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Watch & Learn: Death Note Episode #10

Death Note gets a little Speed Racer.

 Just imagine a SPEED RACER / DEATH NOTE crossover.
 Just imagine a SPEED RACER / DEATH NOTE crossover.

I hate to say this, but this episode approached the self-parody zone. It didn’t fully step into it, to be sure, but its toes touched the edge with the SPEED RACER-style fast-talking inner monologues.  Almost every episode’s had at least one silly moment before - - like Light’s “I’m going to take a potato chip… and EAT IT!!!” quote that Gasero pointed out - - but this was the first one with a whole sequence of silly moments. Light and L treating a tennis game like a chess game and analyzing eachother’s responses and strategy? Cool.  Them finishing six or eight successive voice-overs with a strained tennis grunt to accompany their slice? Kind of cheesy.

But you get over it.

I just compared L and Light’s dealings to a chess, but I think poker is actually more apt.  Their exchanges are consisting of L making a bluff and Light then figuring out whether to call that bluff. Of course, the joke (or the genius) is that L’s "bluffing" by just coming out and just telling the truth.

“Hello Light. I’m L, the master detective. I suspect that you’re Kira, but I’m not totally sure.”

 These moves seemed pretty ballsy last episode. Now, I’d say they’re borderline-suicidal. There’s something to be said about misdirection through being intentionally obvious (THE PURLOIN LETTER, THE PRESTIGE and what not) but L doesn’t know for sure that Kira needs a real name to kill someone instantaneously. That’s  a pretty big risk to take over a hunch founded off of 5% suspicion, isn’t it?

Then again, I suppose Light’s pulling the whole “hiding in plain sight” trick back at L, isn’t he? 
“This is too corny to be fake.” 
 
A funny line L utters over Light’s eye-rolling proclamations to his bed-ridden father, but it shows how he’s being deceived, too. What better cover is there for a serial killer than a popular, seemingly well-edson of a police captain? And I think the irony of Capt. Yagami’s heart attack is delicious. Light is so callous about the deaths, but what about when someone he loves is threatened with the same kind of demise?  

-- Tom Pinchuk is the writer of UNIMAGINABLE for Arcana Studios and HYBRID BASTARDS! for Archaia. HYBRID BASTARDS! is available  here and UNIMAGINABLE is available here for pre-order on Amazon.com.  

 
FoxxFireArt moderator on June 4, 2010 at 2:16 p.m.
Mixing Death Note and Speed Racer would probably look like a Nascar race.
 
Yes, inner monologue can go too far. Just because Shakespeare got away with it. Doesn't mean everyone should verbalize their thoughts.
I prefer chess, but I do bow to your poker analogy. It's more appropriate. Poker is more verbal and you can't see the other person's cards.
 
Yeah, L took a huge risk, but he set up the appropriate defense. The way Light described it. There are just enough safeguards, such as using a well known idols name. So if that idol was to die. Light would be suspect number one. If this isn't the real L. He would be suspect number one. It's a nice circular defense.
One thing I've never been a 100% clear on. What if a person changes their name legally, a maiden name, or even say you were adopted and given a different name then the one your birth parents gave you?
LordCravenon June 4, 2010 at 3:10 p.m.
I don't think that L is taking too big of a risk. If L's plan fails and Light kils him, then the rest of the investigation team and Watari would know Light was Kira.  He doesn't really factor his own life into his plans... 
 
@FoxxFireArt:

It's usualy your birthname, but i don't know if it changes after you get married.  
wait were Naomi and Raye married or were they just engaged?   
cause light wrote down Naomi Misora, not Naomi Penber.
Gaseroon June 4, 2010 at 4:58 p.m.
The tennis match monologues were admittedly American Comic book cheesy (they really know how to monologue). I understand the need to build tension between L and Light, but when the first thing L said to Light was "I'm L" its kinda hard to feel more tension.
 
I also liked the latter scene. When L used a star's name as his name it became obvious that these two were going to be playing games with each other for at least a little while.

Dig Deeper into Death Note

A shounen franchise of enormous popularity, Death Note started with Tsugumi Ohba's manga, illustrated by the popular artist Takeshi Obata. The series is essentially an extended police chase thriller, but with added twists, including the existence of Shinigami (death gods) who can control the death of humans.

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