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How to Read Part 3 - Latter Half of the Ohba Interview

And now, the long-awaited second half of the Ohba interview. In which, really, we don’t learn very much at all :D Still, there are a few major spoilers for future plot development, so tread with caution.



A/N: The official romanization for “Mero” and “Nia” has been set as “Mello” and “Near”. Yes, these are strange names. Yes, we will all just have to deal ;D

Special Interview: Tsugumi Ohba
Part 2

Small insert: Light holding dead!L in his arms.
Caption: The first part of “Death Note” went out with a bang. Who could have predicted L would die like this?!

Q: Previously, the identities of the second half’s new central characters (Mello and Near) became known. As for the story itself, what kind of developments will we see?
A: The second part of the story is planned to start some time after the end of the first part – that is, four years after L’s death. At this point, the battle between L and Light has been settled in Light’s favor. He continues using the Death Note. However, Mello and Near, who appeared at the very end of part one, will hunt down Light, and a whole new conflict begins.
Mello and Near will work together to find L’s murderer, Kira, but I’m not telling exactly how they’ll go about it. They are, in fact, distinctly different people, and they will be similar in some aspects and differ in other.
However, the conflict revolving around the Note in the second half will certainly involve Light, Mello, and Near at the very least, and perhaps a few others who get sucked in along the way.

Q: This is certainly a more open structure than the “L versus Light” dichotomy you had in the first part.
A: Yes. In the first part the story centered around L and Light, so we saw each trick and countermeasure played out individually, but in the second part we’re depicting a much larger world, with room for more plotting and larger-scale schemes.

Insert: Rem, contemplating Light’s scheme.
Caption: The first part of the story featured schemes involving the Reapers and the Death Note, as well as thrilling plot twists! What does the new arc hold in store?!

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Page 4
Large caption spanning both pages: “L’s Successors”, Mello and Near! Big spoilers for Part Two!

Illustration of older Mello, who is looking much like L with less crazy hair.
Caption: Mello
Subcaption: Mello, whom Ohba-sensei set up as “lively”. With his still-childish looks, he’s also got plenty of charm. It seems like one could predict he’s fairly sociable, but will the reality hold true to our expectations…?

Q: In part two of the story, how will the Kira investigation develop?
A: As I said previously, the new arc starts four years after L’s death. Naturally, once L left the picture, there was no one left who had any hope of stopping Kira. Light’s execution of the criminals just continued unchecked.

Q: What’s happened to Light and Misa in that interval?
A: Light’s probably out of college and into law enforcement, by now. He’s a policeman by day, and killing people to forward his “ideal world” by night.
Since he’s only just entered the force, he’s obviously not very high on the promotion ladder yet. However, he’s also in a better position to receive information on his targets, so he really is right where he wants to be.
On the other hand, just as was said at the end of the previous arc, Light is still commandeering L’s investigation of the Kira case. As he’s now investigating the very same murders he’s causing, there’s no way he’s going to get caught out.
In short, by overcoming L, Light is sitting rather pretty. It’s really only a matter of time until his “perfect world” comes into being.
Misa is still living with Light. Her modeling career is going very well, and by the start of the new arc she’s become a top idol. She’s a full-fledged adult now, and has matured into a poised and perfect lady actress…perhaps. It’s entirely possible she really hasn’t changed at all.

Q: Do you have any plans to carry over any of the other characters from part one?
A: Good question. Starting with the main characters and then the investigation squad, I’m certainly planning on bringing back a lot of familiar faces.
However, I’m still considering exactly how many previous characters to write in. Pulling in way-back figures like Seiso Takada…might turn out to be a lot of fun (laugh).

Q: Are there any characters who’ve changed a lot since the end of part one?
A: It’s only four years later, so most of the characters are basically the same. Light hasn’t changed that much, though maybe Misa has grown up a little. Chief Yagami, Matsuda, the other people in the investigation squad are exactly the way they are now. There are a few characters who may show some differences, but I’ll leave all that to Obata-sensei.

Illustration: Light being all megalomaniac on us.
Caption: Using the Death Note, he will destroy wrong-doers and create a world without crime! Light’s initial objective remains the same in the second half of the story.

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Page 5
Large illustration: Near, looking really intense and creepy. He seems to have inherited a cross between L’s hair and a mop @.@
Caption: Near
Subcaption: Near, labeled an introvert. In contrast to Mello’s smiling visage, he appears rather forlorn. Doesn’t he give off a stoic impression…?

Illustration: Roger summoning Near and Mello.
Caption: L’s successors, who live at Watari’s institution. They will continue the hunt for Kira, and finally come into play!!

A (continued from previous page): If you insist, I suppose I could say Light’s little sister, Sayu, is going to undergo some drastic changes. After all, she’ll be going from middle schooler to her first-year in high school.

Q: What are Mello and Near like?
A: At this point in time, you can get an idea from the way they appear at the end of the first part. From their behavior in Watari’s orphange, you can guess that Mello is a lively creature, whilst Near is fairly introverted.
Though at first glance they seem to be polar opposites, in any case, they both share certain fundamental parts of L’s style and personality.
However, these past four years have given them plenty of time to grow into their own right, as well…

Q: What do you see as the ultimate ending to Death Note?
A: Of course, I can’t give it away right now, but I have had an ideal ending in my head since the very beginning. I’ll be doing my best to write until the story is ready to wrap itself up, so please, enjoy the ride!

Illustration: Light (kinda sort of) “mourning” L’s death :D
Caption: After the conclusion of part one, the entire investigation had fallen into the palm of Light’s hand! Will Mello and Near be able to stop this one-man crime wave?

Insert (spans both pages): Ohba-sensei’s favorites.
Ohba-sensei’s Picks!
1. Favorite character?
I basically like all of them…but if I had to pick, I’d say Ryuuk. He’s so fun to watch. He’s not weighed down by the normal laws of the human world, and he makes for great gag scenes. I also like Light’s father. He relentlessly holds true to his vow to apprehend Kira, and I can honestly respect that in a person.

2. Favorite scene?
The scene where L proclaims “I am L.” to Light, at the start-of-term festival. It’s got a lot of impact to it, and it’s the first time that Light’s really been unsettled by anything. Also, the scene where Light’s dad crashes into the TV station, or the scene where Light and L clash on the tennis court; thanks to Obata-sensei’s powerful illustrations I fell in love with them.

3. Favorite chapter titles? *
Number one: Inversion (Page 26)
Number two: Matsuda (Page 41)
Number three: Live wire (Page 4)

4. Favorite line?
This goes hand in hand with the scene I mentioned earlier, but yes, it’s “I am L.” Also, Ryuuk saying “C’mon Light, let’s rock the Mariokart!” I have a special place in my heart for that one, as well.

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