So earlier this year Fans got quite the treat with the release of the latest Deathnote Oneshot. It was a rather fun read for sure and though not as intense as the original manga, it was still a most welcomed addition to the lore!
In the oneshot we are introduced to Minoru Tanaka, a brilliant highschool student who’s teachers suspect he may be the smartest highschooler in all of Japan, if not the whole world!
This prompts Ryuk to give him the deathnote, in the hopes of getting more apples and entertaining himself much like he did with Light Yagami.
As the story begins, immediately Parallels between Tanaka and Light Yagami are drawn, they are both brilliant and are given power that could profoundly alter the world as they know it, but it does not take long before we realize they are also wildly different.
Light acquired the deathnote by chance, while Tanaka was chosen by Ryuk, and as the story progresses we discover that the differences do not end there!
You see what I loved about the Deathnote 2020 oneshot was that it did something I had been wishing for for a long time. It demonstrated that the deathnote could in fact be used to change the world in a positive sense without having to take a single life.
In a display of pure genius, Tanaka Minoru demonstrates conviction and intellect that in my opinion puts Light Yagami to shame and while it took Light years of maneuvering and scheming to make the world a “better place”, Minoru effortlessly does that in a matter of days.
This alone is proof of who is superior between the two but beyond that, I am also convinced that Minoru Tanaka demonstrated a conviction that Light had been lacking since the very beginning of the series.
You see inevitably Light Yagami had a very closed view of the world, I personally believe this may have been a consequence of his hubris rather than intellect but inevitably it is this closed view that proved to be his undoing.
You see upon discovering the deathnote he immediately concluded the only way to make the world a better place was to eradicate crime and wrong doing , then he went even further to deduce that capital punishment was the only way to do so, he then decides to take on the burden of been justice even if it means risking his humanity, which he eventually does lose.
This closed way of thinking doomed him from the start in my opinion, forcing him into tight corners and making certain compromises more necessary as time continued, but you see it is exactly at this point Minoru Tanaka demonstrates his genius.
Upon acquiring the deathnote he also deduces he now has the power to make the world a better place, but instead of going down a path that would just make him more enemies, exhaust him and inevitably fail the moment he was caught, he thought up his own solution, refusing to bind himself to the rules of the deathnote and even resolving to change the world for the better while living a good life.
For Light this was something he could not even imagine, because his view of things were more cynical if anything and he lacked the imagination and resolve to see beyond them.
Some maybe compelled to make the argument that Light Yagami was just more pragmatic and had a deeper understanding of how the world works, to that I say …bullsh*t, there is no law stating in order to make lives better you need to go to extreme acts of callousness and violence.
A more creative person would immediately deduce a more efficient way to eliminate crime is to make crime unnecessary in the first place, not kill off every single individual that you deem a criminal.
The problem with been Judge, Jury and executioner is that even you are human, with a limited understanding of the world, Light Yagami never took a second to even consider the reasons people commit crimes and that many of the people he killed were actually like him, committing monstrous acts for “good reasons”.
I think it is quite telling that someone far younger than Light was able to take all that into consideration and make a decision that quite frankly has a better chance of changing the world in a more meaningful way than Kira ever did.
You see what Tanaka did in the end was distribute wealth to millions of people who actually needed the money and it is common knowledge that people are less likely to commit crimes if they simply don’t need to, of course that does not mean that terrible people will simply disappear but the fact is, someone’s actions alone does not make them moral or just!
The fact that crime rates went back up after Kira’s death proves that! Even despite murdering millions of people he was unable to make people moral, because just because someone has not committed a crime, does not mean he isn’t harboring the intentions to commit one.
There are just so many flaws to Light Yagami’s reasoning, I fail to see why so many hail him as a genius, he was well-read and creative but beyond that he was a fool.
He lacked any true understanding of the things he purported to understand and allowed a dangerous power coupled with his hubris to corrupt and destroy not only himself but everything that had meaning in his life.
He sacrificed his father, a woman who loved him and even his friends dying alone having gained nothing for a cause that was always doomed to fail. Minoru Tanaka saw this and understood it, perhaps to be fair knowledge of the original Kira may have also influenced his decision but I doubt even if he were the first Kira he would have handled things any differently.
Unfortunately not even Minoru Tanaka was able to escape the cursed fate of the deathnote but I think when you look at the legacies of both men, it is obvious who was the smarter of the two.
Minoru Tanaka left a world with considerably less suffering than Kira could have ever hoped for and quite frankly died because the powers behind the deathnote could not stand to be outwitted by a mere man, Kira on the other hand failed miserably.
Even Near admits defeat in the end and though it’s only speculation I’m convinced even L would have been unable to catch him but the facts remain. Minoru Tanaka demonstrated that a man with true conviction and resolve need not sell his soul to make the world a better place and I think that alone puts him light years ahead of Light Yagami.
In a nutshell A-kira beats Kira anyday!
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Making the future with my own hands