Death Note 07: Alas, poor Naomi!

If you are looking for any action or plot advancement in this episode, you will be sorely disappointed. The summary of this episode could be made in one sentence: Light, through subterfuge in his conversation with Naomi, managed to get Naomi’s real name and using the Death Note, forced her to commit suicide. Even the very small parts that were focused on L could be called a slight interruption in Light’s ploy to get rid of Naomi.

That is not the point, however, as the most important part of this episode was the mental calculations, the desperation, and the anguish and torment that went through the characters’ minds. Light wrote down “Maki’s” name on his piece of Death Note paper almost in the opening minute of the episode, and for the rest of the episode, he had to figure out a) that the name is false, b) how to delay Maki from going back to the MPD, and c) get “Maki’s” real name without exposing himself. All three of the above was done inside is head, and the only evidence we got of it was the mental conversation Light was having with himself.

At first, we saw the shock of Light, when he found out that “Maki” is a false name, and he would not be able to use the Death Note on her. Then we see him desperately trying to find a way to get her real name, but since “Maki” was being cautious and she had had already given him a name, it would be strange for him to ask again. Yet, he could not find any means of doing so and he started to become desperate, especially when she wanted to return to the MPD. At one point, Light was so desperate that he thought about physically assaulting “Maki” so he could get one of her IDs. “Desperate times calls for desperate measures,” and in the desperate measure (lying about being in the investigation team, working with L), Light got a lucky break. There we saw elation when he managed to get Naomi attention, and having her follow the path towards a trap. At the end, we got to see Light’s malicious satisfaction in getting Naomi’s real name, and sending her towards the gallows.

While it might seem at first that this episode would be very boring, I thought this was the best episode so far. It pretty much embodies what I thought Death Note was about: it was all in the mind games, and those who think faster and more completely win. Yet it was for the very same reason why this scene would not work in the movie, and even the manga has less impact. It was all in the pacing (and the background music was wonderful). While this episode covers two chapters of the manga, the anime is more focused in the suspense and the thoughts and desperation of Light, and the pace slowed accordingly to increase the atmosphere. Conversely, such a lengthy scene would not work in the movie, where the director and screenwriters only have so many minutes to work with.

This was a wholly enjoyable episode, and not even the slight mar caused the sub-par animation in a few scenes could ruin it. I won’t say that the episode went by very quickly, as it was in Black Lagoon, but it most certainly kept me glued to the screen, flayed by the suspense every moment. Unfortunately, this kind of episode could not be used too often, since it really doesn’t move the plot forward, nor does it give us new information. Perhaps in the next episode, when L begins the 24-hour surveillance on Light, will give us more plot movement.

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Please don't ask me where you could download the anime/movie/dorama. Check Tokyo Toshokan first, please. Thanks.

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