There are a lot of unanswered questions about how the Death Note actually works.
If you have watched Death Note, and especially if you’ve read the manga, you likely noticed many, many rules and restrictions on how to use the book. Of course, you would hope there would be many guidelines put in place for a book that lets you kill just about anybody you want. But, man, there are a lot of rules.
However, there also seem to be a whole bunch of loopholes left unaddressed. There are lots of probably unlikely but definitely possible scenarios neither the show nor books seemed to have taken into consideration. Well, we’re going to consider them right now, aren’t we?
FYI, there will be some minor spoilers regarding the way the Death Note works. This show has been out a long time and is amazing. If you have not watched it yet, you should.
To kill someone using the book, the owner must write their name in it while picturing their face. What happens if someone writes a name in the Death Note while picturing the face of the victim’s identical twin? If the face is exactly the same, we can assume the book would work. The face and name would match.
But according to the rules, if the writer were to rely on an incredibly realistic drawing of their victim’s face, nothing would happen. The picture has to capture the actual human being’s likeness. From this, it seems fair to come to the conclusion that both twins would be safe unless the writer pictured their actual face while writing their name. The owner of the notebook would need to meet or get a photo of the intended twin for the book to work.
Because it is so important for the writer to know what their victim looks like, we have to wonder: Can blind people use the Death Note? Would a supernatural object automatically preclude an entire portion of the population from using it? What if a blind person were to trade for the Shinigami eyes?
Gotta say, I think this one would work… to a point. I think it’s definitely fair that a blind person could feel their victim’s face and kill them with the impression left behind. The Death Note seems to put a clear focus on intent. This is the main reason the writer has to picture the face of their victim in the first place, to be sure they don’t accidentally kill someone else with the same name. If the blind person’s intent is clear, it can only be assumed that the book would mystically pick up on that and allow the death to happen. However, it does seem as though the Gods of Death like to stack the deck against humans whenever possible. It is likely that a blind person trading for the eyes would, in fact, be able to see the name and lifespan of other people. Humans cannot normally do this, it is an advantage given to them during the trade, it makes sense that anyone would obtain this ability through the deal. But it seems rather unlikely that the Shinigami would grant ordinary sight, they don’t go out of their way to help humans. I’m guessing the blind Death Note owner would still be unable to see faces, more like blackness with numbers and names floating in the dark.
Okay, one of the top questions a lot of people online seem to want answers to is this: can someone die of a heart attack if they don’t have a heart? If a name is written in the notebook with no cause of death indicated, the default manner of death is supposed to be a heart attack. So, what would happen if someone had a pacemaker or was hooked up to a machine of some sort?
The Death Note indicates a heart attack is the default cause of death, but not necessarily the only cause of death. The book will also kill the intended victim even if the written cause of death is impossible. You could insist the victim will start flying through rainbows before exploding into a cloud of confetti. None of that will happen, but they will still have a heart attack. Again, the book seems to put intent as its top priority. And for most purposes, death is the main goal, so death is the likely end result regardless of what kind of “heart” the victim has. So, the machine will blip, the pacemaker will fail, whatever needs to happen to achieve the writer’s intent.
This article was originally published on Crunchyroll.