Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata's popular supernatural crime thriller Death Note is a battle of wits for the ages. And along the way, we meet the egomaniac Light Yagami and his companion Ryuk (a death god!), the eccentric genius detective L, the spunky and sentimental Misa Amane, and more.
But once you take a step back and take Death Note out of context, it gets pretty silly. Any series requires you to suspend your disbelief, but if you hold some things up to scrutiny, they end up looking simply bizarre. What are the 10 funniest ways to poke fun at the most peculiar aspects of this show?
10 Who shall be the smartest? Let's find out!
Lots of people get riled up at the slightest whiff of competition, and that's true for sports, a hobby, and even the classroom. In Death Note, Light and L are both stubborn and brilliant men who would rather lose their lives than face defeat at the other's hands.
So, even if your high school doesn't have a killer notebook on the line, a battle of wits can turn heated pretty fast!
9 It really is mightier
This meme might need a little editing in the grammar department, but the point is pretty valid all the same. In real life, many people (and leaders) know that even if you win a battle, if you can't send the right message to your people, no one's going to like you.
A speech or book can transform the world, and if that book says "Death Note" and comes with Ryuk, well... tread carefully! You don't need a tank or a fighter squadron to topple an empire.
8 L gets no respect around here
Both Near and Mello were L's successors, and once L died at Kira's hands, it was up to these boys to resume the battle against the tyrannical Kira. But though L and Near are after the same target, they don't seem to get the same reception. L is practically fighting alone against Kira, and for the rest of his life, Soichiro stubbornly refused to see Light as Kira.
But once Near took over the case, his word was nearly always taken for granted. Even Light's detective allies start to believe Near over him. Near gets all the groupies, doesn't he?
7 Just go outside!
Human beings are social animals, and for most people, nothing feels better than spending time with your friends and meeting cool new people. Moms and dads everywhere want their kids to meet a new friend for personal enrichment, but if you're a dedicated introvert... easier said than done!
L struggles with social interactions, and he's always wrapped up in his own world. L's blank and intense look makes this prefectly clear. Alas, his friends' list is looking pretty short.
6 Look at that mug
Here's a fun tidbit about Death Note. At first, the creators wanted Ryuk to look like a handsome rock star, just like a human being. Many anime series have very human-looking gods or devils, but Death Note's creators realized that Ryuk needed to have a distinct look from Light. Contrast is an essential tool in any fiction.
But if you mess with the faces a bit, you end up with... that. Please, Ryuk, don't try to look human! Ever heard of the uncanny valley, pal?!
5 My way, or the highway!
This is a classic phrase, and it could easily have come right out of L's mouth. Many amusing phrases are based on the speaker's massive self-confidence, and this brash attitude, when used as a joke, is pretty funny. And goodness knows that in Death Note's story, L is the most stubborn and "childish" (in his words) person out there.
He turned up no evidence of Light being Kira but doggedly kept up the case anyway, even when the other detectives were ready to move on.
4 Ding dong, the L is dead!
There are some memes or other funny images that show a sign missing a few letters to make a totally new phrase. The drive-thru might lose a few letters and spell the morbid phrase "DIE-THRU." Meanwhile, this ladies' bathroom is packing some serious Death Note spoilers, and Light is beside himself.
We have all seen the egomania and gritty determination Light/Kira has, and it must have taken all his self-control not to actually laugh when L died in his arms. And he really did laugh when he confessed himself as Kira to Near.
3 I'm right here, guys
Here's another one for the misunderstood introverts out there. Most classes have at least a few kids who have trouble making friends, and sometimes, those kids' eyes may light up when someone is friendly to them at last.
Other times, we can be a bit more self-deprecating and think "Huh? You're talking to me? You can SEE me?" Sometimes, a poor lonely kid feels invisible, even when surrounded. Ryuk doesn't mind, but in real life... why not give them a friend?
2 No autotune needed
Now this one is just plain silly. This is a classic meme template, captioning an image by first identifying the topic, then elaborating on it. In this case, Matsuda was demanding that Misa hurry up and admit that she is the second Kira, but taken out of context... well, karaoke is big in Japan, and that's even where it came from.
And be honest, this is the goofy comic relief Matsuda; we can picture him in a karaoke bar, singing the night away. Sometimes you've got to unwind after a long day at the office.
1 Go ahead, write in it!
This is a fine meme template from a few months ago. Memes today don't always spend much time in the limelight, but most fans will recognize this one as the enthusiastic car salesman meme. He's slapping the roof of a car to emphasize a point about it, but memes can swap in nearly anything.
Now Ryuk is putting his salesmanship skills to work, and some humans might be tentative about using a killer notebook. But at the Shinigami Dealership, we've got a fine new Death Note to use! You can take it right off the lot today! And goodness knows you can fit a lot of criminal names in there.