Throwback Thursdays: Naomi Misora & Death Note

(image via tokuanimenews)

The recent controversy over the bullshit Death Note whitewashing has caused me to crave the original version of Death Note, specifically the animated series. I will admit that while I am a fan of this anime, I have never actually finished it, thanks to L’s untimely death. To this day, I still don’t know much about how the show ends. Now, however, on top of my own desire to watch it again, my husband wants to watch it for the first time. So after many years I am set to finally finish this series, but it has been so long since I have watched this anime that upon beginning my re-watch, I immediately noticed things I missed the first time around. I still adore this anime and think it is extremely well done, but I couldn’t help but dislike the treatment of the character Naomi Misora.

Spoilers for Death Note below.

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Trailer Tuesdays: Netflix’s Death Note

Good. God. I don’t know where to start with this. As soon as I heard about this I rushed to trade posts with Lady Geek Girl so that I could write about it. However, upon sitting down to do so, I realized that to write about it, I’d have to—ugh—actually watch the trailer.

If you know anything about me or this website, you can stand assured that I did not enjoy a second of it. This movie looks like it will be a disaster on every possible level, and on top of that, releasing it in the week after Iron Fist crashed and burned in no small part due to whitewashing complaints feels almost comically idiotic.

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Theatre Thursdays: Death Note the Musical

No, you read that title right. Death Note, the manga/anime about a high school student who murders murderers by writing their name down in his magical notebook… it’s actually a lot cooler than I’m making it sound.

While the anime and manga were incredibly interesting, my question is… will the story make a great musical?

(art by ZeroSoul)

(art by ZeroSoul)

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Oh, My Pop Culture Shinigami: The Gods of Death

Lady Geek Girl has posted about Death him (or her)self and Death’s role in relation to religion for OMPCJ before (cliffs notes version: Death is a major focus of a lot of religious doctrine in basically every faith), but what about Death’s representatives? Reapers who answer to Death are fairly commonplace if you know where to look, even just in the anime world. (Yes, I am going to avoid Supernatural for one post; no pony die of shock, please.) I could look at probably a dozen series (Bleach, Yami no Matsuei, Black Butler, Death Note, Soul Eater, the list goes on), but for the sake of brevity today I’ll just look at Bleach, Black Butler, and Death Note.

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Manga Mondays: Death Note

If you were given the power to kill anyone you wanted, in any way you wanted, leaving no evidence, what would you do?

Death Note is an exercise in philosophy, a detective thriller, a crime drama, and a shounen tournament-style story all rolled into one, and that description doesn’t do it justice by any means.

So here’s how it goes: When the aforementioned power over life and death falls into the hands of Yagami Light, a justice-obssessed genius college student with access to the world’s criminal records, he decides to cleanse the world of all wrongdoing (by killing all the wrongdoers). The ‘power’ itself comes in the form of the Death Note, a death god/grim reaper/shinigami’s tool for reaping lives: all you have to do is write down a person’s name, and they’ll die of a heart attack. Be more specific if you want—time of death, manner of death, circumstances of death—just add that info and it will come true.

When the world realizes what is going on, L, the world’s foremost detective, is called in to catch the killer that the world has dubbed ‘Kira’. (In Japanese, ‘killer’ is written ‘kira’ in katakana.) Dramatic genius-versus-genius cat-and-mouse hijinks progress from there. (What, I’m not gonna post spoilers!)

The cast of characters is full of interesting and weird and nuanced characters, although pretty much the entire female cast exists for Light to deceive or manipulate to his own ends. It’s also jarring that the story is told from Light’s point of view, since we as readers tend to sympathize with the main character, and Light’s sociopathy is, well, difficult to get behind. It creates a sort of irony—you’re rooting for the main character to lose, but you know everything he’s doing and therefore know that he has the upper hand.

The art is the cherry on top of Death Note. You may have read my rhapsodic review of Hikaru no Go several months ago—this manga was illustrated by the same artist.

To be fair, the ending of the story is rather weak, in my opinion, because they introduce several other detective-type characters who want to help bring down Kira. In this, I actually prefer the live-action movie adaptation, which keeps the drama specifically between Light and L without changing too much of the story or how it ends.

I’d still say this is worth a read, though, both as a classic of the manga world, and as an impressive example of how to write an action-oriented story with a heavily philosophical plot without overwhelming it with the philosophy. Go check out Death Note!

Top 20 Romantic Couples in Geekdom (10 Canon/10 Fanon)

Those of us here at LGG&F worked tirelessly to compile and vote on the Top 10 canon and Top 10 fanon pairings in Geekdom. You have no idea how hard it was to come to a consensus on what was actually canon or not!

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