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REVIEW: Death Note DVD


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Jedi General



Joined: 27 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 11:32 pm Reply with quote
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Although the first half of the Yotsuba&! arc .....


Huh. I never knew that she



had her own arc in Death Note. Must have missed that somehow, though I don't know how I could have missed something so joyous and lighthearted in the midst of all the melodrama .... Wink
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Zac
ANN Executive Editor


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 11:42 pm Reply with quote
Jedi General wrote:
Quote:
Although the first half of the Yotsuba&! arc .....

Wink


Ah geez, dunno how that slipped past. Fixed.
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penguintruth



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 1:31 am Reply with quote
Near's my favorite Death Note character. I enjoy how he's brutally tactless and brilliant, but seems to be somewhat vulnerable, with his toy-playing and his strong disgust for the President giving into Kira. Also, he seems to have respect for L and Mello, despite being harsh towards their failures. I have a feeling he was let down by spoiler[L's defeat], because he was his hero. He did everything he could to do things by L's book.

My only problem with the last bit of Death Note lies in the fact that all the people around Light are made to look like complete incompetents. I mean, they weren't made police detectives for nothing, the should have been able to piece a few more things together, especially since spoiler[after L's death, Light never even bothered giving them an alternative decoy to chase for Kira. I mean, the Kira case went ice cold, and none of them could see the writing on the wall?] You don't have to be a genius like Near to see what was going on.
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pachy_boy



Joined: 09 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 6:05 am Reply with quote
Theron Martin said:

Quote:
Anyone who can watch the final episode and not truly recognize Light as the villain isn't paying attention.


Well said, Theron.

I realize that much of what I’ll say has been said before thousands of times, but this being the final review for the series here are my two-cents’ worth of commentary anyway.

I’ve heard comments that Light may not be ‘good’ but he isn’t ‘evil’ either, that he is a complicated shade-of-gray character, so much so that you don’t know who you were supposed to root for in the main cat-and-mouse story, Light or L.

To me, there was never anything complicated about it. After what he did to Raye Penber, and especially what he later did to his fiancé, Naomi Misora, all questions of whether Light is good or evil or whether we should support him should have been thrown right out the window without a second glance. I nearly quit the series after Naomi’s demise. After seeing just how cruel and sadistic he was with them, just so he could continue his reign, how could anyone not interpret him as ‘evil?’ He may be trying to create a ‘better world,’ but is it really so worth it to build it upon such a selfish, bloody foundation? And since he wasted the agent couple, he went on to do even more disgusting and despicable things, using and hurting the people around him, his family included. It’s painfully obvious he would’ve killed his family if he felt he had to, and in fact that’s what he attempted in the film version. How on earth could fans keep rooting for Light? Just because he’s the main character? It's like saying we should support Hitler if a story revolved around him. Some people commented about the movies being too obsessed with focusing on portraying Light as an evil character, but in my opinion the movies merely portrayed him for who and what he really was.

This is why I found the ending to this series so satisfying, so nearly perfect. When Near delivered his dialogue of who Light really is, countering Light’s own speech of self-justification, everything Near said rang true. I cheered like crazy through the whole last episode, which involved me punching my fists in the air and stomping my foot; the only other ending to a series I've ever watched that had close to the same effect was Haibane Renmei. spoiler[And when Light met his ultimate fate, especially after everything he did, I honestly didn’t feel sorry for him, for he brought it on himself]

All in all, I really surprised myself for enjoying this series more than I thought I would. And I also thought the movies were just as well-executed and satisfying on their own. Look forward to seeing L: Change the WorLd.
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dtm42



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 7:50 am Reply with quote
pachy_boy wrote:
To me, there was never anything complicated about it. After what he did to Raye Penber, and especially what he later did to his fiancé, Naomi Misora, all questions of whether Light is good or evil or whether we should support him should have been thrown right out the window without a second glance.


Tell me, what was Light supposed to do? He wanted to create a better world, and yet there were people trying to stop him, trying to side with the criminals. Because criminals were the only people Light was killing until L and the FBI poked their heads in.

Light was the person who protected the innocent, punished the criminals, and helped countries with their overcrowded prisons and expensive judicial systems. He also reduced the crime rate in Japan, and no doubt in other nations too. Are you really going to tell me that you thought what he did was wrong? That he deserved to be hunted down and threatened with the death penalty? I would say that Light deserves a medal, and those who like the criminals so much should be thrown in prison along side them.

So no, I don't hold it against Light for killing Raye and his fiancée, or all the others who would rather live in a corrupt and rotten world than live in a unified world where crime is not tolerated.

Indeed, you know what? I actually blame people like L and Raye for turning Light into the monster that he became. Because of them he was forced to kill people who really should have been sent to jail, just so that Light could keep living and therefore dispensing justice. As long as he was killing the truly guilty he could keep his heart clean, but by repeatedly forcing him into making morally dubious decisions they corrupted him. If he had been unopposed from the start, then I put to you that he would not have turned out anywhere near as bad as he did.

Signed by dtm42, a supporter of Light.
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nechronius
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 8:11 am Reply with quote
Saying that others corrupted him into making morally questionable (or worse) decisions is like saying he's not man enough to be above the influence (sounds like an anti-drug commercial...). Light's tunnel vision when it came to his belief in justice is what ultimately made him the bad guy, not the good guy.
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doctordoom85



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 8:51 am Reply with quote
dtm42 wrote:
Light was the person who protected the innocent, punished the criminals, and helped countries with their overcrowded prisons and expensive judicial systems. He also reduced the crime rate in Japan, and no doubt in other nations too. Are you really going to tell me that you thought what he did was wrong? That he deserved to be hunted down and threatened with the death penalty? I would say that Light deserves a medal, and those who like the criminals so much should be thrown in prison along side them.


First of all, your first line is way off. Light mainly executed those already IN prison, which would do nothing to bring the victims back. It'd be like if Batman were unable to stop crime from happening, but instead chose to burst into jails and shoot down criminals en masse. That's not protecting anyone since they're already dead/stolen from/raped/etc., that's delivering your personal view of "justice".

Secondly, Light was being naive by putting his faith entirely in the justice system's verdicts. People DO get framed or mis-sentenced for murder and other major crimes, so undoubtedly some innocent people were killed by Light in his mass-murdering in prisons. Yes, Light, you clearly only punish the wicked and those who oppose your ideals! Rolling Eyes

And the police/detectives couldn't just ignore Kira, what sane person would leave the fate of the entire world in the hands of one person whose mental stability is highly questionable? And since I've heard Light eventually considers in time killing those who are merely lazy (I don't remember this part, but my friend swears it was there), their fears were confirmed. Not to mention Light turns the Death Note over to others whose trust is shaky at best, showing that he is an unreliable "god".

And what happens when Light dies? While Misa would follow Light's rule to a T, his other followers are less trustworthy. Eventually, one could decide "now this is immoral" or "these sort of people need to die", and we're screwed. Heaven help us if a racist/sexist/other discriminatory view person is passed the Death Note. Or possibly worse, the passing of the Death Note stops and Kira's followers disband for whatever reason, and now we have potential anarchy on our hands. Because the police force and number of prisons will no doubt have been greatly reduced by then, suddenly criminals can commit crimes without fear of instant death, and there's not enough law enforcement to contain it. Ruling with fear might seem like a good idea to some, but once that ruler is removed, you're screwed. BIG TIME.

And your final sentence makes me question YOUR sanity.

The world can't be saved through simple methods or quick solutions. Heck, making this world a "paradise" would probably take a major compromise on humanity's free-will in general, and the results would not be pretty (*cough*1984*cough*). Light only thought mainly in short-term views, which isn't surprising, because he's really only doing this because he's bored. He naively has faith that things will work out once he dies, a very stupid thing to believe for a supposedly-intelligent person (but then again, intelligence does not guarantee wisdom).

Good grief, even a main villain in the recent Naruto manga had more sense than this. He acknowledged that his mass-destruction ways to end war through fear would only be a temporary solution, and that the villages would start up again, use the "nuke" again, and return to peace again, and the cycle would start all over again. He was content with this, since he felt it would be better to have temporary moments of peace as opposed to endless violence. Light, on the other hand, thought that his control would be pretty permanent. Sure wish we could have seen a "X years later" epilogue so we could see the shock on spoiler[his spirit's face] when he realizes that's anything but the case.

And we'll end with Near's Crowing Moment of Awesome:

spoiler["No. You are just a murderer and this notebook here is the worst murder weapon in the history of mankind. If you had been a normal person and had used this notebook once out of curiosity, you would have been surprised and scared of what had happened, regretted what you had done and never used this notebook again. To speak of extremes I can actually understand those who would use this notebook for their personal interests and kill a couple of people and even think that they're normal. But you have yielded to the power of the notebook and shinigami and have confused yourself with a God. You're just a crazy mass murderer, nothing more, nothing less."

Now that's how you call someone out. Very Happy]
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pachy_boy



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 9:48 am Reply with quote
dtm42 wrote:
Tell me, what was Light supposed to do? He wanted to create a better world, and yet there were people trying to stop him, trying to side with the criminals. Because criminals were the only people Light was killing until L and the FBI poked their heads in.

So no, I don't hold it against Light for killing Raye and his fiancée, or all the others who would rather live in a corrupt and rotten world than live in a unified world where crime is not tolerated.

Signed by dtm42, a supporter of Light.


I get the impression that you read only what you wanted to read with your own notions of Light engraved in your head. But the fact remains that Light was cruel and sadistic, which are not traits at all I would find in a 'bringer of justice.' He wasn't a god, he was just a flawed human being just like all the other people he decided to kill off, so he was in no position to fulfill the role to begin with, especially considering he was merely a random person who found the notebook Ryuk dropped out of boredom. And because it was all to fit with his own ideals, no matter how you look at it is a form of dictatorship. I wouldn't want to live in a world knowing there's one man who could write my name or that of anyone I may know at any moment, and that's what the police were acting on, including Raye and Naomi. Due to these consequences to his actions, yes, Light did act on it, but by that point it wasn't about bringing justice to the world so much as it was about gaining power and disposing anything and anybody in his way; it had corrupted him. I for one wouldn't be able to live with myself as a human being if I could determine how some other human being should live or die, regardless of who they are. spoiler[In the film version, Light's father really said it best saying that while the laws of the world may not be perfect, people that follow them do it for achieving good purposes, while what Light had done was just selfish. And Light seeing a phantom image of himself passing by at the end of the anime series seemed to really symbolize his realization in how he threw his life away.]
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Chrno2



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 9:49 am Reply with quote
It's funny, that I JUST finished this series just this past Monday. I watched both boxsets over a 3 day period. I read all 12 vols. of the manga a year ago. And even with the subtle changes in the plot toward the 2nd half it was still very faithful to the manga. I could honestly say that I was very satisfied with the overall execution. I may have to give the manga another look. I could see what the directors were aiming for. My only beef with the DVDs in general is not having a subtitled versions for the OP/ED songs. Plus, the menus were pretty lackluster. So it made me wonder if they did the same for the individual releases. I'm assuming the DVDs that were in these boxsets were probably the same ones originally released, with the exception of the extra DVD for the bonus material.

Oh, I get that point about 'Yotsuba'. Hahaha!! Very funny.
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russ869



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 12:07 pm Reply with quote
Theron Martin said:

Quote:
Anyone who can watch the final episode and not truly recognize Light as the villain isn't paying attention.


Just what is the definition of villain in a story anyway? Light knew from the beginning exactly what was coming to him. But from the way he talked and acted, it sure seemed like he forgot. With all his reveling in becoming a "god among men" he lost sight of the fact that he was "a mere mortal among gods (of death)."

Quote:
He may be trying to create a ‘better world,’ but is it really so worth it to build it upon such a selfish, bloody foundation?

This is just the classic Utilitarianism vs. Kantian Ethics question. It's addressed in lots of other media like the Watchmen comics/movie. Basically the question of whether the "end justifies the means."

Quote:
How on earth could fans keep rooting for Light?

I'm rooting for Light, because he's like me. I never thought about it before reading this manga, but given the power to kill I would have done exactly what he chose to do. The difference between us is he was an emotionally motivated fool who allowed his personal feelings to get in the way of what should have been done. If he hadn't been so set on killing L, no one would have ever found him. That's what L was counting on: that Kira could never swallow his pride and back down from a challenge.

All that said, the ending was perfect because it portrays one last shocking message. The idea that no matter who you are or what you've done; murderer or victim, one day everybody dies. And then none of it matters anymore.
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HellKorn



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 12:55 pm Reply with quote
Theron Martin wrote:
The way the President of the United States (who is given a Bush-like accent in English) merely caves into Kira is practically reprehensible despite the spirit of dramatic license, but this is hardly the only anime to portray the American President as an distressingly easily-manipulated, fortitude-light figure.

Comes off as less embarassing in Death Note compared to Read or Die, at least.

dtm42 wrote:
Indeed, you know what? I actually blame people like L and Raye for turning Light into the monster that he became.

"But officer, the gun was just lying there and loaded! It's not my fault I shot your men!"

Rolling Eyes

Not even going to bother with your other "points." It's amazing how Death Note brings out the teenage-mentality in some fans.

russ869 wrote:
I'm rooting for Light, because he's like me. I never thought about it before reading this manga, but given the power to kill I would have done exactly what he chose to do. The difference between us is he was an emotionally motivated fool who allowed his personal feelings to get in the way of what should have been done. If he hadn't been so set on killing L, no one would have ever found him. That's what L was counting on: that Kira could never swallow his pride and back down from a challenge.

Your personal feelings are already supplying this ideology that it's somehow "justice" to kill these prisoners, anyway. You speak as though you're looking at the world in practical terms, yet that's not the case.

Since you alluded to consequentialism, you do realize that you would have to grapple with the fact of tyranny, right? Exploiting two of humanity's most base elements in order to impede obvious crimes is ridiculous. Even going beyond a poor justification for considering Light's original motivations to be in the right, the biggest problem that consequentionalists face is simply the fact that they cannot see into the future. You can make predictions on fairly isolated levels, but there are far too many factors -- so many unknown -- that you cannot just arbitrarily think that it can be a continuing "success."
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vashfanatic



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 1:50 pm Reply with quote
...and as we're listing Light's faults, let's all remember how he treats women: as pawns he seduces and then uses for his own purposes.

I'd be more sympathetic with Light if he ever seemed to care about anyone other than himself and his self-appointed mission of "justice" (read: vigilantism). Once or twice he seems to soften a bit around his immediate family, but to everyone else, he's an uncaring douche.

Let's face it: from the end of the first chapter (where Light gives his "god of the new world" speech) this was never about enforcing justice, this was about a bored teenager who wanted to play God. If you want to see a character who really is an ends-justify-the-means antihero, go watch Code Geass.


(For me, the most interesting thing about the whole series is how Kira actually is precisely how many people imagine God and it isn't at all surprising that people would be worshiping an unseen smiter-of-all-who-oppose him. As the readers, we get to see that this "God" is really a self-absorbed teenager/young man who's a complete jerk... which would seem an interesting statement on the kind of "God" so many people worship in real life...)
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nightjuan



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 2:29 pm Reply with quote
Don't get me wrong...I can definitely appreciate the very basic idea behind Light's original plan, but as the story went on, it did become increasingly clear that his ego was spiraling out of control and that certainly didn't make him a sympathetic character. A more human side to him, something made up of conflicting emotions and vulnerabilities, was, with perhaps a couple of brief exceptions, lacking.

It was great fun to see his strategies at work and how he repeatedly overcame his enemies, but after a certain point a part of me began to hope to see him fail. Not because it would have been better for the world, probably not, only because it would have been more interesting. In the end, he deserved some kind of karmic retribution, if it is even appropriate to speak of such a concept.
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daxomni



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 3:10 pm Reply with quote
dtm42 wrote:
Tell me, what was [#43] supposed to do? He wanted to create a better world, and yet there were people trying to stop him, trying to side with the criminals. Because criminals were the only people [he claimed he] was killing until [hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians were caught in the crossfire]. [#43] was the person who protected the innocent, punished the criminals, and helped countries with their overcrowded prisons and expensive judicial systems. Are you really going to tell me that you thought what he did was wrong? That he deserved to be hunted down and threatened with the death penalty? I would say that [#43] deserves a medal, and those who like the criminals so much should be thrown in prison along side them. So no, I don't hold it against [#43] for killing [hundreds of thousands of civilians] or all the others who would rather live in a corrupt and rotten world than live in a unified world where crime is not tolerated. Indeed, you know what? I actually blame people like [the NYT and the ACLU] for turning [#43] into the monster that he became. Because of them he was forced to [threaten, torture, and even] kill people who [had committed no crime] just so that [he] could remain in office and therefore dispensing [cowboy] justice. As long as he was killing the truly guilty [in his own head] he could keep his heart clean, but by repeatedly forcing him into making morally dubious decisions they corrupted him. If he had been unopposed from the start, then I put to you that he would not have turned out anywhere near as bad as he did. Signed by dtm42, a supporter of [#43].

I really hope that was a joke or your account was hacked or you were suffering from swine flu or something. Otherwise I see a lucrative job in the Murdoch empire in your near future.
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Cetali



Joined: 02 Aug 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 3:17 pm Reply with quote
pachy_boy wrote:
I’ve heard comments that Light may not be ‘good’ but he isn’t ‘evil’ either, that he is a complicated shade-of-gray character, so much so that you don’t know who you were supposed to root for in the main cat-and-mouse story, Light or L.


If Light hadn't been physically attractive, people would never have rooted and rationalized for him the way they do ...

Good, bad, he's the one with the fangirls.
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