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Ever since I started Death Note, people have been warning me that the plot takes a radical twist at one point and becomes a different story. Well, this (specifically volume 7) is that point.

The search for Kira - who may, of course, be more than one person - continues, as does the touchy cooperative relationship between brilliant college freshman Light Yagami and the eccentric but equally intelligent investigator who calls himself L. The overly cute, tremendously naive young actress Misa Amane, now hopelessly in love with Light, agrees to help with the investigation, and soon one Kira is cornered. But it turns out that Light's plans were much more involved and far-reaching than anyone else could have imagined -- and things proceed exactly as he had planned.

The world may never be the same.

Death Note, vols. 6-7 (review)

My reactions to volume 7 were (1) arrrrrgghhhh! No! He didn't! and (2) well! I was right all along - Light Yagami is the Antichrist.

Because L is dead as a doornail, and Light killed him. By proxy, because he's such a scumbucket. He manipulated poor, confused, tormented Rem - Misa's original shinigami, who had a bizarre, temendous love for Misa - into doing to actual deed, in such a fashion that Rem was destroyed as well.

I'm cross with the author for a number of reasons. L's death is the obvious one, but that's a dramatic choice that I can - I guess - respect. And the cover of the tankoubon volume telegraphed it: L is upside down, and as Sanada pointed out to me, the black cross (which I didn't notice at first) and white roses are also tremendously suggestive of death. (In Japan, as in many cultures - including some in Europe - white flowers almost always symbolize death.) But what really makes me angry is the blatant sudden manipulation of the text and the reader. Up until now, most of Death Note's narrative has been pretty straightforwardly chronological. Now all the sudden, we get flashbacks - retcon, plain and simple - to have Ryuk insert fake rules into the Death Note at Light's command, so that L's conclusions will be faulty, and to re-invent W as the founder of a series of orphanages, one of which is home to the young boys Mello and Near. These kids are magically inserted into the timeline so that L has been having his possible successors raised under, I guess, controlled conditions - all this time, of course.   > Gack <

OK, so the kids are moderately entertaining - it's fun the way they've split L's quirks, with Near (the good boy) getting L's mildly autistic personality and fidgeting, and Mello (the very naughty bad boy) getting the junk food habit (although the only thing I've seen him munch so far has been many, many chocolate bars, unlike L's endlessly varied parade of sweets and caffeine). And I guess I want to find out what's going to happen, from the problem-solving point of view. But the story had actually gained a bit of heart - which I'd felt, initially, that it completely lacked - and now it's gone.

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
meganbmoore
Jun. 16th, 2007 05:33 am (UTC)
well, to play devil's advocate to a degree...we knmew light had something planned when he went into confinement...the only way for it to play out with any suspense was to have us go in blind as to what he was up to then have him fill us in after.

My opinion on L's death(btw, he's by far my favorite character of the series) and what it means for the series i've mentioned a few times at my LJ, though I agree that the orphanages and heirs(fond of both Near and Mellow as I've become) is very contrived. Mellow did turn me off chocolate bars for a while though...there's just something creepy about the way he eats them...
chomiji
Jun. 20th, 2007 07:38 pm (UTC)

I'm sure Mello's meant to look creepy with the chocolate bars! Or at least, I'm sure that the way he eats them is meant to be significant ... he's starved for what he really wanted, which was L's seal of approval, and he'll never get it. I have this uncomfortable vision of him at age 35, after his metabolism has slowed down: he's nearly spherical and has even more dental work than I have.

rachelmanija
Jun. 16th, 2007 06:34 pm (UTC)
I had about the same reaction, and haven't continued reading much past that point.

1. I LOVED L. Since I found the other characters interesting but not likable (except for the woman investigator who got killed in volume one), his death took away a lot of narrative interest.

2. I thought the story was heading for L getting the Death Note, and think tat would have been so much more interesting than what actually happened.

3. The new characters didn't grab me. (Despite Mello's fabulous ass.)

4. Even after Eraldo Coil, I still have to say... Quillsh Wammy!?! !!!!
rachelmanija
Jun. 16th, 2007 06:36 pm (UTC)
2. I mean, and actually do something with it.
chomiji
Jun. 20th, 2007 08:25 pm (UTC)

1. I loved L too! I have milder versions of some of his ticks, for one thing (I've built that same head-head, tail-tail, head-head [...] tower of creamers in my time, as well as making grids of different color sweetener packets, etc., esp. if I'm thinking). I liked that investigator as well. She was Agent Penber's fiancee, yes? And Light was surprised when she didn't give him her real name ... IIRC, they didn't actually show her death, so I keep hoping she'll resurface.

2. Yeah, I was a little chilled when L was suggesting roping in some creepy nation that would agree to his using one of their condemned prisoners as a test case. It would have been interesting to see how far the Death Note would have taken him. He was a little off-kilter from humanity in general, perhaps as much as Light, but in a different direction. I was especially touched and saddened when he realized that he could consider Misa to be a friend as well - now he had two friends!   >sigh!< ... poor guy.

3. Agreed. I think the kids were what happens when you start with an abstract concept rather than a person. In this case, maybe "let's set up two kids who reflect different aspects of L's personality," with absolutely no idea beyond that for what they're like (except maybe Mello's kinky wardrobe, and that could be the artist's idea rather than the author's).

4. LOL! I sure hope I don't screw up Japanese names as badly when I make up fictitious ones ... . I can almost follow the translation/transliteration metamorphoses for "Eraldo" but I don't get anywhere when I try that with either half of "Quillsh Wammy"!

b3nitora
Jun. 22nd, 2007 09:49 am (UTC)
Light fits the description of a typical Sociopath. I really didnt like L (I was amused by his presence..like a three legged dancing dog) >_< but, I HATE those kids! I want to smack them around! I've only read a little further then you have, I do believe (2 ahead, maybe)...till I got to one point where I was like DAMN! Antichrist! I had to stop to wait for the english release, I got to the beginning of the beginning of the end. I dont want to ruin it for myself...that would be no fun.
chomiji
Jun. 26th, 2007 04:14 pm (UTC)

Hmmm? Can you explain to me more about what you meant when you said

>> I had to stop to wait for the english release <<

and

>> I dont want to ruin it for myself <<   ?

Were you looking at the Japanese ones?

b3nitora
Jun. 27th, 2007 06:51 am (UTC)
You are correct in your assumption that I was reading the Japanese versions! Sorta *cheers* I was reading the scanlations from StopTazmo. I started reading death note probably right after you could get the english scanlations online. But, once it started comming out in english, I had to stop myself from reading it online so as not to ruin the end...I had gotten pretty far into the thick of things and it was getting oh so very juicy...I didnt know it could get any juicier post the death of L...was I wrong! ANTICHRIST! I want to buy the last few volumes without reading them online beforehand....if that makes sense. ^_^
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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