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Nippon Television Network Corporation (ended 2007)

Autism Among Certain Characters

  • Avatar of petewrigley

    petewrigley

    [1]Oct 30, 2007
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    I stumbled into this interesting little essay/page back when Death Note had yet to gain that much popularity.

    For the most part, I tend not to attach symptoms/titles to fictional characters especially when the author hasn't even explicitly proved or disproved the "fan given title." However, once the anime for Death Note came out, I noticed that they really played up L's "characteristics" like his sweet tooth, and how he picks up objects. For those who've seen the 3 hour special, there's also a scene where L washes his hand with a cloth immediately after shaking a certain someone's hand.

    I'm personally convinced that L, at the least, has some kind of mental condition that could be autism. Thoughts? Also, would you say that Near and Mello have a similar condition?

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  • Avatar of AriSky

    AriSky

    [2]Oct 30, 2007
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    Wow. That essay was laid out quite clearly and presented its points in a very convincing manner. From reading that, I do think it's possible that L's character was meant to be one with autism. It's completely true that people hear that word "autism" and automatically think of someone who's mentally handicapped, but I know a handful of people who have been diagnosed with autism and they sure as heck aren't "retarded" as some people like to call them.

    I agree with you, Pete. I'm not quite sure about Mello and Near--it could just be that the two of them have been around L, trying to live up to his legend for so long that they've adjusted to life with an autistic friend. They've adopted his tendencies to please him, stay on his good side even. It's not completely impossible that growing up in the Wammy's House didn't have anything to do with how they matured, either.

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  • Avatar of rez825

    rez825

    [3]Oct 30, 2007
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    I don't believe that L could be autistic. My cousin has autism and she basically lives in a world of her own. If she doesn't get something she wants, she gets fustrated and will start crying and be seriously in emotional pain. And she has to take alot of medication and goes on certain diets (no sweets). Autistic people have trouble commuinicating with others. And L obviously has no problem with that. So, unless there are different types of autism, I think its unlikely that L is autistic.
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  • Avatar of mollythepom

    mollythepom

    [4]Oct 30, 2007
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    Some geniuses have had autism in the past. Like Albert Einstein has a little autism.
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  • Avatar of Hiei1314

    Hiei1314

    [5]Oct 30, 2007
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    I must admit, a couple of these are pretty good arguments. But L didn't seem autistic (I know a few autistic kids), just very strange and lovable The worst point made here however, is how when L is supposedly senstitive to being touched suddenly. He was shaking when Aizawa grabbed him, true, but it wasn't because he was being touched. He was upset, just look at the situation: A member of the task force was just killed and Aizawa was just about to do the same! And he even said so, "Ukita-san is dead...if you over there and lose your life, too, Aizawa-san..." Then he began shaking.

    So I agree with the author of the essay in that even though L has unusual habits--which were supposed to be weird, it was obvious Ohba wanted him like that--they seem like symptoms of autism, when really it just him being a lovable weirdo

    Where can I find the 3-hour special? I thought it was cancelled or something (pete said something about how L wiped his hand after shaking someone's hand in the 3-hour special, so...)

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  • Avatar of Author_of_Fate

    Author_of_Fate

    [6]Oct 31, 2007
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    I've always wondered if L was autistic. I don't think Near and Mello are though.

    Also, I've wondered if L is obsessive compulsive. I think this seems more likely than autism. I know some OC people, and reminds me a lot of them.

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  • Avatar of Sweet_Villainy

    Sweet_Villainy

    [7]Oct 31, 2007
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    rez825 wrote:
    I don't believe that L could be autistic. My cousin has autism and she basically lives in a world of her own. If she doesn't get something she wants, she gets fustrated and will start crying and be seriously in emotional pain. And she has to take alot of medication and goes on certain diets (no sweets). Autistic people have trouble commuinicating with others. And L obviously has no problem with that. So, unless there are different types of autism, I think its unlikely that L is autistic.

    There are different forms of autism. I think L is at least "semi-autistic," what with his little mannerisms such as holding things very delicately and stacking sugar cubes, but not to the point where he's mentally handicapped. His intelligence may even be a sign of autism; several geniuses in the past have been diagnosed with some form of autism. Not the mental part, but the social aspect of it, you might say. L practically admits that he hasn't had any real friends, which is believable for someone with a social disorder such as autism. I suppose it's the exact opposite of autistic people who are mentally handicapped. I also agree with Author's above comment about L being a little obsessive-compulsive, but everyone is a little OCD to a certain extent. I suppose it's a mix of both.

    As for Mello and Near, I don't think Mello has autism, but I definitely think Near does. Every time we see him he's stacking things or working on some puzzle. This is actually a form of autism commonly found in children (the whole stacking or carefully lining objects up thing).

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  • Avatar of qweasdzse

    qweasdzse

    [8]Nov 1, 2007
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    Autism is a disorder that first and foremost affects the brain. We as the audience have had a window to L's mind, and not a single thought contained any hint of his mind being any different from anyone else.I can use the same argument I use when saying Light isn't crazy, neurological people by default should think with some degree of irrationality,an autistic person may have some sort of irrational fear or adversity to something, maybe some sort of emotional needs that would be superfluous to most people. L is a realist and he puts everything into logical terms, even if he likes to second guess himself and has no difficulty accepting the existence of occult. I also can't see why anyone would think L is in anyway socially inept, he can old his end of any conversation, while at the same time thinking up ways to swing the discussion in his favor. Not only can he think on his feet but he can do this in a variety of different languages. In contrast to an autistic person who has a difficult time reading people, L can infer a person's emotions thoughts and psychological state with minimal interaction, he can identify well with human emotion which is something that you can't just learn. L really only appears to be unsociable because that's how he likes it as apposed to an actual autistic person who can't socialize., The reason L has no friends is because he sees them as a hindrance, he appears rude because he is straight forward when it comes to business if he doesn't like something you do he'll tell you, and he can acknowledge that he is strange to people and knows what it is like to act normal, but he chooses not to. L seems like he has some compulsive tendencies but since he is both mentally and sociably capable as any person, weirdness=autism seems like a pretty big conclusion to leap to.

    And if L isn't autistic then nobody else in DN is either, as he has the most notable conditions.

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  • Avatar of Sweet_Villainy

    Sweet_Villainy

    [9]Nov 1, 2007
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    qweasdzse wrote:

    Autism is a disorder that first and foremost affects the brain. We as the audience have had a window to L's mind, and not a single thought contained any hint of his mind being any different from anyone else.I can use the same argument I use when saying Light isn't crazy, neurological people by default should think with some degree of irrationality,an autistic person may have some sort of irrational fear or adversity to something, maybe some sort of emotional needs that would be superfluous to most people. L is a realist and he puts everything into logical terms, even if he likes to second guess himself and has no difficulty accepting the existence of occult. I also can't see why anyone would think L is in anyway socially inept, he can old his end of any conversation, while at the same time thinking up ways to swing the discussion in his favor. Not only can he think on his feet but he can do this in a variety of different languages. In contrast to an autistic person who has a difficult time reading people, L can infer a person's emotions thoughts and psychological state with minimal interaction, he can identify well with human emotion which is something that you can't just learn. L really only appears to be unsociable because that's how he likes it as apposed to an actual autistic person who can't socialize., The reason L has no friends is because he sees them as a hindrance, he appears rude because he is straight forward when it comes to business if he doesn't like something you do he'll tell you, and he can acknowledge that he is strange to people and knows what it is like to act normal, but he chooses not to. L seems like he has some compulsive tendencies but since he is both mentally and sociably capable as any person, weirdness=autism seems like a pretty big conclusion to leap to.

    And if L isn't autistic then nobody else in DN is either, as he has the most notable conditions.

    Those are some good points. I still stand by my view though. At the very least, if L isn't autistic, he's very good at acting like it.

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  • Avatar of AriSky

    AriSky

    [10]Nov 1, 2007
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    The thing about Autism is that it's not the same in everyone it affects. While L certainly doesn't show the traits we'd normally associate with the syndrome, he sure shows others that are often over looked because 'normal people' don't realize that autistic individuals can appear normal as well.

    That said, I'm sure that we all have autism to some degree; it goes undiagnosed because it doesn't affect the way we function in society. This is likewise with L. Because of his unusually high intuitive and logical thinking patterns, his form of autism is glazed over, and 'invisible' to those of us looking for the negative effects of the syndrome.

    I, for one, am convinced that, intended or not, L is a character with autism. ^_~

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  • Avatar of JasmineTea88

    JasmineTea88

    [11]Dec 10, 2007
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    there r varying degrees of autism, but i never thought L could be autistic. However, Near's fixation on his little dolls led me to believe he could be autistic.
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  • Avatar of Gezab

    Gezab

    [12]Jan 3, 2008
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    There are many people with autism that succeed and are very smart, mainly because they think in different ways than we do. But I did look at it kindof funny, I mean "LMAO out of all of them, L!!!"

    Very well done, I must say. A good, convincing read.

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  • Avatar of morgancate7

    morgancate7

    [13]Feb 28, 2013
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    Yes I agree with you.....L reminds me of a Japanese Monk...smart,yet abit eccentric
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