Mark Watches ‘Death Note’: Episode 32 – Selection

In the thirty-second episode of Death Note, Light chooses an accomplice and a party. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Death Note.

Trigger Warning: For discussion of bullying

WELL. I said that I wasn’t sure why Mikami had been introduced to us so suddenly and without a real sense for who he is, AND THUS, I GOT THIS EPISODE. So hey, clearly I was wrong about Mikami, and his reveal in “Transfer” was MEANT to be mysterious. Let’s talk about him!


It’s kind of fascinating watching Mikami’s confirmation bias at work. He believes the world works a certain way, and he then interprets all events through that lens. For Mikami, the world truly is a dichotomy. You can split all people and all things into two categories: good and evil. While this is a simplistic and terrifying way to view the world, Death Note gives Mikami depth through his backstory which helps explain why someone turns out to be a fervent Kira supporter as he does.

And on some level, I understand how someone develops a moral sense like this after witnessing and being a victim of bullying. I had a long conversation recently with my partner about bullying, spurned by a friend of ours who had a bully of theirs request them on Facebook. Now, that thankfully hasn’t happened to me in a long time, but when Facebook first blew up after it was opened to the general public, a ton of folks who I went to high school with added me as a friend. I was astounded by the number of people who imagined that they were friends with me back when we went to school together, so much so that they were often offended if I rejected their requests. Some of these people were the worst of the worst: the ones who hurled slurs at me, hit me, tried to tape me to flagpoles, who berated me in class, who stole my homework so they could copy OR who would terrorize me until I did their homework.

And then they’d hit me up and tell me how we were such good homies in high school.

I certainly developed a moral system because of what I went through, and in a sense, it was clear cut. I saw evil in any person who exploited those weaker than them, poorer than them, who had the “wrong” kind of body, who liked the wrong people, who didn’t fit the narrow definition of what was acceptable to them. It’s easy to see how that informs my politics these days, but I would say I did not go as far as Mikami. He understood what was wrong with bullies, and he valiantly defended those who could not defend themselves. That’s admirable! And look, I even agree that his mother was unsupportive and horrible to her son. That’s not what you tell someone who’s been bullied, y’all!

But with her death and the death of four of the bullies who tormented so many kids in high school, Mikami begins to believe that in the end, God punishes all evildoers. He associates death with justice because of that moment. It’s not exactly a logical leap, then, to see his transformation into Light’s protégé. Light chose Mikami because his beliefs fell in line so closely with his own and because he’s so dedicated to them. Plus, Mikami was already obsessed with Kira, convinced that Kira was… I don’t know. Ordained by God? God themselves? I mentioned in the video for this episode that all the religious themes and imagery we’d seen prior to “Selection” felt like they were leading up to this point. Mikami, more than any character in the series, worships Kira as God and accepts all orders as if they’re gospel.


Yet this episode also confirms that Mikami is still capable of working on his own. In his quest to gain Kira’s validation, he kills people without orders to do so. (Like Demegawa and his “leaders” in the previous episode.) He does it again here, killing five people on live television for attempting to speak for Kira. He also appoints Kiyomi Takada as the official spokesperson of Kira. BLAST FROM THE PAST, Y’ALL. Who knew that she would play a bigger part in this story???

God, it’s still creepy to watch Light manipulate everyone to get what he wants. He sees the opportunity that Mikami has given him and tricks the entire investigation team into allowing him to remove all the surveillance equipment while he meets up with Takada. DID NO ONE FIND THIS SUSPICIOUS??? No one??? Right as Kira calls Takada in front of Light and asks to speak to Light, Light requests that all cameras and recording equipment be removed. COME ON!!! Of course, the murder of the men on Sakura TV happens at exactly the same time, so they felt pressured to do so.

So what now? Light has revealed his identity to Takada, who appears to fall head-over-heels in love with him. Where does that leave Misa??? Light has no need for her anymore. Oh god, she’s gonna get killed off, isn’t she??? What will Takada for Light from here on out? And let me not forget Mello, who is observing everything quietly from the sidelines. He’s still a variable in this complicated equation. Gah, how do I have five episodes left???

The video for “Selection” 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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