I’ve commented about this before, but I think it’s worth going into more detail about given what Misa does in this episode.
As a writer and a fan of fantasy, there are number of concepts that just don’t capture my imagination. There’s no quicker way to lose my interest in a story than to tell me, specifically, that it’s about vampires, werewolves, zombies, Frankensteins or any combination of the four. If there’s a twist that supposedly makes them fresh, it better be a significant one and, even then, it’s going to face an uphill battle to win me over. I’m a firm believer that there are some ideas that just get stale and, more specifically to the realm of horror, there are some monsters who belong to certain zeitgeists, who only work in certain times. Bram Stoker’s DRACULA (and all vampires, let’s be real) touched upon Victorian fears of unrestricted sexuality represented in the charming, but foreign, stranger. FRANKENSTEIN similarly spoke to fears of science perverting sacred nature. And, if you really break it down, every zombie movie’s basically just a remake of DAWN OF THE DEAD with varying degrees of seriousness and satire.
I see Light and his death note as a monster for today. Obviously, there are parallels to terrorism, like how Kira issues grainy video statements and how the police refuse to negotiate with him. What’s more intriguing, however, is how Kira’s a boogeyman for the internet age just like THE RING’S Samara/Sadako and her cursed tape was the video culture ghost. Go to any message board (but certainly not any of Anime Vice’s) and you’ll see people acting in socially unacceptable ways. They’ll write things online that they would never dare say in person. Why? Because the internet empowers and the online alias enables that behavior.
Think about it… where does Light get his “Kira” alias from? A fansite. What does that alias allow him to do? Voice secret opinions that would quickly alienate his friends and family in the real world, and take actions that reach as far as the media’s web of information will allow him. What is “Kira” but Light’s screenname? He gets to be this mass murderer when he’s in his room, than he can switch it off just as easily as closing a browser window and return to being the big man on campus, the respectable valevictorian, the sun-haired good son, without any consequences.
When commenting about how easy it was to just look up all of Light’s personal information, Misa says something to the effect of, “What kind of world do we live in, today?” It’s this new world Light so frequently proclaims himself master of.
Oh boy... you know I'm "in too deep" when I start getting on tracts like this.
check out my comments for the last episode here.