For the next catch up series I’m going for something I’ve never watched that everyone seems to love. Don’t judge me for never watching Death Note, I’m making up for it now.
OK so what I loved about the first episode is that it just plainly told you what you needed to know. Whilst other stories ease you into things, introducing characters, plot and all sorts slowly, sometimes over more then one episode, Death Note just plonks the whole plot in your lap. Of course the story will progress but everything you could ever need to know about Death Notes and two of the main characters are easily accessible right from the get go.
It worked really well and never felt like too much.
Light Yagami is a genius, Ryuk is a Death God. Both of them are bored. To elevate his boredom Ryuk drops a Death Note into the human world which Light picks up. The front page gives you the instructions of the Death Note.
*The human whose name is written in this note shall die.
*This note will not take effect unless the writer has the person’s face in their mind when writing the name. Therefore, people sharing the same name will not be effected.
*If the cause of death is written within 40 seconds of writing the name it will happen.
*If it isn’t specified that person will simply die of a heart attack.
*After writing the cause of death, details of the death should be written within the next 6 minutes and 40 seconds.
It doesn’t take Light very long to decide to check it out, thinking it was a prank but willing to kill a criminal to prove whether or not it IS a prank he sits down and writes the name of a criminal who killed and wounded six people before taking people hostage in a nursery school. After the criminal dies he tries it again to prove that it really did work and wasn’t just a coincidence. Finding out that he does have this power he goes on to rid the world of what he decides is the bad making it rot.
After awhile Ryuk shows up telling Light that he can see him because he owns the Death Note and that when the Death Note enters the human world it belongs to the human world and whoever picks it up owns it. He hints to it all having happened before but not used in the way that Light has decided to use it or to the extent.
For a introduction to those two characters the episode did a wonderful job.
Just how Ryuk looks makes him instantly someone you wanna know about, not quite what you’d imagine a Death God to act like but very obviously just there for the laughs. And when I say he’s there for the laughs I mean he is just playing a game with humans, letting Light do as he pleases so that he won’t be bored anymore. Light doesn’t seem to care much about anything, when he finds out that there is no immediate punishment for what he’s doing and that Ryuk is only there to observe he ploys ahead. His sense of justice being a little more skewered then others.
In a instant I get it, I get why everyone always gave me a funny look when I said I’d never watched it. From the very first scene you can see the series is going to be something special and I don’t really know why I haven’t seen it until now if I’m honest.
Its interesting to look at a situation like this through the eyes of someone like Light. Too often you are usually looking at it from the outside. Making Light someone the audience can understand lets us really look at the situation and think about it. So the guy has a attitude problem and there is a line that he’s going to cross. Who is he to judge? Who is anyone to judge someone else? Where does he draw his line? Does he wait for a conviction to be given or is it innocent until proven guilty? How does he know someone hasn’t been sent down for bogus charges? He doesn’t know. He doesn’t care that he doesn’t know. He believes he can just judge people and the world will be better for it. Where does it stop though? If he see’s someone littering what does he do? They are ruining the planet we live on or is there a standard for how “evil” you have to be in his eyes to be put in his notebook?
Without being able to see his inner workings you automatically can see that he’s coming from some twisted yet positive place.
From the start you can see why this is such a well loved series.