Light Yagami vs the Evil Overlord List: Part 2
The List, With Notes
102. I will not waste time making my enemy's death look like an accident -- I'm not accountable to anyone and my other enemies wouldn't believe it.
Funnily enough, this one was precisely reversed: Light spent the entire story being accountable to everyone else insofar as he didn't want them to know he was Kira, and it's easy to make someone's death look like an accident when you can write "cause of death: accident" in a Death Note.
The Yotsuba Corp guys should've been a little less specific about three of the "accidental deaths" of their business rivals, though.
103. I will make it clear that I do know the meaning of the word "mercy"; I simply choose not show them any.
Hmm ... translated to more practical terms, this means "I will consider the possibility of showing any mercy, should doing so be advantageous." Which he never did — even when it might have helped him. He kills Lind L. Taylor, and as a direct result, L learns Kira's biggest weaknesses and practically where he lives. He kills Raye Penber, who incidentally had already decided that Light was just an ordinary guy, and this allows L to narrow Kira down to three families, the Yagami household included. If he'd shown the teensiest restraint in either case, he might have gotten L completely lost trying to look for him, and in the first case, possibly wondering if there was anything to find. Really, this "not knowing the meaning of the word 'mercy'" did the most damage to him overall.
104. My undercover agents will not have tattoos identifying them as members of my organization, nor will they be required to wear military boots or adhere to any other dress codes.
He got this one right. Of course, Mikami was also a bit of a red herring.
106. If my supreme command center comes under attack, I will immediately flee to safety in my prepared escape pod and direct the defenses from there. I will not wait until the troops break into my inner sanctum to attempt this.
This wasn't really feasible for anyone (nor did most of them have actual inner sanctums). Of course, when the crowds of Kira-worshippers tried to attack Near's building, he had a fully-functioning alternative!
110. I will not employ devious schemes that involve the hero's party getting into my inner sanctum before the trap is sprung.
Near's partly guilty of this, although in his defense he chose a neutral location away from his "inner sanctum." But he got lucky and admitted it.
114. I will never accept a challenge from the hero.
Light Yagami intends that at the end of the day, he and Teru Mikami will be the only people alive in the room. So he goes to meet his arch-enemy Near at a time and place of Near's choosing, entirely on Near's terms, because Near says he has something to show the other members of Light's police force about Kira's identity, which he has been saying the whole time is "Light Yagami." At the end of the day, Light Yagami is the only person who is dead. Can anyone else think of where he went wrong? (I can think of a number of ways he could have finagled his way into improving the situation. Starting with, beforehand, somehow communicating "I have a little bit of Death Note in my watch, you don't need to panic if Takada gets kidnapped or whatever" to Mikami, or otherwise accounting for that kind of possibility.)
117. No matter how much I want revenge, I will never order an underling "Leave him. He's mine!"
He got this one basically right. Light was reasonably pragmatic about what specific person wrote down names in a Death Note.
132. Before appointing someone as my trusted lieutenant, I will conduct a thorough background investigation and security clearance.
147. I will classify my lieutenants in three categories: untrusted, trusted, and completely trusted. Promotion to the third category will be awarded posthumously.
Teru Mikami is probably the character who was closest to anything resembling a "trusted lieutenant," and he's the only character Light did anything resembling a "background investigation" on, except in reverse. Of course, with everyone else, he was basically just winging it and/or forced by circumstance to deal/work with them, and it's also worth noting that Near probably found Mikami the same way Light did. But #147 does seem like Light's style, doesn't it?
Of course, that being said, he had pretty much the opposite problem with Misa and Mikami. Misa was an idiot, and Mikami thought too much like Light.
L also got #132 right.
148. Before ridiculing my enemies for wasting time on a device to stop me that couldn't possibly work, I will first acquire a copy of the schematics and make sure that in fact it couldn't possibly work.
"Hey, Mikami, check to make sure your Death Note is genuine when you grab it, would you please?"
150. I will provide funding and research to develop tactical and strategic weapons covering a full range of needs so my choices are not limited to "hand to hand combat with swords" and "blow up the planet".
Again — it never occurred to him to use anything except a Death Note, even when relying on them wasn't necessarily to his advantage. I'm not talking about just ways of killing people, either — "I must kill them" or "Manipulate!" was basically his response to everyone .
151. I will not set myself up as a god. That perilous position is reserved for my trusted lieutenant.
155. If I know of any heroes in the land, I will not under any circumstance kill their mentors, teachers, and/or best friends.
Near miss — Naomi Misora fit the bill with Raye Penber's death, but Light didn't actually know she existed beforehand. But that carried its own problems; see under #103.
156. If I have the hero and his party trapped, I will not wait until my Superweapon charges to finish them off if more conventional means are available.
Another near miss; there really weren't any "conventional means" available that would work quickly or reliably enough. Especially when "reliable" includes "no risk of hitting Light Yagami instead."
166. If the rebels manage to trick me, I will make a note of what they did so that I do not keep falling for the same trick over and over again.
He basically got this right as it is phrased, insofar as the heroes never really tried the same trick twice.
186. I will not devise any scheme in which Part A consists of tricking the hero into unwittingly helping me and Part B consists of laughing at him then leaving him to his own devices.
On the rare occasions when he did anything resembling this, "his own devices" generally consisted of "clutching his chest in sudden pain." So he got this right.
189. I will never tell the hero "Yes I was the one who did it, but you'll never be able to prove it to that incompetent old fool." Chances are, that incompetant old fool is standing behind the curtain.
He got this one right. Until the last scene, he never revealed anything to anyone he didn't want to know and/or wasn't already dying of a heart attack.
192. If I appoint someone as my consort, I will not subsequently inform her that she is being replaced by a younger, more attractive woman.
Not that he ever told Misa anything directly, but that's basically what he did when he started going out with Kiyomi Takada. (Attractiveness is relative, but if he ever had romantic inclinations, Light's the kind of guy who'd prefer a moderately-attractive-but-intelligent woman over an artificially-highly-attractive teenybopper celebrity idiot like Misa.)
210. All guest-quarters will be bugged and monitored so that I can keep track of what the visitors I have for some reason allowed to roam about my fortress are actually plotting.
Let's just say that every time he was bugged, he managed to outsmart them, and the anti-Kira teams were good about bugging other people. So call that a qualified win for everyone.
219. I will be selective in the hiring of assassins. Anyone who attempt to strike down the hero the first instant his back is turned will not even be considered for the job.
He was certainly as selective as he could be. Mikami, as mentioned before, went horribly right.
222. I reserve the right to execute any henchmen who appear to be a little too intelligent, powerful, or devious. However if I do so, I will not at some subsequent point shout "Why am I surrounded by these incompetent fools?!"
He never did this. To him, intelligence was a positive trait, as long as they were loyal to him. But this is probably another case where he had the opposite problem: he did not get rid of mi(sa)nions even when they were too dumb.
226. I will have a staff of competent detectives handy. If I learn that someone in a certain village is plotting against me, I will have them find out who rather than wipe out the entire village in a preemptive strike.
Uh ... he did have a staff of reasonably-competent detectives which he utilized in his "getting rid of people who are plotting against me" efforts, yes ...
227. I will never bait a trap with genuine bait.
Light never really set that kind of trap. Fake bait certianly worked for L, though — just ask Lind L. Taylor! On the other side, Near took a risk by using his genuine self, but Light probably wouldn't have fallen for an impostor anyway.
228. If the hero claims he wishes to confess in public or to me personally, I will remind him that a notarized deposition will serve just as well.
From an objective standpoint, Light just needed to wait until enough people were pro-Kira, and then just kill the people who opposed him who knew his identity. Once he got some real Kira-bodyguards, Near couldn't touch him. But because of his pride, he just had to meet Near directly and "win."