'this world is rotten'

Light Yagami, on the surface, is your ordinary high school student, trying hard to get into a good college and please his family with his grades. However, behind locked doors and heavy secrets, Light is so much more than just a student. You might even say that he is a student of death.

To put it plainly, Light Yagami is a murderer.

L is a man of the shadows. No one knows his true name, only few people have ever seen his real face. Like a spider, he sits in the dark and watches, waiting for a case to come and fascinate him. But the mysterious case of Kira and the tidal wade of 'righteous murders' sweeping across Japan is nothing like he's ever seen before.

To find and finish Kira, L will have to step out of the darkness, and into the light (no pun intended).

This is the basic premise of the manga/anime series by Tsugumi Ohba, entitled Death Note. There's muuuuuuuch more detail--concerning Shinigami, Light's father, and the Death Note itself--but for now, this is enough to get you by.

Yesterday, when I made my weekly stop at the library, I was delighted to see that they had the first few volumes of Death Note on the shelves--a rare occurance, as they are rather popular. I'd never read the manga before--as I usually like anime better (there is something seriously mind-boggling about reading a book backwards, I'm telling ya. Come on, Japan, quit messing with my brain. It hurts....) so I was very excited to start reading this series. Light, L, and Ryuk are some of my favorite people in the anime world, and it was great to revisit them.

Death Note is an interesting experience. Not everyone will like it (as per most things, but bear with me here...) My sister, who is more of a shoujo fan than me, wouldn't be able to make it through this series. My older brother, on the other hand, would love it, I imagine. If you have an analytical mind, enjoy dry humor, or just like to dissect things, this manga/anime is for you.

Why? Because the questions "What is good? What is evil? What is right? What is wrong?" are constantly being asked. Because there is no real hero in the story.

Is Light, the teenager who was given the Death Note, the hero? He says repeatedly, 'the world is rotten.' He sees that there are so many evil things done in the world, and he wants to use the Death Note to create a clean earth. Sounds good, right?

Of course, his way of  going about and creating this utopia is to kill those people who are dirtying the earth. Not so good.

L? Is he our hero? Some people may say he is, but in my humble opinion, I think not. L is after Kira, merely because Kira is inexplicably killing criminals that he's never met before. He wants to stop the killing, but only because stopping the killing means stopping Kira, and stopping Kira means finding Kira and his secrets. L is fighting, because he can't stand being out-witted.

 L is not a hero. L is as human and as flawed as Light is.

Maybe Ryuk is the hero we're looking for...

...yeah...that was a bit of a shot in the dark there...

Books that force me to think fascinate me. As a Christian, I know there is a distinct "dark" and "light" in the world. I know that mass murder is the not the way to create a utopia. I know the right thing to do when someone is going around killing people who may or may not deserve it. But with the way Death Note is presented, I'm allowed to mull over things.

 I understand why Light is doing what he's doing.
 I understand why Kira has such a huge following, encouraging him and his "righteous" wrath.
 I understand why L is playing this giant game with Kira, Light, and Ryuk.
 I don't accept all these views, but I'm allowed to step into their shoes and explore their thoughts.

Like I said earlier, Death Note is an interesting experience. I doubt that I will ever tire of it.

(by the way, if you're at all intrigued by this, I encourage you to check it out. Not only are the premise and the plot fascinating, but the humor is very dry and hilarious, in contrast to the rest of the show. L is literally the funniest person in creation--all while keeping a straight face.)


  1. I think I've seen these at my library. I've never read animie, but I've seen a few movies. Everyone on pintrest is posting pictures from a show which looks good but I can't find the name of it so I can't watch it.


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