Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Stuff Josh Likes: Death Note

Back in my day, we'd have to drive twenty miles to the mall to get the latest anime release on VHS from Suncoast Video on VHS. I'd plunk down my thirty bucks for whatever shitty OVA they got as soon as they got it.

Kids these days have an abundance of anime to choose from. The biggest problem is observing Sturgeon's Law, and not watching the 90% of anime that, like 90% of everything, is crap.

I forget if my baby brother or my best friend originally recommended Death Note.  The idea is that a high school student namd Light Yagami acquires a notebook that will kill the person whose name is written in it if the writer also knows their face. He initially uses it to kill criminals, but, when he realizes that that he's being investigated, uses it to kill a umber of innocent people investigating him.

That's the thing I like about Death Note. Light is a monster, and the show never lampshades it, but nor do they flinch away from it.

There's a scene where Light gets an ID from an FBI agent investigating him after he murdered her boyfriend. The first thing he tried to do on meeting her was write her name in the Death Note and get her to die as a suicide, but that didn't work, because she had an idea of how things functioned, and she gave him a fake name.

He writes her real name into the Death Note, and she goes on to kill herself at his command, even when offered the chance to call the director of the investigation directly.

It's deeply disturbing, and intentionally so. Some shows say "Let's be bad guys," and show meaningless rebellion against impotent paper tigers. Death Note depicts someone monstrously, horribly evil, but he's never shown as a hero.

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