There are great animes that are popular because of their unique story and fantastic ending, and there are animes like Death Note that became even more popular because of how its fans hated its ending. Is the ending of Death Note really that bad? Or does the hate stem from the fact that the ideal ending of the fans did not happen?
People hate the ending of Death Note as the protagonist, Light did not succeed in the end. The hate worsens when the failure of Light was brought about by an accomplice. Further, the episodes leading to the ending are lackluster ever since L died. N and Mello simply do not compare to L.
Are you a fan of Death Note, yet you cannot get over the ending? Is there anything good about the ending of Death Note? You can process those feelings while reading this article. Who knows? By the end of this read, you might have found peace with Death Note’s ending.
This article is going to discuss the ending of Death Note, so a spoiler alert is in effect. The entire article is full of spoilers. Be warned!
Light Yagami Dies In The End
Death Note took the anime world by storm when it presented a protagonist who was actually evil. It was different and unique at the time, and this plot captured the attention of the viewers.
They took this “evil protagonist idea” to extremes when it was shown that Light Yagami will never change his mind and that his idea of bringing in a New World where he will reign as a god is the bane of his existence and people all over the world should thank him for it.
The episodes were carefully crafted to skew the view of the audience who may or may not agree with Light. Eventually, the probability that the audience will also root for this evil protagonist becomes high. Everyone just wants Light to succeed.
Then comes the ending, Light dies. The ending contradicts what the anime stood for and that is for the evil protagonist to succeed no matter how wrong it is. In shonen animes, the protagonists always win, so why did Death Note make Light lose?
In the end, the anime favored the morally right principle which is the status quo. This is funny in itself as the anime contradicts its own plot. Why be different, when in the end, you will still adhere to the general consensus? It does not make sense.
Light Breaks Character In The End
In an effort to add insult to injury, Death Note further irks their fans when moments before his death, Light Yagami breaks character. We have seen how Light handles himself in sticky situations and even though L gets too close to finding out the truth, Light was always calm and collected.
He does not deviate from logical thinking even though he has such extreme emotions. He was always reserved and mysterious, which helps in situations where it was so obvious that he was actually Kira.
However, when the ending showed that he was actually wrong to claim himself as the winner, he suddenly had this breakdown. It was such a huge breakdown that whatever idea that the audience had about what type of person Light is, was completely shattered.
The genius evil protagonist that we know was decimated to a wimpy and childish character in the end. Truthfully, the fans would have been keen to forgive the ending of Death Note, if only they kept the pride of Light intact even if he lost in the end.
Near Did Not Beat Light Yagami
Death Note revolved around the idea that there will always be a cat and mouse chase between L and Kira. The two are evenly matched and it was a joy to watch how they outsmarted each other.
After L died, it was up to Near to find Kira, and he actually did. However, Near did not technically beat Light by outsmarting him. In fact, it was a mere coincidence that an accomplice of Light did something wrong that led Near to trap Light.
This is far-fetched from the action-packed chase between L and Kira. It is hard to swallow that the great Kira whom L forfeited the fight for was defeated due to coincidence. The ending did not prove that Near was better than Light, it only showed that luck was on his side.
Further, the monologue of Near in the end where he said he was able to surpass Kira as he was working together with Mello and the late L, was just absurd. There is even a huge plot hole in this statement as there was nowhere in the story wherein Mello finally resolved to sacrifice himself or even help Near to catch Light.
For Mello, it was a contest of who can catch Light first. Then suddenly, there he was on his motorcycle, being the hero and helping the investigation of Near in a huge way. In just two episodes, there were huge character shifts that the anime did not even show.
So what are they doing now? Are they suddenly changing the background of the characters, just for the sake of the ending? Unacceptable.
Death Note Should Have Ended When L Died
Fans of Death Note will agree that the death of L spelled the spiral into the nothingness of Death Note. We were introduced to Near and Mello who were supposedly the successors of L. Well, to an extent they did their part but they can never attain the greatness of L in the mind of the audiences.
It has a lot to do with how Near and Mello were not given proper character arcs. We did not get to know them as much as we knew L, so they were not really given the chance to be liked by the audience.
The shift in Light’s demeanor when Near was trying to expose him also told the audience that he was not that worried about getting caught compared to his stress when L was trapping him. Everything from the plot to the characters, and eventually ending was different since L died.
It is simply not the same without L.
The fans would have liked the ending if L was the one who caught Light and then Light proceeded to die. But the ending that we got was a rushed ending devoid of L with an L wannabe claiming to be the winner. Ugh.
People speculate that this heartwarming last exchange between Light and L reflects the exchange of Jesus and Judas before the latter betrayed the former.
For a lot of people, L’s actions connote that he knew that Light was Kira and that he was accepting defeat peacefully. Further, his words also dictate that he knows that Light will betray him and that he will be killed soon.
Good Thing About The Ending Of Death Note: Words From Ryuk
Many fans may have been dismayed by the half-baked ending of Death Note, but even haters loved the final sequence of the ending. This is the part where Light (riddled with bullets) was able to sneak out and run away from his captors.
It was during this part that scenes from the first episode played out and compares it to the happenings of the current episode. Ryuk then started his monologue that was just a repeat of what he said in the first episode and that is, it was a given that he will write Light’s name in his notebook.
The reason behind the ending might not be acceptable to some, but how it was executed was beautiful. The lighting was perfect, the simple words of Ryuk added a nice touch, and the scrambling of Light to his death added contrast to what he thought might happen in the first episode.
It was a balanced death scene. The last episode reflected the first episode, and there is something poetic about doing it this way. You can watch the scene below (try to forget as to why we ended with this type of ending, just enjoy the final scene as is)