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19 August 2009 @ 01:08 pm
Plots and Candy  
And then there he was
In ripped-up, wrinkled jeans
Yeah, there he was
Hope that's what "Justice" means

I smell plots and candy here
Who's that curled up in my chair?
Who's that eating éclairs
And raw strawberries
Ryuk, this Death Note is a scream
Oh, Ryuk, this Death Note is a scream

My absolute, hands-down, favorite thing about Death Note is the intelligence.

All right, there are enough plot holes in the grand scheme of it to make Swiss cheese jealous -- which is what Ohba gets for not planning the whole thing out from the start -- but I put that aside in favor of the bigger point here, which is that virtually every character in this series is brilliant.

I maintain -- and it's partly just personal canon at work, though there is evidence to back me up -- that characters like Misa and Matsuda only look stupid because they're literally surrounded by geniuses. (If you don't believe me, remember that Misa kept L guessing for a long time and actually covered her tracks pretty well with the Kira tapes -- and that she pwned Higuchi so hard that his mama felt it.) As much as I do love them to little pieces, of course, it's the geniuses that I'm fixated on. And while I certainly wouldn't call myself a dim bulb, I'm not at their caliber, but that's half the fun. My job becomes understanding the way they think, even if I can't replicate it in my own logical process -- understanding them, and finding and defining the emotional anchors that tether their incredible intelligence to characters more human than I think their creators realized.

The thing I love most about the Death Note boys is that their brilliance is a curse -- a crippling, damning detriment that manifests differently for each of them .

I love that L is socially hopeless -- I love that he spends large parts of conversations either ignoring people or rolling his eyes. I love that Aizawa thinks he's an asshole. I love that he kind of is. I love that legions of fangirls think he's a panda, and the creators talk about him being evil -- and I love that the mentions of Eraldo Coil and Deneuve give you a chance to wonder. Most of all, I love the strange, slightly inhuman beauty of this bent-backed, sleep-deprived, hair-in-a-wind-tunnel idiot-savant, and I love his overwhelming compulsion to fill the emptiness of his Gothic-letter-bound life with candy and cake and sugar cubes. (eltea wrote an absolutely amazing drabble about that once, one of many, many things she's written that have irrevocably changed canon for me, but it's in a friends-locked post. I'll keep pressuring her to put it on duck_diaries, never fear. :D)

Also, I wish wish WISH I knew who drew this:

...because it makes me laugh every time. XD

I love that Mello is a lunatic. I love that he's so consumed by his desperation to succeed -- and to exceed -- that it completely destroys him. I love that there's nothing he's not willing to sacrifice -- this from a character wearing a rosary. I love that he knows how he looks, that even with half of his face shredded and hastily healed behind the scenes, he's a total tart who pushes everybody around with his own sex appeal -- and that at the same time, he's the biggest ball of unresolved insecurity in the entirety of canon. I love that anyone who says Mello hates Near is not paying attention. (If you doubt me, try the chapter where Mello sends Mogi to the SPK, and he and Near gang up on Light while they're on the phone.) I love that he's brilliant, and stupid, and breaks. I love that in the end, Kira -- vengeance -- L is more important than his pride.

I love the chocolate.

And the fact that Mello is the only person alive who can make a bar of plain milk chocolate produce the onomatopoeia "crunch." (Seriously, what the hell? XD)

I love that Matt turns to video games because they're safer than people -- but that Mello lets him get away with anything. (Think about it -- if one of the Mafia men had missed Mogi and Misa frolicking off to the airport and slacked off as much as Matt does, Mello would have had the culprit's head.) I love that he has a grand total of about ten lines, but we all feel like we know him. I love that fandom has claimed him so possessively that I don't think I've ever read a fic with a brown-haired Matt. I love that he gets one of Mello's two canon apologies -- two, in five and a half books. (The other is to Soichiro. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it. Or just read Name and Face.)

I love that he's a geek, and that he's almost as socially-backward as the rest of them, but in a way we recognize as societally acceptable.

(Incidentally, that is the most adorable sound-effect bubble I've ever seen. XD)

I love that Near is arguably the smartest person in the series, and he looks like he's twelve years old. I love that he's so much like L, but different, and worse. I love that he lives in a toy world lit by computer screens, and he's scared to go outside. I love that he knows what he's wrought. I love that he doesn't know how to fly on an airplane alone. I love that he spends the vast majority of his time on the floor, curled up even smaller than usual. I love that he's even more monochrome than L. I love that he's ruthless. I love that he's petulant. I love that he's smarter than any child but deliberately acts like one. I love that he came here to kick ass and throw darts, and he's all out of darts. And as much as I bitterly hated losing all the others, I love that he's the only one that makes it through -- that the weak, fragile, tiny little boy in the white pajamas is the bloodbath's only survivor.

I love that he's tentatively human underneath the tissue paper skin.

I don't love that so many people are so petty as to hate him because he does what he came to do -- he wins.

Anyone who thinks Near hates Mello isn't paying attention, either. Yes, that's a chocolate bar, and the only thing we ever see Near eating.

I love that Mikami is more OCD than Adrian Monk. I love that he's brilliant, and sympathetic, and so, so wrong. I love that he's alone. I love that he dedicates every fiber of his being to the first thing that seems fair in the whole of his existence, and I love that it tears him apart.

I love that Light's the only one who's got his shit together. I love that he knows people trust him because of his appearance and shamelessly manipulates them with it. I love that a dutiful, charismatic schoolboy becomes a sociopathic megalomaniac when one variable shifts. I love he's literally too smart for his own good.

I love Matsuda. I love Aizawa. I love Ide. I love Mogi. I love that they're minor, simple, and frequently backup comic relief, but they're incredibly distinct and completely full of personality.

(I would jump for a Task Force orgy so fast; you have no idea.)

I love Ryuk.

I love the things the manga has that the anime lacks. (Also think crucifixes and God knows what else; I haven't seen the whole thing, and the missing details are a large part of why.)

Yes, that's Near, with a toy gun, as Mello uses a real one to bully his way into Near's sanctuary.

I love the brilliance of so many of the artists who are drawn to this material and enrich it with every project they undertake. I love thinking about how little Ohba and Obata put in tossing all of this together to give Japanese kids a thrill ride, and I love the absolutely ludicrous quantity of art, literature, discussion, and debate that we tease out of it.

Sorry, I wish I knew whose it was.

I love the tragedy.

I love the comedy.

I love it all. ♥

Feeling: pleasedpleased
marissaabitofadork7 on August 19th, 2009 11:44 pm (UTC)
Hmm. Well, I'm going to take a wild guess and say that this post features Death Note....nah, what was I thinking?

Obviously not. XD

Well, I can't really contribute anything really intelligent, so I'm just going to say hi. XD And that you are awesome. XD
Vitamin C: Mello - Reasonabletierfal on August 20th, 2009 06:28 pm (UTC)
IKR. Crazy. XD

Hi! ^^;
marissaabitofadork7 on August 21st, 2009 12:38 am (UTC)
Don't what I was on when I wrote that. XD

Hello! How are you on this August day? XD
Vitamin C: Charles - Bluetierfal on August 21st, 2009 04:34 am (UTC)
Maybe the fumes of nearby Death Note spoilers! XD

Not too bad, not too bad... hope you're doing well, too! :D
marissaabitofadork7 on August 21st, 2009 05:28 am (UTC)
That was probably it.

For the most part, I can't really complain. Other than the fact that school is almost here, it's been pretty good. How 'bout you? XD
Vitamin Ctierfal on August 21st, 2009 06:27 am (UTC)
Pretty much the same... counting down the last few days, doing a lot of flailing, trying to make them last... XD
[ ] [ ] - abitofadork7 on August 21st, 2009 02:16 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Emma Daiou: sunsetemmadaiou28 on August 19th, 2009 11:58 pm (UTC)
...I can't say much intelligent here either. I agree with every word, and I think you said it better than I could. <3

But I do have one contribution... I'm pretty sure that the Matsuda/L picture is by the THOMAS:GROOVE TUBE group, who created the doujin L-Factory. I think that may even be a panel from it, since it has light Matsu/L -ness in it. ^_^
Vitamin C: L and Misatierfal on August 20th, 2009 06:29 pm (UTC)

SWEET. I frigging love that one; it's awesome to know there's more out there...! :3
goddess of this and that: Lightxlhappy_mystic on August 20th, 2009 02:36 am (UTC)
I agree with everything. (and, to add, the (not so) subtle romance. <3

I have this idea of Mello sitting in the truck right before Takada offs him, and having realize that he's lost to Near, failed to defeat Light and avenge L, he's gotten his best friend killed, and that he's going to die, and just break down and sob. It would be interesing if Takada heard him... whatever. I never got around to writing it.

Orgy? OH HEY.:
goddess of this and that: pic#75490112happy_mystic on August 20th, 2009 02:37 am (UTC)
Sorry. Search for "The day everyone became gay( except Ryuk)"
Vitamin C: Mello - Mihaeltierfal on August 20th, 2009 06:31 pm (UTC)

That's an interesting image indeed... One of the few things I like that the anime added was that more detailed and incredibly poignant image of him on the phone with Halle, bent over and clutching it to his ear with his hair in his eyes. I love that it kind of says everything.

8D! I read one kind of like that a while back, but I don't think it was the same one -- it was like the Sex Note or something, hahaha. XD
Elteaeltea on August 20th, 2009 07:38 pm (UTC)
You mean thisone? XD Or do you mean that the anime made it more detailed? /forgets
Vitamin C: Mello - Pimptierfal on August 21st, 2009 04:27 am (UTC)
THAT'S THE ONE. I'd forgotten it was in the manga, too. I like the colors in the anime, ha. XD
Rex: sparkling champagneicequeenrex on August 20th, 2009 02:43 am (UTC)
This is superlong, what? XD



I love it all.

And truly, there are quite a few plot holes but the overall story is just so damn clever that it never fails to leave me breathless and wondering.

Everything you said up there was totally right. And what would we do without that slightly inhuman beauty of this bent-backed, sleep-deprived, hair-in-a-wind-tunnel idiot-savant? x3 This guy....is beyond awesome in so many ways that it's difficult to come up with any other character other than DN characters who could compare. Obha & Obata were just...geniuses themselves in their own right, weren't they? :3

And God, I know of so many writers on ff.net who don't like Mello, a character who is so indestructible and fragile that it's heartbreaking and fascinating and it makes me wonder how they could dislike him so much. O.o

I love that in the end, Kira -- vengeance -- L is more important than his pride.


And, and, for Matt: I love that he gets one of Mello's two canon apologies


Also, despite having so few lines, you're totally right about the whole fandom world having fallen in love with him. Possibly because he's one of those characters who has so much humanity that we can almost relate.

And God, how totally adorable yet dangerous is Near? I think you've compressed nearly everything that I think of him in that one paragraph.

I don't love that so many people are so petty as to hate him because he does what he came to do -- he wins

Ahem, yes please. XD I was seriously surprised upon getting into writing how many people disliked him. O.o So weird?

And Light...I will always have that soft spot for him because of how much of a sociopath he is. You're right about him switching between schoolboy and megalomaniac by the shift of a variable - I love that by the way XD. And...despite the popular belief that by sticking to canon, Light obviously hates L, I think that it actually rattled him when L told him that he was the first friend he'd ever had. And I truly believe that he enjoyed himself being with L before he was imprisoned, after, when he wasn't Kira, and again when he was. L and the Death Note saved him in a way. Without it, he'd have been bored all his life and...yeah....:3

Also, Ryuk! Mikami! Mogi! Aizawa! Misa! Matsuda! Soichirooooo!!! 8D

Best father character ever.

All all those screenshots and fanarts made me smile. And the one with L, Light and the knife made me...ugh, it just really is tragedy, isn't it? :(

And all the other ones! XD I particularly LOVED the last picture with Matsuda! D'awww! That guy get's made fun of so much. ^^;
Vitamin C: Matsudatierfal on August 20th, 2009 06:40 pm (UTC)
Re: This is superlong, what? XD
It's kind of funny, because odds are that without eltea, most of the plot holes would've escaped my notice. I think I'm just too used to her having covered every base, and that they left a few things hanging was like, "o hai." XD

L is one of my favorite characters in anything, ever, period. :3 And I just roll my eyes at the people here and there who hate Mello and Near because they're "ripoffs," because they're successors, in every possible way, and that's the point, and I love them, and people who are too bitter even to appreciate that just suck at life. XD'

Haha, eltea noticed the apology thing and told me, and I was like OMG -- what a surprise, right? XDD

Near was my new favorite after L, and it took me a while to acculturate to Mello -- though now I love them pretty much equally, haha. XD It drives me crazy that so much of fandom despises him just because he lives and Mello dies. What bullshit -- especially given that it's patently stated that Mello went to it willingly so that Near would make it through. ajkfldjslf people are dumb. XD

Have you read the lovely (and pretty depressing XD) What Could Have Been by MiaoShou? I really do see it very much that way -- that they're so perfectly matched that the greatest tragedy of DN is the fact that one of them has to die.

I frigging loooooove Soichiro. I would trade my dad in in a second. XDD

That might be my favorite fanart ever. There are so many candidates that it's hard to tell, but I think I gasped the first time I saw that one. It just says everything. o_o

Matsuda is one of my all-time favorites, haha. Both for comic relief and for the unexpected awesomeness that it's easier to give him because of his usual role. XD
Rexicequeenrex on August 22nd, 2009 02:14 am (UTC)
Re: This is superlong, what? XD
I remember the first time I read it, I went back right after the final volume because I could have sworn I'd forgotten something they had mentioned and I think it was only on the second go that I ended up seeing all the little things they'd missed out. So you + eltea = geniuses. ;D

IKR, he's like...he's just so lovable in everything he does, even when he's being an ass. XD *huggles him* It actually took me a while myself to get into the second arc because I couldn't get my head around L actually dying but I think it was Mello who I first really got into and then Near and Matt followed closely behind. XD Now I'm just like, I CAN'T CHOOSE SO DON'T MAKE ME! XD

No, I haven't but I shall bookmark it on my delicious account! 8D If it hadn't been for Remmy, I never would have started bookmarking like that. XD

It is sad that one of them has to die and I felt like my heart was ripped out when L died and then later when Mello and Matt died (by the way, the anime didn't do those deaths justice XD) and then in the end when Light died alone and...yeah, Near by himself made me go, "But...but he's all alooooone!" D8

striked out for spoilers for Remmy...uh...yeah....XD


Soichiro is awesome! \o/

And I always laugh at Matsuda. He's great comic relief and he's just so bloody adorable. X3
Vitamin C: Mello - Reasonabletierfal on August 22nd, 2009 07:58 am (UTC)
Re: This is superlong, what? XD
They have a pretty good track record as far as plot stuff goes, but there are a rather considerable amount of deus ex machina moments to be found! XD

I picked up Near first (o hai maternal instincts or pervy ones XD), but the others followed fast. And I loved Matt before I'd even met him, brief as his appearance was, because eltea told me about him in advance. XD' And yeah, now I love them all! 8D

eltea has one of those! I should really get one; I have all these stupid links lying around in different documents... /dumb XD

All spoilers seconded here. ;__;

Yes indeeeed! :D *squishes Matsu* XD
crazyboutremmycrazyboutremmy on August 20th, 2009 07:41 am (UTC)

And my friend shocked me when she told me who died. Now I'm depressed and haven't even STARTED getting into Death Note. Do I still want to?
Vitamin C: L - Bewilderedtierfal on August 20th, 2009 06:43 pm (UTC)
I'm with Jenny -- just... yes.

I mean, I sort of spoiled myself for part of it, and then I cried like a child -- like I literally had to go hide in the bathroom and sob because my brother and my sister were in the room, and eltea called me and tried to make me feel better XD -- but it's just... there is so much in this canon. It's incredible. I feel like I could go on forever, and I can't even pick my favorite part, because it has pretty much everything I could ever want in a story and in the fandom that explodes wildly out of it. Having all these gorgeous geniuses walking around draws a lot of really "OMG KAWAII!!" fangirls, but it also brings in some really brilliant people to match.

Basically... you want to. You won't regret it. :)

[And... yeah, the body count is through the roof, but it is a story about a supernatural murder weapon, and... that's what fandom is for, y/y? You have no IDEA how many times I've saved characters in fics. ^^;]
Eltea: Merlin - Thumbs Upeltea on August 20th, 2009 07:43 pm (UTC)
Yes. Yes, you do. Because it is epic awesome and one of the most genuinely brilliant pieces of literature I have ever read. ♥

Also, if that doesn’t convince you, tierfal’s Death Note tag at her writing journal has 106 uses. Just think how much awesome fic that is to read just from one person! :D /tierfal fangirl XD
Vitamin C: Charles - Bluetierfal on August 20th, 2009 07:47 pm (UTC)

*does the robot*

Plus TEIN is a pretty good anti-DN DN fic amirite. XD Though you need Another Note for that one. /rambles at you for no reason XDD
Rexicequeenrex on August 22nd, 2009 02:12 am (UTC)
Tell me which friend and I'll brainwash her with bleach for you or Bleach XD.

But don't worry, I got told who died before I read it too but it was still as excellent.

And yes...you still want to...what Jenny and Tierfal just said...just...just Yes okay?? XD
(Deleted comment)
Vitamin C: Matt - Wantedtierfal on August 20th, 2009 06:46 pm (UTC)
Yessss. There's so much gaping space for discussion; it's really quite incredible. XD

Eeee, :3 And yeah, I've just... wow. Near gets it as bad as Ron does in Dramione circles, O_o, and Matt is so beloved -- almost more than some of the characters we see a lot of in canon, which is insane. XD

Though I think that might be partly because a lot of the internet-savvy fans are also the type who play a lot of video games, which means they've immediately got something in common with him. Maybe. I could just be making that shit up. XD'

Every time I try to wriggle out, it's like NO HAVE A PLOT BUNNY AND SOME COOKIES, and I come back, so I think we're in good shape so far. ^^;

(Deleted comment)
Vitamin C: Matt - Bangtierfal on August 21st, 2009 10:32 pm (UTC)
I've seen a lot of those people, yeah. That Gets In the Way of My Ship Hate, which is... the dumbest kind I can think of. XD
Charlottekoneko_zero on August 20th, 2009 11:47 pm (UTC)
Oh, this post is just wonderful. I love the mini song/poem and the pictures and the wonderful character analyses and all the rest...

And dear GOD, do you mind if I mem this epic shizzle?

I agree wholeheartedly with it all. Everything you've said here makes me nod happily and smile in agreement. I love all of these things about the characters...


I really can't contribute much here, I just wanted to let you know how much I agree with and adore this post. =3

And that I love you, darling! ♥
Vitamin C: Matsudatierfal on August 21st, 2009 04:32 am (UTC)
Marcy Playground has probably sensed a disturbance in the Force... but YAY, thank you! :3

I would be flattered!! ♥ ^^

Ahh, I'm so glad; I just had a ton of fun with it.

ilu toooooo, hon! :3
(Deleted comment)
Vitamin C: Charles - Bluetierfal on August 21st, 2009 04:33 am (UTC)
Aww, thank you! :D That's definitely enough for me. :3

I think I almost busted a rib the first time I saw that. I just love it. XD