There are spoilers in this post so don’t read it if you have plans to watch death note.
During this anime I found that I liked the start of it far more than the end due to the character of L. In this (hopefully) short series I will be talking about the differences between L and Near (Mello included) to say why I think one antagonist is better than the other. I’m going to start by talking about the character designs of the characters and the way they’re introduced to say why I love L so much more than the others.
When death note starts we know nothing about L or about the police and we as the audience find it impossible to see how anyone could possible discover Lights powers since they’re so strange and impossible to track. L breaks all of our suspicion by instantly crushing Light by finding out his location in Japan. The voice muffler sounds badass and the blurry screen mixed with the L logo make him look really cool. The way they show L in the dark really makes him appear to be mysterious and cunning and the back up to this is his actions of narrowing it down who Kira is to help his investigation.
Keeping L in the dark hidden is a brilliant move to show how great of a detective he is: not even the police know who he is or what he looks like. The hunched chair look and bags under his eyes help to show the great experience he has of solving crime and makes him feel like a cool intelligent guy whilst still making it believable that he’s in the police unit due to his tendencies. The frequent checks and ways that he found Kira show him to be an immensely powerful and great antagonist to light in the story.
The way that Near and Mello are introduced is far worse as they’re portrayed just lazing around in an orphanage and look far younger than L. They’re his successors or in my eyes the rejects who were worse than L so they had to wait until he died before they could have power and look for Kira. This makes them look weaker and less intelligent due to fact that they couldn’t be in power sooner. Mello looks like a complete angry retard who complains constantly and can’t do anything – I mean the first thing we see is him losing immediately to Near so he doesn’t look like a good antagonist at all and his angry orange hair doesn’t help.
At least Near looks far more intelligent but the way he’s introduced makes him look like far worse of an antagonist. When an anime can’t convince you that the villains are a real threat then it’s not very good in my eyes and after the success of L and everything that he did I found it hard to see how anyone could live up to him. The fact that he was far too much like L didn’t help him either; he just looked like a worse clone and the fact that he’s still a child against the genius Light who could beat the best really doesn’t help him.
So that’s why I didn’t like N or M nearly as much as L based off of their introductions.