wAug 20, 2008

Some notes on Death Note

I finally finished reading the Death Note manga yesterday. I started reading it a few years ago, and loved it. The premise brings up a number of possibilities and intriguing concepts: a brilliant high school boy finds a notebook left by a shinigami (death god) that allows him to kill any person whose name he writes in the notebook, so long as he can picture the person's face. After testing the notebook and succeeding in killing a known criminal, Light Yagami does not recoil in horror, but instead sets about killing those people he finds unworthy of life, while evading the suspicions of the government, the police, and his father, who happens to be a detective.

The series famously loses some momentum in volume 7, and it was shortly after that point that I fell off the wagon. I finished the 12th and final volume yesterday, and found closure in the series.

In general, though, I'd like to state a few thoughts on the differences between shounen and shoujo manga in general.

For the curious, "shounen" manga (ie, Death Note) is Japanese comics marketed toward boys. In general, the male protagonist fights against almost every person he meets, with the goal of growing stronger. Series focus on abilities and reasons for fighting. "Shoujo" manga, on the other hand, is marketed toward girls, and often focuses on relationships and drama.

I personaly have read a lot more shoujo manga than shounen manga. I've tried some shounen stuff, but overall find myself quite bored.

Spoilers for Death Note and a bit of Code Geass lie behind the grey.

I just....I guess that even before L died, the series got stale after a while. I think things would be much more interesting if Misa had some of her own agency instead of being Light's idiotic puppet. Or Naomi Misora...I was really sorry to see her die so quickly, because I loved her. I had a similar problem in Code Geass, with Shirley Fanette's knowledge about Lelouch being negated so quickly.

Overall, this series is Light playing chess with other male antagonists. L, or the avatars of L after his death. And it's just....boring to me. Nobody ever changes. Nobody ever emotionally matures. Nobody's opinion of Kira changes, I don't think. It's just a bunch of dudes (for the most part) posturing, trying to out-smart each other. And I so do not care about the detailed descriptions of how they intend to ensnare each other in a logic trap. I skimmed a bunch of volumes 10 and 11, just looking at pictures to guide me where action was actually taking place.

I don't know. I just get tired of it, and I feel like I had the same problem with Naruto (although people actually do mature and change in Naruto....I just got through about 30 volumes and still didn't care about any of the characters, and decided that that was enough for now). Will I ever find a shounen series to like? I like Tsubasa Chronicles, but I feel like that's more shoujo than shounen. I guess I'm more inclined to shounen when it's anime. I'll watch fights, but I want music and flashiness and gunshots.

That said, though, I did love that Matsuda was the one to shoot Light.

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scribbled mystickeeper at 9:11 AM

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