Mark Watches ‘Death Note’: Episode 1 – Rebirth

In the first episode of Death Note, THAT ESCALATED QUICKLY. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Death Note. 

Trigger Warning: For rape, murder.


So, welcome to a brand new Double Feature for this site. If this is your first time here, I’ve got a few things you should read first:

1) Spoilers are not allowed in any form on Mark Watches. Please refrain from ever posting (in normal text) any sort of spoiler or reference to future storylines or developments while commenting on this site. This rule is probably a lot more strict than you’re used to, so if you’re warned about spoilers or if your comment is edited because of it, trust me. This is for a reason. Please visit the Spoiler Policy for guidance.

2) You may, however, post spoilers in rot13. You will inevitably see what looks like gibberish in the comments. We use rot13 to cipher all possible spoilers so that y’all can still have a conversation about each episode if you’ve seen the entire show. Please cipher all spoilers.

3) Please read the Site Rules before commenting. My group of moderators and I try to make Mark Watches an exception to the rule when it comes to online conversations. This means that moderation is more evident here than other places. Please review the rules, as this is your only warning.

4) Mark Watches videos are attached as a link at the end of the post. They are $0.99 each, and you can download each video 15 times, meaning you can send them to friends or anyone else for free. The system is built to handle free downloads, so download away. The lovely folks over at Mark Spoils run a place called the Black Market where you can find extra downloads of videos in case you cannot afford them or don’t want to pay for them. It’s totally sanctioned (and adored!) by me, so go ahead! Test them out. It’s basically me sitting and yelling at my TV, and I cry a lot because reasons.

I’m happy to report that I’m going into Death Note with no REAL knowledge of what this anime is about. Oh, I suspected that it was about a note that had death on it or something, but let’s be real: that doesn’t actually mean anything. Granted, I wasn’t that far from the truth, but “Rebirth” introduces me to the rules of the Death Note and then THROWS ME OFF A CLIFF WITH IT.

What the hell, friends. WHAT THE HELL.

I’m introduced to Light, the protagonist from SATAN’S LAND or something, and I gotta say: I am very surprised that it appears that he’ll be the main focus of this story. I went into this expecting something like a tamer version of Dexter. After I learned that the Death Note could genuinely kill anyone by just writing their name, I figured that we’d get some sort of introspective look at what this power meant. How would Light choose to deal with it? After killing a criminal holding a bunch of women and children hostage, he’s still properly horrified by what he did. I appreciated that! It demonstrated that Light knew that what he’d done was pretty fucking serious. Even when he saved that girl from her potential rapist, he was still hesitant about using his newfound power too much.

Meanwhile, we learn of the Shinigami Realm, where numerous supernatural beings (the shinigami) are bored senseless by their existence. They can’t kill each other, and there’s no more joy to be had in guiding humans to their death. (Do they help beings from other realms die? Are they like reapers or the personification of Death? I HAVE MANY QUESTIONS.) One of the shinigami, Ryuk, is so bored that he purposely drops his Death Note so that it’ll end up in the human realm. Ryuk is… well, he could be on a friendly baking show, and I’d still be terrified of him. HE LOOKS LIKE WHAT I THINK ALL CLOWNS LOOK LIKE: ENDLESSLY FRIGHTENING. Why do the Shinigami all look so fucked up??? Okay, that’s a question for another time. The point is that Ryuk, a clearly superior being, expects to be entertained by the predictability of humanity.

I don’t think he expected any human to act as Light had. See, I misunderstood that scene where Light flipped through the Death Note, reading all the names written down. I thought those were Ryuk’s names. BUT NO. IN JUST FIVE DAYS, LIGHT HAS GONE ON A SPREE AND KILLED HUNDREDS OF CRIMINALS. Not only that, but he’s declared that he’ll use the Death Note to eliminate evil and become a god. IN THE FIRST FUCKING EPISODE OF THIS SHOW. That’s what I meant by my surprise: I did not expect that kind of character development so rapidly. It’s disturbing as hell, and I get the sense that this show knows that. All the religious imagery and music leads to this conclusion: Light imagines a world that worships him for his power.

That’s terrifying. And goddamn, I’m interested to see how the hell this is going to be sustained over 36 more episodes. HOW???

The video for “Rebirth” 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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