So I mentioned I finished reading the manga a few days ago. The ending was good and throughout the storyline, it was fun following their deductions and investigative skills.
As I mentioned before:
The premise of the story is every Death God (死神 – shinigami) has a notebook. In traditional stories (at least in Chinese folk tales), this is a notebook of the list of all living people, when they’ll die, and how they’ll die. The twist in this story is that this notebook is in fact blank, and Death Gods can write who’s ever name they want and how they die. Somehow a boy named Raito (ライと – Light), a teenage geinus, gets ahold of one of these notebooks and learns about its mysterious power. Raito uses the notebook for justice, killing off criminals. However, these unexpected deaths have raised suspicion in the police and investigation agencies around the world. A world class detective named L (also a teenager like Raito) tries to locate the person everyone on the internet has been calling Kira (キラ) and now it’s the battle between 2 geniuses. Click on show spoilers to find out more.
As the story goes on, on one hand you have Light/Kira who’s a bored genius who plans on becoming this world’s savior and ultimately God by killing off all the criminals. On the other hand, you have L, a genius detective who’s never failed to solve a case. Both apparently are just teenagers and L was able to figure out Light was in Japan near the Kanto region with just a few moves. However, Light isn’t able to kill L without knowing his name nor face (a requirement of the death note).
The battle continues where L utilizes FBI agents to follow around possible suspects and Light utilizing the death note and killing off all the agents. That was the first step Kira made incorrectly. Although people could disagree with what’s he’s doing, the people he killed there were not criminals. This caused major panic inside the police force and many ended up quitting because fear of their lives. Others decided to side with Kira, though Kira was just a fictitious name given by people online (Kira = Killer).
So L goes undercover and enters College with Light under a false name. Immediately both sides knew who the other side was, but neither side could do anything. L needed proof and Light needed his name.
The story continues as both sides tries to pull the other out, when Misa appeared into the story. Misa apparently was another death note holder and was a major fan of Kira because he had helped her revenge her parents death (unknowingly) since he just kills criminals. This brings about the ‘eye’ as one can trade half of their remaining life span with the death god and get an eye which allows him or her to see the name of any person and how much life that person has left. This would give the death note holder the ability to kill anyone just by seeing them since hidden identities are no longer a problem.
However, before Light was able to get Misa to catch L’s real name, Light’s suspicion has gotten to the point where he’s 99% sure it’s Light and decides to question him. He even suspects that Misa is the 2nd Kira. A whole slew of exchanging ownership of the notebook and how to get ownership back was interesting. As one gives up ownership of the notebook, they forget everything about it and this played out well when both Misa and Light were held in captivity for 50 days seeing if murders continued.
Of course it did as this was part of Light’s plan as he told Ryuk, his death god to bring the notebook to some high executive who’s been killing competitors.
The investigation continues and apparently the who Japanese team that’s been trying to track down Kira gets to see the Death God as they try to capture this new Kira. The notebook was confiscated, but Light’s plan is suceeding and he ends up killing L as things got calm.
The story however, doesn’t end here as they introduce Near and Mello, L’s successors. Near is like tiny L if I had to say.
However, the Japanese team didn’t know this and they told Light to play the role of L as he was no longer around.
The Near and Mello arc was interesting, since Near was the true successor of L and Mello was the runner-up, Mello decided to go off on his own and try to solve this case. Both had a hunch of the existance of the notebook, but since this story was never publically told, they could only guess so. Near went the official route through the FBI while Mello teamed up with criminals to get the notebook. They ended up capturing Light’s sister and demanded that they trade the notebook for Sayu’s life.
Near tries to get the notebook through the official channels, but when they lost the notebook, they contact Near for help. So that you’re not confuse, there’s 3 death notes currently in existance. Governments have begun giving in to Kira as the USA declared they will no longer actively pursue Kira and other countries slowly followed. Crime has dropped to near non-existance and was that truly a good thing? However, with a death note in Mello’s hand, he know knew about the fake rules and about the eye. Kira does something special here and he sends his father his death note telling him about the eye and how to use it, saying he wants to help catch Mello too. With the team, the were able to penetrate into their base and Light’s father even saw Mellow’s real name, but he was too soft hearted to kill and ended up getting killed himself. However, he did get the notebook back.
One thing’s that’s funny is how are the criminals that Mello is using still around if Kira is killing off all of them already.
Story continues as Near’s investigation goes deeper and he realizes the 2nd L (Light) is Kira and slowly bit by bit he was able to turn even some of Light’s men against him.
The final battle involved once again giving up ownership of the notebook as he sent it to a guy named Mikami who seems to have the same ideals and justice within him. And then there came Takada, a news reporter that was the messenger between Kira and Mikami. Through a series of tricks and deceptions, Light made it seemed like he was trying to get Takada to give more info about Kira, while what he was really doing was giving orders.
Near notices this weird transition and even finds out about Mikami and calles him X-Kira, however, catching Mikami won’t do since Near wants Light. And the final showdown comes about. Near had decided to meet up with Light and both of them knew this was the final battlestage. Near tells the whole group, that soon, there were be a man out there with a death note writing down all our names. The only name he doesn’t write will be Kira. However, he said he had swapped the notebook with a fake one, so it would not kill them.
However, Light knew about the swapping before hand and of course knew that the notebook they swapped with wasn’t the real death note and he shouted victory before a little bit too early. Apparently, due to Takada’s incident (Mello captured her), but both Light and Mikami knew that she needed to die, Near was able to find out about the real death note in the safety deposit box and swapped that too. Mikami for some reason at this point has gone crazy and calling Kira God over and over again. So now Light is stuck and everyone knows that he’s Kira. He tries to argue away trying to buy sometime to figure out what to do, and as he attempted to take out piece of death note he has hidden in his watch, he gets shot. At this point, he screams for help, for Misa, for Takada, and even for Ryuk. Ryuk says, he’ll write something in the notebook and Light gets cocky again, but Ryuk said, he’s going to right Light’s name in it as he already declared the 1st moment they met that he would not help him besides watch how interesting humans were and if the time came for Light’s death, he’ll be the one that does it.
Light dies and the world continues as the time before Kira. There’s still many that believe Kira will return. The ending of the story shows a line of people with candles walking up a mountain, praying for Kira would what my guess would be. However, I wasn’t able to figure out who the girl was. I would’ve guessed either Misa or his sister Sayu, but neither really looked like her and Misa shouldn’t ever have remembered about Kira as she gave up her ownership.
One thing I never got was how Light ever found out Mello’s real name as his father died before able to tell him.
The way I was expecting the ending initially was Mikami was going to be the scapegoat and reveal himself and Light would have nothing to do with it. As the story progressed to the meeting, I thought since Light knew about the notebook swap, he had ordered Mikami to write everyone’s name besides Near’s and make him the culprit which I thought would’ve been the smarter move. Afterwards they can control Near and do what they want since they knew his name.
Mikami’s final performance was also a bit jarring as he was a meticulous person and very serious, but his final actions as he saw God, was just absurd. And the point that he was screaming “YOU’RE NOT GOD!” at the end when Light lost this battle, shows that he had snapped completely.
Also, the trailer for the movie appears to be subbed: Death Note Movie Trailer (English Subtitles) (from BB)