Here are the Death Note news stories that we were talking about at the start of 2016:
There were twenty-two articles on Death Note News during January 2016. It also constituted the month when the archives finally worked again and our On This Day in Death Note calendar began, with the deaths of Matt, Mello and Kiyomi Takada on January 26th.
Here are the Death Note news stories that we were talking about at the start of 2016:
It's Here! Limited Edition, 10,000 Run of Takeshi Obata's Blanc et Noir in English Just Became Available for Pre-order!
Death Note and Holocaust Memorial Day: What if Kira Killed Hitler, or Would They be Hypothetically Akin?
All over the world today, people are marking Holocaust Memorial Day.
Set on January 27th because that was the date, in 1945, which saw the liberation of Auschwitz. It's not just an historical 'woe, woe, that was bad' endeavour - though of course it was - but an awareness raising, bridge building day with one key message and goal.
It will happen again. No historian, nor human rights campaigner, let alone sociologist or political commentator, is naive enough to think it won't. All of the elements which gave rise to the Third Reich in the first place, and its horrific Final Solution of death camps, execution squads and gas chambers, exist right now. They swim endlessly in our society, often in the background, with a quite worrying frequency coming back to the fore.
Meanwhile, Australia is condemning thousands of people to unaccountable 'detention facilities' on islands off their shores. Human Rights inspectors have been banned from entering. Legal processes are done in utmost secrecy (with no evidence that they're being done at all). The reports coming out of places like Manus Island and Nauru are unsettling to say the least. North Korea undoubtedly has death camps. About which much lip service in shaking head disapproval has been afforded by the outside world. But not enough to do anything about it.
All this makes 'never again' seem like a joke. 'Not on my watch' is about the best we can do, and even then it's a terribly uphill struggle.
We have Holocaust Memorial Day on January 27th, not because people forget, but because they forget the specifics and that's what allows the memory to metamorphose into lived experience.
Never again indeed, and certainly not on my watch.
Kira and the Nazi Party: Would our Saviour be Light Yagami in the Holocaust?
However, while these sentiments might be very noble and all, it begs the question - why is Holocaust Memorial Day on Death Note News' watch? It's a little off-topic for a manga (and derivatives) set half a century on from said Auschwitz liberation.
You got me. Guilty as charged. Holocaust historian here, ninja-ing an important date in my calendar into the remit of Death Note.
But because it's an important date, and my thoughts are otherwise largely swirling around content for articles here, the two merged in a musing during my commute this morning: what if Kira had come a couple of generations before? What if Light Yagami's statement that 'the world is rotten' had taken place against a global back-drop of World War II, the rise of Hitler and the actuality of the Holocaust?
Would the names written in his Death Note have included Heinrich Himmler, Martin Bormann, Josef Mengele, Hermann Göring, Joseph Goebbels and the rest of their ilk? What would have happened historically, if Kira took out Rudolf Höss before he'd perfected killing on an industrial scale with Zyklon B and cremations?
An intriguing 'what if' in history, but not one which could be answered easily and definitely not within the scope of this article.
Imagining a Nazi Kira and the Death Note's Final Solution
Of course, this is all assuming that Light Yagami morally and actively opposed the Holocaust. It must be remembered that Japan allied WITH Nazi Germany during the period when the Final Solution was being enacted.
Our sense of right and wrong, just or unfair, moral or corrupt, is shaped by our upbringing, societal pressures and the drip-drop of propaganda as fed by every nation's media on any given day. More so than any of us would like to admit. Hence it's reasonable to assume that Light Yagami's chief exposure to the Holocaust would be within a generally supportive cultural back-drop. His information and resultant position could well be akin to Hitler and his government.
Which leads us to another proposal ranked with horrors: what if Light's Death Note was used for the Nazis? How even more widespread might be the Final Solution with the Death Note involved? (Political dissidents, or fleeing refugees known by name and photograph, reached without resource to a death camp.)
It looked a mess. Hundreds of older articles and posts were affected - sometimes whole months worth left unreadable - which was a) annoying to anyone wishing to peruse them; b) disappointing to those wanting to link them elsewhere to win arguments against other people being wrong on the internet; and c) a terrible slap to those writers who had created them in the first place.
Some of the latter were guest contributors, for whom we do have a responsibility to be respectful of their work.
Finally, the Death Note News readership is growing so fast. Some 3000 page views (with 400-500 unique visitors) a day is becoming the norm, when we'd only just got used to last month's norm of just over 2000 of the former, 300 or so of the latter. Many of these people are finding us through historical links appearing in searches or passed on, word of mouth, via social networking.
Can you imagine having that many visitors turn up and the place is looking like a mess? Our mothers didn't raise us like that. They would be mortified!
Nor do we want to know said visitors were left disappointed, because the page that enticed them here was, in all likelihood, destroyed by the redesign.
As far as we're concerned, all of the Death Note News archived articles are perfectly formatted, legible and each of their elements are arranged in optimum order to be enjoyed. We won't be tatting in there as a matter of course anymore.
Naturally, there will be something missed, overlooked or which reasserted itself into chaos the second its fixed version was republished. We'd appreciate any feedback if you spot anything awry.
Though be gentle in telling us. We're all still twitching. Wrap the head's up in cake or something. In fact, just send the cake!
It's only taken months (years...) but there have been some art updates over on the He Moves Me Differently website. It's not that the art hasn't been there to update, just that Matti hasn't got round to coding the pages to make it so.
Walls Came Tumbling Down and Ghosting the Street now have fan artwork sections. In the case of the former, that's just about the only thing it has in it! In addition there's artwork for the smaller stories by MRS Jeevas too.
They include such gems as these:
There are more pieces of artwork inspired by the It Matters series to be added to the website. Mostly it's a case of tracking them all down from where they've been languishing on-line awaiting this moment of industrious coding on Matti's part. However, there's plenty more already up there, in He Moves Me Differently Artwork area, from many artists amassed over many years gone by.
There also promises to be much more to come in the future too.
AquaCola has returned to art after a period of enforced Real Life occurring. She appears to be getting back into the groove largely by sketching scenes from Matti's novels. You can see her works in progress over various threads in the forum, alternatively find her on Tumblr.
Meanwhile, Chiroptera is on her fifth read-through of Matti's Mello and Matt fan-fiction novels. The muse has most definitely taken her, with the three pictures above, another two artworks in progress AND a thread asking for requests from the rest of the readership. You can catch up with Chiroptera (and glimpse even more works in progress) on her Tumblr account.
In fact, during the time it's taken me to write this, she's sketched another - fairly risque - image of Mello and Matt, which would certainly hold resonance in the Death Note Matti!Universe. Hurrah!
Squad Six Cosplayers were at Ichibancon, one of the largest anime and manga conventions in North Carolina, USA. There, in Events 4 room, we held our Death Note review panel - Resurrecting L - to mark the 10th anniversary since the manga's first chapter was published in Weekly Shonen Jump.
Since then, Ohba and Obata's story has become an institution, we hope we did it justice.
Ichibancon's Resurrecting L: Death Note 10th Anniversary panel happened on January 1st 2016, at 11pm. We should have finished by midnight, but the buzz was awesome and we were having so much fun discussing the new media developments for Death Note. We almost ran well over time!
Here's how it all played out. But first the cosplay and, created from scratch, a dress for Misa Amane.
Lara Sizemore: Cosplay Misa Misa Suicide Dress
Each of Squad Six Cosplayers' Death Note panel members arrived for the event in full Death Note cosplay. Every part of which had been created especially for Ichibancon during the run up to the convention.
Founder Lara Sizemore opted to cosplay Misa Amane. She explained, "I chose to do Misa's Last dress/suicide dress instead of her usual ensemble as sort of a nod to our title. It took me two weeks to complete the dress but I am very proud of it. The ribbons are all appliquéd on." She makes it sound so easy.
As for the rest, they were in Death Note costume too!
Death Note Cosplay for Squad Six Cosplayers at Ichibancon 7
Kicking in the New Year with a Death Note Panel at Ichibancon January 1st 2016
That's it for Squad Six Cosplayers! I hope you've enjoyed our Cosplayer Chronicles on Death Note News.
Thank you for reading!
If you wish to catch up with us in all our other projects and endeavours, please do join us on Tumblr and Facebook.
What if Kira killed by scoring goals in premiership football matches? That's the scenario pondered by journalist Marco Buonasorte in Il Giornale d'Italia.
English top league football club Arsenal was founded by workers from the nearby Woolwich Royal Arsenal in London. Now the modern day team may have added a Death Note to its horde of weaponry. At least if today's musings in an Italian newspaper are correct.
Unless the curse of Aaron Ramsey is real, in which case surely he should be banned from a premiership football pitch for life. Or get signed by the Wolves.
What do you make on it? The Italian paper lists many, many more correlations than those repeated here.
Yûsuke Murata - Once Assistant to Takeshi Obata, Now Mangaka in his Own Right - Profiled in French Magazine AnimeLand
Yûsuke Murata won a manga art competition when he was just twelve years old. He served his artistic apprenticeship with Death Note's Takeshi Obata; now he's known in his own right for work on such seminal manga as One-Punch Man and his debut work Eyeshield 21 (2002).
Taking the mystery from the art, Murata wows his fans with live streams, as he works on his pages from famous manga.
So you think you've read (and probably own) every book about Death Note? Check out our store, you might be surprised.
We certainly have been. During a whole weekend of hunting down errant manga and other literary Death Note works, there were tomes we'd never heard of, let alone read.
And coming from a gang of such Death Note obsessives, that's quite saying something.
For example, did you know about L: File Number 15? A canon book of short Death Note cartoons created by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata. Half of our team did not.
Or what about Notes of Reasoning, the Chinese novel by Zao An Xia Tian? Which may or not not be a canon work taking the Death Note universe and adapting it to a Chinese setting. Or it may be an elaborate and published piece of fan-fiction. We don't know. None of us speak Chinese.
How about the hardback special editions of Death Note manga that exist out there in the English language? Some of those even took us by surprise, missing our radar entirely.
As you may have surmised, this weekend has been a time of skipping interesting things and putting our nose to the grind of finding, collating, formatting and arranging Death Note books everywhere, in various languages, across the board of genres.
All now beautifully arrayed in the Death Note News book shop.
It's worth nipping inside, if only to discover what you may have missing from your own library collection. But also to purchase a volume or two to help with the costs of running this website. Enjoy! And if you buy, thank you.
In addition the anime/movie Death Note store has been tidied up, hence will be easier to open, load and navigate. While the music merchandise has had one or two updates too.
When it seems a new Kira has emerged from the ether, former SPK agents Hal Lidner and Anthony Rester approach Near to see what he's going to do about it. After all, he is the new L now and everyone knows that L takes on Kira. Or does he?
Well, yeah, as long as he accepts that his opponent really is Kira. If not, then why take a Fool's Journey along the same old pathway, as directed by an imitator. Near's already taken those steps and learned those lessons. He's already in possession of that world. As underscored and illustrated throughout this one-shot Death Note manga sequel by use of tarot imagery.
L's successor - now L - quite literally occupies The World in tarot. He's created a whole world from the cards!
Near's Position in the Death Note Manga One-Shot
As Matsuda makes clear before we even glimpse Near, the current L is in a position of considerable power in this new post-Kira world. Especially as regards understanding and information.
The story takes place nine years after Light Yagami received a Death Note from the Shinigami Ryuk, and three years since his serial killing persona Kira was killed by the same. All of which was not only orchestrated and witnessed by Near, but he also obtained custody of said Death Note AND calls the shots on what details enter the public sphere. There is some intelligence known for certain only to Near - like the whereabouts/Fate of that deadly notebook - which he expects others simply to take his word on trust.
Near not only has the keenest overview of this world as far as Kira concerns it, but he is able to determine all future aspects of Kira within it. Light Yagami might once have thought himself God of This New World. But in reality, it turned out to be Near.
He and/or the Death Note creators - Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata - choose to express that with use of the tarot, tarot cards and the Fool's Journey through the Major Arcana (though the latter is largely implied). And by 'Near's world in tarot cards', I mean that quite explicitly.
Our First View of Near in Death Note One-Shot
When Hal Lidner and Anthony Rester enter Near's hub, it's to find themselves confronted by a wall of cards. Superimposed against a view of the city, representing the world outside.
We see this urban sprawl first. It's a telescoping within from tower, as context and location, to room as specific spot wherein lurks the current L. But it also emphasizes the fact that we're seeing their environment/territory/universe. At its centre, there's Near; architect and creator of the cityscape in cards.
In truth, these could be any old cards (though the minor arcana in tarot is the four suits of playing cards anyway). However, it's made overt in the next clutch of panels that Near chose tarot with which to build his card tower's massive expanse.
After underscoring again that that Near knows everything (the panel after this states that he's 100% certain that a Death Note is involved in the latest killing spree by one labelled Kira via those denizens of the world wide web), he goes on to prioritize in importance the safety of his 'tarot card tower'.
The world he's constructed in the wake of the previous Kira tops that being introduced by this new one.
The World in Near's Tarot Card Tower
I have repeatedly used 'The World' in conjunction with Near in this Death Note manga special. This is no accidental over-usage of the words. The World is the last card of the tarot's major arcana. It's the final trump to play. It's what there is to play for.
The World's meaning is to return to the beginning but, as the poet says, see it again for the first time. Those in control of The World, or in a World state, recognize the signs for an environment in which they originally tramped through in all ignorance. Only this time they have the overview; experience from lesson's learned and teachers along the way; and incorporate within their own personalities the archetypes enacted by the previous arcana.
To enter The World is to complete the circle, thus finish the story. Typically, the possessor of The World will ape the stance of The Fool from card zero. Only instead of blithely heading straight towards an unseen cliff-edge, they will note the abyss before them, smile knowingly and step right over it. Then they fly.
It achieves a bird's eye view of everything below in manageable, surmountable, graspable miniature. All they survey, they know. The World is their oyster; it belongs to them entirely.
Thus is Near situated here. Warning Lidner and Rester not to 'knock over his tarot card tower' - The World he holds; built of all he mastered in the journey towards its construction - because that would indicate a brand, new world for the making. But first, he has to double check. Only then can he soar over his cliff-edge in complete (intellectual) ownership of all he surveys.
Contemplating L - Original Wammy Fool of the Death Note Universe
It has to be assumed that Near understands the symbolism and archetypes inherent in the tarot. At least, insofar as that's all we ever see from his decks, those of the major arcana. Assuming that he hasn't just got a pack arranged precisely beside him at all times, then Near is seen picking a card at random in order to begin his contemplation of L.
As his Wammy predecessor on the original Kira case, L may be viewed as the original Fool. The first one to undertake this journey, which Near then inherited. Therefore all cards in the tarot would pertain to L.
And to Near too, upon the same journey. He and L together may take an overview through the way-makers and ponder the states learned, mastered and/or understood. His insight isn't into one specific point, but them all. If Near knew less about the tarot, then he might have opted for a single card, one which he knew intimately and/or triggered the pensive subject.
Moreover, because he inherited this case from L the original Fool, it's to L's mindset Near must return to identify the start. There to recognize it most fully when it's viewed again from the end. 'What would L do?' pretty much delineates the boundaries of this quest; the rules of the game, determining failure or success; and what Near must consider most important of all in concluding the same right now.
If you like, L drew the lines in the sand to begin the battle. Now Near has to return to where that was, in order to draw a line under the Kira case, so to end it.
The Other Tarot Cards on the Floor in Near's Tarot Musings
It may be of interest to contemplate the other cards spread out around Near's Death (Light Yagami) and Fool (C-Kira) cards. They don't actually seem all that random, when placed in conjunction with Near's known history; and the card he surveyed whilst holding the L puppet aloft might be surmised.
First there's Strength, which is pretty much what it says on the packet. That's the sheer endurance and brute force intellect required to survive The Wammy House for Gifted and Talented Orphans. Followed by The Priestess - the inspiration for entering the quest, or reason to be upon that great Fool's Journey - aka Roger telling Near and Mello that L was dead and Kira was reigning unchecked.
Both are already on the floor by the time Near picks out a card to contemplate with L. Later panels show that to be The Hermit - the isolated light in the darkness, which both Near and Mello would have represented at that time. In short, Near's own instance of inheriting L's Fool's quest, and bringing himself up to speed in following the clues rippling out from L's investigation.
This is followed by The Star, which could be summarized as 'hope', i.e. when Near sourced the means to fully integrate himself into the Kira case. Then Death - Kira - and The Fool - C-Kira.
It could be that Near is merely hunting through a tarot deck looking for the two that will illustrate his mind-set and direct his musing, discarding all others along the way. Or it could be that he's spelling out the story thus far, in order to reach his conclusion. Revisiting major markers on his own journey to this moment, so to recognize the reality of the situation in which he now finds himself.
Seeing The World for the cliff-edge it is, thus finding the courage to soar above it.
Toppling Near's Tarot World - Clearing The Decks with the Analytical Hermit?
Death Note One-Shot Special: Near Claims The World in Tarot
It is the prerogative of the enlightened Fool, at the end of their Journey, with all their lessons learned, situations enacted and archetypal states fully realised to return to the beginning and see it again with its truths revealed. The Wise Fool in possession of The World gets to soar beyond with a smile on their faces, enjoying a bird's eye view of all the components which make up reality.
In mastery of their dominion, those claiming The World in tarot cards may even dictate its reality to others (though such elevated, returning Fools in symbolic reality generally feel no need to; displays of power play like that not only appear trifling but meaningless too in the face of other Fools and other realities).
Thus Near finishes his contemplation of The World by opting out of it. But not before he's seen pronouncing his conclusion through an overview of everything, as represented by a whole wall of tarot cards, each carrying their own component towards the whole picture.
Viewed close up, Near seems to be symbolically revisiting a similar point on his own 'true' journey; contrasting this apparently easy conclusion with one which wasn't so simple to conclude. Compare this frame with Near's previous derogation of Light Yagami's Kira.
Then we pull away for the long shot and know that Near truly has returned to the beginning and seen it for the first time. That he really has seen and accepted his truth in The World; that he is no mere successor to L, but L himself. With the power to disdain lesser distractions that would teach him nothing new; to reject imprisonment inside an arena begun and delineated by some other Fool; to step away from The World, over the cliff top, and into new journeys bespoke to himself.
The Hermit's illumination, with Mello in hand (literally) to spark the courage for chaotic dismantlement, quickly escalated into Near knowing to pull down his own tarot card tower, and build the whole thing anew. After all, Near now owned The World.
Incidentally, this gets quite poignant when you realise whom Near is addressing here. That speech bubble for his unseen partner in discussion is L. It's the style used whenever L speaks through a monitor - over a television screen or computer - alongside a letter upon a white background. Throughout this Death Note One-Shot Special, that was Near himself speaking publicly as L.
Or put another way, this is Nate River conversing with Near right at the point when he mentally and emotionally accepts that he is L. When he steps free of The World as delineated by L. Lawliet and embarks upon new worlds of his own discovery, and journeys of his own destiny.
From Sun to World: Near Steps Out of L's Shadow via Tarot Symbolism
A final world compares the images of Near from the beginning and end of this Death Note One-Shot Special. The front cover artwork depicts him still very much a successor to L, continuing the ways of his idol until completion of that particular journey. Near's own voice is overtly silenced, subsumed beneath a finger-puppet of L. Himself acting entirely as L's proxy.
We travel through the story, witnessing Near's final leap from Wammy heir to the L Code to one actually in possession of it, mentally as well as physically. There is no Lawliet by the final depiction of Near, in the manga's closing artwork. Though Near now looks more like L than ever before, and sits confidentially beneath a shining tag proclaiming the same - backwards, forwards and in black and white.
In terms of tarot, there are characteristics in the former which suggest that of The Sun tarot card. Blazing far more keenly than The Hermit ever could, The Sun indicates those seeing their own being, environment and all anew. They aren't necessarily illuminated, but ARE the illumination. "Who are you?", asked The Fool of the Sun. "I am you." The Sun replied.
It's the final stage before Judgement calls and, beyond that, The World.
There are fewer indicators that the last piece of artwork in Death Note's canon series depicts Near as archetype of The World. Nor can we totally dismiss it. There are no symbol creatures in each corner, but that central topmost circle could pass for a globe, and Near himself - L-esque as he appears - could arguably be perched with his back against a cliff-top; or at least the dark unknown.
Nevertheless it's a stretch, so we'll leave this here.
Next time we'll begin our journey through the Death Note major arcana proper, looking at the Fool tarot card
~ Tarot Mikami
School Judgment: Gakkyu Hotei Manga Volumes Launched February 2016, Co-Created by Death Note Artist Takeshi Obata
You may be forgiven for wondering if you've entered the Twilight Zone, or some bug is running rampant through our site. When the Death Note News summary is showing current articles alongside those dating months or even years back, then something is clearly going on.
It is. Me.
When the Death Note News website updated its look, some of the more ancient articles wouldn't render. The sparkling fresh design left them greyed out, so visitors couldn't read a word. Or else rearranged each element, so they made less sense than usual. Often both.
Why this should happen for some articles (or blocks of months) and not others remains a mystery. We'll be sure to pass it onto a Wammy kid, next time we see one still alive.
In the meantime, as part of our ongoing maintenance, our staff are revisiting all those old articles and fixing them. Taking the time to also check that they're all tagged and categorized correctly. Moreover that every image has the associated text needful for them to be accessible for those using sight accessibility software to browse the web.
So far every article from October 2o14 to the end of June 2015 has thus been dusted off and cleaned. Each one completed then gets a pin on Pinterest, so those boards may be called completed by the finish of this endeavour. Hence old articles appearing alongside the new on our streams.
Right now, every old Death Note News article should be readable, though we can't guarantee all elements in order. If you spot one missed, or want to link to one as yet unfixed, then shout up and it'll be sorted out for you.
Thanks for your patience.
Never miss an update - subscribe to Death Note News feed and/or check out an extended list of the latest Death Note news headlines.
Disclosure: This page generates income for the author based on affiliate relationships with her partners, including Amazon and VigLink.
Site Claim and Authorship Verification: All that follows is for me to prove my authorship of Death Note News in various places. Hoop jumping stuff for me; boring for everyone else.