Light Yagami News

Light Yagami is a anime/manga character in the Death Note franchise
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It wouldn’t be too much of an exaggeration to say that the quality of an anime or manga series is determined as much by the villain as it is by the hero; and truth be told some of the best series i have ever come across have had some of the best villains, which got me thinking. What is a good villain? Or rather what constitutes a great villain in any given manga or anime.

Well, truth be told i am not particularly sure, this being a topic i will give greater thought to at a later date. While pondering on the subject though one random and rather idle day at work last week, i started thinking about villains as they had been portrayed in anime and manga so far, and what elements best stood out in the best series that i had encountered, which had best endeared me to them. I came to a very simple conclusion, which i will highlight at the end. But first these are the villains that anime and manga has strived to present to us for as long as i have been watching anime and reading manga.

They can be divided into two primary categories, namely:

+Complex villains

+Evil villains

As described above, it is my belief that the assignment ‘villain’ doesn’t necessary make a given character evil or really that bad.

N:B: The images inserted below represent just some of my favorite villains; they aren’t actually representations of the complaints they are neighboring.

+Complex Villains-

I enjoy watching series with complicated plots, with winding twists and turns, stories that are as unpredictable as they are riveting. As such it might come as somewhat of a surprise that i would express abhorrence for complex villains in series. Okay maybe i do not abhor them but they have become somewhat of an irritation to me, and that’s because THEY ARE EVERYWHERE.

Here is the thing, i enjoy following the exploits of the odd complex villain once in a while but it feels like that is all there in anime and manga these days. I have heard the criticism, that anime and manga is filled with way too many straight forward characters, evil for the sake of being evil, with no particularly intriguing back story or objective. And while i would have joined in the chorus for anime dating back to the 90s, 80s and so on, such claims about anime today leave me chuckling and wondering; where exactly are these simplistic villains that they are speaking of? Because they aren’t in anything i have watched or read recently.

There is such a thing as too complicated; and today’s anime and manga stories have turned complex characterization into clichés. I have come across ridiculously silly and fluffy anime series that, halfway into the series, suddenly become so heavy, introducing dense and dark back stories to initially cheery characters, the result being somewhat discordant story, these new characterization simply failing to jell with the tone of the show.

+And the fact that so many of them do it pisses me off, three primary irritations arising:

-Distinctness- the over complication of villain characterization is turning what should have been intriguing villains into perfect copies of each other. I don’t know how but modern anime has managed to transform complexity into a trope, an irritating cliché making the rounds through some of my favorite series. Anytime a new villain rolls onto the scene, if you are anything like me you will roll your eyes at his supposed vileness, waiting for the moment we learn of his dark past, the parents that abandoned him, the uncle that sold him into slavery, a disingenuous description of how spending his childhood crawling through the mud turned him into a monster.

And they are almost always children, both as the victims and eventual monster than emerges. 99% of these complex characters are all exactly the same manifestation of the same sob story. I will use Bleach as the most common example of this, with all the villains almost always mirroring each other’s motives as well as the supposedly tragic pasts that molded them. I think i have groused enough about how almost every arrancar and Espada in the series needed a flash back of their sad lives before they perished.

-Insipid finales- Why do all these series with complex villains end the same way, with the villain on his knees, weeping as he reminisces on the tragic past that brought him to his current status. There is a consistent lack of unpredictability, because i can always see it coming, that ten minute lull in the action, when the hero finally closes the emotional gap with his foe, reaches out to the villain empathetically, the entire fiasco ending in a hug or something similarly mushy, all forgiven, or the hero forced to kill the villain but through a mist of tears, suddenly sympathetic to his plight. It irritates me to no end.

--Where i can sometimes ignore the lack of distinct yet complex villains and silly finales, nothing irritates me as much as the way these series seeming depend on a rather false sense of sadness to mask their lack of quality. A complex villain isn’t truly complex unless their back stories are not only fraught with difficulty but awe strikingly tragic. While that in itself doesn’t bother me, what does is the way these series attempt to force this dark atmosphere to emerge, like they are not simply trying to chronicle the tragic past of a character, but trying to beat you over the head with it, again and again until you really understand how sad it was.

Character A cannot simply find themselves homeless; they have to be literally dragged through the mud or find refuge in a pig sty before you can truly appreciate how bad A had it. It all starts to feel really…fake, sometimes bordering on silly. I get that adults can show considerable violence towards little kids. But in which world are 7 or 8 bulky males going to surround a fallen 7 year old before continuously stumping down upon and kicking them senseless like a pack of dogs? These series will go to silly levels to force you to feel a sadness that is more often than not absent.

I am one of those otaku that will get quickly irritated by overly weepy anime and manga stories and characters, mostly because they always fall into this category, feigning what seems to me to be a false sense of sadness, clearly trying to draw unearned emotional engagement from the audience. Again i go back to bleach, with so many (previously vile) villains going down confessing some dark secret, Ichigo mopping over them before having to put them out of their misery.

+Now i can appreciate what some of these creators are going for in trying to craft such overly complex characters (and sometimes it really can get too convoluted), yet most are dogged by the same problems:

-Believability-The idea of complex villains is to create a negative character that does terrible things but which the audience can none the less relate to on some level. The problem with most anime and manga i have across is it does a poor job of brining the message across. 90% of the series that attempt to convert me to the villain’s point of view leave me somewhat amused; many of you must have come across these sorts of shows, that leave you asking ,’ Really? You expect me to believe that someone would commit genocide because of that?”

Few other things irritate me as much as a series failing to successfully explain to me why a villain is who he is or does what he does.

And this is usually where they start beating you over the head with their message, clearly unable to justify how rough the villain had it, which seemingly forces them to portray his or her past in increasingly darker tones. This goes back to the point i made above, where a three second assault with an open hand transforms into three minutes of the villain receiving brutal abuse from seemingly possessed adults during his childhood.

I don’t like watching a series or reading a manga and walking away frustrated; that’s what these sorts of series with complex characters do for me.

-Morality- Now sometimes even when the series does such a great job of breaking the complex villain down, it fails to matter. The point of flash backs and back stories is to progress the story or morph it in one way or another; understanding that the reason Frieza destroyed entire galaxies worth of planets was because of some ill that was done to him, some cruel act meted out of his parents, doesn’t change the fact that he committed a heinous crime, and the story will progress towards his inevitable demise, no matter how pitiful his plight might be.

There has to be a purpose to complicating a villain, a payoff of sorts that will allow the story to progress in a different direction. Learning that Itachi in Naruto had committed genocide on the word of his superiors actually made all the difference to the story. Had they done the same for Frieza (strange we didn’t get a lengthy back story) he would have still ended up fighting Goku on an exploding planet.

+Don’t get me wrong i am not advocating against complex villains in anime and manga. I have come across anime and manga with complex villains and characters that have been done quite well, with well narrated back stories, with just enough intertwining plots to become riveting, making few attempts to shove their messages down your throat, but simply presenting the story and allowing you to interpret it as you might wish. Series like Full metal alchemist managed to pull complex villains like Father off (actually making him and Wrath quite pitiful) without seeming like they were flailing their hands through out the series in confusion.

My argument is that most series fail to execute complex characters appropriately, turning what was an interesting plot into an overused tool. This reminds me of the argument many made against the Man of Steel movie, most of these complaints actually aimed at Christopher Nolan, that everything super hero movie is taking an unnecessarily dark turn in the motif of the Dark Knight (which isn’t something i mind actually).

+Evil villains-

Now i call them evil villains because they are just that, evil; well, they bad or at least antagonists in the story. Maybe its just me but i feel like that has become a scarce element in many manga and anime series, villains that are actually…villainous. I call what has been happening in anime and manga in the last several yeas the Magneto complex.

Magneto is a character from the X-men universe, a mutant activist of sorts promoting mutant kind the best way he can. Again maybe its me but i have never really seen Magneto as a villain, maybe not an anti hero but a guy that is doing what he can for his race the best way he knows how to. And it feels like every villain i come across is nothing more than a whiny Magneto facsimile.

In fact i would say that there aren’t many actual villains left in anime. Because every villain these days has good intentions, every villain is a lost soul that needs to be saved; every demon or warlock has a good heart hidden beneath his fangs, every thug an innocuous intention gone wrong.

Basically all villains of this day and age are anti heroes taking things too far. What happened to villains that were actually…bad? I am talking about good old dark Vs. light stories that so many people are quick to disparage but which can manifest as much quality in story telling as the most complex of plots.

It is more than possible to craft a cast of villainous ‘evil and vile as they come’ characters within a great story and intriguing plot. I am not advocating for the sorts of aimless villains we used to see during the earlier days of anime, evil for the sake of it all, with not particular reasoning behind seeking the earth’s destruction.

I just want villains that are villains, that will not be talked down, that do not need some dark and tragic past to explain why they do what they do, that present the sort of threat that will not be eradicated through a little therapy. Most people have very negative impressions of basic good Vs. evil stories in anime and manga, never realizing how exhilarating they can be.

Just look at Last Air bender; most people zero in on the intricate plotting of morally conflicted characters and the decisions they have to make in trying to describe Avatar as a complex anime series with a deep story, not realizing that last air bender is as basic a Good Vs. Evil story as they can get; you have an evil fire lord reeking havoc on the land and a young avatar that must stop him. A story as straight forward as that, with a villain that was as evil as they can get proves that you can create riveting stories in anime and manga without resorting to creating convoluted back stories for an increasingly complicated villain.

+I don’t know if i got my point across but i will conclude as such; i am as big a fan of complicated stories with complex villains as any other otaku out there. But its become too much, with every anime and manga choosing to follow this same path instead of branching out into something different. As awesome as Johan (Monster) might be to appreciate, sometimes a little Vegeta goes a long way in making things a little more exciting.

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This is both an interesting and disturbing question to ask, in trying to consider which of these two anime/manga characters is the greater evil. Murderous intent and nature isn’t something to be intrigued by, at least in real life human beings. Not many people would be interested in asking which of the two, Hitler and Bin Laden, is the greater evil. But when it comes to anime and manga there is a place for being intrigued by and even admiring the evil acts of fictional characters, because this is one of anime and manga’s most significant traits; its ability to make any subject, no matter how benign or dark, interesting and exciting.

Maybe its because we know that what we are watching is not real (and even if it was, it would be happening in Japan, far far away) or because anime character are designed to execute each and every act, no matter how gruesome with a great sense of flare and showmanship. The point is their is a place for appreciating just how well an fictional characters carries out his fictional actions, even if those actions are down right evil and loathsome.

With evil in anime and manga, very few acts that can trump murder, the act of taking the life of another, sometimes in the most gruesome manner and on large scales. And when it comes to anime ad manga and murder, few other characters can dare to hold a candle to Johan from Monster and Light Yagami from Death note.

It isn’t merely the fact that these two characters kill; many characters in the medium have done that and on several times greater scales that these two could dream of. It is how they kill, why they kill, basically who the characters are that determines the level of intensity involved in their murderous acts.

Sure we can be certain that Madara from Naruto has killed several hundred characters during his long life in the world, and who knows how many worlds Frieza from DBZ has laid to waste, yet their is something about watching Light, sitting in his room, writing in a little note book by candle light and laying to waste the lives of several dozens that is exhilarating. Something about such a scene transcends anything we see Lelouch do during his rampage against Britannia. I can’t explain it.

Point is, no other anime characters (that i can think of right now) personify the very essence of death wrapped in a cool handsome package the way these two. And it got me thinking, when paired up against each other, which of these would stand out as the greater evil, not only to the other but the world at large? Which of these two characters would usurp the other’s claim to the title of supposedly misunderstood evil; which would you rather move across continents to avoid living next door to?

When i considered this question, i approached it from three perspectives; their characters, comparison with the other, especially in a hostile environment and threat level to the greater world.

So, here is my argument.

Light Yagami- I have always had mixed feelings about light. I am not even sure if he is the protagonist or the antagonist. What i do know is that of the two, he stands out as the more evil. Light Yagami is basically the perfect person, handsome, intelligent, kind, charismatic, a perfect student and citizen, basically everything every one with a brain would want to be. Yet when he

fortuitously comes into contact with the death note, a tool of the shiningami, with which one can kill by simply writing the name of the person on its pages as well as specifying in great detail when and how they will died, his true colors emerge.

Deciding to play god, Light starts by ending the lives of all those that have chosen to stand their ground against justice, which in this case includes vast majority of prisoners, in the hundreds of thousands if i am not mistaken, eventually earning the attention of a team of FBI agents intent on catching and stopping his murderous antics. Soon murdering criminals is no longer enough, and Light begins a campaign of purging all those that seek to find and destroy him, the most important of which is L, a genius socially inept detective intent in revealing the identity of the serial killer.

L is no ordinary foe for Light, not only because he can match Light brain cell for brain cell but because no one knows what L’s real name is, which means, even with the most powerful weapon in the world, light can’t kill him. Thus begins their game of cat and mouse, with L trying to peel back Light’s true face while Light attempts to break through L’s barriers to reveal his true name, taking care to lay to waste any number of law enforcement agents stupid enough to set their sights on him.

Here is one of the most egregious differences between these two characters. If you have watched or read Monster, then you might be surprised by me saying that Light is actually the most evil of the two. In fact if there was such a thing as an evil meter, Light would rank miles ahead of Johan. And i say that despite of what Johan does in Monster because i wouldn’t call Johan evil.

All those terms many use to describe Light, young, misunderstood, corrupted by power, i would apply to Johan. Light is a very basic Psychopath. I would disagree with anyone that tries to suggest that the death note is primarily responsible for what Light becomes. The way i have always seen it is that the death note is just one of several things that could have set Light off. Even if that shiningami hadn’t suddenly tossed that book through the portal and Light had never found it, i believe that something else later on in life would have made him snap. Somewhere down the line i believe something would have happened,

maybe that obnoxious neighbor would have run Light’s cat down, at which point he would have gone on to feed both him and his family their own eye balls. Or maybe a manager at work would have been especially rude to him and Light would have lashed out, beginning his reign as a psychotic killer.

The fact is, if the death note hadn’t come into his life, Light would have still killed, only that he would have been reduced to a mere serial killer of no particularly extraordinary existence. After all many a serial killer have been known to possess abnormally high IQs. And death note clearly showed just how much of a genius Light was, his ability to think several steps ahead, manipulate events and people to his advantage with the express purpose of determining one or two tiny facts with which he could go on to destroy a person’s life.

None the less, despite his genius, this is where Light and Johan part ways. Despite his genius, Light was only ever extraordinary because of the death note. In other words it is unlikely that Light was the smartest person on the planet. I am certain there were several other individuals in possession of intelligence on par with Light’s own. But Light stood out only because of the death note. Without it, he would have never done any of the things he did, or achieve as much as he did on the scale that he did. Oh sure, he was smart and he would have ran rings around the FBI for a while, but in the end his most offensive capability was the death note, and without it, he would have been reduced to a somewhat impressive serial killer later on in life, who would have met his end in ordinary circumstances, probably by the hand of some random police officer putting a bullet into his head..

2.Johan- this is why i rate Johan so much higher than Light. I am not even sure if i could call Johan a genius. Oh sure he was smart, intelligent, but Light was a genius on the level of which i am not sure Johan compares. Yet Johan stands above Light for one reason, he is a master manipulator the likes of which i do not think even Light would understand. Johan is the primary antagonist of the Monster anime and manga. As a child he and his sister enter Doctor Tenma’s life as victims of a gruesome murder than claimed the lives of their foster parents. Johan had taken a bullet to the head while his sister had survived with nothing more than mental scarring.

It is Tenma’s decision to ignore his orders and choose to use his genius surgical skills to save the life of the child Johan over the chairman of the board of the hospital that begins the entire monster escapade. Johan, as it is quickly determined is no ordinary boy. He was bred to be something more, something that, once it is discovered who he is, begins to attract several figures, important in the history of Europe as well as its future in an attempt to drink from the well that is his potential. Tenma on the other hand is horrified by what he learns he has unleashed into the world, not only after learning from Johan’s sister that it was she who shot him in the forehead (on his request i might add), but that there was a reason the twins had gone through so many foster parents in so many years; none of them survived the first few months of their adopted children’s new lives.

The fact that Johan can manipulate so many people so easily sets him apart from Light. Johan himself is an enigma, to me at least in that through out the entire story we never actually realize what it is he wants and why he plays so many games with Tenma, besides the fact that the Japanese doctor saved him when he had chosen to die. There are times in the manga where it seems like all his actions are random. At the end of it all, certain truths are revealed that lead me to believe that Johan is crazy, psychotic even, but i wouldn’t really call him evil. Without giving too many spoilers away for anyone that hasn’t encountered Monster, Johan is revealed as a young man on a quest, he is searching for something that has eluded him ever since he was ripped away from his home along with his sister.

But what Johan lacks in sanity-and it is worthy pointing out that i really do think that Johan is crazy, where as Light is a perfectly sane psychopath- he makes up for in mental agility. To understand just how bad Johan is , you have to simply realize that he is indeed the monster of the story. And while that term is figurative, for there are no supernatural elements in the manga, one has to wonder, why would all those people choose to call such a handsome, kind soft spoken young man a monster.

People, scholars, soldiers, lay men, basically a very diverse crowd of people have been known to meet Johan, sometimes for mere minutes at a time and while many have proclaimed their wonder and amazement at his words and spirit, they also almost always referred to a darkness, always talking about how they felt like they had just encountered and stared into an abyss. Now if this doesn’t tell you of just how dark this character is, nothing will. The fact that bright minds would refer to this ‘revolutionary’ as a monster, even while praising him, expressing a fear like nothing they have ever felt, the kind that touched them right down to their soul, this is a powerful display of just why Johan is clearly a more dangerous adversary than Light.

No one ever referred to Light as darkness and if they inferred it, it was because he could murder them with a note book. Johan did nothing more than speak.

Through out the story, Johan kills, a lot of people in fact, some times creating one massacre after another. Yet if you were to put both light and Johan in front of a judge, Light would rot in jail for all eternity while Johan would escape with a slap on the wrist. And that is because Johan himself has not actually killed that many people. Besides his murderous escapades as a kid, by his word alone Johan will seal the fates of thousands but without having actually done the killing, or even actually giving the order.

This is the manifestation of Johan’s masterful manipulation skills. He will sit down and have a conversation with a kindly nun one sunny afternoon. And in two weeks time, that same nun will be lurking in the shadows slitting throats. Johan seems to have a way of reaching into the darkest places of the human soul and revealing what lies within. Many a man in the story held Johan as a leader, a great revolutionary in the making. Heck there were many among them who were ready to announce him and were indeed making preparations to reveal him as Hitler's replacement, and through out the story these same people were reeking havoc and mayhem against all those that stood in their and Johan’s way, which in this case included Dr. Tenma and all those who stood by him.

Now here is the thing, if that doesn’t sound impressive, that a young man of 18 or so had high ranking authoritative figures ready to follow him to the very end and spill blood in the gallons for his sake, then consider the fact that at least two thirds of these people had never met Johan or even spoken to him. The story displays countless men and women, many of great intelligence, ready to commit violent acts on behalf of someone they had never met.

Now maybe some of these characters, old soldiers from the second world war with forgotten dreams, can be forgiven for their rashness. But there were others, ordinary men and women who killed and maimed in Johan’s name, for the sake of protecting him, a man, again, they had never met. This was Johan spreading his influence through a domino effect, not personally touching each and every soul he wished to use for his own good, but touching just that right one individual in a 100 and watching him infect a town. In other words, Light’s weapon is a powerful note book with the power to kill any whose name is written in it. Johan’s weapon is his word, and the ideology he spreads.

The funny thing is there was a time it seemed like Johan didn’t even know half of the people he was having do things for him. He would walk into a town, recruit and make a disciple in a day or so, a young man or woman that, after a day or two with Johan, was ready to lay their life down for him. Then he would do what he needed to do and leave, letting the consequences of his actions continue to echo on through out the society in the vicinity.

It’s even funnier to realize that Tenma spends most of the story trying to find and locate Johan; and those that are intent on killing Tenma on Johan’s behalf are also looking for Johan. It would be funny if it wasn’t so disturbing.

MY POINT- So here is the bottom line; of the two, Light is clearly evil while Johan is merely crazy, lost in the reveries of his past and after all these years unable to decipher the truth from the lie in his mind. Johan stands above Light in raw intelligence. He is the kind of enemy that light would fear, someone who both exists and doesn’t exist, which is another funny thing about Monster; a number of people see and speak to Johan, yet for the most part, no one can prove that he even exists.

Johan is the enemy that can reach out and kill Light without light even knowing of Johan’s existence. A good example of the difference between these two is that FBI agent that Light kills. He executes a brilliant performance to get the agent to reveal his true identity so as to finally end his existence using the death note. Now, while that was impressive, you could say that the difference between Johan and Light is that light had to involve his being into the play, if i am to call it that, to get a result. Even when dealing with L, he had to put himself right in the heart of the situation. This is the opposite of how Johan works, only making an appearance when he has to but mostly working from the shadows. Well, that is a wrong term to use. Johan works in the light, right were anyone and everyone should be able to see him, they simply can’t.

If it was Johan charged with getting the agent’s identity, rather than plan a ruse that finally gets the agent to drop his badge, Johan would get the man to tell him his name on purpose and rather than kill him, have him spy on L on his behalf.

As far as the world goes, Light seems like the more tolerable evil. I can see him troubling a town or two, maybe irritating a small country somewhere with his death note before someone eventually puts a bullet in his head, or nukes the country if the death note proves to be that potent a weapon. It is Johan that would prove to be the most destructive force if a character like his was ever to come to life; Johan is a threat that the world would have to contend with.

His weapon is one of the most potent of all, words and ideologies, two elements that can spread like wild fire to every corner of the world. Just consider the Monster story. People were ready to place Johan at the head of their nation; that is a worth while consideration when you realize that not at any one point in time did Johan ever ask or crave for power. Yet if he had wanted it, he could have had it and if he wished to, he would have given it to anyone.

That is the sort of man a world should fear, the sort of person someone like Hitler was made of, the kind of man that can change the fates of nations and continents with little to no effort. If Johan in Monster had actually strived for something, because for the most part he was apathetic to anything that wasn’t related to his past; but if he actually had an objective, had strived to accomplish something, gain power, burn Europe to the ground and so on, Monster would have been a completely different story.

Both men are handsome, kindly, soft spoken, gentle even, yet hide a cruel streak, psychopathic tendencies, murderous intent and an abnormal intellect. Johan would however be the greater evil.

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When I add Light Yagami battling some characters in Battles forum, I find it very interesting. In order to make it more interesting, he has to battle characters with their true identities hidden.
Here are the kinds of characters I put up for to Light battles with:
1. Secret identity
2. Split personality
However, I begun to run out of ideas, so help me please.
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Why the hell is Hollywood thinking? I mean come on! Get your heads straight! Don't ever take an anime and turn it into a live action film! Just look at Speed Racer... I think my eyes bled... 
Confused? Good. Let me explain... 
Akira is my all time favorite manga/anime movie, Death Note is also up there on my tops list. I love them to bits and I don't know if I could live with out them! (Exaggeration) 
Last night I was bored and began to look up at what was happening in the movie business. I wasn't expecting much until I looked on 'up coming movies'. 
I think I died... Inside and out. 
I'm never going to be the same. 
First off I saw in the December section "AKIRA: Live action film"... What is this tyranny! I thought! Anime should stay anime. Why? Because the things they do in anime is physically IMPOSSIBLE to do in real life. Humans cannot jump 10 feet into the air! Even if they are ninjas. Humans cannot jump onto a moving motorcycle and kick the driver in the face. It just isn't possible. It's bad enough that they're turning it into live action-ness but now they take one of the most american men ever and have him star in it. Yes, Leonardo DI Caprio is going to star in AKIRA the live action film. 
To make matters worse I saw "Death Note: The Live Action Film". The Japanese couldn't get it right so what makes Hollywood think they can do any better. Also Zac Efron is interested in playing Light's part... No explanation is needed to show my hate for this. 
Why? Why? Why is Hollywood so stupid!!!! 
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Anime has its crazies and loons, either as comic relief, villains or those becoming infected by something. I've taken the craziest characters of what I've seen in anime and put them into a Top 10 list in this video. Because the video was over 15 minutes long, I winded up having to divide it up into two halves. Part 1 of the video has 10-5 of my list and Part 2 has 4-1. Check the video out.
Part 1
Part 2
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I use IMDB. Im on there under the same name. You can often find me on the "Alice In Wonderland (2010)" , "Dorian Gray (2009)" and "Death Note (2011)" Boards. 
Well ... One day I was on  IMDB.  It had been known for a while that Warner was making an "American Remake of Death Note". This was perfect.  
The Time Was right. they could get a good cast. It could be great. One thing .... They Needed a good faithful Script.  
I was Excited and I digged for all the information I could get (Often finding really good cast ideas - Like Zac Efron as Light - which is perfect). 
People on IMDB's Death Note Boards were talking about the remake and one guy said "I wonder where it's going to be set !" . The next Guy Replied "Its set In NYC" 
 I was confused ... How Did He Know ? I asked Him How he Knew and if he had read the script and guess what ... He had !!!!  I requested a summary and and the actual script - He Sent me both. I was shocked ..... Was I shocked for a good or Bad Reason ? ... I'll leave that up to you .... Here is The Summary ... Im pretty sure It is Legit and anyone who doubts me ... I will send you the script ... but , This Summary is the Exact Same ... so Can't some people just be content with this ? I asure it is real.  In The words of Heath Ledger's Joker
"Here we go" ...... 
Death Note - The American Remake - Script Summary 
Character names:
Luke Murray - Light Yagami

Sophia (Luke's girlfriend) - I guess there's no Japanese counterpart for her

Sarah Murray (Luke's sister) - Sayu Yagami

Captain John Murray - Soichiro Yagami

Watari and L remain the same.


The script opens with Luke being woken by his cellphone. He changes while he bolts out of the room as he's gonna be late for class. On the way to school, he saves a woman's life on the subway. A thief stole her purse and she fell on the tracks. This event causes Luke to miss his class completely. Once at school, he meets Sophia, his girlfriend. Luke gives her his mother's ring, which he's been saving for the girl he will marry. After that he goes to work (packing stuff at a fish market) and then to the cemetery to visit his mother's grave. As he makes his way out, he comes across the death note. Like in the anime, he first shrugs it off as a joke but then returns for it. Back home, Captain John Murray has just received his son's SAT scores. Turns out he's 99th percentile or something to that degree. Later that night, Luke sits in his room watching the news. A criminal has taken a family hostage and Luke writes his name in the death note as a joke. Luke goes to the bathroom and doesn't realize that the criminal has dropped dead and the family has been saved. The next day, Luke hangs around with Sophia before class. Here, Luke reads in the paper that the criminal who took the family hostage the past night died. Later that day, he begins wondering if he had anything to do with it by writing the criminal's name on the death note. There's only one way to know, he's going to test it. He starts reading the death note's rules (same as the anime,) turns on the TV and finds a criminal who has just escaped police custody. Luke writes his name and the criminal dies. The death note is real.

The police then come to visit Luke because the mayor wants to give him a medal for saving the lady in the subway. After some thinking, Luke speaks to his father. He wants to see the case file of his mom's murder (she died during a store robbery and Luke was with her when he was little,) but his dad refuses to let him see it. Luke goes against his father's orders and goes to the police station to take a look at the case file. His father catches him looking at the files. Luke asks him if he believes that the main suspect (some guy with a Latino name, can't remember) committed the murder. Captain Murray is not sure and he says he did everything he could to find his wife's murderer. A police officer bursts in and informs Captain Murray that they are in pursuit of two home invaders. As the criminals hole up in a building, Luke usees the death note to kill them. At the morgue, the coroner informs Captain Murray that the two criminals' death was not something natural.

The next day, Luke hacks into the NYPD's database and looks up the name of his mom's possible murderer along with his known accomplices. Luke calls the accomplices (they're brothers) and proves to one of them that he is the one behind the mysterious killings by murdering one of them with the death note. He asks for the whereabouts of his mom's murderer but the criminal doesn't know what happened to him. However, Luke finds out what happened to the gun that killed his mother -- it's in a pawn shop.

The cops are the coroner's office once again. They found the body of the man Luke just killed with the death note. The coroner is baffled as to how he died since there is no way both of the victims could have died from a heart attack. Captain Murray calls for an official investigation. Back at the police station, Captain Murray finds Watari waiting for them. L wants to help with the investigation. He introduces himself like in the anime through a laptop and explains to the cops that it's cons who are being specifically targeted. Meanwhile, Luke is trying to track down the gun by calling a pawn shop. During class, the professor is explaining how crime has declined and that it might be connected to the mysterious deaths that have been occurring. Luke is now convinced more than ever that he has to go on killing people to bring justice to the world. He sends an e-mail to the New York Times in which he refers to himself as Kira (apparently the name was inspired by a manga he found) and claims that he is killing to rid the world of injustice. He also lists five more criminals he will kill to prove he is serious. The criminals all die as Luke continues to look for the pawn shop where the gun might be. People start cheering when they hear about Kira taking out criminals. At the police station, L has figured out that all the killings were done by one man and rules out the possibility of a conspiracy. He also mentions that he has a way of backing up his theory.

Luke finds the pawn shop where the gun is, but it turns out it was sold to the Jersey PD. He then calls the Jersey PD to make an anonymous tip. That night, Luke is watching the news cast. This is a recreation of the anime where a fake L is killed in order to narrow down the search for Kira. The broadcast was only shown in New York so Kira is definitely there. Luke then notices a Japanese character engraved in the death note. The next day he asks a friend of his the meaning of the character -- shinigami. That afternoon, his father receives a call from the Jersey PD, they might have found his wife's murder weapon and they need to confirm the ballistics. L has also figured out that the killings have a pattern, the killer is on a schedule and he believes it might be a college student. Captain Murray returns home, he wants to talk to Luke. He tries to convince him to go to law school but Luke refuses because it was a lawyer who let his mom's killer go free. Captain Murray then mentions that the main suspect in his wife's murder couldn't have done it because the bullets don't match the gun. He and his dad get into an argument about letting go of his mom. On his way to work, Luke calls the criminal who tipped him on the gun. He is mad that he lied and that the ballistics don't match but the criminal mentions that the owner of the gun used to do something to the barrel of the gun to make it untraceable.

When he returns home from work, Luke finds his dad asleep and then he adresses an envelope with a calling card to his mom's alleged killer. At the police station, the criminal who has been giving information to Kira about his accomplice's gun asks to speak to a detective. Later, Luke is at the library researching the word shinigami. He starts playing around with the death note's rules, specifically the one that mentions that if he renounces ownership of it his memories of the death note will be lost. However, if a previous owner of the death note recovers it, his memories will be restored. As he makes his way back home, Luke notices he is being followed by someone. Back home, Sophia arrives to hang out with Luke, but he says he can't at the moment.

The Kira taskforce start receiving news of criminals in prisons killing themselves after doing strange things, such as drawing pentagrams with their own blood. Sophia starts noticing that something weird is going on with Luke but he maintains that he is fine. Following this, the two get into a bus and a scene recreating the part of the anime where Light finds out he's being followed by the FBI happens. Now that Luke knows who's been following him, he starts planning something. At the taskforce, the criminal is being interviewed by L. He mentions that he has told him everything he knows. Luke then receives a phone call from the man who murdered his mom. He starts killing other criminals who are locked in with him and Luke wants him to admit that he murdered his mom before killing him. The killer claims that he didn't do it but Luke tells him his partner ratted him out. The killer admits he did it and begs for mercy, but Luke kills him anyway. After receiving the news of the recently murdered killer, Watari informs the detectives that L wants to see them.

Luke realizes that the death note is turning him into something evil and decides to get rid of it, but he notices that his room's door has been opened while he was away. The FBI has installed cameras and microphones all over the place. Now Luke can't get rid of the death note because it will look suspicious if he takes it out of his secret spot. In a hotel room, L meets the Kira taskforce and Captain Murray notices that L is watching his son. L tells Captain Murray that Luke must be Kira because his mom's murderer was just killed and most likely Luke did it for revenge. When Captain Murray comes home, he tells Luke that they confirmed who his mom's killer was and that Luke can tell him anything, no matter what. Meanwhile, the killer's partner finds out about Luke by looking at the article of his mom's murder. Luke buys a device to confirm that his room has been bugged. He then receives a call from his mom's killer partner. By listening to his voice, he knows it was Luke who murdered his brother. That night, the Kira taskforce and L are surveiling Luke while he studies. This scene is a recreation of the anime where Light studies while eating potato chips and kills criminals by listening to a small tv hidden in the chips bag. L has no choice but to remove all the surveilance equipment from Luke's room since it's not possible he killed all the criminals that night.

The next day, Luke renounces ownership of the death note. The killer's partner is not happy that L has ruled out Luke as a suspect in the Kira case and tells him he'll prove that Luke is in fact Kira. Luke receives a phone call from Sophia who tells him to meet her at the library. She is being held at gunpoint by the partner. L is watching the library's security feed and asks Watari to run the lie detection program. Captain Murray joins L. When Luke arrives, the partner holds Sophia at gunpoint and tells him to admit he is Kira. L and the taskforce watch as Luke claims he is not Kira. They release that Luke is telling the truth and send cops to save them. The partner shoots Sophia but Luke dives in front of her, taking the shot. The partner realizes he was wrong and the cops arrive to arrest him but he shoots himself in the head.

Luke wakes up in the hospital days later. Everyone is relieved he is fine and they prepare to take him home. Luke then takes his personal items, turns on his cellphone and he notices that he has a video message from himself. The message explains that he is Kira and that he tried to get rid of the death note by burning it, but it couldn't be destroyed. In order to get rid of all suspicion of himself, Luke orchestrated the whole situation with Sophia and the partner by writing it on the death note, then he gave up the death note so he could convincingly deny any knowledge of himself being Kira. The message further explains that he hid the death note in an abandoned cemetery. Luke is taken aback by this realization and he throws his cellphone against the wall. Then, L enters the room. Luke asks if he knows him. L replies no, but I know you.

The script ends with a voiceover from Luke telling us that he passes by the cemetery every day and he thinks a lot about what happened. He realizes he can never tell anyone about what happened and he prepares to go to law school. The final shot is of Luke walking through the street and he looks back at the cemetery where he buried the death note.

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