I took a plunge into this book after having quite an adventure from the prequel reviewed in Book review 10: Death Note- The Los Angeles BB Murder Cases and I didn’t know that I had signed up for such a sweet treat of mystery, murder and strategy. “L-Change the World” is a sequel to the anime of Death Note where much of the plot takes place, this time in Japan within Tokyo and Osaka and nearby locations, where apart from the present scenario, much of flashbacks of the show is presented back and forth keeping the Otaku in me really ecstatic and glued through the entire episode of the book.
**** SPOILERS (for those who have yet not watched the anime show “DEATH NOTE”)****
After complete closure of the Kira case post Light’s death the plot gives light into the happenings and the status of the Death Note(s) after an unknown time gap, where L and Watari are in the midst of a case as usual and picking each other’s brain showing a really deep relation between the two at many instances along the way. We are reminded of Penber and Misora’s death which is a void very difficult to fill both for FBI and L which paves way for a replacement called Hideaki Suruga, an FBI agent who assists L all along the way. Suruga, although very honest and strong minded for his professional is often shown to be highly incompetent and stupid and many scenes validate how hard it is to fill into Raye Penber and Misora’s shoes.
The main plot showcases the story of a Research Lab facility in Japan where a Level 4 antidote and a corresponding virus is being prepared by an Immunologist Kimihiko Nikaido. Mostly having good intentions to save the world and make it a better place, Nikaido is carrying out his very dedicated work over the years for the greater good of the human community. However he is threatened by a “counter anti-terrorism” cult who wants to catch hold of the antidote and the virus to cleanse the human population and eliminate large groups of sapiens to “reduce pressure” on the earth. The Death Note link comes into place when clear comparisons are made that “The power of the Death Note lies in killing chosen ones in the world, but the Level 4 virus (capable of creating a pandemic) has the ability to keep the chosen ones alive and hence this virus has a much greater power than a Death Note.” The cult which goes by the name NPO Blue Ship is believed to have created a large scale biotope to have a world of their own and also plan to steal the Death Note(s) from L and plan finish him off to get full control over the world. How L puts on his thinking cap and implements his moves to battle all odds against not one, but two groups of enemies to ultimately put an end to the era of the Death Note as well as to contain the virus and cease it from existing is the premise of this story.
This one in the series has so much to offer since there are a wide range of new characters in the plot as well as the usual recurring ones. The newcomers in the book who play the lead have a lot of personality and strong connections with recurring characters (especially Watari and his Wammy’s house) which makes you want to instantly get invested with them much as you put yourself out there for the anime. My joy was immeasurable when I witness scenes of Misa Amane and Matsuda playing right hand to L and strategies repeating in various scenes which provide much nostalgia from the actual show. Light Yagami’s father Soichiro Yagami makes a special appearance which is so unintended but his thoughts and his life showcased in a nutshell after his son’s death makes you want to see more of such a brilliant character.
The lesson that I can take away from this book is strongly metaphoric.. a revelation which is pretty obvious to the readers much in advance is made when the Blue Ship cult realises that within the group everyone is playing each other as a pawn and they all have their own intentions to take out after their petty game. Since they are dealing with an actual deadly virus that can cause physical implications of elimination, it is observed at times that due to dire consequences, each of the group is planning on negative reinforcement to downsize their own organization and take lead and control of the team on their own; “One person’s doubt will spread through the group like a virus and eventually lead to its collapse.” Given the pithy in the phrase, enough has been said that we can conclude for the state of the world/universe, and yes I believe in this very much even before I took up this great journey of a book!