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Our daily nazism — parents beware

What are our children being prepared for? *Death Note, seen by millions, is nazi. The story was a huge opportunity for moral thought, but only nazi ethos has a chance to appear.*

Death Note

I am talking about Death Note, anime series. The manga series has been read by millions in Japan alone. There is also a Japanese film and a few other franchises.

I wouldn’t normally lose any of my time with nonsense such as anime series, but my 14-year-old daughter likes it and I decided to accompany her, plus in the first few episodes I was curious myself. Why?

Light is a popular, good-looking student who only gets A grades. A genius, really. One day he finds a weapon, thrown unto this world by a Shinigami (a God of Death) for his amusement. The weapon basically lets Light kill anyone he wants, without even meeting the victim. Light decides that he will use this weapon to kill every criminal that appears on the news. This way, he thinks, he will be the unknown creator of a new world, without crime.

Crime rates drop quickly and crowds thank the mysteryous Kira (“killer”) for it.

Is it nazi enough for you? But there is more.

The premise of the story seems a golden opportunity to talk about ethics. It would have been easy to discuss (and, in the process, teach children) about:

  • how wrong it is to take justice in one’s own hands;
  • how wrong it is to be accuser and judge at the same time;
  • why we need the due process of law;
  • how deceiving the news (and the rest of the culture industry) can be;
  • how anybody can end up committing a crime (nobody is immune);
  • how the law is not always right and may define crimes that shouldn’t be;
  • how the law may not define some actions as crimes when they should be;
  • the principle that punishment should be proportional to the crime;
  • etc. etc.

Instead what happens?

  • The mass murderer, who thinks of himself as a god, is indeed called Light;
  • He just kills everybody, he is not interested in finding out whether the news are even true;
  • He is Japan’s best student (!!!) but somehow has no idea that his concept of justice is barbaric, absolutely uncivilized;
  • The series carefully avoids any moral evaluation, except Kira’s own reasoning to do as he does;
  • Nobody else has high dreams;
  • Kira is the main character, no other character comes close;
  • Eventually other people find a way to follow the mass murderer’s example;
  • The Gods of Death don’t ever interfere for moral reasons. They interfere either for fun or because they are in love with a female character. They don’t really think there is an enormous mess going on. In the end the plot just forgets about the Shinigami, they almost disappear.
  • The whole series becomes just a thriller alla Sherlock Holmes versus Moryarty. Except that the killer is more competent than the cops.
  • When the blockbusterish thriller ends, the series ends. There was nothing else to say.
  • Due process of law is never mentioned.
  • What is a crime? This is never questioned.
  • How should punishment be done? This is never asked.
  • etc. etc.

Do you think I am exaggerating? Do you think nobody would really identify with Kira? Think again.

Many people already think like Kira and would do the same. I have witnessed bad taste television shows in Brazil in which the angry host talked about a criminal (not a convicted criminal, but one that had just been arrested by the police), showing sensationalist disgust to what the criminal had done, saying things like “when he was doing it, he didn’t think about human rights, so why should he have human rights now?”

This is how many people think. We are surrounded, outnumbered by the stupid.

I was curious enough to go to IMDb. I know most of the posts there are noise; there is no place to find idiots as the IMDb forums. But I have also found extremely intelligent comments there before. Maybe it depends on the film.

In this case, I could find next to nobody interested in any moral issues raised by Death Note. Most people just talked about the cat/mouse game. When they did talk about ethics, they were always examples of what I am saying:

Example 1

I have a hunch as to why Light may not have ultimately succeeded in wiping out criminals. Rather why he ended up getting caught. It’s because he never got creative with his killings. He killed solely by heart attacks.

Example 2

“The real problem started when Light decided to kill an innocent. IE Lind “L”. For starters, he’s no longer got moral authority. Before that you could make a philosophical argument that although he wasn’t legally supposed to kill criminals with the Death Note, from a moral standpoint he was the only one with the power to protect the world and humanity from it’s own evil elements, and therefore he had to act. But the moment he kills “Lind” (who as far as Light knew was only doing his job), he’s just another killer who takes pleasure in the act.”

Example 3

YEah you shouldn’t feel sorry for Misa b/c she even states that she doesn’t care if Light only uses her and she’s happy w/ just that.

Example 4

death note is not about good vs. evil L died because Light is better than him and Light died because the death note is bad luck.

in my opinion Light is a good person that happened to pick up the death note and use it to make the world a better place (he can be seen as a supper hero who’s only power is to kill people just by knowing their face and name, some evil guy who wants to take over the world, or a victim). I didn’t really see treat misa bad he just got mad at her when she did something stupid (it was her fault why they got cot by L besides she wanted to help light. Also I thank he fell in love with her when they lost their memory. If he didn’t like her would have killed her or break up with her near the end of the series in stead of going to marry her.

L might seem like the good guy but he’s not really a good person. he’s just a detective for fun, he doesn’t care if what he’s doing is bad or good, he will do any thing just to solve a case like lie, stalling, killing, letting good people die, takes advantage of people, breaks the law, forces people to do bad thing (forcing light to take advantage of misa) siding with criminals. He also hinted he is/was a pervert. You see his evil side and love of sweets in mello and his thinking, logic, loner side in near.

If it was about good vs. evil it would have been more black and white about it.

If any thing the most good person is light dad and the most bad person is the mob boss


See what I mean? People can watch this obscenity and not even be aware that they are becoming nazis.

In the last (bloody) episode, the good cops prevail. OK. But notice how this is done. Kira, surrounded, wounded, once again explains at length what he thinks (more nazi propaganda). Now the good cops are going to respond. I expect some education, finally, would anyone pleeease explain to Kira his mistake? Nobody does. The cop just says “you are wrong, you are just another serial killer and that is all”.

But I have already shown that the moral question is not understood by the target audience. I don’t feel it is understood by the author either.

Artistically, this shit isn’t. It is just another anime. Economically animated (this means many, many stills), silly story, unidimensional characters (who never change), everything you can expect from the culture industry. No investigator appears smoking — but most of them are children (because children is the target audience of this crap and they like to see children), so they have children’s vices such as eating too much chocolate. When a female character finally appears, of course she is a model, blonde, subservient, dumb, and her voice sounds like a woodpecker with a toothache. Intelligent characters are always socially inept, even Light (who starts out popular) becomes lonesome; the detective who finally defeats Kira is a 10-year-old genius who only plays alone with his toys. In other words, all significant people must always be alone. If there ever was a serial killer generator, this is it.

Trash that only children would take; however it is rated TV-14. Much of the music (which always sounds stupid and is repeated in every episode) is stolen from “Carmina Burana” by Carl Orff, himself possibly a Nazi and in any case a favourite composer of the original Nazis. (“Carmina Burana” is a very simple score by 20th century standards; nazis don’t take complexity well, as “Death Note” helps to show.) Some of the credits music is heavy metal, which is known to always be Nazi anyway.

Some cultural references are thrown in without any real significance or effect:

  • Plainchant in the music is in the wrong places and leads to nothing.
  • The main Shinigami character likes to eat apples and Kira provides apples to him. Everybody knows what apples mean, but like I said, this has no significance or effect. It is like an afterthought: “wow, I finally finished writing this damn script — oh wait, I forgot to drop a couple of biblical references in it”.

Anyhow, now that Death Note contains apples, people are saying it is cult.

Desu nôto is one of the most irresponsible things I have ever seen. My advice is: take care of your children and never be afraid to say “no TV”!