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Watch & Learn: DEATH NOTE Episode #3

Shinigami eyes... * CLAP CLAP * ...they're watching you. They see your every move.


   I'll buy this skin's chalk white, but that has got to be black make-up on his lips and eyes.
 I'll buy this skin's chalk white, but that has got to be black make-up on his lips and eyes.

Don’t do it, Light! Don’t take the Shinigami eyes! It’s a trick!

This episode ends with another hell of a cliffhanger as Ryuk makes Light a devilish offer. It’s definitely in line with the demons and goblins in folklore, isn’t it? Tempting mortals with deals for power that’ll likely prove to be more costly than what they’re worth. While getting Ryuk’s “info eyes” will certainly increase Light’s workflow, so to speak, is it really worth the cost of halving his life? I mean, how is he going to enjoy his power (and all that megalomaniacal laughter that goes with it, surely) if he’s only got half as much time to savor it?  You can’t really enjoy it if you’re dead, right? Especially when Ryuk’s saying Light could have an unpleasant afterlife too.

Ha… this whole dilemma’s making me think of the economics classes I took in college. The conditions would certainly make for the most morbid multiple-choice exam question in history. All things being equal, of course, what kind of opportunity cost does Light give up (measures remaining life years as Y) in exchange for the benefit of a pair of Shinigami’s eyes(measuring criminal deaths as X) if results are a foregone conclusion….

Ha ha… that makes me smile,. It really isn’t too far removed from the tone of this show, is it? They spend a lot of time discussing this kind of "dream logic" in DEATH NOTE.

Along that line, I hate to bring Stephen King up again, but this show’s whole approach to magical realism really reminds me of his work. How L uses basic reason to understand the irrational, how the investigators resign rather than face this dangerous “ESP” they don’t understand, how Light’s life is basically a normal one without the Death Note, et cetera. I also love the characterization of Ryuk as this demon who’s so long-lived, his only motivation for doing anything is to stave off boredom. He only warns Light of the agent trailing him, for instance, because it personally bugs him to be followed. You're always eager to hear what he has to say next.

Though, I, myself, say… DON’T TAKE THE EYES, LIGHT! SAY NO!!!   
 
Watch this episode, "Dealings", at Hulu here. And see my comments on the previous episode, here.

-- Tom Pinchuk is the writer of UNIMAGINABLE for Arcana Studios and HYBRID BASTARDS! for Archaia. Pre-order the HYBRID BASTARDS! hardcover now on Amazon.com.

OnlyWonderBoyon May 27, 2010 at 3:30 p.m.
Glad to see you're starting to warm up to the show lol. You seemed kind of sketchy at first. What I've learned about anime is it's generally a good rule of thumb to see how you feel after about three episodes. I didn't really care for the first couple episodes of Gurren Lagann but around episode 4 I really started enjoying myself.
danielm staff on May 27, 2010 at 4:57 p.m.
Look at that black line across his nose connecting his eyes. Ryuk must be wearing googly-eye glasses. MYSTERY OF THE CRAZY EYES SOLVED! You're welcome, Anime Vice.
FoxxFireArt moderator on May 27, 2010 at 6:17 p.m.
What I love about this episode is that we see that Ryuk is completely open that he is not on Light's side, but is just there to observe and enjoy. His sadistic nature is quite well reflected in his appearance. He tells Light that he can see the life span of Light and wont tell him. Basically, Ryuk knows when this show will end. It could be decades or months.
 
I don't read much Stephen King, but I see the comparison. It always feels to me that if you read one Stephen King. You've pretty much read them all. He did some amazing work in the past, but now feels more like he's just going through the paces.
 
I sent a reply to that question you asked on the previous episode review about the Evangelion project.
hitsusatsu11on May 27, 2010 at 8:14 p.m.
@Tom_Pinchuk:
Nice that you changed the title to Watch and Learn, certainly after watching Eva you are no longer a noob. 
I know you liked Escaflowne, did watch it dubbed? And are you watching DN dub? 
If so could you tell that Allen and Ryuk are played by the same actor? 
Crono11on May 27, 2010 at 9:26 p.m.
@hitsusatsu11:  It's interesting that you say that, I've watched both but had no idea. Thanks for bringing it up. I love hearing things like that.
hitsusatsu11on May 27, 2010 at 9:44 p.m.
@Crono11: ya no prob, also von is terro mikami (sp)
FekketCantenelon May 28, 2010 at 6:45 a.m.
Never hesitate to bring up Stephen King. It shows that you know about good literature (except maybe his last few, derivative books like Duma Key).
 
I always thought Ryuk's facial patterns are just part of him, kind of like black lips on a monkey and eye markings on a fish. Yes, I consider him a fish-monkey hybrid with wings. That's how scary and awesome Ryuk is.
No_name_here staff on May 28, 2010 at 1:47 p.m.
@hitsusatsu11:  I watched ESCAFLOWNE subbed. I only had access to VHS tapes! I've been watching this dubbed though. I think the voice acting is pretty good, though. Which character is Allen, again?
No_name_here staff on May 28, 2010 at 1:48 p.m.
@FekketCantenel:  Ha... I can definitely see the animal comparison. A winged monkey fish. Only in anime, right?
 
I've mostly read King's DARK TOWER series. The whole approach to the magic rules and having a fantasy being in your head reminds me a lot of DRAWING OF THE THREE.
hitsusatsu11on May 28, 2010 at 3 p.m.
@Tom_Pinchuk: Allen Shezar (Von's brother, long blond hair guy)  is played by Brian Drummond who also plays Ryuk. Also Von's VA plays a character that will appear later in Death Note.  
 
The voice acting is really good, its done by a canadian company called Ocean Studios. 
No_name_here staff on May 28, 2010 at 3:26 p.m.
@hitsusatsu11:  Ah.... THAT Allen. No, like I said, I saw it subbed, so I have no idea.
ninjadude853on May 28, 2010 at 3:53 p.m.
ryuk is my second favorite death note character
only L is cooler
 
and just wait for the episode with sakura tv
hitsusatsu11on May 28, 2010 at 3:54 p.m.
@Tom_Pinchuk: cool, btw are you planing to watch rebuild of eva? The second movie just came out on DVD in japan, its amazing. (totally new story) 
AURON570on May 28, 2010 at 7:47 p.m.
You know, reading these articles is really nice. Since I've watched the anime so long ago, reading you're daily articles has reminded me of how awesome the story was. I really appreciate the time it takes to write each of these articles, thanks man.
StepAkneeon May 29, 2010 at 1:06 p.m.
I love Death Note
BrandonElliotton May 30, 2010 at 2:58 p.m.
I don't think Light is evil. I think he is corrupted with power.  
fireflys_locketon June 7, 2010 at 2:45 p.m.
@BrandonElliott said:
" I don't think Light is evil. I think he is corrupted with power.   "
I'd mostly agree with that. He probably would have ended up a brilliant but normal man, otherwise. I'd bet his life would have bored him, really. :/

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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