Why Kira was good/bad? [spoilers]

Tagged under Death Note

Was Kira wrong?

Yes
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No
1 votes
But he was... Light ~Ba-dum-tss~
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I watched Death Note live action movies yesterday, and they made a few changes to the story. But one good change was that they made Light's character more humanly than the original Light who had a very 1-dimensional personality. And I didn't hate this Light as I hated the manga one. The manga did show him doing many bad things but it didn't explain exactly how he was bad and just had vague counter-arguments like 'you can't take the law in your hands' or something. So I was wondering, was Light really all that wrong?

Let's start with the few good things about Light's view:
1) as he says in the end, no one could really have done what he did. It's true. And I do believe, he did feel sad when he made the 'sacrifices' while striving for a new world (I only wish the manga/anime showing him at least slightly sad at least once like how they did in the movie, that wouldn't have caused badass decay at all imo -.-) Anyways, he really thought what he was doing is right and even sacrificed his own lifestyle fighting for that. He had no other reason to fight against the FBI at all.
-He is 'bored' in the first chapter/episode. rant:

Spoiler (show)

This boredom is akin to that felt in a long drawn out chess match when two grandmasters face each other and have already studied each others' moves beforehand and both play 'safe' moves as opposed to daring, more entertaining ones and the match ends in a draw. This is how the real world is, and as the drastic black and white, good and bad, world in which children live and grow and think everything is easy to solve. And after age of 16-17 begin to see more shades and colors between black and white and nothing remains so simple as before, and even though one can see something's not right, the solution is so entangled or sometimes non-existent or sometimes ends up in a vicious cycle, that you realise you can't do anything but play on the 'safe' side, making only those moves which are the safest, that's how most adults live, carrying on with their daily lives. And the point of time when a teenager realizes this is where Light is at, and that's why he's 'bored'.

But playing on the 'safe' side is also a decision and it does affect the world, even adversely.
2) Only a revolutionary can dare to break this monotony, and it's been so in the past, however, not all revolutions end up reaching their goal, or sometimes, they realise that the goal they had sought for isn't one they wanted/needed. But Light chooses to dare, he says no one else can do it. It's cuz no one else has the death note; very few people are as smart as he is; he's still a teenager and can still resist to play it safe; he also had pretty strong sense of justice (which became kind of ambiguous as the series progressed but i guess it was the fault of commonly accepted concept of 'justice' rather than that of Kira)
3) Unlike L, who probably only played the detective cuz he liked it, and didn't care as much about the welfare of humanity(similar to sherlock holmes) Light seemed to care about the world.. or at least justice or something.. i'm not sure about this.
4) He was killing people whom the Law generally deems as guilty but because of various reasons like corruption etc, aren't punished. So in a sense, he was just doing what the Law does. And he was doing it fast, unlike how court procedure goes in-spite of knowing all facts. What's wrong in that?

And now the numerous bad things about Light:

Well he was certainly wrong in some points as follows:
1) He didn't count people as real 'individuals' but just as a number, he didn't really treat them as people with emotions, he only thought of himself.
2) He just turned a blind eye to the fact that some 'criminals' might not have been 'unrighteous' just like him! He just killed many people who were shown in the news, without even researching whether what they did was right or wrong, ofc in the manga, the details of criminals displayed completely make the man worth of killing and avoids mentioning ambiguous cases so as to not cause the reader too m uch trouble liking kira.
3) He killed many people who weren't 'criminals' even according to him in the name of 'sacrifice', again treating them merely like chess-pieces
4) He let other people who were certainly not as intelligent or 'just' as him to use the death note again sacrificing probably innocent people who get killed by these new death-note holders.
5) He didn't really think what will happen After his new world is created. He was going to die at least of old age and what after that? If he had in mind that he'll find successors to carry on and maintain the new world order forever then he was mistaken. No matter how intelligent successor he chooses, he/she might not be as just as him or as intelligent and morally ambiguous either. Even if they are, what about the generation after them? Surely at some point, the insane power of death note will drive some weak successor to become a true tyrant and then people will overthrow his rule and then slowly things will get back to just how they were before kira. I bet even light would have thought of this. This only means that he wanted a 'crime free' new world lasting only till his lifetime in which he could rule people according to what he deems is right. And that's very selfish.


Of course all these negative points make him no better than rest of us who won't do such things. But it's also true that he didn't want to do those things either, he just had to in order to do what he felt was right, unlike most of us who shy away from dirtying their hands even to do good things with less obstacles.
So he was no better than us, but was he any worse than us either?

I really can't say if he was Good or Bad >.<'
So please leave a comment saying what you think about Light and also state the good/bad/both things about him which make you think so.

Why die only once when you can die a little everyday

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Many I talked to tend to come to the "bad" conclusion because of how Light became later on. He may have started out with noble intentions (which still doesn't necessarily make murdering people, regardless of their sins, the right thing to do as it's still murder, making you just as bad or worse than the person killed), but it became quite clear later in the series that he, well, as the saying goes, "power corrupts". It started becoming less and less about "justice" and more and more about Light simply inflating his ego in proving himself smarter/superior to others, and getting rid of those who would disrupt his control, even when it came to those who were trying to do what he wanted, but under the guidelines of the law (police, agencies, etc). It became especially clear in the end when he was all crying and begging for Ryuk's help in getting rid of those who had him cornered rather than trying to stand up for what he believed in, and defend it to the end.

At least someone like Lelouch, in Code Geass, went as far as planning even his own death, fully accepting the sins he had committed to achieve his goals, and pulling a messiah maneuver by taking in everyone's hatred and letting it die with him (even if it wasn't a perfect conclusion). Light may have been willing to kill for his goals, but he certainly wasn't willing to die for them, which is really what revolutionaries are like, not simply willing to go beyond the norm.

Other questions to ask would be things like...

Just what makes Light (in his own mind) SO much more special than others? Who's to say that there weren't others before him that were just as smart or even smarter and/or more idealistic than he was and wanted to use the Death Note a similar way? After all, in that universe, who knows how many deaths throughout history were natural or, with suicides, by their own hand, and not because of being done through another Death Note user?

  • Nov 26, 2013
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Quote by HalfDemonInuyashaMany I talked to tend to come to the "bad" conclusion because of how Light became later on. He may have started out with noble intentions (which still doesn't necessarily make murdering people, regardless of their sins, the right thing to do as it's still murder, making you just as bad or worse than the person killed)

if someone who's supposed to be dead, and the law is failing to do it's job, then is it really that wrong? That's what Light says, had the law been efficient, those people would have been dead, and since it isn't, well they're dying anyways. So why is it not wrong to let court kill people, and wrong too let a supposedly equally intelligent person. But as I said in main post, his 'new world' goal seems shaky, so it doesn't seem he is eligible enough to take justice in his own hands. However, there are very few, or no people who are eligible to do that AND are unopposed by corruption/stupidity AND on the right side of the law. Kira knows he's flawed, yet he takes the step to do it.. because he doesn't have value of life (he thinks mathematically, whether I kill or I don't, the world will be not much different, so why not. He doesn't get the difference between a game and life)

Quote by HalfDemonInuyasha but it became quite clear later in the series that he, well, as the saying goes, "power corrupts". It started becoming less and less about "justice" and more and more about Light simply inflating his ego in proving himself smarter/superior to others, and getting rid of those who would disrupt his control, even when it came to those who were trying to do what he wanted, but under the guidelines of the law (police, agencies, etc). It became especially clear in the end when he was all crying and begging for Ryuk's help in getting rid of those who had him cornered rather than trying to stand up for what he believed in, and defend it to the end.

He faced a dilemma to whether kill innocents or stop killing the guilty, and since killing guilty was too much fun of him, it probably biased his logical thinking into feeling like killing innocents as sacrifices is fine. Of course he cried for Ryuk to protect him, he was just a teenager, who was mislead by idealistic view of the world that is created and promoted by the society, and he took it to extremes believing what he did was right... and sometimes doing something he knew isn't right just cuz he was too deep into all that by then. He was certainly no hero, but my point is, would a normal person have done anything else in his place? Anyone would beg for their lives, unless they're heroes, most people aren't.

Quote by HalfDemonInuyashaAt least someone like Lelouch, in Code Geass, went as far as planning even his own death, fully accepting the sins he had committed to achieve his goals, and pulling a messiah maneuver by taking in everyone's hatred and letting it die with him (even if it wasn't a perfect conclusion). Light may have been willing to kill for his goals, but he certainly wasn't willing to die for them, which is really what revolutionaries are like, not simply willing to go beyond the norm.

I haven't watched that series, but I already know he dies in a sacrificing way or something because soooo many spoilers on net about it. :P
but you're saying he killed good people like Light did too? I don't think letting yourself become a villain and get killed will make him more creditable than light in that case. But, I really don't know much about the series except the last episode, so I can't comment on it ^^;

Quote by HalfDemonInuyashaOther questions to ask would be things like...

Just what makes Light (in his own mind) SO much more special than others? Who's to say that there weren't others before him that were just as smart or even smarter and/or more idealistic than he was and wanted to use the Death Note a similar way? After all, in that universe, who knows how many deaths throughout history were natural or, with suicides, by their own hand, and not because of being done through another Death Note user?

Light thought that he was 'smarter than everyone' because he was raised in a society where you are respected more for what you get/have than what you are.. he was maybe a bit shaky on morals and yet he was really respected everywhere he went because of his many talents. He thought that he was the most logical person who'd have got that death note, and also a person willing to do good, unlike others who might have got the notebook, according to him. He simply hadn't met or even heard of anyone as smart as he thought he was (till he met L)

Why die only once when you can die a little everyday

pandemonium91

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I haven't seen the anime since it came out and haven't read the manga or seen the movies, so I'll contribute to this by drawing a parallel to Dexter.
Both Light and Dexter have a side that they keep hidden - being serial killers. However, the difference lies in their motives: while Light believes he's doing good by ridding society of evil-doers, Dexter only does it because it's more convenient (easy access to other serial killers' information) and because he was taught to do that in order to not end up in jail/dead.

But while they both kill (legally) guilty people, they also start taking out innocents (according to their personal code) when they feel threatened. Dexter killed a major character's father in season 7 - who was an asshat, but not a killer. Light kills both Ray Penber and his fiancee, Naomi Misora, when they get close to exposing him. They are innocent, and there's a reason the death penalty isn't as widespread as, say, 20 years ago: because it can be faulty. And having a real-life Light as the person who ultimately decides who gets to live and who gets to die would be extremely dangerous, as one's life would depend entirely on his moral code...or whim. Killing a few innocent people "for the Greater Good"...really begs the question: who gets to decide what the Greater Good is?

To society (save for his followers), Light/Kira was a danger. He was an unknown and (for most of the show) unpredictable variable. Would you trust a person you know almost nothing about with your life? Because you would only get to live if you complied to their idea of a "moral" life; if he thought you wouldn't fit in his "new world", it would only take him a few seconds to write a new name down. And even if you did live a "moral" life, who's to say the requirements of this life would remain constant?
Going by this: yes, I think Light is "evil". His ideal world would be one where those that aren't coerced into behaving the way he wants them to, are disposed of.

In Light's eyes, everything started out as a noble mission but eventually degraded into an ego trip which got so bad that he ended up making (literally) fatal mistakes. Add to that the fact that he was manipulating Misa by using her obsessive love for him as a means to get her to do whatever he wanted. That in itself shows that while he justified his actions as being "just", his judgement would eventually be clouded by greed and egomania despite his claims at acting impartially.

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Quote by pandemonium91 Add to that the fact that he was manipulating Misa by using her obsessive love for him as a means to get her to do whatever he wanted. That in itself shows that while he justified his actions as being "just", his judgement would eventually be clouded by greed and egomania despite his claims at acting impartially.

And the ironic bit being that's how cult leaders tend to manipulate their followers; using their otherwise one-sided "love", "admiration", "need", etc. for him to get them to do equally, if not worse deeds than they themselves do (partially because of their own nature, and partially because, if that follower is busted for the crime, chances of that person turning on them is slim while also leaving deniability for the leader in claiming that they had nothing to do with it), and that's even what happened after Light's death; a cult that worships "Kira" is formed and it can even be speculated that Misa is the woman in the white robes.

  • Nov 28, 2013
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Quote by pandemonium91having a real-life Light as the person who ultimately decides who gets to live and who gets to die would be extremely dangerous, as one's life would depend entirely on his moral code...or whim. Killing a few innocent people "for the Greater Good"...really begs the question: who gets to decide what the Greater Good is?

To society (save for his followers), Light/Kira was a danger. He was an unknown and (for most of the show) unpredictable variable. Would you trust a person you know almost nothing about with your life? Because you would only get to live if you complied to their idea of a "moral" life; if he thought you wouldn't fit in his "new world", it would only take him a few seconds to write a new name down. And even if you did live a "moral" life, who's to say the requirements of this life would remain constant?
Going by this: yes, I think Light is "evil". His ideal world would be one where those that aren't coerced into behaving the way he wants them to, are disposed of.

In Light's eyes, everything started out as a noble mission but eventually degraded into an ego trip which got so bad that he ended up making (literally) fatal mistakes. Add to that the fact that he was manipulating Misa by using her obsessive love for him as a means to get her to do whatever he wanted. That in itself shows that while he justified his actions as being "just", his judgement would eventually be clouded by greed and egomania despite his claims at acting impartially.


Oh.. I'd never quite understood what made everyone call such an egotist. You explained it well, thanks :o
Even his own followers weren't too safe either, e.g. Misa and that reporter girl. And by the end, killing those whom he considered guilty had become a lesser priority to him than becoming the new god.
On a side-note, his best murders were those of completely innocent people, I wouldn't have liked death note had he not made those wicked and cunning plans. The way he killed all FBI agents with Penbar and then telling Misora 'I'm Kira' (in anime at least) as she walked away helplessly was just pure evil xD

aaanyways.. coming back to topic, I wonder why Misa followed Light. It was shown that she was considerably smart as the second Kira, didn't she notice he was totally using her?
And same thing goes with real-life cult-followers as Halfdemon said. Why do they do that? >.<

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pandemonium91

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Quote by HalfDemonInuyashaAnd the ironic bit being that's how cult leaders tend to manipulate their followers; using their otherwise one-sided "love", "admiration", "need", etc. for him to get them to do equally, if not worse deeds than they themselves do (partially because of their own nature, and partially because, if that follower is busted for the crime, chances of that person turning on them is slim while also leaving deniability for the leader in claiming that they had nothing to do with it), and that's even what happened after Light's death; a cult that worships "Kira" is formed and it can even be speculated that Misa is the woman in the white robes.

Some cult leaders may be ugly as hell, but they're all charismatic. Light was handsome and charismatic, so he had both + intelligence going for him, which made it easier for him to disguise his alternate persona. And, as you said, it's quite normal for him to manipulate those around him, though, as they aren't important enough for their disappearance to matter, and loyal enough that they will not rat him out if captured by the police.
I've read that the author said that wasn't her in the end, though, just a random follower.

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I know it was heavily implied that she commits suicide at the end of the anime, isn't the manga like that too?

Quote by TheCompilerOh.. I'd never quite understood what made everyone call such an egotist. You explained it well, thanks :o
Even his own followers weren't too safe either, e.g. Misa and that reporter girl. And by the end, killing those whom he considered guilty had become a lesser priority to him than becoming the new god.
On a side-note, his best murders were those of completely innocent people, I wouldn't have liked death note had he not made those wicked and cunning plans. The way he killed all FBI agents with Penbar and then telling Misora 'I'm Kira' (in anime at least) as she walked away helplessly was just pure evil xD

aaanyways.. coming back to topic, I wonder why Misa followed Light. It was shown that she was considerably smart as the second Kira, didn't she notice he was totally using her?
And same thing goes with real-life cult-followers as Halfdemon said. Why do they do that? >.<

Glad to be of help ^^ Absolutely no one was safe - except for Light himself - because they never knew what his next step would be. He carefully planned things in advance without telling anyone more than he needed to in order to get them to behave the way he wants them to. IIRC, he tells Misa - arguably the person who's closest to him - only the bare minimum needed to execute his plans, all the while lying to her that he loves her back. You can see how displeased he is when he has to rely on her for something (i.e. not having complete control), but at the same time he knows she's so attached to him that she would rather sacrifice herself than betray him.

The best murders were innocents because this is where most people will start hating Light. At first he's a vigilante, killing others who've killed innocents and arguably doing what most people secretly want to do. But the moment he kills innocents to cover his tracks - that's where he jumps on the other side of the line and becomes the very thing he is exterminating: a serial killer. That's why Light is an antihero, and L and Near are the true heroes of Death Note - even though they seem to oppose the one the audience is supposed to identify with.

Weren't Misa's parents killed by some robbers, which Light then killed? IIRC that's what drove her to track him down. To her, he was an absolute god and her reason for existing. Misa was undoubtedly smarter than she initially seemed, and could be more dangerous than Light (especially with the shinigami eyes), but she was also childish and wanted someone to protect her. To her, Light was that ideal person and she only saw his good side, preferring to ignore the fact that he was just using her (I like to think she knew she was being used but convinced herself she was OK with it because she was doing it for the man she loved).

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Quote by pandemonium91Glad to be of help ^^ Absolutely no one was safe - except for Light himself - because they never knew what his next step would be. He carefully planned things in advance without telling anyone more than he needed to in order to get them to behave the way he wants them to. IIRC, he tells Misa - arguably the person who's closest to him - only the bare minimum needed to execute his plans, all the while lying to her that he loves her back. You can see how displeased he is when he has to rely on her for something (i.e. not having complete control), but at the same time he knows she's so attached to him that she would rather sacrifice herself than betray him.

The best murders were innocents because this is where most people will start hating Light. At first he's a vigilante, killing others who've killed innocents and arguably doing what most people secretly want to do. But the moment he kills innocents to cover his tracks - that's where he jumps on the other side of the line and becomes the very thing he is exterminating: a serial killer. That's why Light is an antihero, and L and Near are the true heroes of Death Note - even though they seem to oppose the one the audience is supposed to identify with.

Weren't Misa's parents killed by some robbers, which Light then killed? IIRC that's what drove her to track him down. To her, he was an absolute god and her reason for existing. Misa was undoubtedly smarter than she initially seemed, and could be more dangerous than Light (especially with the shinigami eyes), but she was also childish and wanted someone to protect her. To her, Light was that ideal person and she only saw his good side, preferring to ignore the fact that he was just using her (I like to think she knew she was being used but convinced herself she was OK with it because she was doing it for the man she loved).

Oh the real thing that annoyed him most about Misa was Rem's affection for her, and boy did he turn that very thing against Rem, that was really some awesome attitude (used for wrong purposes, but cool nevertheless)

L also did some morally ambiguous things at times though, and Mello too, and so did Near, i guess? I forgot =o='

Misa was really broken because of those murders and probably lost faith in humanity, etc. but gained a new hope because of Kira... and like many people do in a situation like this, they left the decision-making to a higher authority (Gods, Dictators, Generals, anything) so that their brain can run away from facing life.. I think her loyalty was just a form of escapism :\

And speaking of unreasonable loyalty, doesn't she remind you of Harley Quinn somewhat? Cute, somewhat childish, unreasonably loyal to a charming yet evil scheming maniac..

Why die only once when you can die a little everyday

myri-chan

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He was definitely bad to me...he pretend to be motivated by a sincere sense of justice but i rather think what he wanted the most is power. He calls himself a god and don't hesitate to kill anyone who oppose him and treat people like pawns.He is arbitrary,hubristic,manipulative and sadistic ...a true dictator! he reminds me of Griffith from Berserk >.<

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^ but you can't deny he did more good than most, can you?
Edit: on a second thought.. He has done absolutely no good in the entire series.

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myri-chan

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Dunno Compi-san...That's what it is said about totalitarian/inquisitorial regimes that uses radical measures to eradicate "evil" ..but we all know what happens when a man have full power between his hands x.x ....no human being is wise enough to handle an apocalyptic weapon of destruction as the death note cause we are all little brats inside Lol

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