, 2015 5:37 AM
Anime Relations: Death Note
So, I saw a review on death note today...
After watching it, and thinking about it for some time, I have to say that it is not at all good. It is enjoyable, and I highly recommend watching it, but it is by no means good.

Let's start with the characters. Pretty much all the characters in the anime have the same motivation: to catch Light. Well, except for Light, who has an equally simple motivation: kill bad people to make a better world. Guess who is the only character who has a (slightly) more complex motivation... yes, Misa, the one character everybody hates.

But okay, I understand death note is not about characters themselves, but about their interaction. And If I wanted to write down everything wrong with the characters, I'd be sitting here for a long time.

Now, for the character interactions:
The main focus of most of the anime is the interaction between Light and L, and some other people who want to catch Kira.
Well, except for the fact that Light acts so randomly one could think he wants to get caught. This is probably because, from the very moment he finds the death note, he wants to play god. This one mistake is what makes his character terribly flawed as an "evil genius", while at the same time, leading to an actual story, as if he took his shit seriously, he would never have been caught.
But let me explain what I mean:
From the moment Light came up with the plan to create a better world, he thought of himself as the god of this new world. (first hint that he's a bad character, when comparing him to the "bad" guy from the firefly movie, for example)

His motivations were to strike fear in the people, to taunt those who wanted to catch him, to punish those who defy him; which is why L even knew where he lived, because Light instantly wanted to get rid of L in the most flashy way possible; to kill him on stage, as a sign that nobody could ever challenge him and get away with it. Had he just waited 2 weeks, and have him run over by a car, it would seem like a third party assasination, or even just a mere accident. Had he not shown everybody he could kill however he wanted, only deaths by heart attack would have been related to him. Had he not killed a person an hour when he found out they were analyzing his killing schedule, he could have used the fact that they thought he could only kill while not working or in school to trick them, like maintaining his schedule on a local holiday, but killing all the day during national holidays, etc.
In the end, L wasn't as big a genius as the anime presented him as; he was just smart enough to piece together all the information Light gave him.

Now for the morale of the story.
Does death note present you any philosophical thoughts at all?
"Is it good to kill bad people?"
At first glance this is what death note wants to ask the viewer, but if you think about it, these people end up just being numbers. Yes, we hear about them here and there, but the anime never cares to show us how the world actually is a better place or not. This could have been done so easily; just show the viewer some random dialogue of tho people walking on the street; one saying how nice it is to not have to fear being robbed while being outside late at night and how much better a life without fear is, and the other one explaining how much it sucks to know that someone can kill you because of doing just the slightest thing wrong, or just because they want you to die.

Then how about this; the question itself isn't the center of the anime, but the way L and Light find their own answers to this.
Not really. From the beginning Light and L don't ever change their opinions. Light pretty much decides in one episode that he can kill bad people to make the world better, and L is even introduced already knowing that he wants to catch kira because he's the bad guy who kills people.
Neither of them ever tries to re-evaluate their own opinion based on new facts. What is even more ironic, is the fact that they don't care about each others motivation at all, after all the times they pretty much read each others mind while playing cat and mouse.
Even when they had the perfect chance to have kiras identity revealed to L, and light in a position to kill him, where they could have added an awesome debate where the two defend their opinions and ideals, they just went with the cheap way, and had L die just before he could find out. Congratulations, death note! You just let pass the opportunity to create one of the best dialogues EVER in an anime.

Then what the hell is this anime about?
As far as my opinion goes, this anime is about two pseudo-genius characters fighting on an intelectual level, in a way that is scripted recursively to end up in a certain way, with plot devices everywhere that you don't notice until a month or so after watching it, because it is just so damn thrilling that you don't even care if it makes sense or not.

But if there is one think to take from this anime; though I don't think this is intentional, it's that no opinion should ever be final.
Here's a funny story that I don't care to confirm, but I think it's probably true:
It just so happens, that hitler was once shot (way before the NSDAP even existed), and was saved by a Jewish family. If, at that point, Hitler had spent some time to think about that, he might have come to the conclusion that Jews aren't bad, and probably no other race either. The entire holocaust might not have happened.
And it's the same thing with death note, the characters never even once thought about themselves being wrong, and pretty much everybody ended up dying.
And if the anime actually explored that concept a bit more, it might have been a master piece, but instead they just went the cheap way.

0xC / 0xF - Definitely worth watching, great anime to recommend to people, but if you hate wasted potential, it is just as awful as plastic memories.
Posted by DarkWiiPlayer | Jul 23, 2015 5:37 AM | 1 comments
DarkWiiPlayer | Jul 23, 2015 6:41 AM
When I started I didn't think I'd get over 10 lines of text... guess I was wrong...