If the anime community had to make a list of the endings that it disliked, Death Note would probably be on the top. I really do hate sounding like I’m complaining or whining, and I genuinely did enjoy Death Note. So I’ll offer this more as constructive criticism- basically what I thought would have made the ending better. To be honest, I would also say that the entirety of the second season could have been a lot more enjoyable. But delving into detail about that would take ages, and it would be June until that article came out. So for now let’s just focus on the ending itself.
One thing that really bothered me about this whole battle between Near and Mello and Kira, was that I didn’t have the curiosity and mere intrigue towards their characters. Sure, its kind of interesting that they both have their quirks and were raised like L, but the x factor just isn’t there for me. With L, I came to like him so much I almost wish he wouldn’t have died; actually L’s death was pretty lamentable. Light looks down at L as his eyes are wide with shock and composes a sinister grin while the life of our favorite private detective is stolen away. It was pretty heartbreaking- of course that kind of depends on your perspective. But no matter how you view it, L and Kira’s battle was unrivaled- the intelligence and raw entertainment serve effective in captivating the audience. However, that same intelligence and entertainment wasn’t necessarily prevalent during the final moments of Light Yagami’s story.
The finale is unexpected to say the least; I thought that somewhere along the line Kira was going to end up dead -since Ryuk told him that he is to eventually write his name in his Death Note. But the method of his inevitable demise was quite the mystery to me. I did not in a million years expect that Near and Mello’s plan was simply going to pan out. Particularly because that hasn’t been the case at all throughout the show (except for most of Light’s schemes). But other than that every plan of action has been a failure. So I was genuinely confused when it all unfolded.
On top of its unexpected outcome, the method that Near uses to prove that Light is Kira- or its portrayal in the anime rather- has me a bit thrown off. When and how did Near get ahold of the real notebook? All throughout this conflict, Near is shown doing exactly as Light expected and nowhere does it show Near and his allies actually finding the real death note. I suppose if they had revealed that to us, the intended shock of the ending wouldn’t be there, but even still, it just doesn’t feel right that the great and brilliant Light Yagami is brought down in such a fashion.
Death Note is chess- a constant battle of wits and predictions. So what gets to me the most about our protagonist’s down bringing is that there were a plethora of courses of action for him to take in order to not lose against the young private detectives. I could sit here and rant on about them for hours but the point is evident; the ending of this anime was relatively weak. From its surprising outcome, to Near and Mello’s successful plan, Death note’s ending still has me a bit unsatisfied. But I also understand that the storyline had to end somehow; I simply didn’t expect that somehow to be Light Dying as a result of two teenage detectives trying to surpass L.