Death by Note part 1
first previousnext newest
Stuff we want to talk about
Friday, July 07, 2006

I am apparently one of the very few out there who agrees with the Rossman when it comes to the manga DEATH NOTE. We both believe that the first half is inspired genius... but the second half (and especially the finale) is pure crud.

Right now Death Note is just starting to make it big in the States, but it's already spawned a movie (a second movie is due out later in the year too) and an anime adaptation of the manga in Japan. The movie is currently kicking royal hynie in the Japanese box office, as well it should, since the flick basically covers the events in the first half of the manga (if my sources are indeed correct). This is good.

What is NOT good is how the original author chose to finish up his story after the very climactic first half. Apparently he chose to forget who every single one of his surviving characters was (personality wise), turn rational reason on its ear, and kick the reader in the shins. Twice. Twice each shin. Seriously, the second act of this manga makes me believe that the writer just gave up, but still wanted that big juicy paycheck each week. And the ending chapters... Oh boy...

For those of you who don't even know the basic premise of Death Note, it goes a little something like this: Super smart high schooler, Raito (Light) finds a little black notebook claiming to be a Grim Reaper's Death Note (something that a Reaper can write the name of a mortal in, and that mortal will die of a heart attack within 40 seconds of his name being put to paper, unless a specific death is written next to his name at the same time, then that death will be enacted, and one can actually control the victim's actions up to whenever his death occurs... within 20 some odd days... Yeah, the rules here get more convoluted than the rules of "masters and servants" in Fate Stay Night). Soon Raito checks the validity of the thing (by offing somebody with its power), and the Note's original owner, Ryuku, the Shininingaminami/Reaper, appears and explains EVERYTHING that Raito can do with the book. It's a long explanation, and even more rules and laws pop up as the series goes on, but all in all, good things so far.

I also really liked it when "L" showed up, and became the (mentally unbalanced) Sherlock Holmes to Raito's Moriarty. A huge game of "catch that murderer" then happens during which time both Raito and L used their enormous brains to catch the other off guard and either stop him from killing and arrest him (what L wanted of Raito of course), or kill the other guy with the book (with which you need the victim's face and real name to write down in order to mystically "whack 'em").

Then came the halfway point in the series and things came to an incredible boil and made me really happy :)!!... And things should have ended there. Honestly, what became the halfway point would have made a sublime finale. Especially after seeing what we eventually got. Urgh... I'll let the Rossman talk about that on Monday with the second part of this comic.

Have a good weekend!!!