Character Analysis: L

Warning! The following will have major spoilers for the anime Death Note.

L

He is the enemy of Light and all things greater than four thousand calories (and also chiropractors). He will work day and night to solve any problem you may have. He is justice incarnate! He is the greatest detective in the world. He is L!

Image

This cake is L approved.

L is the hero of Death Note, well technically Near is the hero, but I’ll get to that later. Unlike Light, L uses his intelligence to solve crimes and catch criminals instead of just killing them. He always thinks one step ahead and thoroughly analyzes a problem or situation. Because of this, he has been deemed as the world’s greatest detective. All the crime fighters in the world look up to him. He is extremely successful in solving

crimes, but because of this, he can never associate with anyone who is not a part of his current case nor can ever completely reveal himself and goes by several aliases. And he never lets anyone know what he’s really thinking. I like to think of him as an example of what Light could have been.

l slouching

This is my investigating pose, please continue.

L is my favorite character on Death Note (with Ryuk and Light tied for second place), but I did not like him at first. When he first appeared, I thought he was a slob, always slouching, wearing plain, loose-fitted cloth  ing, never wearing shoes, and obviously sleep deprived. Yeah, I wasn’t the least bit impressed, but as the series progressed, I started liking L more and Light less. I grew to like all his weird, little quirks such as stacking things for no particular reason and eating as much cake as humanly possible.

But he has one weakness that all detectives seem to have: obsession. He is obsessed with solving the case and being right. He often does things that might seem a little unethical like putting cameras in every crevice of a person’s house and locking three people up without any solid evidence on two of them. His obsession almost rivals Light’s obsession of being a god, but at least his obsession wasn’t nearly as crazy.

L smiling

How could you possibly resist this face?

Still, I was really sad when L died. Though, I feel that his death wasn’t as sad as Light’s because at least L dies knowing he was right all along. Besides, L always thinks one step ahead and made plans beforehand to name a successor- or rather successors: Near and Mello. His successors don’t get along well, I guess L didn’t account for that, but Near catches Kira/Light in the end (after Mello dies).

L, you might have been a little weird, but that made you all the more loveable. Let’s all raise a glass to L.

GuardianTree12 out.

Character Analysis: Light Yagami/Kira

Warning! The following will have major spoilers for the anime Death Note.

Light Yagami and the death note

Hello, may I take your name- I mean order.

How far do we have to fall before we realize we have fallen? That the mirror on the wall is reflecting a false image? That the person we used to be is slowly shrinking and dissolving into nothingness? And once we realize these things, can we ever go back or have we already fallen too far? …? Okay, I may have been a tad too dramatic in those last two lines but these are the kind of questions I think of when I think about Light Yagami from one of my favorite anime shows.

Light Yagami is the main villain of Death Note, but he doesn’t start out as the villain. Well, at least for the first five minutes he’s shown he isn’t a villain, but there is a big difference between the Light at the beginning and the Light at the end. The Light at the end is a lot darker! 😀 All joking aside, Light really is a tragic villain.

light yagami cool

Really good looking

At the beginning of the anime, Light is a hardworking student, always making super A pluses and studying well into the night. He is the ideal Japanese student. He is also very good looking and very popular. His dad works at the local police department and his mother— I’m not sure what his mother did, but let’s just say the rest of his family is pretty nice too. But, he is not satisfied. He sees news reports of murders, mass murders, drug-dealing, and other criminal activity and is disgusted at the world he lives in and wishes he could do something about it. Then, behold! On the ground there lay a black with the words “Death Note” written upon it, and out of curiosity Light picked it up and took it home with him, thus beginning is downward spiral into insanity. Sorry, couldn’t help myself. Anyway, the notebook he picked up has the ability to kill anyone in the world if provided with that person’s name and a mental image of that person’s face. Not sure if this is actually true, he decides to test it on a couple of criminals. Once he is sure this notebook is the real deal, he decides to use it so he can become the god of a perfect world with no crime and no suffering. Yeah, no one ever said smart equals logical or sane.

I have a love/hate- let’s just say “relationship” for lack of a better word- with Light. In the beginning I liked Light. I thought he had good intentions (sometimes I too think the world would be a better place if all the mass-murdering psychos and child molesters were killed off) and I even rooted for him somewhat even though his end goal was a bit crazy. But he makes it clear early on in the series that he will stop at nothing to accomplish his end goal. When his killings become noticed by crime fighters (and by crime fighters I mean cops and detectives not Superman and Batman) across the world and they try to stop him, he tricks one of the American investigators into killing his own team and then kills him.

Light Yagami scary

Whatever you do, DON’T follow the Light!

He uses all of his attributes I listed earlier- good looks, popularity, father’s job status- to manipulate others to do his bidding and then kills them when they are no longer of use to him. He even does this to a Shinigami, a death god or a keeper of a death note.  But even then, I was impressed how he executed all his elaborate plans and manipulations to get him out of trouble. In the episode when he’s trying to kill another P.I. and he finally succeeds in writing down her name, and she asks him why he keeps checking his watch and he says, “Because I’m Kira,” gives me chills every time. But when Light’s father dies, that’s when my awe-inspired respect for Light died. I said, “Wow, Light, I hate you now,” and then I gladly waited for him to get his just desserts.

Sayu and her mother

Light isn’t the only one who suffers from his actions, his whole family is affected

Still, I was sad when Light died. When he’s laughing manically, insulting Matsuda, begging for help, and staring at the ceiling as he dies makes you realize how far this character has fallen. If he did not pick up that notebook or at least stopped using it after the first couple uses, he could have used his intelligence, charm, and family resources to find more peaceful, or at least more sane and practical, ways to change or better the world.

Always crossing the border between reason and insanity, truth and controversy, Light will always be one of my most loved and hated anime characters.

Plus, it’s fun to make a few “Light” puns. 🙂

GuardianTree12 out.

Character Analysis: Shadow the Hedgehog

Warning! This character analysis/review will have major spoilers.

Greetings from GuardianTree12!

I am a fan of the Sonic franchise. With that said, I have to admit I don’t like Sonic games that much. I don’t like 2D scroller games that much, and the controls on the newer 3D Sonic games are very hard to control. Plus the stories are either insultingly simple or just all over the place. You might be wondering: if you don’t like the games, how can you be a fan of the series? Well I don’t dislike all Sonic games and the music or soundtracks to these games are usually pretty good. But the main thing that love about this series and what keeps drawing me back to it, are the characters (well, all the characters I like anyway). And the character I love the most from this series is Shadow the Hedgehog.

Shadow is first seen in the game Sonic Adventure 2. In this game, Eggman wakes Shadow up when he is trying to find a “weapon” that his grandfather stored away. Shadow convinces Eggman to gather up the chaos emeralds to power this “super weapon” aboard the Ark- a giant, floating lab in space shaped like the moon, housing a lovely variety of crazed experiments and super-powered weapons. Little does Eggman know, Shadow plans to use the “super weapon,” AKA the Eclipse Canon, to destroy the world in order to avenge the death of his best friend, Maria, who was killed 50 years prior. A lot more happens, but that’s basically how it goes. Anyway, Shadow is eventually persuaded to help So

nic save the world after Amy unintentionally awakens the memory before Maria’s death in which she tells him to make the people happy. Sonic and Shadow manage to defeat the Biolizard, one of the crazed experiments on the Ark, but it somehow fuses to the Eclipse Canon and sets the Ark on a collision course with Earth. Sonic and Shadow defeat it again in “super form,” but the Ark is still set to collide into Earth. Shadow then uses all of his energy to use Chaos Control and moves the entire Ark onto a safe orbit around Earth. He then falls to his “death,” asking Maria if this is what she wanted.

However, Shadow does not die. He, unfortunately, is resurrected in Sonic Heroes. Not much happens in this game so I’m going to skip it.

Shadow’s own game

His next appearance is in his own game simply titled Shadow the Hedgehog. This game is supposedly set after the events in Sonic Heroes, but I refuse to believe that. There were no events in Sonic Heroes. Anyway, this game starts out with Shadow, once again, trying to remember his past. A mysterious alien creature shows up, who does not look or sound evil in any way, and tells Shadow that if he works for him, he will reveal Shadow’s past. The mystery alien, Black Doom, then sends out his alien army to attack the city, again, totally not evil. Depending on which missions the player chooses to do, the ending changes. There are eleven endings in all; but to get the final “true” ending, the player has to unlock all ten endings. In the true ending, Black Doom tells Shadow that he was created using Black Doom’s blood and reveals his evil plan, which is basically to destroy all humans, big shock, right? Well it is to Shadow, who doesn’t like the fact that he has been used this whole time. He uses the Chaos emeralds to turn into Super Shadow, defeats Black Doom, and destroys the Black Comet, which houses all of the evil alie

ns. The game ends with Shadow overlooking Earth from the Ark. He drops a picture of Maria and says, “Goodbye forever, Shadow the Hedgehog.”

Shadow in Sonic X

He appears in numerous other Sonic games, but he doesn’t have as nearly as big of a role and he’s not nearly as interesting. He also appears in the anime Sonic X. He doesn’t appear until around episode 30 and his role in this story is almost exactly the same as it is in Sonic Adventure 2. He comes back later on when Sonic and co. are on their Dragonball GT quest. He doesn’t really do anything in these episodes except be a jerk and starts fights. At the end of the series, he again sacrifices himself by using Chaos Control.

Now that I got all of that out of the way, here’s my take on the character. As I stated before, Shadow is my favorite character in the Sonic franchise. His character is a lot darker than the others and offers more of a balance to these lighthearted, kid-friendly games. He is a bit of a loner and doesn’t talk much (at least not as much as the others do). He is serious (most of the time), cold, calculating, ruthless, and a tad egotistical. He will do anything to get what he wants, which makes him rather impulsive at times. He doesn’t have much respect for Sonic or anyone else for that matter and often says things that hurt whoever he’s talking to. However, he isn’t completely heartless. In Sonic Adventure 2, he saves Rouge when she is trapped on Prison Island with a bomb about to go off. He helps Sonic and co. save the world on more than one occasion, even though he acts like he doesn’t want to. And after Shadow the Hedgehog, he works for GUN. I believe that deep down, he does care; he just doesn’t want anyone to know.

But as much as I love Shadow the Hedgehog, I think it would have been best to leave Shadow dead after Sonic Adventure 2. Shadow’s character was strongest in Sonic Adventure 2. Maria was Shadow’s best friend and her death was so sudden and tragic for him, revenge was all he could think about. It also doesn’t help when a mad scientist, Gerald Robotnik, screws with his memories in such a way that he can only think about Maria’s death. But once he remembers his promise to Maria and realizes that revenge isn’t a good idea, he doesn’t hesitate to help Sonic and has no problem sacrificing himself. He redeems himself by letting go of his hatred.

Shadow’s character is so complete he doesn’t need to come back. In the other Sonic games all he does is be a jerk and start fights or other problems, or broods. I don’t mind brooding but it needs to be used sparingly, or at least not shoved in your face every five minutes, to be effective and brooding coupled with amnesia is just annoying. He serves only as a reminder that Sonic and Shadow are rivals. Which I don’t get, wasn’t Knuckles Sonic’s rival?

Then again, if he didn’t come back we wouldn’t have Shadow the Hedgehog, which I do enjoy playing from time to time (even though I die every time I do a homing attack). The true ending to this game is equally as powerful as Sonic Adventure 2’s ending. When he drops Maria’s picture and says, “Goodbye, Shadow the Hedgehog,” what he’s really saying is, “I’m going to let go of my past.” Throughout the game he is trying to uncover his past but by the end he realizes his past isn’t important and he needs to move on.

All in all, Shadow is a great character but Sega needs to either do something new with his character or just stop using him.

GuardianTree12 out.

Also ShadowxRouge forever!

GuardianTree12

Greetings to all!

I am GuardianTree12 and there is one thing you should know about me: I am obsessed with good stories. I love stories. Whatever form it takes- books, movies, video games, TV shows- I don’t care so long as it has a good story I can get into. I love stories that can take me to another world that I can lose myself in. I love mystery and adventure, tragedy and comedy, and logic and magic. I love stories that challenge my views of society or reality. But what I love most about stories- and what I consider to be the most important part of a story- are the characters.
My blog will focus solely on fictional characters. Every post I make will analyze and review the characters I love of the stories I love. I’ll summarize the chosen character’s personality and/or belief and his or her role in the story. Then I’ll talk about my personal views on the character or any other interesting thing about the character. I might even provide a picture or a video clip of the character in action. Not every post will be in this order but that’s the general way my posts will go.
Since I have to talk about the story and might reveal twists in the plot, I’ll provide a spoiler warning at the top of each blog. I will try to put up a post every Tuesday and Friday. Hopefully you’ll enjoy it!

GuardianTree out.