Surely all who ever read the manga, watched the anime, or enjoyed the films and TV drama have pondered its central point:
If a Death Note dropped and landed in your lap;
if you were guaranteed that it worked
and nobody knew that you had it;
I'm certain each of us have silently amused ourselves harmlessly thinking psychopathic thoughts. Surprising ourselves by shocking into open daydream hitherto unknown and unsavoury cerebral indulgences. Serial killing tendencies that may otherwise have never crossed our minds.
So we mentally kill a politician or two, whomever is being an idiot on the news that day, or whose policies have actually ruined our world. An opening gambit in our meandering musing bid to save humanity; improve our lot - not us per say - the little people without much of a voice, trampled historically from ancestor to ancestor and then well into our own lifetimes. Or those suffering properly in far-flung war-torn places; repressed, helpless, bereft of hope and security; certainty only in that looming loss of life and liberty.
Because we personally know plenty of them.
Nevertheless, it sounds suitably heroic. And we can be heroes, David Bowie said we can.
Except then we cerebrally kill the rude commuter just now pushing past us in the queue, and the jobs-worth conductor on the train, and the incomparably selfish git who sent that smug email waiting for us when we get in.
Suddenly the self-congratulatory glow of knowing ourselves to be superheroes - secretly - has slipped a little, and its going to take a lot more justification to accept the slip of their wanton murder, than it does for that of a talking head politician abusing your mandate to act upon domestic and world stages.
Doesn't it? It's not just disappointment in politics playing out not as you would wish.
I mean, people can get killed there with the latter signing their name on scraps of paper. Directives to bomb and bills to suspend indifferently yet another civil liberty. It could be you. And anyway, foreign victims over there shouldn't be nameless, unavenged. We're all brothers and sisters in this world.
Politicians are the actual Kiras of the Real World. Writing in their notebooks of death. Thus we should do that too. Practically obligatory. Self-defence. Poetic justice.
But it's all a matter of scale and we're in Yagami country now, as regards to our moral compass.
Incidentally, I do see a rotten world and take names, write them down to make it better. Because sometimes urgent action needs to be taken. I've been doing it for years, and you can too. Better to light a candle in the world than curse the darkness. Better Light, than Kira.
Though trust me, there are times when I wish that the letters I penned where written on pages from a shinigami notebook. No better than Light in the end; just a human being, that's all, in want of peace and a world as beautiful as it can be. Which is what causes that endless craving for action when things go wrong - somebody to just do something - and what makes Death Note such an attractive and intriguing concept.
What do you reckon? All secretly seething with the inherent instinct of a Kira? Or was Light Yagami somehow special, insane or burdened with a flawed sort of personality? Over to you.
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