Deathnote is Macbeth (spoils?)

No.11178768 ViewReplyOriginalReport
Death Note is basically Macbeth, if that's not blatentely obvious. The story is told from the perspective of a villian with some supernatural advantage (Kira has a Death Note, Macbeth couldn't be killed). He is challenged by a series of heroic people who all meet bad ends. He is led to kill his family and friends. In the end though, he is a lonely raving lunatic and he ultimately dies. And all the while, supernatural entities are viewing the human drama from an unbiased perspective (Witches in Macbeth, Shinigami in Death Note). Also, the hero/villian archetypes are reflections of each other (L and Kira, Macbeth and Banquo). Macbeth kills Banquo to ensure his rise to power, because Banquo rejects murder while Macbeth embraces it.

That's a good story structure, but I think the story of Macbeth was better in the beginning when Macbeth wasn't entirely evil. But after slaying King Duncun and Banquo, there is no hope or remorse for Macbeth. You just want him to die. Yet at the same time, you sympathize with him in a twisted way and his demise is also painful. Like, it wasn't bad enough that your hero died, now your villian is dying.

But the hero still has the "last laugh" from beyond, and it's the good guy, not the bad guy, who has an enduring legacy (M and N in Death Note, Malcom son of Banquo in Macbeth). Hell, Kira and Macbeth both see ghosts of their respective nemesis (L and Banquo)

The surprises in Death Note are not who dies or lives (which can be seen a mile away) but rather the little forks in the road along the way. L verus Kira at their peak is the cream of the series. A dead L and a declining Kira, even though it's nesscessary to round out the story and conclude it, is just not as good. It's still worth watching, though.