Die Diary

Death Note

If a leather bound notebook dropped out of the sky and plopped on the ground in front of you, and had the power to kill anybody just by writing their name in it, would you pick it up? Yeah, me too. 

Light Yagami, a brilliant college student, happens across said notebook (which comes with instructions) and, after watching the news and getting fed up with all the criminals getting away with murder, decides it’s time for a new society, one free of killers and stinkiness. The irony being that he becomes a murderer himself in order to create a Utopian society.

Death Note

Any guilt goes away quick as Light takes out criminal after criminal with just the stroke of his pen. If he doesn’t specify, the victims instantly die from heart attacks. (As he later learns, he can control the time, type and method of the deaths — all from the comfort of his bedroom in the home he shares with his family.)

Death Note

The police are baffled to the point of pulling each other’s hair out. But a mysterious voice comes over the computer, calling itself “L.” This voice belongs to someone who, through sheer deductive logic, narrows down the path to the killer, whom the media has dubbed “Kira.”

Death Note

In order to get Kira to tip his hand, they plant a nationwide broadcast, with the head of police warning Kira that he’s just as bad as the killers he’s been killing, and that they’re closing in on him. Light, watching from home, writes the guy’s name down and kills him on live TV. Joke’s on you — it was a criminal they hired to play a police chief. Now “L” has another vital clue that the police themselves can’t seem to fit together.

Death Note

Where things get freakier is when Ryuk, the God of Death, shows up to watch what happens (he was the one who planted the Death Note in the first place). This guy is 15-feet tall, has sprawling bat wings, punk rock hair, black leather boots, motorcycle boots, sharp fangs, white face, and huge bug eyes… (He pretty much looks any one of a dozen European death metal bass players.) 

GoD floats around and eats apples instead of souls (fruit is healthier for you), and is only visible to those who’ve touched the Death Note. In a sharp twist, Light’s dad, a police detective, is put on the case. What happens when all these elements come together is mind-boggling.

Death Note

It’s a wrenching battle of CSI wits, with “L” turning out to be something you wouldn’t think was worthy of the 12th letter of the alphabet, and it becomes a game of intense cerebral chess as Light expertly sets up “L” and vice versa. And Ryuk, has a ringside seat. Of course, that’s to be expected from a Shinigami, an extra-dimensional being who extends his life via the extinction of others.

DEath Note

You won’t know where Death Note (2006) is going or how it will end unless you’ve read the manga (graphic novel) and/or watched the anime (cartoon). Even afterward, you’re still not sure who to side with. Needless to say, an intelligent and brain-gripping crime horror throw-down — with apples.

P.S. Watch the more graphic U.S. version of Death Note (2017) on Netflix™. It’ll make you stream in your pants.

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