Liar Game vs. Death Note (Akiyama vs. Light)

18 03 2009

Obviously with this domain, you know who I’m going to pick as a ‘winner’– But I’ve been thinking a lot about this, especially upon reading these posts:

http://otaben.blogspot.com/2009/03/liar-game-and-why-you-should-be-reading.html

http://crystaljazz.wordpress.com/2008/08/13/liar-game-as-good-as-death-note/

If you asked me two years, even one year ago what I thought about Death Note, my reaction would undoubtedly have been “OMG Death Note luv!!1!1 Light = Hawtness!!1!1!1!!!”  I feel that the shows, books, and works in general shine when based on a simple premise.  In this case, the premise is “A genius discovers the power to kill people”, and it works.  At last, a psychological thriller that is actually clever!

A little too clever, perhaps.  And that is where I think Death Note’s main fault lies.   Somewhat like The Dark Knight, it revels a little too much in its own ingenuity and ends up exaggerating dialogue, plot, and characters beyond credibility.  Especially characters, and I think you know exactly which one I have in mind…

That simple premise seems to just vanish as the show goes on.  When it comes to the actual Death Note itself, it has too many rules and too many exceptions to each rule.  In Liar Game, the actual rules themselves are very mathematical and precise.  The Minority Round?  So simple and ingenious, it’s striking that I’ve never seen this anywhere before.

Right now it may just seem like I’m just slamming Death Note, but just bear a little longer with me as you’ll see where I’m going with this, and how this ties into Liar Game.

As I said before, I used to love Light like anything.  I loved his intelligence, his looks, focus, attitude, lines– you name it, I loved it.  Death Note captured me so much that I’d nag my mom to read it (and mind you, she dislikes my fascination with manga) until she finally gave in.  And her reaction really really shocked me.

She didn’t like it.  Her reaction wasn’t of nonchalance, or indifference.  It was of outright dislike.  In fact, her words were:

“Light is a delusional moron who thinks killing people is the right thing to do, and the worst thing is that I feel like the creators are trying to justify his actions by making him cool and likable.  It’s as if they expect us to love and worship him.”

Ouch.

As you can imagine, I took it very personally.  What did my mom know?!  He was a guy with a vision!!  You don’t get many of those anymore, right?

To that, I now say: “meh.”  Tossing aside the moral discussions and taking a step back, I can tell you this:  From a literary standpoint, Light is bloated.  He is nothing more than a cliché.  A genius who wants to rule the world?  Check.  Tragic hero who falls victim to his own visions and goals?  Check.  Doesn’t ever look back or doubt himself?  Check.  Normally, these things are okay to write a story about, but like I said, in Death Note, there’s just too much.  It starts out decently enough, but by the end of series, I was too sick to take a second look at Light from even his earlier days.  Add on top of that, other side characters and developments thrown into the mix are just that— underdeveloped.  (The only other character who is focused on as much as Light is L).  Plus, the portrayal of women in Death Note is… lamentable, to say the least.

It would have succeeded if it wasn’t trying to be so epic, so grandiose.  So many things are wrong with it (and it could have been so much more) that I would not recommend this to anyone who is actually looking for a serious study on psychological matters.  That being said, I view Death Note as a series for entertainment, not food for thought.

(My suggestion is, if you’re looking for a truly great psychological feast that deals with same exact issues of Death Note  such as “Do extraordinary men have rights over ordinary men?” or “Is killing justified if the one being killed is a criminal or no use to society?”, read Dostoevsky’s great novel Crime and Punishment.)

So, where was I going with this?

If you are a reader of both Death Note and Liar Game, the comparison between Akiyama Shinichi and Light is inevitable.  The fact that they’re both geniuses who have run-ins with the Japanese legal system is grounds enough, really.  Yet to be honest, despite Akiyama’s more dramatic entrance (as opposed to Light staring out a window in boredom), I found myself smitten to Light much, much earlier on in the series.  Perhaps it was my initial skepticism and worry as to whether Akiyama=Neo-Light that forced me to take time to warm up to him, but when it came down to the initial response of “coolness factor”, Light’s far exceeds Akiyama.

But now, who do I like better?  It would definitely be Akiyama, hands down.  His scenes aren’t as epic or heart pounding as Light’s, but that’s a good thing to me.  Remember the three clichés I mentioned earlier on in the post?  Those are exactly the reasons why I find Akiyama a much more enjoyable character to be around than Light.

The best thing I like about Akiyama is his inner conflict, as opposed to Light.  The latter has everything he could have ever wanted.  Light wants to eliminate ‘suffering’ in the world, but has he ever even experienced it (before the Death Note came into his hands, anyway)?  If he had come from a broken family, witnessed a death that profoundly impacted his life or something of the sort, I could have sympathized more with him.  Yet the fact remains that he’s a rich, spoiled child.

Therefore, in terms of depth, Akiyama outranks Light.  He is not the stereotypical manipulative genius, yet neither is he the “jerk with a heart of gold”.  He’s just a bit of both.  As we know, he helped Nao save her teacher, even though he told her that “[he doesn’t] have any noble motives like [sacrifice]”.  Well, thank God!  From that moment onwards, I never worried again as to whether Akiyama would turn out be a character similar to Light’s.

What made the story even better was the discovery of Akiyama’s past.  Here is a character who knows suffering and a difficult life; Therefore, I at least could sympathize with his fate!  Even now, I am not sure whether Akiyama’s manipulations were “justified” or whether he deserved to go to jail, but it does make for one hell of a story.  To this moment, you can see that Akiyama is still pained over the loss of his mother (hence the desire to continue participating in the Liar Game), and he is still pained over his “past deeds”.

Light?  He never doubts what he’s doing.  I feel that people are mistaken when they say his original intention was to eliminate criminals.  It really wasn’t.  His method was to kill criminals (and eventually anyone who came in his way), but his original intentions were ALWAYS to “create an utopia and reign as God”.  His failing wasn’t that he lost sight of his “noble” goal, but rather that he became too focused on it.  In reality, the only people who I have seen clutch onto their ideologies with such steadfastness are those who are motivated by underlying, usually painful, and relevant personal experiences.  And as I’ve established before, Light never had any such things.

Finally, the thing I like the best about Akiyama is that he doesn’t treat women like idiots.  And nor would he go to such ridiculous lengths to rationalize or excuse murders.

Well, as Akiyama would say, Light experienced a huge case of cognitive dissonance.  After killing a few “test” people and feeling remorseful and disgusted, how does Light react?  Since he can’t revoke the deaths, the only thing he can do is justify them by changing his philosophy to include the reasoning “those who do bad deeds deserve to die”.  And then act upon it.

Huh.

So I guess Akiyama has the last word, thank you very much.

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99 responses

19 03 2009
onicchi

Thank you for mentioning this. I’ve barely read any of the Death Note manga, but I must say that my impressions matched up with what you’re saying here, and with what your mother said.

One thing that actually really makes me like Akiyama a lot is that he did have to learn and study to get all of his knowledge. Somehow Light just seemed to know what people are doing and how to manipulate them, Akiyama has his natural intellgence plus graduate-level work in psychology. It’s a teeny thing, but it really makes me like him that much more.

19 03 2009
quantula

Yes! Exactly– I love how we know that Akiyama actually uses the knowledge he learned in college. I mean, Light goes to Tokyo University too (heh), but even that’s like a farce. His college education apparently wasn’t useful and a waste of time because he already knows everything. *twitch*

19 03 2009
B

Your reactions run along the same lines as mine. Last year, if you ever asked me about Death Note, I would’ve…said the same thing as you. At the time, I felt that Light was justified in everything he did. All the rationalizing and morals he pushed out of the way were rather utilitarian but I was like, “Yup! Yup, Light can do no wrong. He is ALWAYS RIGHT. Plus he’s hot ^^.”

But now, Liar Game actually features strategies and explanations for the readers. I don’t major in Philosophy or Ethics but I was always interested by these things. There’s no real way to describe the way I feel about Liar Game vs. Death Note. Liar Game just seems more…real. Well..OBVIOUSLY since there’s a lack of shinigami but the wonderful thing in Liar Game is that people feel remorse. They were originally motivated by money, but at the end of the first round, they were ready to drop out. Then the Liar Game drops a biggie on them…they had to continue onto the second round. All of the players (excepting Yokoya) were in the game because they didn’t want to be in gigantic debt.

Just my … two cents. ^^

19 03 2009
quantula

@B

Thank you for taking the time to write up such a big comment! 😀 It’s good to know that someone out there shares my view.
I took more time to warm up to Liar Game than Death Note, but it was totally worth it.

19 03 2009
twilightshiva

Wow. That was intense lol. But very insightful.
All I’m gonna say really is that people’s faults are really what makes us like them. No one is perfect, and if some seems perfect, you’ll think it’s too good to be true and get skeptical. And as you said, had Light experienced hardships in his life, you would have sympathized with him more because he really would have wanted to stop everyone’s suffering. Akiyama has not had a perfect life and that has shaped him into the person he is now, who wants to know more about the Liar Game, while on the other hand, Light has lead a fairly perfect life and his faults would be his clichés. Clichés are, obviously, cliché but that doesn’t mean they’re bad. Every girl wants to be a princess and have a knight in shining armour, which is a cliché but doesn’t stop them from still wanting it. I like both Light and Akiyama but for different reasons. Light is hot, intelligent, and a well-intentioned extremist, his fault, but while you can say it’s overdone, I think it works in Death Note. The fact that he never doubts what he’s doing just shows that he’s not a wishy-washy character that doesn’t see things through. He knows what he wants and how to get it. Akiyama, on the other hand, knows more about the hardships of the real world and has learned from these experiences. Because of this, he has more street smarts than Light, who is really only book smart. Akiyama may be a better person in many ways than Light, but I don’t think that necessarily makes him higher up on my list.
lol sorry I really ranted and went all over the place but I hope that makes sense…? 🙂

19 03 2009
quantula

😀
You made sense, don’t worry about it.
All right, this is what I think:
“Clichés are, obviously, cliché but that doesn’t mean they’re bad.”
No, they’re not, but a lot of stories would be much much better if they didn’t have any. Death Note included.

“Every girl wants to be a princess and have a knight in shining armour, which is a cliché but doesn’t stop them from still wanting it.”
This may be true, but I’m talking about literature clichés, not real-life ones. 🙂

“The fact that he never doubts what he’s doing just shows that he’s not a wishy-washy character that doesn’t see things through.”
Doubting oneself doesn’t mean that he/she is wishy-washy and won’t get things done. Paradoxically, it could even strengthen a resolve. I mean, we don’t know if Akiyama stopped to think “Should I be doing this?” while bringing down the MLM (though the evidence does point towards a ‘yes’)– but if he did, he still followed through, didn’t he?
If it was Light vs. Himself rather than Light vs. Everyone Else, that would have been a lot more interesting to me. Plus, a skilled author could do the whole ‘Light vs. Himself’ without making him seem emo. XD

Finally,
“All I’m gonna say really is that people’s faults are really what makes us like them. No one is perfect, and if some seems perfect, you’ll think it’s too good to be true and get skeptical.”
I’m assuming you’re talking about character faults? The thing about Light is, he’s perfect except for the fact that he is very exaggerated. And that exaggeration makes him less of a character and more of a caricature.

20 03 2009
twilightshiva

but a lot of stories would be much much better if they didn’t have any. Death Note included.
Well here’s where we disagree I guess. That’s debatable lol
(Skip Beat, anyone?)

Lit clichés are based on real-life ones, so… yeah lol

lol k I admit that wasn’t the strongest point to bring up. Still, as I said before, sure a Light vs. Himself would have been cool too but I think the Light vs. Everyone Else still worked and made it more epic. The fact that people still adore him even though he’s this horrible is proof of this. And I don’t think Light is emo lol. He may be insane but he’s not emo.

but you also gotta realize in the world of manga and anime, tons of things are exaggerated. It comes with the territory of literature and art.
… what’s wrong with a caricature?

Still, interesting points to bring up.

20 03 2009
quantula

@twilightshiva

Lit clichés are based on real-life ones, so… yeah lol
Sure, but the purpose of real life isn’t to entertain other people. The example you gave was about a person in real life wanting something which would be considered a cliché in literature. I just wanted to make that distinction.

Still, as I said before, sure a Light vs. Himself would have been cool too but I think the Light vs. Everyone Else still worked and made it more epic. The fact that people still adore him even though he’s this horrible is proof of this.

Mmm… adoration and popular support aren’t proof of opinions.

And I don’t think Light is emo lol. He may be insane but he’s not emo.
You misunderstood me. I said, if the author decided to do Light vs. Self, he maybe could have pulled it off without making Light seem emo.

but you also gotta realize in the world of manga and anime, tons of things are exaggerated. It comes with the territory of literature and art.
… what’s wrong with a caricature?

You misunderstood me again. 🙂
There is nothing wrong with caricatures and clichés.
An example is Kingdom Hearts. Most of the plot and characters are very over-simplified and….clichéd. Yet I still love it from the bottom of my heart because it doesn’t try to pretend that it isn’t anything beyond a children’s story. (And on a side note, I don’t include Riku or his story in the whole cliché fold).

You’re right– in manga and anime, a lot of things are exaggerated.
But this depends on the genre, and it would be a disservice to say that ‘world of manga’=’exaggerated’. Liar Game isn’t. Only certain types (such as shoujo) are built upon ‘caricatures’, so to compare Skip Beat and Death Note is to compare two different types of mangas with two different objectives.

The problem with Death Note is that it pretends like it’s layered, deep, analytical, and thought-provoking. Light was never meant to be a caricature, but it seems to me that he turned out that way. And the reason I say that Death Note would be better without the clichés is because it belongs to a genre which never intended to have any. A well thought out story will provoke well thought out ideas. And…. a cliched story will only result in superficial ideas. With Death Note, people’s reactions are such that they completely agree with Light or completely do not (and I’ve been on both sides of this).

Death Note is essentially a story without any middle ground.

Well, I think to discuss this any further would be kinda pointless because then we’d be getting away from Liar Game/Death Note and more into personal opinions. Seeing as I did a complete 180, I probably won’t ever think about Death Note favorably again, but I did have a lot of fun reading and replying to your comments. 🙂

Thanks!!

26 09 2009
Kanchan

I was going to mention that I was replying to the main post with regards to comparing Akiyama and Light, then I realise you might have written the main post!

>> The problem with Death Note is that it pretends like it’s layered, deep, analytical, and thought-provoking. Light was never meant to be a caricature, but it seems to me that he turned out that way.

I definitely agree with your comment here. I was so struck by it, I went back and thought about what made Liar Game different – and better than Death Note. And I came to the conclusion that there’s not much difference between them at all. Death Note is built on incredibly skewed premise that could only appeal to fans of Marvel Comics =p *no offense*, buying into this whole story about vigilante justice and stuff. Death Note characters talk about everything in terms of Justice, when it is actually more plausible to think about it in terms of power balance and authority. Light is extremely misguided, but all the character plays along with him, including the supposed genuis L.

As for Liar Game, it openly acknowledges human weaknesses and greed, but from another point-of-view, it is equally pretentious in that, it presumes that it is human nature to lie, cheat and extort for the sake of money. Kaitani’s premise is: If you put 100 million in front of a group of people, you can easily get them to Battle Royale for it. I’m not saying that its not right, but its also incredibly skewed and pessimistic – like Light who believes that murder is justified in the name of justice and humans need to be intimidated into social conciousness. The only difference between them is, Kaitani (like L) takes the moral highground (lying is wrong) while Light thinks that the end justifies the means.

>> Death Note is essentially a story without any middle ground.

I’m not sure if I’m completely right to say this: but I think DN and LG are somewhat similar – where people go to extreme lengths to protect certain beliefs (a.k.a Nao and Light) which is like, so distinctively Japanese.

>> As for why LIGHT, and not, say, L, is because L is not as well developed as Light, if you would call Light that at all.

I do agree with your point that LG has better characters. Akiyama is the character that is easy to like, someone with principles, but too smart to stick to them, who strayed and regrets but has to live with guilt, someone who strives to stay decent but becomes jaded. I like Akiyama for his weakness, idealism and clear head – he’s got it screwed on right, unlike Light. I won’t call Light idealistic – I think he’s more like, meglomaniac. As for the similarity between L and Akiyama – yeap, I’ve noticed it. They tread more along the grey areas of life, they are concious of the possibility that their actions might be wrong, unlike Light who’s fanatic.

>> It’s just..the whole story seems cluttered with insignificant things, right?

Yes, Light misses the big picture (I don’t blame him, afterall he possess the Death Note i.e. great power >_<) but infuriatingly, everybody else does too – L, Soichiro, Matsuda – they are all so busy playing their narcissistic game of cops, robbers, genuis and suckers – or maybe I should say, its Tsugumi Ohba that hey, dying is no big deal anymore – its cool! Like……..

Frankly, Kaitani irritates me in another way (which is, exactly the same way) – is the whole ringmarole of LGT Office really necessary?

19 03 2009
lullaby

I was just talking about this precise matter to a friend today, since she loves Death Note and I was trying to make her see how LG is so much more fantastic and that she should start reading it like, right now.

Well, the thing is, I don’t like Death Note, and never liked it to begin with. Some of the reasons are personal and not very deep or interesting like how I’m an argumentative person and tend to reject stuff when everybody says that it’s the new best thing on the market (it’s stupid and snobbish, I know “u__u), and I rarely can get hooked on manga when there isn’t any interesting female character, because I need a character I can identify with. But well, I finally swallowed my prejudices and really tried some time ago. And I still didn’t like it.

I usually like evil and twisted characters who want to kill everybody on the planet, because well, it’s fiction, and they’re so much more fun. But I found Light just… bland. I don’t know if you’ll get what I mean, but even though he has this great ideal and all, he’s perfect in every way, and that’s all there is to him, his personality has no interesting traits or quirks. L, that is one interesting character, but Light? Just… no. I felt like the author didn’t take too much trouble characterizing him, like, he’s cool, he’s a genius, he wants to cleanse the world, done. The death note concept is still interesting, and the beginning wasn’t bad, but then the plot went all over the place and I just got extremely bored with it (then the moral is what it is, and kiddos who believe everything they read might just start to kill people to be as cool as Light, but that’s another thing, and it can be said about a lot of books and movies). Just my opinion though.

And Akiyama? If I start telling how much I like Akiyama (and Nao! And Fukunaga! and everything in LG!) here, I’ll never stop, so let’s just say I think he’s much, much more real, deep, and easy to sympathize with.
My my, I went all over the place again…

19 03 2009
onicchi

I completely agree with this.

I guess I never really got into to Death Note either, just because I think the premise divorced the Death Note from about 90% of what I’d find interesting (the moral and emotional implications). Plus, Light really wasn’t anything except for his God complex. There was no way to relate to him at all. At least L amused me for the little bit I read.

In many ways, even though you could compare Light with Akiyama as being in similar situations, they’re complete opposites.

22 09 2015
bluepasj

A story does not need to dwell on morals and ethics to be good. In fact, what you said can be surmised as your opinion. Period.

That being said, yes, DN is very low on talking about ethics, and simplifies it a lot. Example: Light says people will say that killing is wrong because it is the right thing to do. But the manga/anime does not dwell on death penalty done by society vs vigilantism, or the families of the victims. Because it is not the focus. There’s nothing wrong with that, and it might even be said that it is kinda superior, because it does not tell you about ethics, it allows you (the audience) to think for yourself. You can debate about L using a person on death-row to test a theory, but the anime doesn’t give you an (easy) answer, like Liar Game, who almost seems like it’s preaching at times. Also, I feel like Liar Game makes more assumptions about people’s reactions, with the alliances and treasons made during the tournamnets. And Death Note’s reactions are more close to what I believe would happen in real-life, with a divide between people who side with Kira and people who go against him. Of course in Liar Game tournament they choose the people who lie better. But still sometimes the lies and treachery feel forced by the plot onto the characters.

But yes, LG is much smarter, does not have to resort to supernatural, and it is much more balanced in terms of mouse-and-cat, mind-game-y stories. Because Death Note is VERY unbalanced to Light’s side, with the death note’s overpowered laws and L needing to really prove that Light’s Kira (which is almost impossible). Also, whereas LG’s theme alows for much more layered discussion, since it is about cheating and lying in general, DN is much more streamlined in that the only core is to kill or not to kill.

22 03 2009
pbwuzherr

Agreed: akiyama is cool!
no doubt about that.

and yes,
i also compared liar game to death note
but with one difference:
i compared akiyama to L.

while in my death note days,
i actually considered L to be the protagonist.
(which is the reason why i never went beyond episode 25 of the anime..
i onLy liked death note because of the Light vs L thing,..)
At first,
I had been on Light’s side
but that changed when i realized L makes much more sense.

Fortunately,
yokoya appeared in liar game.
i hope akiyama vs yokoya will turn out much better.
and it already is going good-
the twists on how they outsmart each other
by bending the rules
are really exciting!

23 03 2009
quantula

Thanks for commenting!
I actually think that even L and Akiyama are as different as Light and Akiyama. Although that comparison popped up in my mind, I decided not to write about it because I was focusing on Light anyway.
And yes, Akiyama vs. Yokoya is interesting!! (Although…. I think Nao vs. Yokoya would be even cooler! XD)

22 03 2009
MegMendaciloquence

i agree with this entirely. though, when i compare DN and LG, i usually compare Akiyama and L in terms of methods and intelligence. still, Akiyama is presented as a great character in terms of not being so cliche like Light tends to be.

23 03 2009
quantula

Haha, another Akiyama and L comparison!
I’m glad you agreed 🙂

23 03 2009
Haya

I totally agree with you. I liked Death Note and everything but throughout the freaking story I was always bugged at how Light’s Xanatos Gambits worked. And part of the premise charm wore off from me after a while. I expected some interesting analysis, going deeper, but most of the time I got bluffs and a lot of “spice” without charm. It’s a bit difficult to explain, but half of the time it was a huge bluff, everything was so outrageous, so “grand” but if you tried to swallow it and think about it, the Gambits went to ridiculous levels and always ended up with Light being god and knowing exactly everything and seeing the future. And the major kicker was the reason: just because.

I totally love Liar Game, some parts are so extreme but they have reasons and foundations, they work because the characters actually took their time to observe and analyse, things Light just said “Screw the analysis, I have the plot in my favour”. Akiyama’s gambits and Yokoya’s and everyone’s make me go all “Wow”, while being amazed at the analysis of people. Light’s gambits are too complicated, to down-right impossible.

And something I never got from the fangirls was the fact that they were drooling over Light because he was hot and perfect. I actually found his “goal” complete bull****. Or more like his thought process of creating a utopia and ending the suffering and all that. I thought, and still think, that it was the stupidest, most hypocritical and selfish thing I’ve ever heard. He, the perfect student, the angel, the whatever. He had everything and he dares to say that he understands suffering? And create a utopia and such. I was so sick about it that I never felt some positive connection with Light. In my eyes, he was no better than the criminals he killed, because his reasons were not “the well-being of mankind”. His reasons, in my opinion, were hidden with “good reasons” like “suffering and yeah”, but in fact it was all about increasing his ego because he was like God. He just wanted to be a God, killing the criminals was just his method to ascend to divinity. Plus he didn’t have drive, unlike Seymour (from Final Fantasy X). Dunno if you’ve played the game, but while Seymour wanted to kill and destroy everything, it was because he thought it would actually save people from suffering, as if everybody dies, no one’s going to suffer. While his process and ideology was a bit screwy, his intentions were truly noble but misguided. Sure, it doesn’t make him better, but at least he has the background and empathy that Light lacks. So, Light in the was no different from the Evil Emperor or whatever that just wants to conquer the world, just because.

Anyway, I’m really sorry for the tl;dr comment I just made. ^^; I just had to rant about it (while procrastination on Thermodynamics, yay! =D ) But I feel quite happy to have found someone who talks about this, so homework can wait, this is more important. xD

23 03 2009
quantula

Thanks for commenting!! ^_^
Yes, the whole ‘suffering’ thing really got to me after a while. I just don’t see what Light’s problem is.
And, what if Light had been old, butt ugly man who was just as smart? I don’t think anyone would root for him then, especially not all the fangirls.
I def. wouldn’t have.
I never played Final Fantasy X, but I have played X-2 (XD I didn’t know at the time….) According to Yuna’s conversations (and wikipedia), he was one messed up guy, wasn’t he? But I’d have to play the game to see the difference between him and Light (aside from the fact that the former was exiled and shunned and….yeah 0_o).

23 03 2009
C A R A V A N

I understand your point of view
what i like about Liar Game is
that Nao may look slow,but is actually pretty smart and shy
unlike Misa who just tries to look pretty and act all cutesy around Light ( ughh! )
Nao is changing as the story goes on
and Akiyama is helping her along the way
Misa just stayed the same
and Light manipulated her until the end ( i’m being mean to misa u.u )

anyway I just wanted to say that
i enjoyed reading your very thorough opinion 😀
( I don’t know if I’m making any sense its really late at night D: )

23 03 2009
quantula

Oh, now that’s an interesting comparison too!!
Shoot, I should have wrote about that. Maybe I’ll do it later.
Nao definitely adds more to the story than Misa ever did. Like I mentioned before, women are treated like crap in Death Note. =/
🙂 I’m happy that you enjoyed reading my post!

23 03 2009
DarknessInside

IMO, Akiyama is way better than Light in many ways.
I’ve never liked Light to begin with. First of all, Light has a perfect life, a perfect family, being the best student in the whole country, has many talents, …. He is perfect, but he’s never experienced any real sufferings and yet he said he understood and wanted to eliminate crimes and sufferings. Second, I’ve never agreed to the idea “killing someone for justice”. IMO, killing people is a crime, whatever the reason might be. Killing someone who has committed crime doesn’t make it justice. And more, Light is willing to kill anyone who is in his way, not just criminals, although he says the reason is to create his utopia, but that is just an excuses. Third, Light never takes time to think about what he’s done, he always thinks that he’s right, and anyone who opposes him is wrong. Fourth, Light never cooperates with anyone, he just uses people. And when they’re of no use to him, he’ll kill them. Fifth, Light underestimates everyone who is not in the same level as he is, which is a fatal mistake. And finally, Light never has friend (I don’t think he considers L as a friend, it’s just my opinion though). He thinks alone, act alone, he has no one to share his opinion with (and even if there was one, I think he wouldn’t even listen to his/her opinion). He killed his emotions to realize his dream.
On the other hand, Akiyama is more real than Light. Akiyama doesn’t appear to be a perfect character like Light does, but if we look more into it, Akiyama is better than Light in many ways. He suffered a lot from his past, which makes his dream of “eliminating sufferings” and his ideal more realistic. He can be merciless sometimes (the revival round), but he always gives people chances to make up for their mistakes (the third round). He’s good at psychology, so he understands people, and he can find a reason to forgive their mistakes, ’cause he knows humans are not perfect. He’s careful and never underestimates his opponents, and he shares his opinions to everyone else, and listen to their opinions. He analyzes things more carefully and always has a backup plan. And lastly, although he may seem emotionless sometimes, but that doesn’t mean he killed all of his emotions like Light. He just suffered a lot in the past so he keeps anyone else at an emotional distance.
Akiyama and Light, both are calm, intelligent, good at psychology, both share the same dream but their opinions are way different. At first glance, Light appears to be a perfect, flawless character while Akiyama isn’t much of that, but as the story progresses, Light reveals his true self and turns out to be not-so-great after all, while Akiyama slowly shows his true self, his past and his good personality. So IMO, Akiyama Shinichi is better than Light Yagami.

23 03 2009
quantula

Thank you for dropping a comment!
I pretty much agree with most of the points, except for the one about Akiyama having a dream to eliminate sufferings. He admitted himself that he doesn’t have any noble motives, remember? So I don’t think he has any grand plans in store for the world.
Which is a good thing. 🙂

24 03 2009
ANCR

I have yet to thoroughly read through Liar game (the manga). I was introduced to it through the drama by my friend and found it interesting, but I never got about to read it. As such, I can’t compare death note to liar game.
However, having read all your comments on this website, I now do have the motivation to read. 🙂

The points in which all of you have raised caught my attention and gave me more food for thought. I truly had not thought that way of Light. I had all along been quite neutral towards him. It made me realized why I had not taken a liking towards Light in the first place. His character as portrayed in death note now appear to be rather inhuman and quite unrealistic to me. I also found his train of thoughts strange after L died. He seemed to be able to predict the movements of his enemies fairly easily and was able to plan everything as if there was not even a single risk. This was disturbing, but I read on anyway. Despite Light’s unsympathetic and queer character, I would still commend and credit him for the plots he had constructed during the battle against L. I had thought the way he had avoided detection was quite clever (the potato bag camera, although I was dubious as to how on earth it got into the bag).

Perhaps I shall have a change of views after I read liar’s game. 🙂
p.s And I find it disagreeable that women in manga always appear not to be the ingenious one. I find it very unsettling. Death note is damned to not acknowledge the importance and worth of women.

24 03 2009
quantula

<33
I’m glad we were all able to convince you to read Liar Game. 🙂
I promise you’ll love it, especially the contraband arc.

At first, Nao will strike the readers as a pathetic, idiotic, and passive “heroine”, but I promise she won’t stay that way forever. ^_^

There aren’t many women in Liar Game (unless you really want to count Fukunaga, in which case LG totally trounces DN in terms of ‘gender equality’), so it’s difficult to really compare the treatment of genders in both mangas.

However, I could rant forever about Misa vs. Nao. There’s no comparison there, none at all. There is no way I could have ever imagined Misa outsmarting Light, but I feel like at the rate Nao is growing, she might be able to match Akiyama (even if he is more intelligent than her)
— and in fact, I hope something like that happens.

22 09 2015
bluepasj

Death Note had Naomi Misora, she was a very nice female character, albeit underused.

30 03 2009
punkisanoob

I enjoyed reading this since I totally agree with it 100%. I used to like Death Note, until its 2nd half and it had all of the problems you mentioned. Light was also my favorite character. When I started reading Liar Game, I began to realize that this manga was like a “Death Note for adults”. (Death Note ran in shounen jump, a magazine for young boys) I really enjoy the stepped up level of intelligence displayed in Liar Game and the non-indulgent attitude of Akiyama. I also love Akiyama’s “just as planned” expressions. He doesn’t actually say that (obviously it’s Light’s catchphrase) but you can tell when he has those moments. Plain awesome.

2 04 2009
pasatotalad

Liar Game is better than Death Note in so many ways. Light is a far worse character than Akiyama for all the reasons everyone else has listed. In both mangas I feel like the women aren’t as important or as intelligent as the men but Death Note is the worse offender of the two. Neither of them are my favorite psychological manga. That honor goes to Mirai Nikki. The name in english means future diary and it’s about 12 people who have diarys meeting the god of time and space who gives there diarys the ability to predict the future. The predicted future can be changed by anyone who reads it as well as by other future diary owners. They are then told by god to fight to the death to become the new god. I like this series better for the following reasons. 1. All twelve diary holders are crazy and most are given backgrounds as to why they are crazy. Some aren’t even crazy at first but they all go crazy eventually. 2. The male protaganist is a wimp and a cry baby and even admits he is a failure. (out of space).

3 04 2009
quantula

In Liar Game, there aren’t many girls to begin with– Just Nao.
However, I promise that it does get better. I really don’t think that Liar Game has a problem with how women are treated, and that there is a healthy range of personalities in terms of ‘strength’ and ‘weakness’.

Thanks for commenting, and maybe I’ll try out Mirai Nikki!

30 05 2010
Urahara

Another thing Liar Game and Mirai Nikki have over Death Note is the supporting characters and a mystery over who will win (partly as it isnt just Light vs Everyone, but Allies versus Enemy Alliances). Mirai Nikki is almost over (it has hit it’s endgame set-up), but it is about the right size I feel.

3 04 2009
Lawliet

well IMO, It was like L and Light were put together, and two new beings immersed. the Good one, Akiyama, and the Evil one Yokoya.

9 04 2009
pasatotalad

I didn’t finish my coment before because I was using my ps3’s internet browser and it ran out of space for me type. then it said my coment wouldn’t post so when I checked it now I was surprised to see my coment. I’ll finish where I left off. I was on my second reason. The main male lead is a wuss and even admits it. The main female lead is probably the most dangerous character in the whole series. She is extremely talented at whatever she does, she stalks the main male character, and she kills anyone who gets in her way of forming a relationship with the male lead because she is very crazy. 3. While this manga is not extremely obscene with it’s level of sex and violence it isn’t afraid to go there. They kill a child by stabbing him in the chest. That’s an extremely taboo thing. 4. Some characters have really sad pasts. This manga does things such as having a girl be raped for her entire life by a large group of and then dying because of the one thing that brought her happness. I think that’s enough reasons.

30 05 2010
Urahara

For those confused, this is a slight spoiler review of Mirai Nikki.

20 04 2009
Nina

Hi! I’ve read the available LG, and have read DN completely.

I’m also guessing I’m your mother’s generation.

I did not read all the way through the comments, so this is just my opinion…..

You are comparing the wrong two characters. You should compare Light and Nao.

Akiyama for me is L.

Light is a cliche, but this is because I think the author is trying to ram home the premise “absolute power corrupts absolutely”. Light starts out killing only criminals, but as time and circumstance goes on, this subtly changes to L as Lind L Taylor (his only perceived impediment), anyone who gets in his way, to anyone, he doesn’t care who, as long as they are dying (the Yotsuba Group’s use of the notebook). After that, I’d say he is functionally insane. Like any evil dicator in history. Totally swung from good cliche to bad.

Light’s vision is that the end justifies the means. Nao’s vision is that all people have some redeeming value, and that goodness (like honesty) must be upheld at all costs. That’s pretty cliche as well. But again, the author’s point won’t be as obvious unless you start with a cliche character.

BTW, Light and Nao are polar opposites, right? Ask yourself, what would Nao do if she got a Death Note?

Ok, this is too long for the comments, but I still like DN better than LG – although I like both tremendously. The art is way better in DN.

As for women in DN – don’t forget the FBI couple. That woman was so strong she had to be gotten rid of. Maybe the DN author is afraid of strong women?

^o^;;

20 04 2009
quantula

Hey!! Thanks for your long comment! ^_^ I love them.

Hmm… I’m not sure that Nao and Light would be a good comparison, because they have absolutely nothing in common (I would think that Nao and Misa makes a better comparison, seeing as they’re the ‘sidekick’ to the smarter male companion, and are both idealistic). The idea of Nao getting the Death Note is interesting, but it seems obvious what she’d do with it. Burn it? Destroy it? Turn it into the police? (lol)

Eh, the FBI couple is a horrible example of strong women. At the very least, it’s an example of sexism because the Raye totally gave Naomi the “Stay in the Kitchen” speech, and she…. took it. I don’t understand how someone so smart as Naomi quit being an FBI agent just because he/she was getting married.

But yes, Akiyama and L is a better comparison, but I just didn’t have too much to say about L at all…
I’m glad we agree that Light is a cliché! Of course, this is where opinions diverge, but I think that Light being a cliché just ruins everything.

And I also agree that the artwork in Death Note is so much better XD.

20 04 2009
BP

The artwork in DN is different 😛 It’s more detailed and realistic.

And I do personally like it better >_>

I think the best comparison is Light to Yokoya and L to Akiyama. Light is some guy who wants to be god, who deludes himself into thinking he’s doing the world a good deed at the start. Yokoya doesn’t delude himself; he just wants to be god (of 8 random ppl). And then L and Akiyama are both just the guys trying to stop him. Akiyama and L’s comparison don’t get much deeper than that, since L just took the case since it was interesting, and Akiyama b/c Nao reminded him of mommy (although I suppose it does get a bit more similar at the end of Round 2 when Akiyama becomes interested in who’s sponsoring the LG).

I don’t think Nao has a comparison in DN. Nao is the shining light (lollight) in the game of greed and fear, and has a ton of character growth and progression. Misa is Light’s lapdog that stays the same (stupid) the entire series. (Also, as you just said, Light and Nao really have nothing in common, besides being the main character.)

1 10 2011
scribble

Actually, Naomi didn’t quit being an FBI agent just because she was getting married. There was a novel released which is sort of a spin-off from Death Note where Naomi is one of the main characters. It said that the reason Naomi quit being an FBI agent was because she had to shoot someone as they had been a criminal but she couldn’t bring herself to do it. Thus, she quit because she thought she wasn’t suited for the job if she couldn’t do something as important as that.

6 06 2009
Johnson Johnson

Well, this is interesting.
I wouldn’t compare Liar Game with Death Note, in my eyes they are different. But anyway.
Hm..personally, I dont like the second half of Death Note, after you-know-what happens. Before that Light was cool, he had really good plans, and had backup plans. As for the second half..well that was ridiculous.
So if we compare them fully, LG is better, but if we take only the first half of DN, then I’m not sure.

Well, characters..
DN might have underdeveloped characters, but I thought they are ok. But I dont get it why is L so great? Because he sits in a weird way and eats chocolate? To me that seems as a desperate attempt to create something unique. It’s okayish, goes well together, but not great or deep in any case.
Well, Light.. he hates crime. He is incredibly egoistic. He looks down on criminals who can’t control themselves, “trash”. Simply, he sees it like that. Take into account, “might makes right”. For him there were no other options when he found the DN. It was either all-in or nothing. Being the only one with this power justified his actions.

Hm, LG characters.. They can be surprising, thtats good. Nothing disappointing about them. Akiyama is..just good, nothing great yet, but I expect more as the manga progresses.

The treatment of women in DN… well, if the protagonist was like this, I don’t see whats the problem with it. They were exploited and killed, just like men. Did you expect some counter-effort or something, where L marries a girl or..? The manga wasn’t about that.

To me, DN operates with simple concepts, so it can’t be really deep, but it’s well made (for the first half). LG isn’t more complex, it just has a newer, more interesting approach, and it’s surprisingly good.

19 06 2009
Mel

There is something more cliche in Death Note than just the character, and that is who the “evil” or “bad” people are. The mangaka never ever even starts to question her definition of evil. Are all criminals evil? The legal system in all countries have their own pitfalls. Why are US jails crammed with more black people than white? why are black people more likely to be convicted than white? Then there’s the issue of real criminals, in the sense of murderers, rapists and everything. But if one was to create a better world with the power of a Death Note book, are we really to kill these people? Putting aside that killing doesn’t solve anything, wouldn’t it be much more effective if we could pin point politicians, militants etc in this world? The millions of people that starve, directly or indirectly due to corruption, greed. The people that face slaughter and genocide in Darfur, the child soldiers in uganda. Focusing on japan, there is human trafficking, underground slave trade. Our world doesn’t become a better place by killing off murderers and rapists. So at the heart of everything, the manga is deeply shallow. Oxymoron right there! it pretends to be dealing with something morally challenging, but it’s not. It’s like how star wars pretends to understand philosophy, but obviously doesn’t.

Now, so how does Liar Game differ in its sophistication? I’m currently studying psychology, philosophy and economics in university, and i think one thing that i see in Liar Game is its absolute amount of RESEARCH. Every single game that has appeared in this manga, is an adaption of some famous experiment in psychology or economics. The mathematics involved is very well researched, in fact, i’ve been learning about the theory behind quite a few of these games. the fact that liar game is based on real life academic research, reveals the manga artist’s intention to portray something that sticks to the behavior of real people. It’s not about whether or not these games, organisations exist, it’s about putting how people really behave into situations. and i like the character development. Furthermore, there really isn’t any grand preaching statement that the manga tries to put out, Akiyama gets put into jail, that is exactly what will happen in the real legal system of our society he someone was to be found doing what akiyama was doing. and it’s not about hey that means he did something wrong, it’s just a reflection, and it’s up to us to think about it. a really good piece of literature tries to let us think, and not shove some belief down our throats.

All in all Liar Game is superior to Death Note. LG isn’t a masterpiece, but then Death Note is quite easy to beat. If we needed a badass character that is good at manipulating people, i’ll go read One Outs (by LG manga artist!)

30 06 2009
Silvara4ever

Okay, I FINALLY got to read Death Note, after millions of recommendations and comments like ‘hey, if you like Liar Game, Death Note is a must’. I have wanted to read it for a long time, but I just couldn’t bring myself to it… Till now.

And the most definite thing I can say about it is: if you have read first Death Note, you will most definitely love Liar Game. But if you read first Liar Game AND THEN try Death Note, as I did… You’ll end up bored to tears. Or at least I did. And I’m still not finished with the series…

Apart from the fact that I agree with everything that has been said in the post (especially with your mum’s words, please tell her on my behalf that her wisdom is priceless), the manga has a very irregular rythm. It starts quite good (albeit the fact that Light would never fill Akiyama’s shoes in A MILLION YEARS), but then… After Light forfeits the Death Note, and especially, after his counterpart’s death, everything is just dragged on… God, I’m just reading it so that I can tell the people that YES, I HAVE read it, and NO, I don’t find it half as AMAZING as they say. But it bores me big time.

And the women issue… Better not go into there, I could get quite passionate.

I’m sorry, but as goodlooking as Light could be, I find him insane, arrogant and a b*****rd. And I cannot see why he’s compared to Light, nor why Death Note is compared to Liar Game. Regardless of which do I think is better (no genius required there), they are absolutely different mangas with distictly separate storylines. Liar Game is not a game about life and death. Unless Yokoya starts sending people to gas chambers, they are as different as night and day.

4 08 2009
Shadowheart

Ok I am going to join the discussion.I don’t realize why people try to find the bad things in the Death Note manga.They all use arguments to find what it’s lacking.I am a big fan of Liar Game and Death Note.I also feel that Liar Game feels more real than DN.The characters are more likable in LG.The Yagami Light character is truly made like “GOD”.He is clever,good looking,manipulative but most people don’t see why the ending of the DN manga was like that.He was under so much pressure all that time that at the end he lost his mind(and life) in creating something for the other people.He was made the bad character who wanted to do the good deed and in every persons eyes he looks like a crazy person who had taken lifes without a blink of an eye.Of course L was created on the model of the weird cool fello who has an incredible intellect and he is kind of strange.Because of that qualities he became even more popular to the mass of people.Because when something is different it attracts the interest.Thanks to being animated all kinds of stuff the manga increased it’s popularity.And when something comes popular it gets ruined.Maybe It was a bad decision of the mangaka to kill L.By that time the manga was popular and everybody was shocked why their favorite character was killed.After that Light became the worst being in the manga.”Oh what a villian.How could he kill L.” Thanks to that every person who Light went to L because their beloved “GOOD” char wasn’t that good anymore.I think that we shouldn’t try the bad the good things in something and focus on the better sides of it.My opinion is that DN till it’s halfway was top 5 manga.But there was so much hope put in it that the fans felt let down after reading the rest of it.

Now the Liar Game.It has so much potential.The main character is Nao is great.And Shinichi is at my eyes equal at mind games,but there is one thing that is in his favor that is that he lost something precious to him and even went to prison and he could take almost everything normally and with clear mind and this makes him a lot harder opponent to face with.There were some absolutely breath taking actions of him that left me with mouth open.I think that Liar Game could continue forever and still be enjoyable and again we head to most important part-The Ending.After LG finishes no matter what great stuff you have read during the chapters if you didn’t like the ending you will be so disappointed that you will give it a lower score at all kind of forums and manga databases and this way it will suffer from the “death note disease”.So people when you believe in series believe till the end maybe in something bad you will find good that you could hang on.

25 09 2009
Kanchan

No idea why you’re comparing Light and Akiyama. I couldn’t sit through more than 3 episodes of Death Note. Simply because I couldn’t stand the fact that people are dying right and left in the background, while Light and L played their little games. I started off by identifying with Light, I even liked Ryuk (in fact, I do like him, alright). I identified with his boredom, his restlessness, the smart-ass side to Light, and to me, the intial Light was at least human. Than suddenly, he went on the rampage about Justice and being God of the New World and that’s when I stopped watching. I couldn’t bear it. I wondered how the author created his character(s). It’s like some shounen dream come through, except that its massively unrealistic, horrendously callous and as delusional as the main character itself.

25 09 2009
quantula

Well, I’m comparing them because I wanted to show that Liar Game is totally more awesome than Death Note! Haha, I thought you were going to say how I was comparing apples and oranges (which they kind of are), but yeah, if it’s just because Akiyama is awesome and Light is not, the best way to show that is compare, right?
As for why LIGHT, and not, say, L, is because L is not as well developed as Light, if you would call Light that at all.
The part where you said “people are dying right and left in the background, while Light and L played their little games” definitely rings true. It’s just..the whole story seems cluttered with insignificant things, right?

26 09 2009
Kanchan

Grr, I need to “waste” another comment and reply to my own comment because it lacks an edit feature!

>> As for the similarity between L and Akiyama – yeap, I’ve noticed it. They tread more along the grey areas of life, they are concious of the possibility that their actions might be wrong, unlike Light who’s fanatic.

Regarding this: My reply isn’t coherent because 1. I’ve misread your comment – I just thought that L and Akiyama were similar -_-“”, 2. I’m sort of lumping it together with my response to your comment that LG character are more awesome ^_^

26 09 2009
Kanchan

…….Sigh, I don’t really know how my additional post appeared on TOP of my main post but I supposed I clicked a wrong button. Sorry, I missed a lot of your points – I couldn’t really digest your main post because it never occured to me that they were similar in any way. While you saw Akiyama as a possible Neo-Light, I saw him as Neo-L or something.

The closest comparison I can come up with is the LGT Office as Neo-Ryuku – kukuku, we’re bored, we have a lot of cash, let’s throw it around the town and see what happens next, humans are interesting, sit back and have an apple =P

27 09 2009
hncs9

In light of the new discussion about how the two are similar. To a certain extent I agree. To another extent I don’t.

Death Note is certainly on VERY skewed premises. The idea of justice and world peace based on killing criminals?! What about world leaders who start wars. What about militants who conduct genocides. What about CEO’s of companies who disregard the fact they use child labour. We still have slave trade, wide scale “ethnic cleansing” in areas of the world.Etc. etc. etc. The idea is so much more complex than DN portrays. The whole idea of DN is based on the most simplest Good-Evil divide, criminal Vs police. If anyone knows the real world, police are very easily corrupt and are there to uphold the status quo, not justice.

about this: “As for Liar Game, it openly acknowledges human weaknesses and greed, but from another point-of-view, it is equally pretentious in that, it presumes that it is human nature to lie, cheat and extort for the sake of money.”

The reason why I respect LG so much is because, I believe i’ve mentioned this before, but the games, and the way akiyama explains things, they’re all based on actual famous psychology experiments. The prisoner game is the most obvious example. Every single game the author has come up with is based on some type of mathematical, economical, etc theory. The two countries trading and guessing money? Based on a sub-topic of Nash’s Game theory. There are economics experiments out there that actually test how people guess amounts of money from 1-100, and how that differs with different stakes. how humans don’t choose according to the best or most ‘rational’ path. I could go on and on and on. So the way the actual manga is constructed is in fact not so far away from what the results our psychology experiments tell us.

And now onto my second point. Human nature can be incredibly compassionate, and loving. But at the same time, incredibly selfish and might I say, scary. The fact is, people DO lie, cheat and extort for money. Friends turn on each other, family members can turn on each other. For money. And it’s more common place than some of us would like to think. However this only scratches the surface. During the 60’s and 70’s when ethics was not a big issue, many important social psychology experiments were conducted. For example, the stanford prison experiment (which you can read about here: http://www.prisonexp.org/) Basically, a couple of normal college students all cheerful participated in this experiment. A game as the manga would put it. Half of them became prisoners, the half were the prison guards. They were to all act like real prisoners and guards. At first it was all fun and games. I’ll skip the detail, as you can go see for yourself on the website. But after 6 days, there was torture, and i mean actual torture going on, akin to those reports of what happened during the Iraq war. The prisoners were stripped naked sometimes and asked to perform sexual acts on each other. Beatings happened. Everyone identified by their numbers. they lost their minds. they completely forgot who they were. Even the people conducting the experiment, the parents of the children, all of them could have stopped the experiment voluntarily, no one did because suddenly everyone was in this mind frame they couldn’t snap out of. All of this was a mere “game”. Another example, the Milgram experiments. You can read about them on the internet, plenty of resources. Basically tested how obedient people were to the so-called authority figures. More than 90% of people tested, would obey. And in fact electrocute people to death, or beyond death, when told or under pressure. All knowing this was a simple psychology experiment.

But i guess my point is that no matter if you agree with the author’s interpretation of what human nature is like, LG is far superior to DN, simply because it does not subject itself to stereotypical or cliche views of our world, but decides to incorporate many well established areas of study into a manga. And we have many interesting characters. And it’s not just copying straight out, but the mangaka uses imagination to create games based on these theories. I enjoy the work very much.

By the way, I’m sure many of you have seen/read this, but Kaiji and Akagi offer much much darker views of human nature than Liar Game. But unfortunately, they are just all slight exaggerations of what we humans ARE capable of. The problem is whether or not we choose to become that “evil” person.

27 09 2009
Jais

Yes, this completely. Liar Game isn’t ‘presuming’ anything about human nature that hasn’t been shown at least somewhat in a lab experiment. The psychology is amazing, not just what is being explained outright, but what’s going on in the background and moving the characters.

If anything, it acknowledges that the darker side of human nature exists, not necessarily as an inherent maliciousness, but as a result of extreme circumstances and a perceived necessity to do ‘evil’ things. It also acknowledges that even in bad circumstances, even one or two exceptions to the rule can change everything.

Whereas Death Note shies away from the idea of good and evil as anything beyond law vs. crime. If you commit a crime, it’s okay for you to get killed. You were irredeemable, and most upright people would support your execution anyway. It’s ‘good’ that crime goes down because you’ve got a population that’s so fearful of being killed that they’ve stopped thinking.

27 09 2009
hncs9

yes exactly my point. =)

27 09 2009
The Morality of Death Note and Liar Game? « マンガ喫茶

[…] PDRTJS_settings_38248_post_238 = { "id" : "38248", "unique_id" : "wp-post-238", "title" : "The+Morality+of+Death+Note+and+Liar+Game%3F", "item_id" : "_post_238", "permalink" : "http%3A%2F%2Fmangakissa.wordpress.com%2F2009%2F09%2F27%2Fthe-morality-of-death-note-and-liar-game%2F" } Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)I Found My New Death Note Fix: Liar Game~Liar Game vs. Death Note (Akiyama vs. Light) […]

27 09 2009
Kanchan

I’ve finally finished my super-long post. Well, if you go to reply, you’ll understand why I needed to post on my own blog instead of just commenting. It’s freaking long. Anyway, I’ve replied here:

http://mangakissa.wordpress.com/2009/09/27/the-morality-of-death-note-and-liar-game/

I sometimes get off the track while writing, so I might get carried away and missed some of your points. If you find yourself needing to emphasize or repeat your points, please feel free to cut and paste your past comments or something.

Thanks!

27 09 2009
Jais

I don’t think your link is showing up for me. >.<

27 09 2009
hncs9

Hey i read your post. but it doesn’t seem to work anymore. so i’m going to post my response here:

Hey this is cool. I like these types of “debates”. Before I go on and talk about anything else, I think we have to keep in mind that after all we ARE talking about manga. We’re not talking about Literature. Both of these fall under the banner of pop-culture, and so yes to compare Dostovevsky with manga is very much unfair.

Now, about Death Note’s so-called moral-compass. I think you’re right in saying it lacks one completely. Or rather, the author fails to even consider it because simply it’s entertaining for some to watch people battle it out intellectually, and enjoy simple “chills” and cheap thrills. It’s like a horror movie, just more clever. And I’ve already talked about this completely unrealistic good-evil divide that is present in DN. As if the world can be a better place by killing off those criminals pointed out in the manga. Killing off all the murderers in the world still doesn’t solve poverty, for example. I’m probably going to offend some people here, but really DN’s moral basis is as simple as Harry Potter’s or Star War’s. There is the good, the evil, and the DN adds the mad. But the worst thing about DN isn’t that it’s cliched or doesn’t have a moral compass, that’s okay, because children literature or action movies etc aren’t supposed to be so intellectually stimulating. I really don’t like DN because it’s VERY pretentious. Not just a bit, but VERY. It contains all this grand moral talk, and pretends to be all about justice. That’s just plain misguiding. The sad thing is that quite a few people buy into it, and start thinking that they’re reading some sort of masterpiece about a battle for justice or something.

I don’t think LG provides a moral compass that strongly either. As i said, in the end it’s a manga. But it’s enjoyable, at least for me, because I can see the thought going into it. And it doesn’t pretend to be grand. It’s simple. We have a honest Nao that doesn’t believe in lying and cheating each other. It’s a very common-place belief and desire. I think LG is overall a more honest manga. As in, it knows what it is. And that it is about mind games, about social behaviour. It’s not trying to pretend to be something it’s not. Personally, i really like the setting, we have in fact more developed and interesting characters than DN (who are in my point of view very one dimensional – shock horror), and they play these interesting games out, which happen to be based upon some real life experiments. It’s incredibly interesting. And i like how the characters subtly develop, each of them embody a certain history, a particular personality. “Secondly, when readers start on Liar Game, after reading Death Note, they were probably given a reality check – the complexities and moral ambiguities of daily life, violently contrasting with the grandiosity of Light’s plans, unrealism of the cops-and-robbers chase, death of so many innocents. ” This is completely correct. Morality is complex, human nature, human behaviour all of that pantheon is complex. I like how LG is subtle. Not in your face. For me, reading DN is like being forced fed some belief, “murderers are just bad”, “Light has lost his mind, he’s just a murderer now”. It probably doesn’t even consider how for example criminals locked in jails can be just a reflection of certain racial prejudices in society or victims of the legal system. In contrast, LG is set outside of all of that. It’s simply a organisation trying to con people into debt. Pretty much like all the scams out there. And then it sets up a stage to showcase these games that are indeed results from academic research. LG isn’t supposed to emotionally clench you, and make you experience another person’s life, and enrich you. It doesn’t aim to do all of that.

So before I start repeating myself endlessly, I guess my main point is that in the comparison between LG and DN, I feel LG is superior to DN because it doesn’t pretend to be what it cannot be, and by doing so achieve a much more realistic, more intellectually stimulating and in the end better manga.

Finally, about whether or not we should compare at all. I reckon DN and LG is compared a lot precisely because DN is very popular. And all these people finish reading DN and want another manga similar to it, so they search and will probably end up finding LG. By the way, despite our general agreement here that LG > DN, if we did a poll on other boards, i would guarantee more people prefer DN. For me, I rather like to compare, if we had to, or at least talk in conjunction, the mangas/anime: LG, one outs, akagi and kaiji. In my eyes all four of these are better than DN.

27 09 2009
Jais

DN is really best enjoyed as you said, like a horror series, or even an action series. For all that it tries to be profound, scratching below the surface, it’s pretty simple and hollow.

I mean beyond the fact that it ignores a lot of the evils that exist in the world, it completely disregards any sort of influence of free will. Can you really call anyone’s actions good if they’re only acting that way to avoid getting killed? DN really ignores the internal consequences of what happens in favor of the thrills.

LG … looks pretty simple on the surface. Basically, it’s as you said, it shows the results of academic experiments (the circumstances of the games are actually pretty close to what might be called ‘lab’ conditions).

If there are deeper implications emotionally and morally in LG (and I really think there are), it trusts that readers are intelligent enough to figure them out for themselves, which is why it can work on that level for some readers, even if it’s not necessarily intended to.

People can look at LG, if they wanted to, and try and understand good and evil based on that, but the conclusion would be their own, NOT Kaitani’s necessarily.

And if that’s not what interests you, you can just enjoy it for being entertaining.

((Though I’d probably argue that it’s not the medium so much that makes a work profound or intellectual but rather the thought that goes into it and the quality of expression.))

27 09 2009
Kanchan

To hncs9 and Jais:

LOL That depends on the age group you’re looking at too. Maybe older teens might not take so well to Death Note, you never know. I’m sorry about the Link, I was editing the post again – its full up in entirety now, and slightly different, so run through it from middle-down again if you will. I like these discussions too, but my sincere apologies about making you repeat yourselves so many times seriously.

Although I’m no fan of Death Note, somehow I find myself defending DN against LG or comparison against LG, because subconciously, I think its not fair. I think that LG is different and pretentious too, in the intellectual way. Game Theory makes LG shiny and all but the basic premise of LG is not so complex either.

Jais, I got your drift but I think you guys are over-rating Liar Game and under-rating Death Note, because you’re looking at Death Note through the lenses of Yagami Raito and blinded *no offense* by Shiny Game Theory. All that jazz about Justice and killing criminals is not the main point of DN. The main point of DN – I think, is to expose the ambiguity of concepts that we take for granted in our daily lives such as Justice, Law, Order. Because if you think about it: What is society? If you subscribe to Realism, we’ve simply given up our individual power to the State to form an orderly society.

Concepts like Justice, Law and Order are simply smokescreens. Vigilante Justice doesn’t work because it takes authority right out under from the State apparatus – which isn’t allowed to happen! DN blatantly shows us the loopholes in the police force, legal system. It challenges our thinking by its very simplicity. DN has very skewed and very simplified premise. Light is a pretentious jerk, he acts like a caricature but he challenges our way of thinking (that we take for granted).

Liar Game on the other hand deals with moral ambiguity from a sanctified premise – like conducting a social experiment, ironically, to underscore the lack of ambiguity! Because LG participants are placed in extreme situations as if they are put in a gas chamber, we come to realise the importance of basic human decency!!! (Think Holocaust)

Unlike DN which is essentially Realist in orientation, LG is Liberalist – emphasizing the importance of diplomacy and long-term cooperation, not spiraling into a tit-for-tat game/ situation. Moving from mutually destructive- non cooperation actions to mutually reinforcing cooperative actions. Even the use of Game Theory suggests that.

I don’t know how far I’ve moved from my original thought. I really see DN and LG as back-to-back black-and-white copies. I can’t sit through DN because I don’t like Light and I don’t condone his actions or buy any of his excuses, but it doesn’t means I’m not intrigued by the premise of the story.

The comment that DN pretends its layered and complex got me thinking – and coming to the conclusion that LG is just as pretentious, but more acceptable because it reinforces our belief in human decency, in human agency to change things for the better. As for the conclusion not being Kaitani’s – ack, you are practically led through the games to believe in the benefits of honesty and cooperation. How is that not LGT/ Kaitani’s point-of-view?

As for Akagi/ Kaiji, I’m going on to it ^_^.

27 09 2009
Jais

@Kanchan

But that’s the thing.

Though, no, it’s really not fair to compare the two because Death Note is a supernatural suspense/action/horror story targeted to a younger audience while Liar Game is a psychological/puzzle/character study story targeted to an adult audience. This doesn’t mean that people of all ages can’t enjoy either story, just that the writers are appealing to different groups and really have different goals.

I enjoy Liar Game partically because it’s grounded in actual academic experiments. But that’s not why I respect it and don’t respect Death Note.

I guess to understand, it’s more about how the reader is expected to interact with the ‘text’ in each case.

Liar Game is an intelligent manga. It’s written by an intelligent man (who knows his stuff) for an intelligent audience. It doesn’t have to “pretend” to be layered and complex, because it is (at least to me). I can seriously peel back the potential layers, and will do so if asked. But at the same time it can be easily enjoyed at face value, and that’s all it really explicitly asks of its readers.

Reading Liar Game is like taking a pleasant walk somewhere. You can just enjoy it for what is, or if you happen to find something interesting, you can take a closer look. And what you find interesting might not be what another person finds interesting. Two people might find the same thing interesting but have different conclusions.

I think Kaitani suggests the ambiguity, so that people who want to read it as frothy entertainment can have their happy endings while people who want to see something more are invited to ask questions.

Death Note is an entertaining manga (for people who like the genre) that tries to be something it’s not. Whereas, I think Liar Game assumes its readers are at least intelligent enough to know what it is they want to get out of the Liar Game, Death Note more pats the head of the reader, “Oh aren’t you smart, yes you are.” while actually having little respect for any actual intelligence the reader has.

Yes, perhaps it does deal with the ideas of the Social Contract and the idea of individual freedom vs. law and order. But how is it “challenging our thinking” about it? Death Note feeds us the conclusions at the text level. We’re told what themes we’re supposed to think about. How we’re supposed to interpret an analyze every character, every theme, every action. There’s even a book “How to Read Death Note” in case we’re confused by the manga itself. Like readers (who are so smart and cool for reading it in the first place) need an instruction manual to figure it out.

That’s not taking a walk and noticing something neat in the distance. That’s driving around the highway, seeing an advertisement for a tourist trap, being led through it by a guide who doesn’t give you the time to stop and look for yourself, and at the end sort of realizing that the whole thing might have been fake anyway.

It’s fine entertainment, but it’s advertising itself as being smart, deep, and edgy, when I really don’t think it is.

Yes, that’s biased of me, based on how I like to take any form of entertainment and my own view of the world. Mileage is going to vary. I’m sure someone was intellectually challenged by DN, but can’t see why LG is anything but entertainment. Or found something worthwhile and challenging and meaningful in both. Or neither.

27 09 2009
quantula

Exactly. See, why I compared Death Note and Liar Game:

They are different genres, I agree. But there’s the thing.

If Death Note is popular because (seemingly) the majority of the people think it’s entertaining, then there would be no need to compare DN and LG. But it APPEARS that the majority of people who love DN love it because they think it has new and relevant ideas of justice and society and morality and whatnot. Some people even went as far as saying, “Why do people criticize Light for killing people? It’s not like governments don’t kill people. DN is awesome for showing that! Governments are bad because they do bad things!! Humans are dumb for not realizing that!”. Er, okay then. So people have ideas of what human nature is from reading Death Note. Liar Game also gives ideas of what human nature is like, doesn’t it? So why don’t people read Liar Game instead?

So I compared DN and LG because I wanted to show people that ‘hey, there’s a manga out there that is intelligent and well-researched and STILL entertaining……And it’s better than Death Note.” And the people who are like “Oh no you didn’t”– the first thing they’re probably (hopefully) going to do is read Liar Game. And that would be awesome because it’s part of what we’re trying to accomplish here. 🙂

27 09 2009
Kanchan

Wow, this thread is becoming long, coded and really convoluted, almost as bad as Death Note itself. Jais, your current point (same goes for mel and quantula, I guess) would be that Kaitani doesn’t show things in our faces and allows us to draw our own conclusions. Maybe we’re having so much trouble communicating because my understanding of LG is tremendously different from you: I actually saw it as something pretentious.

Why is it not pretentious? How does it allow you to draw your own conclusion? To me, Kaitani doesn’t quite exhibit that level of subtlety that you gave him credit for, even though you have been explaining really carefully. Let me just share my impression of LG. I was intrigued by the premise of the story, intrigued by the utilization of the zero-sum game concept, straight-away, I though of it as something that promotes honesty and cooperation.

To me, Kaitani is feeding me a theory even as we go through the entertaining motions of figuring out the game. Just like way you guys saw Death Note, forcibly feeding readers various concepts and point of view, about why Light is right or wrong or is Light right or wrong, I saw Kaitani the same way.

To trust or not to trust?

Kaitani used the in-your-face strategy approach to discourage cheating and lying.
His antagonists might have been varied and not utterly unsympathetic, but I saw them as caricatures too.

Each and every single one of them acted like Light when they were cheating – misguided about greed, power, until they tripped themselves up, or Akiyama’s strategy defeats them, then Nao’s kindness saved them. And this formula was repeated again, and again throughout the games.

There was simply no one who could think logically through the steps and come to the rational conclusion that it benefits everyone to be altruistic i.e. altruisism for self-benefit, because the odds of winning as a team is skewed much higher than winning individually. Frankly, its not even a matter of trust, but a matter of logical thinking. But no one could.

It took Nao, the foolishly honest, emotionally-driven girl to arrive at a logical conclusion, through an ironic twist of fate.

How is that not demeaning my intelligence? I don’t see this as a relaxing walk through the woods, where you’re allowed to draw your own conclusions. I see Kaitani throwing conclusion after conclusion into my face, each of them painfully obvious.

For the Nth time, I agree that DN is pretentious. Characters play with human lives like chess pieces and pretend its cool. Its immature, its childish, its callous. YES, Kaitani is more realistic and characterization is better.

But how does that make Kaitani NOT condescending? Kaitani goes: Hey, smart guys who think rationally, you got tripped up on your own feet because you’re SELFISH. Look, you need more Altruism. Selfish is the New Evil. Altriustic is Cool.

Is it less condescending than DN – “hey, there is no such thing as Justice”? No, I don’t really think so.

27 09 2009
Kanchan

@quantula

Case in point: Yes, DN doesn’t showcase anything new, but does Liar Game?

As for comparing DN and LG – no dissent from me regarding your motivations, they are perfectly noble.

Dissent comes from your assumption(s) that LG is naturally not as condescending as DN.

LG is more mature, realistic, low-key. As Jais said, it’s not as gimmicky as DN. I agree.

But is it really not as preachy or condescending?

22 09 2015
bluepasj

I don’t know why people keep saying Death Note is pretentious. Is it because its story deals with a worldwide phenomenon? Because this is dictated by what the story is about. Even the author of DN said in an interview that he wrote in DN what he thought he was funny. It is supposed to be funny. Just this. Same as Liar Game. The only real difference is Liar Game’s author is more clever.

17 11 2009
Copernicus

First off I would like to say that after I read this article I was very intrigued to find out more about Liar Game and I applaud you for showing me something that is better than Death Note. I was not sure it was possible.
However, this is not my reasoning for commenting. In fact, it has nothing to do with Lair Game. I have a question about Death Note that I think your understanding could give me a more than suffice answer.

My friend and I have been in a heated argument over the death of L. I (an L fan) believe it cheating the way Light killed L. The way I understand it, was that, even though never spoken, there were implied rules to the cat and mouse game that L and Light were playing. The whole point was to see if L could gather proof that Light was Kira before Light could figure out what Ls real name was. By Light using Rem to kill L he cheated because he never found out Ls real name and that by using a Shinigami he gained an unfair advantage over L.My friend (a complete Light fan) thinks that it was Lights sheer genius that allowed him to kill L. But wouldn’t using a Shinigami be cheating because Light used outside resources not available to both sides?

31 12 2009
linda

haha, very good comparison/contrast there.

i agree, especially with the pre-liar-game-death-note-craze. :]

In comparison with Akiyama, Light just seems childish.

6 01 2010
Sirup

For what’s it worth, I thought I should make a small comment. I don’t really want to since this post is a long time ago but the posts are certainly a little too one-sided for me. I didn’t know anyone actually thought of light as a hero or as justified in any sense. It seemed to me to be very easy to see that he was an evil character, all the way through. Death Note departs from normal cliches by making Light a thoroughly evil character. I’m surprised anyone even thought that light’s half-baked ideas about cleansing the world were in any way justified. Certainly, to me, the author doesn’t encourage that idea too much except with a few (limited) sequences with Matsu-whathisname. I never even thought of identifying with a character. There are in actuality very few evil protagonists in any genre. Most of those with evil protagonists are generally speaking made more anti-heroish. In this case, we see most of the story from Light’s side of events which is quite unusual and certainly not stereotypical. The series’ may have lightly trod upon the subjects of morality but it seems far more about the mind games and the psychology of Light himself as he become fat and self-satisfied with the departure of L and then collapses, not because his own schemes buried him, but rather because he was simply become too fat and a little lazy and finally very unlucky. I mean seriously….it was not at all a sure thing that he was doomed to failure until the very end. This is quite unlike the tragic Macbeth where macbeth feels the burden of his crimes weighing on him and the story itself shows the creeping doom approaching. Light could well have won -even- if he had become a little too fat and self-indulgent and the series hints that if he were to overcome this last hurdle from near and mello, he was set to undertake his plans. It would have been even more interesting in my opinion if he had succeeded and taken over the world and then collapsed as life became utterly boring again. After all, that is what moved Light all along, boredom. The author did this quite well in fact by using the memory gambit to show what Light would have done if he wasn’t in fact the killer. Light would have been the chaser if he hadn’t been the killer. I -never- identified with Light in the first place nor even any of the other characters. I enjoyed some of moves each side made when they were clever, I enjoyed the way that Light was thoroughly evil and made intelligent moves. It was great stuff of the like which I have not seen in any other manga and very little of elsewhere either.

Liar game and Akiyama should not really be pulled into comparison. I mean they’re just very different. The scale, the scope, and the feel of it is just completely different. Comparing Akiyama to Light is just weird to me. They’re both geniuses. They’re not even that similar at all. In fact, I will even say that I prefer -KAIJI- to this manga by a good number of accounts. Not only is Kaiji the type of manga this is based from but also I will never, ever forget that game of Restricted Janken that they played. The first time I saw it does not compare with anything else I’ve seen in any of these types of series. I make excuses for that girl, Nao, all the time but seriously just look at her! Tell me she’s somehow realistic and that somehow Light isn’t and all I can do is shake my head. Just as Nao provides that ‘light’ to the series Liar Game, Light provides the light that casts shadows in Death Note. I will say one thing. Most people may not be like Nao or Light but there -are- some people like them out there. I seriously think that people discount the variety available in people out there. You do not need to have -normal- protagonists to be realistic. I can easily understand the psychology of Light, a bored genius who feels like life is so incredibly dull and then picking up a Death Note which suddenly gives him a chance (in a bad way) to really do something more interesting. No, Death Note is not very in-depth in terms of the morals and killing people but for me, that didn’t really matter because it had substance and usefulness in a quite different way. Liar Game is interesting because of mainly the games and really those games are the centerpiece. I don’t particularly think the characters are as compelling as in many other series but rather the games and the way the games go in terms of psychology is quite interesting. I still prefer Kaiji however ^ ^

-Sora

10 02 2010
Henekeshi

I completely agree with what you’re saying, I also would have said that I love Death Note unconditionally until just recently actually. It’s when I started reading the Liar Game. It made me realize a bit of the faults of our dear DN, and underlined (And bolded) all of Light’s misendeavors of the ego. One thing however, is that Akiyama reminds me a lot more of L than Light at any one time. Maybe it’s the way he dresses, acts, and maybe even his looks, but he seems more like L than anything. He’s got a similar composition to L, who always seemed so tortured in his work, especially after the first task force member died, and he befriended Light. Of course I can’t deny there’s some Light in there, because there definitely is, but I just think L is a more dominant trait. Basically…it’s like L and Light had a love child. Mentally of course, I was never really a fan of LxLight. ^_^ Getting back to the point though, I agree with one of the earlier comments; Akiyama actually had to work hard and LEARN what he used in life. Light was just magically all-knowing (Maybe he took a but out of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil?) with godly sparkles. And although L wasn’t nearly as bad, the story about the orphans at Wammy’s House and their abilities is a little too unbelievable. Also, L seemed to see everything from the beginning up until Light deceived him and he died. It was a little too…fanfiction-y? I don’t know really, but one thing I know for sure, I was definitly never on Light’s side, whereas with Akiyama…I was on his side from the beginning.

15 04 2010
^ ^ commer

For me I think that death note is a little less complicate. But they both teach the same lesson. Typical J drama are made in one style. The main character had a bad memories or had a personal rancour on this world. The main character are also both smart that they are able to frighten the powerful people. For me I like think comparing shinichi with L is more reasonable because they are both on the good side.
As I can see they have many same trait the way they look. They way they dress and their eyes were alike. They are both so calm and always has a plan to fight the evil. But death note after L’s death is not that fun. Near is not able to show that he is smart. He did not show that he can beat L. I can’t see his true brightness.

19 05 2010
Shinichi

I go for Akiyama all the way ^^
I mean I prefer the context of Liar Game much more.

And Akiyama’s scenes, i would say, are much more epic than Light’s, able to turn the situation around to his benefactor ^^

29 05 2010
Luis

Mmm, I like them both, however, I don’t agree on your conclusions.

Liar Game is exceptionally well written, however, it does some times has the “out of non-where” scenes which I personally dislike, like Akiyama’s alliance with “X” in the minority game (don’t misunderstand me please, it was amazing), but there wasn’t one single page where one could possible see it.

The rules were perfectly stated, but the facts surrounding it were not.

Also, as much as I like Liar Game scenario, which plays with people’s greed and distrust, the scope and the problems developed on Death Note are far more interesting and complex.

The social problems, and the possible solution, proposed by Death Note are mind blowing, and the setting of “L/Near/Mello vs Light” is very well done, and Death Note doesn’t have the “out of non-where” scenes, let’s take, for instance, when L makes the Kantou-only “international” broadcast, the reasons why he did this are clearly seen, and showed before, same thing with the end, for example, Mikami’s mistake is clearly seen, they don’t show us when Giovanni follows Mikami (but we already know this), but we do see Mikami’s thoughts on Takada’s current situation.

On the other hand, Liar Game’s games are truly great, and I really like them, there are very well done, interesting and well put, there are also games where logic and math are truly important, and I really like that, and because of the very nature of the games, it’s a lot more “real” to follow the thought process of the characters (or actually go one step further than they do, which isn’t possible on Death Note, where there are sometimes jumps between premises and conclusions which aren’t very clear, like, for example, when Near realizes Mikami is “x-kira”) but they won’t ever have the philosophical, psychological , sociological impact Death Note has, neither will it be such a mind blowing history.

However, I love them both.

11 06 2010
skellex

although i agree with most of the factors that makes LG better than DN, i dont think the author of DN wanted to convey Light as a hero with bad morals that everyone should agree with. towards the end, i personally had no more liking towards light apart from his looks xD and as said in the post, it was painful to look back at the light of the first few chapters. but i think the intrigue was how we saw him change negatively because of desire for power to the point where he was almost despicable whereas akiyama, so far, has sort of been the hero with a positively developing character. so i personally find it hard to compare because it seemed to me that the author wanted light to be hard to like towards the end to convey. Light (Rot – ending spoiler) qbrfa’g fhpprrq va gur raq to make the point that his sense of justice was wrong and clouded by personal greed. lights more like the lesson to learn from and akiyama definitely is portrayed as ‘right’ a lot more.

24 06 2010
JoyFinnigan

People bring Death Note down saying that Light is insane and egotistical. I totally agree with it. Just as your mother said, he is completely delusional. But I say that although he is, you can still like the book. In fact, that is one of the reasons why I like it. I absolutely despise Light. He is so completely full of himself, thinking himself to be a god, when he is simply an immature teenager. He kills innocent people to hide his identity from the police just as much as he kills criminals. (Not to say that killing criminals is right, either.) The satisfaction I received from the book was seeing Light in tough situations, seeing him squirm and receive his punishment in the end. Death Note was interesting because it challenged what was good and what was bad. The author never defined this line, but simply left it up for interpretation. Of course, most people will think that Light is completely in the wrong no matter what, (I happen to think so myself) but it still questions the unspoken law that all murder is sinful. I think the concept of Death Note was very good. Of course, it doesn’t even come close to Liar Game for me, but I can’t say I didn’t enjoy Death Note.

24 06 2010
Mel

For me the problem of Death Note is very much because it DIDN’T challenge what good and bad was. It is all very much working within the circle of criminals, police and detectives. The problem with a lot of popular culture these days is also because “good” and “evil” comes down to criminals police and detectives. American shows are filled with police and detectives and criminals. Do we really need more?

Whereas Liar Game never explicitly shows it’s dealing with morality. And i’m fine with Liar Game not dabbling in morality, because it is an incredibly big question.

Which is why, again, I thought Death Note for all the appearance of dealing with “good” and “evil” merely reaffirmed many popular categories of “good” and “evil”. Never really challenged the concepts in any shape or form for me. A guy who thinks he’s a demi-god? Done to death in a lot of movies and stories.

Because, if we were really going to go at this from a serious point of view, I find world leaders who invade countries, initiate genocides, etc much more evil than the common criminal who is in a jail. And The Good Person, was never defined by the law-abiding citizen anyways.

11 07 2010
shrutianime

This was the best post I’ve ever read debating the greatness of Death Note (especially Light). I was thinking about the very same topic (Akiyama? Light?) since I started reading Liar Game. One more plus point in Liar Game is the absence of anything unrealistic (Ryuk for example) to make the plotline easier. Everything is just brains, logic and psychology. It doesn’t bore me for a moment.
There are times when Akiyama’s plans don’t work at the first go and that makes it all the more better.
The one thing that Death Note overdid was extreme drama. Though it had the flair, I didn’t warm up to it, what with L suddenly dying and Near making a mish-mash of the ending it pained my heart……….But I’d also say that Death Note started off very nicely and even though Light was a cliche` hero, he’d come to atleast a 7 on the overall rating scale.

19 08 2010
NZJ

Wow, this is quite a lengthy and long-running thread and I’m adding to its lifespan :D. As a lover of both DN and LG, I just want to point out that you can be on the opposite ends of the pole when you interpret the, should I say, ‘sides’ the DN manga takes. For me, right at the beginning of the series, I already got the impression that even though Light was shown to be the main character, his ideals and goals didn’t necessarily reflect the author’s. Instead of approving Light’s intentions and actions, the manga set to show how an intelligent, idealistic person like him can quickly turn evil with absolute power. It showed that even the best intentions can lead to the worst corruption.

Even in the beginning, I didn’t like how Light felt it was his duty to kill convicted murderers simply because they are evil. I don’t believe a single person, with no deep understanding of the actual consequences, is allowed to pass punishment (executing) on another person, regardless of the fact that that person is a criminal. And that, in my opinion is what DN was trying to tell us. Light’s evil didn’t just start when he started killing innocents or those after him, but actually starts when he started the act of killing itself.

And yes, I think one of the most important factors that made Akiyama a better MC than Light is the fact that his genius didn’t seem contrived. His intelligence comes from experience and thus makes him more ‘human’. Whereas Light’s genius was just a little unbelieveable seeing as the only thing he can credit it to is probably genetics (and maybe books too).

In the end, though I do find LG provide more food for thought, i wouldn’t necessarily dismiss DN as completely irrelevant either.

21 11 2010
Luna

hey Just want to point out that Death Note is good up to the point when L dies. It makes total sense then. However, the author is forced to make Raito die because of all the ethical shit and lessons for the youth blah blah so…

I think the author of Liar Game is very good when it comes to rules. He can twist simple rules to make us feel like fools to think so simple of the games at first. Even though the solutions are often rather straightforwards and predictable I have to say, the author is ingenious in the sense that he makes it still a joy to read and always throw in extra things that make us feel like we don’t predit everything even though we figure out the main method.

On the other hand, for death note, there is just no way you can figure out what is going on. Like when Raito purposely lost his memory – what the shit! It’s all planned out! There was no element of luck or risk or whatsoever. But if you compare his plan with the one in the latter part with N, there was too many absurd luck elements and characters that just went out of their way to ‘help’ Raito with his plan and destroy it. So yeah if you compare Liar Game with the first 6 volumes of DN, I’ll say DN wins. It’s too ingenious. But because of the latter part, I have to give it to Liar game. But hey, Liar Game started off awful too! I almost gave up after the too-easy-to-believe first round! T.T Thank God I never did.

22 11 2010
akiyama

death note is just pure nonsense…i totally agree with what was posted. i mean it’s suspenseful and all but it lacks that quality which we can endear to. The context of the mnaga is not something that can be applied to normal life. however lg is applicable to life and all it’s subtleness. lg is something that can be seen in real life and that is what gives it such an appeal

9 12 2010
Lain

well i read both of them and i enjoy it sooo much!!
but if i must compare, undoubtedly i will choose LG

for me a great story will captive your mind and give you something to think about, even after you finished it

DN is enjoyable.i love its artwork, twisted plot and cool character but that.s it. you cant pick any moral value or whatsoever ( maybe one there is, “have a vision and working so hard to achieve it” in a good waay [-l)
As for the character, i agree with what was posted earlier. Despite his cool attitude and brilliant brain, Light is just a spoiled brat without any clue what suffering and injustice really are. is original intentions were ALWAYS to “create an utopia and reign as God?? i dont think so.. i think his original intention is only to fulfill his greed.

LG in other hand fell much much much real (excluded the shinigami thing..). and well… i think LG good points already mention again and again up there 🙂

just want to share a thought here. Thankyou

11 04 2011
Valinsky Circuit

Akiyama kinda reminds me of a combination of Sherlock Holmes and Light Yagami infused into Atem from yugioh. In fact, Liar Game just seems like a serious business version of Yugioh.

28 11 2011
.....................

I think the only category in which Death Note beats Liar Game is the art. Obata can draw like hell, while Kaitani is a mediocre artist. But that aside, LG wins against DN in every other category for me. I had been exposed to DN and its characters/general plot way before I first encountered LG, and I tried DN so many times, but just couldn’t get interested because of Light’s character. His God complex makes him quite repulsive, and the plot, while it seemed interesting, was rather “convenient”. I’m not sure how to explain it, but I just couldn’t continue it no matter how I pushed myself to. However, I read Liar Game all the way through – nonstop. Akiyama is far more realistic and likeable of a character than Light for all the reasons you stated and while Nao is less intelligent than average, she is growing stronger and is rather sensitive to peoples’ emotions, unlike Misa whose existence was just offensive. But mostly what gives LG the big points is that the plot is so very precise. It’s mathematical and logical, and whatever use of psychology actually makes sense. Every round presents new and refreshing scenarios and even when Akiyama is lying to other participants, he doesn’t come across as completely fake as Light does in many scenes. I guess it comes down to personal preference, but I see Liar Game as a smart manga, while Death Note just makes me feel like it wants me to believe it is.

28 11 2011
william wizer

I didn’t even read the comments others made. I didn’t want others to influence me because I wanted to give my own opinion.

Light could look good but truth to be said if you carefully look at his actions he was a moron among morons. the only reason that Light managed to kill L at the manga is because L was an even worse moron and a shame for any kind of detective.

just look at his first actions when he got the death note and decided to use it to kill criminals.
he used the default death to test the note. could he be more stupid? damn guy do something useful and write a cause that you know can happen but won’t happen. that’s a real test.

and after that test show more than single digit IQ and don’t use the default death. use “suicide” as a cause. the psychological impact will be several times greater and if a failed test happens in the future nobody will think that death was because of you since you kill by suicide.

if you need to kill a cop, a detective or some other person to protect you do it the good way. don’t use neither suicide or the default death. don’t kill him on the spot control his actions and kill him a couple days later so nobody will know when you did it.

with just this. just this simple things Light would had been impossible to find and would had won easily. but he was a moron with too much power for his well being.

Akiyama? he toys with anybody anytime. he is cunning and merciless. he would cheat and lie to everybody alike be it friends or foes and over everything he knows how people thinks, acts and reacts. fear him because if you find what his plans are is just because he wants you to find them.

3 12 2011
ryby

Agreed with your opinion about Liar Game. For me, Death Note indeed is a really good psychological manga, but Light is too much. I mean, I love psychological manga and have read almost all manga with that genre. And most of the main characters were not too genius in the beginning. They built their geniuses with education or experience, and apply them in reality. But when I read Death Note, Light is already a genius, and it seems no one can doubt or beat his genius. It makes him seemed too proud or too much have high confidence, and somehow I don’t like it. Moreover like you said, he never suffer because of the criminality he wants to get rid off. He is a rich, a normal guy, with normal life before he got the death note itself.

Unlike Light Yagami, the author described Shinichi Akiyama suffers by losing his mother. Akiyama gain his genius in his education in psychology major. At the beginning of manga the author pictured him who just got out from jail as an con artist. It’s clear that the author wants us to like him as “a jerk with gold heart” by helping Nao. And in one round (I can’t remember which one) there’s a scene where he doubt his own genius and can’t get what he wanted, and because of that he lost from Yokoya.

This is why I like Liar Game more than Death Note. Sometimes, the main character has to suffer what it feels for being lost, so that the readers will get turned up and down emotions.

11 07 2012
bluepasj

Only thing I read was “death note is bad because Light is a bad person”. And if he is? What is bad about it? Light is the vilain and the protagonist, and this is a point in favour to DN. And… you can’t expect all the characters to have a past of sadness and tragedy. That would be a shame, making all characters be alike. But yeah, I believe Liar Game is more clever than DN, but DN have all the rest of the story while Liar Game is, undoubtedly, only the games, almost too focused to be likeable.

21 11 2012
william wizer

I have to partially disagree with you bluepasj. while it’s mostly true that LG only has the games (it has a bit more but we barely see it) since each game is completely different with different rules and different players it gives the impression that it’s several different stories set in the same fictional universe.
On the other side DN has “the rest of the story” in your own words but… from my humble point of view DN can be divided in two. the first part is almost only L vs Kira while the second is a three sides battle between “L’s team”, Kira and Near with the occasional Mello appearance to spice things.

3 05 2014
Ludo

first, sorry for my bad english, i read better than i write in your language.

What i like most in liar game is its how the main characters are equal in power with the “commom” characteres. Akiyama doesnt count with any “magic” only his inteligence. If the game turns badly to him hi cant make a person lose their memory, or obtain shinigami eyes, or mind control other participants.
In death not otherwise, every scenario seem’s artificialy constructed to make L and Light seem’s genius. I lost the count of the times i think the autor was just cheating for light wins (until L dies). Even when we take light intelegence, its obvious that certain deductions were impossible even if he had a IQ of 400!

and its because of this thing a like liar game, i just feel more plausible.

15 07 2014
William Wizer

since you mention it… Light is a genius only because we are told he is and because he makes impossible deductions (or uses magic to build scenarios that favor him)
yet he shows lots of mistakes that are seriously inexplicable fails.
My IQ is far from that of a genius (I think last time I checked I was at 112 or something similar) yet even while sleeping I can see things that are plain absurd to do.
if you got a Death Note with instructions that say you can set how the person dies why in the seven hells would you first try it without setting conditions?
if you remember (little spoiler) his first kill was a guy that had kidnapped the children of a kindergarten. wouldn’t it be a lot more useful to use as cause of death “he trips and kills himself with his own knife” or anything else other than heart attack?

by the way I would have never used heart attack to kill criminals. it’s a lot better to use “he writes ‘I am sorry for my sins. I deserve death’ and commits suicide” this way if, for some cause, the cause of death fails and he dies by heart attack they won’t think it’s me.

If I need to kill a detective, policeman, … I would also use another cause of death so it is not related to me. and I would delay it as much as possible to mess with the date of death. since the DN lets me control him for several days there’s no hurry to kill anybody. just control him so he doesn’t do anything I don’t want him to do.

another one. always set the time/date of death so they can’t give hints about who I am and never use a source that could be available to a limited amount of people (the thing with Lind L. Taylor had so many fails I can’t count them all)

the extremely complex plan to ‘rescue’ MisaMisa was a waste too. he didn’t need to do anything once MisaMisa renounced to the DN. just wait until L is forced to release her (since the rest of the team wouldn’t let L keep her forever)

and don’t tell me he couldn’t get a “secure line” to contact Mikami and/or Takada. if he had done it he would had easily prevented Near’s trick with the DN swapping since that was a consequence of Mikami trying to kill Takada (and revealing where the real DN was)

but this last one I can understand it. Light had to lose in the end. he is, after all, the bad guy.

22 09 2015
bluepasj

You seem to lack a basic understanding of DN. Light only kills by heart attack because he wants people to know there is someone killing the bad guys. It could be another cause of death. But since if a person is impossibilitated of dying of some other cause at the moment she would die of heart attack, a heart attack is the only sure way to guarantee the cause of death.

22 09 2015
William Wizer

suicide is ALWAYS a possible cause of death unless you are tetraplegic or completely bound and gagged to avoid biting your own tongue. you can easily ignore the few that would be in such extreme circumstances without your message being lessened (and besides there’s no point for a godlike figure like kira to waste his time to kills a criminal that is on those conditions)

you send the same message of “somebody is killing the bad guys” using suicide as cause of death. in fact a similar plot idea of “forced suicide” is used on the first chapter of Sherlock. a criminal forcing people to commit suicide (go watch the show if you can. it’s quite good)

remember also that it’s canon that the death note can “twist luck” to ensure the death happens as long as it’s possible no matter how improbable is. (see the trick Light pulled to find Raye’s identity. it’s absurd to think that everything would follow the plan so smoothly unless an unnatural force (the DN) alters the rules of probability to force events to happen.
the only thing you can’t do with the death note is to make something impossible happen or mix other names on the description. notice the “other names” since it’s important. you can’t use other names or nicknames on the description of the circumstances but that doesn’t means you can’t determine who is the one that kills. things like “killed by his boss/wife/daughter/best friend” would work since you didn’t use anybody’s else name.
you say I lack basic understanding of DN? I say it’s more like you lack advanced understanding of how to use a DN properly.

but even after all of this let me be blunt. I don’t care if a tenth of my victims die by heart failure because my desired cause of death fails. in fact I’m more than happy that the failures when I’m testing something die of heart attack since nobody will think I’m involved on those deaths while most of the criminals still die in a “mass suicide” that nobody can explain.

22 09 2015
bluepasj

I think if Death Note took what people wanted from it in this thread, it would be much less fun. If Light wasn’t the magnificent bastard he is, if ethics and philosophy were a bigger part of it… these types of things work on Liar Game because the main theme allows for it without taking too much time, whereas if DN would go deeper in its subjects, it would sacrifice its momentum, which is impecable.

23 09 2015
William Wizer

you will never hear me say that DN isn’t a great manga. I wouldn’t had wasted my time on it otherwise but Light isn’t so magnificent. he barely plans on the long term and goes with the easiest answer to any trouble he finds.

hey I forgot my schedule got exposed hinting I’m a student because I always used the default 40 seconds so now I’m going to change that and hint I can control the time of the deaths.
hey an FBI is shadowing me. let’s kill him and all his companions while I’m still being shadowed so L can find who was being shadowed when he died and shorten the list of who can be Kira. sounds a great idea. let’s do it.
hey some stupid detective (Lind L Taylor) is taunting me through the tv. let’s kill him on the spot so any companion of him finds I can kill without being there.

even when “rescuing” Misa from L his plan is absurd and full of unnecessary risks. without Misa’s memory and/or Misa’s DN it would be impossible to proof in front of a jury that she was the second kira so, in fact, her life wasn’t at risk (and Rem should knew it) so Rem could kill L without any trouble. all needed was for the rest of the team to be convinced of Light and Misa’s innocence and then Rem to kill L so Misa and Light would be released.

I wish to point that after Misa making the eyes deal the second time Rem mentions that her life expectancy had been reduced again and that’s how she finds Misa has done the deal with Ryuk. from this we can infer that while Misa was captive her life expectancy was the same as before being captive meaning that her life wasn’t indeed in danger because of L and so Killing him wouldn’t increase Misa’s life and was safe for Rem to kill L. without L the rest of the team would release Misa shortly and even agree to let Light be L’s successor (since they are too moronic to do anything by themselves)

by the way… I may be mistaken but is there any rule that prevents a shinigami from giving somebody’s real name to anybody else? even if Rem couldn’t write L’s name on her DN nothing prevents Rem from telling Light what’s the name so he can write it on his own. doing it that way Rem would save Misa without writing L’s name. without L nobody else would believe Light is Kira and Misa the second Kira. specially since Light’s father, like any good father, would refuse to acknowledge such idea.

23 09 2015
bluepasj

Good points. Never thought these things. That is why is nice to read other people’s points of view.
Most of Light’s mistakes, I think, can be explained by what they tell us about his personality. This might seem like justifying errors, but this does not come from outside the story, so it is not justifying. Light starts to cleanse the world because he is bored, so he is a thrill-seeker, and he is also very confrontational and, as L says, childish. Also, he is arrogant enough to think he is like a god. So it is not without proof that we can say that Light is a perfectionist. He does not want just to kill bad guys, he also wants to destroy everyone that goes against him. That would be L. I take Lind L. Taylor’s death as a turning point, it’s the first (in his eyes) innocent person he kills. And when he gave L the hint he could control the times of death, in fact what he was doing was telling L he had info from inside the police, so L would doubt the police and investigate it, because it would create distrust between them.
About Raye Penber, well, he gave some time before Ray stoped investigating him, so that there was more timeframe. But L was very smart in narrowing the window down (and also was disturbingly fixated on Light).

24 09 2015
William Wizer

One of the things we are told about light is that he is the best student. yet he shows a complete lack of long term tactics and or patience. both things are basic points for any kind of student.
Lind L Taylor was never seen by Light as any kind of innocent since anybody trying to prevent his rightful actions is guilt (in his eyes) besides he had also joked about how seeing Ryuk would give his family a heart attack (it was a great double entendre) so killing an innocent wasn’t something he wasn’t prepared to do. (his sister and mother were, doubtless, innocent no matter how you see it)

Light made the mistake of using his own student schedule way before than even knowing L existed. he just noticed it when he read the info on his father’s computer. but had making the mistake since the start.
by the way hinting he has inside info also served L to focus on relatives to the police further shortening the list of people that could be Kira. after L’s stunt with Lind L Taylor giving unnecessary information to taunt him would be foolish at best.

and, if my memory doesn’t fail me, Light made Raye die on the spot minutes after making him write the rest of names. he should had set him to die days after the names were written. that way L wouldn’t be able to find when Raye ( or his FBI companions) was killed. adding something on the lines of “determines neither of the suspects he has shadowed can be the culprit” on the conditions of the deaths would ensure he is cleared among a lot more people. since Raye would die days after the train “incident” it would be discarded as unrelated to Kira’s case. by the way setting the cause of death to something different than the cause used on criminals would further provide misinformation about his death being related to Kira’s case.

this is why I’m so focused on never using the default death on either the criminals or the authorities. it provides with three unrelated events. criminals die in one way, police, FBI and any other legal enforcers die in other ways and failed experiments with the DN die of heart attack. unless you know about the DN rules there’s no way to find any relationship among all three different scenarios specially if you play with the times/dates of death to cause misinformation about when does it happens.

24 09 2015
bluepasj

I guess you could be right and Light is not as smart as we are led to believe.

Still, I think is very dangerous to keep using other ways of death, because if L tie these other deaths to Kira, he would know that Kira can kill in ways other than heart attack, and this is really sensible information. Light even kills Naomi because she discovers this. So it might be said Light is saving his other causes of death for really needed occasions.

Yes, Light seems to notice things only when the plot demands it. But I actually think this is more realistic than knowing it all like you’re inhuman.

About the Rem situation, could it be that Light, with his extremely contrived plan (as always) wanted to get rid of Rem at the same time as L?

24 09 2015
William Wizer

you could be right on some of what you say but…

the beauty of using “suicide” as cause of death for criminals and, for example, accident to kill police/FBI/whatever is that L will think Kira kills using only suicide since that’s how criminals die.
while it would be foolish to think that 12 FBI agents could all die of accident over less than two months you could use three or four different causes as long as they aren’t the one you use for criminals or what happens when a test fails (namely heart failure)

possible causes to use are accident, illness, murdered, … all of them would work quite easily since they are extremely generic.
since each FBI member would die in it’s own different way (several illness, several accidents, several ways of being murdered, several ways of whatever) it would be absurd to reach the conclusion that Kira can kill any way he wishes yet he only killed criminals by suicide and kills other people using other ways.

Light doesn’t need to be inhumanly know_it_all but c’mon… even stupidity has it’s limits. specially when you are supposed to be a magnificent bastard who gets top marks on a nationwide test.

To start with at least when you make your first test do a full one. set the time and the conditions of the death. the worst that can happen is that it becomes a default death but even they you would know the DN is the real deal. you don’t even need an IQ of 80 to see that.

25 09 2015
bluepasj

But when Light first tested the death note, L wasn’ty into play yet, so he didn’t thought he’d need to project the deaths. I agree with you it’s odd, but I still think it’s believable he did not try it. He could try it anytime (like he did), there’s no reason for him to try it before he needed to use the rule. I don’t think anything needs to have a reason. He didn’t test beforehand and it did not got in the way of his plans at all, so why complain?

I still believe that FBI members deaths would be suspect no matter what, because all of the exactly same members that investigated Kira died. About Light killing Ray on the spot, right there on the train, immediately, it could be because letting Ray live any longer could give him time to inform L about what just happened.

25 09 2015
William Wizer

let me put an example. you are given a machine that can alter reality. how would you test it?
– I use it to get a hundred million dollars.
– I use it to get a job as a CEO on a successful international company with a young horny gorgeous blond girl and enough dirty on every single influential person in the world to make sure none of them will ever dare to do anything against me or those around me.

of course you can do a detailed test at a later time but why do it half way? if I want to see if something works under certain conditions (the DN rules) I would push all those conditions. if I find that it only works half way then I will do more tests to determine which rules are ok to push and which are troublesome to play with them.

25 09 2015
bluepasj

I don’t think it’s Liar Game OR Death Note. Why can’t people read both if they want. I mean, people’s time is that short? I see that both have enough similarities that a person that likes one will like the other too (as well as Code Geass and Kaiji). And they have enough differences to feel like different experiences.

25 09 2015
William Wizer

I don’t think it’s either Akiyama vs Light in that sense.
precisely the idea is to ask people that have read both to compare their main characters and the plot of both stories to see on what things DN is better than LG and on what things LG is better than DN.
by the way I admit I haven’t read Code Geass (only saw the anime) but I fail to see why they compare it to LG or DN. Lelouch has even more power than Light and is even less skillful. It left me with an “I just use lelouch power as a deus ex machina when needed” aftertaste.
from Kaiji… I almost finished the restricted rock, paper, scissors before having to stop out of pure disgust. his main character couldn’t be more pathetic and the game was as poorly made as possible

26 09 2015
bluepasj

I watched Code Geass a long time ago. I’m watching it again now to see how my opinion changed. Back then, I found R2, the second season, much better than the first. I don’t see the geass as a deus-ex machina, but I’ll pay closer attention to it now.
Kaiji, I have kinda’ the same opinion as you. The main character didn’t hooked me and intelligence doesn’t seem to be tha focus, instead it is the exaggerated drama.

I think Death Note is better than LG in that it feels, to me, more like a story. I don’t know if I can explain, but LG, to me, feels detached from the rest of the world, enclosed. Both are focused on a concept of one unreal thing that requires suspension of disbelief. DN is the death note and LG is the tournament. Both are almost equally absurd and unbelievable and you have to let it be to enjoy. Aside these points, both seem very realistic to me.

There is one point in DN’s story, though, that really bottered me. The use of the second Kira/Misa. When a second Kira appeared, I thought he would end up going against Light or that he would put Light at risk by being reckless and risking the police discovering the notebook (and Light would have to deal with him). I even thought it was nice that for a change LIght wasn’t in advantage, because the second Kira had the shinigami eyes. But then Misa approaches Light and they became allies, and Light becomes even more overpowered in the process. I thought the second Kira would be a wrench, a wild-card thrown in Light’s plans, but instead the writer chose the worst way of unveiling this plot.
Liar Games is much more balanced, the odds are never so much in Akiyama’s favor and sometimes he even is/feels in disadvantage, which is nice. It is nice to see a character going against difficult/impossible odds. Especially with how cleverly designed LG is.

26 09 2015
William Wizer

to me the biggest fail of LG is that it looks like the author just left it open so he could add as many rounds as he wanted and had an absurd explanation for the tournament to be given at the end of the manga. other than that I must say that the only suspension of disbelief is in how much money you need to pull such tournament but I must say it’s not an impossible feat for some people that deal with drugs and similar things. you would be surprised with the amount of money they can have.

I share with you the opinion that DN is, as a story, better than LG. at least until L dies. the second part (Near & Mello) looks to me as a new story made just so Light could be defeated because it’s not ethical that the bad guy wins.

in fact, let me be cruel, If I were Light I would had used the DN to kill anybody that knew about the Death notes leaving only me and MisaMisa. that way I would recover full control of the yotsuba’s DN becoming the owner of three different DN (technically Misa would own one but since I would own Misa and keep her DN under my care…)

under those conditions I couldn’t care less about Near or Mello. no chance of them getting their hands on one or proving their existence or that I’m Kira.

26 09 2015
bluepasj

I don’t mean it (about the tournament) like that. I mean that they sometimes tell us that the tournament’s purpose is to make money. Sometimes they tell us it is to test a point/argument. In the case it is to make money it is very overly complex. And it doesn’t even aim at rich people, it doesn’t feel worthy, since it is so much effort. I guess it’s much more plausible to believe it is to prove a point. But that does not really feel realistic too. So my problem with the veracity of the LGT is the reasoning. It will never struck me as real. If the death note wasn’t supernatural, but instead sci-fi, it would be as unrealistic as liar game to me. I don’t contest the possibility of realizing the game, but I contest that in real life someone would do it. Of course its fiction, and I, personally, don’t think fictional characters have to act like real life, because people can be so singular it will never feel unreal. But reasoning is still needed. I know the final reason behind the game wasn’t explained yet, but none of the theories so far are realistic. And it is a very far-fetched tournament, with so much money around and needed ties to authorities and fancy places… it would need a nice reason that I feel is almost impossible to exist.

27 09 2015
William Wizer

since it’s a Liar Game anything beyond the rules about the actual round could (and should) be a lie too. at the end of the manga the final reason is explained [I Won’t spoil it] but it’s one of the reasons I disliked the story since it made no sense at all. it’s a waste of resources to spend so much money on something like that even if it can/could bring even more money. besides it allowed a certain player to find the rules and exploits of a round before playing it giving an unfair advantage. (and god knows it’s hard to give an unfair advantage in a game where cheating and lying are the main rules)

27 09 2015
bluepasj

Well I have one more point to make about the probability of the existence of a liar game tournament. Which is the law.
It is made upon the assumption that if you open a box it means you’re accepting to participate in a tournament. There’s no way it could be truth. Generally the only thing that can give such legal power is signature. And more, no one’s seeing the person opening it. Of course, sometimes it is stated the reason people don’t go to the police is because they are too scared and the police won’t believe them. But it feels forced to believe no one would just ignore it, go to the police, make a report. Yes, we can believe there are people that ignored it, it’s not a sure-thing that we are seeing everything there is, especially when you consider there were two revival rounds happening at the same time. There can be several parallel liar games happening (it would even help the profitting reason).

Albeit that I take all fiction as happening in a parallel universe, so in Liar Game’s universe, the laws can be different than ours. Still, it makes it unreal. But I have no quarrels about it, my suspension of disbelief is quite strong. And as I said, from my point of view, the tournament’s existence is the only unrealistic thing in the story.

27 09 2015
William Wizer

I agree with you. opening the box doesn’t means you participate in the tournament UNLESS it’s written on the outside of the box. a simple message of “by breaking the seal on this box you agree to …” would suffice to make it legal since breaking the seal would be considered as a signature on a contract. stupid, I know, but true.
there’s also an important thing. we are speaking about a LIAR game so there’s no need for this to have any legal power. just enough to convince you it has.

if a player goes to the police with the money two main things can happen.
1. the liar game office has somebody at the police to recover the money.
2. the liar game office just sends somebody to claim the money is theirs and they can provide proof using serial numbers.

the important thing is that up to that point they haven’t done anything illegal (or at least it can’t be proven) so there’s little danger of trouble if some players find that they don’t need to play and go to the police.

after the first round the number of people that will go to the police is almost zero. to the winner it would mean explaining he stole from somebody. bad idea. to the loser it would mean admiring he willingly played and lost. while there’s a chance the police would help him there’s also a chance (higher by the way) that he would be just admitting a debt.

there’s also the fear that the liar game office could have somebody at the police. there’s no need for it to be true. just to make the players fear it may be.

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