Debunking Anime: Death Note and Why Kira’s Plan Would Have Failed in Real Life

So here I was, watching Death Note again because all my friends were doing that and I wasn’t going to be that unpopular kid in the neighborhood. Everything was going well, Death Gods dressed from HOT TOPIC, teenage detectives and high school students experiencing delusions of grandeur!

So far so good!

However, after a while something happened that I did not realize the first time I saw the series; something that maybe you did not consider the first time you saw it, either. There was a flaw in Light Yagami’s plan.  I don’t mean the one in which his elaborate speech gets rubbed in our faces by his high IQ while Ryuk stands idly by and eats some apples. No my friends, what I am talking about is a failure in the execution chain.

I have my shini, I have my gami ♪

Let’s take another pass at the routine of a God of the new world, shall we? First, you arrive at your house after being the best student in Japan. You go up to your room and turn off the lights because eyesight health is overrated. You take out your reliable great book of grudges, turn on the television, connect to Twitter and  spend several hours ridding the world of people who plaster social media with spoilers from all of your favorite series and movies.

Death Note

Don’t forget to take a potato chip and eat it in the most dramatic way possible!

Jokes aside (this entire post is a joke, afterall); don’t you see a flaw with Light Yagami’s plan? Afterall, I do.

You see, the thing that bugs me is how Light Yagami gathers his information for smiting the wicked out of this world. Sometimes journalism is called the fourth power and boy they would be right if we lived in the Death Note world.  For a “new world god” you sure depend a lot on puny mortals and their silly news channels.  In fact, here are the main points on how Kira’s plan would fail in if it were taken in real life context:

1. Information at your disposal

This is a big point.

This means you must assume the information of public domain is trustworthy. I wanted to test this for myself, so as the almighty researcher I am, I just Googled a few of the most dangerous people alive. I must say, it was quite a surprise how easy it was to find information about some of the big fishes of crime (though the biggest surprise was finding about a guy teaching how to print 3D weapons on YouTube). But that is, as I said before, if you are willing to trust the information found. 

By blindly trusting the media, you are giving them all the power of judgement. The Shinigami Eyes help with this matter because that means you could, for example, watch a crime or a nasty person by yourself and not rely on the press to get the information you need. This also poses two problems.

One: You would be limited only to your local surroundings and…

Two:  You need to witness the action taking place.

Therefore this means that a potential killer could walk right beside you and you wouldn’t know it. Some God you are, eh?

Shinigami eyes would be more useful if they revealed a person’s sins. I guess that ability is only reserved to fire skulls from MARVEL

2. Alarming the Criminals

This takes us to our second point. Let’s suppose for a moment that Kira’s plan actually works. Somehow the information about the criminals is right and easy to access. This; however, leaves us with a few problems. A quick question, what criminals appear on news channels? For the most part, the news only shows people who are already being prosecuted or in jail.  What is the point in killing them now? The damage is already done and they are or will pay for their crimes. “TO BRING JUSTICE AND FEAR ON THE WICKED! ” says Kira. Okay that motivation is understandable with the type of character Light Yagami is. But this time, ironically, it would be a success as the plan puts a kick back into Kira’s god-like aspirations. How so? I will tell you how.

After the first wave of eliminations and after the initial confusion dissipates a little, one thing will be clear: someone is killing criminals. This is no coincidence, either. This is a systematic elimination. Would this mean the end of crime out of the fear of a divine force? Sounds amazing, but I hardly believe so. With these changes and adaptations, history will teach us that crime always adapts. After crime realizes there is a relation between appearing in the news and horribly dying, it wouldn’t be long before crime organizations begin to favor their anonymity even more than before. They  would make it extremely hard to identify themselves, thus making public information about them even more hard to acquire. That, in the end, would result in fewer names to fill up your bad boy list.

Sorry Kira, but you just complicated things for yourself.


3. Deceiving Kira would be easy

Finally, but most importantly, is a way in which Kira could be neutralized. This sends us back to the first meeting with L and the Japanese task force. In this scene, it is revealed that prisoners whose names weren’t revealed or were spelled wrong didn’t die. Soichiro Yagami says “we discussed this briefly at one of our meetings”… Excuse me? briefly!? BRIEFLY!? One does not simply discuss one important piece of information such as that briefly!!! This is the key to disable Kira and I would go to that in a heartbeat!

After that, L says that banning the names or pictures of the criminals would end in Kira targeting the civil population, but couldn’t they take advantage of that? L could just simply say that 1,500 agents would be sent to Japan as a response for the death of the FBI agents would exert “psychological pressure on Kira and yada yada I’m so smart.”

Dear L, maybe I’m not a world-class detective like you, but wouldn’t be more easy to just spell the criminals names bad on purpose? I mean, you now know that criminals under this condition didn’t die and is not like Kira is aware of this or, on the contrary, he would have already killed them by now. So wouldn’t it be easier letting Kira think he is killing everybody when in reality he is killing no one? Since, from now on, there won’t be records of the meetings because of the police infiltration incident, he has virtually no way of find any of this out. Wouldn’t that give you more time for the investigation while also having the ease of mind knowing that nobody is dying? The perfect smoke screen if you ask me.

Kira thinks he is “saving” this world when in reality he is just practicing his calligraphy.


Well, that is all folks. Hope you enjoyed it. I, at least for myself, am glad to live in a world in where no such weapon of mass destruction like that exists and where if you can say something about journalism it couldn’t be less than professional. Am I right Bill? Please play us out.

About The Author


A fan of good anime, classic and cult games, but more than anything, a fan of good stories.