"I will eliminate you" | Thoughts on Death Note • part 2
“There is no heaven or hell. No matter what you do when you’re alive, everybody goes to the same place once you die. Death is equal.” –L Lawliet
Hello and welcome to my second part of my Death Note thoughts. If you missed the first part be sure to check it out HERE. For this part I’ll be talking about the events taking place from episodes 14 to 25; since the moment Light know Misa is the second Kira until he manages to kill L. I’m leaving N and some other events out for my last part. (Yes, I’ll be doing the third part and yes I know I’m a freak of Death Note). Anyways, let’s begin!
This blog contains spoilers
The Master Plan
Let’s take a moment to appreciate the master plan Light Yagami came up with to kill L. Don’t get me wrong, for me L’s death was really sad and painful to watch. Not because the way he died but because of the meaning behind it. But I’ll leave that for later. Let’s focus on the well thought and analyze strategy and how every piece came together.
Lights strategy starts with Misa. This small piece on the board is critical to guarantee his safety. Misa is overly fond of Light and what Kira stands for. She is willing to do anything for him even at the cost of her life. This works in his favor given that Rem (the second Shinigami) is also very fond of Misa and swore to protect her from any harm. Having this two pawns on the board, he can manipulate their actions at will putting in the odds in his favor. Having said that, let’s move on the game play.
Previously, Light was being followed by an agent that L had hired. Monitoring every step, L already knew beforehand that Light had to have come into contact with the second Kira and it must have been one of the persons he had come in to contact recently, in which case it was either Misa or her classmate Kiyomi. L had to come up with some sort of strategy and decided to visit Light in college to gather some information. By coincidence, Misa arrives at the campus and her actions towards Light put him in the spotlight. Given that L already had suspicions, this turn of events was perfect to finally apprehend Misa and bring her in for questioning about her being the second Kira.
Now, this is where things get more interesting. After Misa was put into confinement and questioned about who is Kira, how does he kill, and her being the second Kira, Light is forced to come up with the “Master Plan” in order to save Misa and save himself from Rem killing him. The first part of the plan was forth fitting ownership of the Death Notes. By doing so his and Misa’s memories of the killing as well as the power of the Shinigami eyes would disappear. Second, after both their memories were erased, one of the Death Note was given to Rem and afterward given to someone with a high status that would be able to continue the killings but for personal reasons. The purpose of this was to take L’s attention off of Light and Misa and make him pursue another trail. The third part of the plan was to play dumb and fall into L’s hands. By submitting to confinement, Light’s goal was to confuse L into thinking he is not the true Kira and all along he was just a pawn of someone else that might have been controlling him.
After seven days of confinement with no murders occurring, Light finally forth fits ownership of his Death Note and his memories are erased. This is the tricky part of the plan. Since he has no memory of all the deaths or what a Death Note is his actions towards the final goal could get compromised. How could you execute your strategy if you don’t have memories of it in the first place? Well, let’s start by saying that if this was IRL, nothing would have gone as smoothly as it did. He probably ended doing something else or even best buddies with L. But that’s not the case here, I was just clarifying it. Moving on…
L is no fool, he won’t be easy to convince and he is one stubborn person. He won’t admit losing when he all the evidence that tells him otherwise. What did Light do then? How he managed to escape confinement and earn a bit of L’s trust? Well, guess what happened 15 days later…Yeah, more killings. So now that the killing has started, L’s gets confused. He was completely sure about Light being Kira and Misa the second Kira. How can the killing start again if they were both monitored 24/7 for the last half month? He comes up with the assumption that we already know about. The powers of the Death Note can be pass to another person and by doing so there memories of the killing are erased. Before getting Misa and Light out of confinement and clear all doubt that neither of them had anything to do with the killings, L comes up with another strategy. In truth, it wasn’t that L started trusting them out of the blue, on the contrary, he was more suspicious than ever but since neither of them had the memories, they don’t pose a threat to L at that moment. Given them momentary freedom, he could investigate further ahead and see what's his true purpose are. Furthermore, L builds his own headquarters where he could keep track of the investigation and keep monitoring Misa while being handcuffed to Light.
The investigation to find Kira (the third now for anime purposes) started with the Yotsuba group. A few main events lead to the finding who the killer is and apprehend him. By a struck of luck, Misa manages to get her memories back with the help of Rem. She kept it a secret till she managed to make Higuchi Kyousuke confess he was Kira. By revealing implicitly that she somehow gained some parts of her memories and it’s able to kill people, raises suspicion again and clears up the theory about the powers been able to transfer from one person to another.
L’s Final Moments
I want to take a moment to talk about the scene right before L’s death. As I said before, to me it was a sad and painful death. Across the whole anime, we barely glimpse the relationship that started developing between these two characters. I mentioned this in my previous blog, but I’ll say it again. They are two sides of the same coin. In terms of personality, both of them are stubborn and won’t accept defeat, they stand hand in hand when it comes to intelligence and brilliance, remarkable analytic abilities, and get very well with each other (sarcasm). In reality, they have to admit they came across with each other counterpart and could have been the best of friends if the circumstances were different.
The scene starts with Light asking L why is he standing in the rain, alone. He gradually goes and stands right next to him since the heavy winds and rain wouldn’t let L hear what he was saying or he was pretending just so could Light come over.
After Light asks him again why he is standing there, L answers by saying he kept hearing a bell. Later in the anime, we know that this bell is a reference to the place L was raised. While they keep talking, you can see L’s facial expressions describe a sense of hopelessness and sadness, as if he knew his life would soon come to an end while Light’s facial expression is more of a concerned and worried person.
The atmosphere takes a quick turn as a question rises to whether there was a point in life where Light was able to tell the truth. A moment of silence takes over and they both look at each other straight in the eyes. He answered using the fact that human beings aren’t made to be perfect and not a single one has always told the truth. Lies are inevitable although he tries his best not hurt others while using them.
They go inside and dry themselves with towels. An unexpected move from L comes next as he offers to help Light dry himself and give him a foot massage to atone for his sins. Light agrees and lets him do whatever. Now, this is just tragic. For me, this exact moment is when L accepts defeat in the cruelest way. Now, before you complain about it, let me explain why I see it this way.
When L says “atone for my sins” is like he was talking to a God like figure which had power over him. In the scene, you can see Light is sitting a few steps higher while L stands a little lower. This referring to the difference in status at the moment. He stops for a moment and little rain drops fall in Light’s feet. As a merciful and compassionate God Light think he is at the moment, he grabs the towel right next to him as dries out L’s hair. Only two words came out of his mouth…“I’m sorry” as if he was begging the God to forgive him and let him live. Light’s expression was rough less. Pitying his opponent with airs of superiority.
After the police and L’s team manages to apprehend Higuchi, Light manages to come into contact ones again with the Death. Previously, Misa had already found the second Death Note henceforth recovered her memories and also made the eye deal with Riuk for the second time. By touching Light with a piece of paper from the notebook, he is able to regain part of his memories until the moment they get Higuchi. With all these events occurring simultaneously, there was no way of escaping a traggic fate. The plan was so well developed L knew there was no way to avoid it, this time Light had the upper hand. He lacked information about the relationship between Rem and Misa. If he managed to prove that the rules in the back of the Death Note were false, it was game over for both. Light had already assembled the pieces together so that the only way Misa would come out alive was by killing L. So the sacrifice was made. By writing Watari and L’s true name in the Death Note, Rem meets Light’s goal and manages to save Misa at the cost of its own death.
That’s all for now folks! As always, thanks so much for reading this far. Comments are accepted as well as some criticism. Make sure to check out next month for my last part on Death Note Thoughts. I hope you all like it. Wish you all an amazing day/night!!