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Headscratchers / Death Note (2017)

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  • Did Light really think he could prevent Mia's death by keeping the notebook away from her? Did he not realize that once he wrote her name in the Death Note, she had to die one way or another? Or was he trying to seem innocent and willing to save her when he may have already turned evil?
    • Since Light's feelings for her seemed genuine, he was probably willing to sacrifice himself by burning the page with Mia's name before midnight.
    • It's possible that Light thought that if he wrote that Mia dies when she takes the notebook, it meant that if she didn't take the notebook, she wouldn't die. But what happened was that by writing that Mia dies when she takes the notebook, it became inevitable that she would take the notebook and die.
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    • Based on Light's explanation at the end, I think it's safe to assume that Light never intended for Mia to live at all. He came to realize that she didn't care about anything but the death note and he decided he didn't want her to get it. He did everything he did to make sure that when she died he would not go down with her. He faked like he thought she might not take it, faked like he cared for her and might be willing to sacrifice everything for her to make her less likely to retaliate when it came out that he wrote her name in the book. She could have, in those few seconds before the death note activated, pushed Light to his death from the ferris wheel or even torn his name and tossed it into the ocean. Light was in no way actually safe from anything she did because the death note only kills the person written in the book, it doesn't explictly save others and Light decided not to take that chance. So he made it that Mia would be less likely to retaliate and he set it up such that other people who would die at a later time could save him before he died. Doing all this made it such that he would live and that he could clear his name.
  • What tips L off to Kira's location was Light killing a hostage by suicide that was supposedly only broadcast in Seattle. First of all, Light and Mia found it online, not on tv, so it was not only broadcast in Seattle. Secondly, is this really enough to go on to convince L that Light is in Seattle? A criminal committing suicide is not completely unheard of, and it did not involve Kira's calling card, and surely some other criminals died in other parts of the world the same day. Yet L sounds absolutely certain Kira did it, just because he wasn't on drugs. It's a correct assumption, but it's one with no real evidence.
    • But the broadcast was on a local news channel. Even if it was online, it was presumably on the website of that local news channel. What's more logical - that Kira is from Seattle and, for his first major kill, picked a target from the local news? Or that Kira is Japanese, and just happened to be following the local news of an American city at the time a hostage situation was in progress?
      • The answer is that it would be more logical for Kira to be Japanese and watching the local news of an American city. Because killing someone in your own city would implicate you. Which is what happened.
      • How would be Kira be able to know he had to tune exactly at that time to catch the live transmission of a hostage situation on the other side of the world? Even canon Light did the same mistake on the manga.
      • How would he know to tune in at that exact time? What? The same way Light "knew" to catch that transmission at that exact time. By going online and looking at live hostage situations. As for manga Light, the problem isn't that Light's actions are stupid, it's L's conclusions. Manga Light killed his first victim with a heart attack; the exact same method as all of his victims. It would be extremely unlikely for his death to be anybody but Kira because dying of a heart attack has an extremely low chance of happening. A crazy, mentally ill person doing something weird (and not even that weird, saluting before you die is actually somewhat fitting) before being killed? Not really that big of a stretch.
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    • That criminal's death wasn't suicide, he was ran over by a police truck after stopping to do a military salute that is why they thought it had been something caused by drugs at first, it was a completely random action to take. Furthermore, that death was one that Light picked specifically to prove Mia he was telling the truth about the Death Note and thus, he picked a criminal that Mia could easily check by herself.
      • Saluting before your death is not completely random, and standing in front of a moving truck in the middle of a street with the intention of getting hit is suicide. Plus the guy held up his own family with a machine-gun. L didn't think that maybe the guy just had a mental illness? Nope, gotta be Kira because he had no drugs in him.
  • L also makes the assumption that Kira needs a name and a face. Once again it's a correct assumption, but again it has minimal basis as far L knows. Many other criminals who weren't on tv must have died during this time, and since death is dealt at random now instead of heart attacks, many of those deaths could have possibly been the work of Kira (at least, as far as L should know). L becomes more certain of this when Kira does not kill him, even though at this point in the movie, L has no reason to think that Kira is the type of person to kill anyone who wants to catch him.
    • It's simple - all of Kira's victims have had their names either revealed in the media, or recorded in some law enforcement database. Of course, it's possible that L isn't 100% certain that Kira needs both a name AND a face. But he does seem to be willing to risk his life. Perhaps that's why he shows his face to Light. If Light is able to kill him just knowing his face, that means Light is Kira and doesn't need a name. The fact that he isn't dead proves that Light needs the name.
      • Except as far as L is able to know, Kira killed victims who weren't revealed in the media. Kira doesn't kill by heart attack anymore, so any criminal death could potentially be Kira. The point isn't that he's wrong, it's that he's overly certain based on assumption without ever getting real proof. His "proof" is when he didn't die after his broadcast even though he didn't know if Kira would even want to kill him at this point at all.
      • Light makes a case of killing only high profile criminals and thanks to the fact Ryuk is the one executing the criminals, their deaths tend to include actions that fail to make sense, like the warlord who out of the blue decided to stuff two live grenades in his mouth, thus narrowing the deaths relevant to the case. From there is not a huge leap of logic to assume Kira needs both the name and the face of those who he wants to kill.
        • Except L has no way of knowing that Light only kills high-profile in absurd ways. He just assumes it. He apparently assumed correctly, based off the minimal montage information, but L doesn't actually KNOW this. As far as L knows, there is every chance that he's killing minor criminals. And of course Light would know the faces of high profile criminals. Why wouldn't he?
  • What absolutely 100% convinces L that Light MUST be Kira is that Kira did not kill James Turner. L is apparently certain that Kira would kill anyone being broadcast on tv who wants to catch him, except one's own father. Even though Kira has never killed anyone innocent who was being broadcast on tv before, and never does, and thus L has no reason to be so incredibly sure that Kira would kill anyone on tv who says he's going to catch Kira. Not only that, but if Light wasn't Kira, it would actually benefit whoever the real Kira was to implicate Light, thus James not being killed should prove nothing at all. Once again, L's assumption is correct, but again, it's not based on any solid evidence.
    • By that point, Kira had already killed several FBI agents who were on the case. Yes, it was actually Mia who did that, but as far as L is concerned, it's the same Kira who's responsible. Thus, he came to the conclusion that Kira would kill any law enforcement official who was targeting him, and logically that should include James Turner - unless Kira is Turner's son.
      • Killing an FBI agent who's following you and killing a speaker on national tv are 2 different things. There's also no guarantee Kira would make the same mistake he did before by killing someone connected to him.
      • James' speech was him acting on behalf of Seattle's Police Department so there were only two possible outcomes: James is killed and thus L discards Light as Kira under the assumption he wouldn't be as cold blooded to kill his own father or James is spared, thus giving solid proof that Kira is someone with emotional ties to him.
      • There's two possible more outcomes: James is killed because Light is cold-blooded, or more likely, that James is spared because Kira has no interest him and isn't looking to instantly kill every single person who says he wants to catch him on tv.
      • It's worth noting that L did not necessarily expect James to drop dead during the broadcast. He wondered if James would die at some point in the subsequent hours/days. The fact that he didn't heightened his suspicions. James not dying wasn't the only clue that pointed L in Light's direction. Kira was one of the people being tailed by FBI agents, which included Light. The fact that Light was a suspect in the deaths of the FBI agents and Kira didn't kill Light's father, while he didn't hesitate to kill other law enforcement officials investigating him, to L's mind proved that Light is Kira.
      • Why wouldn't it occur to L that maybe Kira didn't kill him because he was busy, wasn't watching the news, or thought it was a trap? It really just comes down to "Kira didn't kill Light's dad. Therefore Light must be Kira."
  • How was Ryuk able to move objects without being near them? The manga and anime never showed this being possible with the other Shinigami.
    • It seems that Shinigami are closer to actual gods on this setting since is all but stated that Ryuk is the one actually causing the deaths.
  • Is the Eye Deal a part of this film's universe? If it is, why didn't Ryuk offer the deal to Light or have him at least bring it up? He would have gotten something out of it and it would have made things "more interesting" for him.
    • It may or may not be. The rules of the Death Note are somewhat different in this universe, so it's entirely possible that the Eye Deal isn't a factor. If it exists, then maybe Ryuk didn't offer it to Light because he knew Light wouldn't take it. Perhaps that's why he 'preferred' Mia - he was hoping that once she took ownership of the book, she would go through with the deal.
  • Mia says she can't let Light burn Watari's page because she wants to burn Light's page after she becomes the new owner. But if you're allowed one burning per owner, then Light would've been allowed to burn Watari, and then Mia could burn Light's page when she becomes the owner, so there was no need for Mia to remove the page. If the Note is only allowed one burnt page period, that one burn should have been used up long ago, as the movie made it clear that the notebook has been used many times and is incredibly old.
    • There's also the question of why Light didn't just burn his own page. If he was planning on burning Watari's page, he must have brought a match or light with him, and yet it never occurs to him to just burn the page himself, and instead he relies on a contrived gambit involving falling from a Ferris wheel to burn it for him.
    • Is heavily implied the burning of a page is not once per owner but per Death Note, so once a page is burned either by Light or Mia there's not another chance. Although the film itself leaves ambiguous, isn't a stretch to think that Light's good nature prompted him to believe until the end that Mia's love for him was strong enough to make her abandon the Death Note and thus, he couldn't burn his page if he wanted to save her.
    • Okay so I went and rewatched that part of the movie just to finally answer this question. This is exactly the rule the Light reads out to explain to Mia how he was going to save Watari: "Rule 89: If the person who writes a name destroys its page prior to the death being carried out, the target will be spared." This means that OP is in fact correct, Mia had no need to tear out Watari's page. From I what understood she didn't care about Watari, Mia wanted the book and threatening Light was the most effective way to get it. She isn't one for details either so we can't say whether she knew or cared about if what she told Light was accurate. Owner ship takes 7 days of inactivity from the previous owner so that is one fault in OP's idea, but Mia did not even need ownership to burn the page since she wrote the name. Also this rules would imply that every person who writes a name in the death note has this option too, so it seems unlikely that it can only be done once per death note.
  • Related to the above question: What happens if there is more than one name on the page? Seeing how both Mia and Light's death weren't "programmed" until a few hours later, what would have happened if their names were in the same page and it somehow burned before midnight? Do they both get to be saved?
    • It seems like a very lousy rule to this troper because there is a possibility that the page being burned could contain more than one name (i.e. the page with the FBI agents' names)and that their deaths are written to take place sometime later. So then do multiple people get saved? Only the first name? The one with the latest time of death?
  • Was it Ryuk or Mia that killed the FBI agents? Because Light blames Ryuk, but then Mia takes the credit for it? I know some people have implied that, while you're the one writing the name in the note, it's actually Ryuk doing the killing, but aside from a few instances (such as Light yelling "I TAKE IT BACK, RYUK!", which I simply just construed as Light pleading for the only thing he knows to be connected to the book to somehow erase what was written), I don't get the feeling that it's actually Ryuk killing anyone. Yeah, he can make things move and he did help deal damage to the Ferris wheel, but I just assumed that was Ryuk just having a bit of fun while he could. So who killed the FBI agents? Did Mia write the name and Ryuk killed them? Did Ryuk write the name in the Death Note behind Light's back? Because Light blames Ryuk ("Ryuk screwed us! We're not the good guys anymore!", "I'm the one that does the killing, not you.", etc.), but then Mia takes the credit later on. So can some kind fellow Troper please clarify all of this for me?
    • Mia is the one that writes the names on the note, there's a short flashback scene showing how she did it, I think Ryuk is just keeping that knowledge to himself when Light confronts him about it, the same way he didn't say anything when Mia stole Watari's page, keep in mind that Ryuk doesn't like the way Light is using the note and favors Mia over him, so he's deliberately keeping him in the dark about Mia's betrayal because he wants her to succeed and become the new owner of the note.
    • There's also the fact that, just like in the original series, Ryuk really doesn't give a damn about Light or anyone else and just wants to be entertained. From his point of view, watching Mia manipulate Light and then seeing how he reacts to that betrayal was probably a lot more fun than just telling him that Mia did it.
  • So at one point Light threatens to write Ryuk's name in the Note, and Ryuk laughs at him and says no one has ever managed to write more than two letters of his name. Except Light learned Ryuk's name from a message written on one of the rule pages. Do those pages not count as being part of the Death Note, or was Ryuk just screwing with Light and he's immune to its effects?
    • I would say he's just screwing with him. He has a weird sense of humor and since he's a shinigami he can't die.
    • I took the implication to be that anyone that has ever tried to write Ryuk's name in the book in an offensive manner never got past two letters. Kinda like "oh sure you have your gun out but anyone that ever tried to actually point a gun at me never got it past waist high."
    • Alternatively, the rules of the death note specify that the *human* whose name is written in the notebook will die, and Ryuk is no human by any means. Also, it would be illogical if it was that easy to kill a god of death with their own weapon, so there could even exist some sort of mechanism or connection that allows Ryuk to feel if his name is being written in the Note so he can go and murder the perpetrator. As for the written warning, Ryuk probably let the poor sap write it on purpose for his own amusement, seeing his sadist tendencies in this movie's incarnation, I wouldn't put it past him; it would be like saying "yeah, go on, try to warn your successor, see if that helps once I'm done with you."
    • Probably the rule pages don't count. That or the writer wasn't thinking of Ryuk's face.
    • The sentence structure might actually be to blame. Whenever the Death Note is used to kill someone, the victim's name is always listed first, then cause of death, then details. For example, "John Smith. Stabbed. Attempted mugging gone bad." The warning was written as, "Don't trust Ryuk." His name wasn't written first, so I don't think it would trigger the Death Note's power.
  • Related to the above, since Ryuk is the one carrying over the murders what is the Death Note actual role? Are Ryuk's actions influenced by it or vice versa?
    • The Death Note is basically the interface between Ryuk and the human world in this version of the story. Whichever human owns the notebook can see and hear Ryuk. Opening the notebook causes Ryuk to appear in the human world. Writing in the notebook is basically the human giving Ryuk instructions on how to control/kill other humans. Basically, it does seem as though Ryuk is the one actually carrying out the actions written in the notebook of his own free will - except that he's willing to follow the instructions of the owner, which is why he follows them precisely. To Ryuk, its all a game, and he's willing to play by the rules because he wrote them.
  • Alright I get that humans are kind of like water balloons in this setting, making bloody splashes no matter the cause of death but, how is electricity going to cause this effect? the North Korean torturer just explodes from inside out when affected by electricity. Why?
    • When it comes to all the over the top deaths, the answer is always: Ryuk did it.
  • How does Light survives the fall? Other than Cartoon Physics and Water is Soft that I know I have to accept to some degree, was it somehow linked to his ownership of the Death Note or was it because his name does get burnt and therefore he was essentially invulnerable that night?
    • Light did specify that he would be saved in the description he wrote of Mia's death so that may have been a factor.
    • The manipulation of circumstances has to be physically *possible*. Not probable. Possible. If there's even a 1% chance that Light could survive that fall (and there was), then the Death Note would make it happen.
    • While some of the rules are different here, one rule that seems to apply across all versions of Death Note is that it can not be used to cause the death of someone whose name is not written into the description of the death. For example, "John Smith fatally shoots 3 people then turns the gun on himself" would not work, and "John Smith detonates a bomb on a crowded bus" would manipulate things so that only John Smith would die, everyone else miraculously surviving. Since only Mia's name was written, only she could die from the Ferris wheel collapsing.
  • We were told of the way Mia disposed of all the FBI agents but why did their commanding officer die from a heart attack? He was never mentioned (Mia writes something like "all the agents involved on the case")and if he was among them, then he should've joined them to jump off the building.
    • I took the scene to mean he dropped his phone and joined the other to jump off the roof, suddenly being mind-controlled by the Death Note, not that he died of a heart attack.
  • This troper would simply like an explanation of why a gun that looked straight out of Blade Runner was used for Watari and L.
  • How does the Death Note even work on Watari in the first place? Watari is not his real name. In the original series, it was an alias and his true name was Quillsh Wammy. Even if Watari somehow became his real name in the movie, wouldn't they need a last name as well? And are we supposed to believe L, an ace detective who took great care in concealing his own identity, was stupid enough to leave Watari's identity completely unprotected?
    • Maybe pseudonyms count if is important enough to be already part of your identity, as if you put Madonna then Louise Ciccone dies. All names are artificial constructs, a birth name is given by the parents/guardians of the person. This opens a lot of questions; should you use a maiden name or not in a married woman? if is an orphan, should you use the birth name or the name that the adoptive parents gave him/her, what happens if is a transgender person or someone who legally changes the name? and so on. Of course, if pseudonyms count that raises the question on why won't work the with L.
    • Maybe pseudonyms do work but Light and Mia didn't think to write L's pseudonyms down since they though that Watari was his actual name.
    • Could be. Or maybe L is too generic to be even valid as a pseudonym as is just a letter and even a pseudonym need more complexity, though is unlikely that the main characters thought that, they probably just were lucky.

  • Ryuk mentions that no one has ever written more than two letters of his name in the Death Note... except Light already read Ryuk's name in the notebook. Ryuk even corrected his pronunciation! Of course, as anyone familiar with the source material will be well aware, the rules state that "the human whose name is written in this note shall die", so there's no reason why it should work on Ryuk. However, that then begs the question of why Ryuk wouldn't just say that the Death Note wouldn't work on him when Light could have easily disproved his statement.
    • Much like his original counterpart, this version of Ryuk seems to enjoy toying with humans by being intentionally vague with his actions and words.
    • It's also possible that Ryuk wrote the warning with his name himself as a way of messing with owners of the book.
    • I assumed it was a threat, nobody's had the chance to even try to write his name before Ryuk kills them for it.
    • Or, most likely, his name is spelled Ryoc, or Reuc, or Leoc, or Рюкк, or リューク, and the person who spelled it "Ryuk" was one of the wrong ones he was talking about.
  • Why didn't Light just destroy the page with his name on it himself right there in the locker room?
    • Mia still had the page she took that one night. If he'd burned it there, she could just do it again and he'd have no counter, and killing her at the dance himself was too difficult.
  • The movie establishes that the Death Note can't make somebody magically know information that they didn't already know, shown by Watari not being able to tell Light L's real name. Yet somehow Light is able to use the Death Note to make a random mailman find it at the river and give it to Light, even though he should have no idea the Death Note exists, and should not know that Light is "the Kira suspect." The anime also clarifies that the Death Note can't make someone do something that they would have no reason to think of doing, as Light could not make a criminal say anything at all about L, because he'd have no reason to say anything about a person he's never heard of.
    • The only hard-and-fast limitations of the Netflix!Death Note seem to be "no physically impossible deaths" and "no character knowing something they didn't already know". Regarding the former, going down to a river and picking up a book is well within the realm of physical possibility. Regarding the latter, you could argue that technically Light didn't give the mailman knowledge of the Death Note. It's possible to find something and have no idea what it is or to find something by accident without any prior intent of looking for anything, and by stating that the mailman would "find" the Death Note (as opposed to something along the lines of "the mailman picks up the Death Note" or any other verb that implies the need for prior knowledge of the Death Note's location) Light isn't really telling the mailman where the Note is, he's telling the Note to manipulate reality and arrange a situation where the mailman visits the river and comes across the Note.
    • It's worth noting that the Netflix!Death Note clearly operates along different lines than the anime!Death Note (Only the Note owner can see Ryuk vs. anyone who touches the Note, Mia killing Watari using only his first name vs. requiring a whole name) so it's likely the Netflix!Note doesn't have the same "can't make someone do something they wouldn't normally do" limitation.
    • Though to add to the original headscratcher, if a victim is able to know something that he normally would not(like knowing a force called "Kira" kills him), why doesn't Watari suddenly know L's real name? In the original anime(which i do understand works under different laws) Light only was able to avoid that problem by using a loophole. I.e. he made the victim write a message that he might write on his own, however there was a message hidden in it via code, which whatever force didn't realize was in there.
    • Kira was all over the news, the mailman was aware of his existence and modus operandi.
  • If the police had the order of taking L into custody to protect Light... why did they took L to the fair where Light and Misa are? Shouldn't they had to take L as far as possible from Light? isn't that kind of basic police procedure?
  • Why would L even consider writing Light's name in the Death Note? The movie ends with him never finding out how Kira killed his victims. He finds a piece of paper with some names on it, then for no reason at all jumps to the conclusion that it's magical paper with death powers. The only time L ever even gets a *hint* that there's a Death Note and it can be used to kill people is when he's staring at the page Mia wrote to cause Light's death...and Light is still alive.
    • Think back to the scene where Mia killed the FBI agents. She wrote that the agent she stunned would "write down the names of the others, placing their faces in his mind as he goes." He wrote them on the same page. Though it's mostly obscured by the camera, the instructions are literally at the top of the page. Between that, the page he saw at the pier, and Light's own slip up when he was cornered, it's not that hard a leap of logic to make.

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