This post contains spoilers for the Death Note anime and manga.
All right, fellow lovers of anime. Let's talk Death Note.
For clarification, I have only watched the anime. I have read certain chapters of the manga and have plans to read the whole thing, but have not done so yet, so for the most part we will just be talking about the anime here. Sound good? Gooooooood.
So overall, despite the things I'm about to nitpick on, I do like Death Note. I like the premise. I like the cat-and-mouse game between Light and L. I like Ryuk and his apples. I'm interested in reading the manga and checking out the Japanese live-action films. (Unfortunately, I have seen the 2017 Netflix live-action film and I can't say my feelings on it are very positive at all. The phrase "one of the worst movies I've ever seen in my life" might have come up about it.)
Also, as you may have heard me yell about on Twitter and/or Tumblr, L is now my husband, replacing the previous Hanzo-sama. It was a very hard decision, and I still love Hanzo-sama. But come on. How can you say no to this face?
So of course, my biggest issue with the series is that L dies about halfway through. And not for the reason you might expect, i.e. L DID NOTHING WRONG. More because the entire series is about the battle between Light and L. It's built up and up and up for so long. And then it ends when L dies, very anticlimatically. The introduction of Near and Mello makes logical sense, but despite L's influence on them, it does not feel at all like a continuation of the battle between Light and L; it feels like a completely new and separate battle that doesn't have the benefit of so much build up. With so much fewer episodes to get things going, the final battle between Light and Near is nowhere near as epic as the same scene would have been with L. The payoff just doesn't feel the same.
As far as Near and Mello, I don't mind them as characters, and like I said, them coming into the story after L dies would make perfect sense. But they're also just doing this because it's what they've been trained to do, not because they have any kind of dynamic with Light. The reason that L and Light have such an interesting battle is because they personally met and built a relationship (if an odd one), so there was more going into their interactions then just villain and hero. With Light and Near, the same stakes never come into play, and it's just not as engaging to watch. Now, I have heard that the second half is longer and more fleshed out in the manga, so maybe it'll be more interesting to read about than it was to watch.
I do think that Light needed to lose in the end. There was no other way for it to go. I guess I feel like Light and L should have really brought each other down. Like one's death directly and immediately led to the other's, maybe? My point being, the show should have been about their battle the whole way through, and when L leaves the series, it kind of stops being about that. I get what they were trying to do with Near and Mello, but to me it doesn't really work.
Also, does Near look like Mytho from Princess Tutu to anyone else? I couldn't stop calling him Mytho.
Without much segue, I would also like to say that I hated Misa. I get why she was there as a character, and again, all of her actions made sense for who she was. I just happened to hate who she was. She was annoying and shrill and kind of an idiot, but I guess that's the point. Naomi Misora was none of those things, and she had to die quickly so that she wouldn't ruin the plot by catching Light. (I quite liked Naomi Misora.) I guess to be fair, I also have a bias against anyone like Light, who would use others the way he does...
Also what the fuck was that potato chip scene I'm not even sure I understand
I mean, despite all of the above, I still like the series. I get the feeling I'm going to like the manga a bit more than the anime, but my principal problem with it still remains, so I guess we'll see. I hear the live action films are good too? I hear there's one about L, who as we've established is my new husband? So that's pretty cool.
Also, I got this button.
It's a cute button and I like it.
So overall...first half was great, second half was not as good, and L wins all battles eternally.