He who attacks first always wins – L
Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata’s manga ‘Death Note’ is about Light Yagami, an intelligent teen who is fed up with the evilness of the world. So one day, he discovers a supernatural notebook which enables the writer to kill anyone in this world just by writing the name of the person who they want to kill in the book. So, Light wages a war against crime by killing all major criminals and terrorists to pave the way for a righteous future but it turns into a battle of brains when L, an equally intelligent Interpol secret agent gets behind the tail of Kira, the name used by Light to finish off the scums.
So, I was in a dilemma whether to kick off my manga reviews with Death Note or Detective Conan. But I have chosen Death Note because if you, my friend, do not watch manga and want to begin now, Death Note constitutes of only 37 30-min under run time episodes.
But beware, if you start watching this series you might fail in your next math test or get fired from your job because this series defines addictive.
Never have I seen or read or experienced something this powerful and engrossing. Does something move faster than light ? Well, Death Note does. Imagine the tension and thrill of The Silence of the Lambs, Zodiac, Se7en, Jaws and Argo put together, that’s the pace that this series advances. This is pure unadulterated thrill ride from the beginning to the end. This is the art form of Manga at its purest form.
Compared to manga, American animation’s image is puerile and moronic. Don’t get me wrong friend, I love How To Train Your Dragon and Despicable Me movies. I just love Rise of The Guardians, which is one of the most underrated movies ever. The LEGO movie was just awesome. But, there is something missing. What is it ? I think it it is the lack of material for adults to enjoy. I am 14. I don’t really give a crap about Kung Fu Panda, Cars or Wall-E. They are unappealing to me. I have sort of reached a stage when I have started to care about the depth of the story.
And believe me, Death Note has the most layered script of all time. What do you need to make a great thriller? You need tension. Never judge people by their outward appearances. Light’s first shot makes us think that he is a normal teenage boy who is good in studies, hits it with gals because of his good looks and will be caught with his pants down masturbating on a Kate Hudson poster at night. But, he is none of that. He is a philosophical genius who is tired of the evilness prevailing in the world and wants to show the world light towards the good path. But, that’s literally Star Wars or something but what separates him from the others is that he may show you the light towards the good path, but if you do not follow it at once, he will dim it forever. And then comes L. The carbon copy of Light except for the fact that he doesn’t like competition for the spot of the best criminal genius in the world that he holds. And there is this sort of bond woven between them throughout the series but the moment they get out of that vibe, this psychological battle begins that makes us feel as if this friendship is just an act to drown us in false perception.
Now you need intrigue. Good guy always gets the battle in his hands like in literally every goddamn movie but no no no, this is Death Note we are talking about. This series will make you hold onto your seats and will instill a chip inside you which will won’t let you blink for a second in the fear of missing something. The plot changes and changes and changes and has literally millions of twists. That look in the eyes of the victims of Kira just before they die will give you the chills.
Now you need character development and some other stuff. Our hero’s not a dark vigilante, he is a crooked genius, but in this horrible town, isn’t everyone? The city Light lives in is worse than Somerset’s city in Se7en. From a confused and frustrated teenager, Light becomes a cruel criminal supremo who eyes for a better world. But is he our hero ? The thing about many good movies/sitcoms is having multiple choices to root with. And we can choose Light as well as L. I chose Light.
This series questions humanity in ways I have never seen before. These philosophical discussions and memories touching upon various human elements question the situation of the world we live in and ask to choose a way : either shut up or do something. Light chooses to do something and begins finishing evil. I say if he is finishing the bad guys, then why does anyone else has any qualms about it ? If killing bad guys makes you a bad guy just because of that shitty idea that only God, or in this case Shinigami has the right to take a life, is Batman a bad guy ? No he is not, but right now I am not going to bolster this argument because this post will surely take a philosophical turn if I do so.
But let’s focus on the mind blowing script. Heck with all other thrillers ! (No offense Frances, a joke that you will only understand if you watch ‘The Middle’) Don’t worry I am not going to spoil it for you, but there is an idea that Light uses to give him the advantage in the cat and mouse game that he plays with L and this deeply involves his girlfriend Misa Amane and the two Shinigamis. When the truth of it dawned upon me, my jaw dropped. Believe me, that idea makes even Inception look like a UNO game and that is saying something !
This is like Game of Thrones. Every action in this thriller has a consequence and everything connects in the end. I was not satisfied with the end but I am sure friend that you will be, but the climax scene of Light and Ryuk brings tears into your eyes. It all came back to where it began.
Death Note is not a series my friend, it is an experience which should be lived. Meant for the age group of teenagers, Death Note bombards psychological battles upon you and its sagacious philosophical ideas as well as its sophisticated and layered script makes it one of the best thrillers I have ever seen and undoubtedly the best 1100 hours long thriller ever made. Seriously, my friend, this is a work of art and should be appreciated and popularized as much as possible.
Rating : 9.9 / 10
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