Still can’t believe that one day I can watch you on big screen in Vietnamese cinema. Furthermore, it’s Death Note – the manga, anime that I love so much. This thing makes me remember that summer.
It was summer in 2010. I was lost then. I knew I should concentrate on reading literature but before saying goodbye to manga for good, I still wanted to read manga, just one manga and then… I tried to stop myself from reading manga so many times, but I can’t stop myself from reading Death Note. I read a few first chapter in Vietnamese translated by ACC, then changed to read the whole thing left in English. Well, I couldn’t stop reading even a little bit. I silently and “stealthily” read it, afraid of letting someone else know that I was reading it, felt ashamed if someone knew I read manga again. I myself felt guilty too while reading manga even sometimes I just wanted to shout out that there were mangas even excellent as well as literature. But I couldn’t say it. In fact, I tried to say but no one listened to me. They always underestimated manga among the other arts. It was unjust. If they consider film as art, why they can’t change their look about manga, why they can’t consider it as real art. I mean not all mangas are art but some of them are really, really good art (example: Fetish by Fujiwara Kaoru, or Death Note is also art to me). Well, let it aside. Back to that summer, I was alone then. Totally alone. I isolated myself, not contact with anyone while reading Death Note. It made me feel hard to breathe but in the other aspect, it was the only thing that I could cling on at that time. I clung on it, parasitized on it, leaned on it as if it was the only thing that I could believe in the world. I think it’s wonderful if there is an artwork that can do this thing. I myself as the audience also find me happy when being able to absorbed in an artwork like that. I also want someday I can do this thing through art work, even it will be just effect for a very few people, I will be happy. But the first thing is I have to work, I have to be more diligent, I have to study, I have to live, I have to be stronger, I have to believe in myself more. Then, I can hope I have a little chance to do that for my audience through my artworks.
I really like Kira. Well, I know people read Death Note often unconsciously choose Kira or L. I don’t hate L, I like him as an excellent detective. But I like Kira more as a real person who was tortured by his own ideal… I totally sympathized with him. The way he gradually lost his self, fell in his hole that he unknowingly dug for himself really convinced me. Furthermore, his relationship with Misa really touched me. Eventhough I knew he would fail at the end of the story but I read with the hope that he would overcome time after time, time after time. It was the thing that made me feel suspense while reading this manga. I was anxious for him, not for L a little bit, To me, L is a typical manga character with his super smart, weird behaviours. Even Kira was still too ideal with his good points but he was really interesting to me because of his ideal. Just like Dos said through Arkady in The Raw Youth (I can’t remember exactly but just general meaning): “I have an idea. I have an idea. Eventhough I have nothing now, but because I have an idea, I have all. I can live with just only this idea.” Kira made me have the same feeling like that too. He made me feel that he could live only with his ideal no matter how alone he was. That was the thing made him charming in my eyes. I always love the one who love their ideal, they spend their whole life for their passion no matter how alone they are… They can live with it and they can die with it. I remember I nearly cried when I read the end of Kira. There was a hole incessantly expanding in myself because I thought maybe someday, I was like him, my life would somehow end like this. I thought about this thing so many times. But in the end, I still want to follow my ideal, my passion, my love for art. I really want to create, create artwork, create my own world no matter how alone I will be. I don’t want to give up. I want to follow it until the end no matter how hard it maybe. Therefore, I wanted to cry when Kira died just because of his ideal. He wanted to do good thing in his extreme way but it was too strict, too negative that led him to that bitter end, as well as he also made those who loved him hurt.
In fact, Misa loved him so much. She never left him alone. But I always felt Kira alone. Maybe, it was because I felt that Misa was not enough for him. Misa loved him but she was too pure, too simple to understand Kira. The only thing Misa could give him was love, not understand. As George Orwell wrote in 1984: “Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood.” I totally agree with him. But sometimes, it’s love that’s enough. Eventhough I thought Misa was not enough for Kira, I felt it warm when watching her love for Kira (the same thing happened when I watched Harley’s love for Joker). That love maybe just exists in fictitious work but there are some illusions that always consolate people and it is one of them. People know it’s not true but feel it contented to be absorbed in the illusion for some moments. I think that’s the way entertaining works operate. Meanwhile, a few artworks operate in the opposite way: they don’t consolate things that maybe even can be consolated in real life. That extremeness can make people aware of what they lack.
Now, I want to say that somehow, Death Note saved me in those lost summer days. It left me unforgettable memories, feelings. I think it affected me in possitive way. I love its manga, its anime, specially anime’s OST. I love What’s up people, Zetsubou Billy…
And… Death Note was really the last long manga that I read since 2010 until now. I just read manga again last year with Koe no katachi but this manga is just seven volumes, it’s short manga. So, somehow, Death Note became my goodbye to manga, to youthful days. After that, I just read literature and watch films. Sometimes, I miss the time reading manga but I left it too long that sometimes when I tried to read manga again, I found myself irritated, not have patience to read it anymore. I’m glad because of that. Life is so short that we can’t read everything we want to, we have to choose. If I still love reading manga now, maybe I even feel it harder to live because I can’t manage time for it or have to share reading literature time. But I don’t know why sometimes I still feel it sad a little bit because I didn’t read manga anymore. At those time, I remind myself that I have to read more philosophy and psychology books. There are still many have-to-read books for me (and I myself also want to read them, not because they are the books read by most of people in this Earth).
So Death Note is my youth. Death Note is my 2010 summer. Death Note is my farewell to my childhood, to the pure me. Through Death Note, I love that girl (Toda) more and more. Now, that girl will be on screen from Friday this week. Just a few days left. Even Death Note new movie was already leaked on Internet with HD version but I won’t watch it, I will wait for the day to meet her in big screen. Eventhough, she is just character that has small role in new movie with new generation but I’m still eager to watch it this weekend. I hope that I can meet a part of my youth here. I feel regret because CGV won’t show it. Therefore, I will watch it in BHD. Well, well, well…
See you this weekend, Totty-chan.
Hope that many people will watch it in cinema. Futhermore, there will be more Japanese movies screened in Vietnamese cinema.