Film Theory: DEATH NOTE–How Deadly Was it?

Film Theory: DEATH NOTE–How Deadly Was it?

I've set things up so theories will continue to appear over the next three weeks. Just watch me theorists... I'll make dinner with my right hand and write theories with my left. I'll take a potato chip - and EAT IT. I'll take my leftovers and REHEAT IT. I'll play Mario and BEAT IT. I'll open the script for Doctor Who part three... *laughing* -and COMPLETE IT. Well, maybe not that last one... *Film Theory Intro* (I love how you made this MatPat) Hello internet! Welcome to Film Theory. So, here's a fun fact.  When I'm at conventions, one of the most popular things I'm asked to sign are people's recently purchased Death Notes. It makes me wonder whether they're fans of the show or just haters who want to end the channel... By any means necessary.

VIZ | The Official Website for Death Note

Either way, I'm totally in the clear since I don't take chances and sign with a misspelling of my name. It's totally true! The paranoia is real!! Seriously, if you have ever asked me to sign your Death Note, check it out. Usually, what I do is I attach a little bit of extra text to the end where I'm like "Ha, ha, This isn't how I actually spell my name." Also, side note, apologies to any "Matt Pats" out there who spell their name with a double T. Anyway, today we're talking about Death note since Netflix just released a live-action Death Note movie and since I'm writing this episode before it comes out, let me just cover my bases here. "Man, It was the worst! I mean, L in public, Light second-guessing himself, I can't believe that they didn't stay true to the original anime!" Or... "Wow! It was so great, right? Ryuk was PERFECT and they nailed Misa's character."

Sorry, I hate to make you guys work like that But I thank you for going the extra mile and inserting the appropriate of the two responses. So let me just put this out there: I love, LOVE the original anime! It's like 25 of the best-written episodes ever put to a TV screen. "But Matpat there are actually 37 episodes." Like I said, 25 of the tensest, densely plotted episodes ever put to air. For those of you unfamiliar, the main character Light Yagami has it all; the top grades in his class the attention of all his female classmates, and a magical notebook that has the ability to kill people when he writes their names in it. Okay. So, one of those things is not quite like the others. Unlike most people who get kind of icky over the prospect of killing people with the flick of a pen, Light sees this as his opportunity to Purify the world of Evil. Taking out all the world's criminals and in the process becoming the vigilante known as Kira. And no, That's not a racist way of saying, killer.

His name is actually Kira. Along the way, He attracts copycat killers and plays an intense game of Cat-And-Mouse against the Brilliant deductive mind of a mysterious detective known only as L. It is without question my favorite anime. But as I get ready to watch the Netflix movie, it suddenly occurred to me We spend so much time zoomed in on the personal conflicts between Light and L, that we as the audience Lose sight the larger conflict here just how many killings are happening over the course of the series light has some epic montage Sequences well about is that because you can get when the action consists of writing people's names down the entire point of these? Montages is to illustrate the extent of these killing sprees but when it comes to the question of how many Names were actually written into the death note things kind of get blurry so today I'm working to get the best estimate possible for how many lives like cut short during his reign as Kira now I say estimate since most of his killing occurs off screen meaning we can never get a hundred percent accurate number that said though We can get close if we know one the duration of time during which Kira's active and to the rate at which, Kira Kills So number one how long does Kira kill for well? It's a simple question that has a complicated answer you see for one thing There are a total of four people who operate under the Kira alias at one point or another as light creates these Complex Notebook handoffs and his attempt to evade capture making matters worse Are that sometimes multiple Kira's are active at the same time with as many as three death notes at play?

Fortunately, we have access to the complete time-stamped list of all the major events that happen throughout the series Thanks to the handy timeline that was printed in the bonus thirteenth volume of the manga and it bears mentioning that yes This is a timeline covering the manga however it tells the exact same story as the anime-only time-shifted three years earlier because it Came out first. They kept the months and days consistent from Manga to anime only changing the year by three years So really the absolute time that Kira is active remains the same so now spoiler alert I'm about to show you a timeline mapping out the whole series so go binge watch it, and then come back here seriously It'll be a great weekend activity for you everyone back great and here It is yep It is a lot six years of killing spread across four main Kira's using three separate notebooks and a partridge in a pear tree Add to that the police the mafia and hoo boy it is more confusing than light playing musical notebooks in the woods But at this point we have a solid idea of how long each of the Kira's was an operation as expected Light was the longest at 2033 Total days, Second Kira - model and actress, Misa Amane is only active for sixty seven days primarily because she was less interested in killing for justice and more interested in getting into Lights life Lights life Kyousuke Higuchi is Kira 3.0 active for 136 days and finally Teru Mikami a devoted disciple of Kira holds the note for the shortest amount of time only 61 days But he's also the most enthusiastic about it Oh-oh, backspace on up there buddy because now that we know who had a death note and for how long we can calculate how Many people each of them killed based on their rates of killing man if this video doesn't get flagged by YouTube's as being an advertiser Unfriendly, it will be a miracle So the key to estimating Light's rate of killing lies in this first encounter with Ryuk.

Light's shinigami or god of death when Ryuk first Appears we learned that lights been writing the names of criminals in the death note for five days "several death notes Have made their way into the human world in the past But you're the first to have written this many names. Look at how many people you killed in only five days" And look we do. The show gives us a glimpse of his open notebook where we can observe that he writes names divided into four Columns and 39 Rows each that's a total of 156 names per page that clip also shows us that lights already completed two full pages a total of three hundred and twelve names if We take the lowball estimate and assume that light only has filled those two pages in the five days then the average Comes out to sixty two-point four names per day now realize that this is only an average light obviously isn't writing exactly 62 names every single day, for instance, there's one day where he kills exactly 24 criminals one every hour to make a very specific point? To L and then on the days where he's under surveillance he probably kills fewer criminals But we also know that light likes to cue up criminals to die even on days when he's not diligently writing names in his death note So what matters here is the average, not the exact he writes down on any given day so that?

62.4 is a good baseline then comes the five-year intermission after light defeats L, during which Light is acting completely Uncontested assuming the role of Kira at night and the role of the new L During the day and as you can imagine since he's a serial killer leading a task force out to catch him He's not too good at his day job during this period A narrator tells us that the Kira killings accelerate in the summer according to his killings increased at an unprecedented rate it's first five days as Kira are a pretty good representation of what an Unimpeded Kira looks like he comes from school does his homework and then spends the rest of his free time Writing names in his notebook like a lovesick middle schooler when Light defeats L.

He still has to perform his day job with the police task force and at night Misa is also distracting him *wink wink* Don't you hate it when the blonde actress slash model who adores everything that you do pulls you away from your nightly killing spree So let's assume that the rate of his killings during this period Doubles per day It's nothing too extreme just an extra 60 or so names at night because he has misa helping him do research running those numbers across This two thousand Thirty-three days as Kira gives us two hundred and forty-two Thousand one hundred and Twelve names in the book hold up two hundred and forty-two thousand approximately sixty-two names per day times 365 days Doubling for when L is defeated and run back for five years yeah that number checks out And that's a conservative estimate! Think about that two hundred thousand names That's more than the populations of forty-seven separate countries in fact near the end of the series Near (yeah His name is actually Near) calls the death note the deadliest weapon of Mass murder in the history of Mankind That's a pretty tall order, but when you actually look at the numbers.

It's true the third death note alone The one Light Yagami used during his five years uncontested killed more people than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima at the end of world war two which was itself the Single deadliest attack in recorded history in the end. You're nothing more than a crazy serial killer No, light is much more dangerous the term serial killer specifically excludes war crimes and government sanctioned killings and by that definition Kira comes out on top by A huge Margin some of the deadliest serial killers in recorded history Luis Guerra Beto and pedro Lopez have fewer than 200 known victims while Kira's number in the hundreds of thousands even the deadliest conventional serial killers are around only One-tenth of one percent as deadly as Kira, and that is just light We still have three other 'killers' uh, Kiras To discuss Misa's number is just a drop in the bucket compared to lights killing spree only around 400 she had a short run and only killed for attention any killings that she does do during that five year intermission period Are more For helping out Light's total because he's the type of person who wouldn't allow that power to anyone else He probably wants to save her all that writing to himself and as we see during the montage for that segment They're both on computers together researching But he's the only one that we ever see writing names when the audience learns that Higuchi is the third Kira We see his notebook laid out on the table And it shows that he's written a total of 64 names 16 rows across four columns if that's what's in a day's work for Higuchi Then that would make his daily body count almost Exactly the same as what we calculated for light earlier an average of 64 names per day times 136 Days works out to eight thousand seven hundred and four people dead at a Higuchi's hands.

And lastly Teru Mikami The Kira's Mikami holds his death note for the fewest number of days But he fills in one page per day. That might not sound like much, but one page for Mikami is a serious business. With over six columns and Seventy-six Rows per page Mikami is executing a whopping 456 people every Single Day I'm not sure what's More Impressive? the number of names that Mikami manages to write every day or that he manages to squeeze them all in there? Maybe might not be the brightest when it comes to executing light's strategy, but you've got to give this guy points for penmanship! With a total of 61 active days, Mikami's total kill count tallies in at 27,816! 27,000 people in two months! So to recap our tallies are Light Yagami, 242,112 Misa Amane, 392 Kyosuke Higuchi, 8704 And Teru Mikami, 27,816 adding up to just under 280,000 total victims 280,000 people dead! To give you a  point of comparison, that is just shy of the 300,000 Americans who died during World War One. The only wars to kill more U.S soldiers were world war one, two, and the Civil war And remember, this estimate is a conservative number we don't see proof of it but Misa could absolutely be more active during that five-year intermission if light allowed her to be And Light himself could definitely be more aggressive in his writing if he wanted to be.

For an even better comparison of the vastness of the number of people these guys are killing, consider this. When we see lights notebook open, Yes We see some western names But there are also a few names written in Japanese. This makes total sense since the series is set in Japan and lights the first language is Japanese So it would just be an easier place for him to Target In 2009 Japan's Prison population was seventy-five thousand two hundred fifty. Just a fourth of Kira's Total kill count in other words during his six years He could have exterminated Japan's entire prison population and still had time to deal with the rest of the world's criminals that said the U.S has a Few more people in prison.

Two million two hundred seventy thousand to be exact so even if Kira's efforts were entirely Concentrated on the U.S, It would have only been around thirteen percent of the total us prison population Furthermore worldwide there are eight hundred and seventy-four thousand one hundred people murdered last year Holy Jeez that's a huge number So even if Kira only targeted murders his total number of killings over six years Would only be thirty-two percent of the total number of murders in one year. Ho Boy Hide your kids, hide your wives. Hide your kids, hide your wives. The world is kind of a scary place sometimes. And I gotta be honest. Light, for all his purging the world talk, made it a bit Scarier. You see, even though he sees himself as the embodiment of justice... I am.. I am.. Justice! He kills innocents along the way in order to stay out of prison Raye Penber, Raye's fiancee, 11 FBI agents that were sent to investigate him, L, Watari, then of course the killings that were done by the other Kiras! Light justifies these deaths as Necessary in his quest to bring peace to the world, And in truth, those people makeup only 1/10 of 1% of Kira's total death toll But are he right in this assessment?When we say that Kira killed 279,024 criminals, that's under the assumption that all of those people were guilty! But what light doesn't take into account, are false convictions.

Which happens more frequently than you might think. According to the national registry of exonerations, The number of Prisoners being released as their crimes is disproven has been increasing since 2011 a rate of 3 exonerations per week. Other criminal Justice studies have shown that in the U.S. specifically, as many as 4.1 percent of death row inmates in us might be innocent. And that's only in the U.S, and Only for people who've been convicted. We know that in some cases, Kira Simply Targets suspects. If four percent of the people Kira sends to death would have later been exonerated that means Kira has killed over 11,000 innocent victims. Not quite the drop in the bucket that light seems to think it is there's also plenty of other issues that exist In the criminal justice system. For example in the U.S, 94 percent of all cases are decided by Plea bargains.

Where people confess guilt to a lesser crime to avoid the risk of being convicted Of something more serious, even if they're not guilty at all! They just don't want to run the risk or waste the time in trial Some estimates put the number of Innocents who are currently serving prison time due to plea bargains at around 20,000 and Japan has a BIG problem with wrongful convictions. Suspects arrested for questioning can be held up to 23 days during which the suspect isn't allowed to have contact with an attorney There's even one case where a prosecutor threatened to kill a suspect during his interrogation Japan's conviction Rate is, get this... 99.8%!!! Let me make this easy for you. If you're in court in a Japanese courtroom, You are going to prison. Just stop wasting your time get started on your prison sentence and get it over with faster It's a system where guilty until proven innocent really prevails. And in Kira's eyes, They're all guilty, regardless of the evidence! By the end of the series people and governments just send him names! With light killing hundreds of thousands of people, you think he's got time to check each and every one? So what's the upshot here? Is Kira Truly justice? Well, let me give you the numbers and you can go to debate it in the comments.

Near the end of the anime we find out that By the end of Kira's six-year reign the world's violent crime rate has fallen by 70% Since Kira's appearance six years ago, wars have stopped. And global crime rates have been reduced by over 70 percent A 70% decrease in the number of Worldwide Murders would Decrease the number of killings in a given year By 611,870. So by killing an average of 46,500 people per year, around two thousand of those being innocent, Kira prevented over six hundred thousand murders Every single year, and that's not even mentioning all the other violent crimes that went down This is the dilemma of Death Note. Light is clearly, clearly a villain saying he's driven by a better world when in actuality his ego and lust for power are his true driving Motivations and yet, you can't deny, He got results So was he right all along? The show provides no clear answers and remembers, it's all just fiction.

But it raises a great debate a debate that hopefully I was able to help you out with by providing more accurate numbers So you can assess the situation and although I can't answer any of those questions definitively for you I can at least present you with one final and slightly lighter question related to death note Could Kira kill Goku? Spoiler alert the answer is obviously yes but goes ahead! Debate it in the comments 'cuz remember it's all just a theory! Film theory! and cut Pretty good video, huh? I really enjoyed it.