-There are spoilers inside of this article.-
It's been over a month since I finished the series, but now I've finally decided to post my entire thoughts on the series, in general.
To me, Death Note is a true masterpiece, but that isn't what this article is about.
Moral lesson and good and evil is key in Death Note, and the show will always question your own moral views, get you thinking about it. No other anime has done that for me, so I think of this one as special. Death Note is not a battle between the brains and moral views of Light and L, but more of weighing out good and evil, itself.
Overall, I do not agree with Light Yagami. The world is certainly not a perfect place, but we humans are no one to judge other humans and take charge of things. The obvious factor is that by killing all of those criminals, Light Yagami becomes equal with them at heart. No human can truly be better than another human, and no human can be more significant than another human. Light Yagami's plan was to become the god of his new, ideal world. I very much liked it when Ryuk said "but wouldn't that make you the only bad person left"? It's a good point, but still, not entirely true. There isn't any such thing as a good person, and in the show, no matter how many criminals or people he judged as "evil" he murdered, bad people could never disappear. Committing crimes is only one of many things that makes a person bad, in fact, committing crimes doesn't even necessarily do that.
One Light's key traits was insanity, but it started out as more of obsessiveness, and DEVELOPED into craziness. When he first discovered the Death Note, he ended up acting as if he expected it to happen. His first outburst of obsessiveness was revealed, but it didn't happen from the Death Note. He couldn't have been this way so quickly unless it was already hiding inside of him, within him. He had already been thinking about the "rottenness" of Earth, and wanted something to be done about it desperately. He was sick and tired of his current life; he felt that it was purposeless. When he discovered the Death Note, not only did he feel that he was called to "fix" the world, but probably was excited about finally being able to feel as if he were needed, as if he meant something and could make a difference and have a voice. Not only that, but he also anticipated having something else to do, rather than live out a boring life of fulfilling his parent's expectations and hopes for him.
As I said, I do understand why he would want to do this, but I do not agree with it. The further you get in the series, and the more you watch it, the clearer it becomes that creating this perfect world is NOT all that Light yearns to have, as he claims to give up his heart and soul for. When L comes along, my first thoughts were that he was one of the coolest fictional characters ever.
L was a rather selfish and bitter character, but deep down, he can be a very sweet person. As he clearly saw himself as superior and more competent than most others, he also definitely despised himself. I've often heard the words "hating yourself is pride", and the more you hear them said, the more you understand why they ARE being said. L, at first, only took on cases that he was personally intrigued with, but when it came down to the Kira case, he was willing to put anything on the line to stop Kira. He wasn't going to stand for letting such an evil thrive. I didn't like the dirty means he was willing to use to catch Kira, but regardless, I still love his character to death. He's genius, quirky, funny, full of surprises, and even caring, if I may. I suppose if you hate yourself that much, you won't care about any of the possible obstacles around what you have your mind set on, and will be willing to do the wrong thing to accomplish the goal. When L stated that Light was the first friend that he had ever had, Ohba confirmed that he was telling a lie. L absolutely despised Light, you could see it in the way that he would glare at him and test him. He knew that he was Kira, and despite this and how much he hated him, Light was the only person who understood him. This being why L felt drawn to Light in an indefinable way (NOT love! Shut up, you accursed Yaoi fan girls!)
On episode 25, I think that L had a feeling something bad would happen, even if not his death. The reason that he gave Light the foot massage, claiming that it was to atone for his sins against Light, I believe was because he wanted Light to feel remorse for all the wrong he had done as Kira. Not only that, but he likely wanted to witness Light's guilt, as well, to "get what he deserved". At that one point, it may have worked.
By this time in Death Note, Light no longer seemed to care about his ideal world. It was all about winning, beating L, and self-satisfaction. He had become underhanded, unlike he was in the beginning, and you could see in his eyes and the way he would smile that he was becoming more evil than ever. I think that he did feel a little empty after L died, but I'm not sure if it was because he regretted what he had done and realized at heart that they should've been friends, because things weren't entertaining or challenging enough for him, or both. I'm leaning more towards the second one mixed with a small amount of the first one.
I also didn't like the way he treated Misa and Kiyomi. While I was annoyed to no end with Misa's character and can definitely understand why Light would want her out of the way, and simply loathed Kiyomi, they were truly devoted to him and loved him to the ends of the Earth. Light didn't consider this at all. He didn't have a choice with Misa, and at first didn't try to hide it, but later on, he pretended that he loved her. Kiyomi was a woman suitable for Light. She was sophisticated, smart, and shared his morals. Light restarted their relationship, telling her to be the goddess of his new world. He needed her and Mikami's help combined, but he didn't have to pretend to love Kiyomi, at all! Once Kiyomi was of no use to him, anymore, he killed her with his Death Note, which odd as it is, I didn't expect. I was absolutely disgusted with him, and the way that he saw women as mere objects. That was the kind of the person he would always claim to not to be.
I've seen fans say "the first person who Kira killed was Light Yagami." I admire this and the person who came across it in thought, but I disagree for this reason: When Light lost his memory, my opinion of him didn't change from seeing a different side. Death Note or not, Light Yagami would always be Kira. That would ALWAYS be him. Otherwise, he would have disposed of the Death Note when he first found it.
I also see people say that his morals were good, but in a sick, twisted way. That, I disagree with, as well. In real life, it is no human's job to do what he has done. No matter how "bad" the world grows, we have to leave it all up to God. Everything will be fine in the end, when Jesus returns. He didn't make humans to "fix" the Earth that he created.
In a way, Light is actually stupid. Believing that you could pull off reigning over the world, keeping it "in order", seems like some fantasy that a CHILD would have. It seems as if only a child could possibly think that it could actually WORK. Hence, my recurring pun: "Come on Light, I thought you were much brighter than that!"
In the final episode, it seemed again like Light only cared about his "role" as Kira, after all. Light thought that what he had been doing all that time was justice, that's what he truly believed, and while that doesn't erase the fact that it WAS evil, that does give you another way to look at him. When he was caught, he seemed like a terrified and misguided little boy. None of them understood him, he thought that he was truly the way to fix the world and make it a good place for kindhearted people to walk upon, and that it wasn't fair that they were punishing him for it.
When he died, I did what I never would have expected. I cried my eyes out. The last few scenes of Death Note were so dark and disturbing to me; his death actually gave me the first nightmare that I had had in over five years!
Light was depicted to be "Mr. Perfect" on the exterior, and it seems a little as if he felt that he was too good for the world, and that he couldn't stand to live in a world with so many "inferior" people. Though, this is more of a consideration than an opinion.
When I re-watched episodes with my sister and brother, I was reminded of how much I hated him. Since then, I've seen many more perspectives. Light Yagam is evil, and I will always think that about his character, even so, I have grown to like him just a little bit.
That is all.