I love twists and turns in plots. I like it when I guess them correctly, but I especially LOVE it when the plot develops in a completely unexpected way, especially if it’s way better than my own prediction. Perhaps the moment that shocked me the most in an anime is L’s death from one of my favourite series Death Note by mangaka duo Ōba Tsugumi-sensei (大場 つぐみ) and Obata Takeshi-sensei (小畑 健).
L is my #1 favourite character in Death Note. I think that he’s the hero of justice in the series, albeit a shady one at that with more than a bucketful of eccentricity. Nonetheless, nobody could deny that he’s a genius with principles in the right place.
So imagine my shock (I know I’m not the only one) when he actually DIES.
I was speechless when I first watched this scene. Then I laughed nervously. Surely, the series creators won’t just kill him off. Surely, L planned this from the very beginning and he’d emerge again–alive and well–triumphant in the end. I hung onto this sliver of hope. As you may already know, I was wrong. (sniff, dabs eyes)
I’ve never hated Light so much until this moment. Even if he was a completely twisted evil lunatic, I couldn’t help but admire his superb intellect and almost unbeatable maneuvers. There are many times that I even wanted his evil plans to succeed, just to see how L’s team responds. Both L and Light are chess masters in this deadly battle. I couldn’t help admiring both of them. Then Light succeeds in killing L.
Although Light didn’t murder L directly, he’s still the mastermind as he used shinigami Rem’s weakness to make her do all the dirty work for him. Rem cares deeply for Misa, and Light made Rem believe that L poses a threat to Misa’s life. Rem falls for it, and ended up sacrificing her existence as a shinigami to kill L, believing that she’s saving Misa’s life. What a nasty piece of work you are, Light! (grudgingly: Although I admit that you’re a genius. . .but still. . .)
Just look at his freaking evil face, as he holds the dying L in his arms. But at least, L finally knows for certain that Light is indeed Kira. L finally discovers the real Light before he dies.
But still I hung onto the hope that L’s not really dead. Then his two successors, Near and Mello, take over the mission of capturing Kira. My hopes are cruelly shattered. I finally began to accept that L is REALLY dead. It’s a really shocking moment that left me torn. On one hand, I think that it’s a genius turn of events because it’s completely unexpected, emotional and dramatic. On the other hand, I think that L’s death is equivalent to killing the hero of the story (although he’s not really the “hero”, if you know what I mean).
Nevertheless, I still think that Death Note is one of the most gripping stories out there. It just shatters the boundaries between what you think is good and evil. Now you know that L’s death is the moment that shocked me the most in an anime. What’s yours?
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