Seeing as how we’re closing in on five straight weeks of me posting my thoughts each episode of DEATH NOTE and we still have nine episodes left in the series, I figured it’d be best to speed things up. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been loving the show and I want to see it through to the end, but I think we don’t want DEATH NOTE to dominate Anime Vice. As such, I’ll be commenting on two episodes at time, now…
Sound good everybody? Without further ado, here are my thoughts… with bullets!
- One “benefit” of this show’s plotting is that it gets plenty of time to show how thoroughly wretched a human being Light is. He contemplates killing his sister to keep control of the death note, and his only real concern regarding his father’s dying is that he won’t have access to the Shinigami eyes anymore. It really is hard to tell if he was shedding crocodile tears in the hospital. I don’t think Light even knows anymore, and his insincerity is a marked contrast to Chief Yagami’s nobility.
- On the other side, things getting messy like this actually works thematically as a comment on the nature of lying. The truth is simple. Honesty is simple. Lies are complicated. One lie begets another lie, which begets yet another lie in turn to cover up the first one... until you have a whole mess of lies like we’re seeing here.
- Living in LA, it was a bit trippy to see touristy landmarks like the Roosevelt Hotel and Rodeo Drive in an anime. Definitely “outside looking in” moments.
- I don’t think this is nit-picking since it’s kind of a big deal, but I don’t think the Kira task force would actually be donning SWAT gear themselves for that warehouse rescue. You use officers with special training for Special Weapons And Tactics, and even if you explain it away that the task force is unofficial, that explanation raises the issue of where’d they get the gear. I doubt they sell it all at Japan's equivalent of Dick’s sporting goods.
- I’m seriously digging all these abstract points made by Near’s toys. I’d never thought I’d see a visual metaphor represented through action figures AND tarot cards... but my expectations exist only to be confounded on a daily basis.
- Speaking of symbolism (and going back to my whole screed about Kira being a monster for the digital age) I do think it’s fitting that Demegawa (demogoue?), a TV mogul, would become the prophet/priest of this internet-borne death god.
Watch these episodes, "Father" & "Justice", on Hulu, here and here. And read my comments on the previous episodes here.