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The second Kira is an idiot. (I can't say I wasn't warned about that.)

And Light's not quite himself, and L is losing it ... which is not surprising when you consider that he basically thought he was playing a game of "Battleship," but it turns out that the opponent's battleships aren't staying put ... .

The plot is getting bigger and wilder, and Death Note is continuing to hold my interest ... and is still one cold mofo when it comes to how I feel about it emotionally.

Death Note, vols. 4-5 (review)

I've got to get this off my chest: I cannot deal with Amane Misa, the extremely petite, extremely ditsy, pathetically cute top model who turns out to be the second Kira. She's supposedly 20, I think, but she acts like she looks, which is about 13 at the most. Light can't deal with her either, and his opinion isn't improved when she develops a massive instant crush on him. Matters are further complicated by the fact that Misa's shinigami, Rem, has a huge crush on Misa.

Light treats Misa pretty callously, giving her a big kiss that sends her into orbit, for example. And he's thinking quite cold-heartedly about killing her. But Rem has his number: she'll kill him if Misa dies. Light is thinking his way around all the associated possibilities quite agilely when L proves his reputation as a crime-solver to be well-earned by picking up Misa as the second Kira, knocking Light completely off-balance.

The story takes a turn for the grimmer as Misa is held confined and bound in isolation and questioned for days, until she starts to crack and asks Rem to kill her. Rem decides that the only way to save her is to take Misa's Death Note away and give it to somebody else. Following the Death Note rules, Misa promptly forgets that she had anything to do with the Death Note, totally confusing L and the police. Meanwhile, Light sets up a similar escape hatch for himself by giving his shinigami Ryuk instructions to dispose of Light's Death Note if he utters a certain keyphrase. Then he essentially turns himself in by telling his father that he might be Kira. He is also put in custody and isolation. After a week, he utters the keyphrase, Ryuk removes the Death Note - and now both Kiras are amnesiac about what happened.

The trouble is, both the police and L have no reason to change their minds about their suspects ... until people start dying again with the two of them still in custody. After a heart-stopping charade aimed at giving Misa and Light one last reason and chance to confess, L decides to trust them - to a point. He's got other things to worry about. The new Kira may also be more than one person ... and now the driving force seems to be that famous root of all evil, money, rather than misguided idealism. Death Note is heading for corporate crime thriller territory at high speed.

All very interesting, but a couple of things are bothering me. Light's actions with Misa are creepy, but they fit in with the way he's been going. After he loses his memories of the Death Note, he's a lot more ethical about her, refusing the string her along when L asks him to. But this doesn't necesarily fit in with the pre-Death Note Light either - he seems to have been a bit of a cad all along. Maybe his experience in the isolation cell is supposed to have improved him - I don't know. Then there's the idiot detective, Matsuda. I guess every story needs someone who puts his foot in it to move the action along, but still ... !

I did like it when Light loses it because L, despondent over his lack of success, sounds like he wants to give up - the two of them end up smacking each other around for a while (OK, to be accurate, L is kicking, not smacking). And guess what - it's not an instant bonding experience! I give the mangaka high marks for avoiding that. And L is still L, crouching gargoylishly in his seat, eating or drinking constantly, raccoon-eyed with lack of sleep ... he does get all twee when he meets Misa, though. However, this could be more L-brand calculated weirdo behavior, so it's forgivable.

And it's also interesting to contemplate which is worse: a Death Note in the hands of an egotistical, brilliant, amoral youth, or a Death Note in the hands of a moneymaking corporate entity.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 5th, 2007 03:52 am (UTC)
Looks like here's another interest we share :) Admittedly, I have only glanced at the manga, but went through most of the anime recently (more by chance... I just wanted to take a peek at what the story was all about after my husband told me about the manga, and checking out the anime on youtube was the easiest way), but the story really is unusual and in a weird way fascinating. Plus the art is very nice (even in the anime), not as good as SDK, but much better than many other mangas I've gotten a glance at.

I completely agree with you when it comes to Misa... she's not a character I can warm up to. Light is fascinating in a way, but he leaves me completely cold... in a different way from Misa though. While with her it's simple annoyance and disliking, with Light it's just... kind of a black whole of not feeling anything at all for him. Really strange. And that's coming from someone who usually prefers the dark tormented villain to the shining hero. Light is a whole different story though... maybe because he seems so much beyond redemption.

And knowing that you're reading the series is actually making me very curious about how you will feel about a big break in the storyline (at least that's what it was for me) coming up in the near future.
May. 5th, 2007 05:41 am (UTC)
Um, a black hole that is. Spelling is not my friend today ^_^;
May. 6th, 2007 06:27 pm (UTC)

Yeah, I was certainly feeling that same way about Light when I read the first 3 volumes! He's become a slightly better person at this point, but I don't know if I feel that the change is reasonable - it smells a little bit like a contrivance by the author.

(Heh, I started SDK because my husband was bringing them home when I couldn't finad any science fiction or fantasy that he wanted to read at the bookstore near his office. Bless the store clerk who suggested SDK to him!)

May. 5th, 2007 04:08 am (UTC)
I read them all in scanlations. I'm buying the English translations, but I'm waiting for the whole thing to be out so I can give it one big reread. I missed a lot of the nuances when reading the scanlations, partly due to the episodic nature and partly due to the wonky translation from people who prize literal translation over comprehensibility and who lack the ability to write a coherent English sentence. :D
May. 6th, 2007 06:46 pm (UTC)

So you've got the English ones but aren't reading them? That would take far more self-control than I have!

I think I got a bit spoiled about scanlations. Last fall, I was searching the Web for more info about Samurai Deeper Kyo when I got to the end of what was available in English, and I found Sanada's site hana-mi.net. She had translated a number of the later volumes, and some others had worked with her to turn them into scanlations. They were pretty readable, and also by looking at the text files of the translations, I got her little cultural notes and some fun bits of snark. But the few scanlations I've seen for other series so far have been pretty bad!

May. 5th, 2007 05:39 am (UTC)
I'm actually rather fond of Misa, though I didn't like her at first...I think at some point her sheer stupidity and the way Light uses her(and she really loves him) makes her endearing. (I'm also very fond of the actress who plays her in the movies, but that's unrelated as I liked her and Misa both before the movie)
May. 6th, 2007 06:52 pm (UTC)

Well, I feel sorry for her, but I don't like her. Also, I'm cross with the mangaka because I feel like I'm being manipulated - she's so widdle and cu-u-ute, I'm supposed to turn into a puddle at the thought of her being involved in something this grim, huh? She does really love Light, but c'mon! He's just not that great! Use your brain, girlie ... >sigh< The only time I really feel for her is when she's being plucky when they've got her in isolation, tied up. Now that was impressive ... she held herself together without cracking for a huge amount of time. But prior to thst, she just got on my nerves. I didn't want anything bad to happen to her, but I made lots of exasperated noises when I was reading her scenes ... .

May. 6th, 2007 06:58 pm (UTC)
Yeah. To say Misa is annoying at times is an understatement. And Misa...has no brain to use. Seriously, L is crushing on you girl...get over the creep and go for the sweet-if-odd one. You would have been happier that way.

Misa has spunk and spirit, we just need to keep her away from Light and Death Notes.

The mangaka is really bad about trying to manipulate feelings, yeah. Misa is only one way. A while back I just went "Leave Sayu and Matsuda alone, and we'll be ok"(and so far, they've been safe)
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )


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