(Will) "This is either madness... or brilliance."
(Capitan Jack Sparrow) "It's remarkable how often those two traits coincide.” — Pirates of the Caribbean
What would Light become in 6 years? True L's successor
(Death Note, Noragami spoilers)
"No... that's not it. I'll be honest with you. You remind me of L. There's something about you, that's just like him."
- Naomi Misora
These exact words of Naomi Misora among others usually pass unnoticed by the audience. A woman with a sensitive intuition, who worked under L and had an opportunity to grasp a feeling, that comes with the presence of a genius, says those words.
It is far from a coincidence.
We already talked about the essence of a genius in an article about Yato/Yabo from Noragami. L, having a long experience in his profession of a genius, got used to his forevermore permanent role just alike Yato. Another example of a genius: Okarin from Stein's Gate.
Light has only started on his path right before our eyes. Yes, he has all the potential of a genius, but has never applied them before in a real game, having only piles of school textbooks to memorize. But now, since he's already tangled himself in a game, he needs to learn how to fit into his new role. Finding a mentor for a gig of a genius is not the easiest thing, therefore the main thing the authors of their own manga almost didn't realize was a fact that a teacher for Light was his sworn enemy - L. Only he, staring from the second episode began to give painful lessons to Light, which he used as an only textbook to study. L was the only one who immediately felt the level of a player and created a playing field, which was impossible for Light to ignore. So he would join L's investigation.
In other words, L subconsciously took Light as his student, chose this exact strategy of a fight. Light gladly meets him halfway and soon enough they end up together in one room. This is where smart and genius Light will face with L's weird behavior and see his methods of solving the upcoming issues.
Light's father is not a suitable mentor for Light, he is too absorbed with his own suicide syndrome. Therefore it's hard to tell, how Light has learned to think 'outside the box' while living with a father who doesn't exceed the boundaries of a standard mindset. However it’s obvious that his parents made a lot of efforts to grow a genius №1 student in a whole Japan.
And thus, L becomes Light’s teacher.
From the very first minute L understands that he untrusted his life to the idiots within the police (who show their names and faces without thinking). That’s why he acts with them so weird, making up an act, committing to the same performance that Yato did in his anime. He basically becomes a jester. But we also notice how he has a slightly different attitude towards Light, he does less scenes and talks more about business.
Because this time there’s a much higher chance that he’ll be understood.
However right after a brilliant introduction there appears a new plot hole, a frank trick from the authors of manga. Losing his memory, Light immediately becomes “good”. We will talk about the absurd of that separately in audio-recording “Non-legitimate victory of Near”. The issue resides with the fact that Light was completely ready to commit all the harsh and necessary actions in order to change the world. He thought on this over and over again, time after time, year after another. The son of a policeman who saw how ineffective the police is every morning on his way in school, couldn’t ignore the need of an alternative way and need of change if he retained his way of basic logical thinking. We can see Light sagging in life, seeking for this alternative. It could be anything.
No wonder that "good" Light thinks so often that his way of thoughts and course of actions are quite similar with Kira’s, but discards this thought all over again. No, he didn’t suddenly became "a good boy", but rather took the image of a nice person, becoming completely useless in reality. He changes into a complete idiot, very alike with the other police investigators. Not without a reason in these episodes L returns more to his "clowning" - because this time no one in the room is capable of comprehending his reason even the tiniest bit, and that results in such a counteract.
In reality it wasn’t that hard to predict that actual Light in a nulled state of ‘reset’ would guess his Kira’s identity fast enough even before getting his Death Note back, figuring the similarity of thoughts, discovering the voids in his memory. Maybe he could’ve been confused for a couple of days, but not for all 48 remaining days of his arrest, plus three more months after they worked on the case. In these episodes Light deviated from his character so much (manga authors trick in action) and so persistently refused to think straight, that he basically ends up on the same level with Santa, who’ve been working 500 years and not even once he thought of some basic issues at hand (Rise of the Guardians).
There’s yet another indicator. When studying in Hollywood, all of us — young directors, have been taught a simple law of screenwriting: “You write truth and truth only.” You can feel the truth, furthermore, you will feel the truth subconsciously if you want to, as well as all the wrongs and plot holes, all the mess and inaccuracy. But even if director happened to be "tone-deaf" to the truth and lets a lie slip in his creation, the indicator will stay the same. The response to the lack of truth would always be an inevitable boredom of a viewer.
How many times have I had to hear: “I’m so bored on these episodes of Light’s amnesia, can’t wait for Kira’s return”. And even those who vote for L, admit to the lack of interest, pointing to the fact that “Light is no longer a worthy opponent”,
And why is he unworthy? Because his image is drastically changed. No, one partial amnesia cannot be a reason for a whole alteration of a character. Habits, character traits, accustomed way of thinking will stay. Moreover, both Light’s diary and memories contain his reflection on police ineffective ways that he had years before the Death Note.
So, these episodes proved to be failing. The lack of logic, decreased interest of a viewer, who even managed to explain that the core of his discontent is Light’s new image that is simply “uninteresting”. That’s a sign.
Real Light is fast to learn and thinks quickly. He is in fact a future version of L, similar to him already, as Naomi Misora says. In other words, Light is a claimant to fill the place of a genius. A place that L already has - and has way more experience in this profession. There will become a day when Light will “grow up” for this too.
After 25th episode manga authors make another crucial mistake that leads to the most violent discussions about the last 12 episode being in fact canonical, along with desperate attempts of Light’s foes to push the silliest “authors are gods” argument in their defense.
In this way the opportunity and necessity of a healthy analysis suppressed. This is literally a scream from a soul: “We won’t think, because the results of logical thinking process dissatisfy and disappoint us! Stay silent! It’s forbidden to reflect on this saint topic!” No wonder in this moment authors of manga have seriously begun to be called “gods”, for it to be known by the "peasants" that in no circumstance they can use common sense and rethink over the mistakes made by these good people, but still… mortal humans.
So, manga authors tell us that in 6 years Light will stay the same, even degraded. He didn’t make a single step forward, didn’t get rid of the investigation group (which he referred to as his goal towards his whole anime: “To get rid of L and his whole investigation group”). He didn’t create a worthy team of other Kira’s, didn’t advance even one step. Moreover, we see him becoming hysterical, arrogant, and as usual a complete idiot tops the list. The result is well known, viewers voted with their feet.
Light-idiot with amnesia was something they have hardly endured. This time the level of illiteracy rolls over so much, that the viewers are not simply bored, they are disappointed and annoyed.
While talking with L’s supporters, I noted one simple thought: anime could’ve been ended with Light’s victory or L’s victory. Either would be a worthy ending. This opinion was widely supported by the people capable of logical analysis as well as other fans, and this showed me how deep the level of disappointment by an ending was.
Naturally, every time when a public opinion and annoyance appears in respond to some rudeness, a certain group of people appears, a well rotten one. People with character of Hayato Hayama, a guardian and patron of scum and chaos. This group immediately rushes to claim an opposite opinion to the scream of people’s protest. The first reason for this is simple and easy to understand: people whose merit is vastly approaching zero, if not a negative number, desperately need to self-actualize. But while trying to imitate an image of a “lonely standing wolf”, they consciously go against the crowd. YouTube became a great platform for those social experiments. After each scandal we’d receive a whole bunch of videos titled: “No one’s at fault”, “He/she did nothing wrong”, and even “The story of not understood genius”, and other similar rave.
This is why there resides a huge fan-base of Near character (local Hayato Hayama), who, as an incredibly rotten man inspires people with similar character and views. Near says: “I’d understood if you used the Note for your personal gain, but you settled for a noble cause to help people and that disgusts me.”
Near is an image of Hayato Hayama, a pattern of scum people. He would gladly use Death Note for personal use the same way as he used Mello and killed him for personal gain (and no, that didn’t help catch Kira, Kira’s been caught because of his own stupidity. Here takes place a simple murder, committed with a motive in mind — for Near to take over L’s place).
There’s also Mello - terrorist driven by no ideology, a criminal who also happened to be quite narrow-minded. Among the other criminals he may appear to be smart, but no more than that. He also would’ve used Death Note for the personal gain, there's no doubt about that.
To sum it up, everything shown to us has been a huge illusion, but also an illusion for the authors themselves. This means that Light wouldn’t have stayed the same school-looking boy who entered the investigation group six years ago.
With his aspiration to grow and evolve, ambition that Near and Mello completely lack (why bother, they’ve studied in Wammi’s house, meaning they’ve already reached the most possible limit of a superiority over everyone!), Light’s outcome could be only one. He is the one true successor of L, who took over L's image and ways of thinking. L doesn’t talk with his two teenage successors, he doesn’t teach them or waste any time with them, because he’s working. True mentors take only those who desperately need to be educated, and therefore demand that with persuasion, by any means necessary. That’s the reason why L takes to teach Light. And that’s why Light is destined to become L.
But what “become L” even means? Not only to take title, because one way or another Light would have to initiate his own death and give up the title, remaining to be only Kira. Or to pass it on someone else.
“Become L” means to become a true genius. A true genius cannot be as simplistic to selfishly fill up the Note’s pages for his own personal gain (how Near wanted). L wouldn’t have killed a brother to take over desired position (how Near did), but have conquered Coil and and Deneuve in an honest fight and took their names only.
“Become L”, would mean to be honest and selfless, work for the society and not for himself, but also to know his value. Near and Mello didn’t pass the selection. They felt comfortable in Wammi’s house, imagining themselves being smarter than the whole world. Only Light always felt horrible, that something’s wrong, that he’s missing some knowledge, experience and the lessons that could only be given by L. A man who was delaying L’s death as long as that was possible (see article “Why Light refused to defeat L”), to grasp as much as he could.
In 6 years, Light is destined to inherit and realize himself as L’s image. Why L acted so weirdly? Why he thought and acted in a certain way, and not any other? Analyzing the previous experience with the presence of a genius, trying to lead (for the first time, before destroying it) the investigation group, Light will understand soon enough that L’s methods were the only way to hide his genius and communicate with people, blend with the ones who cannot possibly understand you. Light realizes the lesson of Yato’s clowning from L’s behavior and has to adopt that image from now on.
Yes, that may not particularly result in devouring piles of sweets and sitting in a weird pose, but it would manifest one way or another with each genius. Besides, genius cannot even choose his/her image, but it’s being chosen by the people whom he communicates with.
From an article about clowning we know that Yato talked with a girl who had a crush on him. His weirdness resulted in constant “attempts” to seduce her and constant interest in women in general (to the extend that any contact with women leaded to an image of Yato being in a relationship with all of them in Hiyori's head).
L is dealing with policemen, who find his level of dealing with crime unreasonable and mysterious. That’s why L himself becomes unreasonable and mysterious. He explains to Light only the reason he’s using that pose (but not to the policemen). All his methods stay unexplained, L even has to sleep in that pose, which made a huge impression on Mogi and Matsuda.
If Light would have to work with the policemen further, he’d also have to become unreasonable and mysterious, or else it’ll become impossible for them to work with him. That’s why Light immediately starts that act in 25th episode: “Matsuda-san, if you don’t want to work here, please exit the building. Only the ones who are willing to risk their lives to catch Kira will stay here.”
Matsuda is surprised - he didn’t expect that coming from Light and again, just like Naomi Misora, he notices Light’s resemblance with L. Light will think to himself that this is simply a method that he uses to take over the power, a manipulative trick. That is true, but what also is truthful, is that in his methods, whether he wants it or not, Light started slowly but surely, unquestionably reflect L’s image in every way possible.
This - is an inevitable destiny of a genius. A image that Light takes over not at all 6 years after (which he didn't do even then in the authors' mind), but even immediately after L’s passing.