Death Note is one of those shows that we can easily call a classic. It was one of the first anime I ever watched and is one of my all time favourites, so I couldn't start my new ''hobby?'' better. I should explain first what will I do here, so give me one minute for it.
The main goal for what I want to do here is analysing openings and endings at an angle of symbolism, interesting creations and ideas. I don't want to judge it or rate it, I just want to show you that the op/ed can be amazingly good creations and sometimes it's worth it to not skip them.
When Light opens his eye, you will first notice that they are piercing red eyes, you will notice during opening for majority of the time that Light is on screen,these blood red eyes stay with us throughout.
What these red eyes mean can be left up to interpretation, but for me they symbolise either the eyes of a shinigami or just evil.
At the start we can see that Light position is that of him looking down, this could be a sign of a godlike position, him looking down on humans, this might be how he see's himself, a god among mankind.
Here we see Light laying on what could be the stained glass ceiling of a chapel, while I am not sure of what this could signify, my thoughts are that the way he postures himself is very careless way but also has a godlike aura to it, which would suit how Light thinks of himself, referring to his ego complex.
It might not be relevant but it is worth noting that during this scene the singer sings the line "hirogaru yami no naka kawashiatta kakumei no chigiri", in translation this reads "in the spreading darkness I exchange a pledge for the revolution" My thought on this is that in the darkness of humanity and how the world is going to ruin, Light aka Kira wants to start a revolution, to fix humanity, to rid the world of people he deems not worthy of living, getting rid of the plague that has spread upon the humanity.
In this scene we see the shadow of Ryuk behind Kira, this could signify that maybe Ryuk is controlling or using Kira from the shadows for his own gain or amusement, it might also represent the pack that was made between Ryuk and Kira via the Death Note.
Here is one of the most iconic scenes in the opening for Death Note, as you can tell it itself is a recreation of the ‘’Creation of Adam’’.
There are many symbolisms or ways in which this scene could be interpreted, but to me this scene shows that Light aka Kira is raising his hands to the god of death Ryuk, reaching for the apple which is a symbol of original sin.
What elevates this scene is the usage of light and shadows, with Light having the appearance of an angel with light beckoning upon him, while Ryuk is lurking and reaching out of a veil of shadow and darkness. This represents the tainting of Light by Ryuk when Light was handed the Death Note, with the apple also serving as a symbol of the note.
We can also see that Light is chained down, this could be in relation to his feelings of him being more than just a human and how he is chained down to the society around him.
This scene shows the two main characters of the series, Light and L standing on two towers above the ground. Even though the distance between them is small, it appears near impossible to overcome, this could symbolise their relationship throughout the series, that even though the two are so close and alike, there is a whole valley of differences that will be impossible to cross. This scene could also symbolise the mind game between two characters, the game of cat and mouse that the pair play, the challenges that they give each other.
In this short scene before the title of the anime, we see the screen filled with roses, these roses could be a symbol of martyrdom, that Kira might think of his actions as a sacrifice for the greater good. That he wants to build a road to something beautiful (the flower) but the road is covered by obstacles (the thorns). It would be even compared to that of Jesus Christ, that Light holds himself in such high regard that he himself might believe he is the second coming of Christ sent to make the world a better place.
In these next scene we see the apple fall into Kira's hand, this could symbolise the Death Note falling from above into Kira's ownership and the passing of this "original sin" onto him.
We then see Kira standing above the city looking over it, surveilling it. This could be related to when he's finding and watching people to add to the Death Note or simply him assuming an all watching godlike role. We also see another two instances of this apple representing original sin being shown, one where Light is walking around the city with it in his hand and another with him in the reflection of the apple. This could symbolise the sin that Light carries around with him from the Death Note and that maybe he himself is full of sin.
With Light in the foreground and the sky with doves in the background this scene gives me the sense of the freedom that Light is experiencing from the power of the Death Note, that he feels like he no longer has to walk amongst man but is instead able to be free in the sky, this might also be a sign for limitless potential. You will also notice that behind Light is a shadow, this shadow might be the representation of Kira, the alias Light uses when committing his acts.
Though it could represent the opposite, that instead of gaining freedom, his freedom has been lost.
Here is Misa, doing nothing as always :v
With this scene it is important to note what I said about the apple representing the idea of original sin and the story of Adam and Eve, how they succumbed to their greed. This scene visualises Light succumbing to his desire by deciding to take a bite of the apple, the original sin.
This scene shows us more of the cast of Death Note, with one being the police, in here we can see that all except one are looking in every direction, possibly due to fear of Kira. However the middle officer, Light’s dad, is looking straight ahead, he isn't letting fear get to him, he wants to find the killer, he’s seeking justice.
They are the opposite for a shinigamis, they look like watching a show.
Next we have a recreation of the sculpture Pietà, Pietà depicts the lifeless body of Jesus Christ over his mother’s lap after his crucifixion. Penbar's lifeless body being Jesus and Penbar's fiance Naomi being Mary. You can see that on Naomi's face that she is in pain and grieving yet also dedicated to catching Penbar's killer, she remains calm even when a massive amount of pressure has just been placed on her.
In the next of couple shots we see a prisoners bloody hands scraping against the wall, then clutching onto a prison fence, till now Kira has been running rampant killing prisoners, with this one just being one of his many victims.
In this scene we see Light’s reflection falling apart and smashing to pieces on the floor. It can signify that Death Note has destroyed him both physically and mentally, this also could mean that the Light we knew at the start of the series isn’t here no more and this persona, Kira, has taken over and consumed him.
The battle between L and Kira has now moved, they are standing in close proximity of each other as opposed to earlier when they stood at the top of the pillars above the city with a deep gap separating them, this shows that their battle is coming to an end, L is catching up and has nearly overcome that impossible gap. He's closing in.
The fact they are in this dark, dirty and gloomy tunnel might also show that the tricks they are using, the tactics they are applying are also dirty and underhanded, all they want is to beat the other, no matter the cost.
We see Kira and Misa standing in the rain, with Misa reaching out her hand to Kira and Kira going to reach out for hers. This scene shows that Kira is accepting Misa, but for his own reasons, he wants to use her for his own gain. This is Kira using anything at hand to gain the advantage and further his own ideals.
This scene shows Kira in an almost angelic and godlike state, with the imagery of an angel in the background and him in the foreground, this could signify that at this moment Kira thinks of himself as untouchable or having already ascended. It could also mean that light is finally free after his death as Kira.
Another viewpoint of this scene could be that this is Kira and Light, with the latter being in the foreground and the angel representing Kira, Light accepted the sin and fell from heaven thus becoming a fallen angel, turning his back on god.
Thanks for reading! Do you have any favourite scenes in this opening?
Like and follow me for more! And leave a comment on what should I analyse next!
This analysis wouldn't be possible to write without @Nexus95. Thank you!