Mark Watches ‘Death Note’: Episode 31 – Transfer

In the thirty-first episode of Death Note, Near sets a trap for Light. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Death Note. 

OH MY GOD, THIS SHOW. You know what, friends? This episode made me miss L more than any of the others, and it’s because Near has finally identified Kira. Granted, I’m not saying that he’s found success here. He hasn’t captured Light, Misa hasn’t been concretely identified as Second Kira, and there’s a lot more work that needs to be done. While I have an issue with the introduction of Mikami, I think that “Transfer” is the big set up to the end of this show. Here, Light panics, and in doing so, he falls directly into the trap that Near sets for him.

There are a lot of other variables at work, sure, but I think this is the beginning of the end.


At the heart of Near’s deduction is Light’s reaction to what he’s done. It more or less hands him over to Near, doesn’t it? It’s all too coincidental for Near, and it’s why Near loudly and plainly theorizes that the Second L has to be the person within the Japanese team who is reacting to Near’s trap. But how? How does Light slip up so terribly after meticulously constructing this entire existence meant to protect him?

I think the answer to that can be found in the way that Near behaves. It’s so much clearer now that Near is NOTHING like L, and his brash, aggressive manner speaks to that. I believe Light composed his master manipulation with L in mind. There was a code of sorts that L followed. Near, however, doesn’t give a shit. He really doesn’t. I mean, we already saw how willing he was to obtain the Death Note AND use it! Is it all that surprising that he’d stoop to any level in order to catch Kira? No. Thus, risking the lives of his fellow SPK team members is perfectly fine to him. Granted, he had a RIDICULOUS plan for how they’d all escape their headquarters. (Which is in NEW YORK, Mark. NEW YORK. Not JAPAN.) But he is so much more willing to take that risk, you know? It makes it that much harder for Light to anticipate him, and that’s why he’s failing to protect himself.

Back Up

Yet even Light’s back up plan is at risk of falling apart. I still wish that Misa got more of a story than being a pawn. Like, I understand that this is the point. She has been manipulated repeatedly by Light, who has no qualms about exploiting her obsession with him. But she never exists in any other context, and here, she’s used by Light as another attempt to exonerate himself. He has her relinquish control of her Death Note – again – and send it to a third party, all so that Light can continue killing those he needs to while still being surveilled. It’s a decent plan, but as I said, it’s extremely risky. When Dememgawa and his “leaders” are all murdered on television, it’s a little too obvious that Second L has something to do with it. Light’s desperation is making him sloppy as hell.

Which is why I feel weird about the introduction of Mikami. I swear that I can’t remember seeing him in any of the previous episodes, and yet, he’s supposed to be an important and dedicated follower of Kira. It would have been a whole lot more meaningful if we’d known about him prior to “Transfer.” If people had been appearing on Kira’s Kingdom, why had we never seen those scenes before? I think it’s just an issue of time, and as dense as this show is, they couldn’t fit everything. Despite that I didn’t feel any emotional resonance with this twist, I do admit that I think Mikami’s presence is yet another sign that Light is going to fail. It’s the first time he’s used a third party that he can’t really control. He could manipulate the Yotsuba Group, but what about Mikami? What’s his stake in all of this? Does Light have any leverage on him at all? Or does he just hope that Mikami will kill who he asks him to kill without question? What if Mikami starts doing what he wants???


You know, one of the reasons that Near’s progress feels so exciting to me is because he’s so open about it. He doesn’t quietly come to a conclusion. He announces them. He shares his theories with the Japanese team, knowing that Light is surrounded by the very people he is asking to think of Light as Kira. He creates a new dynamic within the show, and that’s why Aizawa is the first to break from the group and take up Near’s offer. I think that by the end of “Transfer,” Aizawa is convinced. I really think he believes that Light is Kira.

SO I SPENT THE REST OF THE EPISODE CONVINCED THAT LIGHT’S BIG PLAN WAS TO KILL OFF THE REST OF HIS TEAM. Y’all, I kept expecting it. I’m still expecting. I don’t trust Light at all, and I hate saying this, but it’s only a matter of time, isn’t it? How will these characters survive Light’s wrath? Will he take them down if he believes he’s being taken down? I really like all three of them, y’all, AND I DON’T HAVE A GOOD TRACK RECORD WITH LIKING CHARACTERS.

The video for “Transfer” 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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