Death Note is the perfect beginner’s guide to solid magic systems

There’s a lot to be said for the intersection of fantasy and the insanely huge pantheon of anime content, to put it mildly. Today, I would like to focus on death note And his clever use of a cruel magical system to tell his story, if not a little.

My animation sample size is relatively small, but so far I’ve encountered a wealth of soft magic systems – powers with undefined rules or none at all. They are amazing to watch. Beat Saitama’s apathy one man punch Always makes me chuckle. Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood Venture further into the challenging region of magic with the Equivalent Exchange, making it a convenient destination or entry point for enthusiastic viewers of magic.

and then we have death note, a tale of cat and mouse fueled by a magical system is so meticulously plotted, it lists the rules on title cards before and after the trade breaks. Now, when I meet a curious, inquisitive friend who struggles with the intricacies of a magical system governed by strict rules, I will encourage them to give death note attempt. The anime lays its bare base, directing the viewer as much or as little as needed…

Should the reader’s curiosity and tastes line up properly, death note It can serve as an excellent gateway to the complex magical systems found in books like Brandon Sanderson’s books Mistborn.

(First, a word of reassurance: I will not discuss anything that follows the path of Yotsuba death note. The last 10 episodes didn’t work for me, but I watched them anyway.)

death note Stars Light Yagami, a young man who encounters a mysterious notebook with dark powers. The Death Note, which belongs to a Shinigami (the god of death), gives its user the ability to kill anyone, as long as the writer knows the person’s name and face. Upon finding the Death Note, Light enters into a friendship partnership with its owner, Shinigami Ryuk. Seeing their names and faces on the news, Light begins killing criminals, trying to rid the world of the guilty. In the end, sharp minds and detectives started catching up, naming the elusive killer “Kira”. The series follows Light as he evades the pursuit of Kira and refines his methods to keep his killings untraceable. basic arc of death note The anime pits Light against the strange detective L, whose sharp force of deduction proves to be a powerful weapon against Light’s plot.

death note Reveals the magical and murderous abilities of the Essential Notebook in a steady distillation. The show showcases some of the notebook’s basic capabilities through narrative presentation, either in the form of a light reading of the rules or Ryuk explaining to him the subtle intricacies. Explanations can be harsh, but that’s part of what makes for it death noteThe magic system of .

truly Heavy in hand, surrounded by a fist, are the anime title cards before and after the showtime period ends. These appear twice in each episode, and each entry records a different Death Note rule, exposing them for the viewer to understand in all its glory. There are a few early rules that lay the foundation for more unusual rules to come. Here’s the first rule viewers encounter:

“The person whose name has been written in this note dies. This remark will only apply if the writer is mindful of the face of the subject when writing his/her name. This is to prevent people who share the same name from being affected.”

Screenshot: Viz Media

bubble. The first rule basically says “That’s what it is. Deal with.” It also raises a lot of questions, which are explained by additional rules (with varying effectiveness).

Three other early rules improve the process and clarify the concepts enshrined in Condition One:

“If the cause of death is written within 40 seconds of the subject’s name, it will.”

“If the cause of death is not determined, the person will die of a heart attack.”

After writing the cause of death, the death details must be entered within six minutes and 40 seconds.

With these four rules, death note It establishes the essence of its magic. The series relies on the system to drive its story, so it is essential that the viewer understands. A lost connection or a rule that is seen as broken will cancel all death note The narrative is in disarray. Throughout the show, it reveals new rules and improvements that codify the system into an easy-to-use and conceptual system around which Lite and its enemies must navigate. Light uses rules to find loopholes to avoid capture, while L and his investigators identify patterns in Kira’s path to victims in order to better understand the criteria that govern his killings.

I won’t spoil the fun of discovering everything death noteGrammar. If you are interested, I encourage you to watch the show, or if you are curious, check out death note wiki To learn more. (Beware spoilers, of course!)

How, then, can death note Preparing novice fantasy readers for the challenging magic systems found in some of the genre’s most fascinating tales?

I recommend death note-Specifically the anime, although it started as a manga and produced other modifications – training wheels for magical systems. It’s not the system itself that prepares fans for the intricacies of something like this MistbornDifferentiation or feruchemy, to use a favorite work of fiction as our example – it’s the method of delivery. death noteThe presentation medium allows for freedoms of presentation that fiction writers would have to justify with long distances from the text. Consider the classic ‘show, don’t tell’ advice we all know – the enduring adage insists that writers should allow their readers to learn about the world of a story in indirect ways, not through primary presentation; It’s a rule that permeates the imaginative imagination… but death note It takes a different approach to storytelling.

Screenshot: Viz Media

When death note Exposing his rules, blatant and clear to all, it’s Says. When Light uses the powers of the Death Note or discusses the repercussions with Ryuk, it’s just like that Show. death noteIn other words, it has the benefit of both methods. The anime tells us a rule, then shows us how it works in the lite world. This approach leaves precious little space for confusion. The rules are there. They are displayed on a large red screen in a distinctive, stylized font. If you read it, you increase your understanding of the powers of the notebook, which in turn enhances your understanding of the story. death note It operates within the strict limits of its rules, so the viewer does not feel cheated when Light or L discover a useful vulnerability.

Additionally, returning to the literary insistence on show versus telling, it is generally reprehensible for a writer to simply list the rules that govern his magical systems. Heavy refueling death note It works thanks to its medium and story. In a fantasy book, not so much. Readers – or at least me specifically – prefer to gather information more organically from the world, characters, and interactions. Tossing in lengthy information or a powerful deluge of magic rules inevitably feels like cheating in a fantasy book. Of course, audience expectations and readers’ tastes vary, and there’s a lot to be said for finding a comfortable compromise between presentation and narrative – this kind of balance can make for a well-crafted and accessible story.

This is the place death note It can be a real help for new readers who struggle to understand complex magical systems with a myriad of rules and conditions. Presented by the anime frankly, many viewers are not required in advance. Compared to a fantasy book like Mistbornas the reader must learn the system over time with little or no detail to begin with, death note It feels more palatable and accessible to someone who is not already used to slow burning.

If you’re hesitant to dip your toe into epic fantasy waters filled with challenging magical systems, consider giving. death note attempt. It won’t ask you much, and won’t assume you know its inner workings without giving you the inside information first. If you enjoy the story-driven Light Adventures with Killer Notebook, it might be a good stepping stone into other fantasy worlds where magical rules aren’t given up front, but can be learned along the way as you immerse yourself in the experience.

Cole Rush writes the words. Many of them. For the most part, you can find these words in The Quill To Live or on Twitter Tweet embed. Avidly reading epic fantasy and science fiction, he searches for stories of gigantic proportions and devours them with gusto. His favorite books are: divine cities Robert Jackson Bennett series, The Long Road to Angry Little Planet by Becky Chambers and House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune.

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