Mark Watches ‘Death Note’: Episode 23 – Frenzy

In the twenty-third episode of Death Note, I’M SO GLAD VIDEOS FOR MY SITE EXIST BECAUSE I CAN LITERALLY STATE THAT MY WHOLE REACTION TO THIS EPISODE IS I’M SCREAMING. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Death Note.

What an incredible ride, my friends. My heart is still pumping! I TRULY WASN’T READY!

I don’t even know where to start with “Frenzy.” How about that? This is a frenzy from beginning to end and the most relentless episode of Death Note thus far. Yes, it focuses almost entirely on a car chase, so it’s understandable that this is the case. But like I said in the previous review, this story is built for tension. Plus, I keep feeling genuinely surprised at how far this story is willing to go with each episode. (Yes, it’s strange to talk about this in terms I normally use; since Death Note was a manga first, most of the story credits should go to Tsugumi Ohba. But Toshiki Onoue has written the adaptation of that text, and while I haven’t read the manga, I still appreciate how this story is split up into this serialized format.) How the hell are there fourteen more episodes??? HOW???

So, let’s talk about all the things that Higuchi does that made me want to explode. HE OPENLY TALKED TO REM. You realize that L now must accept that there’s something or someone present that he cannot see, but Higuchi can? Look, L is the type of investigator who takes every detail into account. Even if it forces him to rethink his entire perception of a case, L will give every clue consideration. So how the hell is he going to deal with this? Higuchi carries out an entire conversation with someone named “Rem” about what his next move should be. What could explain that?

A shinigami, sure! Thus, L vocalizes the possibility, much to the shock of (almost) everyone around him. (Seriously, what is Misa going to do if L figures out the whole Death Note/shinigami deal???) But it’s a possibility, isn’t it? He can’t throw the thought away anymore, and given the ending of this episode, it’s only a matter of time, isn’t it? WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT?

But before I talk about that, I wanted to talk about how Rem acts independent of Higuchi in order to protect Misa. Through the process of deduction, he realizes that Higuchi is being sent into a trap, one that’ll probably end in him getting caught. I’m glad that I realized by the end of the last episode that he was a variable worth paying attention to, but I think that this also makes him a meaningful character, too! His attachment to Misa gives him an emotional motivation that Ryuk doesn’t have, and thus, he’s a shinigami that isn’t just background dressing or situational humor.

(What’s Ryuk up to, by the way? Where did he go? What’s going on with the other shinigami? Are they just amused by everything happening on Earth?)

Anyway, this is all a set-up to get Higuchi into the studio’s offices, hopefully so that he’ll use the Death Note openly. Which he does. AND NO ONE EVEN REALIZES WHAT IT IS THAT THEY’VE SEEN. Oh my god, HOW DO I EVEN DESCRIBE THIS TO SOMEONE ELSE? Honestly, think about that: we all intrinsically knew what a monumental, important moment that was, and yet? It really does look like Higuchi just wrote a note down. The idea is so absurd that L, Light, and the others didn’t even consider that they’d actually just seen how Kira kills. I do think that L will return to that detail, soon, especially since he noticed how Higuchi reached into his bag just prior to killing the cop who pulled him over.

Of course, I say that because it’s easy for me to do so. The use of the word “frenzy” in the title is important because this is a chaotic mess, and the investigative team is going to have a lot to sift through in the next episode. Somehow, Higuchi made a “deal” that enabled him to kill on sight, and they still don’t know exactly what that means. But the big problem looms at the end of “Frenzy.” THE DEATH NOTE IS SITTING RIGHT THERE IN THE PASSENGER SEAT. The second anyone touches it, they’ll be able to see Rem. How many people might touch it? Will Misa try to do something to protect Light or push him towards touching it? WHAT IF L TOUCHES IT? I CAN’T EVEN FATHOM THAT OPTION.

I’m still jumping ahead, aren’t I? They haven’t even technically stopped Higuchi. This episode ends on a cliffhanger, and they need to resolve his arrest before they can even deal with the Death Note. Y’all, I can’t believe that this show continues to accelerate into the unknown like this, and it’s such a treat to get to experience it as I do. I already desperately need the next episode!!! THIS IS SO STRESSFUL IN THE BEST WAY POSSIBLE!

The video for “Frenzy” 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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