Death Note Drama: Episode 11 (Final Installment) Review

“I am the way into the city of woe,
I am the way into eternal pain,
I am the way to go among the lost.

Justice caused my high architect to move,
Divine omnipotence created me,
The highest wisdom, and the primal love.

Before me there were no created things
But those that last forever—as do I.
Abandon all hope you who enter here.”
― Dante Alighieri, Inferno

It took Light Yagami the deaths of many to finally admit that he is, after all, Kira. Among the casualties – L, a prospective friend who knew his agenda and his own father who desperately hold on to hope that his son is not a murderer. In both deaths, Light pretended to mourn but is actually celebrating – how can someone be so ruthless, so heartless? 

The answer lies in becoming a god. A god who walks tall among men, who is both judge and jury.

In the final episode of Death Note, Light Yagami (Masataka Kubota) died in flames, still holding on to his desire to become omnipotent and punish men for their sins.

 3 stars out of 5

I could not help but remember Daedalus and his young son Icarus. As father and son escaped from the Labyrinth using two pairs of wings made from feathers and wax, Icarus was so thrilled that he can almost touch the sky. In his frenzy, he flew too high and the sun melted his wings and he died a tragic death. Light and his father, who both adhere to law and justice had a similar fate – as dedicated as he is to his son, Soichiro knew that he is doomed to rescue Light, so as to make the ultimate sacrifice he dedicated his life for Light’s salvation. 

Whether or not you are a fan of the Death Note manga and its subsequent anime and movies, the NTV drama series is more than just a companion to the earlier adaptations. It explores the whole issue of the struggle between good and evil, of the crusade of justice and the ultimate sacrifice for the ones we love. Unlike the movies which require condensing and editing the source material, the producers of the drama version knew they have a lot of time in their hands – enough to develop the characters and offer surprising twists and turns.

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Death Note Drama: Episode 10 Review

Where is your soul? Asked the father.

To become a god. I’ll even throw away my soul, replied Light Yagami

In the penultimate episode of Death Note drama, Light’s Dad – the dedicated policeman described by L himself, whom he also considered like a father wrote his name in the Death Note and died. Light who has metamorphosed into the evil Kira has shown he had no soul and found his father’s death as nothing but a sacrifice to become the God he envisioned himself and ruled the world and changed it.

 4 stars out of 5

Melo, the psychopath, has won the struggle and finally buried Near into the abyss of his very own being. He abhors L and says so – that L could have been more ruthless, more objective in pursuing Kira and should never have considered “personal” feelings in the pursuit of justice. But is Mello the true successor to L and is he the one who can finally bring Kira to justice?

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Death Note Drama: Episode 9 Review

“If you hold back on the emotions–if you don’t allow yourself to go all the way through them–you can never get to being detached, you’re too busy being afraid. You’re afraid of the pain; you’re afraid of the grief. You’re afraid of the vulnerability that loving entails. But by throwing yourself into these emotions, by allowing yourself to dive in, all the way, over your head even, you experience them fully and completely.” [ source ]

Well, Light Yagami did not hold back, and he’s very much the cause of L’s demise.

 3 stars out of 5

I’ve read a lot of books through the years – from bestselling novelists and lately manga authors – and I seldom get impressed with the preaching about humanity, of right and wrong, of getting rid of criminals, of love conquering all. The same can be said of Light and L’s arguments about justice and mercy, of following the law and taking the law into one’s hand.

Death Note is, after all, the struggle between good and evil, of defining what justice is, how a man gets affected by corruption and power and that in every struggle one has to die for the other to live.

With L’s death, there is a need to fill the void – so Near takes us to a whole new battle.

Mio Yuki emerges as the new heroine (or hero for that matter). The ugly and terrifying (yet somewhat hilarious) doll also takes center stage as the “Jekyll and Hyde-inspired” dual personality takes over from L… Yuki looks serene and innocent, even naive then takes on a cross-over character and acts with malevolence. I love her acting so far…

Kento Yamazaki’s take on L is over – at least as lead investigator, but looking back at the young man’s career (re-watched Control Tower last night, and saw a few Mare episodes), I have to say he has grown tremendously and this challenging role has taken a lot from him. He is not yet a Yagira or a Sometani, but he certainly is way-way above a Fukushi, even a Nomura at this point.

I agree with the notion (perhaps even a stated fact) that the director and scriptwriter are responsible for the change in Kubota’s acting style. Gone is the subtlety – what we see is over-the-top acting, unadulterated even and it either turns you off or inspires you and entertains you. I guess, after an Episode 8 re-watch I got the point. They obviously want viewers to gain more sympathy of the fallen private detective and transform the timid young man that is Light into the epitome of evil.

 

Death Note Drama: Episode 8 Review

I admit I’m doing a complete turn around from hating Episode 7 to absolutely loving Episode 8 of Death Note drama. I lost faith, but then it was completely restored for a good number of reasons.

 4 stars out of 5

Episode 8 is the show’s biggest cliffhanger yet – this is where the full frontal attack I expected to happen in previous episodes took place. Kento’s L revealed a character worth rooting for. While we may have seen glimpses of malice in how he interrogated Light, admitting all he wanted is to become his friend tugs at the heart. Kento Yamazaki delivered his lines with both conviction and tenderness that Kubota’s eye-popping exaggerated acting seems neutralize;

The public prosecutor who wanted to join the crusade for justice and the elimination of the world’s criminals may have demonstrated a great level of over-the-top acting, but he delivered it to annoy and irritated the audience, which makes him just as effective as the two leads. I mean, I was annoyed because he wanted to shake things up, which makes him good at what he’s doing;

Near as a girl pretending to be a boy got to me in a way I never expected. I no longer wonder why they cast Mio Yuki. She’s like the unknown ingredient in a world famous recipe where people come from all over the place just to get a taste of;

Anyway, two separate lines delivered by Light sums up the Episode leading up to the deadly confrontation between Light and L, the outcome of which we will know soon enough.

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Death Note Drama: Episode 7 Review

If you’re just starting to watch the drama version of the popular manga Death Note, then you may not like it if you begin at Episode 7.

As explained to me by a friend who followed the details of Death Note from the source to its anime version, this part of the story supposedly represents another leap towards Light and L’s deadly confrontation. However, here the acting becomes so obviously over the top, it’s not hard to laugh at Masataka Kubota. The vein-poping overacting tradition of Tatsuya Fujiwara is like a ghost who suddenly appeared in the form of his predecessor! Gone is the elegance in acting, now we are introduced to mediocrity and caricature.

 2 out of 5 stars

Why my sudden change of tune? First of all, Episode 7 is where there are more over the top acting than episodes 1-6 combined. The lackey who was supposed to be part of the corporate management representing Yotsuba is one of the worst supporting actors I’ve seen.

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Death Note Drama: Episode 6 Review

When Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata created their Death Note manga, they introduced the Shinigami as important characters in the story. These so-called “death gods” extend their conditional immortality by killing humans. While they have no power to stop death, they can end human lives sooner than originally intended. To explain further how the death note works, it should be pointed out that all Shinigami possess their personal death notes which they used to extend their lives. Another death note must be in their possession to offer to humans if they can have the same power to kill.

3 out of 5 stars

As to Ryuk and Rem, the two Shinigami who introduced themselves into the lives of Light and Misa, they made it known to Light that they can assist him in any way he wants.

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Death Note Drama: Episode 5 Review

Did you ever wonder why there seems to be a “connection” between Light and L already? That is, aside from their names starting with the same letter of course! 

While Light has some pals to speak of, since he’s studying and therefore, has classmates, he remains quite a loner. L only has a butler for a companion, and drawing parallels to the famous Batman who, incidentally is also quite a loner himself, I would have to say, rivals or not, even when murder and conspiracy are involved, it seems our two main characters intend to reach out to each other.

 3 out of 5 stars

So when the investigation involving the identity of Kira fell into the hands of L, it seems but natural for the famous investigator to become curious, perhaps even intrigued that maybe there is a “friend” on the horizon. Thus, we leave Episode 4 on a bright note – as the story progresses to my delight and as the drama (as a whole) seems to finally pick up a pace worthy of the hype.

In Episode 5, we continue with the unexpected appearance of Misa as she invited herself into the Yagami household. 

As the second Kira, Misa (Hinako Sano) likes nothing but get closer to the original god-like figure. Since Light is his personification, there is nothing better for Misa than to have an intimate relationship with the young man.

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Death Note Drama: Episode 4 Review

Now this is more like it! After an explosive initial episode and a boring Ep2, the Death Note drama is finally back on track. As mentioned in Ep3 review, the slack in the previous episode is compensated with a fast-paced, suspense-filled follow-up. In this episode, our two lead characters are gearing up for a face to face confrontation.

 3 out of 5 stars

With the death of the FBI agent, the police and L get more serious. Light is becoming more and more daring as he searched for the next criminal to put to death.

After a phone call from L, Light became more guarded – knowing that his identity as a person and as the crusader of vigilante justice might be exposed. He is Kira in the eyes of this aggressive and famous investigator who called him as if they knew each other rather intimately.

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Death Note Drama: Episode 3 Review

The much-anticipated face to face confrontation between Light and L has yet to happen, but Episode 3, offers the right amount of suspense and revelation. I was bored in Episode 2 for seeing the same and was happy to note that Ep3 has enough spice to produce a well-rounded episode. Yes, the supporting cast were able to offer viewers with a glimpse of who they are – especially Near (that doll is creepy and ugly) and our bubbly performer Misa Amane. 

I remember the movie version and to think that it was Hikari Mitsushima and Erika Toda who played the roles of Light’s sister and Misa, respectively. But I’m not focusing on what I just watched!

 2 out of 5 stars

The FBI agent, Raye Penber, who was so obvious in trailing Light has revealed himself during the bus hostage situation. The fact that someone is aware of Kira puts Light in an awkward situation – somehow. But things has started to change in Light’s persona. As mentioned in Ep2 review, the friendly young man is turning into a malicious, almost sadistic person who loves to use his power to kill. 

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