Mark Watches ‘Death Note’: Episode 16 – Decision

In the sixteenth episode of Death Note, HOW ARE THERE MORE EPISODES. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Death Note. 

Trigger Warning: For imprisonment, stalking

Y’all, it’s kind of astounding that I can be so captivated by a plot that is twenty minutes of people talking, sitting, and standing. When I look at Death Note from a distance, it truly is unlike anything I’ve watched for this site. It’s methodical and plodding, but it doesn’t feel boring. I hang on to every word of dialogue spoken because in many ways, that’s how this adaptation communicates the plot to us. It’s about the internal power struggle between Light and L, and thus, dialogue is extremely important to the story.


The Decision

I’ve said before that I find it compelling that Death Note commits to each new escalation. (At least, I think I’ve said that. If not, hello, new opinion!) Misa is now a regular person, and she doesn’t remember her time as the second Kira. While that experience is horrifying, I was completely perplexed by Light’s next decision: to plan one last mind game before relinquising the Death Note. How? How??? How could that happen after just sixteen episodes?

But let me back up a bit before I start freaking out about that. When Misa’s power is gone, she goes back to being a teenage idol. She remembers nothing of her experience, which makes the imagery of her imprisonment a lot more disturbing than I expected. I think it was all the talk of stalking. Had she been stalked so much that it was normal for her to wake up in bondage??? JESUS, THAT’S UPSETTING. It initially made it hard for me to rememeber that she’d MURDERED A TON OF PEOPLE, but you know what? That wasn’t an excuse for holding her in that device FOR FIFTEEN DAYS!!! WHAT THE FUCK!!!!

The show makes it clear that L orders this because he needs to study both Misa and Light in the wake of their odd behavior. Without the understanding of the Death Note, the investigators are perplexed beyond reason while watching Misa. And what of Light’s unreal decision to IDENTIFY HIMSELF AS KIRA? Actually, that’s not quite right; he theorizes that since the evidence points towards him as Kira, he must be the killer but UNAWARE THAT HE IS KILLING. Now, obviously he’s presenting this version of himself for some mysterious end. I thought that end was clear: he’d get himself locked up, the murders would continue, and he would get exonerated. It’s a brilliant plan because he’s watched round-the-clock by the police. It’s foolproof!

The Wait

EXCEPT THAT DOESN’T APPEAR TO BE AT ALL WHAT HE’S DOING. Everyone – myself and the investigators – was convinced that the murders would continue. Light planned those out just in case he got caught! And as Light’s father voluntarily locks himself up, as Misa continues to panic about her imprisonment, and as Light quietly “suffers” his own treatment, not a single murder happens. None. ZERO. NO MURDERS AT ALL. If anything, that makes the evidence against Light GLARINGLY BAD. It’s almost too convenient that the deaths stopped right when he got locked up, and I don’t understand it.


The Decision (Again)

But y’all, I’m at a loss. I can’t even guess where this show is going now. In the middle of being locked up, Light relinquishes the Death Note. I THINK. I suppose there’s the possibility that he is faking the entire thing, but he’s pretty damn convincing. Plus, we saw exactly what he told his shinigami, so why would the show suddenly pull a fake-out on us? If what I saw here is exactly what happened, that means… what? Will Light be considered guilty? Will he never understand what it was that he did? Why was he so willing to give up the Death Note before his plan was executed?

Perhaps that is my clue that all is not as it seems. I think the shocking twist at the end of “Decision” is yet another clue, too. Why would Light plan for there to be no deaths for fifteen days, only to kill two weeks worth of prisoners at once? I don’t see how that helps or harms him. So what sort of game is he working? Bah, I can’t figure this out! Why would Light do this???


The video for “Decision” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

Mark Links Stuff

– I will be at numerous conventions in 2016! Check the full list of events on my Tour Dates / Appearances page.
– My Master Schedule is updated for the near and distant future for most projects, so please check it often. My next Double Features for Mark Watches will be Death Note and Neon Genesis Evangelion. On Mark Reads, Diane Duane’s Young Wizards series will replace the Emelan books.
- Mark Does Stuff is on Facebook! I’ve got a community page up that I’m running. Guaranteed shenanigans!

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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