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Watch & Learn: Death Note Episode #19

That Matsuda really is a dunce.

 Master detective work, right here.
 Master detective work, right here.

Oh geez… it’s so amusing how every episode’s had some an ominous title like “Execution” and “Confession” and “Confrontations, and this one is just “ Matsuda.” Making this whole episode about this klutzy dunce makes me think of that one SIMPSONS episode that was divided into short vignettes focusing on all the lesser-known Springfield citizens like Apu, Principal Skinner and Cletus the slack-jawed yokel.   
 
Of course, none of those vignettes had the EVA-style psychological profiles like this did. He might be going about it all wrong, but you know where Matsuda's coming from.  He’s acting so rash just to prove himself.

 Matsuda's got another great idea.
 Matsuda's got another great idea.

Matsuda does survive, but almost in spite of himself. I don’t know how much longer the evil corporate guys were going to buy his cover story. Barging past the reception desk can be written off as being a little pushy for an enthusiastic manager, but getting all the way up to an executive board room? That’s a lot more involved. But man… the way he got out of it all was ingenious (and a real team effort!)  L speaking in frat boy-style code (he’s just full of surprises, isn’t it?), Misa using her girlfriends to distract the suits and then Matsuda’s apparently-deadly fall (and Misa cheering him on was hysterical too.)

 It's so good to have you here, Misa Misa.
 It's so good to have you here, Misa Misa.

Actually, speaking of Misa, it’s so weird how she basically designed her current personality. Rem the Death Note or whatever powers that may be in the Shingigami world created her drives and quirks and invented all these substitute memories based on the abstract base concept of her just loving Light unconditionally. 
 
You know, I’ve mentioned Asimov before, and it’s been intriguing how this show’s been exploring the logic of that bit of fantasy. She loves Kira because she knew that Light is Kira, but not that she doesn’t know that she has these contradictory devotions. If Light is put against Kira, then who does help? I'll be curious to see how this plays out. How long before she gets her memories back?

You can watch this episode, “Matsuda,” for yourself on Hulu here, and read my comments about the previous episode here. Also, if you've been liking my reviews of this show, then please comment below.  I'm really enjoying DEATH NOTE. I'd love to watch it through to the end and keep posting my thoughts on each episode. However, our aim here is to provide content you Anime Vice lunatics want to see. So if you're liking these observations on DEATH NOTE, don't hold back on your comments! If not, I might have to start watching a new show instead of finishing this one.

-- 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 15, 2010 at 9:33 a.m.
Matsuda is almost the iconic, well meaning, boy sidekick. Yet, when he does try to help. All he does is get himself captured by the villains.
L is a little to blame here from what he said last episode. Sort of making Matsuda the 'executive assistant' of the group.
 
I do like how L seemed upset about how he had to go out since they are shorthanded. The cover story for his "accident" was really well done. Just silly enough to be true.
 
Isn't it psychologically interesting that despite not having all her memories why she is so in love with Light. Before she knew he is Kira, would she of even looked his way? Probably, she's shallow enough to focus on looks. 
She is totally devoted to Light. Despite her motivations as to why are removed from her mind.
bfahrenbachon June 15, 2010 at 9:41 a.m.
This episode made ZERO sense to me.  However hopefully things will get back on the right track. 
 
I'm not sure where it's going to go next, but let's stick with the plan because it's worked so far.
FoxxFireArt moderator on June 15, 2010 at 10:55 a.m.
@bfahrenbach: 
What didn't make any sense? Matsuda was feeling useless, and the sad thing is. He kind of is. How would you feel know you are just sitting on your hands while everyone around you is contributing something important in some way.
 
Matsuda pushed too far and got himself in some serious trouble. He nearly got himself killed for it.
Remember at this point the politicians and police have given into Kira, but are not trying to stop L's task force. Someone in this company is suspected of being Kira. If they figure out Matsuda is or was a police officer. This "Kira" could push the police to start going after the task force.
sotyfan16on June 15, 2010 at 11:57 a.m.

I like this string of episodes because it's like a play is being put on. Actually, more like a puppet show. Kira has manipulated everyone and the task force, not knowing better, goes along because they need every lead they can to try and "catch" Kira. I say "catch" because in all reality, well, Death Note's anyway, Kira can never go away because anyone with a Death Note can be Kira. 
 
If you do decide to move to another anime I encourage you to at least finish this for your own viewing pleasure. I have not been commenting much on these articles but I do read each one because I am curious about what you have to say.

FoxxFireArt moderator on June 15, 2010 at 12:34 p.m.
@sotyfan16 said:

" I say "catch" because in all reality, well, Death Note's anyway, Kira can never go away because anyone with a Death Note can be Kira. "

In this statement. I, and most likely the writer, Tsugumi Ohba; could not disagree with you more. Not everyone could be a Kira with the Death Note. That was proven in that very last chapter of the Death Note series.
 
It takes a uniquely sick individual to this that every person who got hold of the Death Note would end up using it in the same way, such as with Light's egotistical goal to be a god.
Misa was only mimicking Kira to find the original. Would she still of targeted "criminals" and police if she had gotten the book first?
This current Kira in the series at this point. This one is using the Death Note to manipulate stock prices of a company. Killing criminals as a cover.
No_name_here staff on June 15, 2010 at 1:37 p.m.
@FoxxFireArt:  I think she'd certainly look his way, but the bigger question is whether their paths would ever cross under other circumstances. I just think it's such a rich irony that this celebrity who's has to deal with stalkers all the time is acting like an obsessed fan herself.
No_name_here staff on June 15, 2010 at 1:40 p.m.
@sotyfan16:  If Light's was planning all of this along, then he really is a genius. That's thinking, like, 50 steps few steps ahead.
 
But yeah, if you're curious about what I have to say with these, then I'm definitely curious about what you have to say. These posts are about starting a discussion on AV, so please never hesitate to contribute. I'd love to watch this show through the end for this column, but my fate is in your hands!
Contraon June 15, 2010 at 4:31 p.m.
I really dislike Matsuda at the best of times.  For me he brings the show to a grinding halt on multiple occasions through his stupidity.  
 
I'm interested in what you have to say about the series though.  Especially your ideas as it goes on, for how it will develop.  You have looked at things from a slightly different point of view to myself, and it's interesting.
sotyfan16on June 15, 2010 at 4:42 p.m.
@FoxxFireArt:
I would say I overstated my thoughts. There are far and few between who would be like Kira if they got ahold of a Death Note. My thinking was that Death Note-related killings will never go away, they would just be intermittent, mostly accidental and out of curiousity, and not of mass numbers of people. 
 
@Tom_Pinchuk: 
I have been getting away with not watching the series along with this column to this point. I would find myself with more to say if I do so. So, I will now start watching each episode as you do them and provide my thoughts. Sadly I own the whole series but it is currently being borrowed. I will have to resort back to watching it on the internet for the time being.
No_name_here staff on June 15, 2010 at 4:46 p.m.
@Contra:  I realize Matsuda's antics can sometimes take comic relief to comic take-over, but I still like them. It all fits in the tone, I think.
 
Glad you've been liking my take on the show. I'd love to reads yours for all these episodes and see where we differ.
Gaseroon June 15, 2010 at 4:48 p.m.
I'd really hope to see you finish the series Tom. It is always interesting to me to hear/read other people's philosophies or opinions on topics such as this. There is a little less than 20 episodes left though, so I dunno if only me and FoxxFireArt can keep the column going alone. 
 
Even if you do not finish Death Note, I'd like to see this column used for another shorter series or even for currently running series. 
 
btw, I didn not like this episode. It felt like a filler episode to make up for Matsuda's useless character.
FoxxFireArt moderator on June 15, 2010 at 5:06 p.m.
@Gasero said:
" btw, I didn not like this episode. It felt like a filler episode to make up for Matsuda's useless character. "
I respectively disagree. This gives some nice character development that will show some sharp contrasts much later. I wont go into details though to avoid spoiling anything.
Gaseroon June 15, 2010 at 5:16 p.m.
@FoxxFireArt said:
" @Gasero said:
" btw, I didn not like this episode. It felt like a filler episode to make up for Matsuda's useless character. "
I respectively disagree. This gives some nice character development that will show some sharp contrasts much later. I wont go into details though to avoid spoiling anything. "
Don't worry, I've seen the entire series. If Matsuda did something in a later episode that had a lot of bearing with this episode then it did not leave an impression on me. Unless you are talking about what he does in the
. Even that didn't seem to have a lot to do with his character. I think many people would do the same.
No_name_here staff on June 15, 2010 at 5:38 p.m.
@Gasero:  Believe me, I'd love to keep watching this to the end. I do have some other series lined up that I plan to tackle, but I'd love to finish this before starting them.
 
I suppose you could look at this like filler, but I don't know... like I said, it fits under the whole umbrella of unpredictability. It feels kind of  visceral, as I've said... like this is what would really happen given the fantastical circumstances.
Liminalityon June 15, 2010 at 7:36 p.m.
Hey! I like this, I just don't comment much. Please continue to post your impressions, also waiting to see your thoughts on Rebuild of Evangelion.
FoxxFireArt moderator on June 15, 2010 at 7:44 p.m.
@Gasero: 
I wasn't holding back for your sake. I was holding back for Tom Pinchuk's sake.
 
@Liminality:
Comments are how the people who run the site know what the viewers want more of. If you hold back. They are just going to assume no one is interested. They don't want to waste time on something they think people don't want.
 
Look at it from their perspective. How are they going to know what people want if no one tells them?
 
That's why I try to comment as much as possible.
Catolfon June 15, 2010 at 9:18 p.m.
I gotta say I really like Matsuda, it's a break from all the hyper tense..EVERYTHING. He's in his own little world of awesome..
 
This would be a perfect example. it's a safe image from DA but proves my point. His own world of awesome. Anyway, keep posting your thoughts on the episodes I really want to hear what you think of them. I always get excited when someone new watches a series I've seen.
ZachTheAnimeGeekon June 15, 2010 at 9:28 p.m.

I like stopped watching after this episode because it just got really boring. It was so interesting when he was kira but now its just... bleh
kingclawon June 16, 2010 at 12:48 a.m.
Hey Tom, I like your articles very much. I come from Giant Bomb to AV  just to read your articles. In fact, I'm creating an account to tell you that keep up with the awesome job.
 Anyway, my english isn´t very good so don´t expect the most interesting discussion from me, but I am going to post here and there.
metalninja7on June 16, 2010 at 12:49 a.m.
If I remember this episode right, this was the second episode in which a situation is brought to ahead by a 2nd string character.  The other episode (not to say she was a 2nd tier character) was Misa showing up to meet Light at school.   Always kind of jarred by these two episodes.  Light and L being the brilliant master-minds they are, it's aggravating when their knuckle-dragging supporting cast messes with the plan, even when it works.  The plan keeps you centered, to know there was always an order to how it was supposed to be.
 
I seem to remember a pale-faced jester pontificating upon the subject.  If tomorrow, a gang-banger got shot, no one would care because it's all part of "the plan"........... 
 
\m/

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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