In the third episode of Death Note, Light adjusts his technique when he’s able to observe how the police are tracking him. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Death Note.
I think the theme of this episode is adaptation.
I don’t often review anime episodes by splitting them in their respective parts. I noticed that the menus for my copy of Death Note allow you to watch Part A or Part B of each episode, which is kind of neat! But it got me thinking about how the story in “Dealings” was split up, and I see it as an Action/Reaction set-up.
“Dealings” opens with a look inside the investigative procedure that the Japanese police are utilizing, and it’s FASCINATING. Watari stands by the laptop that’s connected to L, which has to be the most boring job imaginable. Okay, not the point. But L’s relationship with the police force, while distant, is not as heavy-handed as I thought it would be. He’s polite, succinct, and thankful when he speaks to these people, and I got the sense that he appreciated the work they did in tracking down all the data and information that he asked for. That information is important, too, since it allows L to formulate the theory that Kira is a student, since all the murders occurred during a time when a student wouldn’t be busy with school.
But it’s not just the school theory that pushes the team closer to the truth; L correctly figures out that each victim was publicized on television prior to their death, meaning that the method of murder requires Kira seeing their face. Again, this is the THIRD EPISODE, and L is already making a ton of progress. On the one hand, that suggests that the narrative of this show is not simply going to be this investigation and nothing else. But I think it allows the show to explore other facets that I would not have considered. I thought it was really interesting that we got a scene where three different detectives all requested a transfer away from the Kira case. I mean, I can’t blame them! We know how Light kills, and all he needs is to see a shot of the police force and learn their names in order to kill them. (Well, technically, not anymore, but more on that in a bit.) How long before more people quit in order to protect themselves?
Not long, I imagine. As the police slip closer to Light, Light adapts, and it’s horrifying to watch him do it. Why? Because the lead cop IS HIS FATHER. OH MY GOD, I DIDN’T SEE IT COMING AT ALL. AT ALL. It obviously complicates matters because he can now spy on the investigation with impunity, at least until someone figures out what’s going on. But we got a demonstration of how dangerous this development is. As soon as L postulates as to why the murders happen during a specific time frame, Light immediately changes his style, taking ONE PRISONER EVERY HOUR. L was right, too. It’s clearly a way for Light to say, “HEY, I’M IN CONTROL, JUST WANTED TO REMIND YOU.”
That’s why the offer that Ryuk gives Light is so frightening to me. There’s some worldbuilding here to explain the shinigami, particularly where their power and seeming immortality comes from. Every person killed before their “natural” death gives up their remaining lifespan to a shinigami, giving them a HUGE incentive to kill all the time. And how do they kill all the time? Well, it’s quite easy when a shinigami’s eyes ALLOW THEM TO SEE ANYONE’S NAME AND REMAINING LIFESPAN ABOVE THEIR HEAD. (It’s like videogame stats! Only mortifying!) As far as I can tell, they have no weaknesses whatsoever, and they’ve existed… forever??? I DON’T EVEN KNOW. But in exchange for half of his lifespan, Light can have shinigami eyes as well.
I don’t see Light turning this down. AT ALL. He’s so arrogant and determined! This would give him the advantage he needs to stay way ahead of the police and L, especially since he just needs to see a person before he can get all the information required to kill them. This is gonna turn him into a monster, isn’t it??? Good lord.
The video for “Dealings” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
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