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Death Note Ep 2

Ok, based on the first two episodes of Death Note, I can honestly say, this is a great show. Let’s hope that the rest of the series will be as good. In episode 2, Light’s in school with Ryuk hovering about. Ryuk keeps talking to Light who can’t answer because people would wonder who he’s talking to. Because of the notebook, Light is the only one who can see or hear Ryuk. At home, Light starts writing down the names of criminals, including one who the t.v.names as a suspect in a murder. Ryuk is impressed that Light is working hard in writing names in the Death Note. Light explains that he has a limited amount of time to use the notebook. he has to maintian his high grades, go to school, go to cram school and go to sleep to maintain his health. Light reiterates that he will make the world into a crime-free utopia. His isister knocks on the door, asking for help with her math. Once he lets her in, she sits at his desk where he hid the Death Notebook in a drawer. Ryuk tells Light that if anyone touches the Death Note, they’ll be able to see him. Light is surprised to hear that and wonders why didn’t Ryuk tell him that before.

We cut to an Interpol office where there’s a conference going on about the recent deaths of convicts from heart attacks. One group doesn’t have problem with this while another group considers it murder, even after criminals have been caught and punished. Someone wonder if the should bring in “L” to investigate. A junior Japanese police officer asks his senior partner who L is. The older officer explains that L is Interpol’s secret weapon who only takes on select cases. No one knows who L is or what he looks like. But no matter how hard the case is, L always solves them. Before he can go any further, a mysterious figure appears and tells the officials that L is already investigating. The senior Japanses officer recoginzes the figure as someone named “Watari” who is also unknown and the only person who can contact L. Watari opens a laptop that’s connected to a wall screen. The letter “L” is shown and we hear a digitized voice explains the death of the criminals by Light is mass homicide and needs to be stopped. He asks for the cooperation of all of the police agencies from around the world, especially from the Japanese police. The two police officers from Japan are surprised to hear this and ask why. L believes that the killer or killers are either Japanese nationals or are currently living in Japan. He says that he should be able to provoke the killer(s) into action as a demonstration.

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As the conference is going on, Light and Ryuk are in an abandoned building were Light is working with chemicals. Light explains that carrying around the notebook is dangerous, and he might have to kill his family if he’s careless and they disover the notebook. Back in his room, Light shows Ryuk how he’s going to hide the notebook in his drawer. Ryuk is surprised that Light would hide it an easy spot until Light explains some security measure that he’s taken. One of them is a electrical current that will trigger a fire to destroy the notebook if someone doesn’t use the right key to open the drawer. Ryuk tells Light that hiding a Death Note was the biggest problem for other humans who had one. Ryuk cautions Light to be careful, that he could set himself on fire. Light mocks ryuk be saying that Ryuk is saying “strange things”. He goes on to say that merely having and using a Death Note is dangerous. He implies that if he’s caught, a small fire is better than a death sentence that could get.

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We see people are talking about the deaths of the criminals, cheering on their killer. They’re calling the killer, “Kira” which sounds like “Killer” according to Light. He’s showing Ryuk websites dedicated to Kira (basically Light). Even though the media doesn’t acknowledge Kira, he’s being talked about all over the world. Light states that people all over the world can feel that someone is judging them. Light expalins who everyone is publicly forced to act the same, say the same things even though they are feeling and thinking different things. Criminals are afraid which delights Light.

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A special news broadcast appears on the t.v. Light andRyuk are surprised that its from Interprol. A man with a nameplate of Lind L. Tailor, alias L appears, claiming that he controls all of the world’s police agencies. L addresses a message to Kira/Light,stating that he will be caught. Light goes over the edge and says its impossible for him to be caught. He also know that the police would eventually act. Light scoffs when L calls him evil, calling himself “Justice”, the one who protects the weak and a god of a new world. Anyone who opposes him are the evil ones. He writes L’s full name in the Death Note and waits for him die. He wishes that L was a little more clever so that he could have fun.

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In front of everyone watching television, L has a heart attack and dies. Light stands there laughing until the letter “L” appears on the screen and the same digitized voice comes across the t.v. set. The voice on the t.v. claims that he couldn’t believe that Kira/Light could kill someone without being near them.The voice explains that the man who was killed was a criminal already sentenced to die that day and he was the real L still lived. The criminal’s capture hadn’t been announced. Ryuk laughs and tells Light that he’s been set-up. As Light is stunned, L taunts him. It tells Light to kill him if he can. L explains that the broadcast wasn’t world wide. It was just aired locally, in the Kanto region. L now knows that Kira(Light) is in the Kanto region. He started in Japan because of the death of Light’s first victim wasn’t widely reported. L reiterates that Kira (Light) will be caught. Ryuk thinks to himself that he was right, humans are interesting.

This was an episode with nothing but dialog. And it was good. As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, based on the first two episodes, I like this show. The moral implications raised by the show of being a vigilante are great. Earlier in the show, Light writes the name of a suspect in the Death Note. The keyword here is suspect. The guy hasn’t been named as a criminal yet. Without any evidence or trial, Light crosses the line from executioner to judge and jury. Imagine if Light was watching the news with the sound off and he sees a police drawing of someone. Its not hard to imagine him deciding that this is a criminal and writing his name in the book. Now imagine if you were watching the same broadcast with the sound on. You hear that the person in the sketch is described as a witness. No suppose this was the only witness to a crime. Who is now dead because Light killed him without investigating further. What would Light’s reaction be? We’ve seen his willingness to kill a, as Light was given to understand, a police official (Lind Tailor). Based on that action, I’d be surprised if Light should any signs of remorse.What if you or I were in Light’s position? How many of us would react the same as Light? Or act differently.

Maybe I’m overreacting, but I want more of this show. And I want it now. I’m impressed with Light’s thoroughness in realizing that eventually the police would start to investgate him. And that he doesn’t flinch about the thought of having to kill someone in his family if they found the notebook.

Or maybe I’m reading way to much into the show.

I’m tempted to buy the manga, but I think I’ll hold off for a while. I’m enjoying watching a show I know nothing about. I just hope the show keeps being as good as the first two episodes.

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Death Note Ep 1

The anime based on the Death Note manga finally appears. I haven’t read the manga series, so I’ve only got a passing familiarity with he story. So I was looking forward to the anime (and the movie if it ever gets released Stateside … released not remade by Hollywood). The show opens with the world of the Shinigami (gods of some sort). We some Shinigami sleeping or gambling. Finally the camera lands on Ryuk who’s off, brooding by himself. Next we see straight A student, Light Yagami(?) in class. We follow Light walking through crowds while news reports are played about murders. In a split screen between Light and Ryuk, they think to themselves that day after day nothing changes. They pretty much think that their worlds are rotten.

Then we see Light in his class (presumably the next day) and while he’s staring out the window he sees a book fall onto the school yard. After class he goes and picks it up and sees that the book is a blank notebook with the title “Death Note” on it. At first he thinks its a joke but takes it home anyways.While at home, he finds instructions on how to use the notebook. They are:

  • The human whose name is written in this note shall die.
  • This note will not take effect unless the writer has the subject’s face in their mind when writing his/her name. Therefore, people sharing the same name will not be affected.
  • If the cause of death is written within 40 seconds of writing the subject’s name, it will happen.
  • If the cause of death is not specified, the subject will simply die of a heart attack.
  • After writing the cause of death, the details of the death should be written in the next 6 minutes and 40 seconds.

Still believing it to be a joke, he almost writes down a name, but pauses, wondering if he’ll become a murderer if he writes someone’s name in it. He still thinks its a joke. To test if the book is true, he writes the name of a hostage taker that he hears on a news program on his tv. 40 seconds later, the hostages come running out and its reported that the hostage taker is dead of unknown reasons. Even though he’s shocked, he thinks its a coincidence. His mother reminds him that its time for cram school so he packs the notebook up. It at this point that he gets the idea to only write down the names of criminals.

On his way home from cram school, he sees some motorcycle gang members raping a woman. He over hears the name of the leader and hides in a convenience store where he writes down the leader’s name and how he’s going to die. The woman breaks free and runs away. the leader follows after her on his motorcycle only to be hit by a truck. Which is what Light wrote in the notebook. Finally, he’s convinced that the notebook is real and that he has the power of death over someone.

We then see Light coming home and going to his room where he flips through the notebook, laughing at all of the names he’s written. He’s surprised by Ryuk who claims that Light is enjoying using the book. Even though he’s surprised by Ryuk, he’s not scared by the visit since he knows the book is supernatural. Ryuk explains that once a Death Note falls to the Human world it belongs in the Human world. Ryuk also explains that since Light found the book, its his to keep or to give to another human, but if he gives it to another human, he has to erase Light’s memory concerning the book.

Light wonder’s about the price he has to pay for using the book. Ryuk tells him that the only price he’ll pay is that he won’t go to Heaven or Hell. Ruyk tells Light that he’s the only one who can see Ryuk because of a bond between Ryuk and Light through the Death Note. We also see that Ryuk discovers a love for apples that were left by Light’s mother. While Ryuk is eating the apples, Light asks him why he dropped the Death Note. Ryuk answers that he just dropped it somewhere and didn’t single out Light. He dropped it because he was bored. Which is the same answer that Light gives as to why he used it.

While I was looking forward to this show, I wasn’t sure what to expect. This was a good episode and I hope the rest of the season is just as good. I’m pleasantly surprised that I liked it a lot. While I know that I was going to be impressed with Kanon, I didn’t know that I’d be impressed with Death Note. The artwork is good, the moral implications and how the show handles its great. Because of his boredom and disgust about the crime in the world, he used the Death Note. We see Light go through the process of justifying his use of Death Note, just like a politician. Because he’s targeting criminals and those people he thinks of as rotten in an attempt to build a better tomorrow, a better world with only people that he considers good. Hell, let’s call it a utopia.

I think there’s a flaw in Light’s plan to build a world filled with people according to his standards of good. Nature abhors a vacuum, so where Light kills off a criminal another will appear. And so on and so on, until the criminal might not be an actual criminal, but won’t measure up to Light’s definition of “good”. And if a Death Note user doesn’t go to Heaven or Hell, where do they go? Do they become a Shinigami? Or something worse? I hope the producers of Death Note maintain the moral aspect using a Death Note, even if its going after criminals. If they do, then this will be a great, cerebral show to keep watching. I’m looking forward to the next few episodes.