DEATH NOTE – 37 (END)
Forty seconds pass, but much to Mikami and Light’s shock, no one dies. After getting Lester and Giovanni to restrain Mikami, Near shows everyone how Mikami had written down all the names of the people in the room except for Light. Coupled with how Mikami had referred to Light as “God,” Near now has his evidence that Light is Kira. When Light starts ranting about how this is a trap and how he doesn’t even know Mikami, Aizawa points out that Light had done the equivalent of confessing just moments earlier when he claimed that he won. Mogi then tries to put him in handcuffs, but Light runs toward the wall away from everyone else. Declaring that Light has lost, Near reveals that he modified even the real Notebook: Giovanni had copied the entire thing from scratch. Near has the real Death Note with him, and it allows him to see and converse with Ryuk who confirms that pages of the Death Note can be taken out and still be used.
After Near declares that Light is Kira, Light wonders if Mikami betrayed him. As if reading Light’s mind, Near replies that this is all actually thanks to Mello and shows that Mikami had written Takada’s name down in the Death Note since he didn’t know that Light would try to kill her too. Near and Giovanni then explain that after learning about Takada’s kidnapping on the 26th, Mikami had paid a visit to the bank. This was strange because he usually visits the bank on the 25th of the month, and it was in a security deposit box that the real Death Note sat. Mello was the one who helped create this situation, and Near suggests that the two of them separately could not surpass L, but they could if they worked together.
After hearing all this, Light starts laughing crazily and finally admits that he’s Kira: the god of the new world who protects order and represents justice and hope. Light had thought that the world was rotten and that only he could do something about it with the Death Note. He questions the others if anyone else could have done things to this extent, and when no one answers, Light affirms that only he can create a new world. Near, however, then speaks up to say that Light is only a crazy murderer who lost himself to the Shinigami and the power of the notebook. Light doesn’t reply to this and instead questions if the notebook that Near and Aizawa have are truly real.
He suggests that Near has to test the notebook to prove that it’s real, but while he’s speaking, he opens his watch and suddenly tries to write a name down. Fortunately, Matsuda acts quickly and shoots Light in the hand, and when Light starts screaming at him, Matsuda tearfully remembers Light’s father Souichirou. Light then tries to write Near’s name down with his own blood, but he never finishes because Matsuda shoots him four more times. Matsuda is really to finish Light off with a bullet to the head, but he’s stopped by the others. Alive but in a lot of pain, Light writhes around the floor yelling at Mikami and asking what happened to Misa and Takada. Across the room, after seeing his “God” shot and acting like this, a disillusioned Mikami suddenly stabs and kills himself.
Light uses this chance to escape the warehouse and runs through the industrial district, thinking about himself in the past. Up on top of a tower, Ryuk feels that Light has lost and recalls how he said that he would write Light’s name down in his own Death Note when it came time for Light to die. Ryuk doesn’t want to wait for Light to die in prison, so he wants Light to die here and writes Light’s name into the Death Note. In his final statement, Ryuk notes how they were able to get rid of each other’s boredom for a long time and how it was a lot of fun. Light gets a heart attack soon afterwards and passes away alone on a stairwell.
So in the end, Mikami killed himself, Light was killed by Ryuk, and Misa is last seen standing on the edge of a rooftop. Mikami wasn’t developed enough as a character for me to care about, but I did feel a little bad watching Light die like that, even if he had it coming after everything he did. It’s hard to watch a character prevail over so much only to fall like that in the end. The credits rolling while Light died was a nice scene, and I particularly liked how L was shown briefly shown looking at him, giving the ending a bit of a full circle feel. Misa’s future meanwhile is a little ambiguous, and it’s possible that they’re implying she jumped off the building.
For the most part, I was pleased with the ending (despite not having read the manga up to this point, I had expected/known that Light would die), though I still wish Ryuk had played a larger role in it. As I look through the manga now, I see that they changed the ending a bit and reduced Ryuk’s involvement in the final moments of Light’s life, but I guess the end result is still the same. Ryuk more or less started it all. so it was only fitting that he was ended it too. Anyway, I think the anime gave a more conclusive feeling ending than the manga, which finished with a cloaked group of Kira followers with candles. Maybe it would have been nice to see the aftermath of what happened to the other characters, but I don’t feel that I’m missing anything.
With some incredibly complicated plotting by characters to create a back and forth tension, Death Note is one of the most elaborate psychological and mystery series that I’ve ever watched. Of the two main arcs, I generally felt that the first one with the original L was stronger than the second one with Near and Mello, though it’s hard to compare because the first arc got many more episodes than the second arc. The plot just felt fresher in the first arc, and by the second arc, I didn’t think that anything particularly bad could happen to Light until the very end because he’d shown that he’d always find a way out. On that note, I also liked Light’s portrayal as an anti-hero character because although he managed to keep me on his side most of the time, there were enough times when I couldn’t help but hate him, such as when L died and when Souichirou died, that his ultimate demise made for a good ending.
Overall, I think DEATH NOTE was a great example of how to adapt a manga well into animated form by mostly keeping to the story yet still making it interesting to watch (again, the potato chip scene comes to mind). It’s sad to see it end, but there are plenty of new shows right around the corner to look forward to.