Anime Vice News

Watch & Learn: Death Note Episode #37

The final episode! What did I think?

 He might not be the man who should've won, but he's the one who finally did.
 He might not be the man who should've won, but he's the one who finally did.

Forgive me for this taking a little longer than usual. This show’s ending has taken me a while to digest.  

The best revenge stories bread down like this. 90% of the plot’s spent getting you to hate the bad guys, while the final 10% is all about savoring their comeuppance.   DEATH NOTE’s 36 episodes and 12 hours of content have set Light up as a thoroughly-detestable, ultimately- loathsome wretch… and I got serious satisfaction watching him squirm, panic and finally lose in such an undignified way. And I relished each successive humiliation leveled upon all of Kira’s accomplishments:   how Misa’s presumably walking to her own death like some brainless lemming (possibly because Ryuk wrote her name down, too,) how proud Mikami scurried like a rabid rat (and spewed blood,) how this whole grand ordeal began and ended on the capricious whims of a bored demon.

 Such a fitting image.
 Such a fitting image.

Actually, you think about it, and this whole show’s quite nihilistic (although, that shouldn’t be too surprising for a show called DEATH NOTE.) All this drama could start all over the next time a shinigami wants some diversion.  The revelation about how Mello’s death was actually him sacrificing himself to force Light’s hand and identify the note… that’s touching, but how profound is it when it all it takes is another book dropping to invalidate it? I cheered for Matsuda finally stepping up and saving the day, but you can’t help feeling like everybody’s really as clueless as he usually is.

 Oh, Mello... you WERE a hero, all along.
 Oh, Mello... you WERE a hero, all along.

Despite all of that, this ending wasn’t actually much of a downer. Like I’ve always said, this show doesn’t push themes that force you to read it in one way. Rather, it just presents events as they would likely happen in this world and lets you read into it as you'd like. I’d say my only criticism of the show is that it presents so many rules and plot threads that it’s couldn't possibly address. Like what was the point of specifying that shimigami eyes come at a cost if we never actually see the consequences of the deal (unless Misa’s suicide is an example of that?) And I really wanted to see a little more about L and Near’s backgrounds revealed - - although I suppose that might take away their mystique.

There aren’t really any lingering mysteries to this show, I suspect. Not like EVANGELION, at least.   I give this show great respect for maintaining such highly-strung tension over so many episodes, for being so intense without ever needing to have a brawl and for having no other show, comic, novel or movie I can adequately compare it to. DEATH NOTE truly stands alone and it's truly inspiring. 
 
Watch this final episode "New World" on Hulu here and decide for yourself. Read my comments on the previous episode here and be sure to vote on what I should watch next for this column 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.  

sotyfan16on July 2, 2010 at 8:52 p.m.
@negazurg:
I've liked Light the whole way through and cheered him on. There are some things I disagree with but his original idea of a(n) evil/crime free world is great and his use of the Death Note to reach that goal was on target (mostly).
JackSukeruon July 3, 2010 at 1:38 a.m.
@AgentJ: Well that's really lame then.
Olivawon July 3, 2010 at 4:40 p.m.
I love how Matsuda is the one to shoot Light a bunch of times.
 
He may be a bit clueless but god damn it he knows to shoot a bitch when the chips are down.
Waleson July 4, 2010 at 8:24 p.m.

Light should have known that Karma is a massive bitch.
FoxxFireArt moderator on July 5, 2010 at 10:10 p.m.
@Tom_Pinchuk: 
Oh, man. I can not express how much I regret missing out on this article when it was first posted. I was really looking forward to this finale article. Wouldn't know know on Thursday as I was doing some prep work and research for a new article that I am working on. My computer was infected by an extremely potent computer virus. Luckily, I was able to get my computer running again.
I've been stressing out all this weekend.
 
I got such a kick out of this episode. I adored that deer in a headlights look Light had from the start. Light really showed his cowardly colors in this one. Did you notice how he flinched and cried the moment those handcuffs touched his wrist. He was terrified of actually having to face real justice for his acts of murder. 
Near really had his number. He was no god. He was just a simple serial killer who mistook himself as a god
 
Even to the very end. Light was a child. The first chance he got he ran away. Notice how as he was squirming on the filth of the warehouse he was calling out for the two women he either abused or murdered?
 
You brought up an excellent point. I had never considered that Ryuk had written Misa's name down. There is no proof that he did, but it's a very interesting idea.. It's still plausible.
JonathanMooreon Dec. 26, 2010 at 7:30 a.m.
Just watched the whole series, got it for Christmas. It's fucking fantastic. By far the best Anime I have seen in my life.

Dig Deeper into Death Note

Death Note is about a shinigami(Gold of death), the book death Note and a Boy named Light Yagami. All names Who is written in this Notebook will die.

Edit/View the Wiki
Hit the Forums (69 Posts)
Add/View Images (273 Images)
Watch Some Videos (5 Videos)
Pokemon Black and White Looks Delicious in Motion

First video of a Pokemon battle in Black and White.

Comment & Win: One Piece Vol. 52, 53

Time for a giveaway folks! Now, act civil, we don't want anyone to get hurt in the mad rush to win.

Beginner's Guide to FLCL

Gainax's madcap, surrealist anime, broken down for new viewers.

Ballz Deep

Steve gets intimately close to Dragon Ball Z, for science!

Top 3 Awful Anime Dubs

Grit your teeth and get your ear plugs ready cause this week we're taking on the three most amazingly bad dubs of all time!

Anime Caption Contest! -- 10/27/14

What is our favorite monster in Anime Vice?

RAGE OF BAHAMUT: GENESIS Is TOO Good?

Episodes 1-3 – Special Review

Otaku Make Fun of Themselves?

The latest DEVASTATOR issues goofs on anime fandom. What other titles have lampooned us?

CROSS ANGE #1 & 2 – Special Review

Try to find a single trope that isn’t in this. I dare ya.

BAYONETTA Bloody Fate -- DVD/BLU-RAY Review

She might feel like a celebrity in whatever town she goes to, but does she work in anime?

DRAGON BALL Z: Battle of Gods -- The Uncut Version?

What could possibly be happening in those 20 minutes of extra footage that they couldn't show you in theaters? Watch on to learn...

BLOOD LAD -- SPECIAL REVIEW

Is BLOOD LAD the throwback we deserve? Sam goes into Demon World to find out...

I CAN'T UNDERSTAND WHAT MY HUSBAND IS SAYING -- SPECIAL REVIEW

A refrain he hears too often from his own wife, Sam sheds light on the too-close-to-home mini series.

Anime Caption Contest! -- 10/27/14

What is our favorite monster in Anime Vice?

CROSS ANGE #1 & 2 – Special Review

Try to find a single trope that isn’t in this. I dare ya.

RAGE OF BAHAMUT: GENESIS Is TOO Good?

Episodes 1-3 – Special Review

TRINITY SEVEN #1 - Special Review

It's a sin to watch it.

DRAGON BALL Z: Battle of Gods -- The Uncut Version?

What could possibly be happening in those 20 minutes of extra footage that they couldn't show you in theaters? Watch on to learn...

BLOOD LAD -- SPECIAL REVIEW

Is BLOOD LAD the throwback we deserve? Sam goes into Demon World to find out...

Otaku Make Fun of Themselves?

The latest DEVASTATOR issues goofs on anime fandom. What other titles have lampooned us?

BAYONETTA Bloody Fate -- DVD/BLU-RAY Review

She might feel like a celebrity in whatever town she goes to, but does she work in anime?

Mandatory Network

Submissions can take several hours to be approved.

Save ChangesCancel