Mark Watches ‘Death Note’: Episode 35 – Malice

In the thirty-fifth episode of Death Note, I DID NOT EXPECT ANY OF THIS TO HAPPEN. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Death Note.

HOW DID ALL OF THIS HAPPEN IN ONE EPISODE???

The Opening

I’ve got the sense that Death Note was animated in a very intentional way. I’ve picked up on some of the imagery in both versions of the credit sequences, and many of the more important scenes are animated in ways that are meant to draw our attention. So what does the opening scene of “Malice” mean? Why open with something so serene and quiet? There’s not a line of dialogue spoken for well over a minute, and we’re shown images of all the remaining characters. The passage of time is implied by the sequence, too, so I saw it as a way for us to realize that all the pieces are finally falling into place. This is it. This is the last calm before the storm.

And what a storm that is.

Mello

I know that I previously mentioned that Mello was a wild card or a variable that I should pay attention to. Yet I still wasn’t prepared for his sudden and impulsive actions in this episode. I’m still struggling to understand why he did it. Why kidnap Takada? If his goal was to catch Kira before Near did, then I suppose he was trying to draw Kira out by kidnapping someone associated with him. As Kira’s spokesperson, Takada was the only person that Mello had access to who could make this goal of his a reality.

Lord, does he underestimate EVERYTHING, though. Kidnapping a high-profile media personality was bad enough. Did he think no one would follow him or figure out a way to locate Takada? However, it’s Takada’s resourcefulness that ends up taking Mello down. I still don’t know how this fits in with Light’s plan for Mikami. Does he have a fake Death Note or not? We do see what Takada does with one of the pages that Mikami gave her, but I’m also a little confused by that, too. As far as I understood it, Light genuinely did not expect her to have that page, nor did he think she would use the Death Note to kill anyone if she was ever captured. Indeed, that’s part of the conversation that they have over the phone near the end of the episode. Light refers to a vague “plan” that he had discussed with Takada about what should happen if she were captured. Which was???? We don’t ever find out because she made her own choice.

She killed Mello. ALREADY. It’s a shocking choice for the story because we got so little time with him. I kept expecting him to play a much bigger part in the story, especially since he had an unresolved part in Near’s life. But nope! He’s cut down by Takada.

Takada

You know, this is one of those rare shows where I don’t necessarily feel for or like the vast majority of characters. Aside from L, Watari, Maki, Soichiro, Aizawa, and Mogi, most of these characters are despicable and horrifying. I find Light’s plan for world domination so flawed and immoral that I can’t feel sympathy for anyone who willingly helps him. Thus, while it was shocking to watch Takada die, I didn’t necessarily feel bad for her. She chose to be a part of this murderous empire of his. Now, that’s not to suggest that she should be blamed for her kidnapping or that she shouldn’t have defended herself. If anything, I suppose I feel pity for her. She got caught up in this horrible fantasy, and it ended up consuming her in the end.

Head-to-Head

It’s ironic that just as Light and Near claim to know their opponent’s plans, Mello swoops in and ruins everything. But there’s no reason for me not to believe that on the 28th, at 1:00pm, these two will meet inside that abandoned building on the wharf and settle the score once and for all. With Mello and Takada’s death, there’s no one left to interfere, right? I doubt that Misa is going to do anything to betray Light because… well, how could she? She might have a motivation for it since Light has treated her pretty terribly, but how could she harm him? I also feel uncomfortable making any predictions because I can’t figure out what each person is planning. Surely, Light will use the shinigami eyes to kill Near, right? That’s why he wants to be in the same room as him, but what about the investigators? How can he do anything with both the Japanese team AND the SPK in the same room as him?

I AM NOT READY FOR NEXT WEEK.

The video for “Malice” 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!

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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