[Spoilers] Death Note Endings: Anime vs Manga

Spoilers for Death Note after the jump

For the most part, the Death Note anime followed the manga nearly perfectly, only sometimes cutting out extranious scenes and adding a few in. The only real distict difference between the two is how they end, and even then the anime doesn’t deviate too much. In both stories Light meets up and with Near, Near beats him with Jesus magic, and Light dies. The main difference between the two is how nice the story is to Light. In the anime, it’s nice to him; in the manga, it’s a dick.

I think it all hinges around Mikami’s loyalty to Light. In the manga, like any normal person, Mikami finally comes to his senses and realizes Light is just some crazy person (“You’re not God! You’re just… scum!”) and just leaves him waddling on the floor. In the anime, Mikami’s loyalty to Light brings him to stabbing himself in the stomach to distract the detectives so Light can escape. The manga ends with Light begging to Ryuk like a pussy for him to kill everyone, and as a result Ryuk just writes Light’s name down, leaving him to die like a crying dog. In the anime, Light gets a chance to escape, and his own sappy montage. He dies quietly on his own, much like a certain hero from a certain 1998 sci-fi anime.

The manga ending is definitely more realistic (well, as realistic as you can get in a story about a killer notebook) with people acting how normal people would in that situation. The anime end is more Hollywood, romanticizing the main characters, making their ends less brutal and more beautiful. I like both for different reasons. On one hand, I like how the manga is just a fucking cunt to Light in the end. He doesn’t even get a chance to act cool, he just goes down like a pussy (“Damn… it” great last words.) The anime end works mostly because of its execution. The scene composition is very good throughout the entire episode (SAKUJOU SAKUJOU SAKUJOU) with Light’s final moments being brilliantly directed and treated with respect. I probably like the manga end a bit more, but in the end I like both more or less the same. And yes, in both, the majority of the second arc does suck. At least the anime makes it quick and painless.

Deep down I do want an ending where Light wins, but that would completely defeat the point of the entire story. It’d still be cool to see, and not in crappily photoshopped form.