In the second episode of Death Note, Light discovers that his plan has a serious flaw: L. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Death Note.
WELL. THIS WAS ALSO UNEXPECTED AND SIGN ME THE FUCK UP.
I can’t claim to be an expert on Interpol at all, but I think this show is taking some creative liberties with the organization. Do I care? Not really, especially given how absolutely ridiculous this set-up is. It’s so fun already that I’m willing to put aside the ludicrous arrangement that is L. Like… whenever Interpol is stumped, do they just ring up his friend and are like, “Yo, we are lost. Can L come solve this puzzle for us?” Is there a hotline they call? Do they have to just hope his protege or messenger shows up at the right time? What sort of qualifications does L need before taking on a case?
Anyway, I’m interested to see what sort of role the Japanese Interpol agents will play in all of this. They’ve got to work with L, don’t they?
I don’t imagine that we’ll get to the end of this show and never learn L’s identity, though that’s now a very intriguing concept. His identity isn’t exactly important right now. He’s set up in this episode as a direct foil to Light, someone who is just as clever and brilliant as he is, but with a moral system that is in contrast to Light. The parallel is undeniable: both men are able to use anonymity to hide themselves. From that place of hiding, they enact their version of justice. In L’s case, though, his justice includes NOT KILLING PEOPLE WHO MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE COMMITTED A CRIME. I’ll touch on that more when I write about Light, but I get it now. (Partially, that is.) “Rebirth” introduces us to the basic concept of Death Note. But it’s “Confrontation” that tells us why this show is going to last.
I just love the concept so much. A man obsessed with godhood and power is chased down by a man who is treated much like a god. THAT’S SO FUCKING COOL.
Light and Death
It’s going to be pretty much impossible for me to see Light as a “good” character. I’m getting the sense that the show doesn’t exist along a good vs evil dichotomy anyway, but I think that “Confrontation” firmly establishes Light as an antagonist. How can he not be one? He may have killed some people who had done or were about to do horrific things to people, but what if some of the criminals weren’t actually guilty? Light operates on the assumption that someone in prison belongs there and that they were 100% guilty of their crime. Now, I can’t cite any statistics or studies for Japan, but I don’t feel like I’m crossing a line here since it’s stated that Light is killing people from around the world. Wrongful imprisonment is a huge blight on the culture in my country, with a possible estimate of wrongful convictions at 4.1% according to one bit of data. The Innocence Project, a fantastic organization, puts the number between 2.3% and 5% of all prisoners are in prison and are also innocent of the crime they committed. Again, I can’t claim that that applies to anywhere else in the world, but the fact remains that eventually, Light is going to kill someone who did not deserve die. He might already have.
Of course, there’s a bigger question here. What constitutes a “deserving” death? Light seems to be targeting petty criminals and those who commit heinous and terrible crimes. Are they all the same under his brush? Does committing any sort of crime make a person “evil”? What about situational violence? Oppression? Systemic evils? Do those not matter? Apparently not. The world is easily categorized by Light, and that’s what makes him so dangerous. He’s murdering people, and the mere presence of someone who stands in his way prompts him to kill that person, too. (The fake L, in this case.) That’s how easy it is for him to denote someone as “evil,” y’all, and that’s scary.
So how will Light avoid L? I mean, word of advice, Light: stop acting like an arrogant teenager who discovered Ayn Rand or something. FREE ADVICE FOR YOU, DUDE.
The video for “Confrontation” 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.
– 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!