July 9th, 2009

L sit

Near cheating in final confrontation?!


* * * SPOILER FOR ENDING.  READ AT YOUR OWN RISK  * * *

* * *

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In the end, Matsuda raises a theory of Near cheating by writing Mikami's name in the Notebook to make sure Mikami bring the real Notebook to the warehouse and forget to test its authenticity. Is Matsuda's theory true?

Did Near cheat in the final confrontation?

I think the theory has 70% of being correct,
knowing Near's personality (tries to win at any cost),
+ Near did not try to catch Kira for justice or for L. He just wanted subject Kira to humiliation.
+ Mikami's extremely meticulous nature
+ the situation (a life-or-death battle in which everyone tried to hold onto his life)

- Near may be a humanist, but the situation required him to protect his own life. From the start, even though Near knew that letting Kira-Mikami write everyone's name down was risky, in the warehouse, he was *totally* confident that no one would die. Although he switched the DN, he could totally anticipate Light knowing about this tampering and the possibility of Light's backup plan, or maybe Light having yet another DN, etc.   Near, like L, does value his own life more than anything, and would definitely not do something that would easily rob him of his life. So what's the reason for Near's confidence?

- I just have to admit that Near won quite easily compared to L who had a great battle with Light.

Besides, look at Tsugumi Ohba's answer to the question: "Is Matsuda’s theory correct?" in volume 13 HTR :

Ohba: "Basically, I want each of the readers to decide for themselves and adopt their own views. The only thing I can say for sure is: Light ordered Mikami to not take out the real Note until the end..."

Now look at what Takeshi Obata said in this same interview:

Question: "Who is the smartest character in DN?"
Obata: "Near, because he cheats."

There answers contain subtle hints. Based on those, I can conclude that :
- Mikami would never betray Light
- Near cheats.
 
AND (as pointed out by Samurai_Drifter):
- At the end, Near holds up the Notebook, points to Takada's name in it, and says, "This is the fake notebook we made, but it is exactly like the original."  It's a very subtle point:  Near wanted to prove that Mikami had written Takada's name in it, but why would he hold up the replica instead of the real one?  The answer: because he'd written Mikami's name into the real Death Note and wasn't going to show anyone.
 
Together the possibility of Near cheating adds up to 99.9%

But
I have to take Near's pride into account: was his pride enough to prevent him from doing the same thing Kira did?

. . .