Thursday, May 3, 2012

Death Note

Authors: Tsugumi Ohba and  Takeshi Obata
Light Yagami is an intelligent young adult who resents crime and corruption in the world. His life undergoes a drastic change when he discovers the Death Note, a notebook that contains five written instructions:

        The human whose name is written in this notebook will die.
        This notebook will not take effect unless the writer has the subject's face in their mind when writing his/her name. Therefore, people sharing the same name will not be affected.
        If the cause of death is written within 40 seconds of writing the subject's name, it will happen.
        If the cause of death is not specified, the subject will simply die of a heart attack.
        After writing the cause of death, the details of the death should be written in the next 6 minutes and 40 seconds.

There are many other rules that are revealed as the story develops, usually in the form of sequence breaks in between scenes. After several experiments with the Death Note, Light realises the notebook's authenticity and encounters the previous owner, a shinigami called Ryuk. Light explains to Ryuk his plan of exterminating all the criminals in the world, until there are only people who he has judged to be honest and kind. Once he finishes this, he will begin his reign as the god of this new world.

Soon, the number of inexplicable deaths of criminals catches the attention of the International Police Organization and the world-famous detective, "L". L quickly learns that the serial killer, publicly known as "Kira" (キラ?, derived from the Japanese pronunciation of the word "killer"), is located in Japan and can kill people without laying a finger on them. Light realises that L will be his greatest nemesis, and begins a cat and mouse game with L.

Light attempts to create an alibi by helping L and his investigate team track down Kira. His plan is impeded by a second Kira, famous model Misa Amane, and her shinigami Rem. Misa and Light meet and work together; they are increasingly suspected by L. To save themselves from execution, Misa and Light temporarily relinquish control of their Death Notes—erasing their memories of the shinigami and the notebooks—and are placed under constant surveillance by L.

During their detention, a third Kira under the employ of the Yotsuba Group appears. Light and Misa are freed when it becomes apparent that they are not responsible for the murders of Yotsuba's rivals. The investigative team infiltrate Yotsuba and discover the third Kira is Yotsuba member Kyosuke Higuchi and attempt to capture him. Upon Higuchi's capture, Light regains the Death Note "just as [he] planned" and kills Higuchi. He completes his complex plan by manipulating Rem into killing both L and herself. Light becomes the "new L" upon L's death, and continues a charade of searching for Kira.

The narrative continues four years later, with Kira attracting a large network of contacts and a swell of public support. Two children, Near and Mello, raised by L's former guardian Watari to follow L's legacy, serve as antagonists to Light: Near as an independent detective; and Mello as a member of the Mafia. Mello's first action to oppose Kira is to kidnap the director of the NPA, and after his murder, Light's sister Sayu, to use as a bargaining chip to obtain the Death Note. Light's Task Force recapture Sayu and learn Mello's real name after Light's father Soichiro trades half of his remaining life for the ability to discover anyone's names, but Soichiro later dies of gunshot wounds.

Concurrently, Near and several members of the Task Force begin to suspect Light of being Kira. In response, Light persuades Misa to give up her Death Note and raises another Kira, Teru Mikami, a prosecutor and fervent supporter of Kira. Mikami kills Kira's former spokesman for being greedy and recruits Kiyomi Takada, a newscaster and Light's former girlfriend, to replace him. Mello returns and kidnaps Kiyomi, who manages to kill Mello with a hidden Death Note piece. Light then makes Kiyomi commit suicide to prevent her from implicating him, but Mikami, unaware of Light's actions, attempts to kill her with his own Death Note. Near reveals that Mikami's notebook is a fake, and is therefore able to prove Light is Kira. In desperation, Light tries to use the last Death Note piece in his watch to kill the rest of the Task Force, but Matsuda shoots him repeatedly. On the verge of dying, Light begs Mikami to write their names in his own Death Note, however Mikami commits suicide by inflicting a wound to himself. Realizing Light has lost, Ryuk uses his Death Note to kill Light with a heart attack, which is a part of the agreement of the Shinigami with the first person who uses the death note.

Light Yagami/ Kira

The main protagonist in Death Note, Light is an extremely intelligent, yet bored 17-year old student who is not satisfied with the current justice system. When he finds the Death Note intentionally dropped in the human world by the shinigami Ryuk, he decides to use it to kill criminals. He earns the title Kira, the Japanese pronunciation of the English word "killer". His ultimate goal is to cleanse the world of evil and create a world without criminals. He intends to reign over this new world as its "god". He is finally killed when Ryuk writes his name into the Death Note after Near proved to everyone that Light himself is Kira. In the Japanese version of the anime he is voiced by Mamoru Miyano and in the English version by Brad Swaile.

The main antagonist in Death Note, L is the world's top-rated detective who takes on the task of tracking down and arresting Kira. He often uses drastic strategies to confuse and force the hand of his opponents, and his disheveled appearance disguises his brilliance and genius. He enjoys sugar, and in nearly every scene including him, he is found eating cake or confectionery and drinking sweetened coffee. L often misleads people with his behavior as well as his appearance. He sits in an unusual position, and he always wears the same articles of clothing. He has a habit of chewing on his thumb and holds things delicately. Watari is the only one who is able to contact him. He has a few aliases, two being detectives Eraldo Coil and Denueve. Eraldo Coil is considered the second best detective in the world, Denueve being third. L has many aliases, though he acquired the ones Eraldo Coil and Deneuve in a battle between the real detectives. The two were defeated, and so L claimed their aliases. L always suspected Light was Kira, but his suspicions were not confirmed until his dying moment in the hands of Light. The L is not only an alias but also the pronunciation of the detective's first name [Elle Lawliet].

Misa Amane

A girl with an immense crush on Kira, Misa is a popular Japanese model. She is immature and tends to refer to herself in the third person in an attempt to be cute. She is completely devoted to Light, saying that she loved him at first sight, although the feeling is hardly mutual- since Light merely views her as a rather annoying asset and uses her. She is even willing to make the Shinigami eye trade for him. In the manga version, she kills herself after Light's death, which is implied in the anime's finale which shows her standing past the safety rail on a building. What happens to her after the film version is uncertain the only remaining characters whose fates are revealed are L and the Yagami family. Also, In the Death Note: The Last Name film Misa finds a second Death Note notebook and uses it to become Light's deadly disciple. Misa makes the shinigami eye deal again with Ryuk after regaining her memory in the second half of the show.
My Opinion
I like Death Note because of it's gothic background and it's depth, the depth of Death Note lead many to believe that it is a Seinen series but I believe that it should had been a Seinen instead.

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