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Watch & Learn: Death Note Episode #35-36

The end draws near!

 36 episodes, and it comes down to these two's final discussion.
 36 episodes, and it comes down to these two's final discussion.

Ooooooooh… we’re down to the DEATH NOTE nitty gritty with these penultimate episodes. Once again, there’s just so much to cover here, I’m going to have to shoot these observations at you, rapid fire!

  • Mello went out like a chump and, even though he checks out in an understated way, I can’t say it’s anti-climatic because he’s already been well-established as a mediocre mastermind. Seriously… he wasn’t thorough about strip-searching Takada (whom he suspects of having the deadliest weapon on Earth) because she got bashful? The bra’s the easiest place for a woman to hide things!
  •  This is a serious investigation and you're just playing with dolls!
     This is a serious investigation and you're just playing with dolls!
    Then again, maybe the implication of all this is that graduates of the L academy (or whatever it was called) learn everything about detective work, but nothing about girls. Remember how puppy-eyed L got after Misa kissed him? The evidence is there!
  • My suspicions about Light being insincere with all his pronouncements to Takada were proven right. She was just another tool for him to use. And man…what a terrible end for her.  Setting herself on fire.
  • I’m getting some RESERVOIR DOGS vibes from this final confrontation in the warehouse. I think it’s fitting that this cliffhanger doesn’t hang on who’s going to be able to physically beat the other, but over who put in the right amount of “homework” in advance of this meeting. That definitely fits the tone of this whole show. It sounds like Light’s got the SPK dead to rights, but I know that Near’s has to have an ace up his sleeve. Or maybe, more appropriately, he’s got another doll in his toy box.
  •  Ryuk even looks pretty ridiculous in live action.
     Ryuk even looks pretty ridiculous in live action.
    Speaking of which… as charming as he is to watch, I’m sure it would get really aggravating, really fast to actually work with Near. Here you are, trying to conduct a serious operation and this kid’s using Halloween masks and cheap rubber dolls to talk out your suspect. This is definitely something that works better in animation when it might look a little silly in live action.
  • What a great irony that Light doesn’t think Near is worthy of being L’s successor. He goes through all that trouble to kill him and now he’s missing his intellectual equal!
  • And what happened to Ryuk? He's shown up so infrequently here, I forget he's actually part of the show sometimes and he's the whole reason this started.
 
Watch these episodes, "Malice" and "1:28" on Hulu here and here, and read my comments on the previous episodes here.

-- 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.  

Gaseroon June 30, 2010 at 12:38 p.m.
 I thought it was too arrogant even for Light to say that Near wasn't L's equal when Light has just just as much, if not more trouble avoiding Near than he did L.
 
The Halloween mask is completely necessary. Well, any face coverage would have done, but still...when you know that your opponent could probably kill you after seeing your face things get real dangerous. 
 
I don't want to say too much more. I'm looking forward to your reaction of the final episode. No quick facts next time. You better give full analysis so that people can rant about how wrong you are in the comments.
BigChiefon June 30, 2010 at 1:45 p.m.
Oh yeah, I forgot that Ryuk sort of becomes scarce later on in the show's run. Which is kinda a shame, because he was a good character. He's one of the more likeable characters, which is weird when you consider that he's largely responsible for everything that happens in the show.
OnlyWonderBoyon June 30, 2010 at 1:47 p.m.
@Gasero said:
"  You better give full analysis so that people can rant about how wrong you are in the comments. "
Haha that's probably not nearly as likely as it was with EVA. While there is always tons of speculation to be done, the show is a hell of a lot more straightforward than that lol.  
 
Also Tom, do you have another anime lined up or are you taking a break?
Catolfon June 30, 2010 at 2:09 p.m.
I can't wait for you to see the end, i'm on pins and needles!
FoxxFireArt moderator on June 30, 2010 at 2:18 p.m.
It more appears that Light murdered Takeda. He just made her kill herself with the death note he hid in his watch. I just don't see how a person with any sense of morality could "root" for a character who could use and abuse women in this manner.  Let alone all the innocents he kills. They are tools for his use. To put down and kill at his will.
 
I never quite got why Halle was so concerned for Mello's life after he murdered so many of the SPK just to spite Near.
 
Aisawa seems to be the only serious cop in that Task Force. The others are more playing cop.
 
I love how Near's Kira doll looks like a bratty child. It's so appropriate. Light's way is the ultimate in childish acts. It's his way. His morals. His path. Stray from it and he'll kill you.
 
It's an interesting touch how everyone's name appears in their own language. Near's is in English, but the Japanese task force is all in Japanese. It seems kind of funny. If you had the Shinigami Eyes and couldn't read another language. You'd be kind of screwed.
 
I'm rather impressed with the art direction of this. How they make something as mundane as opening a door or writing names seem dramatic.
sotyfan16on June 30, 2010 at 2:22 p.m.

Ep 35 set up the playing field. A few loose ends got tied up and the story came closer to its second climax. Brutal death for sure for Takada and she realized what happened when she started being controlled. 
 
Ep 36 really gave light to all the mystery surrounding Near and Light's plans and I find it brazzen, if not straight up ballsy, to meet face to face. Mikami's scene was glorious and heart pounding. The louder and grainier his voice got the more splendid the scene became as he did the bidding of "God". And Light's monologues and expressions lit a fire in my heart as if I hadn't seen the series before (so gripping!). Oooh Light you're almost there! You can beat that little snot!

sickVisionz moderator on June 30, 2010 at 4:49 p.m.
Ahh man Tom, you thought Light had really fallen for Takada?  I agree with Mello going out like a chump.  What a waste.  They explain why in the next episode and it's even more chumpish than what happened here. 
 
@FoxxFireArt said:
" I just don't see how a person with any sense of morality could "root" for a character [like Light] "
He's the most interesting character in the series.  The whole thing is based around him.  He does the most interesting things and sets up the best traps and ploys.  Also, it's just a cartoon. 

sotyfan16on June 30, 2010 at 5:48 p.m.
@FoxxFireArt: 
I root for Light because of his base idea of a world without criminals..and because I like him. Death Note opened a whole new way of thinking for me. I've even discussed the general idea with my parents (who work for the DOC (Department of Corrections)) and they called it murder. Needless to say I was in some disagreement with them but I find the premise very intriguing on the basis of judgment and ethics.
 
@sickVisionz:

Yes, why so serious? Haha But seriously, Light is an exceptional creation. He may lack some emotional depth but that is more than made up for with is plotting and actions.
AnimeAlexon June 30, 2010 at 5:55 p.m.
@sickVisionz said:
" Ahh man Tom, you thought Light had really fallen for Takada?  I agree with Mello going out like a chump.  What a waste.  They explain why in the next episode and it's even more chumpish than what happened here. 
 
@FoxxFireArt said:
" I just don't see how a person with any sense of morality could "root" for a character [like Light] "
He's the most interesting character in the series.  The whole thing is based around him.  He does the most interesting things and sets up the best traps and ploys.  Also, it's just a cartoon. 

"
I completely agree sickvisionz. This is a cartoon so its ok to root for Light because he really is an interesting character. And of coarse serial killers are bad, but Light's not real.
FoxxFireArt moderator on June 30, 2010 at 6:21 p.m.
@sickVisionz:@sotyfan16:@AnimeAlex: 
A character being interesting doesn't explain why people feel joy and happiness while they watch him murder innocents, use his father's death for his own ends, and abuse women. Light knowingly doomed his honest and hard working father to nothingness by using the Death Note.

Light is emotionally a child and a psychopath. When you are "rooting" for someone. You are approving of their behavior. You encourage it and want more of it. The way an audience roots for a soccer team. You want them to keep doing what they are and possibly do more of it. When you root for Light's behavior you are expressing approval and encouraging it.
 
People literally said in comments that when he got the name of Naomi Misora they felt happiness. Knowing full well he was going to use that name to murder an innocent woman who was out for justice for her murdered lover. Possibly the most sympathetic ideal a person could have. Light didn't just kill her. He tormented her first. He put her down and mocked her for trusting him by admitting that he was Kira before he killed her. He could of just written her name down later, but no. He chose to torment and terrorize her.

Calling it alright because it's "just fiction" feels more like an excuse.
 
I enjoyed the way Heath Ledger played the Joker. That doesn't mean I enjoyed that he was killing innocent people, or was "rooting" for him to win.
sotyfan16on June 30, 2010 at 6:44 p.m.
@FoxxFireArt:
We all have our twisted thoughts. In the end we are all evil in a way. I was really shocked. Actually, when Naomi gave Light her name and he sent her to death was one of the most shocking events in the anime for me. It was then that it dawned on me Light would do whatever is necessary to move forward. She was doing right by all means and I wish Light didn't kill innocent people. I don't condone that part of his work and I think there is a different way Light could have went about everything to avoid killing the innocent. Then again, that's not his nature. I've wanted Light to beat his opponents; him being the "God" of the new world would just be a result of that.
 
Death Note is fiction, yes, but its ability to bring out our thoughts to discuss and debate shows that the work is quite a masterpiece.
Gaseroon June 30, 2010 at 6:58 p.m.
@FoxxFireArt: 
I'm sort of on your side FoxxFireArt. When the series first started I completely agreed with what Light decided to do with the Death Note. Over time however, his character was degraded to show the true arrogance, callousness, and ruthlessness within. He was no longer concerned with creating a world with less crime and violence, he wanted to be a God at all costs. That's where he lost me.
OmegaChosenon June 30, 2010 at 11:30 p.m.
I completely agree with you FoxxFireArt. Adding in my own views, the notion that humanity could ever be free of our darker tendencies, or even be suppressed by the threat of death, is among one of the most childish and naive ideas I can imagine. Humans will always commit violence, steal, and murder. Nothing can stop that. For us to completely eradicate evil, as Light so foolishly suggested, would mean we would no longer be human, at least as we know our species. 
 
As much as Light strives for and boasts himself as the new "God" of his world, he will always be human and nothing more. The power he holds is not his own but that of the book, able to be passed on to any other human. The fact that he has to rely on others such as Misa, Takada, and Mikami(even through manipulation) means he could never be a "God". He sees himself as a God but he relies on and runs from the humans he thinks he could rule over. 
 
But all this is moot when you realize Light is never the king seeking to control the world, but merely the jester entertaining his majesty(weird analogy but bear with me). Ryuk has always been the one that Light must jump hoops through and him seeing himself as a god and above Ryuk never diminishes the fact that Ryuk could and would end his life once everything became calm and peaceful in Light's "new world".  Because peace is boring and Ryuk hates that.
 
That's my two cents anyway. In short, I don't like Light or anything he stands for. Yes, even eternal peace. Because I find it stupid. :P
No_name_here staff on July 1, 2010 at 10:44 a.m.
@OnlyWonderBoy: I've got a couple options lined check for what to watch next. I'm letting you all decide, though. Check out this thread and vote.
zaldaron July 2, 2010 at 8:54 p.m.
Agree Ryuk would have turned on him in the new world.  But light didn't condem his dad to nothingness any more than a more natural death would have.  At least the way I understand that rule.
 
I also agreed with light in the beginning but then I am an American who believes in the death penalty so that makes me rather more conservative than many I suppose.

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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