I am overwhelmed with a lot of feelings right now so I want to get right into it. This is my first time watching an anime and mildly put, I’ll say it was a bitter-sweet experience. The first part of the series, up till Episode 25, was a masterpiece. I really really liked it and wanted to get more into animes. But after that, the show just began going haywire and pointless which sucked because it took out all the fun and the brilliance of the early episodes as well.
Ok for starters, the plot for this anime is very original and creative. A 17-year old boy, Light Yagami, stumbles across a diary (DeathNote) that kills whoever has his name written on it. Now where did this notebook come from? This is super interesting, as the notebook belonged to the God of death, a Shinigami, who accidentally dropped it in the human world. Now Light has a weird God complex where he wants to take over the world, finish all the cruelty and injustice and make this world a better place by writing down names of criminals in his notebook. Soon, prisoners start dying by a heart attack. Better yet, the owner of the notebook can also write the WAY a person dies (I know I don’t have a diary but my dark mind can’t help thinking of all the ways I can use this diary). Well, Light is now known as “Kira” GLOBALLY since the police now know there is someone behind these killings. (During these first episodes you see the mastermind that is Light and you can’t help but think of Sherlock Holmes). In enters a detective, L, (yep its an initial) with weird quirks and eating habits who never sleeps but is equally as smart as Light Yagami is and is there to catch “Kira”. It gets even more interesting from here since Light and L go around in a wild cat-and-mouse chase in order to stay one step ahead of the other. It is really brilliant to see these masterminds work and kept me on the edge of my seat, guessing their every move (I had a gazillion theories btw and all were proven wrong lmao)
Shinigamis and the touch of magical realism:
It is very rare to see a murder, crime or a psychological thriller which is not rooted in our real world surrounding real people. Even when there are bouts of supernatural stuff, it ends up becoming more like Vampire Diaries and less of Criminal Minds.
This show, however, found a perfect balance between the two. Shinigamis are basically Gods of Death who possess notebooks to kill off people and love apples. Infact, apples are their cigarettes and alcohol. Super addicting stuff. I don’t know how the two relate but it is so cool to see the dynamics between Light Yagami and Ryuk, his shinigami. Since Light picked up Ryuk’s notebook when it fell into the human world, Ryuk was destined to be with Light until he died. One of the things about Ryuk is, that he is one of the characters who also like many other, go through no character development, but somehow his deathly exterior (pun intended) hovering over Light at all times is something you’d come to appreciate. There’s a time when Ryuk vanishes for a while, and I actually missed him! It’s then when I realised that this is more a story from Ryuk’s POV than Light. Because Ryuk got to witness the numerous murders and lying games, it would have made a great bedtime story to tell his grandchildren, if he could have any lmao.
THE SHOW HAS AN AMAZING THEME SONG……..until episode 20 happened and this favourite thing, amongst many other, was also snatched away from me and I was NOT happy.
Well hello there and brace yourself for a loooong list. Also, spoilers ahead!
Zero character development, except of Light.
Light Yagami is a misogynist.
I’ll tell you why I say this. With concrete examples so don’t fight me on this.
There was this former FBI girl who is very clever and witty (literally the only smart girl the show has to offer, which was very disappointing in itself because her appearance was limited to what…one episode?!) and she figured out that Light was Kira. Now Light obviously didn’t want to be caught but he didn’t know how to stop the girl from going to the police station so he actually thought, and I quote word-by-word, “Well, she is a woman, if she doesn’t listen to me I can use force on her.”
What the actual fuck?
But wait, if you think that this is despicable, he begins dating this girl, Misa, and he wants her to”obey him at all times”. *coughs* typical *coughs* and when she doesn’t listen to him, he thinks,
Now whoever still likes Light Yagami, I am sorry for you.
Lack of female characters:
There is literally no badass female character. The one person whom I have discussed above, is killed off. There comes a woman detective who seemed pretty cool and artsy…but guess what she is also killed. Light’s girlfriend, Misa, is honestly portrayed as an annoying, obnoxious pest buzzing around the room obsessed with Light, for no reason whatsoever. Her job is literally to help Light. And come to think of it, that’s what all characters are doing. From the police force and FBI, to Light’s family and girlfriend, they all serve as stagnant elements of the plot waiting to be killed off or to make a hyperbole of Light’s brilliance.
Killing off all major (read: sane) characters.
MAJOR SPOILERS HERE. So if you haven’t seen this, you can skip this part.
ok so L dies. As disappointing and heartbreaking as it is, what’s even more annoying is that he gets killed because of Misa! (The way that happens is actually pretty smart on Light’s part…that’s the only time when Light outwitted L) but it wasn’t even worth it, BECAUSE MISA COMMITS SUICIDE. (Guess why? If your answer involves Light, you got it). Talk about utter bullshit.
But wait, the disappointment doesn’t end here. Soirichio Yagami, Light’s father, is one of the characters who you feel instant admiration for. He’s strong-willed, brave, just, willing to cross borders for his kids’ just like all fathers do and he literally was put to test soooo many times that his end was not justifiable at alllllllll. I wanted more for him, you know? It was really sad, I’m still really sad.
Post episode 25
This is one of the major reasons I had to drop my rating by a whole star. After episode 25 (where L is killed), the show is P O I N T L E S S. Kira has become a whole damn organisation by now, needing a spokesperson to convey its messages on news channels. LOL hilarious.
What started off as magical realism, folklore (shinigamis and the human realm) and mystery now turned into an elaborate web of deceit, lies, murder and corruption; and it just kept going on and on and on dragging the whole plot rather unnecessarily. It seemed like the writers were bored themselves because apart from L, there was nothing interesting to write about anymore.
And listen to me, as much as I appreciate the whole mind-chess game, I’ve already seen it before in Sherlock, Mindhunter and White Collar. Give me something different. The shinigami stuff was soooo original, I was really happy in the beginning cuz it was nothing like I had seen before. This could easily have been one of my favourite shows if it weren’t for Light’s insensitive behaviour and the whole post