Ok, so I may be a little late to jump on this train, but I’ve just finished the anime “Death Note” and it was amazing!
As a Philosophy and Ethics student, I was naturally interested in the issues that were raised in the anime about right and wrong, and who deserves to die and live. Whether there is such a thing as “Gods” or if everything can be solved logically. I loved following the characters of Light, L and Ryuk the most.
Light Yagami started the series as a teenager who discovers a book of death known as the “death note.” The idea is that once you write a name in the death note, that person will die. That is the basic premise of the anime and Light brings it upon himself to clear the world of all criminals in order to create a perfect new world. I wont go into anymore detail than that as I want to discuss Light as a character. At first you realize that he is an extremely intelligent individual, with a strong sense of justice, but seems to be confused about how much someone should be punished for what they do. As the story continues, you slowly see Light becoming more and more obsessed with the death note in an attempt to create this new world, without being discovered. Due to this, the public give Light the nickname “Kira.” The way he acts throughout the anime creates a convincing display in proving to the police that he is not Kira, which makes him even more interesting. His intelligence and skill allowed him to go undetected for so many years, until the pressure finally corrupts him leading to his inevitable capture and death. You see how much Light changes in the last episodes of the anime, as usually he is able to keep his thoughts to himself, but by desperately wanting to win he is careless and that is how you know that it is finally over. However although Light individually is a strong character, it’s his relationship with the character L that makes the anime different to me.
L is known as the best detective in the world, solving every case he has faced alone, so naturally the “Kira case” (as it was called) was one he wanted to take on. L was a cautious character at first, protecting his identity at all cost to prevent being killed, but with this case we finally see who the real L is. This created a sense of mystery to the character for me, and what was better was his undefinable likeness to Light. Although having different ideals, they both claimed to be “justice” and with regards to characteristics they weren’t that different. L was also extremely intelligent and when teamed up with Light, they seemed unstoppable. Although L suspected Light of being Kira the entire anime, he still classed him as his one true friend. L ended up being killed by Light, yet L still occupied Lights mind even to his dying day. The events that these two go through are unbelievable, but their relationship is the best one to follow in the anime, in my opinion.
Finally there is Ryuk. He is a shinigami, meaning “god of death”, and he is the owner of the death note that Light ends up finding. He can only be seen by people who have touched the note book and he will remain in the human world until the new owner dies or they relinquish the note book willingly back to the shinigami. Ryuk knows that to live, he must kill humans before their time to obtain the years that person never lived. However, what makes him fascinating in the anime is that he was simply bored and was just a spectator to whatever Light did. He did not assist him unless necessary and most of all, he couldn’t care what happened at all, he just wanted to be entertained. Therefore to me, Ryuk represents the audience watching the anime. Like us, Ryuk doesn’t know what is going to happen and is happy enough to just watch events unfold, which is what makes him my favourite character.
Well there you have it, that’s my take on Death Note and some of the main characters involved. I would highly recommend this anime to anyone as its short, gripping and thought provoking, which is what makes it entertaining. If you want to leave a comment with your thoughts on Death Note, i’ll reply asap 🙂 Have an awesome day and I’ll be writing again soon 🙂