I just finished Death Note and must say that I'm completely unsatisfied. Please bear with me as I write this wall of text. I'm sure this has been talked about before but I'd like to share what I have to say. Correct me if I'm wrong.
I believe solely that Death Note’s ending could not have possibly been worse.
First off, I’ll address how blaringly obvious Light’s defeat was. Starting from Near and Mello’s introduction, it could be established that Light would lose in his second challenge. This is because the author included two successors of L, not one, who clearly do not cooperate and hinted on their power if they cooperated. With a little logic and reasoning, one would deduce that the author designed it so that when the two work together they would win. After all the endless chapters in Near’s arc of “I know your plan” and speculations of nothingness, suddenly Mello pops up again and promptly dies afterwards. Obviously, Mello would act sooner or later, but both sides affirm that Mello’s incident did not intrude their plans. Then, what was the point of Mello’s incident? Obviously, Mello’s action would help achieve Near’s victory. The most disappointing cliché of the obvious ending is Light’s downright overconfidence of his definite victory. This work was made to be speculative and that one would not know who would win, yet to put it simply, it’s so freaking obvious.
I’ll tell you; I understood that Light would lose when Near and Mello were introduced but did not know to what extent. Unfortunately, that extent is even more disappointing.
Onto the main point, the saddest fault in the ending is the complete undermining of Light’s character. While competing with L, the author reveals a complex protagonist of rather insane ambitions but complete mental stability. This is the composure of Light, an overly ruthless character of amazing psychological proportion and interest. However, with the ending, Light becomes nothing more than a clichéd psycho maniac who suddenly loses all of the psychological consistency he illustrated earlier even when dealing with grueling pressure and intricate thinking such as formulating how to defeat L and save Misa and himself. For those who argue that it’s natural for Light to break down like he did at the end, there’s far more than enough proof to say Light’s mental stability is nearly infinite or even godlike and that his tantrums are nothing more than letting off pressure. He had a tantrum when Lind L. Taylor broadcasted that message, however, he definitely did not panic. The next unsatisfactory character error would be Light’s sudden fear of death. Light does not fear death. He not only discarded Ryuk’s terrors and clarifications that would normally break an ordinary human’s mentality, but he also accepted that he would die by accepting to exploit the Death Note and by Ryuk’s provocation of his death. It’s nearly unbearable to see complexity turn into simplicity within a matter of pages, thanks to the author.
The next argument is the numerous intellectual holes portrayed by Light’s side and the insufficient amount of precautions taken. The foremost would be Makami’s failure to both follow orders and take into account he knows he’s being followed. The former is understandable given Makami’s frequency to act without much permission. The latter, however, does not coincide with Makami’s intellect. He was fully aware he was being followed and recorded carefully, yet he still retrieved the real notebook from the bank. Assuming that he was not being followed is completely unusual of Makami’s intelligence. Another hole is Light’s failure to develop his scenario like he usually does. It is Light’s natural ability that he formulates numerous workarounds in the condition that his scenario fails, most prominently displayed when Light created his scheme for defeating L. He had amounted and considered many possibilities that could happen and proofed as much as he could. Another of Light’s intelligent works would be his intricate considerations for hiding his book or testing if anyone had entered his room, all illustrating his ability to manifest backups. His failure in Near’s battle was completely out of character and illogical in that he only considered and crafted one scenario, discarding all other variables such as Mello and the like. These two major holes amongst others undermine Death Note’s initial capacity to portray intelligence at its finest.
Other factors of the unsatisfactory ending include the victory of unattractive characters of Near and Mello, Near being the pathetic wannabe of L and Mello being a complete dork, and the overly simplification of investigation in the second half, such as Near immediately suspecting Makami and the immediate creation of a fake Death Note. If even one of the above paragraphs is properly addressed, I would accept the ending. However, with all these mistakes the author makes, this is possibly the worst ending I have ever experienced. I can’t say that I enjoyed the second half of Death Note too much, but I did finish it for the sake of finishing it. For those who accept the official ending, that’s fine but there’s solid proof or reason that the ending failed to achieve most of what the first half of Death Note offered. For me and maybe some others, Death Note officially ended when L died.
That about wraps up what comes to my head as of now.