In the first episode of Death Note, THAT ESCALATED QUICKLY. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Death Note.
Trigger Warning: For rape, murder.
THAT WENT A LOT QUICKER THAN I THOUGHT IT WOULD.
So, welcome to a brand new Double Feature for this site. If this is your first time here, I’ve got a few things you should read first:
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I’m happy to report that I’m going into Death Note with no REAL knowledge of what this anime is about. Oh, I suspected that it was about a note that had death on it or something, but let’s be real: that doesn’t actually mean anything. Granted, I wasn’t that far from the truth, but “Rebirth” introduces me to the rules of the Death Note and then THROWS ME OFF A CLIFF WITH IT.
What the hell, friends. WHAT THE HELL.
I’m introduced to Light, the protagonist from SATAN’S LAND or something, and I gotta say: I am very surprised that it appears that he’ll be the main focus of this story. I went into this expecting something like a tamer version of Dexter. After I learned that the Death Note could genuinely kill anyone by just writing their name, I figured that we’d get some sort of introspective look at what this power meant. How would Light choose to deal with it? After killing a criminal holding a bunch of women and children hostage, he’s still properly horrified by what he did. I appreciated that! It demonstrated that Light knew that what he’d done was pretty fucking serious. Even when he saved that girl from her potential rapist, he was still hesitant about using his newfound power too much.
Meanwhile, we learn of the Shinigami Realm, where numerous supernatural beings (the shinigami) are bored senseless by their existence. They can’t kill each other, and there’s no more joy to be had in guiding humans to their death. (Do they help beings from other realms die? Are they like reapers or the personification of Death? I HAVE MANY QUESTIONS.) One of the shinigami, Ryuk, is so bored that he purposely drops his Death Note so that it’ll end up in the human realm. Ryuk is… well, he could be on a friendly baking show, and I’d still be terrified of him. HE LOOKS LIKE WHAT I THINK ALL CLOWNS LOOK LIKE: ENDLESSLY FRIGHTENING. Why do the Shinigami all look so fucked up??? Okay, that’s a question for another time. The point is that Ryuk, a clearly superior being, expects to be entertained by the predictability of humanity.
I don’t think he expected any human to act as Light had. See, I misunderstood that scene where Light flipped through the Death Note, reading all the names written down. I thought those were Ryuk’s names. BUT NO. IN JUST FIVE DAYS, LIGHT HAS GONE ON A SPREE AND KILLED HUNDREDS OF CRIMINALS. Not only that, but he’s declared that he’ll use the Death Note to eliminate evil and become a god. IN THE FIRST FUCKING EPISODE OF THIS SHOW. That’s what I meant by my surprise: I did not expect that kind of character development so rapidly. It’s disturbing as hell, and I get the sense that this show knows that. All the religious imagery and music leads to this conclusion: Light imagines a world that worships him for his power.
That’s terrifying. And goddamn, I’m interested to see how the hell this is going to be sustained over 36 more episodes. HOW???
The video for “Rebirth” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
Mark Links Stuff
– I am now on Patreon!!! MANY SURPRISES ARE IN STORE FOR YOU IF YOU SUPPORT ME.
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